04-19-2015, 10:33 AM
#1
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For the novice first time single edge shaver what razor do yo recommend? I am currently using a de merkur 34c

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 04-19-2015, 11:29 AM
#2
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Acotler,

Welcome to the straight razor world. Here are some thoughts and suggestions:

1.  Buy a quality 5/8 round point straight razor that is shave ready. For new razors, try Ralf Aust, Thiers-Issard, Revisor and Dovo. I would go with a 5/8 round point to start with.

2.  For vintage razor, again, make sure it is shave ready. Straight razor forums are a good bet for that. At all cost, stay away from eBay razors for now, because you never know what you get.

3.  Stay away from sight-unseen razor and strop packages. Always see what you buy.

4.  Stropping is essential to the straight razor. Proper stropping. Buy a quality strop, preferably a 3-inch wide. A cheap $15 strop is a waste of money.

5.  There are many dreadful straight shaving videos on YouTube. There are some good ones, too. Be selective. 

6.  Finally, starting on the cheap will result in a cheap straight razor experience. Spend the money and give yourself a good start.

Good luck to you.

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 04-19-2015, 11:59 AM
#3
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I agree with Obie on the Ralf Aust 5/8 round point.  Great razor to start with, great razor to finish with.

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 04-19-2015, 12:36 PM
#4
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Got to agree with Obies comments. I might stretch the size to include 6/8. 

Be prepared for a long learning curve. As mentioned you need a strop to maintain the razor. That brings up the point that poor stropping technique can dull a razor so it is a good idea to practice stropping with a butter knife to work out the kinks in technique. I think most people starting out learning to shave with a straight have cut their strop and dulled their razor through poor shaving and stropping technique. I know I did, so be prepared to send the razor out for honing more frequently in the beginning than most skilled practitioners would. Not trying to discourage you but just trying to make you aware of some of the beginner issues. 

No, learning to hone a straight razor is not a good idea before you are proficient at shaving with it and maintaining it with stropping. I know it is tempting to avoid having to send the blade out for honing but it is too much to learn all at once for most people. Better to have 2 shave ready razors with one in reserve for the times you have to send the other out for honing. 

Bob

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 04-19-2015, 01:12 PM
#5
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Great info gentleman. Thanks 

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 04-19-2015, 01:24 PM
#6
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I was going to say be careful.  Blush

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 04-19-2015, 02:09 PM
#7
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Thanks Primo those are my thoughts also

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 04-19-2015, 02:10 PM
#8
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
User Info
Good luck. Don't get discouraged in the beginning if shaves are not great. Learning takes time.  around 100 shaves in, you will have at least a good idea what your doing. 

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 04-19-2015, 03:12 PM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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You know if you can find someone in your neck of the woods that is proficient with straight razors a little one on one could be very helpful.

Bob

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 04-19-2015, 08:18 PM
#10
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(04-19-2015, 12:36 PM)BobH Wrote: Got to agree with Obies comments. I might stretch the size to include 6/8. 

Be prepared for a long learning curve. As mentioned you need a strop to maintain the razor. That brings up the point that poor stropping technique can dull a razor so it is a good idea to practice stropping with a butter knife to work out the kinks in technique. I think most people starting out learning to shave with a straight have cut their strop and dulled their razor through poor shaving and stropping technique. I know I did, so be prepared to send the razor out for honing more frequently in the beginning than most skilled practitioners would. Not trying to discourage you but just trying to make you aware of some of the beginner issues. 

No, learning to hone a straight razor is not a good idea before you are proficient at shaving with it and maintaining it with stropping. I know it is tempting to avoid having to send the blade out for honing but it is too much to learn all at once for most people. Better to have 2 shave ready razors with one in reserve for the times you have to send the other out for honing. 

Bob

Great advice! 

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 04-21-2015, 05:22 PM
#11
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I agree that 5/8 or 6/8 round point will be optimal to start with. Get a shave ready razor that is correctly honed. 
Learn how to maintain the edge, this will teach you a lot about the straight razor, then later learn how to hone.
Using a quality strop is also important, there are so many different kinds is hard to decide. I personally am in favor of the longer variety with medium draw, the leather does not really matter for the final result.
For maintenance you will need pasted strop. For me hard felt with diamond spray works best, but leather with either CrO or diamond spray will work fine too.
Most importantly take your time to learn correct technique, once you figure out the angles you will enjoy some really nice shaves.

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 04-21-2015, 06:35 PM
#12
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Other than the shaving, you might get discouraged by the difficulty of honing, and the nuisance of rust prevention. The latter two are what got me.

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 04-21-2015, 09:14 PM
#13
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(04-21-2015, 06:35 PM)fram773 Wrote: Other than the shaving, you might get discouraged by the difficulty of honing, and the nuisance of rust prevention. The latter two are what got me.

I have never had rust issues, I do not oil my blades either. I guess it depends on the climate.

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 04-22-2015, 08:47 AM
#14
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I live in Florida and the only time rust is a problem is if I leave a razor near the sink 24/7 and water is splashed on the razor and not seen to be wiped off. i would not leave a straight in the bathroom if its use by others.

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 04-22-2015, 08:58 AM
#15
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Not a gold dollar try to find a good used one honed by someone with a good reputation and shave with it a few times before stopping it.

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 04-22-2015, 09:32 AM
#16
  • Thug
  • Active Member
  • South Africa
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I was looking at the Revisor web shop and I must say that after one deducts the VAT of 19%, their razors are extremely reasonably priced.

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 04-23-2015, 08:18 AM
#17
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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(04-22-2015, 09:32 AM)Thug Wrote: I was looking at the Revisor web shop and I must say that after one deducts the VAT of 19%, their razors are extremely reasonably priced.

Yes, I think the unfortunate decline of the Euro makes these bargains. From what I read, Revisor has a good reputation.

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 04-23-2015, 09:03 AM
#18
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(04-23-2015, 08:18 AM)Hanzo Wrote:
(04-22-2015, 09:32 AM)Thug Wrote: I was looking at the Revisor web shop and I must say that after one deducts the VAT of 19%, their razors are extremely reasonably priced.

Yes, I think the unfortunate decline of the Euro makes these bargains. From what I read, Revisor has a good reputation.

The people at Revisor were personable and easy to communicate with when I made my purchase a couple of years ago. The Revisor I have shaves as well as any of the other quality razors I own and that is very well. Definitely worth considering when purchasing.

Bob

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 04-23-2015, 06:56 PM
#19
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Get it honed properly so you know it has a good edge, go as hollow as possible, maybe even extra hollow if its available in your price range, a wedge was really difficult for me even after a couple of months, I really like the feedback of hollows, i love the sound of the cutting you just can't hear with a wedge. For the blade, a 4/8 or 5/8. Just my (very humble) opinion Smile . Good luck man! 

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 04-23-2015, 06:59 PM
#20
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I forgot to mention ROUND POINT!!!! That's important for sure! Also i mentioned 4/8 but probably 5/8 is better. I did find with a slightly smaller blade there was more controll but don't go below 4/8, 3/8 is out of the question :/ 

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