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

  1. #21
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    I own razors of all types. Electric, cartridge (BIC semi-disposable hybrid is my pick) DE, straights. This wasn't about jumping from type to type seeking the best shave. I use them all.

    I use them all because All of them have some utility. All of them can do at least one thing none of the others can. Electrics can shape/trim a beard anywhere/anytime, or shear a weeks growth off in a flash with no irritation or prep cutting it down to the equivalent of a day's growth, at which point shaving with a blade will by safer and more comfortable. A cartridge razor can be used to safely and easily shave blind spots in the shower with almost no prep of fuss; if I need to shave the back of my shoulders for example. A DE razor can give a very good, very safe shave with minimal prep/investment of time and money. It's easy to handle in a rush and it's a durable tool in contrast to an open razor; drops, dings, etc won't entail costly or lengthy repairs. You don't need to spend as much time prepping your face, the lather doesn't need to be as rich, etc. Yes for best results you might prep/lather like a perfectionist regardless, but you have the option to skip it.

    A straight will give the best shave, few would say otherwise, but it also takes the most investment in time, money, finesse, prep, lather, equipment, learning and post-shave care. Moreover a straight razor has a high quality threshold: a dirt-cheap DE razor using a nice blade will still give a good, fairly safe shave in contrast to a re-plated vintage fatboy. A cheap, hybrid cartridge razor will give a more or less comparable shave to the fanciest cartridge razor you can buy. No matter how cheap a DE or cartridge razor is still a razor. Not a 'razor shaped object.'

  2. #22
    (John Ayers in SRP Facebook Group) CaliforniaCajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
    How does a safety razor compare to a straight razor in...

    Quality of shave

    Likelyhood of cutting oneself

    Other

    Discuss
    A safety razor (using either a double edge or single edge blade) delivers an outstanding shave. I got into traditional wetshaving because I just couldn't achieve closeness and comfort with the typical multiblade razor or electric razor that is commonly sold in stores. I was more than satisfied with the SE and DE razor. It solved a 40-year problem.

    I wanted to learn the straight because I have always been fascinated by them as depicted in movies and in a barber shave I witnessed a friend of mine receive many years ago. That's the ultimate shaving experience for me.

    The straight is clearly more dangerous because blade is not resting on a bar that helps protect your face. It's completely up to you to set the angle and guide the blade along your face.

    My advice is to use whatever works and appeals to the individual. No one is a "real man" based on the razor used.
    MickR, BobH and WadePatton like this.

    Straight razor shaver and loving it!
    40-year survivor of electric and multiblade razors

  3. #23
    No that's not me in the picture RoyalCake's Avatar
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    Aside from a few days off for removing a chip from my first razor, I have shaved with a straight every single day since May. The day before yesterday I tried a DE for the first time. A Gillette slim with a feather blade. I was immediately impressed with the ease of use and quality of shave. With that, my observations are (keep in mind I'd obviously get better with more DE use):
    The biggest con I can see to the DE is not having the feedback I get with a straight. By the time I knew I was having an issue on my neck it was too late. With a straight I know right away if it's not going to go well. Pro: it's a good shave for the effort. I'll definitely be taking a DE for upcoming travel I have.
    So long story short, I like the DE, can see using it more in the future, but just love the straights too much However, I know for sure that I'll be recommending a DE to everyone I know that uses cartridges but don't want to switch to straights. I mean why not?!
    I love living in the past...

  4. #24
    Senior Member Wayne1963's Avatar
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    I use both, and can get bbs with both albeit with a little irritation from the DE, none from the straight. The best part about the straight shave is, for a few minutes a day, I am Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin and Randolf Scott all rolled into one! I always wanted to straight shave ever since I saw Steve Mcqueen do it.

  5. #25
    Junior Member Gissy's Avatar
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    I use my DE's more than my straights and gets closer shave with them, but I get less irritation from straights usually. To me both types of razors have their place in my life, and both can be a lot of fun.

  6. #26
    NZ's okayest dad 1997 Grazor's Avatar
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    Started on DE razors near two years ago, well re-started really. While looking for info, I came across this site and decided to give the old cut-throat a try. To be honest it has been a huge learning curve but well worth the effort, I now get less irritation than any other type of razor. I still get the odd nick, but that is to be expected when you look at what we are shaving with, and as close a shave as I have ever had. What ever works for you, all good,but I have gone straight.
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  7. #27
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    I don't know if this has been posted yet, but straight razor shaving is far more expensive than it is with cartridges or electrics.

    I'm not just talking about the initial costs, but the RAD (Razor acquisition disorder) which every straight razor shaver will inevitably acquire. I've only just recently removed this website from my blocked list, after almost a month of self-induced rehabilitation.
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  8. #28
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    I don't know if this has been posted yet, but straight razor shaving is far more expensive than it is with cartridges or electrics.

    I'm not just talking about the initial costs, but the RAD (Razor acquisition disorder) which every straight razor shaver will inevitably acquire. I've only just recently removed this website from my blocked list, after almost a month of self-induced rehabilitation.
    It's true that it's very easy to slip into buying many razors, or many hones, or indeed many strops, soaps, brushes, etc. If one went into it with economy in mind I believe they could set themselves up for a modest outlay: a servicable razor, strop, brush, soap and a 3/8 Nani or 4/8 Norton plus a Gold Dollar to practice honing. Sure the razor might not have the finest finish, but a little chalk and newspaper after the 8k side of a Norton or Nani after stropping would definitely make for serviceable shaves. That would set one up for quite a while. The on-going cost of soap and alum/aftershave and perhaps having the bevel set every now and then, or buying a 1k Nani in future wouldn't amount to much, or you might use 1k paste on a mirror.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TulaneBoy View Post
    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.
    As a person who started DE and SR shaving at the same time and continue to routinely go back and forth between the two, I agree with this wholeheartedly. I started off with much better shaves from DEs but now, a few months down the road, straights are much closer and comfortable.

    I still enjoy DE shaving and when I'm in a rush DE is the way to go. Also I can shave the back of my head with a DE worry free. I haven't figured out how to do that with a SR.
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  10. #30
    Senior Member AndrewJM's Avatar
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    Default quality of safety razors

    Does anyone know if the quality of a safety razor (handle etc, not the blade) affects the shave? ie are some angled better etc.

    thanks

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