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Thread: Double Edge vs Straight

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    Default Double Edge vs Straight

    Greetings,

    I don't use either one yet, but I'm planning to switch when I get back to the States in a few months. So I'm wondering, what's the difference between straight razors and double edge razors?

    Does one provide a better shave?

    Is one more maintanance free?

    Is one less expensive over the long run?

    How many shaves can you get with a DE?

    Do you strop/hone a DE?

    Any other random or relevant thoughts? Am I even asking the right questions?

    Thanks all!

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    Senior Member hipsley's Avatar
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    What do you use?

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    Senior Member Chet's Avatar
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    Default De vs straight

    I started with a DE 4 years ago. I have been straight razor shaving for 1 year. I still use my DE when I travel. Straight razor shaving is little harder to learn but lots of fun once you learn. Straights require maintence on a regular basis. DE require replacement blades. You need to decide what you like

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    minnepicker (09-02-2014)

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    I currently use a Mach 3... In the shower. :-)

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    Senior Member Chet's Avatar
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    Once you make the change you will need to shave after your shower at sink. I used to shave that way. You will get the best shave once you make the change.

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    Yes, I've read that. I'd like to keep my toes thank you very much! :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by minnepicker View Post
    Greetings,

    I don't use either one yet, but I'm planning to switch when I get back to the States in a few months. So I'm wondering, what's the difference between straight razors and double edge razors?

    Does one provide a better shave?

    Is one more maintanance free?

    Is one less expensive over the long run?

    How many shaves can you get with a DE?

    Do you strop/hone a DE?

    Any other random or relevant thoughts? Am I even asking the right questions?

    Thanks all!
    Double edge don't need sharpened, stropped and are (in my opinion) a bit easier to start with, as it's at least a similar form to what most people are used to using. I'd say difference in quality of shave is negligible, but others may disagree. I'd estimate probably 3-5 shaves per DE blade, depending on your beard. You can definitely get a nice close shave with a DE, probably a bit quicker and with less irritation initially than a straight. As far as cost, if you're here on this forum and getting into wet shaving, there's a high likelihood collecting/trying different razors will come in to play. I'd say don't let saving a few pennies one way or the other sway you. If you do go with a straight, you'll likely have a considerably higher up-front cost. I started with a DE and then worked my way into straights and it worked nicely for me, but everyone is different and does things their own way. Good luck on whatever you decide! Either way, invest in a brush and some good quality soap!
    BobH and AndrewJM like this.
    -Chris

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    For the most part I would agree with what Chris has said. for me the answers to your questions would be:

    With the right DE and right blade you can come very close to what a shave with a straight will give you.

    There is far less maintenance involved with a DE. You don't need a strop, you don't need to send it out to be honed or alternately buy a set of hones and learn how to use them.

    It is possible that a straight could be less expensive over the long run if you are young and can limit your self to 1 or 2 straights over your lifetime.

    I get, as Chris said, about 3 to 5 shaves from a DE blade depending on brand.

    No, you don't strop or hone a DE blade.

    Again as Chris has said, the biggest initial improvement you can make to your shave routine is to get and learn to use a brush and good shave soap. That is regardless of the type of razor you are using be it cartridge, DE/SE or straight.

    I use a straight because I enjoy the process of shaving far more with one than with a cartridge or DE. It is not because I get a hugely better shave with one nor because it is cheaper to do. I actually look forward to my daily shaving ritual rather than see it as a necessity to put up with and get over as quickly as possible.

    Good luck on which ever way you choose to go.

    Bob
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

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    Senior Member Phoenix51's Avatar
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    DE...basically less expensive unless you decide a very high-end razor (Pils, Feather, Tradere, etc.) is in your future. I have a Muhle R41 (2011) with a Weber handle which offers an exceptionally fine shave when the proper blade is used. Feather is the gold standard for DE blades. Others like Astra, Personna, Gillette, and a plethora more are very available. Each brand has its fans and detractors. Opinions are all valid but do vary a lot.

    Straight...more pricey out of the gate and cetainly more labor intensive. Again..a decent razor can be had for <$100 and will last a lifetime. Add a strop (again a one time purchase) and some honing supplies (not necessary if you want to sub the sharpening task out) and there you have it. A nice set up which lends itself to be a "Keeper" can be had for <$200. A bare bones not-as-nice kit will set you back 1/2 that sum.

    Both mediums are capable of excellent shaves; if there were ever a "Ford/Chevy", "Tastes Great/Less Filling" situation to be had, here it is.
    One thing...straight razors have kind of a Zen thing going on when using them to shave. They also come with a way cool factor. I like straights. But if I'm in a hurry, I have no problem cracking out the Muhle. Travel usually sees me with a Merkur 33C in the kit, mostly because I won't grumble too much if it gets lost or "expropriated" by TSA staff or inquisitive hotel housekeeping crew members.

    Truth be told, you really can't go wrong either way.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    I use a straight because I enjoy the process of shaving far more with one than with a cartridge or DE. It is not because I get a hugely better shave with one nor because it is cheaper to do. I actually look forward to my daily shaving ritual rather than see it as a necessity to put up with and get over as quickly as possible.

    Good luck on which ever way you choose to go.

    Bob
    Thanks Bob, just one question for you. Why do you find a straight more enjoyable than a DE?

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