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  1. #1
    dee
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    Default I need a full kit!

    Hey guys, I'm new here. This is the first forum I joined that doesn't relate to fashion lol. I hope to learn a lot here.

    Anyways, I'm a newbie and know nothing about straight razors. I'm wanting to purchase a full kit that includes everything I need. My spending limit is $400 after shipping costs. Can anyone point me into the right direction?

    TIA.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to SRP.

    There is little to no use in a ballpark recommendation, because shaving with a straight razor involves too many variables. Please refer to Beginner's guide to straight razor shaving - Straight Razor Place Wiki and the links contained therein, then decide what exactly is is that you think you need. After that, sensible recommendations can be given.

    Regards,
    Robin

  3. #3
    Senior Member Vekta's Avatar
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    $400?

    You could get a nice starter set up with that...really nice set up.

    Before you buy a set up. Look at the wiki and make a list of the essentials. Then go shop around for said essentials. Sorta like a customized start up kit.

    I could run a looooong way with $400 for a start up kit.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vekta View Post
    I could run a looooong way with $400 for a start up kit.
    Sooooooo true. As of today, I have 3 razors in my shaving rotation (one of which is a very nice henkels), a very nice 2-sided strop, an antique scuttle, 4 project razors I'm working on (one of which is a Frederick Reynolds frameback with some real potential), a very nice badger hair brush I restored myself; and even if you count the money I spent switching to colleen's shaving soaps, and buying new aftershave, etc, I still haven't spent $400. In fact, I've spent closer to $300.

  5. #5
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    Agreed, $400 is plenty for a start up kit.

    I'd suggest a Fromm strop - a bit over $30 from Amazon with free shipping. Made by the Illinois Strop Co, a decent strop company, and not so expensive you'll cry when you nick it while learning to strop.

    For razors, I'd recommend looking in the classifieds section here, you can get some very nice ones for less than $50 each. The general consensus is to pick a razor you like the look of, but a lot also recommend a hollow ground, round-point 5/8-6/8. See if the seller will give it a touch-up hone for you, so you know it's done properly - that way you don't bugger the edge from honing it wrong, and all you have to do is strop it. Make sure you check out the "do-not-buy" list in the wiki though, so you don't end up with a Zeepk or similar.

    Brushwise, as a new shaver you could get away with either bristle or badger, but it seems most here go with badger, due to it holding heat longer. You could blow $13.50 on a Tweezerman (the cheapest badger option, and good with soaps - an excellent starter's option) or a Vulfix - slightly more expensive, but still less than $50, or go completely nuts and buy a Rooney or Simpson Chubby (more than $100).

    Soap or cream is the next question. Get a selection that you think you'll like the scent of, and experiment to find one that works. Col. Conk, MWF, TGQ, Mama Bear, Proraso, Tabac, Geo. F. Trumper, and Ogalalla Bay Rum all sell well-regarded soaps/creams. Ogallalla, TGQ and Geo. F. all sell very reasonably priced sample sizes, so you can get a few shaves from each puck and work out which one lathers best for you.

    Aftershave is also a matter of personal taste. Geo. F. Trumper's Skin Food AS balm is well regarded, however there's a wide range out there, from alcohol-splashes like Bay Rum or the more common EDTs and colognes, to soothing moisturising balms such as GFT Skin Food or Nivea shave balm. Again, find one that you like the scent of and go from there. Try to find one with some moisturising qualities though, I found my skin definitely felt drier after using a straight.

    Oh, and don't forget a styptic pencil for a couple of bucks to stop the bleeding that will invariably occur. Total outlay can be less than a hundred bucks.

    Welcome to the forums and happy shaving!

  6. #6
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    Hmm fashion forums....
    This makes me think that aesthetics would be rather important, so 400 is the right ballpark.
    You need
    - razor, new or vintage you're looking to spend in the 100-200 range for one in excellent condition. I guess new in that price range would be a dovo - take a look at the straightrazordesigns. I personally like vintage razors a lot better, but they're much harder to find in nice condition. You won't be able to tell the difference in performance until you get pretty good anyways.
    - strop - again vintage strops with already broken in leather are my favorites, but you'll likely want a brand new one - again straightrazordesigns or tony miller make top notch strops, that'll be another $50-100
    - brush - while any brush would work the higher end ones that in my view work better would set you back somewhere around 80-100. i like shavemac, rooney and simpson
    - soap/cream - that's inexpensive -about $10-15 for 3oz and that should last you months to years for hard soaps. i like thegentlemenquarter, but there are plenty of good ones. not all fancy store brands are good take a look what people on these forums like
    - hone/pasted strop to maintain your razor sharp - should not be needed for at least a month, if you use your strop right may need it only once a year or even less often. that's at least $30-ish up to hundreds, you probably want to wait on this until you learn a bit more since it's not immediately necessary.

    So that's the general idea, and the particulars would depend on your preferences. If you don't want to bother with too much research just go to straightrazordesigns and confgure a set to your liking with the options they offer. You can also give them a call and they'll be able to advise you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeBerlin View Post
    Welcome to SRP.

    There is little to no use in a ballpark recommendation, because shaving with a straight razor involves too many variables. Please refer to Beginner's guide to straight razor shaving - Straight Razor Place Wiki and the links contained therein, then decide what exactly is is that you think you need. After that, sensible recommendations can be given.

    Regards,
    Robin
    Hey Robin. Don't take this the wrong way, but a little advice wouldn't have hurt in your first post at least (didn't check the rest of the thread).

    I say that because I tried reading that and not even within the first two or three paragraphs did the author mention what stropping is for the section about stropping--I can kind of infer--it most definitely has something to do with maintenance but geez! Frustrating. There is some good info in the guide overall, but he keeps talking about it, but doesn't say what the basic purpose of it is--in speaking to a beginner--keeps going on and on. Granted, I am not the most patient person and maybe I'm just really eager to learn but find straight shaving a little overwhelming because there are quite a few components to it and variables as you mentioned, confusing words I've never heard of.
    Last edited by DTownDave22; 07-16-2009 at 04:11 PM.

  8. #8
    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
    Hey Robin. Don't take this the wrong way, but a little advice wouldn't have hurt in your first post at least (didn't check the rest of the thread).

    I say that because I tried reading that and not even within the first two or three paragraphs did the author mention what stropping is for the section about stropping--I can kind of infer--it most definitely has something to do with maintenance but geez!
    Congratulations. You chose to make your first SRP post a criticism.

    I checked the Wiki link he provided. It was entitled "Beginner's guide to straight razor shaving." As declared in the article, it was intended to be a brief overview. In the list of required equipment, a strop is included. Below that is a section labeled "Stropping" which includes a link to the main article on stropping, located here. If you read that article you should learn more about stropping.

    If you need something more literal to avoid inference, stropping is dragging a razor along a piece of leather. Honing is dragging a razor along a rock. Shaving is dragging a razor along a face.

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    BeBerlin (07-16-2009)

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