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Straight Razor?

Harry Haller

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I was reading thie Esquire magazine (the UK version) in the subway and there was an article about shaving, razors and all the party that involves shaving. There was a part where they mentioned straight razors. And well, it really made me think about it. To me, straight razors represent masculinity in its highest point, I mean this tool could kill you in case you dont know how to use it, but in the other hand they provide the closest shave.

The thing is, are they worth it? I'm not talking about the money but the time spent learning how to use it, and well all the injuries that you could get trying to use it. Any of you guys use them? Any thoughts?
 

Thomas

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Been using them every day for the last year. Haven't even looked at my old Mach 3.

Of course there's a rather painful learning curve, and a bit of wakefulness required every morning, but the shave is like no other.
 

Reggs

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The general advice for beginners is to use a DE razor for a time until you get down the learning curve for that, then make the transition to straight. The reason for this is that the modern day man has no experience with manually angling a razor blade, so a DE will ease him into a straight with as little bloodletting as possible.
 

Snuggles

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Go for it, if you hate your skin. If you don't hate, then try an electric foil razor.
 

Reggs

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Originally Posted by Snuggles
Go for it, if you hate your skin. If you don't hate, then try an electric foil razor.

 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by Snuggles
Go for it, if you hate your skin. If you don't hate, then try an electric foil razor.

Perfectly applicable to those with Parkinson's or lacking courage.
 

Thomas

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Seriously though, I didn't have much trouble picking it up, and the initial investment need not be that substantial. I had a lot of what I needed for maintenance from my carpentry days, and that was good enough as a basis for honing/maintaining a keen edge.

You can pick up any number of decent razors on ebay - or, even better, on the B/S/T forums at badgerandblade or straightrazorplace.

Daily stropping - I strop on a piece of sample leather - nearly any clean leather will do for daily stropping.

Honing - get another strop and a brick of green chrome oxide. If you have a good bevel to start with, the green chrome oxide strop will last you a while, likely years.

With a straight razor, prep and technique are important. I take a good bit of time to soak my face, and I use a variety of soaps or creams that work very very well. You'll also have to get used to stretching your skin, since there's no comb or bar to pull the skin taut for the blade.

Injuries. Yep. they happen, but they go away quickly enough. Some use alum blocks or styptic pencils, I've heard of superglue for really bad cuts. I use water and light pressure where needed. As long as you keep a good blade angle and never slice, you'll avoid disaster.

If you are curious whether you can learn the straight, consider this: around 100 years ago, the straight was the only option for shaving.
 

Snuggles

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Originally Posted by Thomas
Perfectly applicable to those with Parkinson's or lacking courage.


Yes, and for everyone else with skin, too. I'm not just referring to nicks and cut either. Have you ever looked into what scraping a blade across the skin every day of your life does, cumulatively?
 

javyn

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Electric razors are horrible. As usual, bad advice from Snuggle.

I'd go for a double edge razor. Straights require way too much upkeep for me. You still get an incredibly close shave with a DE and it's still more masculine than a Mach 3 or god forbid, using something to remove hair that women use for clitoral stimulation.
 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by Snuggles
Yes, and for everyone else with skin, too. I'm not just referring to nicks and cut either. Have you ever looked into what scraping a blade across the skin every day of your life does, cumulatively?

Answer #1: No and I really don't care. I don't shave on Sunday so your alarmist attitude doesn't apply to me.

Answer #2: I use a good soap or cream, so I'm not dragging bare blade across face. I got's protection.

Answer #3: And it doesn't matter anyway. Scrape the dead cells off! Some exfoliate, I just shave.

Answer#4: The straight razor has been used for over a century, and existed in more primitive forms for even longer. You can get a straight shave in most places of the world, where Norelco and Remington and Braun are strange names indeed. Some use the most primitive equipment and still get a keen edge and a close, smooth shave. It is the ultimate in self-reliance, simplicity, and skill.
 

Snuggles

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Originally Posted by Thomas
Answer #1: No and I really don't care. I don't shave on Sunday so your alarmist attitude doesn't apply to me.
Answer #2: I use a good soap or cream, so I'm not dragging bare blade across face. I got's protection.
Answer #3: And it doesn't matter anyway. Scrape the dead cells off! Some exfoliate, I just shave.
Answer#4: The straight razor has been used for over a century, and existed in more primitive forms for even longer. You can get a straight shave in most places of the world, where Norelco and Remington and Braun are strange names indeed. Some use the most primitive equipment and still get a keen edge and a close, smooth shave. It is the ultimate in self-reliance, simplicity, and skill.


Correction 1: You don't care, yet you not only answer my post, but then proceed with ten more sentences. Do you regularly make a habit of devoting Time, your most precious resource, to topics of which you are utterly complacent? NB: hypocrisy and waste are not virtues.

Correction 2: Indeed, medieval knights had it all wrong, apparently. They ought to have just stripped nude and lubed up with soap before battle.

Correction 3: Another contradiction: how can you be 'exfoliating' with your razor if it 'doesn't touch the skin'?

Correction 4: Do you think it is beneficial to use every grooming item with a heritage of a century or more? If so, I will prepare a list for you.
 

MCsommerreid

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Straight razor every weekend, and a DE every morning. Never once sliced off an year or severed a vein.

I'm about half way to a 7 day set. 3 more razors, and 5 more re-scales left; damned purple heart is a pain to form without proper power tools.
 

LabelKing

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I have a set of very nice straight razors, including a Puma, a Garant and some assorted English ones. They came with a nice locking leather case lined in velvet.
 

Eason

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bye, snuggles
 

Action Jackson

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How's a straight blade when it comes to shaving against the grain and causing razor burn? I have really sensitive skin but I won't shave unless I can go against the grain to get maximum closeness, which means I can only shave every 2 days. I would totally be willing to learn if it meant I could get a closer shave and shave more frequently without getting razor burn.
 

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