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First straight razor question.

Hello All.

This is my first post here. Looks like a great place!

I have been wet shaving now for 3 years now. I have been using a Merkur Futur and for the past 6 months I have been using Feather blades and have been loving them.

I have always wanted to use a straight razor and mentioned it to my wife earlier this year so to my suprise my wife bought me a TI Snakewood straight razor for christmas and a Walking horse Strop.

Christmas morning I tried it and cut my face up a bit but it was ok. It seemed to pull alot. The next day I stroped it, knicked the end of my stop on both ends :mad3: and my shave was not good. It pulled more than the first day. The first day it pulled more than when I started wet shaving with derby blades. The second day it pulled so much that I couldn't use it.

My questions after doing a bunch of research the past few days are.

1. Do I need to get my straight honed after knicking my strop?
2. I am looking at getting a 4 sides strop and diamond pastes to get the blade sharper than it came from the factory. Am I correct in assuming that because it pulled alot on first use it could be sharpened more?

Any more advice on this would be very helpful!

Thanks all.
Hello and welcome to the forum.
Firstly, has the straight already been honed? All new straights sold are not shave ready unless they have been honed after they have left the factory and are sold as specifically being shave ready. Some retailers provide this service but alot don't. If it hasn't been honed then you will definitely need to get it done.
It could be your prep or blade andle but most likely it needs to be properly honed. I would get one of the honemeisters to hone it for you then you will know for shore.

As for the strop consider the SRD modular strop. You can use the leather pad for routine stropping and if you cut it up as we all have done you can just get a replacement pad. You can also use the felt pads with diamond spray or CrOx to "touchup" your razor. You will however need to have it honed again at some point in time. The length depends on you and your technique and beard.Check out the modular strop at Straight Razor Designs.

BTW way welcome aboard and Happy New Year


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Staff member
Welcome to B&B!

From what I heard, the TI are stamped ready to go. You could probably shave with it but it won't be that great. You would really need to send it to a honemeister to have a proper edge put on it. See this page: http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/index.php/Honemeister

For the strop, I would recommend hanging the strop somewhere dry and safe and get a cheaper leather strop as you will nick that strop again. Don't worry too much, we all nick our strops when we start. With time, you won't nick it anymore.

Lock your wrists while shaving and make sure that your angle is as low as possible, spine of the blade almost touching the skin. Finally, don't give up, it takes a while before you can get good shaves with straights.
Being in Calgary I bet you could find several locals who could hone that up for you. Quite a few Calgary dudes around here.
One thing I found which was a big help and it was suggested to me from Larry on here was to make your first pass or even 2 with a DE razor. This will do the bulk of the beard thinning for you. Then you make your next 1-2 passes or so with the straight. Gradually weaning yourself off the DE as your technique improves and you gain experience. I've found that, even with a shave ready razor, if you're new to straight shaving it'll still feel like it pulls a lot. Especially around the chin and lip area. I'm guessing because these are the hardest areas the shave and as a noob our technique and angle still isn't there so it will feel a bit more uncomfortable. Either way it may need a touch up but still good advice regardless if you do it now or after sending it out.
I am new to straight shaving as well. A helpful suggestion I received from a member here was to place the strop on a table on a large flat book and strop the blade as if it were a paddle strop. That worked well for me and I was able to get a nice edge on the blade (or polish or whatever). I have some nicks on the edges of my strop but am not too concerned about that. It still seems serviceable.

As far as shaving, I found that I had to take short and strong strokes, o/w the blade would drag. I started with the blade flat against my face and increased the angle until it was cutting just right for me. ATG and the chin is the most difficult - at least for me. I had to use my DE for these on my first shave. The straight is VERY different from a DE.

Good luck, and stay with it. Straight shaves are very satisfying.
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