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Thread: Best Economy Straight Kit? Go!

  1. #1
    The Jack of Trades
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    Lightbulb Best Economy Straight Kit? Go!

    Hey all. I'm fairly new to the game here. I've been at it for a little while but I think my setup is hindering my experience badly. I don't have the spending power to fix it up the easy way. I've been employing a "The Secret" technique and hoping for quality(even just usable) stuff to find it's way to me and not surprisingly it hasn't. Haha. So in lieu of the universe overnighting me a top notch shave kit I was wondering what kind of budget kit you, yes you, would put together in a pinch. Homemade suggestions are welcome with direction. Thanks in advance.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Could you please start us out by listing what you already have?

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    The Jack of Trades
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    Of course Utopian.
    Gold Dollar 208 razor
    Buckingham and Sons Hanging Strop
    Synthetic Brush
    Blades Grim Soap

    I was talking about wanting to get into wet shaving and this was a kit I was gifted.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Oh crap.

    Well, thank the person who was thoughtful enough to make the attempt anyway. Unfortunately, google did not serve them well. You might as well go ahead and use all but the razor to start out.

    There is still a $60 Genco for sale in the classifieds. That would be a great start right there. Next go to straight razor designs and look around. What you get really depends on your budget.
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    The Jack of Trades
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    That was my thought. I did see that Genco. I'll have to see when I can pull some funds together. My concern is not knowing a lemon from gold in this. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    What is your dizzying, nosebleeding highest price limit ?

    A good boar brush is cheap
    Razor already covered from classifieds
    Cheap & cheerful Cella soap.
    Illinois 827 strop.

    Not sure of prices but that should be toward inexpensive.
    Last edited by onimaru55; 06-12-2015 at 05:05 AM.
    Those in the room who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPickard View Post
    That was my thought. I did see that Genco. I'll have to see when I can pull some funds together. My concern is not knowing a lemon from gold in this. Thanks for the suggestion.
    I have no knowledge of the seller or the quality of the honing, but a Genco is on the gold end of the spectrum.
    Redcane likes this.

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    The Jack of Trades
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    What is your dizzying, nosebleeding highest price limit ?
    Probably not enough for the razor even at the moment. Thanks to all for the suggestions. I believe I'll be able to make due for the time being. Perseverance as they say.

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    Senior Member cosperryan's Avatar
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    I don't know if the strop is any good or not but you can always make your own if there is a leather shop around you. Just get a good smooth piece of leather. European cowhide is generally better in my book if you have to order online and can't see the exact piece you are buying because they don't use barbed wire I believe so there is less damage to the skin so better chances are you'll get a better piece of leather. Still I would rather be able to see and feel the exact piece first. You can usually get a 3"x50" for about 50 bucks which is enough to make like 3 strops. As for the fabric you could use the fabric component from your already purchased strop or you could go to a fabric store and get some linen or denim or duck cloth. Really theres a lot of different types of fabric you could use. Again this is if your strop is not up to par.

    I would get a boar brush instead of the synthetic. You could go to a pharmacy and see if they have a Van Der Hagen kit with brush, mug and soap. The soap is not that bad either, although the brush feels a little cheap it will be better than a synthetic. If you can't find one then you could definitely find one online for not to bad a price.

    I have never used that soap but it should be fine.

    But really all this you could get by with, without having to spend extra except maybe the strop if its in bad condition. The real problem is the most expensive problem. The razor.

    Now there are several people who swear by Gold Dollars. Then theres the most of us. Gold dollars usually have many issues. They can be fixed but unless you know how to do this, it can be very expensive and generally is not worth the time or money. Of course you could have one that is good right out the gate but just needs to be honed properly. So you could send it out for honing which may cost around 20-25 bucks shipped. But even then it may not turn out right because it might have some issues that honing alone can't fix.

    Or you could go another route. You can buy a vintage razor. Either here or on the bay. Here on the classifieds will be safer and you will get a shave ready razor unless otherwise noted but it will cost you more. Or you could go to ebay and get a genco for like 20 or 30 bucks if you know where to look. They usually won't be shave ready so you will have to pay to get it honed and it may or may not be in good condition meaning it might have a frown in the blade or weird hone wear. Most these issues can be fixed but sometimes not.

    The reason I say Genco is because they are a very good quality brand but very underrated. They're not in vogue like a Wade and Butcher or Double Duck. Therefore you can get them for around 20 bucks and usually in great condition where all they need is to be honed. Buying of the bay though can be tricky because sometimes you can't see some issues because of bad photos or you just don't know what you are looking for because of inexperience. If you would like help on that, when you find a razor that you like and fits your budget, send me a PM to the link and I will tell you if I would buy it or not. I buy all my razors off the bay now and I mostly buy Gencos more than anything.

    Of course hunting for razors on the bay may take longer because you have to peruse and you may lose a bid to another buyer and have to restart the whole process but if time is no concern you could save some money. Remember though you will most likely still have to get it honed even if the seller says it is sharp. Again this could cost around 20 bucks though, so 20-30 for the razor and 20 for the honing equals 40-50 dollars to get a razor up and running. Plus shipping of course
    jedi7 likes this.

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