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Thread: Straight vs DE vs shavette - review from a newbie.

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    Senior Member MajorEthanolic's Avatar
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    Default Straight vs DE vs shavette - review from a newbie.

    I'm sure this has been posted before, but wanted to share my thoughts as a straight razor newbie who took the DE to shavette to straight razor walk:

    1. DE - this is how I started. Basically to get over the fear of an actual razor vs gillette cartridges.
    Pros: Good shave and very quick/easy. Basically no worries and a lot cheaper than the gillette cartridges I'd been using. I still use this when I'm in a hurry.
    Cons: The shave is just not as good as either a shavette or a straight.

    2. Shavette - My first step towards a straight. Bought a Parker + feather blades via amazon to keep the price down until I was sure it was something I wanted to pursue.
    Pros: Hell of a good learning experience. Learned delicacy vs the quick shave that I used with the DE.
    Cons: Unforgiving as hell. You slip up with a shavette, and you bleed.

    3. Straight - started with a 5/8 Solingen from SRD and moved onto the 6/8 as a second razor.
    Pros: Amazing shave. The closest shave I've ever had.
    Cons: Takes some learning and you do need to learn stropping. Buy a cheap strop/razor first so that you can destroy it, which you will. I felt that starting with a shavette was actually good (although a bit bloody) because it taught me patience in preparation for a true straight.

    Conclusion: I find the real straights much easier to use than the shavettes, and that they give far superior shaves to the DE. It takes longer, but it's worth it.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You just have not found the right DE and blade combination yet. When you do you might have to reconsider how far apart the shaves are between a DE and a straight.

    Bob
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    Senior Member MajorEthanolic's Avatar
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    Bob - I've used Merker, Feather, and Wilkinsin with the DE. I just don't get as close a shave as I do with the straight. With that said, the DE is definitely a lot quicker and does a great job. Just not as good as what I get with the straight. I used a DE for about a month before the shavette, and used that for several weeks before the straight, so I didn't just swap out before seeing what the results were. I'm a scientists by nature and by profession, so I'm always experimenting and observing results.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Everyone is different I suppose but my Muhle R41 with a Feather blade comes within spitting distance, now there is a scientific term, of what I can get with a straight. Never bothered with a shavette in over 40 plus years of shaving so can't say where they would fit in the scheme of things for me. Anyway that is what I have observed and that applies to me personally, as with everything in shaving YMMV.

    Bob
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    Senior Member MajorEthanolic's Avatar
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    Bob - I still keep my DE on the bathroom counter and use it often for clean up. Maybe I just don't have the right combo, like you're saying. In my experience, I can tell after shaving where I used the DE and where I used the straight. Where I used the straight, it feels "powder smooth". The DE shaves close, but not as close for me.

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    GC7
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    I enjoy using the straight much more than my DE's but I don't see a great difference in how close they shave.

    There is generally more irritation with the DE but the flip side is that it can get to spots against the grain on my neck that I simply can't manipulate properly with the straight.

    The DE is pretty much exclusively for travel and for my head which I will not try with a straight but it does a great job
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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    major , I like my straights exclusively, my DE seldom sees any action ,, but I spent 40 plus years with my DE and with the right combo ,, its hard to tell the difference, but it didn't take 40 years to get a DFS with a straight! but I never tried a shavette, that's next on my list for travel, right now I still take a DE when I fly ,, but im thinking the Feather shavettes because their DE blades are the ones I use so hoping they are as good also thanks tc
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    rhensley rhensley's Avatar
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    Started out with the DE. It was my fathers. Went into the service in 1969 and used a DE. when I got out in 73 went to DE and then the new bic. throw away . the company I worked for had a company picnic. and I won the door prize of a Remington electric razor. suppose to be a real good one. back in those days I would let my beard grow for 3-5 days and shave on Friday night for a date or going to the VFW. I got home and was running late so I showered and got dressed and grabbed the electric razor (it was cordless) and ran out the door and was driving down the road when the razor caught a bunch of beard and stopped. so there I was 5 miles from home running late with a electric razor hung to my face. I stopped the car took the razor apart (this was difficult due to the fact I was in a pretty good traffic area) once it was apart I threw it in the ditch went home and used the DE. Now while I was in the service I had tried the straight some. I also tried the shavette. In the late 70's I tried the straight again then for speed went back to the throw away. Now that I'm retired it's nothing but the straight. I now find I can shave almost as fast as I could with the throw away but I enjoy it more and get a better shave. this was suppose to be a short story sorry

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    Member Sic4531's Avatar
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    I started on a DE and still use one when I'm in a rush. I keep my DE Parker super heavy weight setup for the shower. I only use feather platinum blades in my DE, nothing else with "cut it" so to speak. I get just as close and comfortable a shave as I do with my straight. No irritation, BBS, comfortable. This is also considering that I use one side of the blade on either side of my face and toss the blade after 5 shaves no matter what. I also dry my de and keep it in a shave box in a dry place.
    I have incredibly sensitive skin and a coarse beard but in the end technique, preparation, lather, practice and the sharpest edge possible gets a shave where it needs to be. In the end nothing beats my straight for detail, precision, and that nice straight sharp look for my stache and sideburns. I have two spike point straights. It's what I learned on and what I'll always use. At some point in the future ill endeavor to use some more exotic points. The barbers notch intrigues me
    Last edited by Sic4531; 07-06-2014 at 09:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    Everyone is different I suppose but my Muhle R41 with a Feather blade comes within spitting distance, now there is a scientific term, of what I can get with a straight.

    Bob
    I concur.

    Today, if I reach for a DE razor, I use a Mühle R101 (R41 variant with black resin handle) and Feather DE blades combination and that for me is a close as it gets on a DE.

    In fact, having come to straight razors fairly late, I use this combination as benchmark against which I compare my straight shaves (e.g after honing).

    First passes with the straight, then one half of the face final ATG pass with R101 and Feather DE blade, other half final ATG pass with straight.

    If the straight is as smooth and close as the R101 with Feather DE blade, I've done a good job.


    YMMV, but with R41/R101 and Feather blades I cannot see how my DE shaves could get any closer and matching this with a straight razor takes some effort and skill.
    Last edited by beluga; 07-07-2014 at 06:37 AM.
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