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Thread: Safety Razor versus Straight Razor: Compare and Contrast.

  1. #11
    Make ready the heat. henryconchile's Avatar
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    I shaved with a DE for 7 years before I started with a SR last year. I have the SR shave technique down, but I still use the DE for touchups once in a while.

    Here is my experience:
    * I can get a close shave with a DE (with the right DE blade) or SR.
    * The DE was much easiler to learn than the SR.
    * I got about the same number of cuts/nicks with a DE or SR when I first used them.
    * The DE covers a smaller area in a single shave stroke, due to the blade width, than the SR.
    * I rinse my blades under running water during shaving. The DE requires much more rinsing than the SR because it clogs quickly after a shave stroke. Depending on the blade width, the SR can get you through several shave strokes before having to rinse it once.
    * The SR requires more skin pulling for a close shave.
    * SR requires higher maintenance than the DE, but I quickly got used to it. I always maintain my tools, so integrating the SR into my maintenance routine was easy.
    * With SR shaving, I learned to map out my beard growth pattern, which is important. I never thought about that when using the DE.
    * The SR itself is much more expensive than a DE razor.
    * The SR is more delicate than the DE. If you drop either razor, then you'll understand just how delicate I mean.
    * The SR is more fun/enjoyable for me.
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  3. #12
    Senior Member rmagnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henryconchile View Post
    I shaved with a DE for 7 years before I started with a SR last year. I have the SR shave technique down, but I still use the DE for touchups once in a while.

    Here is my experience:
    * I can get a close shave with a DE (with the right DE blade) or SR.
    * The DE was much easiler to learn than the SR.
    * I got about the same number of cuts/nicks with a DE or SR when I first used them.
    * The DE covers a smaller area in a single shave stroke, due to the blade width, than the SR.
    * I rinse my blades under running water during shaving. The DE requires much more rinsing than the SR because it clogs quickly after a shave stroke. Depending on the blade width, the SR can get you through several shave strokes before having to rinse it once.
    * The SR requires more skin pulling for a close shave.
    * SR requires higher maintenance than the DE, but I quickly got used to it. I always maintain my tools, so integrating the SR into my maintenance routine was easy.
    * With SR shaving, I learned to map out my beard growth pattern, which is important. I never thought about that when using the DE.
    * The SR itself is much more expensive than a DE razor.
    * The SR is more delicate than the DE. If you drop either razor, then you'll understand just how delicate I mean.
    * The SR is more fun/enjoyable for me.
    Really well said more detailed than my first response but I totally agree.

    OP I had the closest best shave ever today. The last couple days I had some mild irratation going on (too many passes chasing the BSS) so I went back and stropped my SR really well. But today I was running late and planed to do a one pass DE shave and get on with my day. Did a really good prep and one pass WTG with my DE. Blade is essentially new. Feeling really good no irritation I did two more passes and some mild special area clean up and my shave was so close I doubt I'll have to shave tomorrow. Really an amazing shave, just one of those days.

    I'll break out the SR on Friday.

  4. #13
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    Well I think much of what I may have said has been covered, but I will add that for those of us that keep a certain amount of facial hair, nothing is as good as a cut-throat for getting into those small areas for culling out the stray whiskers amongst those you want to keep.

    I use both types of razor regularly. Both are enjoyable and both give good shaves.


    Mick

  5. #14
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    I am a couple of months in I guess and I cut myself way less with a straight. I can see the edge. I can adjust the shave angle lower if I need to. For me the straight allows more fine tuning and more details I can control for a better end result. Sort of like a race car driver competing with a stick or an automatic.

    Give an inexperienced person a DE and a straight and he will do better with the DE. Maybe. The same guy, a few months down the road, shaving alternately every other day with DE and straight, will probably do better with the straight. I think.

  6. #15
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TulaneBoy View Post
    I am a couple of months in I guess and I cut myself way less with a straight. I can see the edge. I can adjust the shave angle lower if I need to. For me the straight allows more fine tuning and more details I can control for a better end result. Sort of like a race car driver competing with a stick or an automatic.

    Give an inexperienced person a DE and a straight and he will do better with the DE. Maybe. The same guy, a few months down the road, shaving alternately every other day with DE and straight, will probably do better with the straight. I think.

    I would think he would do equally well with either personally.


    Mick
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  7. #16
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    IMO a straight beats a de in comfort and closeness. (Is there anything else?) The learning curve is more obviously but worth it. The de may seem closer cutting until you know what a shave ready blade is and your angle is correct. The shave with a straight last a lot longer imo.

  8. #17
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    just moved to straights from Des looking forward to finding out !

  9. #18
    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmagnus View Post
    IMO its easier to get a higher quality shave with a DE because you must master the technique with a SR before getting a similar shave. Part of the SR expierence is just that learning the art of sharpening and maintaining an edge and learning how o use it. Personally I'm pretty new to this game but have already expierenced a superior SR shave relative to a DE. I'm still early in the learning curve and consistency isn't there yet.

    No question a SR can cut you faster than a DE. Respect the blade all the time. Just today I relaxed bait wiping water off my blade with tissue when I noticed it sliced through the tissue and went a layer or two into my finger. It didn't bleed and was less than a paper cut but I was lucky. An unplanned event and a wake up call.

    Much of the wet shaving process is the same but learning the art of using a SR is the appeal. IMO once done the SR is a superior shave. If you're up for the challenge try SR shaving and stick with it.

    So far for a newbie I've done pretty well.
    For me, honing was never part of the equation.

    When I get a razor, it either comes shave ready, or I send it out for a honing.

    Then, with proper use of stropping and maintenance, the blade should be good for a year. If your new to SRS, you may go harder on a blade your first go around...that's normal.

    I've gone so far as I have a CroX pasted balsa board (you can paste a strop), which I will use to touch an edge if I feel a bit of tugging or pulling. When the CroX gives up, I use my coticule or a barbers hone to refresh the razor, that will work for several months (approx).

    Now, most will encourage you to have more than one razor, so if you can rotate your blades, just using those steps should keep you in business for quite a awhile, maybe a year before you have to send it out for honing. More razors in your rotation, the longer you can stretch it out, and while you have some to shave with, others can be out.

    Honing, and actually being good at honing, are two different things in my opinion, and I'd rather send my out to let a professional do it, than invest the cash and time to try to learn how to hone. From what I've read here, you'd have to do 5-10 razors a day for a year to get proficient at it.

    That's my take on it, works for me, YMMV...either way, enjoy!

  10. #19
    Stay calm. Carry on. MisterMoo's Avatar
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    Safety razors are for people who want to invest in a great shave and then go to work.

    If friends call you Shotrod Tinkerfinger and your motto is, "If it ain't broke then take it apart and find out why not" you will prefer a straight razor.

    So it is.
    So has it been.
    So shall it forever be.
    Last edited by MisterMoo; 11-12-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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  11. #20
    Senior Member mjsorkin's Avatar
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    I have a handful of de's. Only ever feel the need to use one of them. I get a great shave when I use it.

    Sr's are my passion. So I have to have variety. And it's a total high when I shave with a razor that I've honed to perfection.

    Michael
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