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Thread: Need help picking out first razor

  1. #1
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    Default Need help picking out first razor

    Hi guys,

    I've been interested in switched to a straight razor for a while now. About a month ago, my girlfriend bought me a cheap faux straight razor - a Parker with replaceable safety blades - for my birthday so I could give it a try. I've been having a blast using it, and I'm looking to take the plunge and buy a real straight razor; I'd like some advice on what I should buy, where I should be buying from, and what I should be looking for when I buy.
    e.g., I hear Dovo is a quality razor company; should I buy one of theirs (or a better company I don't yet know of), or would I be better off buying a razor from the SRP classifieds section or eBay? I'm looking to spend a hundred dollars (or even better, less) on the razor; is it even possible to find a razor worth getting for that price, or would I need to spend more?; would I get more bang for my buck buying a SRP classifieds razor, or is a new Dovo razor a better idea at that price point? What should I look for in the razor I'm buying so that I know it's high-grade/I'm not being ripped off? I also need information on a strop and whetstone.
    I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction, or link me to a nice guide. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Jack of all, master of none KenWeir's Avatar
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    Definitely check out the classifieds here, you could probably find a great shaver at a good price if you're not too worried about how pretty it is. You will also need to get a strop. That's a requirement between shaves.

    Edit: It's probably best to avoid eBay for now. There are risks involved & you should be able to hone or expect to send off most razors you buy.

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    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    Check out Glen's 'Beginners Tips' on the front page, it's very timely for you . You can most definitely get a nice vintage shave ready razor for under a hundred. A nice 1/2 or even full hollow 5/8 is a good way to go, I think. Your consideration about a strop is whether to get a good one or a cheap one first off. It's possible that too many people talk about nicking strops too much; I've only done it three times. Then again, you don't learn to drive in a Rolls Royce. I have a Norton 4/8 and a Shapton 16k. If funds are tight, just the Shapton would be all you'd need for touching up the edge. Of course, you're going to get a whole bunch of different opinions.

    Carl
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    Thanks for the advice, guys.

    I found Vintage Blades LLC (Straight Razor : Double Edge Razor : Shaving Products Supplies : Merkur Safety Razor : Badger Shaving Brush : Men's Grooming Products : VintageBladesllc.com) which is run by a gentleman by the name of Jim Ayars. Apparently all their blades are professionally honed to shave-ready condition by Lynn Abrams of SRP. Does anyone know anything about this company? Is it a reputable source? Can I trust it to provide me with a quality, shave-ready razor as advertised? If so, I'll most likely buy my first real razor from them, because they seem to have a nice selection at reasonable prices, especially if their blades are professionally honed before sold.

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    Carbon-steel-aholic DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daermonn View Post
    Thanks for the advice, guys.

    I found Vintage Blades LLC (Straight Razor : Double Edge Razor : Shaving Products Supplies : Merkur Safety Razor : Badger Shaving Brush : Men's Grooming Products : VintageBladesllc.com) which is run by a gentleman by the name of Jim Ayars. Apparently all their blades are professionally honed to shave-ready condition by Lynn Abrams of SRP. Does anyone know anything about this company? Is it a reputable source? Can I trust it to provide me with a quality, shave-ready razor as advertised? If so, I'll most likely buy my first real razor from them, because they seem to have a nice selection at reasonable prices, especially if their blades are professionally honed before sold.
    With Lynn doing the honing you will be sure to have a top notch edge While I have not bought anything from this company I have not heard anything bad about them. I scrounge all my blades and rebuild them...
    xplodngKeys likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenWeir View Post
    Definitely check out the classifieds here, you could probably find a great shaver at a good price if you're not too worried about how pretty it is. You will also need to get a strop. That's a requirement between shaves.

    Edit: It's probably best to avoid eBay for now. There are risks involved & you should be able to hone or expect to send off most razors you buy.
    Welcome to SRP, original poster. The above (quoted text) is very sound advice. I would second it.
    You can't go wrong with the classifieds section and will end up getting the razor shave ready. Much better than going to a dealer that isn't going to hone the razor for you first time.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site.

    Like the others have said buy from a reputable dealer who backs up his mdse. Our vendors and classifieds are good places to look.

    The main thing is to buy a quality piece more that a specific size or grind. There is no such thing as a beginners razor though we recommend a middle of the road to begin with meaning 5/8s or 6/8s, round point, hollow grind.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

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    I would also add that you don't look to spend too much when getting a first razor. Aim for something not more than 100 (GBP) which is roughly $160 in US dollars. It's easy to go for the best looking razor straight away, but remember you will want to learn to hone it and that can mean possibly dulling the edge a few times (as I found out!). Hence why I would suggest getting something from the classifieds.

  11. #9
    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xplodngKeys View Post
    If you botch the honing is it just a case of having to do the job twice or are you damaging the razor?
    Keys,

    Boy, now that's one of those questions that was made famous by the statement of "that depends on what the definition of is, is.). Answer, either or. You can damage your razor with improper pressure, stroke, exuberance in the honing, but usually all but the most "botch"ed can be repaired to a state of shaveability. With some experience and a more pragmatic approach to honing, it's a do over, but most probably a do over of setting the bevel which was not set correctly to start with. Honing takes some time and time on the hones to become proficient. Good Shaving and a Great Straight Razor Experience!!

    Regards,

    Howard

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