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Thread: First Shavette Use - A mixed Bag

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default First Shavette Use - A mixed Bag

    I purchased a brand new Koraat razor some weeks ago but haven't used it yet.

    The plan was to get a shavette and practise on it for a month or so, till I had
    ingrained some basic learnings in my muscle memory.

    So today I had my first ever shave straight razor style...but with a Focus R21
    shavette...I used a newly snapped off half wizamet in it.

    The shave went surprisingly well although I did not get the end result I normally do with highly efficient
    DE razors. I did cut myself in a few areas but nothing serious. The most interesting part for me was how the
    razor tended to stall in certain areas. I did not persist in getting a BBS but just getting the lather off my face.
    In the end I got to about 90% of the BBS shaves I get with a DE razor. Happy with that.

    Here are my learnings:

    1. I need to be far more aware of stretching. The razor stalling was a sure sign of this.

    2. I read somewhere that the shave spine should be nearly flat on the face...this did not work for me. I
    had to raise it to about two spine widths to get some audible feedback that indicated cutting.

    3. Probably need a more watery lather too.

    4. Need more work to figure out how to tackle the upper lip area....I went very carefully there
    and did not attempt the fool's pass at all.

    5. I don't think I'll ever be able to do XTG on the neck seems a bit tricky at my beginner level.

    6. Also need to learn how to balance the shavette better in the hands...even though I had a good grip
    on it, I could feel it wobble ever so slightly between my fingers at times

    All in all, I can see why some guys might decide to chuck it all in after the first shave...but I think I did ok.
    I plan to shave this way for a month or so, till I map out all the strokes and make them my own so to speak.
    Huge respect for guys who wield these so confidently and quickly.
    rolodave, BobH and Gasman like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Mar 2012
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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    Sounds like you are off to a good start and learned a few things in the process. Can't say much more than that having never used a shavette. Hope everything thing improves as you go forward.

    RezDog and Gasman like this.
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  3. #3
    Moderator rolodave's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Racine, WI USA
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    Like BobH I have never used a shavette.

    I don't understand your reasoning for not going to the Koraat. By all accounts they are very good razors. I would rethink that.

    We normally tell people it will take 100 shaves to get the hang of this hobby. With your attention to detail that number may be a little high.

    Go slow and only try what you are comfortable doing. It will all come together after a bit.

    Don't get hung up on BBS. A good shave will make you happy!
    BobH, RezDog and Gasman like this.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    It sounds like a great start. My shavette does not use 1/2 de blades, so my experience will be a little different from yours. Mine is reserved to trips where I want to pack a little less stuff. The angle for the shavette is a little higher than my straight, and the blade is shorter, so when you do switch you will have to adjust for that. A first shave, and a full shave at that, with little to no blood loss is pretty successful. Many start with high grading and only doing the easy spots. I jumped in both feet too. Once I switched, I switched, no half measures. I am not a de user, those things scare the pants off of me, probably because I can’t see the blade. The fools pass is not for everyone. I get a rash if I try it. I think you will find you have far better control with you Korrat once you begin with it. Stropping is often the base skill that new users stumble on and it leads to poor shave quality, frustration and not staying with straights. User location is often handy when seeking help.
    rolodave likes this.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2014
    Coimbra (Portugal), Vancouver B.C.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tester28 View Post
    I purchased a brand new Koraat razor some weeks ago but haven't used it yet.

    The plan was to get a shavette and practise on it for a month or so, till I had
    ingrained some basic learnings in my muscle memory.

    The shave went surprisingly well although I did not get the end result I normally do with highly efficient
    DE razors.
    You are not exactly making it easy on yourself planning to go from a shavette straight to a Koraat.
    I briefly tried Dovo shavettes after I had gotten used to straight razors, but never cared much for these lightweight contraptions. (The only replaceable blade razors that I use nowadays are Feather DX and SS razors that replicate straight razors quite well.)
    Koraat razors tend to be quite large and heavy by comparison.

    So you plan to go from one end of the (weight) spectrum to the opposite end and I believe starting straight shaving with something like a good ⅝ razor would be more appropriate, as a ⅝ strikes an excellent balance between maneuverability and the ability to cut whiskers and carry away lather on the flatter areas of your face.

    Most beginners who have used safety razors before will still need some time and practice to get a comparable shave with a straight razor - more than it took them previously to master the safety razor - but straight razors have the potential to outclass safety razors (even like the Mühle R41) given enough practice.

    Keep also in mind that a shavette will never teach you how to strop and hone, and what can ruin a perfect shave for a beginner is not only a poor shaving technique, but also lack of proficiency in stropping and honing.

    In short, there is only so much that a shavette type razor can teach you and I never regretted having skipped the shavette stage when I learned how to use a straight razor.

    Good luck on your journey...,

    Last edited by beluga; 12-04-2019 at 02:31 PM. Reason: syntax
    rolodave likes this.

  6. #6
    Skeptical Member Gasman's Avatar
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    I too think you are doing well for a fist try but I'd put that shavette away and go right for the straight. I have tried the snap-in-half DE blade shavettes and it sucked badly! I also own a Feather SS and its 10 times better as far as shavettes go, but still not the same as a straight. The real straight razor will be even easier to use on your face. Give it a try. Shaving and stropping will be the big thing to learn so go slow and ask questions. Respect the Straight razor but dont be afraid of it. It will only bite it you let it.
    rolodave and Speedster like this.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member jaro1069's Avatar
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    May 2019
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    I used shavettes before straights and I still quite often grab the shavettes instead of straights because they just seem easier to me.. One of my favorite shavettes right now was less than 5 bucks on eBay brand new the ignite brand one.
    rolodave likes this.

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