What's new

Experience of a brand new wetshaver

I never considered shaving as a hobby. It was just something I did, and was never really taught to do. Nor did I put any emphasis on expanding my knowledge.

I have a tendency to become interested in things, and often quickly fall out of interest in them.

So far I’ve grabbed a few inexpensive straight razors, an Edwin Jagger Safety Razor, a Shavette, and now a whole lineup of sharpening stones.

I also puchased a used Ralf Aust that came with a strop from Straight Razor Designs.

At first I just went on Amazon and purchased some inexpensive stones. I’m fairly certain in my first attempt I ruined or at the very least permanently disfigured the Aust.

It only cost me $50 dollars for the Aust, and the Strop. I think I’m in gold dollar-ville until I get a grasp on honing.

There was no learning curve with the Jagger. I get a nice shave from it. I’m not great at doing multiple passes. I also don’t really need a BBS shave.

What I like is the idea of less irritation, and a cleaner cut. I guess that’s what attracted me to wet-shaving.

I also have a little shavette. I’m starting to get a feel for it. As a newbie, switching to the non-dominant hand, the nose, seeing what you’re doing, are all challenges. As is overcoming the fear of scalloping your face.

I’ve got a few tiny cuts. I think you guys call them weepers. This only happens really when I start to get confident, and speed while losing focus, or whet not making sure skin is taught.

I’ve been listening to YouTube while working. I really enjoy the videos of Keith V Johnson. I like his approach, and down to earth way of explaining things.

So far, Honing is challenging. I went through the process on an inexpensive razor, and shaved this morning. Through my loupe the edge looked decent, it cut a cherry tomato lol. The experience on my face was not cherry-tomatoesque

I think thats the major challenge new guys like myself encounter. We don’t have a feel for the experience. Even the x-stroke. It looks simple, but its touch and feel.

The stone itself, I have nothing to compare it to. Im just am developing a feel for the stones I bought. They are all I know.

Down to the shave. What does sharp feel like? What does dull feel like?

I look through the loupe 10x that I purchased, and can I see the problem? Can I even tell when I’ve done it right? Should I see a problem, do I know how to compensate, or correct? What stroke I should use, pressure etc.

Im a painter by trade. There is a comfort with a brush in my hand. I don’t think I just feel it, but I remember when it felt foreign, and it’s hard to describe to new guys how to cut in. You need to literally cut in miles of trim, and ceiling to become proficient. Truth is everyone kind of does it a little differently. They each find a way to cut, roll, paint. Hopefully achieve similar consistent results.

I don’t really know the main point of this post is . Maybe it’s to other new guys like myself. Watching people hone, it’s may be little arrogant to think you’re just going to be able to hone.

Maybe it’s a little ignorant also to take a surgically sharp object to your face and just assume it will be easy and shave.

I have a new found respect for the skills required, and knowledge within the community. Some of you really have a ton of knowledge.

That being said, the knowledge is difficult to structure into a system for us new guys, especially with honing.

But I guess therein lies the point of the post. I bet most of you seasoned vets didn’t pick up a razor slap it on a stone, follow a clearly outlined algorithm, and start popping out perfect blades.

I’m sure It was trial and error, and experience was gained over time with many successes and failures.

In closing, I was a little frustrated with myself as my honed razor tugged away at my face this morning. Even discouraged.

I’ve spent some money on razors, and stones the last few weeks.

I guess I assumed if I bought the right things, it would just be easy. To be honest, with honing, I’m actually not sure I’m doing anything right.

But what Keith Johnson said kind of keeps me motivate. He said “sure you can do this, Cavemen did this” I think that a good perspective to have as a new guy. Put in the work.
Last edited:
Honing takes practice, but it will come in time. I still don't look at shaving as a hobby, but it is not a chore as it was before I started using DE and SRs to shave. It sounds like you are making great progress. Painting ... one of the things I hate to do but must be done because I am too cheap to hire a painter. You have my respect for that.


I shaved the pig
Welcome! I wished a few times an experienced honer could be at my side and show me what to do, or correct what I was doing wrong and save me pain and time. I just kept honing. Uncomfortable edges, I just kept honing. No idea what to do, I tried different things, made mistakes, kept honing. Cut miles of trim…keep honing razors. I feel I’m green when it comes to honing and I’ve been doing it a few years now. I’m producing mostly consistent comfortable edges now, but working on refinement and improvement. I keep honing.
Straight razors ain't easy...for the beginner.

I struggled, and still struggle. I can get a consistent DFS with nearly any shavette, but not so much with any of my straight razors.

It does help immensely to get a razor that is truly shave-ready from a trusted source. I've gotten my best SR shaves using razors purchased from Griffith Shaving, though not perfect due to the learning curve of the technique required.

Having a known-good razor also gives baseline with which to compare my attempts at honing. I purchased several nice beaters on Ebay and use those to hack away at my stones trying to perfect my honing. I would never take one of my "good" razors to a stone, until I "get it".

If your razor won't easily slice a cherry tomato, it is probably due to not having properly set the razor bevel. Once the bevel is properly set, along the entire edge, it should slice tomato skin and even remove arm hair.

There are other tests to check a successful bevel set, but I'm a rookie and will defer to the pros. Just know that there are many variables and much to learn when shaving with a SR, and it requires commitment and determination.

The good thing is that their are many members here that are very generous and happy to help. Some have thoughtfully reached out to me and offered help, even offered to hone some of my razors, for which I was pleasantly surprised and grateful.

If you want to learn and pose questions related to SR shaving, honing, maintenance, and restoration, there is a ton of good info in the straight razor sub-forums, and a lot of helpful members.

Welcome 🙂
Last edited:
Welcome to B&B. Sounds like you've got the right idea of getting something cheap to learn honing, and there's lots of good advice on the straight razor threads.

Anyone who can advise us on how to get a Ralf Aust and a strop for $50 is more than welcome.
Top Bottom