01-10-2015, 05:43 PM
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As a beginner I have been told to start with a 5/8. Is shaving with bigger razors more difficult? How much of a difference is it really?

5 60
 01-10-2015, 05:58 PM
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migs32: I have razors from 3/8th's to 8/8th's and while I wouldn't recommend razors on either end of the spectrum for the new shaver I think that a 5/8th's or 6/8th's are very good sizes to start out with.
I have a stash and goatee to carve around so a more nimble razor was helpful when I first started out.
Some new shavers prefer a round point blade as they can be somewhat more forgiving.

5 45
 01-10-2015, 06:14 PM
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(01-10-2015, 05:43 PM)migs32 Wrote: As a beginner I have been told to start with a 5/8. Is shaving with bigger razors more difficult? How much of a difference is it really?

I started out using a 7/8 Ralf Aust and did not have any big problems, so I tend to stay from 6/8 to 8/8. But for someone just starting out I would not recommend anything bigger than a 7/8. Good luck on your new journey once you get the hang of it you will really enjoy it.

10 399
 01-10-2015, 07:33 PM
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Beginners should start with a 6/8 because its in the middle BETWEEN the small razor 4/8-5/8 and those bigger 7/8-8/8. Then after using you can best gauge if you want a smaller or larger razor.

15 548
 01-10-2015, 08:50 PM
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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All good advice. I think that your grind is more important as a beginner. I have a full and a 1/4 hollow ground razors. I find that the full is less forgiving of bad technique. I think that it is because of the flex that you get in the blade. But after a while it doesn't matter what razor you use (as long as it is sharp enough) you should get good results.
For whatever you choose there are lots of great guys here that are willing to help you figure it out... as long as you don't mind a few cuts along the way.Wink

31 1,627
 01-11-2015, 03:54 AM
  • Doc226
  • edge snob (and proud of it)
  • Smallest State
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Get the one that calls to you, folks talk about a smaller razor to get around the tight spots but honestly it is not that different.

Maintaining the shaving angle is easier with a larger blade.

10 130
 01-11-2015, 04:46 AM
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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In use I don't see too much difference between 5/8 and 6/8 sized razors. I do have razors from 4/8 to 8/8 but generally stick to 5/8 to 6/8 razors. They just plain work well and are not too expensive relative to the larger sizes.

As a beginner I would also consider getting a round point as it is a little more forgiving than a spike point.

After having a razor like that you can decide if shaving with a straight is something you want to carry on with. If you do then you may have a good idea if you want to try larger razors, a different style point and grind.


0 1,693
 01-12-2015, 05:56 PM
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im a a beginner, im 13 shaves in. I own a 5/8 and 6/8 and to be honest i can't tell a 5/8 from a 6/8 when shaving. My point is, if u see a Str8 you like in one of theses two size's, im sure your be fine.

10 66
 01-13-2015, 08:56 PM
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I started out with a 5/8, but found the larger blades a bit better, for me. You won't really know until you try one, first-hand! Good luck. Smile

91 21,264
 01-13-2015, 09:06 PM
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I have to second what Doc said. .If the razor doesn't speak to you then you'll never pick it up.

1 71
 01-14-2015, 05:53 AM
  • Karlo
  • Active Member
  • Manila, PHL
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I started with a 6/8 round. I was told this size was going to be a little bit more tricky for a beginner than a 5/8, but I got comfortable maneuvering it after two weeks.

What I will say is that I think I would have had a harder time learning to properly strop on a 5/8. It's easier to keep the 6/8 flat on leather and the added weight helps too.

2 286
 01-29-2015, 09:11 AM
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Personally I find that a heavier razor is easier for me to handle, so I use my 7/8 more than my 5/8 and I am relatively new to straight razor shaving.

3 28
 01-29-2015, 01:25 PM
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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I have only a few 5/8 left.  My preference is for 6/8 - 8/8.  The larger blades are a little tougher to maneuver especially when first learning.  

I do think a smaller blade with it's narrower shank is easier to handle in many respects. Stropping is easier for sure.  Larger blades tend to do a flop & slap on the turn.  Again, I think this has a lot to do with the shank.  I have an 8/8 Brian Brown that has a really cool contoured shank and it doesn't flop as much.

In the end, 5/8 versus 6/8 is likely too close to call when you're first getting started... go for whatever catches your eye!!

33 916
 01-31-2015, 12:06 PM
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(01-10-2015, 05:43 PM)migs32 Wrote: As a beginner I have been told to start with a 5/8. Is shaving with bigger razors more difficult? How much of a difference is it really?

Either 5/8 or 6/8 is a great starting point.  A little one can cut you as much as a big one, so just be careful while learning.  You can't escape the learning curve, regardless of which one you use.

I think the larger razors have more heft to them and, speaking for myself, helped compensate for my lack of skill as a beginner by getting more whiskers by brute force and less technique.

Now that I am an experienced straight shaver, I like the smaller ones.  More often than not I use a 5/8.  I enjoy the 6/8.  I also enjoy the larger razors but tend to use them less often.

0 283
 02-01-2015, 05:01 AM
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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For beginners, both 5/8 and 6/8 blades will perform well. I started with a 5/8, not because it was better or easier to use, but because it was within my price range. In general, I find the 5/8 a wee bit more maneuverable for beginners, but the 6/8 is not far behind in that respect. Through the years, I have used everything between the 4/8 and 8/8, in a variety of blade shapes and points, and finally returned to my first love: the 6/8 round point. Either way, please make sure not to start on the cheap; rather, spend the money and purchase a quality razor, vintage or new production, to give yourself a good start. Oh, and a quality strop.

197 4,091
 02-07-2015, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for all of the responses. After a few shaves I feel comfortable with the 5/8's and think it was a good choice to start out with. 

5 60
 02-15-2015, 04:18 AM
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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5/8 seem more readily available but for me the 6/8 to 7/8 is where I prefer to be.  I started with a 5/8 while learning (first 150 or so shaves).  My first 6/8 became my favorite razor instantly. I liked the added heft, I liked I could see what I was doing a bit better in the mirror. 

If I was starting all over today I would buy the same 5/8 Dovo Best I did initially.  You have to try different sizes and grinds to know what works best for you.

9 463
 02-19-2015, 02:20 PM
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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I started with a 5/8 but found out pretty quickly the 6/8 and 7/8 sizes were somehow quite a bit easier to shave with.  I believe the shaving angle was easier to figure out.  These days I prefer 6-7/8 razors.

14 874
 02-22-2015, 06:31 PM
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I started with a ⅝ from whipped dog and then moved very quickly to a much nicer ⅞, simply because I wanted a more luxurious blade. The size was not an issue at all. I think if anything, making sure you don't start with a spike point as are found on some spanish points and some square & french points. 

It may be easier to try something beefier than a full hollow grind, something like a ¼ hollow. You can learn on anything, actually, but the very thin blades of the hollow ground can be a little too prone to flex for me. 

0 6
 02-23-2015, 10:40 AM
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I don't think the width is too critical. Similar to some of the above comments I think the grind is more important, I still after 2 years find a hollow grind razor to be harder to use, a 1/4 hollow or a wedge has a better feel to me. Also I would suggest a round point I find them easier to use. The square tip razors look better to me but I struggle to avoid nicking myself all the time with a true spike point razor. At a minimum get a muted point razor. Truth is if you are like me you will eventually end up with a lot of razors so you should get to try out different grinds and shapes to see what works for you.

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