Used Straights?

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by MasonM, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. I have been curious about trying a straight but as I am not sure I'll like it or want to stick with it I was thinking about getting a used one. That way I'm not out as much money if I don't stay with it.

    In an antique store today I was looking at old straights. A couple of them seemed like they were in quite good condition. The edges weren't nicked and the blades only had a few dark spots of what I assume is oxidation.

    They also seemed quite sharp which surprised me as I assume these old razors would likely be dull. The prices ranged from $20 - $105. The $105 was something called a Duck (I think). I'm looking for something at the lower end to start.

    My questions:

    1. Is this a good way to buy a first straight?

    2. As I know nothing at all about straights, what should I be looking for in one?

    3. I noticed a big difference in the sizes of the blades bewteen different razors. How much difference does this make? One ACME had what I thought was a huge blade.

    4. Finally, would I just be better off to find an affordable new one?
  2. Mason - There is a good FAQ at

    The $105 is a Dubl Duck. If it is a Wonderedge with nice scales, it might be worth the price and then some. :biggrin:

  3. Thanks, I'll check it out.

    As to the Dubi Duck and scales, I wasn't aware that ducks had scales. :confused1
  4. I'll second visiting straight razor place. I learned a ton there when i was first starting. As far as razors go, I've been practicing my honing and have a razor that I put in (close to) shaving shape that I'd be willing to send your way to learn with. The thing is, it won't be as sharp as Lynn or Joe (at SRP) could get it so it might not be best to learn on (shave sharp is important). Despite how sharp the ones at the shop seemed to you, chances are they aren't sharp enough to shave with. Pluck a hair from your head and let it fall on the blade if it pops the hair off at the point of contact its near sharp enough.

    Get some picks of that dubl duck it might be worth something.

    All the best,

  5. Thanks. I wouldn't want to put you out and, as you said, a good sharp razor would probably be best. Thanks for that input on the sharpness as I really wouldn't know the difference otherwise.

    I was looking over straight razor place. I didn't see an FAQ that adressed my questions so I'll just take my time and read through the forums. I'm sure the answers are there. It looks like a very informative place.

    I may just hold off until I can purchase a new one.
  6. A new one wont' come shave sharp. If you want to get started order one from Lynn or Joe Chandler and they'll send it to you shave ready. LX_Emergency (alex) another guy there is getting ready to sell some nice razors for a good price and he can hone a razor up ultra sharp too. You might consider dropping him a PM. New razors need to be honed before use. To get started you'll also need a strop for daily maintenance. You can get by without learning to hone though part of the fun is keeping the blade in shape.

    On the main page of SRP there should be some link to faqs or guides.
  7. Thank you. The only FAQ link I saw was a basic "how to use this site" type of thing.

    I was considering ordering a ready to shave from Tony, Lynn, or one of the others I've see recommended here. I'll check with Alex as well. Thanks for that.
  8. Mason, there is also a nice guide written by Dr. Chris (an esteemed gentleman) over at SMF. There is a link on the homepage. It is in PDF. Might be a good place to go.
  9. Thank you, I'll look for it.
  10. I am readin Dr. Chris' article now.

    Ok, I know what the duck's scales are now :lol:
  11. Mason,

    I have a number of vintage straights on my site, which I sell as "collector items". I make no claims as their being shave ready. However, it will give you an appreciation of some of what else is out there. As a member of Straight Razor Place, I endorse the previous recommendations about the site in general, as well as Lynn and Joe as highly respected providers of shave ready razors.
  12. I do not recommend the Dubl Duck if your just looking for a shave. If the interest and money is there go ahead and get an inexpensive one at that antique shop. You should get a shave ready razor from one of the guys at Get a hone and start practicing. Its fun! One to shave and one to practice with.
  13. Great, I'll take a look. WHo knew there was so much to know about straight razors? :lol:
  14. That sounds like good advice. Thank you.
  15. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Very nice little site you've got there.:thumbup:
  16. Hi Mason,

    SRP is a great resource, I tend to use it more than B&B these days as I'm becoming more focussed on straights than DE (though I still read B&B every day!). It's a little hard to navigate the site but if you go to the main homepage at (rather than the forum homepage) there are two areas linked on the left side which will be of great use.

    One is the downloads area, where there are masses of help files, PDF documents, videos etc. And the other is the gallery, as well as people showing off their razors, this is where Lynn advertises his cheaper razors for sale. He often has restored and shave-ready models for sale from $40, and you can buy with total confidence as Lynn will never sell you a lemon - you can't really go wrong buying from him.

    Other recommended places to buy razors are:

    Joe Chandler
    Bill Ellis
    Tony Miller

    Even if you have zero knowledge, you can't really go wrong buying from these guys as they're all very knowledgable and reputable in the community.

    The best purchase you could make though, if you're thinking of getting in to straight razor shaving is Lynn's DVD "The World of Straight Razor Shaving". This is absolutely superb and covers pretty much you ever need to know in great detail. You can find the details here:

    Good luck, and I'm sure we'll see you over at SRP sometime soon. :smile:
  17. I noticed I was mentioned already. I still have one or 2 that I can send out right away and still have a few that I'll be working on as well. Send me a PM and we'll talk about what you'd like to spend and what preferences you have.

    You can also send me an e-mail at

    lxemergency at gmail dot com
  18. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Mason, I agree that you'll be a lot better off buying a used straight that has been made shave ready. Even if you purchased a brand spanking new one, it would still require some work before it would deliver a good shave. As for the age, don't worry about the fact that it's "used". These things are timeless. Almost all of my razors are pre-WWII, and some of my best shavers are pre-WWI. There's nothing wrong with a new Dovo or Thiers-Issard, but first you should decide if you like this way of doing things.

    Bear in mind that a straight razor requires an all encompassing commitment- you must be prepared to strop and hone, but that's all part of the fun.
  19. Suzuki

    Suzuki Moderator Emeritus

    I have a few straights that sit unloved in a box - simply don't have time to shave with them.

    Getting a good used shave-ready razor from someone is definitely the way to go. I just started by buying some razors that I thought looked decent at an antique shope and figured out how to hone and sharpen them - but took a lot of time and trial and error.

    If you want to learn how to hone a razor, buy an inexpensive one from an antique store or other vendor so that you can practice without screwing up your "good" razor.

    I actually bought a cheap shavette (the ones that use 1/2 of a DE blade) to see if I would like a straight - funny think is I got better shaves from the straights I sharpened myself than I ever got with the shavette.

    After all this talk about straights, I'm thinking of cracking mine out again!
  20. All of this advice makes perfect sense to me, and I appreciate it.

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