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Thread: New to Straight razors

  1. #11
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Welcome. It is difficult to simply switch to a straight style razor. There is a learning curve. I'm not familiar with the shavette you mentioned. I like the Parker shavette. A traditional straight is easier to use but much harder to keep sharp. Once you know what your doing, it's really easy.

    Honestly, if your looking to switch and price is genuinely an issue, I would be more inclined to suggest you start with a Double Edge razor, a decent brush, and some tradition cream or soaps. There is a learning curve ,but it is much easier. Over time you'll stumble across a decent straight, and a decent strop. Be patient and the cost will be buffered over time. You'll not notice it as much.

    Even if you were to start with a straight I'd suggest you, literally, spend the next two months studying the forum and wiki, before attempting to shave, or buy anything. Also, find someone near you that you can get some information and training from, if at all possible.

    Straight shaving is a little like learning to sail. Go buy a sailboat and try and sail around the world without lots and lots of study. It'll suck. And you can't cut your face on a sailboat.
    DamnStraight likes this.

  2. #12
    Sinner Saved by Grace Datsots's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Your concern about the sanitation of a used razor in not unfounded. However there are alternatives to autoclave sterilization, such as hospital grade disinfectant. Barbicide is a popular one, but there are alternatives.

    Barbicide is a United States Environmental Protection Agency-approved hospital disinfectant. It is a germicide, pseudomonacide, fungicide, and viricide. In addition, it kills the HIV-1 virus (AIDS virus), Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

    If you want to stick with the autoclave method, buy a shave ready vintage and have the penned pin replaced with a screw type pin. The scales, which would be damaged by an autoclave, can then be removed for the autoclave and replaced after. Having the pin replaced will likely cost but if it allows you to have peace of mind it will be well worth the cost.

    Last edited by Datsots; 03-31-2014 at 05:43 PM. Reason: pesky grammar
    SHHHH!!!! It's "respect for the age of the blade", NOT laziness! - JimR

  3. #13
    Senior Member blabbermouth eddy79's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    Hi and welcome. I would advise against buying from eBay unless you know what you are looking for as it is easy to get a poor quality blade or one in poor condition or with issues that will affect performance. Whipped dog might be a good place for you to start cheaply and you can upgrade as your skill and wallet allow. The advice to read for a while before making purchases od a good idea and after a few weeks you will have a lot better idea of what and where to buy. Good luck and any questions feel free to ask.
    My wife calls me......... Can you just use Ed

  4. #14
    'tis but a scratch! roughkype's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Durango, Colorado
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    Welcome to SRP! I agree with the posts that say to skip the Shavette; they are a bit dicier than real straights. The edges are crazy crazy crazy sharp, and to shave you only need crazy sharp. There are good blades for ~$100--Dovo Best, Ralf Aust, and don't be afraid of used razors, as long as you buy one from someone who actually understands "Shave-ready." Whipped Dog is a good vendor--or see if anything strikes you in our Classifieds. Some of the best blades ever made are also among the most affordable--if you can find an old Genco without too much hone wear, you'll be off to a great start. They're affordable because Genco made a zillion of them. Barbacide will kill anything. Also consider that you can polish the blade, and that will remove everything from its surface. If you insist on autoclaving, either get one that's all-stainless or follow the advice about removing the scales first.

    Best wishes and happy shaving!
    "These aren't the droids you're looking for." "These aren't the droids we're looking for." "He can go about his business." "You can go about your business."

  5. #15
    Member DamnStraight's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    Welcome to SRP!

    Although I didn't have the concerns with the initial costs, I never realized that a cheap Dovo (was my first) would start at $100 + s/h. But I dove in with both feet and had it honed professionally (another $20) by an SRP member.

    I got a inexpensive brush/soap/stand kit off Amazon for $22. Not the greatest but it worked while I saved for a better brush.

    The point I want to get to however, is I wanted to learn to hone my own razors. I bought two Gold Dollar SRs off ebay. I figured for $12, even if I screwed them up, oh well.

    Well, I honed them, and now use them regularly. They work well and are a little heavier than my other two form Germany (carbon steel). I love them all. Folks even commented how I might end up enjoying my GD more than the more expensive ones (probably due to the fact I honed them myself). I can't speak to the longevity of the Gold Dollars either (yet). I do have a 12,000 grit stone for touching them up when it comes to that (I've only been at this for about 2 months) but most folks have a fine stone even for their higher end razors as stropping will only keep an edge for so long depending on certain factors.

    Perhaps, just to get one in your hands this might be the route you take. Heck, I'd sell you one of mine cheap-o's but I'm not a vendor on SRP.

    Try that route. Contact one of the Vendors and see if they'll hone a stainless steel Gold Dollar SR for you.

    Your total investment would be around $26-$28 but for that amount, as suggested, you could go with a nice DE razor for a while perhaps.

    I wish you all the luck. And must warn, once smitten, it's all down hill. But it's a fun ride brother.
    Last edited by DamnStraight; 04-01-2014 at 07:20 AM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordiem View Post
    Thank you all for your advice,
    I was talking with the wife about all of it and she is all for it providing we can find one at least initially that isnt overly expensive. I was in health care, in the setrilization field which is what leads me to not want to use a second hand razor but thinking about it further if it really is that important i can take it to my old friends at the hospital and have them autoclave it for me. With what I learned while there there are just some nasty bugs out there that freak me out. Anyhow, The wife was all for going to several local antique store/ malls to see if we could find one there before we go to ebay. While looking on ebay I found some really great deals but I can't seem to find the posting again on here that lists the brands to shy away from when buying a SR can anyone please link that if you happen to know where it is.
    I'd go with a used/antique razor from SRP or Larry at Whippeddog, then you're sure that your first razor will be a decent shaver and honed to shave ready. I'd also be a bit wary of the autoclave route as you may end up with damaged/twisted scales. I use barbicide as others have mentioned and I've shaved with about 50 different razors all pre used with no ill effects. Take a look at the Barbicide information details it seems to kill most things and is recommended for hospital use

  7. #17
    Have Married My Coticule
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    Dec 2013
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    Whipped Dog all the way!

    Shavettes are different - they're lighter and in my experience, far less forgiving to errors. They will be cheaper unless you buy a super fancy one. They require less maintenance - swapping blades over is the extent of it. You won't get the same bad-ass feel with them however and if your experience is anything like mine you'll quickly want to try a proper straight. Cost wise you are better off with a shavette but take a look at whipped dog - you can get set up for far less than you might imagine.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Walterbowens's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
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    Hi, and welcome to SRP !!

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