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Thread: Does weight or grind matter?

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    Grasshopper mbrando's Avatar
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    Default Does weight or grind matter?

    Hi,

    I was wondering if the weight or grind of a straight razor effects the performance? I have noticed that most my hallow grinds that shave well have a bit weight to them, but I have one that is really light. See attached. It takes a really sharp edge but seems to miss hairs when shaving. The chin it does very poorly on. However, If grab any other razor from my rotation the replacement will clean up where this light razor leaves off.

    When I feel edge with my thumb pad it feels comparable or even sharper than other razors I have, yet it does not shave as well as them.

    The only other difference I can think of the weight of razor.

    Thoughts?

    In these pictures there was some oxidation near the edge. It honed to a clean edge.

    - Mike
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    The Razor Whisperer Philadelph's Avatar
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    It matters in terms of personal preference, but not "how well a razor will cut (shave)". More matters in terms of honing and technique than weight or grind. People claim that heavier razors shave thicker beards better... I don't think that is scientifically the case.

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    aka shooter74743 ScottGoodman's Avatar
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    A full hollow can sometimes be difficult to hone, especially if it's hard like a TI. If you aren't using lots of passes over the stones with "no" pressure, you may not be getting the entire edge sharp. Pressure can be a culprit too as that the edge may not always be coming in contact with the stones due to flex. I had a difficult time with a TI that I restored for a gentleman not too long ago. Shave was exactly what you are talking about and after paying attention to exactly how the edge was contacting the stones a second time, the shave was great.

    As far as performance, it's just a matter of opinion/taste.

    I hope this was useful instead of a ramble...
    Scott
    Last edited by ScottGoodman; 11-13-2010 at 11:49 PM.
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    Grasshopper mbrando's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Thanks, That was helpful. I think I'll go back an run a course on the hones, then test again.

    - Mike

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    Know thyself holli4pirating's Avatar
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    If you are missing hairs when shaving, that makes me think the edge is not all the way there. I'd suggest going back and rechecking the bevel. If you are positive the bevel is fully set, then I'd say start on your next up hone (4k or 5k or whatever you use) and redo the progression from there.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philadelph View Post
    It matters in terms of personal preference, but not "how well a razor will cut (shave)". More matters in terms of honing and technique than weight or grind. People claim that heavier razors shave thicker beards better... I don't think that is scientifically the case.
    I had a hard time - still do, making peace w/ feather light blades. At one point, I had a real hard time w/ a flexible hollow. At 5 mo, I still get better shaves w/ a 1/4 hollow or wedge. I love the blade you show here, and LOVE Gencos. I'm now salivating for one like yours w/ the hammered shank in a wedge, which I'm told is closer to a 1/4 hollow.

    In terms of which does better, I strongly suspect some combination of skill and what you're comfortable with in your hand. I like some heft to a blade, and some meat on the shank. The small, thin shanks are more difficult to hold with ease and confidence. I have one small shank, flexible full hollow Genco (fluid steel) that just WANTS to shave well, so I keep and use it regularly. I find myself using more passes to get the same shave, which makes me wonder if with the heavier blades, I'm allowing myself to substitute pressure for technique - just because I can w/ the heavy blade. As I write, it's 9.5 hrs since I used a Wacker wedge. Only because I know the heavy growth areas and can stretch the skin to expose them, can I feel any return of stubble. The Mrs. thinks it's still BBS.

    If, in fact, we substitute pressure for proper (feather light touch) technique, it might mean we're compressing some skin - flattening out an area that naturally has a curve. This gives each stroke a wider path to cut. If that same area were stroked w/ a feather-light touch, we'd have to take many more strokes to lightly cover all the areas in the curve that the heavy blade just flattens out. This is conjecture on my part.

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    That oxidation may still be in play from a structural p.o.v. On a razor like that I would be checking the edge under magnification after multiple shave tests. It can take a few honings to get to good steel even tho it may appear & work ok at first.
    That you say it "feels sharper" than other razors may/may not mean there are microchips in the edge. Sharp razors feel smooth to me but YMMV.
    Last edited by onimaru55; 11-14-2010 at 12:47 AM.
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    Hi,

    I just looked at under my scope, I should have before posting, It needs to go back to be reworked. The edge has the appearance of micro chips and some chewiness to it at 400x.

    I have to say I'm impressed that with a tiny bit of information you all were spot on. This is such a great group!

    Thanks,
    - Mike

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    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrando View Post
    Hi,

    I just looked at under my scope, I should have before posting, It needs to go back to be reworked. The edge has the appearance of micro chips and some chewiness to it at 400x.

    I have to say I'm impressed that with a tiny bit of information you all were spot on. This is such a great group!

    Thanks,
    - Mike
    Good follow up...

    One difference between a full hollow and a less hollow
    razor on the hone is the flex that pressure generates.
    A half hollow will not flex the way an super thin grind will.
    A solid grind is thus more forgiving on the hone.

    The solution that works best for me today is a modern hone
    like the Na 12K super stone and a light touch and some circles.
    Circles do help tidy up an edge and remove a lot of metal
    in a relative hurry.

    I do not know the source of micro chips. One observation
    is that a "too" fine edge gets too fragile and chips. Another
    is that the coarser hones and slurry chip the edge and need
    more strokes on the finer hones to compensate.

    The dilution methods of honing seem to address this....

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    Grasshopper mbrando's Avatar
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    Hi,

    This particular razor ground very thin. I'll try a light touch when working the hone and check progress.

    - Mike

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