Does, "shave ready" really mean shave ready?

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by Badgerstate36, Feb 18, 2018.

    Just curious. Both of my Gold Dollars that I bought from WSP were claimed as, "shave ready" but I found that I needed to strop both of them to get a good shave out of them.
    In the case of one of them, it wouldnt even treetop the hairs on my arm before I stropped it.
  1. It's one of those things that means different things to different people. I can practically shave with razors honed on a sidewalk, but you might not find such a razor useable. Is it "shave ready"?
  2. Legion

    Legion Moderator Emeritus

    Honestly, I have never bought a “shave ready” razor off eBay that was, to my standards. And there are probably guys here who can and will put a better edge on a razor than I can.
    It is subjective, and one of the tough things for a newbie to navigate.

    All I could do was try a bunch of razors honed by a bunch of guys who seem to know what they are doing. My edges now match up to what I have used, honed by the better guys, so that is all I have to go on.

    It’s not like I’m calling myself a “meister” or anything. I just shave.

    Try a few razors honed by people on the forum who have been at it for a while, then try to match or surpas that yourself. That is what I did, and about all you can do.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  3. I mean, the razors were honed by WSP, so Id think they were honed at least fairly well but both of them needed to be stropped before I could shave with them.
    Its not a big deal but I would think that if a razor is shave ready, you should be able to take it out of the box, lather up and shave with it.
    I know that Dovo claims that all of their razors are shave-ready right out of the box, although they also recommend stropping them.
    Perhaps part of it for me is that my introduction into straights was using the Feather AC razors, which are probably some of the sharpest, most perfectly honed blades in the world, so my standard of sharp is pretty high.

  4. Does this mean you shaved with it and it was not good so you stropped it and its good now?
  5. Yup. The first one I shaved with it and it felt tuggy, so I stropped it and its good now. The second one wouldnt even shave the hairs off my arm, so I stropped it and it seems good now.
  6. Very strange.
    Perhaps it was test shaved and not re-stropped prior to disinfecting and shipping. It was obviously honed well enough if it shaved well after the stropping.
  7. Shave_Rat

    Shave_Rat Moderator

    Personally, if a razor only needed to be stropped when I got it and it was good to go, I'd call it "shave ready" in my book when it arrived. At the very most, stropping will smooth out/remove micro burs on the edge and maybe realign the edge if it got slightly rolled over a tiny bit, the way I see it.
  8. maclean3

    maclean3 Contributor

    It's a tricky call. They obviously honed it or stropping wouldn't have been enough to give comfortable shaves. Considering the common practice is to strop before shaving, they may be assuming customers will automatically strop their razors before the first shave. I've never dealt with WSP so I'm guessing on that. From what I've read, several of the hone meisters here return razors to their customers in the "unwrap razor and shave" state you were expecting. When I bought my first razor years ago it came honed and shave ready but it was assumed (by both sides) that customers should strop the razors before shaving. That was close to 15 years ago so things may have changed since then. IMHO, if it was tree topping after just stopping it then they got it honed and to the condition it'll be in each time you pick it up to shave - a good stopping and you're ready to go.

    You can always contact them and ask questions.
  9. Mtn Man

    Mtn Man Contributor

    To me if it will shave with a stropping then I would consider it shave ready. However some people do ship their razor pre stropped so that for a new shaver they can experience the edge without any chance of messing it up. I guess it means different things to different people.
  10. This seems like a matter of semantics to me. What would you like for it to be called? "Honed but still needs stropping"?

    I'm not sure how long a stropping lasts. Stropping certainly doesn't sharpen a blade that wasn't sharp before honing. If you strop a just honed blade, put it back in the box and it sits on the shelf for a month is it still "stropped"?
  11. maclean3

    maclean3 Contributor

    Then you have to take environmental factors into account. Someone in Arizona wouldn't have to deal with the same oxidation as someone in South Florida. At the very least, I'd strop it 30 or so laps before shaving just to be sure the edge was in the best possible condition.

    If I just honed my razor the night before then I know I stropped it before I put it away but I'm still going to strop that razor before I shave with it the next morning. It reinforces the practice of always stropping before a shave and it's the chance to visually inspect the blade for any possible problems.
  12. To me, shave-ready means you take it out of the box and shave. No stropping, just shave. Even if it sits in the box for a year after they strop it, theres no reason why it should need to be stropped again. All stropping does is straighten and realign the leading edge.
    Honestly, what I think they should do is tell you that the razor has been honed but will need a stropping before you use it. If I werent someone who educated myself on it and thought to try stropping, I probably would have assumed the razor hadnt been honed and either returned it or sent it to be honed.
    I know that WSP has a 30-day return policy, so it is possible that it was used for a month and returned but considering that both razors I got needed a stropping, I find it hard to believe that it was the case.
  13. +1

    Larry at WD sent me a shave ready razor. No stropping before the first shave, just hop right to it!
  14. Thats what I would expect unless they said otherwise.
  15. "Shave Ready" should mean ready to shave with. However, I do believe it is possible for a razor to be shave ready, and a couple of weeks later, unused, need a stropping. Oxidation happens. And nobody should buy a razor without also owning or buying a strop, anyway, so after unsuccessfully attempting to shave with a razor billed as shave ready, the owner naturally will strop and try again. The vendor would not be to blame, if you ask me.

    Different folks definitely have different standards for shave readiness. I can only remember buying one razor, ever, that was sharp enough that I did not want to improve it before using it. No biggie. I just picked up a couple of razors a few days ago from a reputable vendor and they were sharp enough to shave with, certainly, but not up to my personal standards. One nearly was. 50 laps on balsa with .1u diamond and it was ready to go. It's got to be sharp already, to benefit from such fine abrasive embedded up to its neck in balsa. The other will want a few swats on the 1u film and then .5u, .25u, and finally .1u. I could have shaved with it, yeah. And it would not have been an exercise in masochism to have done so. And so, I have no problem with the vendor calling both blades shave ready. I am just a little more picky. I think a lot of times a buyer will do that, proclaim that a razor is not shave ready because it won't frighten the whiskers into jumping clear out of their follicles. Or their technique isn't up to the task of shaving with a mediocre edge. Anybody should be able to shave off a decently executed 8k edge. It was the de facto standard for some time. Many shavers of days gone by shaved off approx 5k barber hones. Or paddle strops slathered with great gobs of CrOx. I think every shaver should get some shaves under his belt with sub par edges. It really helps in developing technique. When a user has science fiction sharp edges to shave with, there is no incentive to learn how to get a decent no matter what shave, only incentive to learn how not to bleed out all over the place through carelessness with a sharp edge.

    So a shave ready edge should simply mean it is ready to shave with, not necessarily ready to shave with by someone who doesn't really know how to shave yet. And obviously it should mean it SHIPPED shave ready, not necessarily arrived shave ready. And allowances should be made regarding needing a fresh stropping, because sometimes it will indeed be needed. A newb should try just shaving first, and if it seems necessary to strop, stop the shave and strop, then try again.

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