After shaving with a cartridge razor for 30 years I eventually saw the light last February and went DE. I dived straight in and bought a Muhle R41 as my first razor. It was the best shaving decision I’d ever made and after a steep learning curve I’ve been getting amazingly close smooth shaves ever since. I wasn’t affected by RAD as I love the razor, it’s my only one and I use it every single day, a match made in heaven. Then a couple of weeks ago my girlfriend asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I was thinking aloud when I heard myself say ‘How about a Cut-Throat?’. Not sure exactly where this request came from as I was happy with my R41 and had always been pretty terrified of trying a Straight, but I’d recently and randomly watched Anthony Esposito on a Youtube video talking about how the only thing that mattered in a razor was the edge and that even a cheap razor could give a great shave if properly honed. So I thought ‘why not?’. I’d get my girl to buy me a cheap shave ready razor and give it a go as an experiment. If I liked it I could take it from there and if not, well no great investment would be lost. I sourced a honed Gold Dollar for £20 on the Internet but the day I went online to order it the website had gone down never to come up again! If only I’d saved the phone number. So I found a London based seller called ‘Shavers Delight’ and messaged the guy there who referred me to their Etsy page. With no clue to guide me I liked the look of this 1950’s razor engraved on the tang with Thomas Turner & Co Suffolk Works, Sheffield, priced at £45 shave ready so I took the plunge and ordered it A razor with some history appeals to me for some reason and this one is as old as my mother. The razor arrived! I took it out of the coffin, it was the first straight id ever touched. I opened it up. Quite beautiful. I looked at myself in the mirror polished 5x8ths blade This thing was scary! The edge was so sharp that it disappeared into infinity, too slim to be detected by my 46 year old eyes. It felt strange in my hand as I experimented with holding it to see what felt best. Whenever it got near to my face my heartbeat increased. I was hoping it would just feel natural in my hand but I could tell immediately that even that would have to wait. I watched a few more videos to get an idea of how to hold it, strop it, shave with it, hone it etc (thank God for Youtube). I’m not especially dexterous with my left hand and the thought of waving this thing around my face with it chilled me up. I messaged the guy I bought it from to find out if he used tape on the spine when honing it, he said yes he used 3 pieces. Does this sound normal for an old razor? Will I have to use the same amount when I strop and hone? I contemplated how I’d do my first shave. Just cheeks both hands wtg? A full wtg pass? 2 passes? A full two handed 3 pass shave including Atg? Would I finish off each shave with my DE? Or put the DE away completely and vow to only shave with the straight until I mastered it? I’d have to play all of this very much by ear and see how I felt at each stage. It took a day to convince my girl that there was no point in making me wait until xmas day to use this thing so I took a very long shower and peeked nervously out from behind the screen at this deathly, curved pale yellow thing from a different century lying in wait with the rest of my shaving gear. I took ages in that shower almost scared to turn the water off. Then I manned up, walked to the sink and purposely took my boar brush to a puck of Tabac soap. Deep breath then I opened the razor. For a few seconds I couldn’t even work out how to hold it then I nervously edged it towards my face mostly unable to even see myself in the mirror. I lightly pulled down and felt it catch the hair. PHEW! Contact had been made and I was still alive. I started to cut downwards and noticed it was quite ‘pully’ so I slightly adjusted the angles looking for a sweeter cut. I’d find a better angle then immediately lose it again but I knew this would take some practice. I did my left cheek, jaw, top lip bottom lip, chin etc and most of my neck all with my right hand then nervously switched hands to try the other side. Wow the razor in my left hand felt really wobbly and I nearly cut my ear just trying to position it to start cutting. It was waving around a millimetre above my face like a badly flown helicopter trying to land in the wind then PING! It caught the hair and I breathed again. I started to cut. Again it took a lot of concentration and experimentation to find an angle which felt sweet but I persevered. I did my cheek, jaw, top lip, bottom lip, chin but only had a little try on my neck as it felt far from steady. I rinsed off and felt my face. My whiskers were still quite rough but I’d finished my first pass. I re-lathered and tried a sideways pass on my left side using my right hand. Again, a million miles from close, but I finished all areas including my chin and top lip even cutting upwards on my neck. Then I switched hands to try the same on the right side with my left hand. Again, extremely tense and wobbly. Halfway through it I thought ‘that’s probably enough for today’ so I picked up my R41 and finished pass 2 with that. I could tell there was much more left on my face than usual but close hadn’t really been the goal today. I re lathered for my ATG pass when I remembered a post from here I’d read in the morning which said that perhaps it was better for beginners to use the straight for the later passes rather than the earlier ones. So I put down the R41, picked up the straight again and with my heart beating hard went ATG on my left side with my right hand. I did my neck, face and tried my chin then switched hands and tried ATG with my left hand on my right side. Again very scary and wobbly after a few scrapes of my cheek I almost pushed the razor into my cheek. I was sure I must’ve cut myself and waited for blood to seep through the lather but nothing happened I’d got lucky. I put down the cut-throat and finished up with the R41. Had a lovely cold rinse and a splash of Floid Vigoroso. Phew what a ride! No cuts, no irritation the tip of my nose and ear lobes were still attached and I hadn’t died from heart failure or a lack of breathing, Without the intervention of the R41 I would’ve been extremely far from close or smooth but as a first shave I’m just glad to have gotten through it. I stropped the thing 50 times each side on a home made strop I use for my pocket knife and put it away. I really enjoyed the rush and I’m looking forward to trying to master this crazy thing Im already really looking forward to trying it again tomorrow. Thanks for reading!