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Thread: How sharp should my straight razor be?

  1. #1
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    Default How sharp should my straight razor be?

    Hi guys,

    I recently purchased my first proper straight razor (after shaving with a shavette/safety for about two years). I bought a DOVO best quality 6/8 half-hollow from the invisible edge UK. I was told that it would come shave ready and yet it struggled to complete the "hanging hair test". I had my first shave with it straight from the box, it was quite uncomfortable and there was a fair bit of tugging and I ended up bailing out and using my safety razor to finish off.
    With the razor, I also bought a canvas backed leather strop. After some stropping the blade feels a bit sharper and is ok when shaving my cheeks but it is still very uncomfortable shaving my chin and neck area. As this is my first straight razor I am not sure what to expect in terms of sharpness, but it doesn't seem as sharp as the double edge blades in use in my safety razor or shavette.

    Should the blade be sharper than this? Do you think I should try and send it back to get it re-honed? Or perhaps buy some paste for the strop and try that?


  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth nicknbleeding's Avatar
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    It should never pull. Comfortable is what you want. Some like sharp and crisp. A little harsh but i prefer smooth soft edge like butter. They may have honed it but needs to be dialed in or rehoned.

  3. #3
    Striving for a perfect shave. GeauxLSU's Avatar
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    I'm sorry that your first shave was not to par. You were right to stop and finish with another razor.

    A properly honed straight should be literally sharper than a scalpel. It should glide through your beard with no pulling. The sound should be akin to spreading butter on toasted bread.

    I'm not going to blame anyone, but it sounds like maybe your razor wasn't honed to shave ready. When I buy a new razor, I always touch up the edge, unless I know who honed it, and strop before the first shave.

    How's your stropping? Poor stropping can dull an edge very fast. It looks like you didn't strop before the first shave, it that correct?

    I'd contact the vendor and see what they have to say. In my experience, the first shave with a newly honed razor isn't the best. Stropping and use helps it "settle in."

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  5. #4
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Will it do this ???

    What is "The Shave Test" for a Straight Razor - YouTube

    That is a basic shave test if it won't do that then it isn't shave ready ASSUMING you do your part as best as possible..

    There is always the element of user error but following this format eliminates as much as possible, that is the best we can do
    ColonelG likes this.

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    thehattr (01-12-2014)

  • #5
    Senior Member thehattr's Avatar
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    I came across the same issue as well.* I am new to shaving recently got a DOVO 5/8 from Vintage Blades.* I used it and I felt it tug so I ended up finishing with my shavette also.* I know Vintage Blades is a recommended company and they hone and strop the blade before shipping so I am assuming the blade is plenty sharp and shave ready.** I think rather than the blade it may be my technique that needs work and prep since I also got a new soap as well as let my hair grow a bit longer than usual.* With the comment from GeauxLSU of the first shave after a newly honed blade Iím looking forward for this issue to improve, along with technique since my new razor weighs considerably more than my shavette.

  • #6
    Chasing the Edge WadePatton's Avatar
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    I've seen a few other guys who are shavette users complain of tugging with their first SR shave.

    Lynn mentions in his SR a shaving video, that the angles are tighter with the SR than you can get away with, and have been using shavette. That may be part of the issue. Strop carefully and try again with particular attention to blade angles. Maybe even look up Lynn's vid.


  • #7
    Member Crusader's Avatar
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    As you move along it will get better with time. It's taken me about three months for it to feel virtually effortless. I do highly recomend cr-ox though as it made a worlds of difference to my blades. Hang in there and don't get to discouraged. We have all stopped mid shave and finished with another form.

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