02-05-2018, 06:33 AM
#1
  • TN4
  • Member
  • Ohio
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Hey everyone,

I am thinking of getting my first straight razor. I know that in the past, straight razor designs was a great place to buy razors. I am wondering if anyone has experience buying from them recently, and if so, are the razors still shave ready when you get them? 

Thanks

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 02-05-2018, 02:02 PM
#2
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They are a good vendor. Check out The Superior Shave and Griffith Shaving Goods. Matt at Griffith also has a lot of nice refurbished vintage also

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 02-05-2018, 03:24 PM
#3
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Have not dealt with them on razors but a few other small items and have had positive experiences on what I have got, there razors are supposed to come shave ready but I have not tested that, I am sure there are several here that have.

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 02-05-2018, 03:40 PM
#4
  • Steelman
  • SUPPORT OUR POLICE OFFICERS
  • Delaware
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I have bought straight razors from Lynn (owner of SRD).. They come shave ready. Additionally, your first honing is free.

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 02-05-2018, 03:46 PM
#5
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Lynn has some really informative videos out there. If I remember correctly he’s also a traveling man.

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 02-05-2018, 03:55 PM
#6
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I've purchased from SRD and its straight razors are shave ready.  The other vendor I can recommend for a shave ready straight razor is The Superior Shave.

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 02-05-2018, 07:01 PM
#7
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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SRD is legit. Lynn is a good man.

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 02-05-2018, 07:11 PM
#8
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I have not, but have you considered Ebay. I would search vintage shave ready straight razors. I don’t know if expenses are a factor to you.
If not than just go get it and all you need.
If so than my advice would be this, first start with a good 3”wide strop. I say this because if only a razor than with no strop you really cant use it comfortably. With a strop, you can practice stropping with a butter knife and have anticipation for the razor.

Next get a razor from eBay shave ready so you know at least it’s decent. Your strop should extend your use for a while.
Next, get a finishing stone something like 12k and you’ll be set.

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 02-06-2018, 05:38 AM
#9
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Personally I would avoid ebay for a first razor. Stick with a known vendor that ships shave ready. All the vendors SRD, TSS and Griffith are great at shipping shave ready and back their products 100%

Once you get comfortable with maintaining and honing a razor then you can go down the rabbit hole of eBay.

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 02-06-2018, 08:48 AM
#10
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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When I use to shave with a straight, I had very good luck with one of our artisans.  The link below will take you to his homepage where you can go to his website.  I know his razors are shave ready.

member.php

I did buy a Ralph Aust razor from SRD and it was shave ready when I received it.  For the money, it was an excellent straight.  I have also bought a few soaps, aftershaves, and accessories for SRD over the years.  I would not hesitate to purchase from them again if they had something I wanted.

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 02-06-2018, 09:09 AM
#11
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(02-05-2018, 07:11 PM)JESSEBASEBALL Wrote: I have not, but have you considered Ebay. I would search vintage shave ready straight razors. I don’t know if expenses are a factor to you.
If not than just go get it and all you need.
If so than my advice would be this, first start with a good 3”wide strop. I say this because if only a razor than with no strop you really cant use it comfortably. With a strop, you can practice stropping with a butter knife and have anticipation for the razor.

Next get a razor from eBay shave ready so you know at least it’s decent. Your strop should extend your use for a while.
Next, get a finishing stone something like 12k and you’ll be set.


I don't find your advice particulary helpful especially for someone seeking their first straight razor, ebay is definitely not the place to go, and talk about a 12K finishing stone for someone who hasn't even completed a single shave never mind honed a razor is a definitely a no, my advice would be buy yourself a half decent strop and learn that craft first using a butter knife until you feel comfortable and able to do the same with a straight razor, buy yourself a shave ready from Whippedog don't spend a lot of cash it just might not be what you want and you may not take to this form of shaving, and as far as honing goes remove that from your mind completely for the time being.

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 02-06-2018, 09:12 AM
#12
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(02-06-2018, 09:09 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote:
(02-05-2018, 07:11 PM)JESSEBASEBALL Wrote: I have not, but have you considered Ebay. I would search vintage shave ready straight razors. I don’t know if expenses are a factor to you.
If not than just go get it and all you need.
If so than my advice would be this, first start with a good 3”wide strop. I say this because if only a razor than with no strop you really cant use it comfortably. With a strop, you can practice stropping with a butter knife and have anticipation for the razor.

Next get a razor from eBay shave ready so you know at least it’s decent. Your strop should extend your use for a while.
Next, get a finishing stone something like 12k and you’ll be set.


I don't find your advice particulary helpful especially for someone seeking their first straight razor, ebay is definitely not the place to go, and talk about a 12K finishing stone for someone who hasn't even completed a single shave never mind honed a razor is a definitely a no, my advice would be buy yourself a half decent strop and learn that craft first using a butter knife until you feel comfortable and able to do the same with a straight razor, buy yourself a shave ready from Whippedog don't spend a lot of cash it just might not be what you want and you may not take to this form of shaving, and as far as honing goes remove that from your mind completely for the time being.

Wise words coming from Jamie.  He is someone I would listen to.

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 02-06-2018, 09:13 AM
#13
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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TN4,

Avoid eBay when starting out. "Shave Ready" is a loosely used term there, and some of the descriptions are too lofty to believe. You will not go wrong with Straight Razor Designs. Lynn Abrams, whom I have known for years and is a gentleman, hones the straights in the store's collection. You will receive a straight razor that is ready to go. Get a 5/8 or 6/8 Ralf Aust and you're set. There are other brands, too, but I m partial to Ralf Aust. Good luck.

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 02-06-2018, 09:20 AM
#14
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(02-06-2018, 09:13 AM)Obie Wrote: TN4,

Avoid eBay when starting out. "Shave Ready" is a loosely used term there, and some of the descriptions are too lofty to believe. You will not go wrong with Straight Razor Designs. Lynn Abrams, whom I have known for years and is a gentleman, hones the straights in the store's collection. You will receive a straight razor that is ready to go. Get a 5/8 or 6/8 Ralf Aust and you're set. There are other brands, too, but I m partial to Ralf Aust. Good luck.

Another wise gentleman to listen to when it comes to straight shaving.  Mr. Obie, who also knows how to put a good hone on a razor.

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 02-06-2018, 09:28 AM
#15
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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(02-06-2018, 09:20 AM)Johnny Wrote:
(02-06-2018, 09:13 AM)Obie Wrote: TN4,

Avoid eBay when starting out. "Shave Ready" is a loosely used term there, and some of the descriptions are too lofty to believe. You will not go wrong with Straight Razor Designs. Lynn Abrams, whom I have known for years and is a gentleman, hones the straights in the store's collection. You will receive a straight razor that is ready to go. Get a 5/8 or 6/8 Ralf Aust and you're set. There are other brands, too, but I m partial to Ralf Aust. Good luck.

Another wise gentleman to listen to when it comes to straight shaving.  Mr. Obie, who also knows how to put a good hone on a razor.

Johnny, my dear friend, bless your heart for the kind words. Thanks.

TN4, I'll gladly mentor you to give you a good start. It will be my pleasure.

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 02-06-2018, 11:42 AM
#16
  • TN4
  • Member
  • Ohio
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(02-06-2018, 09:28 AM)Obie Wrote:
(02-06-2018, 09:20 AM)Johnny Wrote:
(02-06-2018, 09:13 AM)Obie Wrote: TN4,

Avoid eBay when starting out. "Shave Ready" is a loosely used term there, and some of the descriptions are too lofty to believe. You will not go wrong with Straight Razor Designs. Lynn Abrams, whom I have known for years and is a gentleman, hones the straights in the store's collection. You will receive a straight razor that is ready to go. Get a 5/8 or 6/8 Ralf Aust and you're set. There are other brands, too, but I m partial to Ralf Aust. Good luck.

Another wise gentleman to listen to when it comes to straight shaving.  Mr. Obie, who also knows how to put a good hone on a razor.

Johnny, my dear friend, bless your heart for the kind words. Thanks.

TN4, I'll gladly mentor you to give you a good start. It will be my pleasure.
Thank you guys so much. I am actually going to Cleveland tomorrow, and plan on stopping by SRD on Thursday. Based on your advice, I'll be happy to buy my first straight there. I was also planning on picking up a 12K finishing stone, just to use for refreshes of my razor. I've seen Lynn's video about refreshing, and it doesn't seem to be very difficult (of course I'm sure its much more difficult than he makes it look). Would you recommend getting the 12K stone, or should I just leave refreshing to the professionals at first?

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 02-06-2018, 12:14 PM
#17
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Personally, I would leave the honing to a professional.  Once honed properly, the edge will last a very long time with proper stropping.

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 02-06-2018, 12:21 PM
#18
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SRD is a good source (as are the other new vendors mentioned above).  SRD has a pretty good deal on a SR/strop set.  Think you can get the 5/8 RA or Dove (love my RA) and the strop will be one of SRD's.  Good fair price for the combo. 
Benefits of going this route:
1. As mentioned above it will come truly shave ready and have a certificate for a second honing (you pay the $5-$6 shipping).  If your just starting out the second honing is a great deal (most likely until you get your stropping tech down your going to loose the edge a lot sooner than you think).
2. SRD sells replacement components to the strop in case you do some damage to the leather as your learning.  This may or may not happen, may or may not be significant damage, and you may or may not want to eventually replace it.  In short: you have an option to spend $10-$20 to replace the leather vs living with damage/buying a new strop.  Of course this may end up a moot point as you will most likely catch Strop Acquisition Disorder (but that's a whole separate thread!!!)

Check youtube out!!!  As mentioned Lynn's vids are good, gssixguns (Glen) has a couple on stropping/SR shaving.  There's a bunch out there; I mentioned those two since they were the two big educational guys I used.
One last thing...watch a good vid on stropping and practice with a butter knife/canvas belt (something along that line) prior to putting that blade on the strop!!!  Get good technique before you ruin your edge and/or razor.

Cheers,
Jer

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 02-06-2018, 02:01 PM
#19
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Yes, as Johnny suggested, leave the honing to the professionals — for now. First, learn how to use the straight razor properly, and how to strop properly. There is plenty of time for honing.

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 02-06-2018, 07:33 PM
#20
  • Gabe
  • Senior Member
  • Arizona
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Excellent advice gentlemen. To use your view of honing, shaving with a straight razor is also not difficult. It just takes practice. Honing is the same way.

Learning to use a straight will take time. You will learn to use proper technique and angles. It will also be a little uncomfortable until you get better at it. Discomfort is an indicator of bad technique, if you are using a shave ready razor.

I started with a razor by a trusted member that was shave ready. Once I got good results I tried my luck at honing. My first attempts weren't horrible, but the shave was not comfortable. Since I already knew what a shave ready razor felt like, I knew it was my honing and not my technique. I kept at it and I and in a few attempts I got good results. The edge was sharp and comfortable. I would never have known this if I wasn't familiar with what a good edge feels like. It's easy to get a edge sharp enough to cut your finger off. It takes time to get a sharp AND comfortable edge.

Good luck with your journey. It takes about 30 shaves to get half way decent results.

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