03-17-2014, 10:30 PM
#1
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This morning I did the unthinkable...I tried my hand at a shavette for the first time on a work day (of all days). I received the Parker SR1 about a week ago, along with 5 sample Shark half blades. Cleaned it all up and loaded it over the weekend, in anticipation of using it at some point during the week. Well, this morning I pulled the trigger, and as this is the first time I am using a "stright" there was a lot getting used to.

It is a very aggressive shave, compared to the forgiveness of a DE. There are definitely a number of things I still need to master, and are all based on technique. Getting used to holding the razor with my left hand, for the left side of my face, will take a bit of practice. In addition, keeping the angle at 20-30 degrees from the plane of the face is much more critical than with a DE.

All said and done, I managed a WTG pass and a 1/2 XGT pass. I did not attempt an AGT pass as this would have sent me to the hospital. I still need to work on razor handling skills. Things I need to work on...

1. Getting used to using my left hand (i'm right handed) when shaving the left side of my face.
2. Skin stretching is paramount, along with short and light strokes, and I need to do this better
3. Until you get the hang of it, it will be a slow and concentrated shave, so this is not a rush job.

It is definitely a fun experience, even though the alum block stung much more than usual this morning. I did rely on finishing off with a Muhle R89, and will re-try the whole thing tomorrow. All in all, I feel that the right combination of shavette with razor blade will probably yield excellent results. I have a few milder razor blades I can use to try this out. I did get a few knicks and cuts, but nothing some cold water and a few good passes with an alum block could not take care of. I have to say that this morning is when I truly appreciated the alum block for the first time.

Practice and patience are the key with these shavettes...and I'm looking at this as a way to get used to holding the razors for when I make the leap to SR.

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 03-18-2014, 05:43 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Good luck with your new adventure. The experience can be very rewarding, especially once you go to straights.

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 03-18-2014, 05:44 AM
#3
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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You're much braver than I! Good for you.

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 03-18-2014, 07:48 AM
#4
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Best of luck with the shavette! Soon enough, you will be progressing to straights! Biggrin

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 03-18-2014, 09:01 AM
#5
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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I tried a half-blade shavette at first, but quickly moved to the Feather style kamisori razors (e.g. CJB). The Feather style razors have a longer blade and were easier for me to use overall. If you give up on the half-blade razor (which I did too), don't give up on shavettes altogether.

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 03-22-2014, 04:07 PM
#6
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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Practice, Practice, Practice

And don't forget the Styptic Pencil

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 03-23-2014, 09:41 AM
#7
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Thanks for the great post. I have always wanted to consider trying the straight razor, but am still developing the DE technique first.

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 03-30-2014, 06:57 AM
#8
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I had purchased a $1 shavette for my first experiments into "straight-like" shaving about six months back. I found it difficult to manipulate around curves due to the the flatness and slipperiness of the polished tang. The shavette used to rotate uncomfortably (sometimes without warning) between my fingers which could very easily prove lethal during a shave.

I therefore cut a few grooves (jimps) (see Image) into the top and bottom edge in an attempt to improve grip. It helped marginally. But it was far from satisfactory.

[Image: IMAG0134.jpg]

During one shave at that stage I managed a large nick on my left cheek, (largely due to my lack of control on pressure and angle) that has persisted as a scar till today. It is a painful reminder every day I shave, that I need to be meticulous and focussed, or to simply put down the razor till I manage compose myself. Women and children darting around in the foreground / background are an unwelcome distraction that can easily leave a mark in red, many a time.

The shavette was put away for a few months since my newly acquired, shiny little toy had arrived in the form of a Merkur Futur. In time I had mastered it and was running it fully open at 6.5 using a Feather blade. I suddenly needed a new challenge in the form of a new skill to acquire. (We men shall always be boys, wont we?) So the shavette managed to see the light of day again.

I have always been inspired by the Japanese Kamisori style designs, where there are no scales to interfere with your clear vision of the site of action, nor to physically interfere in the process. ( I do shave with my reading glasses on, and the scales don't like them since they always seem to block their path).

The Inoue Tosuke design took my fancy. (See Image below)

[Image: Tosuke010.jpg]

I therefore decided to alter my standard shavette further to make it easier to grip between the fingers and manoeuvre around the jawline using the Inoue Tosuke as a design inspiration.

I drilled out the pin and removed the scales intact in case they would be needed in future.

I took a knive with a suitable looking handle, and took an impression (mould) of it in Alginate. (The yellow / pink material that dentists use to take a mould of your teeth). Self polymerizing Acrylic resin was poured into the mould and the shavette set into it allowing for 1 1/2 " of tang length from the heel to be left exposed (Images 1, 2) to allow the flexing required to load and eject the blade. (The two halves were being permanently locked into place and shall not rotate anymore)

Using my hand to grip the unfinished handle both ways, (i.e. thumb towards edge and index finger towards edge) the handle was marked and contoured with depressions for the thumb and fingers. (See Images)

[Image: New-2.jpg]
[Image: New-3.jpg]


Finally I ground it smooth, sandpapered it and buffed it to a reasonable finish and shine.

[Image: New-1.jpg]

The handling has improved immensely. The shavette can be rotated between my thumb and fingers in a very controlled and reliable manner now without any signs of slipping. Time to test drive it.

On my first attempt, I managed a BBS with a two pass on my cheeks and neck. I never expected to even attempt ATG much less complete it. This far exceeded my expectations with a shavette at this stage. My tail was up, a little prematurely though, as I moved to the more challenging sections of the face with my hands beginning to tremble a little.
The chin experienced some tugging, and on persevering I managed a very small nick.
Discretion being the better part of valour (especially with anything involving a sharp blade) I decided to quit for the day. I completed the chin and upper lip with my Merkur Futur set at 6.5 with an Astra Superior Platinum blade.

I need to now find a suitable case for my baby. Currently I have to eject the blade when I need to put it away for the day.

Personally I would recommend newbie shavette wannabes like me to use an aggressive DE razor like the Futur at full open (or a slant bar) for a couple of months to get the feel of an unprotected sharp blade on your skin and the pressure control required to achieve a nick-free BBS shave. This will make the transition to a shavette much easier.

Straight razors are banned in India and hence it is unlikely that I shall be ever able to get one through Customs. Hence the shavette remains my only hope of "straight-like" shaving and I intend to make the most of it and definitely not quit my effort without a fair and extensive trial.

These are my experiments that may or may not work for you. As is usual YMMV.

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 03-30-2014, 08:26 AM
#9
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I could never get the hang of it but at least I tried. Best of luck and I am sure you will succeed.

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 04-04-2014, 12:49 AM
#10
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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You have the right plan= Slow and steady.
I have never used a shavette. I have been a SR user for about 2 years and the best way to learn is slow and steady.
My first SR shave took about 45 mins with not cutsSmile My second was faster…Bad Idea, cuts worthy of a slasher movie.Blush
Keep it up its a great way to shave.

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 04-05-2014, 02:36 PM
#11
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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After using shavetts and straights for about a year, I have come to the conclusion that the only difference between using a shavett and a straight is the look of the razor. The technique is the same for both. In my case, the shavett is always sharper than the straight and therefore, easier to use. And, obviously, there is no tool maintenance to speak of relative to the straight. If a straight will do the job for you, great, otherwise you can get the same experience from a good shavett.

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 04-05-2014, 02:54 PM
#12
  • urrlord
  • Active Member
  • central georgia usa
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after some use of a shavette type device I now know why so many men of yesteryear are pictured with goatees.

the flatter planes of the face are easy...the curves of the chin area thats another matter.

much practice needed.

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 04-05-2014, 10:11 PM
#13
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(04-05-2014, 02:54 PM)urrlord Wrote: after some use of a shavette type device I now know why so many men of yesteryear are pictured with goatees.

the flatter planes of the face are easy...the curves of the chin area thats another matter.

much practice needed.

Seeing as how I already have a goatee - and have worn it for 15 years - perhaps I should renew my pondering about getting a shavette or two... it sounds like I have one of the issues taken care of 'out of the box' as it were Biggrin

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 04-11-2014, 06:12 PM
#14
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I have used cartridge razors, SE razors (injectors and GEM type), DE razors, disposable blade straight razors (half blade type, hair shapers, and Feather type), and traditional straight razors. They all have their own advantages, but I actually prefer the disposable blade straight razors.

Disposable blade straight razors have the style and close shaving ability of a traditional straight without the huge investment of time or money. They can be a bit harsher than a traditional straight and a bit less forgiving, but they also offer a lot of options at a much lower price point.

Disposable blade straight razors are quite often treated as the red headed step children of the wet shaving world, but they have a loyal (if somewhat quiet) following. I enjoy my traditional straights too, but my heart belongs to those underappreciated Parkers, Feathers, CJBs, etc.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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 04-14-2014, 11:13 AM
#15
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Good luck to you guys ! I tried it but wasn't patient enough and went to straight razors. So I don't thing I will go back to shavettes (but DEs yes of course Biggrin )

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 04-14-2014, 11:48 AM
#16
  • W.S.O.
  • Banned
  • Philadelphia, Pa
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I actually find shaving with a straight easier or at the least very much different than using a shavette. I would actually shave with a well honed straight before id do a shavette shave. Everyone is different however. I have a nice fromm shavette I like to use from time to time. I like it because it uses injector blades.

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 04-14-2014, 01:13 PM
#17
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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I fantasize about using a straight razor, but honestly I don't have the extra time for honing, stropping, oiling, etc. etc. and I'm sure my wife wouldn't be too crazy about having those razors around with my snoopy kids (I get enough flack for my DE razor blades as is). I do enjoy using my disposable blade straights on the weekends though. I just tried a Parker for the first time this last weekend and it went very well. I'm still not a fan of the scales (tending to prefer the Japanese style CJB and Sam Seong razors that are my normal weekend go-tos), but that was only a minor annoyance. So I take back my earlier comment about giving up on these razors, I was much more successful at cutting stubble and not my face on this go around. I think I prefer the sliding blade loading mechanism of the Parker versus the sandwich style on the Sanguine that I sold.

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