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Thread: Shaving with a new razor

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I have shaved with a straight for almost 30 years and always honed my own. 5 years ago I began refurbishing vintage razors. Honeing them and reselling them. I test shave every razor to make sure it is good to go. I have had some that had to make a second trip to the hones to get it right. In over 300 razors I only know of 2 or 3 that got by me. By that I mean the customer complained it was not shave ready.

    That is why now I state shave ready is different to each person. Factors like prep; skill level; beard type can all make a difference. I agree with Rezdog. On any given day even the best of the best can get distracted and screw up a hone job. One of my customers had me re-hone a razor done by one of the top honemeisters because he did not liIke it's shave. Fortunately he was satisfied with my outcome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    There is also the fact that not a one of us has a prefect track record of honing. The person that was paid to hone it could have easily made a mistake. They happen.
    Honing is easy until it isn’t.
    Saying everyone can hone is like saying everyone can do accounting, or carpentry. Not everyone has the same abilities to do stuff with their hands or academics. That has to be one of the silliest broad sweeping statements ever.
    I'm sure I could make a much sillier and broader sweeping statement than that but I'll refrain.

    As you know, to save time most statements that we make aren't meant to be literal. Since not everyone shaves with a straight razor and not everyone knows how to hone then, of course, not everyone can hone.

    This isn't something that usually needs to be pointed out in literate conversation. Most people who say they can hone and who do so commercially can hone. Yes, they, like anyone, can make a mistake.

    I'm not especially good at working with my hands, carpentry, mechanics, etc. I do think anyone (who works at it) can hone. Just like anyone can shave who works at it.

    Honing a straight razor, in some ways, is even easier than sharpening a knife. Making it seem hard is (IMO) doing a disservice to newer shavers who might be discouraged by such talk.

    Rub a blade on a 1k until it easily cuts arm/leg hair and then continue with 4k, 8k, a finishing hone and stropping and you will have a shave-ready razor. If you don't...go back to the 1k and start over.

    The nature of the question indicated to me that the OP might not have a lot of experience with straight razor shaving and honing yet. If it shaves well on the cheeks it's likely to be sharp, as I pointed out. Do you disagree with that?
    Last edited by gcbryan; 05-05-2018 at 07:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bouschie View Post
    I have shaved with a straight for almost 30 years and always honed my own. 5 years ago I began refurbishing vintage razors. Honeing them and reselling them. I test shave every razor to make sure it is good to go. I have had some that had to make a second trip to the hones to get it right. In over 300 razors I only know of 2 or 3 that got by me. By that I mean the customer complained it was not shave ready.

    That is why now I state shave ready is different to each person. Factors like prep; skill level; beard type can all make a difference. I agree with Rezdog. On any given day even the best of the best can get distracted and screw up a hone job. One of my customers had me re-hone a razor done by one of the top honemeisters because he did not liIke it's shave. Fortunately he was satisfied with my outcome.
    I don't think there is any disagree here that someone can't make a mistake. However, if someone is newer to straight razor shaving (as indicated by the OP) and someone hones commercially, it's probably more likely that technique is the problem especially if the shave was good on the cheeks but not on the chin.

    Wouldn't you agree?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    The point I was trying to make, is that because many people can and do hone, does not mean that everyone can. It seems that it gets stated that honing is simple and everyone can and should hone far too often. Not everyone is handy, not everyone can pick up honing easily, and that is what I disagree with.
    The OP has four other razors. I do think one shave for someone in their first year of shaving, may not be the best judge of an edge. It could have been an off day of shaving for the OP, or it could be the edge is just not right. Another shave is a good next action.
    On my beard shaving my cheeks is a good indication of edge sharpness. The biggest challenge for an edge is my moustache and chin, which is probably typical. It is also where many people new to straights have technique issues.
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    Im confused. I have very little hair on my cheeks so that can't be the criteria for me. With my other blades a third pass around my upper lip and chin gets the job done The one in question just doesn't

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Strop the razor and give it a second try. If you get a second poor shave you likely will want to either send it back or send it to someone else.
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    Thiers Issard is known in the french SR community as the brand that sells real hand honed straights. Shave-ready, not abolutely smooth. So a first stropping is necessary to get comfort. Dovo, on the other side, proces too much straight to afford a real hand made honing. They say "shave-ready" but in fact it's just sharpened on a sharpening rotating stone. Less than 1 minute for each blade.So a good stropping should not be enough, at least a honig with chromium dioxide is necessary on Dovo, normally not on TI's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alschepis View Post
    Im confused. I have very little hair on my cheeks so that can't be the criteria for me. With my other blades a third pass around my upper lip and chin gets the job done The one in question just doesn't
    With 5 straight razors, it's probably time to get a finishing hone at a minimum so that you can maintain your razors after the initial honing. It's a tough place to be in (for anyone) when you aren't sure of your shaving technique yet and when you aren't sure of your honing abilities yet.

    Unfortunately, it's really just not much of a sharpness test to have to wait until the 3 pass on the toughest part of anyone's face to shave.

    So sure, all you can do at the moment I suppose is to strop it, try again, and if that doesn't work, get it honed again.

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    Thanks. I stropped this morning and noticed a marked improvement
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    Back in the day when everyone used a straight and even later when safety razors had made their appearance though most owned a hone of sorts most did not hone their own razors. There were loads of folks who did it commercially from the local barber shop to itinerant folks on a street corner and from talking to my dad about it and what he saw from his dad most who attempted it themselves shaved with a less than "shave ready" razor.

    The take away is many common folk shaved with a dull razor and had neither the skill nor inclination to be honing any razor. That's the main reason DEs became the main way of shaving. The new generation embraced them for convenience just leaving the old fogies and troglodytes like us.
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