Thinking of jumping into the straight razor game.....

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
Short Round
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Thinking of jumping into the straight razor game.....

Post by Short Round » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:09 am

I've been recently thinking of jumping into the straight razor game.

I've been a DE wet shaver for a few years and am enjoying my shaves but I want to try a straight.

I've been looking at the Boker Tree Brand 5/8 brown micarta and the smaller 4/8 Green Micarta razors. I've read that the old bokers were damn good razors and that the new ones are too. I see I can buy new professionally honed shave ready razors at a couple places for the same price you could buy at one of the knife shop websites. Sounds like a smart way to start out.

I have some nice ceremic stones but they'd be at the low end topping out at 2000 grit (sypderco ultra fine 2x8" bench stone). I'd have to pick up the finer stones and all that stropping stuff too.

Your thoughts and advice? Are those decent razors for a beginner?

thanks in advance
Tom
Tom

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SmallTank
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Post by SmallTank » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:00 am

worst case scenario you resell and make if not all your mon ey back..maybe a little more...takes time and patience

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Post by brothers » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:49 pm

I don't know about the Bokers you mention, but you might check out the entry level Dovo razors. They're less than a hundred dollars. Depending on which web vendor you buy from they'll most likely be honed and ready to shave with. You can find shave ready straight razors for sale at very reasonable prices from some guys on the shaving forums. One guy Larry Andro, at whipped dog dot com sells beginner-grade straight razors at very attractive prices. If it turns out you want to sell your razor you can almost always list it on one of the forums and get most of your money back unless the blade gets messed up or something.
Gary

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Post by Short Round » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:05 pm

Thanks guys. The boker razors I mentioned are the new production they're making and cost $139 and $129 I kind of thought new would be better than a pig in a poke used one without the experience under my belt. Then again i could cruise the antique stores and look for a usable old one. Apparently the old steel can be a bargain.

Looking at the hones and strops I see the straights aren't a less expensive route entirely. Not that that was the goal but cost is a consideration.
Tom

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Post by brothers » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:30 pm

I don't have a Boker, but I understand they have a good reputation. Obviously Boker is an old and respected German firm. Pig in a poke is a good description of used straight razors, particularly for the uninitiated.

There certainly isn't anything wrong with buying new production, if you stick to the entry level razors made by the reputable firms. If you become interested in a certain brand of a new razor, please post about it so you can see what others think about the brand before spending the money. Some of them are not made with good steel and won't hold an edge. Obviously, you will have read hundreds of posts from all shaving sources before you make any decisions about which razor you might want just for starters. After you get a feel for what you're doing, you can go in different directions according to your own impulses.
Gary

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Post by Short Round » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:18 am

Will do Gary,

so far I was watching some of the youtube video's by mr Abrams on what to look for re spine wear, rust, nicks, cracked scales, loose pins, etc. I also watched his honing and stropping videos.

I'm guessing a strop and paste are better for a beginner than the honing route as long as the razor starts out with a good pro hone. You need to strop more regularly than honing.
Tom

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Post by SharpClaw » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:42 pm

Hi Tom

I see that you mentioned that you own a Spyderco UF aka ultrafine.
The stone is very fine much finer than 2000 grit and so is the Fine that is just under it.
So its quite capable of keeping a razor shave ready. Do a forum search and you will find several post about it. I personally use it as my final stone when honing my razors and I like the results. Now if you happen to own all 3 of the spyderco bench stones you would not need to buy any other stones to keep your razor or razors sharp.

Sol Spyderco nut
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Post by Short Round » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:05 pm

SharpClaw wrote:Hi Tom

I see that you mentioned that you own a Spyderco UF aka ultrafine.
The stone is very fine much finer than 2000 grit and so is the Fine that is just under it.
So its quite capable of keeping a razor shave ready. Do a forum search and you will find several post about it. I personally use it as my final stone when honing my razors and I like the results. Now if you happen to own all 3 of the spyderco bench stones you would not need to buy any other stones to keep your razor or razors sharp.

Sol Spyderco nut
That's fanatastic news! I wondered how you could get much finer than that Spyderco UF. I do have all three, medium, fine, and ultrafine.

I get a mirror edge when I redo my planes and wood chisels on them. I know a lot of folks might have just gasped but I've been a woodworker hobbyist since I was a teenager.

thanks for the awesome news.

Tom

ETA- Obviously I was away from the forums for a bit with a big work load but i did manage to do some searching at some antique stores. Basically I saw total junk abused busted cracked scales, rusty overshapened left in the garage junk drawer razors.

I think I'm going to just go new and be done with it.
Tom

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Post by pinklather » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:12 pm

'Nothing wrong w/ a Boker at all. 'Have handled or hone 6. Some had some warp or wave, but not much, and always delivered a good shave.

On the 4/8 size: If you have avg or large sized hands, the smaller shanks of the 4/8 (some 5/8) can twist in your hand if you strop quickly. It doesn't end well. Or its also possible I'm not safe using a strop w/out my mother. javascript:emoticon(':oops:')

If you see any of the vintage shoulderless Bokers, each has been a fantastic razor.

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Post by brothers » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:41 pm

Tom, have you bought yourself a razor yet?
Gary

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Post by Short Round » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:50 am

Gary,

Not yet, I was thinking of doing it today. I guess I might go for a 5/8 instead of my original 4/8. Just like fly fishing, may as well start at the norm and work your way to the spectrum ends.

Still leaning toward the Boker Micarta though. Last I looked the 5/8's were out of stock most places.

Tom

I see Lynn's shop has them back in stock in the 5/8 brown micarta and offered as a kit with a 2" strop. I don't have a strop so I might just go with the kit. As stated I think I'm set with hones when I get to that point.

Edit, on second thought I probably won't go with a kit. I'm leaning toward a paddle that doesn't come in the straight and strop kits.
Tom

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Post by Short Round » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:42 am

OK, I did order from Don and Lynn.

I got the boker 5/8 with brown Micarta scales and a basic latigo strop and some chromium oxide paste.

Hope that covers me for awhile.

Not sure whether to call it a belated birthday gift to self or an early Christmas gift to self. :oops:
Tom

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Post by brothers » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:37 am

Tom, that sounds like an excellent beginning. You're on the right track, for sure.
Gary

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Post by Squire » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:10 pm

Should serve you well Tom, let us know how it works out.
Regards,
Squire

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Post by Short Round » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:34 pm

I hope so, I'll keep you advised how it works out. I got an email that they've already shipped. Can't beat that with a stick.

I opted for a "good" one as I might not develop SRAD.

I even stopped on the DE razors, I'm pretty darn happy with my Ikon classic and use the vintage Slim Adjustable when I feel like a changeup.

Thanks for your counsel and of course your patience.
Tom

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Post by Obie » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:43 pm

Hello Short Round,

The new Bokers are good, but to some gentlemen not quite as good as the vintage ones. So yes, that is a fine choice, especially if it comes shave-ready. One thing you might consider is this: the micarta scales will feel a little bulky. You might, however, like that, so no problem. The razor comes in different scales, as well.

The Dovo "Best Quality," which is the meat-and-potato razor is excellent for the money, especially if it comes shave-ready. Also, the Dovo tortoise shell is a good quality razor for the money. The Dovo "Pearlex" is also in many a shave den racks.

Finally, as some gentlemen have suggested, the classified section in various forums usually have a big collection of vintage razors reasonably priced.

Stay well.
Obie Yadgar
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Post by jww » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:26 pm

I lucked out on a FW Enger Special for a very reasonable price at an antique shop in Bethlehem New Hampshire a month ago. I have yet to clean it up but am looking forward to giving it to the good Dr for honing.
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Post by Short Round » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:03 am

Well my first straight razor shave is done.

I probably did too many passes for a newb and I'm a little raw on the chin.

yesterday I picked up my package from the post office and of course by the end of the day my dexterous hand went all wonky and was swelling so bad I took a few Rx pills. Oh great I thought, new extremely sharp instrument that I want to use and my hand hurts so bad I couldn't peel a potato.

After showering this mornings shave was a lather with Spieck cream. I felt awkward with the razor especially the left side. (I watched the Abrams videos last night)

I did a WTG, some XTG, and ATG on my neck. Couldn't really figure out how to do XTG on the neck to well. Well some was XTG as my neck switches direction all over the place. :wink:

Thinks I learned; don't go so slow that your lather begins drying and secondly, I need to run a smoother stroke. I got a bit unsteady/bouncy at times.

Overall I did a decent shave, no major blood loss, a couple tiny nicks and a weeper on the chin.

Thanks gang for all your advice and support.

Tom
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Post by brothers » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:34 am

Tom, it sounds like it's going to work for you. Congratulations.
Gary

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Post by Squire » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:10 am

Tom I would still go slow and if the lather gives out rinse it off and lather again.
Regards,
Squire

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