Welcome - I love your avatar!Hello, all! I'm Larry from Florida, USA. First post.
The first time I entertained the notion of a straight edge in MY hands was about 10 days ago. I tend to be a bit impulsive and I like nice things. I'm struggling to balance on the tight rope of taking it slowly or jumping in. I figured I'd provide a little background since my story is a bit unlike the half-dozen or so other newcomers' threads I've read.
I've been using a safety razor (Merkur) since I started shaving at about 16 years old. I'm 56. My hobbies include amateur watchmaking, carpentry and a few musical instruments. I mention this because the carpentry led me to the hobby of sharpening steel edges. I don't think the learning curve of sharpening will be full of gnashing of teeth. I'm aware that sharpening should be the last thing on my list, and first should be developing muscle memory, technique and just getting comfortable with a straight edge razor. I will focus on the items in green first.
How I'm different from some of the others is that I've been very comfortable with a DE safety razor for decades. The memory of my first shave at my grandparent's house is like yesterday. My grandfather said, "You need to shave." The combination of rite of passage and recognition that I was becoming an adult is a fond memory. He encouraged me to try his safety razor shortly after he saw my expression. I did, and pressed way too hard and cut myself in many places, but quickly recognized that "just let the tool do the work" was the way to go. And it was. His only advice was, "You didn't wash first? You should have." What a knucklehead. The things we learn...... What I would give to see my grandfather again, and if only that technological marvel with the gull wing doors like the Tesla was passed down to me...
I'm rambling, but I can't remember the last time I cut myself. I shave in the shower with bar soap (soap-making is another hobby of mine, and I use my own) and once my face and neck is lathered up, without a mirror, I'm usually finished shaving within 90 seconds or so. I've read that a shavette is a good first purchase to see if one will commit and I understand the rationale of a factory blade in a straight edge package/"ready to shave" point of reference, etc. But despite the benefits of a shavette, I have no desire to buy one. In my experience, manual dexterity has always developed more easily with the first tool I put in my hand. I don't know if moving forward with that notion is foolish or not. The shavette is not a straight edge, I'd be learning one thing, then another and it seems like an extra step. Is that irrational?
For the last 10 days I've been reading threads and watching You Tube videos (mostly Geofatboy) and I feel like it's time.
Reminding everyone that I'm a bit impulsive, I honestly don't know if I'm rationalizing pulling the trigger or asking the forum for permission! My preference would be to buy a 5/8, round nose, carbon steel new straight edge, a brush, soap, and an inexpensive strop and have at it. Maybe a Boker, or Dovo.
Reading threads on this forum humbles me by how friendly, knowledgeable and generous members are with their knowledge. The time that some of you take to respond to newcomers restores my faith in humanity. It truly is a pleasure to learn and be blown away at the same time.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I suppose I'm asking for some advice in purchasing like from whom, in what form (singularly or a kit), and any other small tips you might have. I became aware that you folks actually LISTEN (is that possible on the internet?) and tailor your advice based on the disclosures of the newcomer.
I know that the handsome gentleman rbscebu (but the girls call him another name I don't remember) always asks for location so he can recommend a honemeister, so that's why I said where I am. If there's anything else that I could say to help you nudge me along, just ask. Finally, couched in that long ramble is the question, "Do I need to slow down?" LOL