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Ideas/suggestions for a shavette

Moved from cartridge shaving to safety razors and DE blades about a year ago and doing pretty well, having fun with various blades and safety razors. Am now considering a shavette or straight razor. Am looking for advice.

I am concerned about having to spend good money on a real straight razor and perhaps be sorry or get the wrong thing. Am also concerned with having to learn how to keep it sharp as I know there is some skill required just to sharpen them much less use one.

So, at this point I am thinking perhaps a shavette would be a wiser entry point. Simple to just change a blade with no additional maintenance involved. I guess I could then concentrate on learning how to cut myself :) instead. I mean properly use it to shave.

Your suggestions on what or which shavette to consider purchasing are welcome. I know you guys have words of wisdom to share about this choice or choices.
 
Everything you're thinking is right, but shavettes often seem more temperamental and less forgiving than solid blade straight razors - they'll bite rather than nudging when you get complacent.

In terms of which to go for, that'll depend how much you're looking to spend and what blade format (DE, AC, Cabinet, 65mm and probably others) looks best to you. There are a lot of alternatives.

A great place to start for possibilities would be last September's "SABREtember" thread.

If you get into them, there's also the "Shavette And Barber Razor Enthusiast (SABRE) group" thread.

Let us know how it goes.
 
@Hugh I would suggest a shavette like the Parker SRX or a clone of the Feather Artist Club SS (there are also its clones tweaked to be used with half-DE blades). There's a bunch of those clones on AliExpress, and should you like them, then you could go for the real Feather SS.
 
Hi Hugh,

I have tried a shavette and I have used straight razors for over a year. As Kaldane has mentionned a shavette is quite different to a straight razor. It is less forgiving and frankly not as much fun. If you want to eventually evolve towards a straight then I would recommend skipping the shavette.

Just look for a shave ready razor, for instance by posting a WTB ad on the BST section of the forum.
There are plenty of US members who would be ready to help you out.
Once you have a shave ready straight all you need is a decent leather strop to keep your blade going for a while. If you throw in some cheap Chinese leather strips or balsa wood and some abrasive paste you're set for life.
 

Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
I have a minor interest in shavettes but at the moment I'm lacking the motivation to tackle the learning curve further. I started with a Parker SRX -- inexpensive, decent quality and if I didn't like it I wasn't out much money. Also it uses half-DE blades so it seemed like a no-brainer. In my opinion the SRX is not a beginner shavette. I got some corner nicks from the blade, which led me to stone the corners on every new half blade, which had some deleterious effects on the edge plus was just a pain to do all the time.

But I still have a thing for 1/2-DE shavettes. The best one I found is the Focus Slim Al. Aluminum ("Al"), which I'm not in love with but it also has a small size and doesn't interfere too much with my sightlines. The holder has angle guides and edge guards, so it's much nicer than the Parker. Still, the blades are pretty thin and aren't tensioned by the holder. They can flex and spring back, which can in the right circumstances generate a nick.

As a head shaver I'm not all in for AC blades. I don't need a wide edge that's only going to actually touch on about 1/10 of its width. However the AC blades are thicker than DE blades, which is to the good. I picked up a Feather SS clone and discovered that that "bulb" on the edge of the holder really messed with my shaving angles on my head. So I picked up a Kai Luffy clone which has less of a bulb and it was better but it was still a Western style (folding) and I had to use some funky grips to shave and see what I was shaving.

Might as well throw good money after bad, eh? I bought a real Kai (Kasho) Woody, great razor but still Western style. About then Feather came out with the SR, with a design about halfway between their SS and DX models. Bought one in kamisori style. Had some good shaves and was finally able to focus on technique. At my stage of development it takes me about an hour and a half to shave my head with it, two passes plus cleanups and some facial shaving. Now it's on me to find that motivation again.

So. The old Parker lives by the oven. It's fantastic for slashing loaves and makes me feel like a real bad dude. The two clones are up for grabs on the BST and I'm thinking I'll pull the listing and either PIF them or toss them. I'll hang onto the Kasho and the Feather, even though getting AC blades is not that simple here. But, for purposes of your learning to use them, I can highly recommend the Focus Slim Al. About twice the cost of the Parker, and about twice as good in my experience.

Those are the ones I've used. I've heard good things about the IBC, but I'm good with what I have.

O.H.
 
I can highly recommend the Focus Slim Al. About twice the cost of the Parker, and about twice as good in my experience.

Damn! That's excellent for the Focus. At that price it's a no brainer. Here a Parker will cost you about £14. I managed to get what I think was the last Focus AL in the country and it was £70.
 
@Hugh I would suggest a shavette like the Parker SRX or a clone of the Feather Artist Club SS (there are also its clones tweaked to be used with half-DE blades). There's a bunch of those clones on AliExpress, and should you like them, then you could go for the real Feather SS.

This would be the most economical.

You can get clone shavettes from Aliexpress for under $10, and some Feather AC blades for around 15 bucks.

The clones are made of plated pot metal (vs solid stainless steel) and shave very much the same as the Feather and Kai razors.

If you don't want to wait, or don't want to shop at Aliexpress, you can get similar razors on Ebay for around 20 dollars.

Either option would get you a razor with little financial commitment and let you know if shaving with a shavette is something you want to pursue.

Personally, I get FAR better shaves using a shavette than with a straight razor, though I haven't devoted much effort to the straights.

Last thing I will offer from my experience is that I find the AC format shavettes with guarded blades much more forgiving than the DE half-blade shavettes.

Good luck, and do visit the SABRE Brotherhood. It's a long read but there is a lot of great information there.
 

Ravenonrock

I shaved the pig
I purchased a Feather AC SS with Pro Guard blades and got a handful of really great shaves out of it. Thing is, I never took to the overall experience, as I kept comparing it to a straight razor, and they are not alike, other than they both fold. I didn’t like the aesthetics, even the “ette” moniker didn't agree with me. Many here really like them, and the Feather AC SS worked flawlessly right out of the box for me.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
I did find an AC barber razor on Ali Express.... that was carbon steel not plated pot metal.... I think it was around $10 when I ordered it. I gave it to our youngest son and he uses if for trimming the edges of his beard. Sapphoo Store G0131.

Here is the store link with their shaving products.

 
I'm the iconoclast. I hate guarded blades. They're rough and scratchy plus they don't shave, but that could be just me. :)

It's not just you - there's a few of us who feel the same way.

The best AC blade I have used so far is the Schick Proline. It's noticably smoother than a Feather Pro, maybe a little wider too, and feels just as sharp if not sharper. The Feathers are usable (they better be as I have about 50 to get through) but Schicks are definitely preferred, and they are also cheaper than Feathers.

I am yet to try a Feather Proguard or Pro Super, although I have both on hand waiting for an opportunity to take them for a test drive.
 
It's not just you - there's a few of us who feel the same way.

The best AC blade I have used so far is the Schick Proline. It's noticably smoother than a Feather Pro, maybe a little wider too, and feels just as sharp if not sharper. The Feathers are usable (they better be as I have about 50 to get through) but Schicks are definitely preferred, and they are also cheaper than Feathers.

I am yet to try a Feather Proguard or Pro Super, although I have both on hand waiting for an opportunity to take them for a test drive.
I got a sample of Ac blades from razor club site. I have only 2 left so far and I haven't tried Schick p30 blades yet.
 
Any 1/2DE blade shavette fitted with a cardon steel razor blade such as the Treet Black Beauty would be a good starting point. This will give you a good introduction to SR shaving. The carbon steel blade will imitate what shaving with a regular SR will be like without first slashing your face to bits with stainless steel razor blades whilst you learning
 
Everything you're thinking is right, but shavettes often seem more temperamental and less forgiving than solid blade straight razors - they'll bite rather than nudging when you get complacent.

In terms of which to go for, that'll depend how much you're looking to spend and what blade format (DE, AC, Cabinet, 65mm and probably others) looks best to you. There are a lot of alternatives.

A great place to start for possibilities would be last September's "SABREtember" thread.

If you get into them, there's also the "Shavette And Barber Razor Enthusiast (SABRE) group" thread.

Let us know how it goes.

+1! For me straights had a shorter learning curve than my old shavette.
 
I started with a regular straight rather than one of the changeable blade types. I found no troubles at all. I simply needed to get over my fear, which happened quickly. I never did cut myself, though after many hundreds of shaves I have nicked myself 5 times. I've nicked myself more times than that with safety razors. As for sharpening, I send my razors out to have the professionally sharpened when they need it. I have had some success with using a diamond pasted balsa strop to maintain the edges, but that was something I started learning long after I started shaving with a straight razor. My point is that you don't have to worry about sharpening. You can have someone do it for you, just like in the old days.

As for the replaceable blade/shavette razors, I enjoy them, but I am glad I didn't start with them because they are unforgiving. I have never cut myself, exactly, but I did shave off a little outer layer in a tiny spot. That was a warning not to get too cocky. I like using them, now.
 
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