#1

Wet Shaving Beginner
Philadelphia
(This post was last modified: 06-26-2015, 07:28 PM by EMTLocksmith.)
OK so lets kick this off for the new guys. For all of those who have never shaved with a straight razor (including myself), where does one begin with the straight razors? Going on all of your recommendations and experience, what is a good straight razor to start with and which has the best price point? That being said, lets keep the shavettes out and stick only with straights. Also can we break it down by wedge, hollow, half hollow, and maybe throw in your favorite. I think this is very important for the beginners, since purchasing a straight can be an investment. I want to thank you guys ahead of time.

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#2
(06-26-2015, 07:26 PM)EMTLocksmith Wrote: OK so lets kick this off for the new guys. For all of those who have never shaved with a straight razor (including myself), where does one begin with the straight razors? Going on all of your recommendations and experience, what is a good straight razor to start with and which has the best price point? That being said, lets keep the shavettes out and stick only with straights. Also can we break it down by wedge, hollow, half hollow, and maybe throw in your favorite. I think this is very important for the beginners, since purchasing a straight can be an investment. I want to thank you guys ahead of time.

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As a newcomer to straights, I can't offer you the years of experience long timers can, but I've become proficient in the past month and a half, and I'll tell you what worked for me, hoping you find it useful. First, as far as learning to shave with a straight, the videos of youtube of Lynn Abrams, Anthony Esposito, and Peter Charkalis are excellent. Lynn Abrams has a video geared for beginners that's great to watch first. As he says, don't try to do your whole face right away. Start by shaving one small section, say, from sideburn to jaw line, then use your regular razor for the rest of the shave.

Second, as Anthony Esposito told me, commit to shaving with the straight daily for a month. After a month, you'll be comfortable with it. 

Third, as far as buying a straight, I got mine from Anthony, a Gold Dollar with a strop. It was inexpensive, and came with advice from one of the best coaches you could hope for. I'd send him a PM via youtube, or PM me for his email address.

I've heard good things about whippeddog.com as well. I suggest buying an inexpensive straight but make sure you get it from someone who can guarantee that it's honed and shave ready. Many new straights are not, despite the manufacturers' claims to the contrary. If you find that you like shaving with a straight, you can, and likely will, catch the RAD and start adding to your collection. 

Finally, using a soap or cream with a lot of slickness is helpful. Stirling's soaps are inexpensive and very slick. Reef Point soaps too. Art of Shaving creams are great if you want to use a cream. It need not be expensive. 

Keep us posted.
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#3
Not knowing your budget, for new straight razors, most probably start with a Dovo Best Quality, at $95-$115.
http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/inde...ts_id=1539
Another option is a Boker King Cutter at $110-$125.
http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/inde...cts_id=981
Both have good reps, but I believe if you can afford the Boker, that's what I'd go for.
If your budget is tighter, I'd recommend cruising the classifieds/BST on a few forums and look for a shave ready vintage straight(American, Sheffield, etc) for around $60.
As far as grind goes, it doesn't really matter because everyone is different and likes different things. But I'd  recommend a half hollow to start. But again, it doesn't really matter, as long as the straight is shave ready. You will figure out what you like as you grow into straight shaving. MHO.
You will need a good strop. Bare minimum I would recommend this beginner strop from Star Shaving.
http://shop.starshaving.com/product.sc?p...tegoryId=2

Or this from SRD.
http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/inde...ts_id=1386

Or for a 3"
http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/inde...ts_id=1387

Stay away from the cheap strops on ebay/amazon. Buy from a quality vendor in the wet shaving community. You will be well treated and ahead of the game, IMHO.
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#4

Member
Northampton UK
You can pick up some decent old razors off the bay being in the US, the problem with living in the UK is by the time you put postage and possible customs charges on theyr'e not so attractive. I now have around 15 straights in various stages of renovation to shave ready. I can honestly say the dearest one I have was $45 inc p&p. And the one I'm using as my weekly learner I paid less than $20 for, its a lovely Bengall 6/8.
If you buy one and factor in honing by a known artizan(of which the US has no shortage),$50 or 60 is more than enough to start with and give it a try. then if you find its not for you, you should be able to pass the hardware on with minimal loss. This is just my view, whatever you decide, enjoy the journey!
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#5

Member
Boston
Hi gents, can anyone recommend a good honing service? I know Maggard's offers the service, but I'm wondering what other options are out there. Thanks!
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#6

Wet Shaving Beginner
Philadelphia
(07-28-2015, 08:55 PM)slim_shavey Wrote: Hi gents, can anyone recommend a good honing service? I know Maggard's offers the service, but I'm wondering what other options are out there. Thanks!
Don't quote me but I think Anthony Esposito might? I know the perfect edge sells supplies and they also hone. http://theperfectedge.com

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#7
The Superior Shave has free honing service for any non-wedge made in North America or European straight razors
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#8

Member
San Francisco
Buy from someone reputable. The classifieds on the SRP are really fantastic. That's where I started 2 years ago. Avoid buying Chinese blades, for a bit more you can get awesome vintage. But if you're going to learn how to hone, the Chinese blades are perfect for practicing and repeated edge dulling and destruction Smile start with a wedge/near wedge or or 1/4 hollow, they're easier to shave with. Now I only have 22 hollow blades!

This Wiki page has everything to get you started.

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Http://ShaveMaven.com
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