I recently (three days ago) switch from a Merkur Progress to a str8. I am getting decent shaves. Here are my issues 1. The first pass is ROUGH. I mean I almost want to quit because the blade just doesnt seem to cut through my beard well. I have a very tough beard. Subsequent passes are better. (I am comparing to a Merkur Progress with a feather blade this gets through my beard like a hot knife through butter.) 2. After a 3 pass shave I have a darn fine shave but my face is quite irritated. It burns, and itches on my neck. What could I be doing wrong, if anything? I think I am getting better at blade angle mainly because the shave closeness is getting better.