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Straight Razor - Minimum to own and maintain

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Straight Razor - Minimum to own and maintain

Postby Shoeless » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:56 pm

This may have been covered before... If so, point me in the correct direction.
There is a nice thread at the top of the page for new DE shavers that sort of answers my question. At any rate - relatively new to straights. I bought a cheapie and it is ok, but considering the jump to a nicer blade. I have watched numerous videos demonstrating techniques, etc for caring for the blade. So, what are the minimum items needed to care for and keep the blade sharp? When I look at a web site like "The Perfect Edge", the stones are fairly expensive. I have a strop and cloth strip. Am I going to have to spend another $500 to maintain my equipment? (My wife thought competitive shooting was expensive.) I have also settled on the fact that I am not going to save any money wet shaving. There are way too many blades, soaps and aftershaves to try. lol On the other hand, I have never had as much fun shaving in my life. I have been shaving over 40 years. It has become and enjoyable experience as opposed to chore.

Thanks in advance for bestowing your supreme knowledge on those who want to know.... 8)

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Re: Straight Razor - Minimum to own and maintain

Postby brothers » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:52 pm

Shoeless, when I first got into the straight razors and was looking forward to honing my own razors, I found a starter kit that comes with Norton hones, a flattening stone, an instructional DVD, and a tray to hold them all. I got mine at Peachtree - here's a link: http://www.ptreeusa.com/norton_waterstone.htm
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Re: Straight Razor - Minimum to own and maintain

Postby Shoeless » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:02 pm

brothers wrote:Shoeless, when I first got into the straight razors and was looking forward to honing my own razors, I found a starter kit that comes with Norton hones, a flattening stone, an instructional DVD, and a tray to hold them all. I got mine at Peachtree - here's a link: http://www.ptreeusa.com/norton_waterstone.htm


Thanks for the direction. Checking it out.
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Re: Straight Razor - Minimum to own and maintain

Postby drmoss_ca » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:48 am

Cheapest way to go is to buy a razor that has been honed as best as it can be (not all razors are capable of attaining the same edge), then maintain that edge with a finishing hone and/or a green chrome strop. This will last you until either you let the blade get too dull and the finishing hone can't bring it back, or the edge gets a little dent that takes coarser hones to remove. With close attention and good luck you might go on indefinitely, but the sad fact is that if you're a beginner you might not have the skill do do it the cheap way! Even sadder, if you spent every penny you have you won't do it any better. You have to learn the skills and not trust to an even fancier hone to do the job. If you're a target shooter you already know exactly what I mean—nothing makes up for practice. Anyway, even if you are a natural and manage just fine with a finishing hone and a chrome strop, you know the old Adam will out and you'll end up buying lots of hones!
The combination mentioned above is really for chisels and knives, as most of us will never need to use 220 or 1k grit hones unless restoring wrecked razors. You only need to go as low as 2k to set a bevel. The finest grit in the set is 8k, and the combination 4k/8k Norton has had a lot of respect over the years, but there's only a few mountain men around that would call 8k a finishing stone and be happy with the shave. If you get that set, plan on using at least a green chrome strop in place of a finishing hone (it has the advantage of being easier to use, but doesn't get quite as sharp as the edge can achieve with a hone in experienced hands).

My advice? Best bang for the buck is with Naniwa hones, and the ones you need can be had here. They are unmounted and make a cheap starter set. I would also use a cheap strop (Illinois 827 was my favourite for this) and some CrO2. Later you can decide whether to round out the set of Naniwas, or try another make like Shapton. I'd advise you to stay away from natural stones and from barber hones until you know what you're about. There are numerous ways to hone a razor, and you'll hear people fiercely defend their chosen method (ie the first one they have had work for them), but in the end no one way is best. As long as you can reliably use it and enjoy the results, then you can be happy. Experiment by all means, but be aware that you can sink nearly as much money into this as you might into polished sears, bull barrels and bedding compound.

Chris
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Re: Straight Razor - Minimum to own and maintain

Postby Shoeless » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:49 am

Thanks Chris. There are definitely a ton of options.
And yes... this is looking to be as expensive as bull barrels and bedding. I do 95% of my own work on my guns.
I got into this because of the shave and saving money. Riiiiight... :shock:

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