Suggestion for 1ST Straight Razor

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by atracksler, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. I have been saving for a year or so with a DE (Merkur Futur) and have the uncontrollable urge to step up to a Straight Razor.

    What would you suggest as a good first timer straight razor?


  2. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 Moderator Emeritus

    I would suggest a shave ready razor from one of the honemeisters at SRP. Or purchase one from Classic Shaving and use their sharpening service, which is done by Lynn Abrams.

  3. Joe currently has a list of available razors for sale. These are all shave ready.

    They are all very reasonably priced.

    He will send you some pictures if you are interested in them.

    Look at the For Sale: forum at

  4. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus Contributor

  5. I would suggest a Thiers Issard Loup et Bellier model razor of your choice from Classicshaving. Have it honed by Lynn. You will not be disappointed.

  6. Rik

    Rik Moderator Emeritus

  7. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    I have to recommend against starting with a new razor. My first was a brand spanking new TI. Trouble is, you're going to have to learn how to maintain that puppy. In retrospect, I should have spent more time learning to hone and strop on a cheapy.
    I don't care if that razor is honed by God himself (who, according to some, resides on Eventually, it will lose its perfect edge, and you're going to have to know what to do about it.
  8. This is why I haven't tried a straight yet... I don't think that I would have either the time or ability to maintain a shave-worthy edge on a SR... it's too bad really, I think that it would be an interesting and worthwhile experience.
  9. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 Moderator Emeritus

    Just another advantage of going with a inexpensive, shave ready razor!

  10. It's not that hard if you *start* with a shave-worthy edge. It's getting one there in the first place that is a bit of an art. Given a paddle strop with one side covered with 1 micron paste and the other in 0.5 micron paste even a beginner can keep a razor going for a long, long time; just give it a few laps on the 1M side and 10-15 on the 0.5M side every week or so and it will stay sharp.

    The big reason to start with a used razor with a known good edge is to minimise frustration and let you focus on your shaving technique without worrying about honing, plus it gives you a benchmark when you do finally take up the hone.
  11. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 Moderator Emeritus

    Well said!

  12. Dubl Duck is a very good make, and the satinduck and pearlduck razors are good models, but both of those razors have significant hone wear at the tip that will make them trickier to hone. If you get them, make sure you send them off to a skilled honemeister before trying to shave with them. Or send one off and practice your honing on the other. The barber's hone that is included isn't really suitable for honing a dull razor, they're only useful for maintaining the edge on a razor that is already sharp.

    Good luck!
  13. I, too, have been bitten by the bug which forces many of us to try straight razors. In fact, I just made my first 2 razor purchases and anxiously await the delivery of the goods. The first thing I did was join the straight razor place, SRP:,com_frontpage/Itemid,39/

    and ask the gurus over there for advice. My thinking was to follow their advice rather than reinvent the wheel. The recommendations all strongly suggested buying a used, shave ready, razor(s) from a reputable source(s) and at least touching base with Tony Miller on the strop/honing issue. I just ordered a pre-pasted 4-sided paddle from Tony instead of following through on my initial impulse to jump right into hones. I also ordered one of his "seconds" as my first hanging strop.

    After asking around on the SRP, I was offered a shave ready razor by a senior member at a very reasonable price to get me started. I also emailed Bob Keyes, a recommended eBay restorer under the handle Altima55, who sells shave ready razors. I won one of his auctions today on my third attempt. Bob's a great guy to chat with via email and he answered many of my questions about his razors prior to my bidding.

    Best wishes on your journey.
  14. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    I bought a few razors from Bob Keyes, as well, and they all arrived very clean. I think he's one of the only ebay sellers that you can't go wrong with.

    Which razor did you get?

    A couple of months ago, I bought a Tony Miller "2nd" to give to a friend. It was nicer than my Dovo.

    The SRP community may be a more narrowly focused forum than B&B, but they certainly have their share of experts.
  15. I picked up a Robeson Suredge made in Rochester NY. It arrived very clean and sharp and provided me my first se shave. I'm very very pleased with the service I have received from Bob which includes answering numerous questions from a newbie. I now have his weekly offerings bookmarked under my favorites.

    As I'm waiting on my strops from Tony Miller which should arrive in a day or two, I took the se to my local barber for stropping. It was quite the social experience as all work stopped in the shop and everyone came over to see my purchase. My barber also showed me his Belgian coticule which was given to him as a gift in 1957. It has now developed quite the "smile" which he tends to ignore.
  16. I would recommend getting a pre-honed razor from Lynn at SRP. One thing.... don't go for one of the "really expensive" razors that are touted to be "the best" like a dubl duck, puma, TI, etc. There are many brands out there that are just as good for a fraction of the cost, such as genco, geneva, waterville, and if you are really lucky - you can get the best shaving razors out there (much better than a puma, TI, dubl duck, etc) called a "Mappin & Webb"

    Straight razors can be mighty pricey..... good luck. :smile:
  17. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 Moderator Emeritus

    Buying from Bob is a good thing. He is a SRP member, and I've bought several excellent and inexpensive razors from Bob. Joel offers good advice. You can buy a shave ready razor, but there's nothing that compares to a Lynn honed shave ready razor. I even had Lynn re-hone a Waterville I bought from Joel. Shaving with a straight is a true "down to earth" experience. It's almost ceremonial when you include stropping. Just remember that when you strop, take your time. Many a good edge has been ruined by poor stropping.

  18. AJS


    Not disagreeing with your point about the pricier straights, but I thought that the Chronik razor was the best straight in your opinion.
  19. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    If I recall correctly, you got that for a very low price (~$17?). I didn't bid on that one because I had my eye on another ending the same night. My only complaint about Bob's auctions (and this is being really nitpicky) is that they end in fifteen minute intervals. I understand his reasoning for this, but it necessitates my being at the ready, as I don't always want to bid on all of them at once.

    Remember that a razor is essentially just a piece of steel. As Joel points out, there are more than just one or two lofty players in this game. I recently got a simple Geneva that's one of my best shavers. Big name does not always equal great shave. You're a whole lot better off practicing on one of the cheapies than on a three figure blade.

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