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Thread: Shavette vs straight

  1. #21
    Member Rfcjr's Avatar
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    I have experienced the exact opposite I've only used a couple of different blades in my shavette but although I get a berry comfortable shave my straits seem sharper to me.
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    Senior Member Grizzley1's Avatar
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    You answered your own question, Personna blades are exceptional, for the most part, however you can get one that will leave a gash due to a little piece that wasn't caught. But for the most part the Personna blades are as close to a straight as you can get. Try a Gem if you can find one in that size and you,go back,but how about trying a different straight....

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    Senior Member YoWan's Avatar
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    When I am asked by newbees about beginning with a shavette or directif with ŗ straight, I give the comparison of using ŗ tricycle before learning to ride ŗ bicycle. Looks like the same, is quite different.
    I consider it as a "primary straight simulator" to learn the grip and arm/hand position, to wipe the fear off your face or to give a public demo with no blade for security means (a real straight can be considered as a forbidden weapon in public area).
    It is also useful for plane travel with only a cabin luggage.
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  4. #24
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    I shave with Feather DX and SR using a Feather Pro or Kai mild blades. Gives a very close comfortable shave. I primarily use straight razors. I find them to be less harsh. It's just a matter of which shavette, blades, angle and pressure you exert. When traveling I use my Feather SR with a pro blade. When home, I use my straight razors.

  5. #25
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    Senior Member blabbermouth STF's Avatar
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    When I decided to try shaving with straights, I ordered a razor that came shave ready from a store in Ontario (Dovo Astrail).

    It wasn't until I joined this forum before my second shave and a suprising amount of blood that I discovered that straights need to be refreshed or honed again, imagine my suprise eh?

    After making this awful discovery I immediately ordered a shavette to use when I sent out my straight.

    I had no idea that there were different quality of shavettes so I just ordered the cheapest, it was a Mac that one has to slide out a blade holder and put the blade in then slide back in.

    Mac are very cheap but it did come with 100 Derby single edge blades.

    I used it for the first time a couple of days ago, I did a 4 pass shave, I cut myself twice on the first pass and wqs very careful for the next 3.

    I got a pretty decent shave but I learned that you cannot use the heel or toe to shave and the blade needs to be held dead flat.

    I have added it to my rotationn so I get some practice with it but I really should get a better one eventually.

    I never did send my Dovo out because I was generously sent a barber hone by DZEC and four straights by Outback. The barber hone did a splendid job until I invested in some stones and learned how to use them.

    I bought a cheap Mac strop about a year ago too, it is a real cheapo and certainly wouldn't strop on it but I got it to coat with CroOx and it works fantastically for that.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Slur's Avatar
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    I was very surprised to read that first post. The reason I got into the straight razor was the bloodbath I had every time with the shavette. Indeed, the shavette was the first razor I bought when I got into wet shaving. After months of practice, I was still having a lot of nicks and very irritated face after every shave. I couldnít shave during the week because I was ashamed to go to work with that face. Everything changed when I bought my first straight razor. It was a Dovo Bismarck. I had the most comfortable shave I had in months. After that, I never shaved with a shavette anymore. After months, I read in a forum that razors do not come shave ready from the factory. I was telling everybody that my razor, came perfect from the factory and I didnít have to hone it for months after buying it. They didnít believe me. For me, the straight razor is the most gentle and effective shave instrument. Second place comes the safety razor, and last the shavette.
    I guess that different skins and faces, need different shaving instruments. It is not all about technique and sharpness.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    Well I’ll damn sure disagree, it’s 100% techniques and sharpness, with out those you don’t get a good shave. With great technique, and a well honed blade it’s done
    ď I,m getting the impression that everyone thinks I have TIME to fix their bikesĒ

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Yea, no matter the instrument you use, shavette or straight as long as it is proper sharp and you are competent in its use you will get a great shave.

    We used to see these post all the time from folks who thought you need this razor size or type depending on your skin type. That concept is and has always been bogus.
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  9. #29
    Razor Vulture sharptonn's Avatar
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    I always felt that the shavette is bad-sharp, yet unrefined.
    You cannot get away with the things you can using a straight with some curve, lovely finishers, and especially the strop.
    Therefore the shave is much closer and safer using a nice straight razor.
    Just me.

  10. #30
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    Most professionally honed straight razors will be less sharp than a shavette's blade. Yes, even a Feather's edge CAN be matched by a straight razor, but it requires time and attention to detail, and going well beyond stone or film honing, generally. And just because an edge is crazy sharp does not necessarily mean that it will shave comfortably. Matching a shavette's sharpness is uncommon, not easy, and not always a good thing, at least for many shavers. It is also somewhat impractical for someone honing razors for a living, and a bit much to expect from someone set in his ways with hundreds or thousands of usable edges and satisfied clients behind him. So, unless the shaver is willing to not only learn to hone but to push the boundaries to the limit, the straight razor will be perceived as having less pure cutting power than a shavette with a fresh blade.

    That doesn't mean that the "less sharp" straight razor can't shave, only that the shaver has to do his part. A straight razor certainly doesn't work on autopilot. Without good prep, stretching, face mapping, proper pressure, optimum angle, control, and awareness of where the edge, toe, and heel are, you will not get a good shave, at least not without multiple passes. You may as well break out the Mach III and the Barbasol. A good shave with a straight razor requires a bit of skill. A good shave with a shavette, not so much, and the focus with the shavette is less on getting it to cut whiskers cleanly than avoiding cuts and irritation.

    A shavette shave CAN be comfortable and trauma free, but like getting a nice close shave from a SR, getting a gentle shave from a shavette requires a certain level of skill. You won't get it using your shave technique that is optimized for straights, or vice versa.

    Proper use of a properly set up progression of lapped and pasted balsa can up your edge game considerably. A shaver well acquainted with shavettes and skilled at their use, will find the straight shave learning curve much gentler and the results much more satisfying with a properly done balsa edge. The problem is there aren't very many ways to get best results, but there are a billion ways to get less than best results, and when one simply goes for it without attention to detail, leaning on his own experiences and knowledge of other systems, results will be underwhelming and the new balsa user will almost immediately dismiss the balsa as ineffective or impractical. But it is there, and quite practical if you are only honing a few razors and you don't care how long it takes.

    So, either way you go, the shavette has nothing on the straight razor in terms of shave quality. Conversely, most straight shavers do not get best possible results from a shavette, either, without rethinking their technique. The shavette gets high marks for ease of maintenance, though. For a dead simple, cheap, expendable kit, the shavette rocks.

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