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Thread: A few questions

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    Default A few questions

    Hi all,

    I'm brand new to this and have'nt even had my first shave yet. Like most things that catch my attention I jumped into this head first without really doing any research on blades, strops, and everything else and consiquintly baught a kit from ebay before I came up for air. The kit included two razors, the brand name starts with a z, has a couple of e's in the middle, and ends with pk. Now that I'm up and breathing I've come to relize these are among the bottom of the barrel and so starts my questions.

    1: Are these razors good enough to practice honing techniques?

    2: If they are good enough to hone, can I shave with them or do you think this would ruin my experiance?

    On to lathering: I have tryed to read and watch everything I could about this and from what I've seen some people use soaps only, some use creams, and some use both, so:

    3: Is this all just personal preferance and I should give them all a try to see what suits me, or are there resons for one versus the others?

    Well that ran a little longer than i thought so I'll just end here for now. Thanks for any help or advice you can share and please forgive my spelling.

  2. #2
    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
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    Hi Patrick and welcome

    Honestly, I've never tried a Zeepk. But pretty much everyone here recommends against them. Poor steel that won't hold an edge, apparently.

    With that in mind there's little use in using them to practice honing with, as you'll never really know if you're doing it right as there's little chance of them taking and holding a proper edge (which is how you judge whether you're doing it right ).

    Because they won't take and hold a proper edge, you should probably avoid shaving with them too. You may end up hurting yourself with them.

    Better to maybe pick up a good quality starter razor from people here, or the various reputable vendors who sell straights. Take a look around the site and you'll quickly find who these are. It's also a good idea to have your first razor honed by an expert - not only will you increase the chance of having a good first shave, but you will also have something to aim towards when you start honing your own.

    As for creams versus soaps, I feel it's a personal preference. I like creams myself, but a lot of people swear by soaps. Half the fun is discovering, so I'd say try them all and see what you like.

    Good luck.

    James.
    <This signature intentionally left blank>

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    The quality of the steel is really the only quality factor involved with a real straight razor. You've sort of bought a stick and asked if the quality of the wood counts. Well, yes it does.

    Soap is better for lubricity (or slickness) but can dry the skin (over the course of the day) and cream is better for all day skin care but can be a little less slick. And I would have to emphasize the words "a little".

    Most people find they like one over the other. I would try both. I'd get a moisturizing after shave too. With soap I would probably want an aftershave balm, with cream I don't, because cream is well . . . . creamy.

    For me its the creamy cream alone, or the soap followed by the creamy balm. Either way it costs about the same per shave. Go figure.

    I get a great shave just rubbing hand soap in my hands and lathering my face like that, no brush. And of course if you get the hand soap with cream in it. Oh, well you get the idea.

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    Newbie Str8 Shaver cwrighta70's Avatar
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    Welcome, Patrick!

    I, too, made the mistake of jumping in head first with a Zeepk kit! They are not worth the time and energy you could be putting into other blades. I have used mine twice, and it already feels like a butter knife. My Geneva provides a MUCH better shave.

    I would recommend finding a cheap vintage blade on eBay or in B/S/T that needs some touchup and practice with that. AND, make sure to get yourself a nice shave-ready from one of the guys on here. It will enhance your shaving experience ten-fold!

    As far as soaps, it seems to be personal preference. I enjoy the cake soaps. So far, I LOVE the William's soap (Cheap stuff from WalMart) and I just tried Coleen's soap from TGQ, which was fantastic.

    I have yet to try creams, but I figure the pucks are working fine for now...why switch?!

    Good luck, and let us know how the first shave goes!

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    Traveling east..... RMC_SS_LDO's Avatar
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    Before you just throw the Z into the trash bin, a couple of things to consider.

    If you pick up a vintage razor from eBay or where-ever that need new scales, you could re-use the scales if you llike the design.

    One challenge some folks face when learning to hone is setting a bevel. While the Z balde will likely not hold an edge worth a flip, you could use it to develop technique by using a Sharpie to mark the edge and track your progress. A look at the edge with a magnifier would also help you tell if you are developing good habits. AGAIN, the quality of the edge would likely not be worth a crap to actually shave with, but the Z may me useful as a training aid for honing techinque (as long as you understand the limitations of the steel in the blade).


    Just food for thought...... and WELCOME!!!


    v/r

    Allen

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    Newbie Str8 Shaver cwrighta70's Avatar
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    Those are some great ideas... I need to get myself some stones and give it a shot.

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    Cheapskate Honer Wildtim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick973 View Post

    1: Are these razors good enough to practice honing techniques?

    2: If they are good enough to hone, can I shave with them or do you think this would ruin my experiance?
    The problem with practicing honing with these is that they will never really take a decent edge. Its king of like batting practice without the ball, you swing and swing but never know whether you got a hit.

    Same with shaving, they just don't get sharp so your shave will never be what it should be even if you developed perfect technique you would never know because the razor just isn't up to the task.

    I would mount these in a shadowbox for your wall that way at least they would look good. Or maybe dull them and use them for letter openers at the office.

    The above also holds for Z----k hones and strops as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick973 View Post
    On to lathering: I have tryed to read and watch everything I could about this and from what I've seen some people use soaps only, some use creams, and some use both, so:

    3: Is this all just personal preferance and I should give them all a try to see what suits me, or are there resons for one versus the others?
    It's all personal preference, so try both. I like some creams but mostly prefer soaps. Alan's advice about them is pretty close though brand matters a lot, I have some really good soaps that are quite moisturizing and one cream that leaves my face really dry.

    I generally call cremes more pillow like they give a softer shave. Soaps have more glide they give me a more slippery surface to shave. At least thats how I describe the difference in feel.

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    Thanks to you all for the info

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