Straight Razor question

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
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AACJ
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Straight Razor question

Post by AACJ »

I currently own a Merkur HD but I have been reading about straights and am interested in using/purchasing one. I see them all the time on e-bay and in antique stores and they seem pretty inexpensive to say the least.
One of the questions I have on purchasing one from these sources is can I use any of them or are they mainly sold to collectors that will do nothing but try to sell them for more money than they bought them for.

And if they can be used, what should I look for when considering purchasing one? Are the blades interchangeable? Should it have some kind of balance? Is it "safe" to use, ie..bacteria, blood and other pathogens on the blade? How do I clean it for my own use.

I printed out (but have not read) "The Straight Razor Shave" manual by Mr. Moss and will use it as somewhat of a guide.

thanks

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illini1963
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Post by illini1963 »

I'd strongly recommend that you buy a razor from one of the experts at straightrazorplace. David Uthe or Lynn come to mind first, but there are many others. The razor will come to you prehoned and shave ready.
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stuff495
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Post by stuff495 »

I second that recommendation, although I will add that I don't think you can go very wrong with a new razor from DOVO or TI. But something from Lynn or David U. will cost less, and be guaranteed shave ready. Watch out for the Pakistani stuff sold on eBay! They are often called "Dutch" razors, and/or have their length given in inches. Here is an example of one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 6534591654

You will also need a strop. You won't need a hone just yet, so I'd hold off on purchasing one if I were trying to do things on the cheep. Again, watch out for Pakastani strops! They are sold on eBay, and other places. They are almost always called "17 inch" strops. Here is an example of one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 6534591853

You can get a strop from any reputable retailer who sells new straight razors, or from the people on the straightrazroplace group (where Lynn and David are).

As for restoring razors, that takes a lot of time, tools, experience, and even luck. While I can't speak for everyone at straightrazorplace, a lot of the people there sell used razors as a hobby first, and a business second. The bottom line is, if you are only restoring one or a few razors just to shave with, you won't save any money doing it yourself after all the other expenses are added up IMO.

Good luck,

--Vincent
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Joe Lerch
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Post by Joe Lerch »

One thing that hasn't been said si that the learning curve with str8s does not lie in shaving but in learning to maintain the razor. If you are an experienced wetshaver,it sould not take long to learn t shave with a str8. If you're interested there's a video showing it at straightrazorplace.com.

You're also well advised to get a razor from one of the people there. The recognized razor restoring guru is Lynn Abrams and he has just put a number of razors on sale. Just go to the Selling/Buying/Trading forum.

You have to understand the maintaining commitment to a str8. You can't get a good shave without it. You need to strop the razor before you use it and maybe while you use it. Eventually you'll need to hone it. So, you need to invest in more than just a razor.

If you're not sure whether you'll like str8 shaving, you could try a Dovo Shavette, which is a str8 razor with disposable blades. So you can concentrate on shaving, not razor maintaing. Also it's a minor investment. However, it's a little flimsy. A better str8 with disposable blades is the Feather Artist Club. It feels and handles like a str8, and experienced str8 shavers on this site have found it as good a shaver as a well honed razor. Both of these let you get into str8 shaving with the convenience of a DE. After you get good at it, you can go to a regular str8 razor and learn the maintenance.
Joe
marsom

Post by marsom »

Joe, where is the video located at again. I mean, where at on Straightrazor place can it be found? I'm interested in learning how to use a striaght razor as well.

Marsom
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Joe Lerch
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Post by Joe Lerch »

Regarding the video, got to straightrazorplace.com. On the home page menu, you'll se a selection for videos. There's only one video right now- Lynn Abram shaving.

Don't forget Chris Moss' book right here. It tells you everything you might want to know.
Joe
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Joe Lerch
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Post by Joe Lerch »

I'm going to suggest again that you don't overlook the Feather Artist Club. It's a real str8. Chris Moss is a str8 devotee, and if you check the thread here, he's so delighted with the Feather, he's throwing all sorts of challenges at it.

It's really a great way to get started. I would do that now if I wasn't already into regular str8s.
Joe
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