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I must be doing it wrong

I have a Dovo and 2 Naked Arms (Soloman & Viking) and all three are giving me trouble. I prep, get proper lather, pull taught, but just can't seem to do anything but mangle my face. All the razors pull like a bull and "letting weight of the razor" do the work leaves me with nothing but irritation and little to no hair cut. I know there's a learning curve but every time I've attempted I've gone back to my cheap Harrys disposable and shaved my face in less than 30 seconds and it's a close, comfortable shave with zero irritation. I got the SR to get a close shave and enjoy the ritual of shaving, but so far I'm frustrated and have not been able to do my whole face at all, despite the angles, lubrication, going with the grain, arc movements, you name it, I've attempted it. I'm about to throw in the towel and just go back to disposables since they do the job and my face doesn't suffer.

Help!
 
Clearly, your razors are not sharp enough.

Get them going on a proper sharpening stone. Lay the blades FLAT on the stone and slide them edge-first, back and forth, 25-50 strokes.

Then strop thoroughly. Spine first, edge trailing, flat on the strop, again 30-50 strokes.

Light touch, low angle, and start to shave. So long as your stubble is hot and wet, it should just start cutting on its own.
 
Are you new to Sr shaving?
If so get one or all honed by someone who knows what they're doing . Then you'll know for future reference what sharp is supposed to be like. Put your location up and no doubt someone will recommend a honer for you.
Don't give up it will be worth all the time and effort.
 
Most Straigt Razors are not sold shave ready. Even if you have bought a truly shave ready razor it is very common for beginners to dull their razors with the first stropping on leather. For a beginner this can be very frustrating, because you are still learning your technique and have no way to know how a good edge should feel like. It's typically recomended to either send your razors to a real experienced razor honer to sharpen them for you or you could consider to start learning your SR shaving technique with a shavette (something like a Feather Artist Club SS). With those feather shavettes you can be sure to have always have a sharp edge and can fully concentrate on learning your technique for a while.
 
Speaking from personal experience, learning how to sharpen your own straights is a very important skill to learn.

You'll appreciate more just how sharp a straight has to be, and what goes into maintaining your blades.

How to sharpen my razors was the first thing I ever did before I even began trying to shave with them.
 
Send out your Dovo to somebody that has a good reputation for honing a good shave ready edge. There's no point in continuing with what you have with bad edges. It will only lead to frustration.

Your first good "shave ready" edge will give you that "OHHH" moment. It's a great feeling. ....having flashbacks........
 
Shaving with an SR is, ultimately, two hobbies. Shaving and honing. They're both really great hobbies, fun and rewarding, but both require some persistence to get past the early parts. The early parts can be a bit frustrating, as you find your way, but the rewards are huge.
 
Your razor is not shaving sharp.

A sharp razor will give you a very smooth and easy shave. Tugging and grabbing is evidence of an edge that’s not ready for prime time.
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
I’m no master, far from it but I’ve been using and honing straights these last three years and am based in the UK.
I shave every day with a very sharp edge.
If you want to send me a razor I’ll sharpen it for you free of charge.
You are a gentleman my friend. And probably a scholar!
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
You are a gentleman my friend. And probably a scholar!
It's funny how a picture on a profile leads your mind. I imagined you as a retired AMERICAN football player, living out a cushy retirement in Arizona, sippin' iced tea with @ackvil after shooting 36 holes of golf. Imagine my shock to find your real name is Baggins!
 
I have a Dovo and 2 Naked Arms (Soloman & Viking) and all three are giving me trouble. I prep, get proper lather, pull taught, but just can't seem to do anything but mangle my face. All the razors pull like a bull and "letting weight of the razor" do the work leaves me with nothing but irritation and little to no hair cut. I know there's a learning curve but every time I've attempted I've gone back to my cheap Harrys disposable and shaved my face in less than 30 seconds and it's a close, comfortable shave with zero irritation. I got the SR to get a close shave and enjoy the ritual of shaving, but so far I'm frustrated and have not been able to do my whole face at all, despite the angles, lubrication, going with the grain, arc movements, you name it, I've attempted it. I'm about to throw in the towel and just go back to disposables since they do the job and my face doesn't suffer.

Help!
Another thing regarding razor pressure.
There’s an idea floating around of using zero pressure when straight razor shaving.
I’ve always found a certain amount of light pressure is needed to make sure the razor bites to the hair and clears the stubble.
 
Another thing regarding razor pressure.
There’s an idea floating around of using zero pressure when straight razor shaving.
I’ve always found a certain amount of light pressure is needed to make sure the razor bites to the hair and clears the stubble.
If I hit the exact right angle and speed with a very sharp edge and a very light touch I sometimes get into this state, where the razor glides weightless over my skin cutting every hair cleanly and making this noise like a closing zipper or a tearing piece of cloth, but this is unfortunately still an exception. I hope with more practice I will be able to achieve this perfect stroke every time.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Shaving with an SR is, ultimately, two hobbies. Shaving and honing. They're both really great hobbies, fun and rewarding, but both require some persistence to get past the early parts. The early parts can be a bit frustrating, as you find your way, but the rewards are huge.

Three hobbies for SR, shaving, honing and stropping. All three have to be ‘learned’, but not so much smarts as just muscle memory/reptition.
 
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