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Cartridge to R41 to Cut-Throat

Shave 177 and 14.
Stirling soap again face lathered with the badger brush.
Adding water to Proraso unlocks the slickness but the Stirling needs quite a lot less. I made a great slick full lather today as I learn more about the soap. It feels cold on my cheeks and slick under the blade. Again the edge feels fresh as a daisy and still super sharp. Wtg was fine and my xtg work is highly improved. I use the entire length of the razor as I do it.
20 strops on leather then my atg and touch up passes and a splash of the wild and crazy Snakebite. What a great shave and brilliant post shave feel. Loving using this thing every day, theres nothing like it.
 
Shave 178 and 15.
Stirling Margaritas in the Arctic soap face lathered with a badger. I keep hitting great shave after great shave lately, as I work out just how much pressure to cut with, which angles to use, how to get a lather my face likes, when to stop and when not to stop.
I’m nearing 200 shaves and I feel things are going great (I’ll probably chop my nose off tomorrow) today’s effort left me with a brilliant smooth, all day lasting bbs with great post shave feel. For anyone who hasn’t tried Fine Snakebite, buy some it’s nuts! I think it’s all I’ll use from now on.
 
Shave 180 and 17
Lathered with Proraso Green soap with a badger brush.
Did a lovely 3-4 pass shave.
I notice that I seem to have plateau’d as far as any time improvements go. My shower, shave and clean up has always taken me about 45 mins and has never shown any sign of speeding up.
Anyway 17 shaves in and still the edge is going strong. Definitely a record for me and a miracle really considering my tough beard. It’s been interesting seeing just how far this edge I made can last. Got another great shave from it today, cold rinse big splash of the Fine Snakebite which feels so nice and soothing as it goes on only to explode like a stick of dynamite on a short fuse a few seconds later.
 
Shave 182 and 19
I squeezed an R41 shave in this week when I was running late and each time I use it I realise how great and smooth a straight is. I mean, the Muhle R41
is just brilliant, when it was my daily razor I used to wonder how much closer close could be and why would anyone use anything else? But now I know the difference I could never go back.
19 shaves in, my edge is still going strong and today my face was super smooth and refreshed.
 
Shave 182 and 19
I squeezed an R41 shave in this week when I was running late and each time I use it I realise how great and smooth a straight is. I mean, the Muhle R41
is just brilliant, when it was my daily razor I used to wonder how much closer close could be and why would anyone use anything else? But now I know the difference I could never go back.
19 shaves in, my edge is still going strong and today my face was super smooth and refreshed.
Absolutely! You have seen the light my friend. I came from the same place as you and had the same results. I now consider DEs as “nicking instruments”. Never a nick with a straight - comfort in the extreme.
 
Shave 184 and 20
Yesterday for a change I did a shave on my 5/8th Thomas Turner & Co. I haven’t used this for a while and it had only been used once after I honed it an month or so ago.
I lathered with Proraso Green and got to work. The thing felt extremely light and nimble after so long using the much heavier Henckels Friodur. I ran it down my cheek, wow! Sharp! It seemed a lot quicker in my hand like going from driving a saloon to a sports car. All three passes were fast and light and I got a great shave.
Today I went back to the Friodur for shave 20 since the hone.
I lathered with Tabac which I haven’t used for ages. My little girl gatecrashed my bathroom and chatted away opening things and bumping into me and exploring. My concentration wasn’t 100% on balancing the edge of this crazy old razor around the curves of my face, and so I gave myself 3 nice new cuts today. After using the Turner I can tell the Friodur is close to needing a touch up, but not just yet.
 
Shave 185 and 21
That’s three weeks of shaves so far on my Friodur since the last honing. I lathered with a Palmolive shave stick today and immediately got a great fresh smelling lather, great stuff.
What a smooth shave I got today, the blade was working beautifully and was quite surprising as I had a feeling it was going off a little lately. Pretty much 4 complete passes and I got a bbs shave with a great soft post shave feel. A splash of that crazy old Snakebite really dragged me kicking and screaming into complete crystal clear wakefulness and I left the bathroom with a freezing face and a big smile.
 
Hey make sure for the sake of science that once you declare it “fading”, you try to strop it back to life on linen! It probably won’t go back to freshly honed glory, but I find about 40 on linen, with 30 normal pressure and 10 zero pressure can miraculously revive a razor to 85% of brand new. Just something to test out for yourself, never know when that could come in handy.
 
Absolutely! You have seen the light my friend. I came from the same place as you and had the same results. I now consider DEs as “nicking instruments”. Never a nick with a straight - comfort in the extreme.
Very true and as you say a lot more comfortable to use. I think those factory edges can never feel as smooth as a home honed edge
 
I’ve only had two factory edges that were truly good but was able to improve both with pasted balsa. Home grown edges are definitely superior. We spoil ourselves don’t we?
 
Shave 187 and 23
Had quite a hefty hangover this morning courtesy of an evening with bottle of Laphroaig. I was debating whether whizzing an upturned cutthroat razor around my still groggy face at 7am was the best course of action under the circumstances but I held fast and reached for my stuff.
I used TOBS Eton College cream, rubbed a big wet blob of it into my beard then face lathered it with a badger brush. I got a great big brushful of super slick, citrusy lather. I don’t know why I don’t use this more.
Anyway I got to work and was again very pleased to find the blade still going strong. The shave itself was all a bit of a blur. I did 2 passes, stropped, then 1.5 more. I was still mostly half asleep throughout when BANG! Something dragged me kicking and screaming back to life. It was the huge mitful of Fine Snakebite which I absently splashed on all over my face. My face was on fire! My face was freezing! My face was on fire AND freezing! Don’t ask me how. It didn’t stop it just kept coming. Through my tears I cleaned my razor and sink and brushed my teeth and left the bathroom feeling like I’d been hit in the face by a snowball made of fire.
My face felt great though, next level smooth. Hangovers have often produced great shaves for me, I have no idea why.
 
Shave 194 and 25 on the Friodur . I lathered with a Speick shave stick and got to work. The Speick gives a nice fresh lather. I’d say for me it’s a tiny notch below the excellent Palmolive stick in terms of lather but maybe about equal in post shave, maybe not quite. Still good stuff though.
My previous best on this razor after honing was always around 7 or so shaves so I keep expecting the razor to show signs of slowing down.
Downwards pass one was today just as smooth and effortless as the day i honed it. Pass 2 xtg was great as I skipped around a deepish cut I made a few days ago when my little girl invaded the bathroom. That little incident reminded me just how much concentration is needed at all times. After this pass I rinsed and dried the edge did 25 laps on the leather. I’m pretty sure that this mid shave stropping is what prolonging the life of the edge as I’m never letting it get any where near blunt.
Pass three atg was lovely and this is always the real test of sharpness for me. Then my touch up pass which is has elements of all three earlier passes plus a few bits of it own thrown in. A lovely cold rinse and a big splash of Fine Snake bite. And what a great smooth shave. I rinsed the razor then towel dried it then gave it 5 laps on my palm then 7 on the linen. Dried it up inside the scales with tissue paper then put it back in the box with the others. The shave and cleanup took 45 mins, and is time well spent. I left the house with a lovely cold face.
 
Shave 195 and 26 on the Friodur.
Lathered with Tabac, lovely stuff, great clean smelling slick lather.
I did 50 smart laps on leather and got going. Again the razor has kept its smoothness and sharpness and I’m just loving using it. I was a little late this morning and considered just using my Muhle R41, but brilliant as the R41 is, there’s just no comparison between that beast and a straight razor shave.
What a brilliant shave. As I near the 200 mark and I’ve learned how to hone and maintain my edge, I get an absolutely brilliant shave every single day. Nothing else comes close. It’s been about 18months since I last used a cartridge razor but these last 6 months with the straight have been special. To anyone reading this wondering whether to give it a go my advice is 100% yes, go for it there’s absolutely nothing like it.
 
Shave 200 and 29 on the Friodur.
I’m away on holiday at the minute with the family. I’ve brought with me my Friodur and my Turner & Co, a boar brush, Sterling Margaritas in the Arctic soap, a bottle of Fine Snakebite aftershave and Geo F Trumper Sandalwood cologne. I brought two razors in case I drop one or hit a tap with it or something.
My first shave here was done with the Turner and I couldn’t help but feel it was slightly rougher and duller than it should be. I realised that I’d almost certainly forgotten to strop it after its last use. The next day I used the still silky smooth Friodur and yesterday after a long strop I tried the Turner again. Better but still not perfect and a sign i think that once you let an edge get a bit untidy it’s quite hard to get it back on the strop. I’ll give it a good 100 laps tomorrow and see how that goes.
Today for my 200th shave I used the Friodur. I’m loving my shaves with this at the minute.
I eventually made a decent lather as the water here is harder than I’m used to and got to work. A brilliant shave and it made me think what I’ve learned in the last 100 shaves that I didn’t know after the first hundred and, although I class myself still as a beginner with just 7 months experience, what advice could I give to someone starting out? The last 100 shaves have taken me about 3-4 months so since about April. In those months my technique has become probably more solid though not drastically so.
But my honing skills are improving.
I’ve been using lapping films as they’re cheap, I only need an acrylic block and a pack of films. I don’t have to lap stones to keep anything flat. I can now fully maintain my razor. I can set a bevel from scratch and take it through a progression to a smooth, comfortable, hard wearing, extremely sharp edge.
This means I don’t have to send my razors to anyone to keep them usable and I can buy a second hand razor if I choose with the confidence that, barring any hideous damage or contortions of the steel, I can make it shave ready myself. This has been the main focus of my recent learning and has cost me a little pain and discomfort whilst experimenting, but that mild inconvenience was a small price paid compared to the usefulness of the knowledge gained. So advice for a beginner? For what it’s worth my advice is this:
Get 2 shave ready razors from someone with a good reputation for producing an edge. Otherwise you will never know where your fledgling shaving technique begins and your razors edge quality ends.
You need to know you’re shaving with a great edge, only then can you properly assess your shaving development.
You don’t need a high end soap, the best thing I’ve used is Proraso Green spun with a stiff brush for about a minute on the puck then face lathered with a couple of sips of water added to make a nice wetness.
Once you’ve got a decent technique down after say 30-50 shaves, buy the films and an acrylic block and try refreshing the thing yourself. Put wet paper under the film. 1 micron would do. I then go to 0.3 but that’s just me. Don’t be scared to keep going you won’t damage it. Good strokes at first getting lighter as you go. Try it, compare it to your other shave ready razor, if it’s not comparable take it back to the film. Give it a little torque when honing to ensure the film cuts right to the edge of the edge. Strop lightly 50 laps before or after each shave. I use a 3 inch wide strop as there’s no messing involved. Try a DE shave once a month so you can be reminded that all of the difficulty of learning a straight is worth it. Buy another razor and try setting the bevel. There’s a great post on this forum with plenty of good advice. It’s satisfying to know you can do it.
That’s about it but if I think of anything else I’ll post it.
 
Shave 202 and 30 on the Friodur.
I lathered with Sterling Margaritas and a boar brush and got to work. Pass on wtg was fine as was pass 2 xtg but I’m definitely feeling a dulling now on pass three atg. It now pulls a little on my cheeks and struggles a little more on my chin and upper lip. It needs a touch up to make it back into the silky smooth beast it was a few shaves ago. While I’ve been away here on holiday I’ve been using my 2 1/2 inch travel strop rather than my usual 3 inch strop. I wonder if the strop I’m using and the x stroke I need to use on it have contributed to the dulling of the edge or it’s just coincidence. I’m home tomorrow so I’ll try to revive it using my usual strop before taking it back to the films.
 
Try a more intense linen session, just for science!
When I had to go ~300 ish shaves about every 30 shaves I’d have to give it a solid 100 linen laps quickly with light to no pressure to try and revive it. Towards the end it was just tugging everywhere but I had no choice. I rehone pretty consistently around the 30 shave mark now. Odd blades hang on longer or shorter.
 
Try a more intense linen session, just for science!
When I had to go ~300 ish shaves about every 30 shaves I’d have to give it a solid 100 linen laps quickly with light to no pressure to try and revive it. Towards the end it was just tugging everywhere but I had no choice. I rehone pretty consistently around the 30 shave mark now. Odd blades hang on longer or shorter.
Really, from bevel to shave rehone?? That’s interesting, but a good excuse to use the stones. I need to stop thinking of these razors as something to preserve .
 
Shave 202 and 30 on the Friodur.
I lathered with Sterling Margaritas and a boar brush and got to work. Pass on wtg was fine as was pass 2 xtg but I’m definitely feeling a dulling now on pass three atg. It now pulls a little on my cheeks and struggles a little more on my chin and upper lip. It needs a touch up to make it back into the silky smooth beast it was a few shaves ago. While I’ve been away here on holiday I’ve been using my 2 1/2 inch travel strop rather than my usual 3 inch strop. I wonder if the strop I’m using and the x stroke I need to use on it have contributed to the dulling of the edge or it’s just coincidence. I’m home tomorrow so I’ll try to revive it using my usual strop before taking it back to the films.
Probably coincidence. My strop is a bit under 2 1/2” and does a beautiful job. Remember size doesn’t matter.
 
Really, from bevel to shave rehone?? That’s interesting, but a good excuse to use the stones. I need to stop thinking of these razors as something to preserve .
I deployed with one razor and an Illinois 361... used it for maybe 40 days prior and then 271 days deployed. It was rough, but I figured out the impacts of different stropping surfaces and techniques And my strange beard mapping in a hurry.

These days it’s about 30 shaves to a touch up rehone and maybe 5ish touch up jobs before I go to a coarser stone and really reset it. The touch ups don’t seem to do anything blade wear wise, but I definitely get slightly diminishing results and shorter edge life each touch up until the deeper reset. I go for all very fine grained vintage steels so I’m thinking blades are accumulating micro-chipping at the edge until the reset.

The same thing happens in woodworking, that’s why serious hand tool Neanderthals usually have multiple hand planes of the same size. You do all the prep work and planing wood to shape and dimension with the dedicated rough plane, but the heavy work micro chips the blade edge and it leaves tiny tracks in the wood surface. If you want a hand planed finish you have to either take your blade to the rough stone and full progression to work the microchips out of the edge, or you keep a dedicated fine work plane ready to go set for fine shavings and the lighter duty work almost never chips the edge noticeably. I’m pretty sure that’s what happens with my razors on a way smaller scale over the course of a year plus.
 
I deployed with one razor and an Illinois 361... used it for maybe 40 days prior and then 271 days deployed. It was rough, but I figured out the impacts of different stropping surfaces and techniques And my strange beard mapping in a hurry.

These days it’s about 30 shaves to a touch up rehone and maybe 5ish touch up jobs before I go to a coarser stone and really reset it. The touch ups don’t seem to do anything blade wear wise, but I definitely get slightly diminishing results and shorter edge life each touch up until the deeper reset. I go for all very fine grained vintage steels so I’m thinking blades are accumulating micro-chipping at the edge until the reset.

The same thing happens in woodworking, that’s why serious hand tool Neanderthals usually have multiple hand planes of the same size. You do all the prep work and planing wood to shape and dimension with the dedicated rough plane, but the heavy work micro chips the blade edge and it leaves tiny tracks in the wood surface. If you want a hand planed finish you have to either take your blade to the rough stone and full progression to work the microchips out of the edge, or you keep a dedicated fine work plane ready to go set for fine shavings and the lighter duty work almost never chips the edge noticeably. I’m pretty sure that’s what happens with my razors on a way smaller scale over the course of a year plus.
Very interesting, most posters on here and on YouTube say that bevel setting is a one time event but I see your logic clearly and you have the advantage of using and honing a ton of different blades for many different uses.
Plus I don’t know why but I find setting a bevel and working up from scratch to be strangely satisfying, and doing that every 6 months or so will be fun.
 
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