checking in with a dull razor

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by neilr, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. hello all
    I thought this would be the place for advice
    I have a dovo ebony wood straight razor and i cant seem to be able to strop it well.

    after slicing the first one i am getting an alright edge with my second canvas/leather strop but its nothing close to how it was new

    any tips?

    That is my suggestion. :biggrin:

  3. Don't forget to come back, though :biggrin: .
  4. First of all - no need to go to SRP, we can help ya out over here. (Thanks Mike :eek: ) First of all, did you have the razor honed up initially by someone who is experienced, or did you just shave and have at it? Also, do you have any stropping guides, or instruction, or are you starting from scratch? What kind of strop is it? Do you have pictures?

    Remember NO pressure. For daily stropping use about 15 or so strokes on the linen (depends on what kind of strop you have and what type/grade of linen) and about 25 or so light, no pressure strokes (front and back) on the smooth leather side.

    Does your strop have drawl - or does it pass on the leather like glass?

    If you'd like, I'd be happy to hone/strop up the razor for you gratis (you pay shipping to/from me) but since you are in the UK, this might be a little costly.

    If you'd like to do it on your own, I'd recommend purchasing a barber hone as well as an instructional DVD (how to strop/shave with a straight razor) - which you can purchase either here (the B&B DVD) from Nick, or Lynn's DVD from

    Straight razor shaving is actually a bit tricky, and can be a little difficult to learn. Video's certainly help - but if you can find a barber, or know of a friend who can help you in person - it will be priceless. I've been thinking about making a few little videos on DE shaving, DE blade honing/stropping, Straight Razor stropping/honing/shaving, etc and hosting them on this site - is there any interest in that?

    Also - as a note to all, are there any interested in maybe doing a nor-cal straight razor shaving class? I could setup a class with a few Nor-Cal straight razor shavers, and we could teach you one-on-one.
  5. Has the razor been honed?
    Has the strop been treated?
    Is there drawl?

    ALWAYS keep the spine of the razor in contact with the strop, to not lift the razor from the strop, ROLL it on the spine (not the blade as that will "roll" the edge and dull the razor, as well as cut/destroy the strop) If you have cut up your strop badly, and it is no longer smooth, you will need another strop. Also - since you have dulled the razor with improper stropping technique, it will need to be honed.
  6. Suzuki

    Suzuki Moderator Emeritus

  7. I do some razor honing...I'm a touch closer than most of the people in the states. PM me and we'll talk about it.
  8. I for one would be really interested in watching videos of that Joel! Please, when you have the time.
    I think it would be a very interesting and nice addition to an already great and informative website!
  9. am sending the straight razor this weekend.
    i ordered a cheap merkur saftey one to see me through its absence, am looking forward to trying a shave with a double edge saftey razor.
  10. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Only on the Southern strops.
  11. how do you hone/strop a DE... I usualy just throw the old ones at SWMBO and let her deal with them :p

    although that usually results in me having to pay for dinner later but eh... it happens
  12. I get this sam question almost daily. Most people sem to remember the old barber using a hanging strop to sharpen a razor and that image stick with them. It's a good case of "a little bit of knowledge is dangerous".

    Proper stropping will keep a shave ready razor shave ready for quite a will not however git a new, right from the box razor sharp no matter how many hours you go after it. It is a shame so many mall and internet knife dealers that carry straights will tell you it's shave ready when you buy it. Even the manufactureres will hint in this directe such as Dovos claiming "shave ready" on some models. Most of these dealers don't even have the tools to properly sharpen what they sell.

    A new razor (with very few exceptions) is never sharp enough to shave. You either need to hone it yourself (long learning curve here) or send ot out for proper sharpening. To get it sharp yourself you will need a hone and most will choose the Norton 4K/8K. After it is properly honed a pasted paddle strop or finer finishing or barbers hone will KEEP it sharp and suppliment your daily stropping on leather. Beginners seem to have good luck with pasted paddles as the movements and pressure needed are the same as daily stropping. Some guys favor fine water hones which take a bit more practice and some use a combination of pasted strops and hones.

    Daily stropping on the traditional hanging strop only re-aligns the edge that is already there, sharp or dull it basically stays the same. A sharp edge gets rolled or out of alignment when shaving and the friction on the hanging strop straightens it out again. If truly dull, it will stay dull. For daily use the hanging strop is the tool of choice unless space or skill is an issue then maybe a smaller, hard surface paddle may be a better choice.

    Tony Miller
  13. It sounds like you have not yet established a good edge. If this is not done (on the 4000 grit side of a Norton) all following steps are fairly fruitless.

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