09-28-2021, 08:12 AM
#1
  • Chappy
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  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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I thought about straight razors before but due to the cost for a good one, learning curve on how to use it, and doing the upkeep (honing mostly) I didn't do it.  Oh and the thought of having that throat cutter that close to mine scared me.   Shok   Well guess what, I'm now thinking of a shavette so I can use the DE blades I already have.  I'm sure I will eventually try to shave my face with it but what I'm really needing right now is an easier way to clean up the inside of my goatee.  I don't necessarily have a "soul patch" but I do have a line of hair going up the center of the goatee to my lower lip just to be different from everyone else (no offense intended guys).  DEs work but are very hard to know exactly where you are cutting to get the trim look I want and thought maybe a shavette can do it easier and better.

I've tried looking at videos with various kinds of shavettes but just like DEs it is a very personal decision of what you like.  I like the protected ends of the Vanta to help prevent nicking yourself but also understand it is quite light and somewhat flimsy.  Found one on the giant sales website that seems to sell everything called Equinox which appears to be very well rated but what do I know so I'll ask my expert friends here.....

Which shavette would you recommend for a beginner?  Lower the price the better as I don't even know if I will like it but I could go up to about $50 if necessary.

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 09-28-2021, 08:47 AM
#2
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I'm definitely not an expert, I only used mine a couple times as I struggle with an arthritic hand and I have much less difficulty with the DE razors. I have a Parker SR1 which runs $20. I know Parker makes decent stuff and I liked the look of it. I'm sure there's other people out there that can make better recommendations and have more experience and knowledge of the shavettes, but I definitely think this one is worth looking into, especially with the same thought I had about not wanting to spend too much money if it doesn't work out. If you really want to go all out, the next model up as the SRX. It's supposed to be a bit heavier, better made and it supposedly has a better mechanism, and it only runs $25.

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 09-28-2021, 05:25 PM
#3
  • Chappy
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  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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Mike, but you are one of my friends...   Cheers

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 09-28-2021, 06:09 PM
#4
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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One word. In ject er Smile

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 09-29-2021, 03:59 AM
#5
  • Chappy
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  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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Hadn't thought of that, Charlie.  Hmmmmmm.....

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 09-29-2021, 08:29 AM
#6
  • Bax
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Some shavettes use a regular razor blade snapped in half. Other shavetts use a really long skinny blade that's more of a special purpose thing. Is there an advantage of one over the other? I should think the shorter shavette that uses the modified double-edged blade would provide a greater variety of blade choices, and might be easier to maneuver for a beginner...
:-)
-Bax

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 09-29-2021, 01:08 PM
#7
  • Chappy
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  • Oklahoma, OK, USA
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(09-29-2021, 08:29 AM)tend Bax Wrote: Some shavettes use a regular razor blade snapped in half. Other shavetts use a really long skinny blade that's more of a special purpose thing. Is there an advantage of one over the other? I should think the shorter shavette that uses the modified double-edged blade would provide a greater variety of blade choices, and might be easier to maneuver for a beginner...
-Bax

I understand the longer blades tend to be thicker and don't flex as much as a DE blade so they will not cut skin as easily as a DE blade.

Still contemplating Charlie's suggestion above as I believe it would be a lot safer for the trimming I'm wanting to do and be easier to shave with if I want to do that.

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 09-29-2021, 03:29 PM
#8
  • Bax
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Sure, you could use something that makes sense and is perfectly logical. But where's the fun in THAT?
I'm kind of a "hold my beer and watch this" kinda guy...
:-)
- Bax

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 09-29-2021, 06:51 PM
#9
  • norton
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  • The Alien Nation
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Shavettes:  You get what you pay for.  Usually. 

The closest to real straights are the Feather / KAI models.  They also cost about double what you are looking to spend.  But read on. 

1.  Feather/KAI ~ 100 USD for the Feather SS and use the Feather/Kai/Schick long SE blades.  These have somewhat of a 'tang' with 'jimps' to provide control. 
2.  Focus R28 ~ 70 USD.  Use 1/2 a de blade.  All aluminum with a rectangular tang (where your thumb goes) and spine that actually provides control.  Very light and maneuverable. Built in angle 'finder' to help avoid cuts.  But you can still cut yourself if you don't pay attention.  Short edge  - very close to the length of a de blade, because they are built to use 1/2 a de blade only. 
3.  Dovo Shavettes ~ 40 USD.  Use 1/2 a de blade.  Thumb notch for control.  Plastic blade holder may eventually wear out, but replacements are available.  Sounds like you wouldn't need to to that often. Also very light and maneuverable.  Long edge, so a de blade takes up maybe 1/2 of that length.  More 'freehand' than the Focus, but some folks enjoy these.  Why such a long edge?  Dovo sells their own 'supersize' DE blades that can be snapped in half and used in these, but 1/2 a de directed toward the front will work too. 

I would avoid:
1.  Any with a scissor mechanism.  
2.  Any that are very narrow in the tang and spine (these are typically also the scissor mechanism).  This is where your fingers go for control.  If it's flat or nearly flat, you have less control.  This is OK for barbers who are shaving someone else. It's less convenient if you are shaving yourself and/or are a beginner.

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 09-29-2021, 07:28 PM
#10
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(09-29-2021, 01:08 PM)Chappy Wrote: I understand the longer blades tend to be thicker and don't flex as much as a DE blade so they will not cut skin as easily as a DE blade.

That is an often repeated myth. Unless the shavette is damaged or defective the blade is held firmly and does not flex. You can test it yourself. Your skin is what flexes.

Half DE shavettes are typically lighter. You need to hold them properly and not let them chatter. The blades are short too. The toe and heel will contact your skin at the same time. You need to balance that contact to keep either end from digging in and giving you a little slice. With a safety razor balance is automatic. You have to control it with a shavette.

JD

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 09-29-2021, 09:00 PM
#11
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This is the shavette I learned on. Parker SRW, $18.00 US. Was very happy with it and still am.[Image: 35cfb3f4ce9234d2f4fb5aebeda02e90.jpg]

JD

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 07-13-2022, 06:33 PM
#12
  • Bax
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I ordered an Italian Focus R-28. It arrived today. Fortunately, I hadn't shaved yet. I tried it out, with a Wilkinson sword (India) half blade. It worked great! I had never used a straight razor or shavette before, but finished my shave without a nick, cut, weeper, or any discomfort at all. I went very slowly, and took my time, paying close attention to angles. The Focus R-28 was fantastic! Don't know why I didn't try it sooner!
:-)
-Bax

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 07-13-2022, 08:25 PM
#13
  • norton
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  • The Alien Nation
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(07-13-2022, 06:33 PM)Bax Wrote: I ordered an Italian Focus R-28. It arrived today. Fortunately, I hadn't shaved yet. I tried it out, with a Wilkinson sword (India) half blade. It worked great! I had never used a straight razor or shavette before, but finished my shave without a nick, cut, weeper, or any discomfort at all. I went very slowly, and took my time, paying close attention to angles. The Focus R-28 was fantastic! Don't know why I didn't try it sooner!
:-)
-Bax

Glad you enjoyed it!  Those are meant to take a snapped in half blade - not a 'saloon' blade that is pre-cut in half.  The bent edges of the 1/2 blade go down, and help secure it. 
I've tried my share of shavettes - and really that's the only one I've actually enjoyed - apart from the KAI/Feather AC/SS models.  

YMMV of course - but Focus seems to have gotten that design right.  What color did you get?

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 07-14-2022, 05:07 AM
#14
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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I got a black-handled one.  Here's a pic:
[Image: Sl1kt81.jpg]
I also learned something today (2nd shave with the Focus): it LIKES the bent bits left over when you break the blade!  I think it was designed that way.  This morning I used a Leatherman tool (pliers) to flatten the bent-up bits that were left on each end of the blade when I snapped it in half.  The Leatherman made it nice and flat.  Lo and behold (he said, Biblically), the latch-portion of the spine moved while I was shifting my grip as I shaved.... so I had to re-seat the blade and latch it shut again.  I shouldn't have flattened the blade with pliers; bad move.  In other words, the genius Italian designers took the teeny little bent bits into account when designing the clearances on this razor!  
Who knew!  
Well -- now we ALL do, I guess!

2nd shave with it this morning.  Again, a nick-free, cut-free, enjoyable frontier cowboy shaving experience.  I still need to master the "fluff and buff," but that'll just take practice and experience.  The spots on my manly chin that use to give me trouble with a DE razor are giving me the same trouble with the shavette; I'll figure it out in time.  I figured out the philtrum this morning, so chin-topography can't be too difficult to master with a shavette.

I'm still amazed and surprised at how easy it is to use this Focus R-28 shavette.  The first couple of strokes I ever took with it were done with much trepidation, but after I realized I wasn't going to fillet my face, I had no problem at all!  IMHO every old-timey shaving enthusiast ought to add a straight razor (or shavette) to their shave nook!
   :-)
- Bax

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 07-14-2022, 06:03 AM
#15
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Bax, when you break a DE blade in half you end up with the two end tabs of the blade bent down.  You then place the half blade in the Focus with the bent tabs facing down.  Those bent tabs provide the tension which holds the head assembly together.  This is why, as norton stated above, the precut "salon" DE blades used by barbers and hair stylists will not work.  Those blades are machine cut and lack the bent tabs.  

The Focus is an excellent shavette style razor.

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 07-14-2022, 06:10 AM
#16
  • Bax
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"Those bent tabs provide the tension which holds the head assembly together."


That was my deduction, too, based on my 3-credit course at the School of Hard Knocks!
I often learn stuff the hard way.
   :-)
- Bax

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 07-14-2022, 09:08 AM
#17
  • norton
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  • The Alien Nation
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"I'm still amazed and surprised at how easy it is to use this Focus R-28 shavette. "

Yep - it's almost like a DE with that built in 'angle finder' thing.   No idea why no one else had thought of that.

Looks good with Black 'scales'.  Mine's brushed aluminum. 
Also looks like Focus has upgraded their packaging - Bought mine in 2019 - came in a thin box.

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 07-14-2022, 10:22 AM
#18
  • Bax
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"Built-in angle finder thing."
I thought I should examine this arcane magical concept, so took a closer look at my razor.
  
Here's a close-up pic:
[Image: o8TWICt.jpg]
It looks like there is a big angle going out to the tip protectors, and between the tip protector thingies is a sharper/steeper angle toward the blade.  Maybe those features ARE the secret to a great shave with a Focus R-28.  
Who knew (well... besides YOU, Norton...)???
   :-)
-  Bax

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 07-14-2022, 11:35 AM
#19
  • norton
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  • The Alien Nation
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"Built-in angle finder thing."  is the scientific term. 

Feel free to use that as needed.

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