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  1. #1
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    Feb 2010
    Seattle, WA
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    Default Newbie buying first razor

    Hey Everyone,

    I've been meaning to buy my first razor, and after doing some research, I've narrowed down the designs I think are most attractive. Perhaps it's telling that they're all DOVOs, but I was hoping to get some input. The biggest decision I've made is not to get a cheap razor to begin with. This is just my personality--I'd rather invest in a thing of quality than something that wont last for long. I'd welcome any input on this philosophy as it pertains to beginning straight razor shaving.

    Here is what I'm looking at:

    Professionally Sharpened Dovo Black Star Brown Pakka 5/8 - $128.99 : Straight Razor Designs, The Finest In Gentlemens Shaving And Grooming Needs

    Professionally Sharpened Dovo Imitation Tortoise Shell 6/8 - $114.99 : Straight Razor Designs, The Finest In Gentlemens Shaving And Grooming Needs

    Vintage Blades LLC*::*Dovo Straight Razors*::*Dovo Stainless Steel Straight Razors*::*Dovo Ebony 5/8" Stainless Steel Straight Razor - Professionally Honed

    Professionally Sharpened Dovo Red Bismarck 6/8 - $138.99 : Straight Razor Designs, The Finest In Gentlemens Shaving And Grooming Needs

    Am I fooling myself that as a newbie I won't ruin these blades? I wold also appreciate input on whether these are reputable dealers--I at least know Straight Razor Designs is trustworthy.

    Here's what I'm looking at in the way of strops:


    Illinois #206 Leather Razor Strop

    Perhaps you can tell that I'm trying to save a bit of money on the strop--let me know if any of these will harm the blade.

    Lastly, is it important to by strop paste, or conditioner? I know very little about this subject (not even the right terminology) so any input received would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for taking the tie to read this and give a newbie some pointers!

  2. #2
    Well Shaved Gentleman... jhenry's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
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    Those are all excellent choices. In fact, my first str8 razor was a Dovo "Black Star." I'm quite pleased with it.

    However, you needn't spend as much as a "Black Star" costs to get a good quality razor. The Dovo "Best Quality" as well as the Dovo "Special" are just as good and will deliver years of close, smooth and comfortable shaves. The difference in the prices of the Dovos you have selected is not the quality of the razor blade, but the etchings on the blade itself and/or the type of scale or handle that the blade is attached to.

    Keep in mind that your first razor purchase ought to be be a package or combo set. At the minimum you want to get a good quality razor and strop. So whatever razor you finally decide to purchase get it as part of a combo. Personally, I would opt for the 3" strop option. I did--and it has worked out just fine for me.

    And yes, those are all reputable vendors. My suggestion would be for you to buy everything from one vendor as a package, though. It's cheaper in the long run.

    Ultimately, however, the choice is yours. I am certain that whatever Dovo 3" strop combo set you decide to purchase, it will be a good one.

    Take care--and smooth shaving.
    Last edited by jhenry; 03-08-2010 at 07:46 PM.
    "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Mark Twain

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    Leor (03-08-2010)

  4. #3
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    I'd suggest the tortoise shell. It's 6/8 and has jimps which are helpful.
    In fact you should also get a strop at straightrazordesigns while at it - they used to offer the razors in a kit with a strop and you'll save a few bucks.b

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  6. #4
    Hibernator ursus's Avatar
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    You should be good to go with your background work and those advices. I'm a fan of jimps too. Here's the shopping list for beginners. A budget guide is found in a link there.
    Shopping list for beginners - Straight Razor Place Wiki

    Be prepared to destroy your first strop, and though your strop choices are nice, replacing leather on a modular hardware might be more economic. You decide.

    Pay attention to prep too - you might consider a good soap/cream&brush, alum, stypic too.

  7. #5
    Retired Developer
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    I would go for a razor without goldwash. If you manage to get water stains on the blade - and most of us have - the goldwash will have to go. Never a good thing


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    Leor (03-08-2010)

  9. #6
    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Hastings, UK
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    +1 on what has been said; I have the Dovo Best 5/8, Dovo Special (tortoise) 6/8, Dovo EnVogue (micarta) 5/8 stainless & a Dovo Berg. Lowe.

    They are all excellent shavers. If you are on a tight budget, the Dovo Bests have good bang-for-your-buck rating !

    Otherwise I would go for either the the Dovo Special (tortoise) or the Dovo Ebony.

    Have fun !

    Best regards


  10. #7
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    Feb 2010
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    I am a (faux) tortoise shell fanatic and just used my new pre-honed 6/8 Dovo Tortoise Special from SRD for my first self-administered straight shave Saturday. As mentioned, the jimps give a real feeling of a secure grip.

    As instructed in the packing, I first stropped it with a 2-inch wide Rup Razor "Filly" strop I'd spent a week palm rubbing and practicing developing the "X-pattern" on with a butter knife. This strop also has some chromium oxide on the back side for periodically touching up the edge, and I bought an extra pack of that from ChrisL in the classifieds here. I was practiced enough I didn't nick the strop, but there's plenty of opportunity for that to happen yet. I'm waiting for Tony Miller to come back off vacation to have one of his strops made, but I'll continue to use the Filly until I feel more skilled, and for a travel strop.

    I'm using cutting board, food-grade mineral oil from Bed, Bath, and Beyond to coat the razor in after drying, and I store it outside the bathroom because of the humidity in there. I hear Wal-Mart also carries it. Over the weekend, I also picked up a nice, old barber hone, although with the CrO and free honing coupon from SRD, I shouldn't need a hone for a long time.

    I'm real happy with these purchases. Hope this helps.

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