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Having trouble looking for a straight razor.

Hello all. So I'm treading the dangerous territory of purchasing a straight razor as a gift for Valentine's day. I am looking hopefully for a shaving set. I've looked around and I'm starting to understand but I would like some input from people who know what they are talking about and aren't salespeople. I have a final budget of $275 after tax and shipping. I know it's not a lot but it's a first try. My boyfriend, that I want to buy for, has semi intricate facial hair, think Tony Stark... How would this affect the purchasing options.
I know it'll be less likely with how small the budget is but I'm looking for something sleek and clean looking but also interesting... I had started to look at the Grim blades but there doesn't seem to be much info... So it leaves me skeptical, but I'm feeling that way about the more I look at...
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Welcome to the forum, the best place to look for a razor would be in the Marketplace. Either a member will sell one to you in the BST (Buy/Sell/Trade) or a vendor/hobbyist will carry what you need. The important thing to look for is that the razor is "Shave Ready". If not, it won't be sharp enough to shave. With the razor, you need a leather strop to keep the blade sharp. After that, it depends if you want to also get a shave brush, shave soap or shave cream and aftershave. If you do get everything, I think it's easily possible at a lower cost.
 
I started with a straight and accessories from the superior shave. Your budget is more than enough.

Thesuperiorshave.com
 
For Tony Stark facial hair, it is typically recommended to use a square tip razor as you get a more accurate edge at the end of the blade to trim around the hair you want to keep. A spanish point would do to and so would a french. Round would be a bit more awkward, but would work too.

Square tip are a little harder for beginner, but there is no substitute to being careful anyway.

Most new razors are round point, but I found that Ralf Aust has a reasonably priced Spanish point (~150). Something like:
http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=108&products_id=2532

I do not have a Ralk Aust myself, but heard good things about them.
I have not bought from this vendor before either, so I am not sure if they make sure the razor is really shave ready. Some other members might be able to comment on both this points.
 
For Tony Stark facial hair, it is typically recommended to use a square tip razor as you get a more accurate edge at the end of the blade to trim around the hair you want to keep. A spanish point would do to and so would a french. Round would be a bit more awkward, but would work too.

Square tip are a little harder for beginner, but there is no substitute to being careful anyway.

Most new razors are round point, but I found that Ralf Aust has a reasonably priced Spanish point (~150). Something like:
http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=108&products_id=2532

I do not have a Ralk Aust myself, but heard good things about them.
I have not bought from this vendor before either, so I am not sure if they make sure the razor is really shave ready. Some other members might be able to comment on both this points.
+1 - Call this vendor and you can get any starter kit with strop, brush etc that you will need. In addition they will rehone the razor one time for free after your boyfriend screws up the edge as beginners always tend to do.
 
SRD is a great vendor. I bought a Ralph Aust when I started and it was truly shave ready and I consider it one of my best SR's.The biggest issue with SRD is they are out of stock of most SR's. I lucked out and got my Aust when it was in stk

Superior shave has more stk but the two I bought were not shave ready in my opinion
 
So far you guys are already very helpful... It's a shame SRD is so low on stock, there were a few attractive pieces.

Is there anything else? Are the Grim blades something to bother with or steer clear of?
 
I would also second Larry at whipped dog. Just placed an order with him and everything went smoothly with good communication.
 
Stupid question time:

has he shown an interest in using a straight razor? If not, maybe getting him a safety razor and blade sampler kit would meet with greater success of long term use.

But, women have a way of guiding our actions....
 
Lots of folks start and give up but if you do buy a straight razor, buy a good one and he can get your $$ back if he decides it is not for him
 
Stupid question time:

has he shown an interest in using a straight razor? If not, maybe getting him a safety razor and blade sampler kit would meet with greater success of long term use.

But, women have a way of guiding our actions....

Come on. He is a man with a girl friend nice enough to buy him a real men razor. So one would expect that he would be the kind of guy to shave like a man, not using the male knock off of the Venus razor.
 
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So far you guys are already very helpful... It's a shame SRD is so low on stock, there were a few attractive pieces.

Is there anything else? Are the Grim blades something to bother with or steer clear of?

I have no personal experience with the blades grim, but some here do. Here is a thread about it I remember seeing a few month back.
From what I remember it was not all good
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/368648-The-Blades-Grim?highlight=blades+grim
 
Stupid question time:

has he shown an interest in using a straight razor? If not, maybe getting him a safety razor and blade sampler kit would meet with greater success of long term use.

But, women have a way of guiding our actions....


Yes and no. As a side job I do a lot of cosplay and commission work for conventions, and he happened to tag along on one last may. There was a steam punk items vendor that he took a frivolous fancy to that happened to be selling a few razors along with other haberdashery. We also attended a Renaissance Festival where he did the same. It may just be me reading too deeply into his actions, but so far doing so has lead me to be capable of getting him rather personal gifts that no one else has ever seemingly managed to do. Everyone says he's hard to shop for, but maybe they weren't paying enough attention, perhaps I'm paying too much.
He is very aware of his appearance and the way he presents himself to others, plus he's been complaining about his current electric razor routine... so why not nudge him along to further his gentlemanly status. If anything it'll be something pretty :laugh:
 
KW had a good question. A DE might be a better first step, followed by a straight in the future if he's into it. Straights are truly great but they require a talent set for honing and stropping that often exceeds what most are willing to commit to with any consistency but, always up to the individual.
 
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