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Does size really matter?

I don't like thumb notches. They look nice but I don't enjoy the ergonomics.
I'm not a fan of blades under 6/8, I prefer 7/8 and wider. I use 8/8 blades most days. But it's not just about the dimension, it's balance and visual appeal. The blade's styling needs to be 'there' and after that it's a matter of 'feel'; I don't try to intellectualize it, justify it, second guess it, or over analyze it. It's just the way it is.
What others think is 'best' or 'stupid' or 'best for them' or whatever is irrelevant to me.
 
TI make a 7/8 thumb notch model which is quite nice and it doeasn’t feel all that large because it’s full hollow (light) and the edge is a little shorter.

Be glad that he didn’t go to Texas, lol. There is (or was) a steakhouse in Amarillo called ‘The Big Cowboy’ IIRC, and they serve a 72 ounce/6 pound (about 2.7 kilo) steak. If you can eat it all, it’s free. No one has a road map because you can see further than you can drive in a day.....

Merry Christmas Arne!
I love that TI model too due to the very same reason. I hope that I someday we'll be able to go to Texas. A merry Christmas and a happy new year to you too Steve. :001_smile
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If I had to pick a prefect size razor far me I would have to go with 7/8, large enough to hold plenty of lather and feel stable, but still small enough to be very controllable. I have a few large Wade and Butcher razors in the 8/8 and bigger range, and while fun to use here and there, they're a bit like trying to shave with a cleaver. Smaller razors like the 4/8 size just feel more twitchy and tougher to keep at a good angle. I think that is because the distance from where your hand holds the tang and the edge is much less.

In my mind the argument for larger comes from a stability standpoint. If we assume the edge is the center point of rotation, the radius from edge to spine has a pretty big impact on how much movement is needed to change the angle of the blade in reference to your face. In other words a razor with a smaller edge to spine radius means small rotations/movements at the tang translate to much bigger changes in angle.
 
I once watched a documentary about the lifestyle in what I think was Norway, but what impressed me most was the principle of "just enough". They had a specific word for it that I don't remember, but it related to all aspects of their life. I think it's a remarkable definition of a mature society, when people stick to what is neccesary and practicable even when they can afford abundance. In some cultures, to some extent here in the UK as well, you have to display your wealth to be respected. I am always amused when the moms turn up at school struggling to drive a seven seater, because the culture is such that when you have more than a single child, and you can afford it, it's a requirement!

I can shave with a 4/8ths and enjoy it, but it seems that the most comfortable size for me is 6/8ths. Depends on the razor though, my Rigarazor 7/8ths feels too big, its a heavy razor and it feels like it's ready to remove an ear or a nose if you are not careful. My Fili 14 feels like the ultimate luxury, even though the blade is wider and longer.

I have no ambition to own a razor bigger than that.
 
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6/8 preferred but own a lot of 5/8's too.

4/8 have their benefits. with me, they are able to clear problem neck areas better than any size of razor. maybe flows better with contours and changes due to less width????

all being said, I love them all!!!!!

camo
 
What about the relationship between blade width and ease of honing? As I gain more experience honing, this has become less of an issue, but I find that keeping a narrower blade (like a 4/8) flat on the stone requires more concentration than a wider blade (like a 6/8) flat.
 
Arne, there is a story about a texan cattleman who came out to our big island of hawaii.

Talking to a hawaii cattle rancher he asked how many acres the hawaiian had.

When he heard the answer he laughed and said "oh my goodness is that all? Why on my ranch back in Texas, I would get in my truck and drive all day and still not get to the far end of the ranch."

The Hawaii rancher said "yep, I used to have a truck like that."


aloha
 
I find 5/8 or 6/8 to generally be my preferred size razor. My little Swedish 4/8 is a nimble little thing that knows how to bite if you're not careful. I have a couple of 6/8 Sheffield razors that I really prefer the 5/8 size. Yet I have Solingen razors where either 5 or 6/8 is an agreeable blade. My Japanese razors seem to suit the 6/8 or 13/16 size for weight and balance. I was never comfortable with 7/8 or larger as a shaving tool.

As always YMMV.
 
6/8 for me.

Bigger looks impressive, and I have some, but I find them a bit awkward.

The thing is, the makers who want to make something really impressive, and justify a big price tag, they seem to think that it should look huge.

But I think those end up being museum pieces, safe queens, all massive curves and sweeping lines and huge bone scales.

I have two like that. And I'll enjoy them. But for just the pure act of shaving, the dimensions of a dovo bismarck are what work best for me. 6/8, shoulderless, round toe, ordinary handle. And no gold.
 
I prefer 6-7/8 because they just fit my hand better. my 4/8s require much more attention (except the De Pew, that thing is a marvel). I really like my hollow 8/8s and the 9-ish/8 wedge is just unwieldy. cleaver-ish is a good description.

@Polarbeard, come on down and sit awhile (Texas)
 
I prefer 6-7/8 because they just fit my hand better. my 4/8s require much more attention (except the De Pew, that thing is a marvel). I really like my hollow 8/8s and the 9-ish/8 wedge is just unwieldy. cleaver-ish is a good description.

@Polarbeard, come on down and sit awhile (Texas)
I'd love to. I hear that there's a thing called "Sun" in Texas. Yesterday I could see streaks of a blue sky through the clouds for nearly two hours (for the first time in nearly two months). Perhaps the sky was visible for a bit longer, but since the suns sets at quarter to three this time of year it was hard to tell. Today it was back to the new "normal"; overcast, a few degrees Centigrade above freezing, rain and absolutely no sign of snow anywhere. I could never could have imagined that I would miss shovelling snow.☃
 
I'd love to. I hear that there's a thing called "Sun" in Texas. Yesterday I could see streaks of a blue sky through the clouds for nearly two hours (for the first time in nearly two months). Perhaps the sky was visible for a bit longer, but since the suns sets at quarter to three this time of year it was hard to tell. Today it was back to the new "normal"; overcast, a few degrees Centigrade above freezing, rain and absolutely no sign of snow anywhere. I could never could have imagined that I would miss shoveling snow.☃
we're in the depths of winter here. 3-5C lows, a few at -1, 10-15C high days, had three fronts roll through back to back resulting in a decent amount of rain and probably 10 odd days of cloudy grey. horrible stuff I tell ya. it's back to sunny now and might hit 20C today. sun's still setting about 5:30, but that's going to get better too. good thing, because I'm solar powered and heat activated.

I really didn't enjoy my time living up north here, and I refuse to ever shovel snow, or chip ice damns at the end of the driveway again.
 

RumpleBearskin

Contributor
4/8 is a sharp toothpick, not a razor.
5/8 is barely usable (but perfect for learning if you're scared).
6/8 is perfect.
13/16 is really, really perfect.
7/8 is slight overkill, but so much fun.
8/8 and above is compensating for those that can't afford a monster truck and/or aren't Andre the Giant. (Except the W&B 8/8 FBU which for some reason is perfection realized.)

At least for this face and these hands. YMMV. (Which is probably why they made all those widths.)
 
My favorite razor is a 5/8 heljestrand mk4. Being the most comfortable with that size I get my quickest shaves from it. I can shave with 4/8 to 8/8 just fine though.

Outside of the normal 5/8 - 6/8 range the razors can be harder to hone/strop or shave with. Of course the shave is just as close and enjoyable though it just comes down to preference.

Havent read all of the thread but that's my opinion and I am guessing I am beating a dead horse at this point in the thread ha 😅
 
If it didnt matter they would make one size and that would be it. Market dictates and it seems people want big razors from custom makers or even WB's and other old makers, why did they make big choppers 8/8+? At the end of the day it's up to the individual to find out what fits their needs. Like posted above I find the sweet spot for me is 13/16 but occasionally like to take out the big blades and shave with them. Variety is the spice of life and since this is a hobby and not a chore it makes sense to try different things.
 
If it didnt matter they would make one size and that would be it. Market dictates and it seems people want big razors from custom makers or even WB's and other old makers, why did they make big choppers 8/8+? At the end of the day it's up to the individual to find out what fits their needs. Like posted above I find the sweet spot for me is 13/16 but occasionally like to take out the big blades and shave with them. Variety is the spice of life and since this is a hobby and not a chore it makes sense to try different things.
Yes it's indeed a hobby and this forum is pretty much a place that I think of as the equivalent of a clubhouse with dark wooden panels, leather couches with a lot of patina and selected members that have reached a certain age and that only agree on one thing; that all the other members are utterly wrong by definition. That's the charm of it.

Straight razor shaving is not too complicated, but to nag about the same objectively speaking irrelevant fine details over and over is a really entertaining pastime, don't you think? :001_smile
 
I have shaved with 3/8" (hair shaper) up to 9/8 chopper. My favorite shave comes from a 6/8 or 7/8. Just want add that the reason many makers produced very wide blades 8/8+ was for barbers who were honing and stropping them all day long to groom their customers. The razors would simply last longer under this constant, repetitive use.
 
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