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Thread: Cut/Nick Percentage - Straight VS Shavette VS DE

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    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Default Cut/Nick Percentage - Straight VS Shavette VS DE

    Aloha!

    About three or so years ago I got a Feather Pro-Guard razor, because a Shavette was too high of a percentage of cuts and nicks for me. No matter what I did, I seemed to nick myself just about every other shaving day with a Shavette.

    The Feather Pro-Guard did not eliminate nicks nor cuts, but it did bring them down to the level of straight razors, that to me, have always been more forgiving than a shavette.

    I got to thinking about the percentage of nicks and cuts to shaves with each of the three types of razors I have. I decided about two years ago to start keeping track. The percentages shake out like this. This is my percentage potential of being cut or nicked;

    Shavette: 2 out of 3 times - 66%
    Straight or Feather Pro-Guard: 1 out of 6 times - 17%
    DE: 1 out of 30 times - 3%


    Obviously, a standard shavette for me is a high percentage of nick/cut ratio. And that's accurate from my recording of shave nicks and cuts over a two year period. It's interesting that a straight and a feather pro-guard are the same. It's also interesting to me that I tend to nick and cut myself when I think I'm being careful, with good shaving preperation. It should also be noted that a very large percentage of the above is NICKS and NOT CUTS. I only cut myself once or twice a year, and only with a shavette or straight, although the shavette is usually the culprit for cuts.
    "I get some lather and lather-up, then I get my razor and shave! Zip Zop, see that? My face Is ripped to shreads!"

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    STF
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    Senior Member blabbermouth STF's Avatar
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    I don't keep track of my bloodletting but, I have never cut myself with a DE although the first time with my open comb I got really carried away because it was so easy and as soon as that Alum block touched my face after I almost screamed.

    I haven't cut myself with a straight for, well a long time and I have only used a shavette once - it was a real cheapie from Amazon and I did not like it at all, that did make me bleed.
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    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STF View Post
    I don't keep track of my bloodletting but, I have never cut myself with a DE although the first time with my open comb I got really carried away because it was so easy and as soon as that Alum block touched my face after I almost screamed.

    I haven't cut myself with a straight for, well a long time and I have only used a shavette once - it was a real cheapie from Amazon and I did not like it at all, that did make me bleed.
    Thanks, Steve.

    I only "cut" myself once in the last 3 years or so with a straight. It was my small blade Yankee wedge. I'm not sure what happened, but I got myself good. As I posted, I seldom cut myself, it's mostly nicks that I recorded. And I seem to nick as per my percentages above. Even a DE nicks me on rare occasion, usually on my neck against the grain. i do my neck against grain pass last, so I probably am getting somewhat careless at that point. Still, it's a small percentage of nicks with a DE.

    For my DE, I typically use my Merkur Sledgehammer slant bar with a Lord blade. But I also have a standard Merkur 34c with Feather blade. As long as I take it easy, the chance of nicks is very low. The secret of Feather blades in a DE for me is to use a razor with mild blade reveal, like the Merkur 34c, and to focus on letting the razor do the work.

    A small blade straight is not my personal preference. That Yankee Wedge has cut me and nicked me more times than any of my other straights. I simply have a harder time with a small blade than with a large blade. I have never cut nor nicked myself with my Wade and Butcher FBU, my largest blade razor. At least not YET.

    Shavettes (other than Feather Pro Guard) are not for me. I tried for over 10 years to master a shavette. I have tried dozens of blades run through my shavette razors. No matter. Nicks and cuts will follow. I went to a barber about 3 or 4 years ago that "Shaved" his clients. He used a shavette with a Voskhod blade and razor burned me with two nicks. It was actually one of the worst shaves of my life. Needless to say, I have given up on shavettes. Other than the Feather Pro-Guard.
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    "I get some lather and lather-up, then I get my razor and shave! Zip Zop, see that? My face Is ripped to shreads!"

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    Home of the Mysterious Symbol CrescentCityRazors's Avatar
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    I can't even remember when I have cut myself with either one, TBH. I use a cheap shavette now and then. Yeah first few times with that sort of razor was a bloodbath but excruciating torture is a fine teacher. A shavette, high or low quality, is less rigid than a straight razor, generally. Some types are more solid than others. Some of the cheaper ones are accidents waiting to happen, especially if you don't take great care that the blade is held solidly. The slide-in types IME are the worst offenders and I no longer even have one. The Parker style swing back type are much better, generally, though with low budget manufacturing and low quality control it is no guarantee. The Feather AC type of blade clamping system can be quite good, even in a fairly cheap knockoff though the real thing is of course better. Currently my favorite is a cheap knockoff that uses half DE blades, and my DE blade is the Feather Hi Stainless. They are good and sharp, and that's a fact.

    Sharper of course means less forgiving of mistakes or lapses in attention. Most straight razor edges are less sharp than most disposable blades used in shavettes, and so they do not punish as quickly or as mercilessly. Apple, meet Orange. You have to be on top of your honing game to reach DE or AC level sharpness. So the shavette will be sharper. The blade will flex more, sometimes a lot more. Blade exposure can change as the blade shifts around in its holder.

    For fewest cuts with a shavette, especially while learning, be sure you are using better equipment. The $3 Chinese job you saw on fleabay that comes with 100 no-name blades (toss the blades, worse than garbage) will punish even when you don't see what it was that you could have done wrong. A step up the quality ladder and things get more reasonable. You still have to do your part, though.

    First, and some will disagree and claim the opposite, an extremely low shave angle will cut you less and the edge of the blade will last longer. I practically drag the "spine" of a shavette on my face. Second, stretch the skin firmly. Very firmly. Loose flappy skin invites cuts, and drum tight skin resists them. If you pay close attention to those two most important aspects, you will eliminate 90% of your shavette cuts. Of course you know to use light pressure.

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    STF
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    Light Pressure, nope never heard of that
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    You never realize what you have until it's gone -- Toilet paper is a good example

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    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    Couldn't say. I've been with straights, since I was 17. And that was to rid myself of the harshness of cartridge and DE's.

    I own a few DE's. I've gotten along with them, when in a pinch. Like the incident I had last year, where I almost lost the end of my thumb, in a starter/flywheel fight. I lost.!

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    Haven't cut myself with a straight in long time. Bumps.!....zip, their gone. That happens on occasion.
    Mike

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    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outback View Post
    Couldn't say. I've been with straights, since I was 17. And that was to rid myself of the harshness of cartridge and DE's.

    I own a few DE's. I've gotten along with them, when in a pinch. Like the incident I had last year, where I almost lost the end of my thumb, in a starter/flywheel fight. I lost.!

    Name:  Effect_20210618_122608.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  21.8 KB

    Haven't cut myself with a straight in long time. Bumps.!....zip, their gone. That happens on occasion.
    OUCH! That thumb looks gruesome.
    "I get some lather and lather-up, then I get my razor and shave! Zip Zop, see that? My face Is ripped to shreads!"

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Of course there are many variables. The blades you use and the aggressiveness of the razor and your skill level.

    The first time I used my R 41 I just started to shave with wild abandon. I sliced my face up good. it was worse than with any straight I've used.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

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    Senior Member Firebox's Avatar
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    If you are bleeding, its time to reexamine techniques. I've cut my fingers a time or two being careless. I haven't had a facial knick in the last ten or so years with a straight. I almost exclusively use Sheffield steel which seems a little more forgiving than German grinds. All of my Sheffields are pre 1900. In full disclosure, I prefer Sheffield steel. German blades are excellent shavers, but it is about preference.Sharp blades are critical. Semi-sharp blades result in increased pressure and results in more nicks. Good prep, a good soap, and a sharp blade results in good shaves. IMHO.

    As far as a DE, I only use them when I travel. A Merkur Slant with Feather blades is a bit aggressive, but again prep, prep, prep! I don't remember a nick with this setup. Light touch and proper prep makes for a nice clean bloodless shave.

    Shavettes? why bother?
    Last edited by Firebox; 06-27-2022 at 02:17 AM.

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    Home of the Mysterious Symbol CrescentCityRazors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outback View Post
    Couldn't say. I've been with straights, since I was 17. And that was to rid myself of the harshness of cartridge and DE's.

    I own a few DE's. I've gotten along with them, when in a pinch. Like the incident I had last year, where I almost lost the end of my thumb, in a starter/flywheel fight. I lost.!

    Name:  Effect_20210618_122608.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  21.8 KB

    Haven't cut myself with a straight in long time. Bumps.!....zip, their gone. That happens on occasion.
    That's one serious owie! I bet that smarted! I think they call hurting, "smarting" because it definitely makes you smarter! If I injured myself that badly shaving I would probably just grow a beard. As it is, suddenly I don't really feel like changing my engine oil today.

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