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Thread: Time to upgrade?

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    Default Time to upgrade?

    So when I first started moving to straight razors this time last year, I tried a shavette, with varied results due to inexperience. It was enough to have me move on to a cheap and cheerful 20 Gold Dollar straight, which I am well aware is pretty low on the quality scale, but thought it would be fine to get the hang of things.

    About a year has passed and I'm enjoying my Dollar, I've gotten okay at a two pass shave, not BBS but good enough for government work. I'm on a work trip right now, and thought I'd take the shavette with me for simplicity, and got a smoother shave with a single pass than I do with my Dollar.

    I'd thought up till now that my imperfections in smoothness were down to technique, but now I'm wondering whether the shavette is better generally than a straight, or is it time to upgrade my Dollar? Can you get a shavette level shave with a better quality straight?

    I appreciate there's a lot of factors here, but generally how have others with the same experience trod? Thanks!

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    Senior Member Butzy's Avatar
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    I would think that (regardless of your shavette performance) if you've been working with a razor for a year and still not getting great shaves it's time to try something else. Even if it weren't a GD.
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    Senior Member Wayne1963's Avatar
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    Never have used a shavette, so I can't compare the two. Gold Dollars are known to be extremely low quality.

    If you've gotten a year out of a Gold Dollar, or any razor for that matter, it's a safe bet that it needs to hit the stones. Don't judge the shaves you're getting now, because I'm sure the razor is not optimum at this point.
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    I'm done with DE type blades, which I assume also goes into shavettes, I hate 'em in all honesty.

    My advice would be to get a good quality piece of gear, shell out a little coin, they don't cost that much if you get a shave ready vintage one in the BST.

    A brand new SR is quite pricey, but you might still doubt it's shave readiness, I'd buy one from the good guys on here that get a "real" SR to shave ready standards

    Or at least a good honing on the GD
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 12-06-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You never mentioned whether you are honing your GB or even sending it out to be honed. If you have not done that in a year I'd be the blade is dull for a start. It is possible that any razor, never mind a GD, would be dull after a year of constant use with no honing.

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    True, I forgot the honing, which I haven't done since I've had it - I've used paste on my old strop to improve it a bit, on the advice of the chap I was going to send it to to have it honed. He pointed out that for the price of honing it I might as well buy a new shave ready Gold Dollar, so I tried the pasting, which has improved it, but I think, as you all seem to recommend, the time has come to put that honing money into getting a better razor.

    My main question now is, with a good shave ready vintage, should I be expecting something akin to a DE pass? Or do all SRs need a little more work for the smoothness of a DE? Not had much experience with a range of razors yet...
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMarsReject View Post
    True, I forgot the honing, which I haven't done since I've had it - I've used paste on my old strop to improve it a bit, on the advice of the chap I was going to send it to to have it honed. He pointed out that for the price of honing it I might as well buy a new shave ready Gold Dollar, so I tried the pasting, which has improved it, but I think, as you all seem to recommend, the time has come to put that honing money into getting a better razor.

    My main question now is, with a good shave ready vintage, should I be expecting something akin to a DE pass? Or do all SRs need a little more work for the smoothness of a DE? Not had much experience with a range of razors yet...
    OK, that makes sense now. Yes, I would look for a vintage or new shave ready razor instead of a GD. No matter which way you go, vintage or new, they will still need to be honed when they cannot be brought back using a pasted strop. There is no getting around that.

    You can get at least as good a shave using a straight razor as you can with a DE, some say better. With a straight razor your edge must be kept "shave ready", your shaving technique must be bang on, same goes for your lather and stopping. If any one or more of these is deficient you will get a sub par shave. Once you have a "shave ready" razor it is mostly down to a person's skill to produce a good shave.

    Bob
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    some people like gold dollar but I have never tried one but they use to be really bad. Now I think they make okay blades? but mostly used by people for honing practice I think. You can get shavette sharp with SR from what I hear but usually people find the most "comfortable" edge to be 12k naniwa/jnat/other naturals. you might not have been getting good results because of the edge and I would try few different naturals out to get the feel. although let me add in this. I think shavette /DE is better option for someone who is truly needing to save money. SR is cheaper in long run but it is like 50-100$ for decent vintage and 80$ or so for 12k naniwa. And there is also learning curve to hone, as well as if you want different edge you have to find right stone. And finding the right stone can take up a lot of money.
    if shavette works for you I would just roll with it. If you do want straight razor experience then I would maybe post a WTB vintage/used razor with your price and buy one that is easy to hone (not smiling or weird honewear)

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    As Bob said...
    "Comfort is 90% in the hand on the shaver". Edge care, lather, proper stropping, using or not using Cr0x paists. The last 10% has to do with the stone it was finished on. But that's a different type of comfort. At least this is what I'm finding. If you have been using a GD for a year then a vintage properly honed razor will feel so sharp in comparison that your not going to understand how you were able to shave with that GD.

    I have a GD in my collection and I break it out once every couple months just because I feel bad for the S.O.B. It needs used once in a while too. But I noticed the last time I used it (according to my log its been used 9 times now sense honing) is just isn't as sharp as It could be.

    I've never used a shavette but think about getting one now and then for my travel bag. I think you should wait and check out the B/S/T thread and find you a properly honed vintage razor for under 50 bucks and give it a go. If its not up to your standards or you just don't feel good about it then sell it on the B/S/T and get most of your money back. But, if nothing else, have the GD honed by a pro and it will feel like a new razor.

    Stay away from the stones unless you really want to start honing as it can cost a lot and the next thing you know your restoring razors and own 60+ razors and have to keep a log on what your doing with your razors and ... Oh wait, Thats me.
    Jerry...

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    Using a GD as a benchmark for straight shaving is like buying a Yugo and using it as a benchmark for an automobile.
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