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Thread: Where to next?

  1. #1
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    Default Where to next?

    My straight razor descent has gone as follows:
    - Tried a Parker Shavette because it was cheap and I was curious. I never got a good shave with it, but it was enough to convince me I wanted to explore straights.
    - Bought a TI from a friend who owned a knife shop and took it on trade; started with a Poor Man's strop from Whipped Dog--and I appreciated all the advice I read on buying a cheap first strop; I only knicked it 3 or 4 times, but didn't feel bad because it was so cheap.
    - Next came a Feather SS, which I find really comfortable and close, but somehow lacks the charm of the traditional straight razor
    - Most recently I bought a Portland Razor Co. Hydra, along with their 3" leather/poly web strop--I absolutely love the razor and the strop

    I've been thinking of going a few different directions next, but have questions about each:
    - Buy a vintage razor. I'd really like to try a vintage razor but have no idea what I'm looking at. I see some on the BST that are stained and pitted selling for over $100, while others look really good for $30. How would I know where to even start with vintage? I wouldn't want a rare, collectible--I'd just like something that shaves well and isn't rusty, pitted, or chipped. Antique stores are the worst--I've seen horrible rusted and chipped razors for $80+, and I'd still have to send it to someone to hone for me.
    - Learn how to hone. This intrigues me, but when I see the cost on a set of hones easily going for $500+, and figuring in a few practice razors, it's pretty expensive. Is there a listing of places that offer classes (I know PRC does, but they're in Oregon and I'm in Georgia--it's a little too far)? Is the Norton 4k/8k enough, or is a 12k and a loop necessary for a nice edge?
    - Buy some unique razors. I like the 2" size of the Feather blades--but it seems very few straights are made in that length as they are somewhat rare (to be honest, I've only seen the PRC Sprite and a Brian Brown custom in that length). Do vintage 2" blades exist? If so, how do you find them? Are there other unique razors to look for?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts or experiences on how you're straight razor experience evolved. I really enjoy straight razor shaving--and am excited to see where this hobby takes me next.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth Dieseld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZBronco View Post
    I've been thinking of going a few different directions next, but have questions about each:
    - Buy a vintage razor. I'd really like to try a vintage razor but have no idea what I'm looking at. I see some on the BST that are stained and pitted selling for over $100, while others look really good for $30. How would I know where to even start with vintage? I wouldn't want a rare, collectible--I'd just like something that shaves well and isn't rusty, pitted, or chipped. Antique stores are the worst--I've seen horrible rusted and chipped razors for $80+, and I'd still have to send it to someone to hone for me.

    Buy what you can afford, and what appeals to you. In the B/S/T you'll be getting a good razor that is shave ready

    - Learn how to hone. This intrigues me, but when I see the cost on a set of hones easily going for $500+, and figuring in a few practice razors, it's pretty expensive. Is there a listing of places that offer classes (I know PRC does, but they're in Oregon and I'm in Georgia--it's a little too far)? Is the Norton 4k/8k enough, or is a 12k and a loop necessary for a nice edge?

    I would first suggest a 12K hone for you to learn to touch up your blades when necessary. And a loupe is always a good investment. They can be had on Amazon pretty cheap. They allow you to see the edge and if there are any imperfections, like micro chips. Then after learning how to use that stone, you can move on to others
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    This is the one I have, and for $12 you can't go wrong

    - Buy some unique razors. I like the 2" size of the Feather blades--but it seems very few straights are made in that length as they are somewhat rare (to be honest, I've only seen the PRC Sprite and a Brian Brown custom in that length). Do vintage 2" blades exist? If so, how do you find them? Are there other unique razors to look for?

    Can't help here, but I'm sure someone will be along to give you advise.


    Thanks in advance for your thoughts or experiences on how you're straight razor experience evolved. I really enjoy straight razor shaving--and am excited to see where this hobby takes me next.

    Hope that helps you out some
    Look sharp and smell nice for the ladies.~~~Benz
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    "How you livin?" ~~Dave~~

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wayne1963's Avatar
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    Just spend a month watching the buy/sell/trade section here. That will give you a fair start on your razor education. It's only a start, but it's a good start.

  4. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    The pricing on vintage razors is all about brand and condition. A lot of people don't mind some age marks on an old razor. There are a few brands that often sell for less because they are house brands, like barber supply company razors, or hardware store brands and SR Droescher marked razors. You never know who made them but if you are simply looking for a great shave, those will sell for less and shave as well as any of the brand name razors. There were several different dwarf razors and you can search for those here.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Thanks for the tips so far. Iím going to get that $12 loupe just so I can look at my blades and start to understand the edge. Iíll start paying more attention to the BST.

  6. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth ejmolitor37's Avatar
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    Already lots of solid advice, Im going to answer your questions out of order.
    First, yes there is another option or options for a small blade to shave with. Find a vintage Depews Perfect razor or I do believe Joseph Allen made one also. Both of these options offer a smaller blade length but if you find either in nice shape and ready to go you could have bought a new razor you mentioned above for about the same money I am guessing.
    Second, the B/S/T on here is a safe and reliable place to purchase from. As far as what to look for, well this has many answers. There is a list of blade issues to look out for, Cracks, pitting at the edge that you will never get past, over honing, just plain bad honing that has ruined a razor and there is more. But that being said there are thousands of very nice razors out there that require very little work and can be had for little money. It is learning what to look for when buying the old blades and I am talking name sake aside. Next there is names, Wade & Butcher, Torrey, Case, Boker and on, and on. Don't let it scare you off just because it does not have a big name attached to it. As Rez said there are lots of "no name" razors that are quality steel and will shave right up there with the best.
    With vintage blades do not let price scare you either. There are so many people that go, oh it is old and it is Wade and Butcher it must be worth $250. Well, sorry antique person it aint. The blade might be honed out and have to different color scales because it has been abused, but those people don't realize this. All they learn is a name and approximate vintage and charge accordingly. I have run into this at a shop near me and after speaking to this gal enough she finally realizes she doesn't know enough to BS me into buying. Bottom line, ask questions, start to hang out in the workshop thread on here and see what it takes to bring one back. It is not as daunting as you may think. Buy a vintage blade from here and then start looking for others you can bring back or send out and have them cleaned up.
    Lastly, I would agree with Dave, a 12k synthetic would be a great start for getting into honing. If you want to take a another step into honing, buy a 4k, 8k Norton so you can maybe start into light repairs and such. A plenty comfortable shave can be had from an 8K stone once learned. 12k is just the cream on top
    Well I think I have been long winded enough I think I hit all your questions, if I can ever lend a hand send me a message. That is what we are here for, sharing knowledge and helping others in this wonderful art.
    Nothing is fool proof, to a sufficiently talented fool...

  7. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    Its been said but, B/S/T is a great place to learn and shop. IF you get a couple from the thread you will get a good vintage razor. I don't think anyone would sell you junk on this forum as he would pay a big price in hazing for selling it. Buying with pits or devil spit (black stains) wont hurt anything besides your own personal pride. As long as its not on the cutting edge your ok.

    It take looking and reading stuff here for months but it will start to click for you in understanding what perfection is, what ok is and what can be fixed and become a great razor. Just don't get in a hurry. That was told that so many times it drove me nuts but it was the truth!
    Jerry...

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