09-30-2012, 10:44 AM
#1
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
I tried out a straight razor this morning for the first time and had less than satisfactory results. Lots of tugging, minimal amounts of actual cutting. I had a nice, slick lather with some MdC and my straight should be shave-ready after having been restored and honed, and I have been practicing stropping very slowly and carefully the past couple of days, but I felt like I really wasn't getting anywhere. I went slowly and focused on my angles and pressure, and it felt and sounded as though I was cutting hair, albeit with a fair amount of tugging, there were even cut ends in the lather, but my face didn't look or feel like anything had really happened.

Any advice from the expert out there? Could my straight not be fully shave ready? I guess I should mention it is a 5/8 W&B near wedge I think, should I maybe look into a different straight to start out with, maybe something with a more hollow blade?

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 09-30-2012, 11:27 AM
#2
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i'm in the same boat. purchased a boker 5/8 king cutter, strop and tried a few times.

3 shaves in and it SUCKS Angry not much fun, not much cutting.

i like the tradition and routine of stroping aspect but the actual shave was not pleasant..if you can call it a shave.

a few more tries and i'll be dumping it all.

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 09-30-2012, 12:06 PM
#3
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My verdict without seeing the razors is not sharp.

I'd rather donate my time and get your razors shave ready for you for free than to see you give up because you bought a razor that wasn't up to par.

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 09-30-2012, 12:24 PM
#4
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When you say not much cutting, what do you mean?

A straight razor requires much slicker lather than a DE. If the lather isn't rinsing off easily, then you need to use more water.

Using a straight razor with drier lather is like shaving with a dull blade. Except it removes the stubble.

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 09-30-2012, 12:29 PM
#5
  • MickToley
  • Hi, I'm Mike and I'm a shave soap addict
  • Brooklyn, NY
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I know you said you were focusing on angle, maybe you should give this page a read. Do you have a strop? If you don't then you'll need to get one.

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 09-30-2012, 01:21 PM
#6
  • oscar11
  • Senior Member
  • North Dakota
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Don't give up on it yet. Do some reading and make sure your blade is sharp.

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 09-30-2012, 01:22 PM
#7
  • MickToley
  • Hi, I'm Mike and I'm a shave soap addict
  • Brooklyn, NY
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(09-30-2012, 01:21 PM)oscar11 Wrote: Don't give up on it yet. Do some reading and make sure your blade is sharp.

Agreed, don't give up yet. Try, try some more, if you really feel it's not for you then go back to what you know works.

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 09-30-2012, 01:36 PM
#8
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
I'm certainly not going to give up just yet. Though it will be slow progress as I am a bit to rushed on weekday morning to keep trying, so it will be a weekend sort of ordeal. Next time I will try for slicker soap.

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 09-30-2012, 01:41 PM
#9
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Is your straight shave ready?
Who honed your razor for you?

This is very important, but even with a shave ready straight there is a bit of a learning curve and the first half dozen will be rough expect for the few very lucky people that it just comes naturally.

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 09-30-2012, 01:54 PM
#10
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Tonality & Bruce
First, don't expect the first shave to go smooth as silk.. Smile
There is a bit of a art to it.
A couple questions.. Was there any place on your face where the razor seemed to work better? Like maybe your cheek area?

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 09-30-2012, 02:15 PM
#11
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
I felt like I was slightly more successful on my cheeks and under my chin (with the grain at least), at least as far as having the razor glide smoothly, but still no dice on actual shaving. I wasn;t expecting a perfect shave, but I'm a little put off. We will see how next weekend goes.

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 09-30-2012, 07:02 PM
#12
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Good luck gentlmen. Not an easy learning experience if you have a coarse beard.

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 10-01-2012, 07:28 AM
#13
  • Leon
  • Active Member
  • Porto, Portugal
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Good luck.

The learning curve is steep.

The properly honed straight razor should "plow" away the stubble effortlessly.

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 10-03-2012, 07:10 AM
#14
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Not much I can add to a list of good advice so far. There are many variables that can be considered as well as the mere mechanics and skills necessary for straight shaving. Is it the edge,, is it sharp, is it partly the soap, is it the right angle, pressure etc. etc.
Take them one at a time and give it time. My first attempts were nothing to brag about. Proper stropping, angles and everything else will all fall into place.
Remember, this isn't a job,, it's an adventure!

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 10-27-2012, 12:49 PM
#15
  • Notary
  • Member
  • Montreal, Quebec
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Hello there. I am no where near expert status using a straight razor. I finally decided to use one of the three vintage razors that I had purchased, and they were sitting in my shave nook for over two months. The blades were vintage and they were professionally honed and ready to use.

Anyways, in reiteration I am a beginner, having shaved with a straight razor for only three times, but I feel my story is worthwhile, especially since the identical thing happened to me. The first time I used the razor, I got a horrible shave and I was terrified of severely cutting myself. I actually thought of putting the straights away and never using them again. But being the stubborn individual I am, I tried again a second time. The second time shave was pretty much the same as the first. At this point I was thinking that maybe the blades were not sharp enough, that maybe I needed to get a new straight razor; I was going crazy trying to decipher the problem, especially since watching the guys on youtube who made straight razor shaving look effortless.

Finally, I picked it up this morning being a Saturday and decided to give it a final go. But I must explain this was done after extensive reading of the online straight razor guides, discussing various techniques and more specifically the angle. I was under the impression that we should be shaving with a 30 degree angle, so that's what I did for shave 1 and 2. However, a lot of the material I read stated that the first pass should be made with the razor at a 5 degree angle, so that the back shoulder almost touches the skin. After applying this technique on my third shave the results were much better than shave 1 and 2. This in turn made me realize that my first two shaves were horrible as a result of my technique.

I cannot say that shaving with the straight razor has produced the excellent results I have thus far obtained with the safety razor, but I am on my way having experienced an improvement after adjusting my technique.As my technique improves over time, I can only anticipate the marvelous shaves to come.

Consequently, my humble opinion is that the learning curve for using a straight is much higher than that of a safety razor. In addition, the straight razor is definitely not as forgiving as the other razors. For these reasons, learning the correct technique requires patience and the razor needs to be treated with the utmost respect.

I look forward to more exchanges about our progress. Good luck and Happy Shaving. Sam.

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 10-29-2012, 12:19 PM
#16
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
User Info
(09-30-2012, 02:15 PM)Tonality Wrote: I felt like I was slightly more successful on my cheeks and under my chin (with the grain at least), at least as far as having the razor glide smoothly, but still no dice on actual shaving. I wasn;t expecting a perfect shave, but I'm a little put off. We will see how next weekend goes.

soooo... how did it go this past weekend? better? Smile

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