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Thread: Shavette vs straight

  1. #31
    STF
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrescentCityRazors View Post
    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.
    I did get a decent shave form my first try with a shavette, not BBS but pretty good.

    I didn't enjoy the shavette much, not because it wasn't comfortable although it wasn't really.
    My main takeaway is that the shavette couldn't be manipulated like a straight razor, I use the toe and heel but that resulted in some bloodletting with a shavette. The blade has to be kept dead flat to avoid filleting my face and because a razor blade is so short it was really not much like a straight shave.

    I would have agree that in the same way that you learn to use a straight, a shavette has a learning curve all of its own. At least that is my experience ymmv.
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  2. #32
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    I think a closer analogy for a shavette is a Kamisori instead of a typical straight razor. The Kamisori has a shorter blade with spikes on both ends and you need to develop a different set of skills to use it effectively without slicing your face up.
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    Home of the Mysterious Symbol CrescentCityRazors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    I think a closer analogy for a shavette is a Kamisori instead of a typical straight razor. The Kamisori has a shorter blade with spikes on both ends and you need to develop a different set of skills to use it effectively without slicing your face up.
    Good point.

    See what I did there?
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