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Holding An Edge (Stropless Shaving)

Shave No. 8 T.H.60 (Vesperum)

Seventh shave using this SR without stropping. Standard pre-shave prep and passes.

Yesterday I shaved with my lovis SR as a criterion shave. Iovis has one of the best edges in my M7DS. The result was just a tad better than my Vesperum shave the day before.

This morning's shave with Vesperum was almost identical to the last time that I shaved with it. My Fool's Pass was still comfortable. Overall still a comfort shave with DFS all over including the upper lip after its Fool's Pass. After the shave this blade was wiped clean with a piece of moist chamois, oiled and put away.

Tomorrow will be another criterion shave, this time with my fully maintained Saturni SR.
 
I can’t believe this experiment is still going. All those years with a DE must have turned your skin to leather.
 
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I think he is gong to prove that good steel can hold a great edge for longer than I (most others) thought initially. Based on longevity by just stropping I am now guessing around 20-30 shaves without stropping. In fact I started my own test to verify things for myself, only 3 shaves in...
 
I think he is gong to prove that good steel can hold a great edge for longer than I (most others) thought initially. Based on longevity by just stropping I am now guessing around 20-30 shaves without stropping. In fact I started my own test to verify things for myself, only 3 shaves in...
I'm glad to see someone else give this a go. Remember that you will need a criterion SR that is normally maintained so that you can judge the performance of the non-stropped SR.
 
I can’t believe this experiment is still going. All those years with a DE must have turned your skin to leather.
I am also surprised that this razor's edge is holding out so long. Like most other SR shavers, I always stropped between shaves and believed that an edge would only comfortably last about 2 or 4 shaves without stropping. This is an eye-opener for me.

It will be interesting to see how the much harder Titan 1918 ACRO T.H.70 performs under similar conditions.

The purpose of this bathroom experiment is to compare edge longevity between two basically identical SR's with markedly different steel hardnesses. What I am learning about edge longevity without stropping just happens to be an unintended, but very interesting, byproduct of the results.
 
Shave No. 9 T.H.60 (Vesperum)

Eighth shave using this SR without stropping. Standard pre-shave prep and passes.

Yesterday I shaved with my Satuni SR as a criterion shave. Saturni is also one of the best edges and probably the best in my M7DS. The result was an extremely smooth and comfortable shave, better than my Vesperum shave the day before.

This morning it's noticed that my shave with Vesperum was noticeably less smooth than that with Saturni yesterday. My Fool's Pass was still comfortable. Overall still a comfort shave with DFS all over including the upper lip after its Fool's Pass. I still consider Vesperum a quite shaveable SR but maybe getting close to its end without stropping. After the shave this blade was wiped clean with a piece of moist chamois, oiled and put away.

Tomorrow will be another criterion shave, this time with my fully maintained Lunae SR which, from memory, is as good as Saturni.
 
Shave No. 9 T.H.60 (Vesperum)

Eighth shave using this SR without stropping. Standard pre-shave prep and passes.

Yesterday I shaved with my Satuni SR as a criterion shave. Saturni is also one of the best edges and probably the best in my M7DS. The result was an extremely smooth and comfortable shave, better than my Vesperum shave the day before.

This morning it's noticed that my shave with Vesperum was noticeably less smooth than that with Saturni yesterday. My Fool's Pass was still comfortable. Overall still a comfort shave with DFS all over including the upper lip after its Fool's Pass. I still consider Vesperum a quite shaveable SR but maybe getting close to its end without stropping. After the shave this blade was wiped clean with a piece of moist chamois, oiled and put away.

Tomorrow will be another criterion shave, this time with my fully maintained Lunae SR which, from memory, is as good as Saturni.
This is amazing.

My humble estimate is that it'll be around shave #20 when you'll actually start to feel a noticeable difference.
 
This is amazing.

My humble estimate is that it'll be around shave #20 when you'll actually start to feel a noticeable difference.
I'm not sure if I can wait that long. This bathroom experiment is not about stroppless shaving but about edge retention verses blade hardness.
 
Tomorrow is meant to be another Vesperum shave, but today I received a new Titan ACRO T.H.64 SR and quickly honed/stropped it up to a Method edge. I'm feeling like giving the T.H.64 a drive tomorrow morning.
 
Shave No. 10 T.H.60 (Vesperum)

Nineth shave using this SR without stropping. Standard pre-shave prep and passes.

Yesterday I shaved with my Mercurii SR as a criterion shave. Mercurii is almost up there with the best edges in my M7DS. The result was an extremely smooth and comfortable shave, better than my new Titan ACRO T.H.64 shave the day before.

Before shaving with Vesperum this morning, I gave it a tree-topping test, just to see how it would perform. Originally Vesperum would happily tree-top at 20mm to 25mm. Now it is down to 10mm to 15mm, so there is some deterioration occurring.

The shave with Vesperum this morning was as smooth and comfortable as that with Mercurii yesterday. My Fool's Pass was still comfortable. Final result was DFS all over including the upper lip after its Fool's Pass. I still consider Vesperum a quite shaveable. When will all this stop? After the shave this blade was wiped clean with a piece of moist chamois, oiled and put away.

Tomorrow will be another criterion shave, this time with my fully maintained Veneris SR which is as good as Saturni.
 
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I think he is gong to prove that good steel can hold a great edge for longer than I (most others) thought initially. Based on longevity by just stropping I am now guessing around 20-30 shaves without stropping. In fact I started my own test to verify things for myself, only 3 shaves in...
5 shaves in with a Kropp 6/8 test razor but will have to select a new one. The Kropp found a new home so I will have to start over. Still think 20-30 shaves without stropping is achievable. Time will tell...
 
Shave No. 11 T.H.60 (Vesperum)

Tenth shave using this SR without stropping. Standard pre-shave prep and passes.

This morning's shave was with 36 hours growth after Samantha visiting me Thursday evening. She wantef to watch me shave with Veneris that evening instead of my normal Friday morning shave. I think she was hoping to see some blood and gore. I disappointed her.

I believe that my non-stropped Vesperum may have reached its end this morning. All went as well as normal except for my Fool's Pass. The FP was a little tuggy and left me with two very small weepers (like pin pricks) where the edge appeared to cut the skin hair follicle while cutting the associated whisker. I'm not sure if the extra 12-hour growth contributed to this failure so I'll give Vesperum at least one more go on Monday morning after a criterion shave on Sunday with Solis.

If Vesperum is as bad or worse on Monday's shave, I'll call it quits
 
Are you going to try to get it back shaving again with just clean strops? Assuming its reached its end.
Once it reaches its end I will keep it as is until the same test on my T.H.70 deteriorates to the same level. Then I will work on restoring both SR edges together to see how much effort each blade takes.

To restore the edges, my current thoughts are to start with just clean leather stroppping. If that is taking too long, I'll add 60 laps on a 0.1um diamond pasted balsa strop after each shave. During the restoring, I will continue to compare edges with a suitably maintained criterion razor.

I am expecting the un-stropped T.H.70's edge to last longer than the un-stropped T.H.60's and the T.H.70's edge to take more work to restore. My expectations however have been proven wrong before.
 
Shave No. 12 T.H.60 (Vesperum)

Eleventh shave using this SR without stropping. Standard pre-shave prep and passes.

My criterion shave with Solis yesterday morning went perfectly as usual. I was really thinking (and hoping) that this morning's shave with Vesperum would be its last after Saturday's performance. I was proven wrong - again. Even my FP was reasonably comfortable. I was so much looking forward to getting into testing my T.H.70 SR.

I will continue with Vesperum un-stropped. My reports here will be less frequent, say after every two or three shaves, unless something drastic develops.

Just received a message from the post office. They have a parcel for me. Might be the Titan 1918 VG10-HZ SR's for my third M7DS!
 
The blade edges in my first M7DS are now approaching perfection so I am thinking of a new challenge.

I have two SR's that are effectively identical except for their steel hardness, so I am thinking about trying to determine how important is steel hardness when it comes to a blade holding its edge. These two SR's are:
The edges of both of these SR's provide very similar shave results and comfort, even when doing a Fool's Pass (FP). They have both been maintained only with 60 laps on the same clean leather strop before each shave and 60 laps on the same 0.1um diamond pasted hanging balsa strop after each shave. Each blade is oiled in between uses to reduce any corrosion effect.

I intend to first determine the edge holding ability of the T.H.70. To do this, I will alternate between each of the two razors for each day's shave. The T.H. 60 will receive its normal maintenance while the T.H.70 will receive no maintenance (no leather or balsa stropping) except for oiling. Pre-shave prep will remain the same for each shave. Once the T.H.70 becomes noticeably less comfortable to use compared to the T.H. 60, I'll call it quits with the T.H.70.

Once the T.H.70 is done with, I will swap it out for another T.H.60 that I have that shaves as well as my reference T.H.60 and repeat the process.

Results will be posted in this thread.

Looking to start this little experiment next Monday. Are there any suggestions for improvements?
What I have found with kitchen knives,
I believe to be true with razors,
and that is that the same amount of usage
should get the same amount of sharpening
regardless of the hardness of the steel.

Then the difference becomes that the harder steel
stays sharper between sharpening.
 
Once it reaches its end I will keep it as is until the same test on my T.H.70 deteriorates to the same level. Then I will work on restoring both SR edges together to see how much effort each blade takes.

To restore the edges, my current thoughts are to start with just clean leather stroppping. If that is taking too long, I'll add 60 laps on a 0.1um diamond pasted balsa strop after each shave. During the restoring, I will continue to compare edges with a suitably maintained criterion razor.

I am expecting the un-stropped T.H.70's edge to last longer than the un-stropped T.H.60's and the T.H.70's edge to take more work to restore. My expectations however have been proven wrong before.
Watching this thread in awe.

If nothing it gives me hope that once I get the Koraat re-sharpened, I might be able to use it for as long as 20+ shaves w/o ever having to worry about ruining it again with bad stropping technique, as seemingly the stropping does absolutely nothing in terms of keeping it sharp. Once it loses the shaving ability, I go to Naniwa to touch it up... crazy, right? 😂
 
@KrstGor IMO it takes a lot of effort to ruin a edge on a strop. If stropping is not your strength try laying the strop flat down on the side of a counter top and strop as if its a bench stone, all spine leading of course.

a properly honed Koraat that is stropped regularly should give you well in excess of 80-150 shaves. Stropping on a pasted surface such as balsa or leather should indefinitely keep the razor shave ready IME.
 
@KrstGor IMO it takes a lot of effort to ruin a edge on a strop. If stropping is not your strength try laying the strop flat down on the side of a counter top and strop as if its a bench stone, all spine leading of course.

a properly honed Koraat that is stropped regularly should give you well in excess of 80-150 shaves. Stropping on a pasted surface such as balsa or leather should indefinitely keep the razor shave ready IME.
In theory I know that, but then I got two shaves with it when it came brand new from Ulrik and I LOVED the feel and everything.

Then I stropped the damned thing and now it's dull.

I'm not saying I ruined the edge, it simply won't shave... I guess that's what you pros call "rounded edge" or what?

My plan is to do the following, when my 10K/3K combo Nani arrives.

Run 10-15 mild laps on the 10K side, see if that brings it back, hopefully it will. If not, well... there's a 3K side, as Ulrik recommended, so I can always go on that coarser side, if needed be.
 
@KrstGor IMO it takes a lot of effort to ruin a edge on a strop. If stropping is not your strength try laying the strop flat down on the side of a counter top and strop as if its a bench stone, all spine leading of course.

a properly honed Koraat that is stropped regularly should give you well in excess of 80-150 shaves. Stropping on a pasted surface such as balsa or leather should indefinitely keep the razor shave ready IME.
From memory @KrstGor received his Koraat shave-ready honed using a taped spine. That should not change anything if just stroppping on a hanging strop (which had some give in it to allow for stroppping without a taped spine). Any stroppping on a fixed flat surface would require that to be done with the spine similarly taped.

One of the reasons why I am normally against taped spine honing.

I have previously suggested to @KrstGor that he send his Koraat back and have it re-honed without tape.
 
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