DE safety razor shaving vs. straight edge shaving

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by bpire2002, May 18, 2012.

  1. As a newb, i felt starting with a DE razor as opposed to jumping straight into a straight edge. So far my shave with the DE has been great! my question is, was it smart to start with DE shaving rather a straight razor, OR, should i just pull the trigger and start learning with a straight edge?

    Thanks fellas
  2. there's no reason you couldn't start with a straight razor instead of going with a DE the way you did, and many others. that said, there are benefits to learning how to use a DE especially if you have employment that requires your appearance to be clean shaven. On it's face, getting a clean shave with a DE for most is a lot easier to do vs. using a straight razor solely

    When I started wet shaving in Feb. 2011 I chose to go DE initially and never considered usiang a straight razor until a month afterwards, so I bought one (a straight in March) and gave it a shot. That's about all I shave with anymore (straight razors). For me, I like the challange using a straight, and I enjoy keeping the edge up and debaying razors found in the wild

    If you've ever spent any amount of time shaving with carts you'll notice shaving with a DE uses the same motor skills more or less so it's a natural and easy progression going from carts to DE, then all one needs to figure out is how to build a lather using a brush and soap, so from that stand point, starting out with a DE instead of going right to a straight will pay some dividends while you learn how to use a shaving brush and soap (and or cream) you'll get a good shave right off while figuring out the lathering bit

    If you feel you want to try your hand at using a straight razor, there's no time like now. Jump in

    A lot of the peeps here will recommend for you to get a starter kit from Whipped dog. It's about $55 for a shave ready vintage razor, strop and some balsa slats loaded with oxides to bring the edge back when it starts to tug. Hell of a deal, no doubt, and Larry is a great guy to do business with. I'm trying to recall everyting I bought from him but I know I bought all of my razor rolls from him and the prices were righteous. I've never purchased a razor from Larry but many have and his rep is Sterling

    I knew going into straight razor shaving that I'd be all in so I bought new kit. Since then I have purchased other new straight razors yet 90% of my razors are vintage I found in the wild. I get high scoring old straights that have been sitting for decades then bring them slowly back to life and shave with them


    Reddick Fla.
  3. IMHO its better to do the DE first so that you can get use to the feel of the shave. The technique is different than using any cart or disposable. Of course the DE razor is heavier than a disposable, so its also good to get the feel of not having to use the pressure that is usually needed with the cheap plastic razor.

    Of course you can jump right in to straights, no one says you must go the DE route first, but to me its better to get the feel of that different razor, the DE, before you move to straights. That's what I did, and it worked fine for me, but of course YMMV.
  4. Question is do you get a better shave with a straight razor or is it just personal preference? I would think with an adjustable DE your shave would be safer and perhaps as close?
  5. I get great shaves either way... But for me, straight razor shaves are boring and I don't enjoy them as much as rotating my large collection of vintage Gillette's. I might be the only one that feel's this way, but to me your not missing much by not straight shaving.

  6. ~~~some that use a straight will tell you they use a straight razor because they get a better shave using this type of razor over *anything* else...or other type of shaving tool. Then there are those that prefer to shave with a straight because for them, it just feels right, or they like the process or?....

    If you're curious about trying one, go for it...there are plenty of ways to get started. If you find you do not care for straight razor shaving...sell what kit you acquired here on the BST

    Shaving with any type of safety razor, say like a DE or an SE (Gem type for example), so long as there is a safety bar in front of the blade, it will most certainly be safer from a goofus standpoint. But, you can still cut yourself handling the throw away blades, either in or out of the razor...

    As far as closeness's a toss up which shaves closest, safety or open blade. some will tell you a straight shaves closer then others will say a safety will provide a closer shave. I think what is important is what you yourself feel the most comfortable using, not how others perceive their shaving tool experience will provide for them


    Reddick Fla.
  7. I went straight to a straight. It takes time to learn just like a de. Pick one and stick with it for a few months til you know what you are doing. Don't try to learn both at the same time. I recently ordered a de so I can learn how to use it before my son needs to start shaving.
  8. You know, i've been searching around for "does a double edge razor shave better than a str8"
    I have tons of straights and have been doing it for quite some time. I am also a bit of a hone meister, however I have a few razors honed by different pros.
    In my opinion, Im starting to think that DE blades, whether its a shavette or in a de razor, cuts the hair with less pressure and more ease. I feel the reason for this is simply that DE blades are incredibly thin... sure extra hollow ground straights get thin, but still not quite like the paper thin DE blade. If DE blades could be honed on fine and natural stones like str8s... they would be amazing.
    The fact is I can shave with a DE with ZERO discomfort... I can do the same with a straight but it is NEVER as close. My beard hair is very coarse, these are my findings so far.
    DE blades shave "better" than a straight for me. With or without "pro honed" razors.
  9. I have shaved with DEs, SEs, Injectors, and back in the late 70s I shaved with a straight. I quit the straight after a couple of years because I found it to be tedious and I didn't like the maintenance overhead. I never felt that I got a better shave with a straight because all of the razors that I've used are capable of giving a BBS, and you can't get closer than a BBS. Of course, some gents like the nostalgia factor and macho feeling of shaving with a Straight, but that was never my bag. As always, YMMV.
  10. alex2363

    alex2363 Contributor

    Even this thread is 5 years old, the new insights are appreciated.
  11. I can do BBS with straights and DEs in certain areas, but on my neck especially, I have extremely sensitive. I can't get close at all there with a straight, but can get a lot closer with a DE in those areas.
    I think a big reason DE razors cut better for me is because in a razor they are held firm, and don't bend much. The straights bite the hair, bend a little then 'PING' lob the hair off. That is why you hear the singing sound. I personally do not find that as pleasant of a feeling on my face as a de razor.
    Like valeria said, straight razors are a bunch of maintenance. You can't get the handles wet, gotta oil em somtimes, honing stropping bla by bla bu blaaaaa tightening the pivots yadayada.
    For me what is more similar to a DE shave is a good kamisori... I have a couple NOS ones, and a nubatama. The hard white steel doesn't flex like a western, feels much more like a DE to me.

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