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Thread: input on equipment checklist for a newbie

  1. #1
    Senior Member Havachat45's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Redbank, Queensland, Australia
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    G'Day and welcome to SRP.
    Either of those would make good shavers IMHO as long as they are shave ready.
    I'm not sure what you mean by 'upgrading' the cloth side of the strop - I have linen on a vintage strop and felt on my new one - both work well.
    I wouldn't be too concerned about a barbers hone at this point - send your blades out for honing in the short term.
    As far as brushes and soaps go, you should have enough if you've been DE shaving for a while.
    I hope this helps
    Hang on and enjoy the ride...

  2. #2
    Member Bluerain's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Madison, WI
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    been shaving with a straight for a few weeks now also a former DE shaver so i know how you feel i didn't have to study at all for the DE now with the straight i feel like I'm in college

    don't worry about buying a hone yet my razor is still shave ready, all i use is a leather strop right now, invest in hones later it will be a while before you need one,I'm only buying waterstones and pastes because i plan on restoring some old straights from an antique store,unless you do that also you won't need anything else for at least 3 months(ymmv)no need to put any more dough in the oven if you find out you don't like the bread it bakes

  3. #3
    Natty Boh dave5225's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    All you need to start with is a razor (shave ready) , and a strop . If you find that shaving with a straight razor is not for you , you're only out the cost of a razor , and strop , which you can sell , and get some of your investment back . If you find that you like using a straight razor , I would advise you to get at least one more razor , and a Norton 4/8k hone . These are the basic tools . Learn to use them before you buy anything else .

  4. #4
    Learning something all the time... unit's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Central Missouri
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    I had similar questions to yours recently....

    I started with ONLY a leather strop and contemplated the same choice you now face (webbing, linen, or felt as a second strop). I found that, like many other things, there were plenty of experts claiming one was better than the other...or that they all worked pretty similarly, but individuals will have preferences...yada yada yada.

    I took the plunge and just went with the webbing as the least expensive option...and it seems to work REALLY well for me.

    I also picked up some hones for honing my razors, but no barber's hone. My thoughts were (based on my long history with sharpening knives) that a lot more damage than good can be done on a good edge with an inexperienced user attempting advanced techniques. To me, a hand held hone (many of which are notoriously variable based on source, grade and condition) is not good for beginners.

    Some guys maintain their razors with loaded strops, or balsa strops (also loaded). Personally, I have found that with good stropping technique, I am getting great shaves with no other maintenance other than a bare leather strop and the webbing...though I have only shaved a half dozen times with a single razor (I have several I rotate through). As you have probably figured, I have larger hones for honing my razors...I have choosen to use these larger synthetic (higher grit) hones for maintaining when my razors loose their keenness. It is my opinion that this will be more reliable for me than trying to learn ANOTHER hone that I hold in my hand. Barbers shaved MANY people in a day and needed frequent touch ups...I do I will take advantage of a larger and easier to use (for me).

    Regarding razors...that is a very personal choice. I waffle all over the place...and in general I have not tried one that I dont like yet. One day I like a thick grind, then next I enjoy the sound of a very hollow singing blade...they have some major differences, but I am not inclined to state a preference at this point (though I have before).
    dave5225 likes this.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to unit For This Useful Post:

    PFunkDaddy (08-29-2012)

  6. #5
    Senior Member PFunkDaddy's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Bay Area, NorCal
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    Thanks guys! Exactly the kind of input I was looking for.

    So at this point, it looks like, I'm going to go with the Dovo shave ready and strop (no fabric upgrade) and possibly then another razor off the classifieds.
    No barber's hone at this point.

    I'm excited to get going!! I'll just need to make sure that I calm down before I actually put the blade to skin :-).

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