I need feedback on this setup

Discussion in 'Straight Razor Shave Clinic' started by TuxSax, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Hi all!
    I've found a nice site that offers several starter kits for straight razor wet shaving.
    Those setups, apart from the most important, razor and strop, it includes all the rest, the brush, the mug, soap, balm, etc.
    After following your tips on what to buy, I'm looking for a relatively cheap set to get me started on this journey, but on the other hand, I don't want to go TOO cheap, as it would have it's trade off in quality.
    I want you to give me an opinion about this set, just before I order it

    Is this a good setup? Would you recommend me to buy it?
    There are upgrade options to the set, as well as other sets, please take a few minutes to look around and tell me what do you think.
    I can't wait to get my first straight razor shaving!!!
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    You can probably do better. A vintage razor could do just as well or better at a lower cost, and basically everything else there is going to be "shaving by committee" where the contents are picked to be generally acceptable, rather than truly great (or even necessary) ... as with almost all "kits".

    Assemble your pieces separately for a better result. A Tony Miller strop, a puck of Tabac or DR Harris, a Rudy Vey brush (or if the budget is pressing you, an Omega boar).
  3. I opted for this kit only because I'm sending this overseas and the shipping fees are multiplied if I'm buying everything separately, I thought I couldn't go too wrong with a Dovo razor. Also, I guess that will be my first, not my last, and since it's a new one, even though is not best quality, I know what I'm getting, with a vintage razor, buying via internet, without actually seeing the product, and not having a deep understanding nor experience about razors, I don't really know what I'm going to get. And yes, I'm on a budget, I can't afford myself a 300 bucks razor, a 150 bucks brush or a 200 bucks strop. BTW, Tony Miller is not taking any more orders currently, it means you can send him a mail and you'll get in the waiting list, and maybe get it a few months later, or not at all...
    I'm sure I can get better stuff, the question is how "low" can I go without getting TOO low, and get some tools that will do the job "just fine" and not "par excellence", at least for the beginning
    Thanks for your input
  4. I think you should be ok with that set. Only you can be the judge of what you are willing to spend but the 'one stop shopping' reducing the shipping is a pretty good idea. There is nothing in that set that jumps out at me as being 'garbage' and I think you will have fun with those items as you wade into shaving with a straight. I'm sure that other internet shopping savvy members might steer you to other places/sets but I think that one will suit your needs for now.
  5. I think you'll be fine with that set, similar to what I upgraded to when I started, except I got all my stuff separately.

    The razor is fine, I' still use my original Dovo, and sharpened by Lynn you'll have no issues with sharpness. Although it will dull eventually unless you have great stropping technique off the bat, be aware of that. This is where it can be more cost effective to have a couple vintage razors, pro sharpened, you could 2-3 for $100-$150 depending where you go

    As for the rest of it you need a strop/mug/brush either way .. I've got two SRD strops and they're great, so can't complain there. A lot of Straight shaving comes to preference once you've got the basics down. What type of brush do you like, type of styles and sizes of razors, what kind of draw on your strop do you prefer.

    Congrats on starting up in straight shaving, it's a great hobby!
  6. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    IMO the razor you get is the least important piece of the puzzle, since any decent razor will hone up and shave nicely. The strop is a little more important, but you will likely nick and cut your first one, so a cheaper first strop might be better. Cheap Badger brushes tend to be scritchy, I would get a Semogue and call it a day. Soap is cheap, but I would get a known performer vs. a private label one.

    I would get a sight unseen blade and strop from whippeddog.com, a Semogue boar bristle from Vintage scent, and a 20.00 puck of Tabac, MWF, ToBS, etc.

    I think it will all come out to under 100.00, even buying from different vendors. Then get on Tony's wait list!!

    TBO the 100.00 will get you equally, or even better stuff save for the razor, as the razor from whippeddog will be a vintage past it's prime, but still fully capable of nice shaves. Then, when you know how to properly care for and use a razor and know what type of razor you prefer, pick up a show queen of a straight. :)
  7. bbarton713

    bbarton713 Contributor

    I was on Tony's wait list and he had an opening after only a week or so. I'll have a new strop next week!
  8. lz6


    I think you picked a great set up from an outstanding vendor.
  9. Following Kentos suggestion, which I'm not sure it's right or not, I always believed the razor should be a good one as it's the part you get to touch your face, you wouldn't want to shave with a piece of rusty razor made out of tin, would you?
    In any case, I could still search and find a cheaper one, at least as a start, and I've actually found something that caught my eye, but it seems too good to be true, so I decided to share with you and see if some of you can tell me more about them.
    I've found a company named Razor MD which has a nice story about the founders and all the pharmacological background of their products, what I'm most curious to know about is their straight razor.
    How can that be so cheap? Will this razor be a good start for me?
    Please tell me what do you think.
    Here they sell them at $16, but on their own site they sell for $60!
    I also don't understand such a big difference in the price!
    Please help me decide if this is a good option or I should move on and go with something "safer"
  10. I can't say I've heard of them but for that price, I woudn't be too hopeful. There is no mention of it being shave ready so you'd need to factor in the honing cost as well. You'd be better off going for a whippeddog starters kit I think.
  11. You may be right about that, I didn't think about the honing part...
    I just wanted to know if it's just me or you too think this sounds too good to be true, I mean, how can they be so cheap and still have a reasonable quality, on the other hand, is that so? can't it be that someone is manufacturing less fancy stuff for real cheap price? I don't know, it made me think...
  12. Back to your point about the razor...I don't think I want to put a $16 straight against my face, not to mention trying to hone it. I am just getting into the straight game myself after six months of DE shaving, so I already have all the software I need. For hardware, I went with Glenn's restored vintage Gemstar DFS Razor #155 over at gemstarcustoms.com and a sight unseen kit from WhippedDog (along with an extra strop). Larry's shipping charges over at WhippedDog are very reasonable, particularly for international transit. This way, I have two shave ready razors and the sight unseen will likely be on the ugly side so I won't feel like I'm hurting something expensive while learning.
  13. Really, isn't your face expensive enough? :wink2:
  14. Now I'm even more confused, I decided to make a search on ebay for straight razors and I've found tons of bids with items that look very good, the question is how good or bad can it be to by from someone there that claims the razor has been professionally restored, honed and shave ready, and also the pictures look great.
    I never bought from anyone on ebay, but I know a lot of people that buy a lot of different stuff and they are all happy with what they get, so I don't know...
    Also, I've heard that people on ebay work hard to get a good reputation, and that's something they wouldn't want to ruin for a few bucks...
    what do you think?
    If someone that understands about vintage razors names and brands can give me a hand, I'll PM them a few example of the bids I've found interesting (another tip I've got is not to publish ebay auctions bids on forums as it draws more attention and if there's something you're planning to buy you're only raising the interest on them and may lose the bid...)
  15. Don't trust eBay claims. Getting a shave-ready razor from eBay is a crap shoot. I've actually discovered a couple of sellers that are quite good at honing and their razors were dynamite when I received them. However, they are in the minority for me. I've received many so-called shave ready razors that were terrible - and those from some sellers with high numbers.

    For a safer start, look for vintage razors. Make sure they are true vintage - not just labeled vintage - there are several new junker razors that start their description with 'vintage' but they are crap. They may not be shave ready in any case.

    Look at B/S/T for ideas and pricing. Usually the sellers on B/S/T are real shavers and when they say it will shave, it probably will. Ask here about brand names. I wouldn't feel good about advising you on a specific purchase unless you were willing to take the outside gamble that the purchase still may not work out. I've suckered myself into buying turkeys before.

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