Trying to transition from a DE to a straight

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
myersn024
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Trying to transition from a DE to a straight

Post by myersn024 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:13 am

I started shaving with a DE razor about two years ago, and I had always had the intention of eventually making the switch to a straight. However, since I wasn't sure if I wanted to make the investment I decided to get the Dovo shavette and give it a try to see if it was something I thought I could handle. Well, the first two shaves with the shavette were awful.... worst razor burn I've ever had. Luckily I was off work for a little while and could lay off shaving to give my neck time to recover. So I decided this morning to give it another try with a different blade. I had used half of a Feather blade the first two times, but this time I went with a Dorco and boy did it make a difference. Probably the best shave I've ever had aside from a single nick right under my nose.

With all that out of the way, I'll get to my actual question. I know that a shavette isn't a real straight razor so they can't really be compared, but will a real straight razor behave more like the the Feather blade (Ginsu-sharp and highly exfoliating) or with the Dorco (still sharp, but doesn't go straight through my beard to the skin)?

Also, how often should I change the blade in the shavette? I usually get four or five good shaves out of a blade with my safety razor, but I'm in new territory with the shavette.

Thanks in advance!

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drmoss_ca
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Post by drmoss_ca » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:16 pm

With a Shavette you need a very light touch and a low angle. You can cork the blade to dull it a little to make it safer. A real straight will be another step below the Dorco in terms of sharpness - if you get proficient with the Shavette you will be able to use a normal straight with abandon. Remember though, that a straight is actually a different tool; they just look a bit like the Shavette. The straight is like a LandRover while the Shavette is like a Miata. The trick with a straight is to learn to get it sharp enough to give you the shave you want, but along the way you will learn many things and at the end you'll know why I say it is a different tool!

Chris
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

owenm
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Re: Trying to transition from a DE to a straight

Post by owenm » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:19 pm

myersn024 wrote: With all that out of the way, I'll get to my actual question. I know that a shavette isn't a real straight razor so they can't really be compared, but will a real straight razor behave more like the the Feather blade (Ginsu-sharp and highly exfoliating) or with the Dorco (still sharp, but doesn't go straight through my beard to the skin)?
Thanks in advance!
It will be different to both - the straight blade is likely to be less sharp, longer and less flexible so it will feel and behave differently. I find it (once you get the hang of it) to be be more forgiving in certain ways and to cause less irritation. I really enjoy it - but make sure you get a presharpened one from a reputable source (one less variable to worry about)
Cheers,
Owen

myersn024
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Post by myersn024 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:49 am

Thanks for the info; that's what I was hoping to hear. Now I've just got to save up a little money so I can get a razor and a set of strops.

owenm
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Post by owenm » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:39 pm

myersn024 wrote:Thanks for the info; that's what I was hoping to hear. Now I've just got to save up a little money so I can get a razor and a set of strops.
The whipped dog bundle that another poster was talking about recently looked pretty well priced to me. Alternatively, look on http://www.straightrazorplace.com for recommendations for vendors and also their buying and selling section which are generally well priced and from people that want to help spread the gospel...
Cheers,
Owen

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Captain Pre-Capsize
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Post by Captain Pre-Capsize » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:22 pm

Myers:

All of what you wrote in the OP could have been written by me. I DE shaved for one year and just three weeks ago made the switch to straight. I don’t see myself EVER going back. I also used a shavette and looking back on it ... well, I’m conflicted if I ought to have just gone with the straight at first.

Anyway, jot me a note and let’s connect PM wise. I’ve got several straights now and can loan one to you no problem. Pay the postage and I’ll loan it out to you, for months if you like. It is shave ready and you just need a strop which Whipped Dog has. The beginner strop is the one I use and it works great.

If interested, let me know - I’d be glad to help.
*****************************

Captain’s Choice bay rum aftershave

http://www.captainschoicestore.com/

*****************************

pinklather
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Post by pinklather » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:38 pm

Bravo Captain!
I keep trying to get guys together that live near each other so they can try gear w/out having to buy. You guys make it by Portland, OR area, PM me and you can try my stuff.

Thank you, Capt. Meyers will get to taste a real shave and likely follow your path of not looking back.

myersn024
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Post by myersn024 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:39 am

I've been meaning to post again since I got in touch with Capt. He's sending a razor for me to try along with a sample of his bay rum aftershave. I also purchased a strop set from WhippedDog, which should arrive before the razor does.

I was telling Capt that it's refreshing to find an online community that's as nice as the one here at ShaveMyFace! When I originally made this post, I was just looking for some advice. What I received far exceeded my expectations!

brothers
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Post by brothers » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:36 am

So true! It's awesome, isn't it? :D
Gary

SOTD 99%: 9 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:17 am

It's a very supportive group with a genuine shared concern among the members.
Regards,
Squire

myersn024
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Post by myersn024 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:52 am

I thought I'd give everyone another update. It'll be another few days before all my gear arrives, so I'm still using the shavette. For today's shave I decided to buck my normal routine and use MWF shave soap instead of the Art of Shaving cream that I normally use. I worked up a good lather and proceeded to give myself a great shave; no irritation on my neck at all. It was such a good shave that I decided to post in the SOTD forum.

Image

I remember thinking that it would be hard to get much better of a shave when I began DE shaving a little over two years ago. The shave from the shavette is hand down the better shave thus far. Can't wait to try a real straight later this week!

brothers
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Post by brothers » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:24 am

It's very rewarding whenever that happens. Hopefully it's your technique that drives the success, and not just the razors, even though it sure helps when the razor's got the edge to enable you to get the most out of your technique.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 9 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

wvbias
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Post by wvbias » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:27 pm

Keep in mind that when you strop your new razor speed means
nothing. Take your time. Speed only counts when you are being
chased by a cheetah.

wvbias
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Post by wvbias » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:32 pm

Another thing....straights are are by their very nature
herd animals and like to have lots of other straights
to keep them company.... :)


Terry

myersn024
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Post by myersn024 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:40 pm

Tell me about it. I haven't even used a real straight yet and I can already hear them calling my name from all the various online retailers.

itsmedave
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Post by itsmedave » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:46 pm

wvbias wrote:Another thing....straights are are by their very nature
herd animals and like to have lots of other straights
to keep them company.... :)


Terry
I counted tonight and in two weeks since starting straights, I now have 7 straights, a Parker Shavette, and a Feather Artist Club.

wvbias
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Post by wvbias » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:00 pm

itsmedave wrote:
wvbias wrote:Another thing....straights are are by their very nature
herd animals and like to have lots of other straights
to keep them company.... :)


Terry
I counted tonight and in two weeks since starting straights, I now have 7 straights, a Parker Shavette, and a Feather Artist Club.

I bought my first straight in January of 06 and I now have 15 of
the boogers. I hope that I can keep the herd at 15 but....


Terry

brothers
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Post by brothers » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:38 am

wvbias wrote:Keep in mind that when you strop your new razor speed means
nothing. Take your time. Speed only counts when you are being
chased by a cheetah.
I am of the opinion that one can strop too slow. Doesn't have to be rushed, but it is my belief that the edge benefits much more from a brisk stropping stroke, than a tedious snail pace. The hand will inevitably wobble or shake to some extent, which would tend, in my opinion, to negate any benefit of the stropping. That's just me.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 9 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Post by brothers » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:45 am

About 3 years ago I made a decision to take up the straight razors, but I never got the feeling, thankfully, that one has to go with one or the other, DE, SE, Injector, Straight, cartridge, you name it, to the exclusion of all others. Same with soaps vs. creams, you get the picture. Maybe some day I'll get tired or lazy and decide to simplify, but not yet, so much. I have settled on three small groups of razors that I use pretty much exclusively, 8 straight razors, 2 injectors, and 6 double edge. These regulars will be what you see when I post my SOTD. Gives me that variety that I crave, but it also gives me the assurance that whichever one I am using, I'll be getting the best shave possible.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 9 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

wvbias
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Post by wvbias » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:40 pm

brothers wrote:
wvbias wrote:Keep in mind that when you strop your new razor speed means
nothing. Take your time. Speed only counts when you are being
chased by a cheetah.
I am of the opinion that one can strop too slow. Doesn't have to be rushed, but it is my belief that the edge benefits much more from a brisk stropping stroke, than a tedious snail pace. The hand will inevitably wobble or shake to some extent, which would tend, in my opinion, to negate any benefit of the stropping. That's just me.
I should have worded it better - When learning to strop take your time.
As time goes by you will find that you are stropping the razor at a faster
rate. Speed comes with time and experience..... :D

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