05-13-2014, 07:11 AM
#1
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Alerted by an online friend last night about a nice Gent who was offloading a few Western Style Straights, I messaged said Gent and ended up procuring a "starter" Japanese blade that I hope will take the "buttery smooth" edge a fellow told me it would. Needs a good honing and I will report back as to how it fits into my small "rotation". Photos from soon to be previous owner who was VERY kind to offer me choices of 3 reasonably priced Western Style Japanese Razors... I chose this one because I am not a huge fan of the framebacks he showed. Simple...Minimalist in design.
[Image: TELO9rr.jpg][Image: Sm11LmX.jpg][Image: U0X8btb.jpg][Image: bzJmhYj.jpg]

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 05-13-2014, 07:15 AM
#2
  • W.S.O.
  • Banned
  • Philadelphia, Pa
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Very nice! Let us know how it shaves. I too at some point would like to acquire a western style Japanese straight but need guidance as to what would be of good quality within a reasonable price range. They can go for big $ I have noticed!
Congrats to you!

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 05-13-2014, 07:20 AM
#3
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The steel used is known as tamahagane (玉鋼:たまはがね?), or "jewel steel" (tama - ball or jewel, hagane - steel). Tamahagane is produced from iron sand, a source of iron ore, and mainly used to make Samurai swords, such as the katana, and some tools.

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 05-13-2014, 03:10 PM
#4
  • oscar11
  • Senior Member
  • North Dakota
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Every minimalist should have at least one.

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 05-13-2014, 06:52 PM
#5
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I have many western style Japanese straights and love them for their simple classic lines, wonderful steel and feel in the hand. Good shavers. I find them cheaper not more expensive than high end German or Spanish straights. I've got lots of good deals from BST on badgerandblade, straightrazorplace, aframestokyo and from a friend in Japan.

This one looks extra hollow. What's the "brand" name of the razor?

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 05-14-2014, 06:59 AM
#6
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Robert...Branded as Kikuokan........ It will land here and then up the Interstate to Scott who says he will put a buttery smooth edge on it.

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 05-14-2014, 11:10 AM
#7
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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(05-13-2014, 07:20 AM)minimalist Wrote: The steel used is known as tamahagane (玉鋼:たまはがね?), or "jewel steel" (tama - ball or jewel, hagane - steel). Tamahagane is produced from iron sand, a source of iron ore, and mainly used to make Samurai swords, such as the katana, and some tools.

Congrats on the razor. It certainly looks nice! But how do you know that this razor uses Tamahagane steel? Very, very few of the Japanese razors, (particularly the western straights) actually used this ultra rare steel. Even most of the Japanese style Kamisori did not use Tamahagane steel.

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 05-14-2014, 11:15 AM
#8
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Reputible seller and also signed on monkey tail as such...
[Image: 4Lj2iMj.jpg]
(05-14-2014, 11:10 AM)Attila Wrote:
(05-13-2014, 07:20 AM)minimalist Wrote: The steel used is known as tamahagane (玉鋼:たまはがね?), or "jewel steel" (tama - ball or jewel, hagane - steel). Tamahagane is produced from iron sand, a source of iron ore, and mainly used to make Samurai swords, such as the katana, and some tools.

Congrats on the razor. It certainly looks nice! But how do you know that this razor uses Tamahagane steel? Very, very few of the Japanese razors, (particularly the western straights) actually used this ultra rare steel. Even most of the Japanese style Kamisori did not use Tamahagane steel.

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 05-14-2014, 11:20 AM
#9
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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Ah. Well then extra congratulations are in order. Not many can claim to own a razor (particularly a western style straight) with such steel. Enjoy it in good health! It seems even a minimalist such as yourself appreciates good quality since it could not have been inexpensive, unless you were VERY lucky! Biggrin

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 05-14-2014, 11:57 AM
#10
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Japanese razors are some of the finest shavers I have I love them, but strangely enough I picked up this week coming in from Japan from an old Tokyo barber supplies a NOS German import for the Japanese market for barbers use a Solingen Three Kings and another NOS Boehler Stahl 15/16 with a stunning looking blade both should be with me early next week, I love honing a vintage blade with an original factory edge can't wait, on the subject of Japanese razors If you know what you are looking for believe me they don't come cheap.

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 05-14-2014, 12:31 PM
#11
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Can someone explain what sets a Japanese straight apart from one from anywhere else in the world?

I just bought two straights but am fearful of trying them and any associated maintenance that goes along with them, but mainly having an exposed knife edge in my clumsy hands.

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 05-16-2014, 11:58 AM
#12
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Used it today for the first time. Razor has an amazing heft to it. Clean lines.
[Image: FV7ELDa.jpg]

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 05-16-2014, 06:51 PM
#13
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
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Congrats on the razor!
Biggrin

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 05-17-2014, 09:12 AM
#14
  • Lando
  • This deal is getting worse all the time
  • Bellevue, WA
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(05-16-2014, 11:58 AM)minimalist Wrote: Used it today for the first time. Razor has an amazing heft to it. Clean lines.
[Image: FV7ELDa.jpg]

That is a very nice razor. I like j westerns because they nearly universally shave well, usually square point 13/16 (my preferred size), and the scales are usually high quality and durable.

The shot is reminiscent of professorchaos.

This is a daishi tamahagane i picked up a while back.

[Image: BWFzw3T.jpg]

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 05-17-2014, 09:58 AM
#15
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Bill...I am very smitten with Western Japanese types non frameback... I can easily see me looking for more! LOVE the one you presented![Image: TS8Ryun.jpg]

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 05-20-2014, 07:47 PM
#16
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(05-14-2014, 12:31 PM)Starkicker Wrote: Can someone explain what sets a Japanese straight apart from one from anywhere else in the world?

I just bought two straights but am fearful of trying them and any associated maintenance that goes along with them, but mainly having an exposed knife edge in my clumsy hands.

Several things set them apart. The objective measures are:

Harder steel than most straights with the hardest of them reaching crazy high Rc designations (high 60s according to unsubstantiated reports).

Generally high quality scales. Solid. Long lasting. Never had a flimsy pair. They take them seriously.

Exquisite quality control. I love my Sheffields but don't believe I own a single one that's perfectly straight. Same with the French razors I've had. Less of a problem from other countries but none of them equal the consistency of the Japanese.

On the subjective side, there's an understated aesthetic around Japanese razors based on the link between beauty, functionality and simplicity that they've mastered. Even when they decorate or put etching on the razor, it seems to my eye to be done with more care. That might be the result of romanticizing Japanese craftsmanship over European, but it's how I react. They almost never go crazy with the blade form preferring to maintain a classic form within strict traditions, but making the very most of the limits imposed.

All that said, every country brings something unique and I like having a sample from all of them.

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 05-20-2014, 08:08 PM
#17
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Oakshott, well said. I knew there was something special about the Japanese straights but didn't know how to express it. I didn't know about the steel hardness, but that makes sense.

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 05-22-2014, 04:09 PM
#18
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Managed to find another Japanese Western to add to the den... For Barber Use H. Diamond 120 1/4 grind. Stiffer grind than what I normally care for but the build quality on this one is quite nice as well. Due to substantial hone wear I was able to snag it at a very reasonable entry point.

[Image: 0PyWSV3.jpg]

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 05-22-2014, 04:33 PM
#19
  • W.S.O.
  • Banned
  • Philadelphia, Pa
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On its way to me: [Image: $_12.JPG]

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 05-22-2014, 04:37 PM
#20
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What a Starlet! Lovely! make sure your neighbor is instructed appropriately!

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