Straight Razor vs DE razor

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Jabal-Tariq, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Jabal-Tariq

    Jabal-Tariq Active Member

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    For those who have used both, which gives the better shave for you?
     


  2. Satorialist

    Satorialist Senior member

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    In seeking the closest, smoothest shave possible; I occasionally use a DE razor (a Merkur).

    There's a learning curve. Among other considerations (quality of DE razor blade, type of razor head), the blade must be held at the correct angle (30 degrees for most Merkur's) consistently across every contour of your face. If done correctly the results can be outstanding. But doing it correctly also requires you to slow down, can't rush a shave with a DE razor.

    ...have yet to master it.
     


  3. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    They both give excellent results when used properly. A straight features a steeper learning curve and a LOT more maintenance, though. FWIW, I've been using the straight since 2006 or so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012


  4. CodPiece

    CodPiece Senior member

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    (to Thomas) Have you really? I've wanted to learn straightedge but the learning curve seems daunting. Did you go from DE to straight? Where do the benefits come in?
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012


  5. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I think I used DE for about a month or two, and then jumped to straight. It took a few days for my hand to stop shaking, I think it was a couple of weeks before I started switching hands, and I cut myself every day for the first month. Sharpening it was pretty easy for me, though - I had experience with knives and carpentry tools so I had everything I needed to get a keen edge.

    Benefits: I haven't needed to buy a razor or replacement blades - and can't foresee that need coming up again, ever. After that, there aren't really any tangible benefits. My skin was never bad, I don't have an especially thick or wiry beard, it certainly isn't a time-saver (though I am efficient with it). It was just one of those skills I wanted to master.

    FWIW, I can't take the razors anywhere and certainly can't leave them lying about.
     


  6. CodPiece

    CodPiece Senior member

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    An extremely important insight for anyone with curious kids (moi). Thanks!
     


  7. plei89

    plei89 Senior member

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    Thomas,

    Any recommendations for straight razor brands? I know for DEs, people recommend merkur but I'm thinking of going with a straight razor.
     


  8. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Well, I'm not up-to-date on the market, but what I knew was that as for new makes, among major manufacturers there's Dovo and Thiers-Issard and that's about it. As I've heard, T-I's build quality has gotten much better in the past 3-4 years - or, when they introduced the Silverwing model.

    There are a number of boutique / low-run makers: Bill Ellis, Mastro Livi, Tim Zowada, Heribert Wacker. Opinions vary but they're generally shades of enthusiastic. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.

    As for older/vintage razors - if it's in good condition, it's probably a great shaver. You can get restored razors from Billy's Blades and the associated fora (SRP, et al) or go the ebay route. Brands almost don't matter at that point - some of the best shavers I've gotten are names I'd never before heard of.

    Remember, for a long time straight razors were pretty much the only thing you shaved with, so quality had to be good no matter who made them.
     


  9. clarksdb

    clarksdb Senior member

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    I've been DE shaving for a year now. I use a Muhle R41 (most aggressive razor on the market) and Feather blades (sharpest blades on the market). Great shave. I switch the blade after every shave. Don't care as they are $0.20 each. Provides me with a smooth shave every time. 3 passes: WTG, XTG, ATG.
     


  10. Wooster

    Wooster New Member

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  11. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Assuming a DE means a safety razor then the things last forever. I stole mine from my father almost forty years ago . It's just harder today finding blades.
     


  12. Goldy

    Goldy Well-Known Member

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  13. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    What does that prove? You can go online and find parts for a 63 Studebaker. Doesn't mean it's not harder to find parts today.
     


  14. zatarregaza

    zatarregaza Senior member

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    Unlike Studebaker parts they're not limited as far as production goes (or out of production altogether) and there are lots of different manufacturers out there. Its hard to find them at a brick and mortar store, but can be found rather easily on quite a few online sites.
     


  15. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It depends on how your beard grows, but for me I don't like straight razors because they cut too close. When I get a perfectly smooth shave I get ingrown hairs like a mofo. I use a DE and only shave with and across the grain.
     


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