First Straight Shave!

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by Gromet, Jun 7, 2018.

    Hey there all, been a lurker on B&B for quite a while but first time poster...

    Began shaving as a teen with cartridge razors. Always had issues with razor burn and bumps after shaving. Always hated shaving do to the irritation and general pain associated with it. about 4 years ago I got intrigues by an art of shaving store in the local mall after seeing a man getting a straight razor shave in the window of the store.

    I started researching and decided to give a Safety razor a try., WOW, what a difference it made. I purchased a Merkur Futur, Brush, soap, etc... and have been shaving with the Futur ever since. No more razor burn and no more bumps. Shaving became a Zen like experience. I take the time (When I can) and really enjoy the entire wet shave process.

    Recently I have become obsessed with watching and learning about straight razors. I always wanted to use a straight razor but never had the chance to try one. I know all about the Honing and stropping process that goes along with owning a straight razor and I think that was the main reason I didn't pursue it any further. I'm 43 years old and have seen the barbers go from straight razors in the shops to using shavette style razors.

    In the past few weeks I started considering getting a shavette but always thought they looked cheap and didn't think I would enjoy using one and had heard that they were not the same as using a straight razor and were not very different from shaving with a safety razor.

    A few weeks ago I saw a video of a gent using a Feather artist club SS folding razor and again it intrigued me. I thought it looked much nicer than other shavettes I had seen. I did more research and began to really think this might be my answer to getting a straight razor type shave but not have to deal with the Honing/stropping. I took the plunge and ordered a black one with a pack or Feather Pro blades.

    It arrived today.

    Got home from work and nervously had a shave with it. I purposely didn't shave yesterday or this morning as I know the Feather SS was arriving today. I say nervous because it was they first time I had used or even held any type of straight razor.

    Took the first pass down my cheek and was quickly relieved. No blood. Continued onto the rest of my face. wow, loving this razor. Did two passes, one with the grain and one against. This is the closest shave I have ever had. No irritation, burning and sitting her typing a few hours later, no bumps. I only got one little nick on my neck due to a bump that I didn't even realize was there.

    I still have a lot of work to do on my technique as finding the right angles and hand/arm placement is very different from a safety razor and will take some time to get used to but I look forward to mastering the art.

    I know is not a "straight" razor, but it's a first step. Maybe a straight true straight in my future.

    So I decided to join B&B tonight to share my journey and since I will be reading and learning a lot more now, I figured I would introduce myself and thank the forum members for all of the information I have found on B&B thus far.

  1. I like the Feather AC range. In my opinion no other replaceable blade straight razor comes closer to a true straight than the Feather AC DX.

    You will probably have days when you are not so successful with your shave and wonder whether it is all worth the effort.
    Just persevere and it will become a satisfying, rewarding experience.
    Given enough time and practice, straight shaves may even become closer and more comfortable than shaves with a safety razor.

    Also keep in mind that the Feather AC blades tend to be harsher during the first 2-3 shaves and become noticeably mellower afterwards.

    Enjoy the new experience.

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  2. Congrats!

    I love the Feather AC system; I’m currently favoring it over my traditional SR. I also have an SS currently loaded with Pro blades, very nice shaves. Still working on technique myself, but I find them moderately forgiving and can walk away with at least SAS/CCS in the rougher spots (upper lip and chin areas), but BBS/DFS in all other spots most days.

  3. I love the Feather SS with the Pro blades. I struggled a bit at first, but each week it got better. After about 6 weeks or so I found shaving with it was a joy. I just love the shaves now. Someone here suggested I use a DE for my first pass and it would help me transition to the Feather SS. That was great advice. It really helped me during my initial transition period. Good luck. I think the #1 most important factor in transitioning is simply persevering and not giving up.
  4. Straight shave with out all the extra work. I dig it. It's definitely not a safety razor . Good luck and keep us posted
  5. Welcome down the Artists Club rabbit hole!

    The Artist Club system and its clones (e. g. the excellent Kai razors) stand in their own right as phenomenal shaving methods. The SS in particular combines innovation from straight, injector, DE and cartridge.

    Congratulations on your first shave - it sounds more successful than most.
  6. Thanks everyone. Really enjoying it.

    Did shave #2 thin morning. nothing more than a few small nicks on the neck area today BUT I did clip the bottom of my left ear on an upstroke ATG on my left side. No biggie, a little styptic and it's all good. Just need to get a little more used to the whole process, but damn I'm getting the closest cleanest shaves Ive ever had.

    Enjoying it a lot and can't wait until it's as second nature as My safety razor had become.

    A few hundred shave and I'll get there!

  7. Caught my first slice with the feather AC SS this morning. Either moved my hand the wrong way slightly or turned my face a little, not sure. Not a bog deal and nothing a little Alum Bock couldn't take care of but damn, things were going so "smooth".


    This is my current setup. Haven't touched the Merkur Future since getting the Feather. Really enjoying the "Straight" feeling and the shave is the smoothest I have ever had.

    Now i'm looking around at maybe one day in the future getting a true SR. I was browsing arouns and really liked the look of this A.P Donovan set. Does anyone have any info on A.P. Donovan? Quality, shave ready, etc?



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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  8. Did you have the razor against your face or did you catch it between strokes?

    If the former, try a lower angle (razor flatter to face) it becomes quite hard to cut yourself and it also makes the lip do it's job better. If you caught your face between strokes then try starting with the blade flat against the face and lifting to the right angle. You quickly don't need to do that but whilst you are learning to handle the razor it can help. I did this for a bit when I was learning to shave with my non dominant hand.

    Another thing to be aware of is that the jimping on the SS isn't very effective. You can counter this by gripping the tail between your ring and little finger.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  9. I found that when I didn't concentrate my complete focus on my shave I would get a cut like yours. The SS seemed to help my learning because whenever I lost my focus, even for a brief moment, it would make me pay with a cut. In sense, this is a good thing for me, because it helped me really focus on my technique and the end result is that now I never get those, and the shaves are amazingly comfortable and easy.

    Regarding a purchase of your first true SR, I had a forum guy give me excellent advice. He said to purchase a cheap, but good vintage razor from a hone guru. I did this. My all-in cost was $40. The main benefit was that the razor was a good one and truly shave ready - for a minimal investment. I learned a lot using that first SR. When it came time to invest money in a more expensive razor, I had a clearer picture in my mind as to what I wanted to buy. But that 1st vintage razor is still one I treasure, and it gives AMAZING shaves. And when you get to the point that you want to learn to hone your own SR, it's good to have an old one like this to practice and learn on. There are people on the shave forums who can help you like this. They are basically doing this just to help people like you and me "get off on the right foot" with their first SR - before they sink bigger money into a razor. I am an older guy on a limited budget, so I really was grateful to be able to ease my way into SR shaving this way.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  10. Bur_Oak,

    Completely agree on the focus aspect. I'm sure I lost my focus at that moment, because I like, snapped awake so to speak at that moment and was like, what the hell did I just do? Looked in the mirror and was holding the blade against my face and just knew what I had done. Not a big deal, didn't hurt just annoyed me that I was that stupid/careless at that moment.

    As far as a vintage blade, there is just something inside me that cringes at using a "used blade". I just can't wrap my head around it being hygienically ok to use another razor that has no doubt had blood from someone I don't even know. No matter how long ago, honed, sharpened, disinfected, etc... It just is not something I feel comfortable with.

    I'm in no rush and do really like the Feather AC SS. There is just something about the true old fashioned SR that intrigues me. I'm very please with the shave I am getting with the feather but still I wonder if a true SR would be an even better "smoother" shave???

  11. I completely understand. I was fanatical about making certain the razor was safe before I used it. I work in a medical office, and their instruments are disinfected and sterilized - but yes they do reuse some instruments on many patients over a number of years. There are threads on this forum that describe how to properly prepare a used razor so that it is safe to use. But, if you are not comfortable with that, I completely understand. Frankly, I kind of like the idea of using a vintage razor. Mine is over 70 years old, from Germany, and I like the idea of using it. We live in a throwaway world now, and I don't like tossing things out that can be reused or even repurposed. I am probably a bit weird though... LOL, my kids sometimes tell me I am :)
  12. wellcme to the forums,, or actually to post onthe forums :)

    nice decision on the feathers, they really are the best shavettes i ave tried!
  13. @Gromet

    Welcome. Nice choice on that Feather razor.

    There is a thread about shavettes on Brotherhood section. You will learn a lot there.
  14. I wouldn't touch that set with a 10 ft pole. Everything about it screams regret to me.

    You're better off getting:

    New Old Stock (NOS, i.e. unused) vintage razor off ebay for less than $100 or a gold dollar razor. Either way, get it professionally honed by someone that knows what they are doing.

    Tony Miller Vanilla or Chocolate Strop. Rub in neatsfoot oil if it is too fast. Make sure that the strop is not cupping or you will begin to nick it.

    If you want an upgraded brush, check out the Elite Razor Manchurian White. It will probably run you $120 with a nice handle, but you will regret nothing about that brush.

    Soaps, man I could go on forever about soaps, but I always recommend Lisa's Natural Herbal Creations Gentleman's Lavender to people new to wetshaving.

    All in, you'll spend probably $75+45+120+10 = $250 (maximum, can be closer to $200 or as low as $75 without the brush), but this is a top of the line set up.

    Heck, if you get a decent NOS blade, if you cover shipping, I'll hone it up for you to be comparable to your Feather AC, but smoother and less likely to bite.
  15. Since you are in no hurry to get a straight razor and don’t want a used one, why don’t you buy a Gold Dollar 66 for ten bucks or so, get some lapping film and learn to hone. Using film is inexpensive, precise and easy to learn. Using a straight razor is a pleasure known to only a few but using one that you have honed yourself is an even greater pleasure. Read @Seraphim thread on lapping film and follow up with @Slash McCoy Newbies Honing Compendium. You will be glad you did.
  16. +1
  17. Welcome aboard!
    don't get discourage you'll get it, patience and time that's all you need.
    my first straight shave was a disaster but with practice you technique will get better and better.

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