What straight is this?

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by ajw1976, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. I have been using a DE (Merkur HD) for about 2 months now. As many on this board, I would like to purchase a straight razor, but I have been put off by the amount of maintenance they require. Apparently it it realistic to take months/years before you are able to shave properly and hone them on your own. I'm not sure if this is a worthwhile investment of my time right now, especially if a disposable straight shaves just as well.

    I just noticed the following at Art of Shaving.. http://www.theartofshaving.com/taos/straight.php

    Do you feel that purchasing a disposable straight is a good tradeoff, or should I just purchase a shave ready straight (and eventually learn to hone), or would I be better off sticking with my safety razor?

    Thanks in advance for your comments.
  2. JMT


    It looks like a Dovo Shavette but it cost twice as much. I started wetshaving with a straight and the time and maintenance involved made me sell all of my gear and switch to shaving with DE's exclusively. I really liked the straight shave, I just didn't like the maintenance required on the actual razor. I know that if I ever go back to a straight razor I will start with a Shavette just because they are so affordable and you can use regular DE blades with them. I have read that the experience is different than using a "real" straight, but not having to worry about stropping and honing might just be worth it.
  3. Well it depends on how much time you think you would be willing to put into learning and maintaining a straight razor. A DE ( I never have personnaly used one) I think would be much less maintainence and easier to learn to use but something about telling someone that I use a straight razor and the reaction I get from them makes it more fun :) plus you get a super nice shave once you get it figured out. You do have to have a hone and strop for a straight which could cost you like $150 for the two, and DE you don't have to have it.

    I think alot of the guys that use a shavette mainly use it for traveling from what I have read.

    I have a straight razor and love it and my shaves get faster and faster the more I use it but I haven't got to the honing yet so thats another thing to learn. I bought a 2 sided paddle strop with one side for daily stropping and other pasted for touch ups. This helped keep my start up costs down till I have more money to get a top end strop and stone.

    Good luck to ya.
  4. Suzuki

    Suzuki Moderator Emeritus

    I like my shavette - shaves well and is no-fuss as far as maintenance goes - my barber also uses a shavette for hygene and maintenance issues.

    I think that the Feather disposable-blade straights get better reviews (never tried one), but are pricier.

    As for whether to use a shavette, Feather or a traditional, my view is to do what suits you best.

    Personally, I used the shavette to see if I wanted to take the straight thing further (I still use it on occasion), but I went to the traditional straights. If you're patient and reasonably competent, you can learn to hone and strop a straight in a couple of hours. You can also buy shave-ready straights for reasonable prices from several e-bay and straightrazorplace vendors. Practice razors on which you can hone your honing technique are a dime a dozen on e-bay.

    If you go the traditional route, you will need to buy some sharpening gear - I bought a single-sided strop from Lee Valley and put some microgrit sandpaper on the other side to use between honing and stropping - pretty cheap. I also bought a combination 1,000/4,000 grit waterstone for shaping/prehoning and got a great deal on a small hone on e-bay. In total, I spent close to $100 on sharpening stuff.

    I like my traditional straights better than the shavette - I find them easier to control and I don't nick myself as much with the trailing edge of the blade. I also just like the feel of them and think the weight does help with the shave.

    As for whether to stick with the DE - its really up to you - I agree with everything pitbulls said on the subject. I only shave with a straight very occasionally and much prefer my DE.

    One thing to add - if you try straight shaving, you WILL cut yourself!
  5. I'll sell you one, in plastic, with extra blades for $20. Oh wait, wrong forum...LOL
  6. LOL Yep I think that is just about guarenteed. Don't let that scare you away though. Think of it this way. Straight were the only way to shave even before DEs and cartridge razors came about. All those men that used them lived to shave another day. I cut myself bad one day but since the razor is so sharp that its really not that bad. (If that makes sense to ya)

    A styptic pencil is nice to have around also.

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