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I have invested about a year in time.

Do you know what skin stretching is and have you tried it?

For reasons I do not understand, skin stretching seems to be more important for the use of straight razors. Straight razors like taut skin. Even the best edge in the world will not perform its best on a loose surface.
100% this. Really committing to skin stretching made a huge difference to this noob SR shaver.

@Hair made of metal do not get discouraged with your sub-par shaves. Do send your razor to a honemeister recommended here on B&B so that you are guaranteed a shave ready edge. Ask him to strop it for you so you don’t have to do anything other than shave when you get it back. Focus on a low angle while shaving.

If your hair really is made of metal then you may benefit from a blade with a more acute bevel. My beard is pretty tough and I noticed shaving was a lot easier and closer when I switched from a fairly obtuse bevel angle to a more acute one.
 
The bevel is created by laying the spine and edge flat on the stone. I’m not “holding” the angle, rather letting the geometry of the razor do the work. Unless I’m misinterpreting something here? Tape, no tape and shaving arm/body hair don’t mean much if the razor is not truly shave ready. If my shave is rough, I’ve got work to do, no matter how much arm hair I can mow down. As for the OP, as stated several times, perhaps a fresh, shave ready edge by an experienced honer who shaves with straights can give you an idea of how sharp your razor needs to be.
Taping the spline doesn’t help the shave, but it saves the spline from stone wear. Last week, somebody posted pics about honing issues. They had wrinkled tape along the spline that likely caused their edge issues. Some of the SR pics posted here and elsewhere with uneven edges and bevel lines indicate some owners are freehand honing like sharpening a knife blade.
 
Taping the spline doesn’t help the shave, but it saves the spline from stone wear. Last week, somebody posted pics about honing issues. They had wrinkled tape along the spline that likely caused their edge issues. Some of the SR pics posted here and elsewhere with uneven edges and bevel lines indicate some owners are freehand honing like sharpening a knife blade.
Then what is the tape doing? Cutting down on wind resistance?
 

Ravenonrock

I shaved the pig
Taping the spline doesn’t help the shave, but it saves the spline from stone wear. Last week, somebody posted pics about honing issues. They had wrinkled tape along the spline that likely caused their edge issues. Some of the SR pics posted here and elsewhere with uneven edges and bevel lines indicate some owners are freehand honing like sharpening a knife blade.
I’m not against using tape in some instances, and have done so with some wedges and razors that I acquired that already had multiple bevels and wanted to speed things up and see where I was at. Generally I prefer the spine and edge to wear evenly at the same time, so not really a fan of tape. I have also seen decorative spines taped to retain their look, I don’t own any razors as fine as that. Freehand honing is not a skill I possess, others might. It would be a special circumstance to free hone a razor IMO. I have not read of many SR users regularly doing so, perhaps I’m mistaken. Yes, wrinkled tape would be a problem, but I would ask why the tape was being used to begin with? Hope the OP resolves the issue and I will not derail this thread any further.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
“However, nobody seems to talk about another use for tape, and that’s strengthening the edge. For some razors this is the only way to prevent them from collapsing after 1 pass.”

I wonder if this is why they are going dull after 2 passes.
I understand what you mean. Tape can be used to increase the blade's bevel angle. An increased bevel angle can reduce an edge's tendency to curl over or break during use.

It would be very rare for any decent SR to have a design bevel angle that was too acute. I know that it does happen. I once bought a new $5 no-brand stainless steel straight razor from China that had a bevel angle of under 10°. There was no way that it would shave whiskers. The edge just couldn't take the punishment.
 
So first off, as many here have said, being good at honing knives and good at honing razors are two very different things. I've been rubbing metal knife blades on rocks over 25 years, don't use a bevel guide, and could shave a beard off with relative ease with any of my knife edges. Shaving arm hair smooth and with no pressure is my knife standard. That actually takes a bit of practice if you don't use a bevel guide and free hand your edges.

Honing a razor is a different art. Especially if you're trying to correct a smile or frowned edge. Progression from course to fine hones means way more in the razor Honing world. Pressure on the edge, more specifically lack thereof, is far more important. It's pretty difficult to roll the edge on a 30-35 degree beveled knife from too much pressure on the hone. That 17 degree razor bevel? Really different story. Improper stropping can roll the edge on a razor as well. So can shaving with an improper shave angle. Generally, you use little to no pressure when honing a razor. Presure may need to be applied when correcting an edge at specific points in the lap, but for general honing I use just enough pressure to ensure both the spine and edge are flat on the hone. Nothing more unless I'm setting a bevel on a knarly edge. Even then, lighter is better. And I hone on arkansas stones, which some say are forgiving to using a little more pressure.

I personally believe your stropping technique and razor angle when shaving are off. That plus likely honing technique. Get a razor honed by a reputable honer to rule that out of the equation. Don't strop it first shave, it should be ready to go. Then take other members' advice and shave with as shallow of an angle as possible. See if your face is still chewed up then. There's a learning curve to SR shaving, but I was getting pretty good edges and shaves at a year in. Not gonna lie.
 

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
What razor are you using? This is not a trivial question. Let us first establish that the razor is unlikely to be the problem. It can be extremely difficult to diagnose a problem and make the proper suggestions without any information.

A common issue is shaving angle. Sharper razors work best with very shallow shave angles. I nearly drag the spine on my face. If you need much more than one spine thickness worth of gap between spine and face, your razor is dull. Yes, dull. Compared to your favorite pocketknife or kitchen knife it may seem sharp, but razor sharpness is an entirely different level of sharpness. Too high a shave angle is not shaving. It is scraping, and killing your edge.

Having to strop repeatedly during a shave is an indicator of fin edge, which is usually the result of too much pressure when honing. See The Method. All of it. Every post. It is long, but you have been at this for a year, so a day's worth of reading is not a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Stretching the skin is essential! Always stretch firmly. Pull the skin "upstream" against the growth direction of the whiskers in whatever spot you are shaving. This exposes more hair, and makes it stand up a bit.

Map your face carefully, don't just go N-S or whatever. Every spot on your face has it's own whisker growth direction. Try backing off a bit, and just do two and only two passes, WTG. With The Grain. Or as close as practical in light of your facial topography. Shave like that for a couple of weeks. Let closeness come, don't force it. And there is no need to be super anal about BBS, anyway. Nobody else will notice. Later, try adding a final ATG pass if you absolutely insist. I only do a single WTG pass. More or less WTG. Sometimes less WTG, actually. Look for my shave video where I whack off 6 weeks worth of whiskers with a humble Gold Dollar, hands down the cheapest of the cheapest razors that will still actually shave decently.

Unless you know for a fact that your razor's bevel angle is too acute, I would not tape. If the razor will not support an edge at say 16 degrees, then you have a crap razor. Assuming your shaving and stropping technique are in the ballpark, anyway. If you have say a 14 degree razor, then yeah, you may want to hone with tape, or at least finish with tape. Read up on how to calculate your bevel angle and make sure you are doing it right, if bevel angle seems to be at issue.

I would send it out for honing. Eliminate the guessing about your edge. Ask that it be honed without tape unless the bevel angle is very acute.

If you insist on honing it yourself, but you HAVE ALREADY BEEN honing it yourself, then obviously doing it again and again and again is not the answer. Send it out.

Don't want to send it out? Then try The Method. Absolutely following the instructions exactly. If you do that, you will get a better than professional quality edge. If you don't get an amazing edge then you are not following instructions, or else you have an RSO. A Method edge absolutely demands a very low shave angle and tight stretching.

See to your lather, too. Hydrate thoroughly. Make your lather wet and slippery, not fluffy and foamy. It's not christmas and you don't need a santa beard of lather. Make sure your brush is up to the task. I highly recommend a large badger brush. See Larry at www.whippeddog.com for a 26mm to 30mm silvertip. $40 will get you a brush that matches a $300 brush in actual performance. A badger irritates skin less, and holds more lather for quick relather of dried spots, or for the second pass.

A year in, you should be getting very nice shaves. Stop forcing it and start diagnosing it.
 
1. Got a good straight edge Razor
2. Got a good strop
3. I can get the blade to cut a hair in mid flight
4. I have exfoliator, Pre oil best shaving soap.
5. Will shave body hair with it popping off, very close shave.
6. I have tried every type off angle and pass you can try on the face.

I can sharpen all kinds kitchen and pocket knives so they cut hairs. I have background in realistic painting, I have a very steady hand.

So far my closest shave in my life is dry shaving from a over the counter new Fusion razor using multiple passes till my hand only feels smooth skin.

On my body the fusion and the straight are =.

My blade seems to dull on my face with 3 passes. The more I strop during the shave the better the shave. Even with all the work I get a shave that is just ok. Yes I use hot shower before….anything you can think of I have tried.

If I shave chest hairs, it’s so smooth I would be so happy if my face would shave Like that.

I don’t like to give up but I don’t know what to do. My face feels like it has more dry skin that is more bumpy around chin and lower neck. I moisturize my face and exfoliate more than I ever did. If use an electric or fresh reg razor and go over the spots many times they smooth out better than creams.

I can get really close dry shaving doing like six passes with a reg razor. My skin is tough and I have done that for 30 years and don’t bleed. I am not happy with the cost to get a close shave so I tried the Straight edge. After spending 350 bucks and working on this for a year I have nothing to show. I am willing to do A video and post to see what you think I am doing wrong.

Thats what I like no hair on my face like when I was 10 Feel.
I can get that on my arm with a straight edge.
I can get that on my face with and expensive cartridge dry shaving doing multiple passes.
On my face the straight edge causes dry bumpy skin that hides the hairs. I am not dry shaving with the straight, my face is as slippery as a fish soaked in oil. I put on face bump remover. I make the blade as sharp as possible. I strop hone my blade more than the Karate Kid waxes cars. I am really upset I was told this was going to be the best closest shave possible. I even steamed towels. I put my wife’s expensive conditioner on my face hoping that it would soften my beard. I bought 2 more straights so all would be sharp with 60 passes before the shave. All 3 go duller after shaving half my face.
I re strop my best blade. After I am done pretty close. Like if went over my face with an electric razor for a half hour. Is it the best shave ever, not even close.
Seems like straight razors isn’t for you.
 
What razor are you using? This is not a trivial question. Let us first establish that the razor is unlikely to be the problem. It can be extremely difficult to diagnose a problem and make the proper suggestions without any information.

A common issue is shaving angle. Sharper razors work best with very shallow shave angles. I nearly drag the spine on my face. If you need much more than one spine thickness worth of gap between spine and face, your razor is dull. Yes, dull. Compared to your favorite pocketknife or kitchen knife it may seem sharp, but razor sharpness is an entirely different level of sharpness. Too high a shave angle is not shaving. It is scraping, and killing your edge.

Having to strop repeatedly during a shave is an indicator of fin edge, which is usually the result of too much pressure when honing. See The Method. All of it. Every post. It is long, but you have been at this for a year, so a day's worth of reading is not a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Stretching the skin is essential! Always stretch firmly. Pull the skin "upstream" against the growth direction of the whiskers in whatever spot you are shaving. This exposes more hair, and makes it stand up a bit.

Map your face carefully, don't just go N-S or whatever. Every spot on your face has it's own whisker growth direction. Try backing off a bit, and just do two and only two passes, WTG. With The Grain. Or as close as practical in light of your facial topography. Shave like that for a couple of weeks. Let closeness come, don't force it. And there is no need to be super anal about BBS, anyway. Nobody else will notice. Later, try adding a final ATG pass if you absolutely insist. I only do a single WTG pass. More or less WTG. Sometimes less WTG, actually. Look for my shave video where I whack off 6 weeks worth of whiskers with a humble Gold Dollar, hands down the cheapest of the cheapest razors that will still actually shave decently.

Unless you know for a fact that your razor's bevel angle is too acute, I would not tape. If the razor will not support an edge at say 16 degrees, then you have a crap razor. Assuming your shaving and stropping technique are in the ballpark, anyway. If you have say a 14 degree razor, then yeah, you may want to hone with tape, or at least finish with tape. Read up on how to calculate your bevel angle and make sure you are doing it right, if bevel angle seems to be at issue.

I would send it out for honing. Eliminate the guessing about your edge. Ask that it be honed without tape unless the bevel angle is very acute.

If you insist on honing it yourself, but you HAVE ALREADY BEEN honing it yourself, then obviously doing it again and again and again is not the answer. Send it out.

Don't want to send it out? Then try The Method. Absolutely following the instructions exactly. If you do that, you will get a better than professional quality edge. If you don't get an amazing edge then you are not following instructions, or else you have an RSO. A Method edge absolutely demands a very low shave angle and tight stretching.

See to your lather, too. Hydrate thoroughly. Make your lather wet and slippery, not fluffy and foamy. It's not christmas and you don't need a santa beard of lather. Make sure your brush is up to the task. I highly recommend a large badger brush. See Larry at www.whippeddog.com for a 26mm to 30mm silvertip. $40 will get you a brush that matches a $300 brush in actual performance. A badger irritates skin less, and holds more lather for quick relather of dried spots, or for the second pass.

A year in, you should be getting very nice shaves. Stop forcing it and start diagnosing it.
Also honing a straight razor is completely different than honing a knife. With a straight razor it has to be completely flat. And you have to start at the 1k then 3K 8k then 12k ,

I don’t think your bevel was set properly
 
Last edited:
1. Got a good straight edge Razor
2. Got a good strop
3. I can get the blade to cut a hair in mid flight
4. I have exfoliator, Pre oil best shaving soap.
5. Will shave body hair with it popping off, very close shave.
6. I have tried every type off angle and pass you can try on the face.

I can sharpen all kinds kitchen and pocket knives so they cut hairs. I have background in realistic painting, I have a very steady hand.

So far my closest shave in my life is dry shaving from a over the counter new Fusion razor using multiple passes till my hand only feels smooth skin.

On my body the fusion and the straight are =.

My blade seems to dull on my face with 3 passes. The more I strop during the shave the better the shave. Even with all the work I get a shave that is just ok. Yes I use hot shower before….anything you can think of I have tried.

If I shave chest hairs, it’s so smooth I would be so happy if my face would shave Like that.

I don’t like to give up but I don’t know what to do. My face feels like it has more dry skin that is more bumpy around chin and lower neck. I moisturize my face and exfoliate more than I ever did. If use an electric or fresh reg razor and go over the spots many times they smooth out better than creams.

I can get really close dry shaving doing like six passes with a reg razor. My skin is tough and I have done that for 30 years and don’t bleed. I am not happy with the cost to get a close shave so I tried the Straight edge. After spending 350 bucks and working on this for a year I have nothing to show. I am willing to do A video and post to see what you think I am doing wrong.

Thats what I like no hair on my face like when I was 10 Feel.
I can get that on my arm with a straight edge.
I can get that on my face with and expensive cartridge dry shaving doing multiple passes.
On my face the straight edge causes dry bumpy skin that hides the hairs. I am not dry shaving with the straight, my face is as slippery as a fish soaked in oil. I put on face bump remover. I make the blade as sharp as possible. I strop hone my blade more than the Karate Kid waxes cars. I am really upset I was told this was going to be the best closest shave possible. I even steamed towels. I put my wife’s expensive conditioner on my face hoping that it would soften my beard. I bought 2 more straights so all would be sharp with 60 passes before the shave. All 3 go duller after shaving half my face.
I re strop my best blade. After I am done pretty close. Like if went over my face with an electric razor for a half hour. Is it the best shave ever, not even close.
The only way we could tell is if you make a video of how you hone, your preparation and a video of you shaving. There’s no way for us to tell reading This. When I got my first gold dollar it was amazing, I wasn’t great at it at first but once I practiced I started getting wonderful shaves. It also helps to explain that I have been using Shavettes On and off for several years before I ever picked up a traditional straight. So the transition was a lot easier for me than some people
 
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