03-03-2012, 01:27 PM
#1
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Well, more accurately, it should be: How small can I go?

-----

What am I getting at?

Like a lot of guys in the straight razor world, I started off with a 6/8" round-point straight. That's what I was told worked for most people.

Then I got attracted by the big old Sheffield wedges, and started looking for the biggest razor I could find. At one time, I had this 19/16" Josh Earl monster:

[Image: IMG_2955-1.jpg]

However, over time I decided that wedges were not working out as well for me as I'd like, and that I really preferred small , full-hollow ground blades. For example, this Sta-Sharp shown next to the Earl:

[Image: IMG_2885.jpg]

Now, I use mostly hollow ground blades - between 5/8" wide and 7/8". However, I use the smaller ones much more often. They're more nimble, they can get me a closer shave, and most importantly - they don't disguise a sub-par edge. If your large wedge starts losing an edge, it will still cut - because of its weight. A small, light, blade has to be perfectly honed, or you'll notice tugging, etc.

So my plan over the next few weeks is to try out small blades. 4/8" and even 3/8".

By all accounts, honing these is a challenge. But it's a challenge I accept.

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How small a blade do you guys go down to? Smile

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 03-03-2012, 08:37 PM
#2
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I'm sticking to 5/8 full hollow, as they're easy to strop and touch up. Besides shaving with them is super easy and that size has the most models available if I decide to get another razor. That chopper is a monster you have there by the way.

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 03-03-2012, 10:19 PM
#3
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
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I find 6/8-7/8 to be ideal. 5/8 feels a bit small to me, and 6/8 is the perfect size. I could maybe use a 9/16, but thats as small as I would go.

Although the nice thing about the smaller blades is there are very few people chasing them so the prices are very reasonable

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 03-04-2012, 08:37 AM
#4
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I prefer the blades in 4/8 size, full hollow. I own a 3/8, but it is harder to keep the 3/8 flat on the strop. I can use the big meat cleaver blades, but the 4/8 just works. I get consistant smooth results.

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 03-04-2012, 10:13 AM
#5
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(03-03-2012, 10:19 PM)GreekGuy Wrote: I find 6/8-7/8 to be ideal. 5/8 feels a bit small to me, and 6/8 is the perfect size. I could maybe use a 9/16, but thats as small as I would go.

Although the nice thing about the smaller blades is there are very few people chasing them so the prices are very reasonable

Yep, I'm finding that out at the moment. Biggrin That's good, as this experiment may not work out.

I've already got a couple of 9/16" blades. Unfortunately, they're almost wedges - I prefer hollow-ground blades.

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 03-04-2012, 08:43 PM
#6
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
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I started out with 5/8, but have grown to like the larger blades better (6/8 or 7/8). I'm not sure about bigger than that--haven't tried an 8/8.
I think a lot of shaving with a straight is aesthetic; I'm not fond of the look of smaller blades.

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 03-05-2012, 08:25 AM
#7
  • Leon
  • Active Member
  • Porto, Portugal
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Oh my... a 19/16... never shaved with anything above 1 inch.

The largest I have is a Filarmonica 14 Especial Para Barbas Duras, it stands at 8/8''

My go-to razors are 5/8-6/8.

Very rarely I go to the "beasts". It's like having a vintage Rolls Royce in the garage that you only take for a weekend drive.


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 03-05-2012, 09:26 AM
#8
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19/16''?!?! Impressive!Exclamation Didn't even know they came so big as that one!

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 03-05-2012, 09:57 AM
#9
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Yep - 19/16". There are apparently larger production blades out there. This was a custom, and you can make those pretty much as large as you like.

Despite its size, the Earl was a pretty nimble shaver. It really was pretty nice to use too. However, it was not making the rotation very often - because of how massive it is.

I traded it away (along with other stuff) for a Livi Damascus 7/8". I really like hollow ground blades, and Livi makes the best custom hollow-ground blades.

[Image: 100_2384.jpg]

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 03-05-2012, 01:51 PM
#10
  • mboschm
  • Unregistered
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THAT's what I call a big razor.

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 03-07-2012, 05:05 AM
#11
  • Colcurinho
  • Member
  • From the land of Semogue, Musgo Real, ..
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(03-05-2012, 09:26 AM)oversaturn Wrote: 19/16''?!?! Impressive!Exclamation Didn't even know they came so big as that one!

+1




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 03-15-2012, 07:32 PM
#12
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Good luck with the little ones, Yohann!Tongue

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 03-19-2012, 02:19 PM
#13
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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You know the next logical progression after 19/16 is a vintage battle axe...

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 03-20-2012, 03:32 AM
#14
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Gentlemen:
The highest I went was a 7/8. My preferred sizes are 6/8 and 13/16. Not much of a fan of spikes unless muted. I was quite fond of the big and heavy Sheffields, of which I had many. Because of the banged up condition of my arthritic hands, the Sheffields are gone. Now my small collection comprises of hollow to 3/4 hollow to make it easy on my hands. Also, I can usually handle one pass, two the most, and finish up with the double edge. During the week, it's mostly the double edge.

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 03-28-2012, 04:03 AM
#15
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yohann, i think you did good on that trade.. i would love to see that livi in my hands Tongue

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 03-28-2012, 09:35 AM
#16
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(03-28-2012, 04:03 AM)global_dev Wrote: yohann, i think you did good on that trade.. i would love to see that livi in my hands Tongue

Yes, I did! Wink

My experiments with the 4/8" blades have worked out very well so far. However, the one 3/8"ish blade I have is not really shave-ready yet. It's a pain to get honed properly.

The 4/8" blades look like they'll be my regular final pass razors. They're a joy to use.

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 04-02-2012, 05:33 PM
#17
  • Misha
  • Ex-Lurker
  • Temple, TX
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This is the biggest I've ever seen anyone shave with. I held my breath like a swimmer watching this

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 04-02-2012, 06:30 PM
#18
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Holy smokes! That guy has steady hands and a cool character!

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 04-09-2012, 01:47 PM
#19
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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Oh yeah, that's Honed from B&B. He has quite a few videos like that and funny enough he did one in the opposite end of the scale with a tiny 3/8. Not only is he a daredevil but a nice guy to boot.

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