Does size really matter

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Does size really matter

Post by Data » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:16 pm

Now that I've got your attention; I think many buying their 1st or 2nd razor have perceived that bigger is better and dream of a 7/8+ razor. I will suggest that they are missing out on many wonderful options in 3/8 and 4/8. I decided to test my hypothesis with a less than scientific test. I took my 7/8 Ralf Aust with 2 days head growth and 1 day bear growth and compared it to my Peter Hahn 4/8 with same growth. Both are Solingen full hollow although the Peter Hahn is stainless. Both are honed by me. It takes a very different effort to get the same edge on both, but I feel they both have very similar edges in both comfort and closeness. Of course there are differences but if I close my eyes on the blind pass on the back of my head, I feel very little difference in cutting efficacy. One has better access with passes from the ear out or under the nose. One might require a little less energy to get going but, in general, they both shave the same. And, since bigger razors cost more than smaller ones (I have no idea why) smaller razors are a great choice and affordable. I have always thought that full and extra full hollow should cost more than their antithesis because grinding an extra full hollow takes mad skills.

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Re: Does size really matter

Post by brothers » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:44 am

This is a good topic for discussion. My first razor was a 4/8, before I even realized there are different blade widths. I used the 4/8 to learn how to shave with a straight razor, and also started my learning curve on sharpening and maintaining the edge. I then began to get additional razors, which turned out to be a mixture of all different sizes, again having no personal preferences due to my status as a novice for the first year or so. Now, 7 years later, I find I prefer 6/8 and greater, even though some of my extremely old (100 to 200+ years old) razors are around 5/8 with some 7/8 and 8/8 Sheffield blades thrown in. I've almost completely stopped buying razors now, but if I do, it's got to be at least 6/8, but preferably 7 or 8/8, if I can get lucky enough to find one I want. I like the weight and mass of the larger razors, but I know several men and women who post on the shaving forums about their personal preferences for the 3 and 4/8 widths.

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Re: Does size really matter

Post by ask4Edge » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:26 am

Though nowadays, I mainly use DEs (and occasionally Carts,) I used to use straights (pretty much) exclusively, for years on end.
I found heavier straights more effective, for my thick facial hair (although the lighter/smaller straights, in some ways were a bit more nimble, in general).
I liken the removal of (especially thick) stubble, to cutting a tree trunk with an axe.
Given the same edge sharpness, the heavier axe head will be more effective; applying the physics formula, F = m . a , a greater mass should provide greater cutter-force.
By this principle, density (quality) of metal is a greater determinant, than size of blade.

Something else I've noticed is that the smaller full hollow blades tended to be (noticeably) a bit more flexible than the larger full hollows, although this feature in and of itself, may or may not be better; YMMV.

All of that said, I suppose a bit nimbler/lighter straight might be more practical for one's own head, vs face.

My .02.

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