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Old 09-08-2008, 02:11 PM   #1
Donasay
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Default Anyone Here Use a Straight Razor

So I just got my hands on a fully re-conditioned vintage 1950's straight razor, 5/8", Ivory handles, beveled edge, honed and stropped, shave ready. I am a little apprehensive about taking this thing to my face, and decided that I should really strop it myself just to be sure before I put it to my face. So I ordered a strop off of the internet and it should be here before the end of the week.

Does anyone here use a straight razor? Any advice for someone who has never used one before? I have been doing a lot of reading on the internet and watching youtube videos about how to properly use a straight razor, so I think I should have it down, but if anyone has first had advice to give me, please offer it up.

The straight razor thing is a continuation of me getting a badger brush to make shaving cream thing I started a few months ago. If I keep going, down this road shaving is going to take me 30 minutes instead of 5.

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Old 09-08-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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the only place that i have ever had a strait razor is at a barbor shop

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Old 09-08-2008, 02:16 PM   #3
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In the UK they are called cut throat razors. I think there may be a reason for that.

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Old 09-08-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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So Any advice for someone who has never used one before?
Make sure SWMBO is there to call 911 for you!

I feel your passion here. I have been taking great strides in my life to step back and do things the old way a little bit. There is no reason not to keep that tradition alive...if you don't kill yourself trying.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #5
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I've been interested in this for a while. still haven't got one yet because of the cost though. there are a lot of good resources on the internet for how-to guides. Definately not something I would want to do everyday, but it's supposed to be pretty awesome. You said you already got the strop, did you also get the brush and soap? They sell cheap shaving soap at walmart.

Edit: here's a good starter link= www.en.nassrasur.com/razorcentral/index.html

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Old 09-08-2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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I've done it a couple of times. It does take time. You definitely need to be up on your sharpening skills. It makes all of the difference in the world. You will probably get a few nicks. However I'd have to say, they've been about the nicests shaves I've ever had. Smoooooth. I'm not totally convinced though that it was the razor. The recomended technique first calls for a soak of the face with a Hot wet towel - as hot as you can stand. Let it sit for at least a minute. I'm suspicious that this is really the key and that if one did this and used their regular razor it would make a big difference.

I was pretty dissapoined with the shaving soaps as most of the ones I tried didn't foam very well.

I'll have to do it again one of these days - when I have the time.

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Old 09-08-2008, 04:12 PM   #7
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Well I don't have the strop yet, the guy who sold me the razor said it was shave ready, honed and stropped, but I figured it would be best for me to get a strop and give it a couple of runs myself before using it.

I do already have the badger brush and the soap, there is a place called "The art of Shaving" and they sell some fairly good dye and fragrance free shaving soap. It works well when I use it with my mach 3, but it is not leaps and bounds above the gel or foam. The benefit is that supposedly the shaving cream you make is warmer than the cream or foam from a can, helping to keep the poors open. The one neat thing about it is that you can make the foam as thick or thin as you would like by adding more water to the brush.

I have read a lot of the online resources and theoretically have it down, but I am still a little apprehensive as the only way I will really learn is by doing it, and well one wrong move and you get a nice scar to remind you how not to do it...

Anyway I'll keep you updated as to the progress once I get the strop.

And the barbershop straight razor shave is amazing, I get a shave every time I get a haircut and well I do have to say, it is the closest shave pretty much every time I get one. A 5 blade razor has nothing on a 70 year old man adeptly wielding a straight razor.

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Old 09-08-2008, 04:18 PM   #8
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I've never used a straight razor, but I would imagine that my shaving rule of thumb (learnt it from Miller's Crossing, that Coen bros flick, actually) is to fill the sink with cold water, like, ice water if you can. Soak your face in hot water, of course, but make sure the razor is ice cold every time you bring it to your face. The reasoning here is that metal contracts and expands with temp fluctuations, so the colder the blade is, the sharper the edge will be. I find that even with modern razors it makes a difference, and since Miller's Crossing was set in a time before modern razors, I'd imagine it matters even more for straight razors.

FYI.

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Old 09-08-2008, 04:51 PM   #9
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Jeeze, I saw a guy slashing another guy to death with a straight razor at a party once. Then I went and ripped off a 3' section of a brick wall and was going to slam it over his head. Then reality hit me and I put it down.

I think straight razors are pretty wild but that kinda makes me nervous to shave with one. They are so sharp you can hear it. . Can you still buy them? I wanted one for dispatching fowl.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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Jeeze, I saw a guy slashing another guy to death with a straight razor at a party once.

WTF?! Remind me never to go to a party with you... no offense!
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