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A shavette as an intermediate between DE and real straight?

I'm getting more and more interested in straight razors but I will look at this forum some more before taking the jump.
A complete set does cost some money and it would be stupid to find out it just isn't for me.
So, would a shavette be a good investment meanwhile?
They are not so expensive and then I could just focus on technique without worrying to much about the health of the razor itself.

If so, what brand should I look for?
And for the blades since I suppose these blades are standardized like DE blades?
How long do these disposable blades last? (the same as DE blades?)
Can you extend the life of these blades (stropping?)?

I know, a lot of questions...
 
So, would a shavette be a good investment meanwhile?

no. The ergonomics of the shavette are all wrong compared with a traditional straight. The shank is too short (your fingers get in the way between the razor and your face) , the blade holder is too thick (so you can't get a low enough angle on the blade), and the whole setup is too light which makes it more difficult to control. Shavettes are fine for light-duty work like cleaning up the back of the neck, and trimming sideburns, but is really not very good for major shaving. AFAIK the only two replaceable-blade straight-like razors that feel similar to a traditional straight are the Feather AC and the Monsieur Charles.

The Monsieur Charles probably the best inexpensive option, it's about $30 for the razor and injector blades are readily available, and it feels almost exactly like a 6/8 wedge razor in use. The only problem is it's made extremely cheaply out of cast tin and plastic. The Feather AC is built extremely well, but costs as much as a traditional straight razor. If you want to go this route then try to find one in the Buy/Sell/Trade forum, where they're pretty frequently traded. If you don't like it then you can sell it and get nearly all of your money back.


And for the blades since I suppose these blades are standardized like DE blades?

The shavette uses DE blades (broken in half) and injector blades, as well as the long DE blades and Fromm hair shaper blades - it uses a plastic adapter for each blade type. The Monsieur Charles uses injector blades, and the Feather AC can use injector blades but is really designed for its own proprietary blades.


How long do these disposable blades last? (the same as DE blades?)
A couple or three shaves if you're using injector or DE blades. The Feather Super Pro blades last two weeks, which at $10 for a pack of 20 makes them a surprisingly good bargain.


Can you extend the life of these blades (stropping?)?

No. Even the depression-era glass stroppers don't work on the shavette DE blades once they're broken in half.
 
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:thumbdown dont buy the shavette go straight for the straight:shaving: i have and wont look back, tried the shavette and binned it, it dug in i could do detail work like the back of knecks after hair cuts but couldnt shave with one:angry:
im not doin too bad with the wapi.
 
I toyed around with this idea, but with some patience I picked up a starter set for 50 bucks (I sold the other items and brought the cost down a bit more). I'm glad I did. Its been a treat.
 
Chances are if you try a shavette you will want a straight anyways...unless you think you might like it for traveling i wouldnt get one. I had one and used it for about a month and then went full bore into a nice dovo a strop and now getting into honing...for what you pay for a shavette you could spend a little more and get a shave ready vintage from a member here or at straightrazorplace.com and then a strop and be all set for a while...

also resale on straights is pretty good so if you dont like it you can resell it...
 
I was originally thinking about going with the shavette or the Feather AC as an intermediate step as well, but after investigating it, it seems to me like it's probably not the way to go. As I understand it, the blade angle is different on both of those razors than on a traditional straight, so it might not shorten the straight razor learning curve. The advantage, obviously, is not having to take the time for stropping, honing, etc. Those are big concerns for me as well, but I realized that if I really feel that the time crunch is too much for straight shaving I may as well stay with a DE.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Why bother: what is the benefit of the intermediate step? I have read that shavettes are less forgiving than straights...

I suppose the main benefit is the ability to omit stropping and honing ... and the n00b fear of screwing things up and ending up with swiss cheese for a face.

It would, I agree, be better to skip that 'stepping stone' but methinks a lot of guys starting out will welcome that intermediate phase regardless of how they will feel about it a couple years from now.
 
I do not regret starting with a shavette. They're not expensive and you can concentrate on learning how to shave. I think I paid about $15 for my shavette and it was very useful as a back up razor when I dinged mine. They provide very good shaves, if you can get a bloodless or near bloodless shave with a shavette, it's plain sailing with a true straight.
 
i'd say its a bastard child of the two, looks like a straight, shaves like a single edge.

Normaly i'd say dive in, but theres a decent snaguine goign for 14 shipped in the bst, thats a great deal.
 
There's nothing wrong with shavettes - they'll give you a good shave.

However, it's easier to learn on a proper straight and then learn to use a shavette afterwards the techniques are very similar but not identical and a shavette is just "trickier". Not that you can't learn on a shavette but it's not the best way (imo).
 
I do not regret starting with a shavette. They're not expensive and you can concentrate on learning how to shave. I think I paid about $15 for my shavette and it was very useful as a back up razor when I dinged mine. They provide very good shaves, if you can get a bloodless or near bloodless shave with a shavette, it's plain sailing with a true straight.

+1..I got a shavette on a pif drawing and it started me on my use of str8's. It is a good start to build confidence and understanding of how a smooth bbs shave really feels like. I sent for continuous DE use to this and never used a DE again. I still use the shavette when traveling.
JMHO
Headdoc
 
The other thing, of course, it that it removes the edge variable. Mine had Gillete blades, and they were great, very sharp. If you don't get a good shave, chuck the blade and start over again. Much less ambiguous that having to worry your self into the idea that your razor might not be shave ready, or you might have stropped it wrong or etc etc etc.
 
I suppose the main benefit is the ability to omit stropping and honing ... and the n00b fear of screwing things up and ending up with swiss cheese for a face.

It would, I agree, be better to skip that 'stepping stone' but methinks a lot of guys starting out will welcome that intermediate phase regardless of how they will feel about it a couple years from now.

I stand corrected...:blushing:. Been a while since I had to worry about screwing up an edge by stropping badly. Another advantage is that you never wonder if shavette is shave ready or not. Eliminating that variable allows you to focus exclusively on technique.
 
I'm getting experience with a Feather straight razor! I know that maybe the cut is worst than a normal str8 razor..but i believe that its more safe! (?):cool: cant stop looking to my 3 Filarmonica...they are waiting:biggrin:
 
I picked up a cheap shavette from Sally's that uses half a double edge a few months ago and have used it a handfull of times to test the waters. It was rough at first. The first shave was awful with most of the hair on my neck and chin still intact and a few weepers to show for the effort. I have gotten quite good with it by now, though, by keeping in mind that "All bleeding eventually stops." and focusing on the angle and force applied to the razor. I must say the best advice from Joel for me so far has been "Be confident." Scary at times, but absolutely dead on. I have acquired a couple of inexpensive vintage straights and am slowly improving their edges by using pasted balsa wood. I test them from time to time and it is obvious they are close, but not quite there. I can tell already though, that the weight and balance of the real straight razor would make for a much easier shave. I am getting the full kit and wish I had sooner. I feel compelled to master this now. I have the bug.
 
I have acquired a couple of inexpensive vintage straights and am slowly improving their edges by using pasted balsa wood. I test them from time to time and it is obvious they are close, but not quite there. I can tell already though, that the weight and balance of the real straight razor would make for a much easier shave.
if they don't have proper bevel you'll probably die before you get them right.
99% of the vintage straights have edges worse than this:
http://www.straightrazorplace.com/f...ference-between-shave-great-shave-pic0024.jpg

and getting that edge straight is no job for honing on pasted balsa.
 
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