01-11-2016, 12:19 PM
#1
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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I wanted to start off with a thank you to everyone in advance for your options and expertise. I hope I put this in the correct thread and I looked back through the last few pages and didnt see any Newbie Guides or anything like that stickied. So if I missed a thread I should have already read I'm sorry but if you will link it to me I have no problem educating myself if pointed in the right direction.

So when I first wanted to get into wet shaving I thought I wanted to do straights. I got one I dont remember now exactly what it was but it was a Dovo Bismarck I'm pretty sure and it was a 6/8 I think. I dont know if it was shave ready or what. I got a strop and messed around with it for 5-8 shaves over the coarse of a month. I did ok'ish on my face but never could get a good shave on my head and it was scary, so I gave it up and went back to cartridges for a while then picked up a DE and have been doing that for 3 or more years now. After maybe a year or so of being into DEs I found the straight in a drawer and sold it off along with the strop.

So now I'm comfortable with my DE shaving stuff and still love the look and everything of straights, I used to do customer knife making so the beauty and art of straights really appeal to me. So for the last few months the idea of attempting to get back into straights keeps coming to me. This time I have the advantage of TSN, the last time I didnt know anything, wasnt apart of any group just got one watched a few videos and went at it.

Well this is what I'm thinking. Maybe I start back mostly just working with the straight on my face or whatnot. Do touch ups and my head with my DEs, then maybe after I'm comfortable with doing my face attempt my head again. But I have questions ... alot of them

1st: How to pick out what straight to go with? The first time I did this I went to eBay looked through all the ones within my price range and picked out the "pretties one" and that was that. I see alot of things being thrown around 6/8 11/16, etc I am 99% sure that these are sizes but which should I go with? I also see wedge, 1/4 hallow, 1/2 hallow, etc. I'm guessing these refer like knife making to the grind for the blade and except for a few I always did hallow ground blades on my knives. But I dont have any understanding as to how that would pertain to shaving and what is "best". What should I do about getting a straight? Can I pick by looks or do I need to pick a certain type of straight for actual reasons? are there like "Newbie friendly" straight then once you have skills get a different one? just going by looks I like the larger ones with a bit of hallow to them with the barber point I think is what I have seen it called. 

2nd: What all would be the basic requirements to get into Straights.... the well duh a straight, then guessing a strop again. I have soaps/creams & brushes. I dont think I want to get into getting stones and sharpening and all that, at least not to start with. But what do I need to see if this is something i want to do know that I have support and alot more knowledge.

3rd: I have some Feather AC blades left over from owning a Mongoose SE razor. Should I get one of the Feather Artist Club razors and start out that way?

I'm also open to just any general advice? I wish I knew someone near by that used straights that I could borrow from to see if its something I want to get into but just like DE shaving I dont know anyone in person that does so guess its buy stuff hope and if not try to resell and loose as little as possible.

Thanks again,
Phillip aka Wrathen

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 01-11-2016, 12:59 PM
#2
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wrathen,

totally go for the feather AC. You'll not have to deal with the edge issues/stropping/honing. and it's sweet shave.

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 01-11-2016, 01:49 PM
#3
  • Aleksey
  • Enabler
  • Istanbul, Turkiye
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Phillip, only equipment you need is Razor + Strop if you have any honing services available nearby. For a newbie friendly straight I can suggest you Round Point, Full Hollow and 5/8. You may scratch your face with square point razors if you are not comfortable handling a wide chunk of steel on your face. You may get a Naniwa 12k for refreshing the edge and it should last a long time given that you'll use it in rotation.

I would suggest you getting a CJB kamisori to try those AC blades. Cheap&Effective.

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 01-11-2016, 01:52 PM
#4
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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If you want a straight razor, make sure it comes from a seller who stands behind his shave ready claim. 
Straight razor designs 
The superior shave
The classic edge

These shops have sold me shave ready razors and were willing to hone razors that I felt were not up to snuff

The only other necessity, and I do mean only, forget hones and pastes and the like for now, is a quality strop which can be had from many different vendors some who will sell replacement leather if you nick yours up while learning. 

One of my favorite strops is on I have several nicks from learning in. Not all nicks cause a strop to be unusable but do not strop over an unrepaired nick

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 01-11-2016, 02:12 PM
#5
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The best straight instructions I have seen belong to dr moss on shavemyface.com

They are bookmarked at the top and should be easy to find.

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 01-11-2016, 02:17 PM
#6
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Wrathen,

I would have totally gone the Feather Artist Club razors route. I wish I did would have saved my face a few times. Awesome write-up.

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 01-12-2016, 07:28 AM
#7
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Well you are going to get a multitude of responses I am sure.  But if it were me either being new or trying it once again after a hiatus I would look to the following for starting out-

1st- Buy from a reputable seller that will ship your razor "shave ready".  That means a razor honed and ready to shave from the get go.  Some places I shop and have gotten just that and I am a repeat customer to are, "The Superior Shave"; "SRD"; and "PRC" (Portland Razor Company).

2nd- All you should need if you have access to one that is an accomplished honer in your area is a basic leather strop with a linen or nylon strop for setting up the blade prior to stropping.  Some say no linen/nylon strop for setting up but I like to.  I would also try and find a 3" wide strop for ease of going straight back and forth rather than the "X" pattern and swoop that a lesser width strop can require.  This gets into an what I call an advanced hand technique to do properly without rolling the blade edge.

3rd- Pick a blade profile that is easiest for beginners like a round toe profile.  And I highly suggest starting either 5/8 or 6/8 width blade.  I also think a full hollow is best to begin with.

Once you have done this take it slow and easy until muscle memory takes over.  No need to hurry anything.  Even to this day I get too quick and cut a earlobe or when doing the 'Fools Pass" catch my nose!!!!  You really have to respect the blades and their extreme edges.

As far as brands I love German razors and the likes of a Ralf Aust or Revisor are great price point razors in their base models.  Hard to beat them......good luck!

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 01-12-2016, 07:56 AM
#8
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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(01-12-2016, 07:28 AM)Str8shaver Wrote: Well you are going to get a multitude of responses I am sure.  But if it were me either being new or trying it once again after a hiatus I would look to the following for starting out-

1st- Buy from a reputable seller that will ship your razor "shave ready".  That means a razor honed and ready to shave from the get go.  Some places I shop and have gotten just that and I am a repeat customer to are, "The Superior Shave"; "SRD"; and "PRC" (Portland Razor Company).

2nd- All you should need if you have access to one that is an accomplished honer in your area is a basic leather strop with a linen or nylon strop for setting up the blade prior to stropping.  Some say no linen/nylon strop for setting up but I like to.  I would also try and find a 3" wide strop for ease of going straight back and forth rather than the "X" pattern and swoop that a lesser width strop can require.  This gets into an what I call an advanced hand technique to do properly without rolling the blade edge.

3rd- Pick a blade profile that is easiest for beginners like a round toe profile.  And I highly suggest starting either 5/8 or 6/8 width blade.  I also think a full hollow is best to begin with.

Once you have done this take it slow and easy until muscle memory takes over.  No need to hurry anything.  Even to this day I get too quick and cut a earlobe or when doing the 'Fools Pass" catch my nose!!!!  You really have to respect the blades and their extreme edges.

As far as brands I love German razors and the likes of a Ralf Aust or Revisor are great price point razors in their base models.  Hard to beat them......good luck!

Great thanks this is exactly what I was looking for.

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 01-12-2016, 11:32 AM
#9
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Sound advise from Str8shaver.

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 01-13-2016, 07:37 PM
#10
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I started with a Feather AC non folding, and I'm glad I did. It took out a lot of the variables in the beginning, like stropping, stone touch ups and no water stains/rust from being careless.

After awhile I was ready for a straight. I got the Portland Razor Co pasted strop (great strop at ~$60) and was better prepared. I was also more prepared for what the shave should feel like and when the blade needs more than just a stropping.

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 01-13-2016, 08:20 PM
#11
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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Well following the advice here I posted up in the wtb section to see if anyone wanted to sell one before I go to Amazon. Let's see how this goes


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 01-13-2016, 09:05 PM
#12
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Thanks for making this thread Wrathen! I haven't yet started with straights myself, but I'll be consulting this thread when I do plan to start.

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 01-14-2016, 07:13 AM
#13
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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So posted here and on reddit and looks like I've found one on reddit from a nice guy in Canada. I'm waiting for him to send me his PayPal info but looks like I'll be the proud owner of a Feather AC SS in Lime (I really like these bright greens so I'm glad his was in Lime). Though since he is out of town he can ship till middle of next week then its coming Canada to Florida soooo be a while before I can post my 1st results.

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 01-15-2016, 06:08 PM
#14
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(01-14-2016, 07:13 AM)Wrathen Wrote: So posted here and on reddit and looks like I've found one on reddit from a nice guy in Canada. I'm waiting for him to send me his PayPal info but looks like I'll be the proud owner of a Feather AC SS in Lime (I really like these bright greens so I'm glad his was in Lime). Though since he is out of town he can ship till middle of next week then its coming Canada to Florida soooo be a while before I can post my 1st results.

Look forward to results!

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 01-16-2016, 03:52 AM
#15
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(01-14-2016, 07:13 AM)Wrathen Wrote: So posted here and on reddit and looks like I've found one on reddit from a nice guy in Canada. I'm waiting for him to send me his PayPal info but looks like I'll be the proud owner of a Feather AC SS in Lime (I really like these bright greens so I'm glad his was in Lime). Though since he is out of town he can ship till middle of next week then its coming Canada to Florida soooo be a while before I can post my 1st results.

Best of luck Phillip. As Johnny noted, the advice from Str8shaver was very good.

When I look back to when I started, the thing I remember most is the fear I had when I first put the blade to my face. Just relax and be careful and you'll be fine. Try not to bite off too much at the beginning. Small steps early and you will be there before you know it.

The advice I always give to someone starting out:
1. Always close and open the razor with two hands.
2. Always close it before putting it down.
3. Dry your hands before handling the razor.
4. Relaxed but fairly solid grip.
5. Don't try xtg or atg passes until you have wtg sorted out.
6. Like with your DE, focus on angle and light pressure.

Once you progress to a straight razor then you can get yourself a strop. In my experience pretty much everyone nicks their first strop. If you purchase a decent strop straight away make sure you spend time practicing first with a butter knife to get the action sorted out.

And yes you were right that the 5/8, 11/16 etc are sizes. This is a measurement in inches for the width of the blade. For a beginner I would recommend a 5/8, 11/16, or 6/8 blade. Any wider and you will find it difficult as a beginner to easily navigate the area under your nose. It's probably best to get you technique sorted out before moving into a bigger blade.

Good luck mate. Have fun.

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 01-16-2016, 04:11 AM
#16
  • Aleksey
  • Enabler
  • Istanbul, Turkiye
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(01-14-2016, 07:13 AM)Wrathen Wrote: So posted here and on reddit and looks like I've found one on reddit from a nice guy in Canada. I'm waiting for him to send me his PayPal info but looks like I'll be the proud owner of a Feather AC SS in Lime (I really like these bright greens so I'm glad his was in Lime). Though since he is out of town he can ship till middle of next week then its coming Canada to Florida soooo be a while before I can post my 1st results.

Good news Phillip! Looking forward to hear your thoughts. SS has thicker lips so supposed to be milder.

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 01-17-2016, 05:10 PM
#17
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Wanted to thank Wrathen for this post as I have wondered the same things. I've thought about getting an SE but also didn't really know where to begin.

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 01-18-2016, 07:54 AM
#18
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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(01-17-2016, 05:10 PM)Oasisdave Wrote: Wanted to thank Wrathen for this post as I have wondered the same things. I've thought about getting an SE but also didn't really know where to begin.

No problem, my needs shipped down from Canada tomorrow so it's unlikely I'll have it this weekend but next sounds reasonable.

What you decide to do for your first strait?


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 01-19-2016, 02:23 PM
#19
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Does the Feather AC system give an equivalent shave to a good straight? This might be a good way for me to start also.

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 01-19-2016, 02:47 PM
#20
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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(01-19-2016, 02:23 PM)NeoXerxes Wrote: Does the Feather AC system give an equivalent shave to a good straight? This might be a good way for me to start also.

I had always liked the look of them and then people recommended it so figured it was time


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