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Thread: Starter kit

  1. #1
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    Default Starter kit

    My name is Seth, and I am looking to get into the straight razor game. I have wanted to make a purchase for probably about two years, but I just haven't yet. I've done some research and checked out some sites, and I think I am ready to start.

    SRD is sold out of a lot of its sets right now, and I am contemplating alternatives. I am looking to spend no more than around $350 for everything that is needed to start. I live near an Art of Shaving store, and I am curious how they compare.

    Any tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    EdG
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    The SRD sets are not cheapened in any way. You get what you need, and can upgrade products for a decent price.

    $350 can go far for you. The Aust is a great razor, and it will come shave ready from there as well. Other vendors through this site offer packages too. The SRD package is nice because it gives you absolutely everything you need....soap, strop, mug, etc. Only other thing not included in the set is an aftershave splash, lotion, or balm. So I would suggest adding one.

    Getting a 3 inch strop instead of two will also make learning to strop easier. The modular paddle listed above is also a great option.

    AoS products are high quality, but you can get similar (and in some cases better) quality stuff for cheaper. I buy their stuff when I have the cash. But DO NOT buy a razor from there. The fact that they say AoS on them really adds to the price, and they are not shave ready. So if you want, buy a razor and strop from one of the affiliated vendors here, and grab one of their kits (mid size is 60 and will get you going). But IMHO the kit from SRD is the best way to get everything you need at high quality and good price.

    Good luck!
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  3. #3
    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    Swoodley,

    I don't think you'll find any inferior/mediocre items in the SRD inventory, or probably any of the contributing vendors at SRP. You will find that packages start at a low price and you can upgrade most of the items in the package. It is true that sales benefit the vendor, they wouldn't be in business very long if they sold everything at a loss.

    I'm confident with the package listed, I own each one of the items, except I went with the premium I, 3" strop. I like a light draw. You can look individually at each of the package items in the regular inventory and decide if you want to buy individually, or the package. I started with the package deal and still have all.

    I'm confident with Straight Razor Designs products, impeccable reputation and quality of merchandise and service.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Howard

  4. #4
    Senior Member crouton976's Avatar
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    In my opinion, for a beginner set of shaving gear you want something that is of good enough quality to see if straight razor shaving is going to work for you without spending a ton of cash. Ideally, what you buy will be of enough quality that it could be your last purchase ever and you'd be okay with that, but you also know going in that you will probably upgrade down the road.

    My suggestion for a honed and shave ready razor would be to get any one of the razors offered by SRD or a razor from the classifieds here. Some other vendors of note would be classicedge.ca (Phil hones all the razors before they go out) or vintagebladesllc.com (Lynn does the honing on razors for this one as well as SRD).

    For a strop, I would suggest any of the strops offered by SRD as good quality, however, in the name of budgetary concerns, you may want to take a look at Star Shaving's strops. They seem to have good quality (I'm actually about to order one myself to test them) and the prices aren't sky high. Be aware that you will most likely nick and gouge and cut your 1st strop to pieces while learning the proper technique. Getting decent quality is important, but for this reason I suggest a lower priced strop of decent quality. Another place to look is on Amazon for one of the Illinois strops.

    For a brush, soap, etc. I started with the Van Der Hagen luxury set. You can pick this up at Walgreen's or Target if you're in the US, or on Amazon if not (here's a link). This one is a LOT better quality than the standard Van Der Hagen set. The brush is of decent quality (for me anyway), though a bit on the floppy side. Lots of folks like the soap with this one and lots hate it. I personally use it at least weekly and it does fine. For a good shave cream, I'd suggest Proraso (or C.O. Bigelow, as it's re-branded in the US- available at Bath and Body Works).This part is subjective, as only your face will tell you what works and what doesn't. The same goes for after shaves, balms, alum blocks, witch hazel etc.

    All in all, if you went with the above suggestions, your breakdown would be similar to this:

    Ralf Aust 5/8" Round Razor from SRD- $99.99
    Big Daddy Black Latigo Strop from Star Shaving- $39.88
    Van Der Hagen Luxury Set- $27.52
    C.O. Bigelow SHave Cream from Bath & Body Works- $10.00
    Nivea Post Shave Balm, Sensitive- $6.00
    Alum Block- $5.00

    Total, excluding shipping- $188.39

    That set up gives you a quality razor, strop, brush, mug, soap, cream and post shave treatments for under $200 (before shipping). That leaves you $150.00 to buy more soaps and post shave products to experiment with.

    For that matter, you could buy a 2nd razor, which is advisable to have so you can send the other out for honing and still shave, and you'd still have $50.00 left to buy soaps, creams, post shave stuff, etc.

    Again, this is just my opinion and suggestion. Trust me, you'll want to upgrade down the line, but the above items would get you by just fine if they were the last you ever bought.

    Good luck and happy shaving!
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    "Willpower and Dedication are good words," Roland remarked, "There's a bad one, though, that means the same thing. That one is Obsession." -Roland Deschain of Gilead

  5. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth Haroldg48's Avatar
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    Let's all face it...this is addictive! I had a SR 30 years ago, but because there were no web sites like SRP, I messed it up stropping, AND didn't realize that I could shave with a SR on weekends and use something else Mon-Fri when I had to rush and leave the house by 6 am.

    Now I have time, and I'd suggest: 1) You browse this site and get familiar with all the gear and technique you need to become familiar with;
    2) buy some quality products: a "shave ready" razor ($125); a brush (doesn't need to break the bank...$30?); soap and strop )I'd recommend you start with a SRD 3" PREMIUM PADDLE STROP...$50. Paddle strops are easier to perfect your technique on IMHO.
    3) Enjoy the experience...it is a trip, and not a day trip!


    This all is just my opinion, but I'm into this 3 weeks and enjoying my shaves
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  6. #6
    Senior Member crouton976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haroldg48 View Post
    3) Enjoy the experience...it is a trip, and not a day trip!
    This is the most important suggestion yet.
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    "Willpower and Dedication are good words," Roland remarked, "There's a bad one, though, that means the same thing. That one is Obsession." -Roland Deschain of Gilead

  7. #7
    Senior Member RVShave's Avatar
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    There are good suggestions, Lynn suggests a 6/8 for first razor cause it's right in the middle. I'm finding I prefer a 6/8, but that comes to personal preference. Not all starter kits are equal, I got mine from different site before I found SRP & SRD, could have gotten a lot better quality items for only a little more,but still less than $200. There are a lot of nice old razors on the classifieds and SRD has nice sets but I like my Star shaving 3" strop a lot and it only cost $37 and the fine badger brush I got from them is really nice for only $21 so there are some decent options out there for those on a budget. JMO
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swoodley View Post
    My name is Seth, and I am looking to get into the straight razor game. I have wanted to make a purchase for probably about two years, but I just haven't yet. I've done some research and checked out some sites, and I think I am ready to start.

    SRD is sold out of a lot of its sets right now, and I am contemplating alternatives. I am looking to spend no more than around $350 for everything that is needed to start. I live near an Art of Shaving store, and I am curious how they compare.

    Any tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
    I haven't bought yet, but I would buy I am leaning toward SRD becouse of this atrical http://straightrazorpalace.com/srpwiki/index.php/Purchasing_straight_razors#.C2.A0The.C2.A0shave_re ady_razor..C2.A0 basicly it says that a shave ready razor still needs to be honed, and SRD hones it before they ship.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member RVShave's Avatar
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    If I had it to do over my first new razor would have been with SRD, but didn't find them till after I bought a supposedly shave ready razor, so my only new razor still isn't shave ready. I've been told that the Honemeister Lynn hones all SRD razors so that would be a good place to start.

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