From Shavette to Straight Razor

Discussion in 'Straight Razor Shave Clinic' started by Eric62, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Hi I think I need some help here please i have been using a Feather shavette with Feather pro guard blades been doing fine over the last 6mths OK learning the art of shaving with a straight and how to hold it. Well I thought it was about time I went up to the real straight razor and got the poor man kit fro Larrey @ Whippeddog.com well I already had 4 days growth of beard went to use the razor i got from Larry went to shave and the razor seemed to drag across the beard it was like shaving with a blunt razor and did not seem to cut the face hair smoothly. And I also got a couple of nicks as well. I know it cant be Larry razor. so it must be me. Do I have to hold the razor from a different angle to the face than I did with my Feather razor & other shavette that I have used where I never had this problem. Thanks for any advice:straight:
     
  2. A Feather AC is not my idea of a shavette - the AC is wicked sharp and lasts longer than a shavette blade - it doesn't chatter with tough beards, either. Love it!

    A regular straight is never as sharp as the commercial replaceable blades so you will immediately notice that when shaving. It could be that your razor isn't an atom splitter but most of Larry's blades are sharp enough. The technique is different although I seem to have lapsed into a similar technique with both. My own straights are fairly sharp (.25 diamond is my finisher) so they will cut through the underbrush pretty easily.

    Try using the razor with a normal growth - get used to the patterns you need to be efficient. As you figure out the zen of it all, you will probably see what I'm talking about. Also, if you got the whole whippeddog kit, tune your razor up on the paddles to be sure it is keen enough. I don't hesitate to touch my own up - every time I use them.

    I love the AC but I also love my straights - they are different shaves but they are both nice. I probably use regular straights 3 to 1 over the AC.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  3. I found the same to be true with my Weck Sextoblade. I really enjoy using the Sexto so I tried traditional straights and found they are not for me.

    BTW I highly recomend the Sextoblades!
     
  4. Shave with a shavette, or a safety razor a few times, leaving a slight amount of stubble for the straight razor. When comfortable shaving very short stubble, then start leaving more stubble for the straight razor.

    Reducing the beard to stubble level is the hardest part of straight razor shaving to learn. So, at first, just skip that part of shaving!

    When you do shave a full length beard, lay the blade flat on your face and shave. Do this until the beard is short stubble level. Then, raise the elevation of the blade slightly to shave a little closer. When you shave a full length beard, you should expect pulling and resistance. There will be quite a bit of resistance if you your beard is tough. But you shouldn't get razor burn since your blade is shaving parallel with your skin.
     
  5. There was a non folding pass around here..nothing like a well honed straight imo...yea maybe not as machined sharp..but plenty sharp AND smooth..I only used this razor once..i couldnt stand the site of "blood spots"...not very forgiving
     
  6. Every once in a while, I revert back to using a Parker SR1 when I don't have enough time (or room in my knapsack) to strop. When I started with the Parker, it tended to cut me pretty regularly; but at the time, I was just starting out with a straight, under the impression that the Parker might help in an analogous way. With more than a year's straight-razor experience under my belt, I now find that the Parker gives me a pretty good shave when called upon. The trick is a combination of pulling skin and blade angle, which I learned from straights rather than the Parker. If you stropped the Whipped Dog blade as received, perhaps you rolled the edge? Since stropping is a preliminary step, there must be as much technique involved there as in shaving, if not more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  7. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I will have to say, that since the Feather AC is wicked sharp and gives good shaves, it much easier to use. When you move to a less keen regular straight you must pay more attention to growth patterns, proper skin stretching, and blade angle. Good Luck and keep at it!
     
  8. But...but... you say that like it is a *bad* thing! ;-}

    It is part of the zen - and boy, do I have a great example. I had been messing with handles for the Feather ACs so I was shaving with them (the Feathers... not the handles) for the last few days. Yesterday, I received a *nice* razor for which I paid way too much. I immediately honed it up and then shaved with it. I did several passes - tuning the razor between passes so it was just the way I wanted it. I could have been done quickly with the Feather. This shave took almost an hour and SWMBO was getting annoyed. It was great. This morning, I went in to shave and my face was still smooth.

    My new razor gave a better and longer lasting shave than the Feather.

    Future shaves with that razor will take lots less time but they will always take a tad longer than with the Feather. But that is a *good* thing. ;-}
     
  9. Thanks for all the info guys tried again today with the proper straight razor did one side of the face with a days growth did not cut myself this time and tried a different angle the drag was not so bad but shaving the days growth it did not do so well it did not seem to cut the very small hairs ( was using a 5xmag shaving mirror) Will try different angles over the next few days there is one thing I do notice is there is not that sound you get when shaving that I have had with the Feather and D/E could this be the type of razor I am using ? I mean you have these different types like "Full Hollow" and Half Hollow" ETC? But i will carry on even if it means that I will have more scares on my face than a German Duellist.
     
  10. (Warning: an entirely subjective description follows.) To me "that sound" of the DE & co. is the sound of short, staccato strokes from a mechanized edge. Sort of like rubbing sandpaper against sandpaper. During my first straight-razor shave with a Dovo full-hollow, I was struck by the ping-ping-ping of it all. Isolated popping hairs and all that. My first shave with a straight was a disaster though. Extra full-hollow yields an even nicer pinging sensation; but I wouldn't really recommend it to begin with, unless you really want to dig in deep from the start. In any case, my strokes with a straight, and to a lesser extent with the Parker, are normally much longer and sweeping than with a DE. And I almost never cut myself these days. Why is this? Perhaps it's because every time I put the blade to my face to make the pass, I risk to screw up the angle of incidence and cause a cut. Longer passes mean far fewer chances for this to occur to some extent--but experience has a lot to do with it as well--and there is always "the flex" of the longer blade at play here, which tends to be forgiving.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012

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