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  1. #1
    It's Domo-kun bromion's Avatar
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    Default Sensitivity & 3 razors: an experiment

    Hi all,

    So, a while back, I posted a thread about my very sensitive skin that irritates very easily:

    http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...tive-skin.html

    Afterward, I set out on a honing experiment with Bart (honemeister in Belgium) :

    http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...ment-bart.html

    The hypothesis we were testing was if the hone (in particular honing on a coticule) was the key factor in my irritation.

    Quick summary: First Bart sent me a Colbiri razor that he honed in a way he thought would work for me. It was fantastic! I still get great shaves with it, even though it's relatively dull now (I've only pasted stropped it to refresh). Being the scientist I am, I wanted to see if he could hone my razors the same way and get the same results, so I sent him my Dovo and Mack. Note all of these razors are 5/8" -- Colbiri and Dovo are German, I am not sure about the Mack, but it's a singing blade.

    Cut to the chase: we could not reproduce the results I saw using the Colbiri with the Dovo or Mack. We even tried honing twice.

    The question I am left with is why? These are all fairly run-of-the-mill razors, and none are particularly old (tho the Dovo may be the newest blade). Does anyone have experience with blade variability and skin sensitivity? We're stumped!

    Note I have not yet honed the Colbiri myself on different equipment. If I do and still get good shaves, that would, in my mind, nail down my issue to blades not hones.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    Well, the edge of a razor is a function of the steel, the tempering, the grind, and the honing.
    I don't see how keeping just one component of one of these constant, while varying the rest, will produce the same result.
    I have concluded that the actual hone is one of the least important variables. The most important being the actual skills of the person who hones the razor with that particular equipment, following by the razor itself.

    That's why when I see advertisements 'honed to such and such medium' to assure the prospective customers how great the edge is, I'm always thinking that that person still has quite a bit to learn.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rickboone's Avatar
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    I'm lost. But that's easy to do. You have one razor out of 3 that shaves great and leaving no irritation. Okay. You're holding or gripping it better or the weight is better suited for you. As far as what it is honed on, not sure how that'd be relevant. The only way I would see that you could determine if a hone was a factor in your case is by using the exact same razor and honing on different hones. 3 identical make/ model razors 3 different hones (or whatever amount you chose). Then, just how controlled would that truly be? I mean, can we say it is limited to 2 tablespoons of water with slurry and 300 strokes? What about the J-nat, it may take more than the coti to get a good edge. Insert the stones of your choice I just named two. Take the other side of that and don't control the amount of strokes or pressure on the hones and just let them be honed. Well, who's to say that 10 more laps or finishing up on something else or this or that fine tuning wouldn't have made all the difference in the world? Thus again blowing out the water any theory that x stone eliminates or reduces irritation. Theoretically, the same bouncing around could go with razors themselves. Which, goes to my personal theory that 90% lies purely in technique. But, truly if x combination of razor and stone give you acceptable results, by all means stick with. Same with soaps or creams, etc. If it works, keep working it. I realize this doesn't answer any questions nor prove or disprove any theories.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bobpell's Avatar
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    If I've got this straight;
    (1) You were getting irritation from your Dovo, had Bart hone it the same as the Colbiri and you're still getting irritation.
    (2) You were getting irritation from your Mack, had Bart hone it the same as the Colbiri and you're still getting irritation.
    (3) You are getting little or no irritation from the Colbiri (looked at the pictures in the linked thread).

    So as I understand it the only variable you changed in the first 2 items is the honing. You said your methods have not changed. So with the honing and methods being constant and unless you have some kind of weird allergy to the types of steel or the method used in the tempering process the only variable left is the grind.. right.

    You said that the Colbiri was a 3/4 hollow. I assume your Dovo is a full hollow and I don't know about your Mack. If it's a full hollow also could there be too much flex in those 2 blades? Everyone's beard and face is different.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Pelkey

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sharp&Shiny's Avatar
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    I would just stick with the stiffest blade you own until your technique improves , I found that until recently I was overshaving with my own hollow grind blades , where as I got better & more consistant results using half hollow &stiffer grinds .
    it's taken me a lot longer to get good with a full hollow .
    Just my own expeirience.
    Cheers Paul

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  7. #6
    It's Domo-kun bromion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharp&Shiny View Post
    I would just stick with the stiffest blade you own until your technique improves , I found that until recently I was overshaving with my own hollow grind blades , where as I got better & more consistant results using half hollow &stiffer grinds .
    it's taken me a lot longer to get good with a full hollow .
    Just my own expeirience.
    Cheers Paul
    Yeah, that is one theory I have been tossing around in my head. I'm actually going to try to get a quarter-hollow ground razor and try that. From looking at all 3, the Mack is definitely the most hollow (I believe it's a singing razor), while the Dovo appears the least.

    I should add, the Mack has been honed by 3 different people (including me) with similar results on my face; same goes with the Dovo. The Colbiri has only been honed by Bart since I've used it.

  8. #7
    Senior Member bobpell's Avatar
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    I'll tell ya what. Just to be totally scientific I think we need to set up a control for this experiment. It's really pretty simple. Just send me all your razors and let me shave with them for a few weeks each and I can then render an unbiased opinion.

  9. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    This is the way quality and price of the blade is different. Some blades will take better edge then other's or some steel will shave smoother then another so on.
    buy a good blade you should be fine.
    gl

  10. #9
    It's Domo-kun bromion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hi_bud_gl View Post
    This is the way quality and price of the blade is different. Some blades will take better edge then other's or some steel will shave smoother then another so on.
    buy a good blade you should be fine.
    gl
    Agree -- like wine, quality does not necessarily increase with price.

    The Dovo cost me almost $100 new, and I was rather disappointed with it. Shaves fine, but has a problem with the grind that makes it very hard to hone. I have no idea how much the Colibri or Mack went for new, of course.

  11. #10
    Senior Member AlanII's Avatar
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    A combination of the grind and the steel, though not necessarily in that order, would be my guess. Can't agree more with, gugi, in the end, the hone is less important than the honer. I'm a big coticule fan too, wouldn't dream of saying anything against them or the venerable Bart.

    I've only been doing this for a couple of years but, at the moment, it seems that there are so many variables in the equation, the biggest of which is, the user. Oglethorpe (for example) has problems with Sheffield razors holding an edge, I honestly have the exact opposite experience but have no reason to think that his experience is any less valid than my own. Great experiment, I'll be re-visiting this thread with interest.

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