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First shave - I wanted a challenge, I got one!

wow...the videos make it look so easy! I stopped after doing one cheek and under the bottom lip, living again to fight another day. I didn't want to rush it. No cuts - but not very close shave either.

It is harder to learn than DE shaving, thats for sure. A couple of observations:

1. The main problem i found was the size of the blade (the length) - it feels like I'm trying to shave with a sword! It's hard to have any more than an inch actually in contact with skin.

2. It felt like there was no weight in the razor, i couldn't get a really effective stroke which mean the razor pulled a fair bit - when i finished up with the DE, that felt really heavy and just cut through the whiskers. Do i need to apply some pressure with the straight?

thanks for reading!

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Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Don't worry on how close the shave is... With time, it will be closer!

1. What are you using? The usual is a 3" long blade...

2. See above, you might need a heavier razor... What do you have? I find smaller razors (4/8") to be too small. They're good but not enough. A 7/8" is a bit big but 11/16" or 6/8" is perfect for me!
 
thanks Luc. 3" seems about right - it's just quite unwieldy after being used to DE size.

the razor is a vintage 5/8 - i do have a fairly course beard (and also had 3-4 days growth today). I have a gold dollar 6/8 coming with a filly strop, it will be interesting to compare.

I'll definitely give it another go when i can spare enough time to not have to rush.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
You don't need to use the full 3" on every stroke. You can use part of it if it's easier.

A 5/8" is all right. Joel's tutorial is pretty good if you didn't read it. (check the sticky thread in the straight razor forum).

And if you did, have a look at those vids, they helped me quite a bit!

http://www.youtube.com/jockeys41
 
thanks fellas. I think holding it is half the problem, and i realised from jockeys videos that the angle is nearly 90 degrees in some places.. i was probably holding it at far too aggressive an angle.. like the 30 degrees or less that i'd use for my DE.

i see its a different action, like they say "scraping" the stubble off..

cant wait to try again!
 

mdunn

Moderator Emeritus
yah, angle is probably the most important thing. Keep aware of it and the rest should fall into place
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Keep at it. Us guys new to this need encouragement.

These links helped a lot, thanks Luc and others for the info;

Different razor grips
http://www.straightrazorplace.com/srpwiki/index.php/Different_ways_to_hold_a_straight_razor

Watching someone do it well always helps.
http://www.straightrazorplace.com/forums/videos/39814-shaving-tutorial-v3-0-now-closeups.html
That page where you see the different grips is great.

I used to hold my razor like a Japanese razor to go ATG... Now I do #6 or #7, easier!
 
One thing I learned around shave number 15 is, once you have a solid understanding of technique... ignore other people's techniques.

Ha ha ha.

Not really that extreme, but here's my example.

I get a BBS smooth shave, no nicks or irritation with the following "don't try this at home"s:

1) I don't do WTG. I shave every day so I don't have stubble built up. WTG doesn't remove much for me and as a general rule, any more than 3 passes for me is flirting with irritation. So... I skip it.

2) On my actual cheek area, I crank the angle up something severe. To shave that hair, I need to do XTG, ATG, XTG the opposite way and then a diagonal ATG/XTG towards my nose. With those 4 necessary passes, you can see why I drop WTG.

3) After all is said and done, I'm cleaned up, I do my final inspection and dry razor the top of my sideburns, corners of my mouth, all the little hairs I couldn't see through even a thin later.

I wouldn't suggest anyone start out trying that way. But, really, everyone's face is so different. Once you learn enough about how not to hurt yourself or your razor you can start to experiment and find your routine.

Oh, and Gold Dollars == Love. Awesome razors.
 
second attempt much better! i love how it goes from lean to mean with a slight change of angle, at one angle it felt like smooth, cool steel and then move it a bit and it really bites. total control. still not a full shave, will do that next time.

im sure i will work out a routine and also my own way of holding it - whatever works for now!
 
whatever works for now!
That's the attitude. Go with that and you'll be fine. Don't worry about not being as good as the guys in the shaving and stropping videos.

One thing I had to keep repeating to myself was...

"It's not a contest...and if it was you'd lose the most amount of points for hurting yourself!"
 
thanks fellas. I think holding it is half the problem, and i realised from jockeys videos that the angle is nearly 90 degrees in some places.. i was probably holding it at far too aggressive an angle.. like the 30 degrees or less that i'd use for my DE.

i see its a different action, like they say "scraping" the stubble off..

cant wait to try again!
Thank goodness I read this little post! I thought my edge was getting dull, when really my angle was way off. You have singlehandedly saved me weeks of practicing! :) Thanks
 
hehe well, I am just passing on the knowledge and my minimal experience, but I am glad it helped you :biggrin1:
 
just had my first full shave with the straight.. man am I happy! only 1 pass WTG.. didnt want to push it. but its an even shave all over... and closer than a 1 pass shave I'd get with DE when i first started that.

unfortunately i probably now need to wait for my strop to arrive before trying again!

something really interesting that I noticed - in the neck area, where with DE I strictly need to shave the bottom 1/3 in an upwards direction, and the rest on an angle of 45 degrees down, with the straight i could just do it all at the 45 degree down angle! i think its because i could adjust the aggressiveness as the blade moved along - so at the point where the different hairs meet, where the DE would dig in and subsequently cause irritation, the straight just kept on going. no irritation :thumbup1:
 
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its much easier to get the bottom of the sideburns to be even, straight edges. i always struggled with the DE!

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something really interesting that I noticed - in the neck area, where with DE I strictly need to shave the bottom 1/3 in an upwards direction, and the rest on an angle of 45 degrees down, with the straight i could just do it all at the 45 degree down angle! i think its because i could adjust the aggressiveness as the blade moved along - so at the point where the different hairs meet, where the DE would dig in and subsequently cause irritation, the straight just kept on going. no irritation :thumbup1:
It's pretty common for straight shavers to skip the WTG or XTG passes, at least on parts of their face, because you can change the angle to control the aggressiveness. With my straight I can shave my neck ATG on the first pass, but the DE needed both the WTG and XTG passes before attempting this. My upper lip gets only an XTG pass for BBS, no ATG or WTG needed.

A lot of DE guys are skeptical that a straight can really deliver a substantially better shave than their DE. But the infinite adjustability of the straight is one of the several reasons that this is true.
 
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