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Anyone else look at their handle to gauge blade angle?

I'm new to straight (shavette) shaving and had been having a hard time seeing the razor head out of the corner of my eyes especially when using my left (non-dominant) hand.

I find that looking at the folded handle makes it much easier to gauge the blade angle with respect to the parts of the face I'm shaving.

It also makes it easier to see which direction to rotate wrist away from the skin at the end of cuts.

Hopefully muscle memory will kick-in soon and make things go a lot easier.
 
That's the point I'm waiting to reach before I start experimenting with different blades to find out which works best with this shavette. Kinda pointless experimenting with different blades until technique is down.
 
Whatever works for you is fine.
It comes pretty quickly and becomes almost a second nature.
I say almost because after over a year, I still get little accidents now and then, mostly when I am not paying attention or overly confident.
 
A shavette is so thin that it would be difficult to judge the blade angle without look at the scales (handle). That is one advantage of a true straight razor. The spine width is related to the geometry of the blade. Thus, you can look at the spine and judge the blade angle. Often the spine will be about three spine widths off the face for a with the grain pass and then will be reduced to two spine widths for across the grain and perhaps even lower for against the grain. That method does not work with a shavette.
 
It really helps with the non-dominant hand where things are less instinctual. At first I inadvertently would pivot the blade too sharply into my skin; glancing at the handle really helps visualize things better.

But the more I get the hang of it the less I have to look.
 
Press the razor lightly, flat against the face. Lift the spine slightly. There. You got it. The ideal shave angle for a straight razor is one spine thickness distance between spine and face. Higher than that and you are scraping. A properly honed blade will shave even flat against the skin. Lifting the spine makes it a bit more aggressive and prevents the spine from dragging on the skin and bunching it up loosely under the shaving edge. Ideal shave angle for a shavette is just barely not dragging the spine on the face. The reason for the tighter angle is that the blade is not as rigid as a straight. Also the average straight razor is not as sharp as most DE blades. (mine are. neener neener neener!) I live on a very small boat and I don't have a mirror. I shave with straights and shavettes almost exclusively. We have at least one blind member here who shaves with a straight. You don't need to see the "handle" (please, it is called the scales) to shave, or the blade, either. Lay it against the skin and rotate the spine outward slightly and bobs yer uncle.
 
It works for me for now, but as proficiency increases, I do use it less and less. I don't see myself shaving in the dark any time soon though (not that I could see myself in the dark anyways):wink:
 
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