02-07-2018, 01:15 AM
#21
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I think plenty of experienced people here that will sell you a nice user grade straight to practice with without forking out a whole lot of cash.Once you get the hang of it and enjoy using straights, then decide on something more fancy.  I would just put my feelers out on the BST. I think it's unlikely anyone would take advantage of you here. I find there are always people willing to help a fellow shaver start out with advice and material. But in answering you question, I don't think you could go wrong with SRP.

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 02-08-2018, 06:05 AM
#22
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Like I said invest in a good strop first than get the razor.

I recommended Ebay because I’m not sure if money is an issue. If it isn’t let them sell you the house, but if it is, than I would go shave ready on eBay and not spend more than 30 bucks till you score one.

Who knows many people here have accumulated straight razor disorder may want to help you out by giving you a free straight razor. Sorry I just use what I need, I gave my extra razors to friends who showed interest.

CAN SOMEONE HELP THIS GUY OUT? Just asking if anyone has extra razor for this guy who is interested in starting. He may not want to spend 100+ on a razor and hone service.

That’s why I recommended what I did. The items you should acquire in order are strop, shave ready razor, 12k stone. I never said you need the stone as soon as you get the razor, but it should come and will come after you get your razor. And no it’s not hard to touch up the edge. The concept is just like sanding wood or polishing metal, lower grit to higher buffs out scratches until the item is smooth, the “smoother” it is the sharper it is. It will be easy for you because all you will need is to touch up the edge when that time comes.

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 02-08-2018, 08:42 AM
#23
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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I started out with a Poor Man's strop from Whipped Dog because it was cheap and I didn't have to worry about accidentally scratching, nicking or cutting a more expensive piece.  That worked out well and once I felt more comfortable with the stropping motions I ordered something nicer.  My first razor came from a member of another forum and was laser sharp, probably the sharpest razor I have ever used other than my Feather Artist Club style razors.  That razor and strop cost me under $70 total and taught me everything I needed to know about whether or not I wanted to stick with a razor.

I would not buy from an unknown seller on eBay.  Whipped Dog, The Superior Shave or Straight Razor Designs are all fine options with great reputations for shave readiness.  The strop is a critical part of straight razor shaving, but is also the most likely piece to get damaged.

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 02-12-2018, 10:07 AM
#24
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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(02-06-2018, 08:48 AM)Johnny Wrote: 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.

SRD is a fine retailer.  No question.  I'd have no hesitation about buying from them.  And further to Johnny's point, I bought first straight (a vintage ERN) from Noah a couple years ago.  He put an great edge on that razor.  It was--and remains--one of my favorites.

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 02-13-2018, 04:03 AM
#25
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Here’s my advice as I started this journey wrong in every way.
1. Simply get a good but inexpensive “shave ready” straight from either a reputable vendor or a forum member whom is an honemeister. It matters not if it’s a gold dollar, dovo, whatever. It must be shave ready.
2. Get either a paddle or loom strop 3” wide. This is important so you can learn proper technique without having to worry about rolling the edge and having to send it to be rehoned. It will also minimize the risk of cutting your strop and replacements leather is relatively inexpensive.
3. Do not worry about stones and sharpening. Thet will come later when you have everything figured out.
4. Stay far far away from eBay. There is more crap than you can imagine and trying to sort through it all will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Eventually you will know what to look for, but there is no point getting caught in that mix until later.
5. Prep is everything. No matter how good your edge is, if your lather sucks, so will the shave.

Straight away I had a custom razor made, bought stones and a good strop and dove straight in. I cut my strop, mucked up my edge and almost tossed in the towel as I could never get an ok shave, let alone a great shave.

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 02-13-2018, 10:41 AM
#26
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(02-13-2018, 04:03 AM)Rugger007 Wrote: Here’s my advice as I started this journey wrong in every way.
1. Simply get a good but inexpensive “shave ready” straight from either a reputable vendor or a forum member whom is an honemeister. It matters not if it’s a gold dollar, dovo, whatever. It must be shave ready.
2. Get either a paddle or loom strop 3” wide. This is important so you can learn proper technique without having to worry about rolling the edge and having to send it to be rehoned. It will also minimize the risk of cutting your strop and replacements leather is relatively inexpensive.
3. Do not worry about stones and sharpening. Thet will come later when you have everything figured out.
4. Stay far far away from eBay. There is more crap than you can imagine and trying to sort through it all will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Eventually you will know what to look for, but there is no point getting caught in that mix until later.
5. Prep is everything. No matter how good your edge is, if your lather sucks, so will the shave.

Straight away I had a custom razor made, bought stones and a good strop and dove straight in. I cut my strop, mucked up my edge and almost tossed in the towel as I could never get an ok shave, let alone a great shave.

Good advice.  Seems like I got off to a better start than you did.  I got a "sight unseen" plus a paddle strop from Whipped Dog: $89 shipped for both.  Now almost two weeks into straight razor shaving and both my face and the strop are still intact!

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 02-13-2018, 11:29 AM
#27
  • TN4
  • Member
  • Ohio
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So I made the purchase and have my straight razor and strop. I've done 5 shaves, and I'm a little confused. When I shave, I pay close attention to the angle. I keep the spine of the razor almost vertical against my face, as I know that a steeper angle is what is advised for straight razor shaving. Even with an almost vertical angle, the razor does not seem to do a good job of cutting my beard hair. It pulls and does not feel comfortable at all. I'm relatively sure that this is not a result of my stropping, because it felt like this the first time I used it. Also, I have had no trouble whatsoever with nicks or cuts. In fact, as I am shaving it seems like I would actually have to make an effort to cut or nick myself. I have only 5 shaves with a straight, but I feel like the blade should at least feel sharp enough that there is some danger or cutting myself with it if I'm not careful. 

As mentioned, I am a newbie, so I'm not saying that I have this figured out, but I wanted to hear some opinions from more experienced straight shavers. Is it possible that my razor was not really "shave ready"?

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 02-13-2018, 03:46 PM
#28
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I assume you did buy it from SRD, correct?  What razor did you buy?

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 02-14-2018, 06:14 AM
#29
  • TN4
  • Member
  • Ohio
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(02-13-2018, 03:46 PM)Johnny Wrote: I assume you did buy it from SRD, correct?  What razor did you buy?
I did. I bought a Ralf Aust. Seems like a really nice razor. When I went in, I asked the man who was there if all the razors were honed by the same person, and he replied that they were not. This troubles me slightly, because I have no idea who honed my razor. Having said that, I think that it'll only take a few laps on some 0.5 diamond spray to refresh it and I plan on doing this during the weekend, so hopefully I'll have some better results soon!

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 02-14-2018, 10:53 AM
#30
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(02-13-2018, 11:29 AM)TN4 Wrote: So I made the purchase and have my straight razor and strop. I've done 5 shaves, and I'm a little confused. When I shave, I pay close attention to the angle. I keep the spine of the razor almost vertical against my face, as I know that a steeper angle is what is advised for straight razor shaving. Even with an almost vertical angle, the razor does not seem to do a good job of cutting my beard hair. It pulls and does not feel comfortable at all. I'm relatively sure that this is not a result of my stropping, because it felt like this the first time I used it. Also, I have had no trouble whatsoever with nicks or cuts. In fact, as I am shaving it seems like I would actually have to make an effort to cut or nick myself. I have only 5 shaves with a straight, but I feel like the blade should at least feel sharp enough that there is some danger or cutting myself with it if I'm not careful. 

As mentioned, I am a newbie, so I'm not saying that I have this figured out, but I wanted to hear some opinions from more experienced straight shavers. Is it possible that my razor was not really "shave ready"?

Ralf Aust razors are beautiful. 

I am a newbie, too, having just completed my 14th shave this morning, so take this with a grain of salt, but my best guess is that you are shaving with an angle that is TOO shallow.  An overly shallow angle makes it easy to avoid hurting yourself, but it also is very inefficient, and leads to a sensation of tugging.  

You want the razor to be at about a 25-30 degree angle, which requires your moving the spine of the razor away from your face at least the width of the spine, usually a little more.  

I would recommend continuing with a light touch and experimenting with a slightly steeper angle and see what happens.  Shaving with a straight razor feels unlike shaving with any other implement.  It feels and sounds very weird until you keep doing it for a while and get used to it.  Keep at it, steepening the angle just a bit and see what happens.  I mean, if the razor passes the hanging hair test, it should be plenty sharp enough to remove stubble.

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 02-14-2018, 12:01 PM
#31
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Very good advise already. 
You can skip stropping for a few shaves. Maybe there is a problem there. Just make sure your blade is dry after use. Paper towels might do the trick. 
IMO stropping technique is underestimated and I found most information on the web ... conflicting. 


Moderator Note:  Link to website not affiliated with TSN removed.


note: based on the name of the website I assumed it was neutral, now I realize it isn't. My apologies.

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 02-14-2018, 04:39 PM
#32
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
User Info
What I'm seeing about shaving angles is news to me. The straight razor should be nearly flat against your face, a good rule of thumb is about one spine width from flat, but flat will work just fine unless you're using a near/wedge then the big flat steel likes to stick to your face and a little angle will prevent this.

A high angle shaves more aggressively (exfoliates more) and is more likely to cut you if you have an off stroke and is more likely to give you razor burn (excess exfoliation). A high angle also degrades the edge quicker.

Cheers, Steve

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 02-26-2018, 08:13 PM
#33
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(02-13-2018, 11:29 AM)TN4 Wrote: So I made the purchase and have my straight razor and strop. I've done 5 shaves, and I'm a little confused. When I shave, I pay close attention to the angle. I keep the spine of the razor almost vertical against my face, as I know that a steeper angle is what is advised for straight razor shaving. Even with an almost vertical angle, the razor does not seem to do a good job of cutting my beard hair. It pulls and does not feel comfortable at all. I'm relatively sure that this is not a result of my stropping, because it felt like this the first time I used it. Also, I have had no trouble whatsoever with nicks or cuts. In fact, as I am shaving it seems like I would actually have to make an effort to cut or nick myself. I have only 5 shaves with a straight, but I feel like the blade should at least feel sharp enough that there is some danger or cutting myself with it if I'm not careful. 

As mentioned, I am a newbie, so I'm not saying that I have this figured out, but I wanted to hear some opinions from more experienced straight shavers. Is it possible that my razor was not really "shave ready"?
Well it sounds like the razor is probably not smooth and sharp enough. It’s ok just hang in there and save money for a 12k stone. Understand if a razor is sharp enough just use it and it should be smooth and comfortable. Angle and “am I doing this right” should not come into your mind if you have a shave ready razor. A shave ready razor just shaves. No need to wonder if your shaving correctly. Maybe all the razor needs is a refreshing on a 12k. I hope your not stuck a lot of money on the razor because a new razor + stone is expensive.

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