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Kamisori vs. traditional straight razor

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
I'm 3 shaves in with a straight razor. Lots of learning yet to do. I still don't feel 100% comfortable especially around my chin but I'm a work in progress.

I'm wondering what are the major differences between a kamisori straight and a traditional straight razor.

a few questions I have:

would I have to learn all over again how to use a kamisori if I can use my straight like a pro? (i'm not a pro yet)

Is the shave easier with a kamisori since you have a bigger handle for gripping?

I'm sure it is still necessary to strop and hone a kamisori so are these techniques different than stroping/honing a straight?

Statement: If you can shave with a straight you can shave with a kamisori. Fact or Fiction?

Thanks folks!
 

Mike H

Instagram Famous
After a year of using a traditional straight razor, I pick up a kamisori. It was like learning all over again, but the learning curve was much less steep.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
When you get good at it you can shave with anything. The caveat is everyone seems to get their best shaves with different implements. The expensive thing is you need to buy to try :smile:

I much prefer a kamisori as its more fun, plus you can get it wet without fear of rusting pivots.
 
"Learning all over again" - nope. But a Kami is different so you will have to learn how to best wield it.
"Is the shave easier since you have a bigger handle?" - I think the shave is easier to get a close shave but not necessarily easier to wield. Kami's don't necessarily have a bigger handle - some are quite small. I have to put bigger handles on mine since I have big hands.
"Is stropping and honing different?" - stropping isn't. Honing is slightly different in that most usually hone 3:1 (3 strokes on the hollow and one on the flat). However, several have reported that you can get success with just about any standard approach. I have found them very easy to hone after the first one. Getting them sharp if someone has messed them up can be a trial, though. Check out Kentos' link in his sig block. Lots of information there.
"If you can shave with a straight, you can shave with a Kami -fact or fiction?" I would call that fact. However, you may prefer one over the other. Getting the whiskers off is doable with many things (I've used hacksaw blades and kitchen knives just to be perverse).

I love the shorter blades on Kamis and Western Kamis (and Feathers and Wecks). To me, they are much easier to shave with than a large blade.

Kamis are sharp and you may find you shed a bit of blood when you first start using them. I think most of us have. Nothing serious but, as was said, you do need to use them a while to get comfortable. Just like a straight in that sense.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
I never noticed the Kamisori Korner in Kentos' sig block before, awesome! Thanks for the responses so far. Very helpful.
 
I'm 3 shaves in with a straight razor. Lots of learning yet to do. I still don't feel 100% comfortable especially around my chin but I'm a work in progress.

I'm wondering what are the major differences between a kamisori straight and a traditional straight razor.

a few questions I have:

would I have to learn all over again how to use a kamisori if I can use my straight like a pro? (i'm not a pro yet)
No. The basic techniques are the same. The advanced techniques are where the differences lie.

Is the shave easier with a kamisori since you have a bigger handle for gripping?
I think the handle of a kamisori is much thinner, unless it has a rubber cover or is wrapped. I'm thinking of adding a cover to mine, since I removed the original one.

I'm sure it is still necessary to strop and hone a kamisori so are these techniques different than stroping/honing a straight?
Stropping is the same. I find that honing my kamisori is much easier, since I don't have to set a bevel.

Statement: If you can shave with a straight you can shave with a kamisori. Fact or Fiction?
Fact.

As I wrote in another thread:

"Compared with Western straights, the kamisori feels like an expert's tool; it may not feel as easy or as 'happy' to use, but if you know how to wield it, the shaves can be much more fun and rewarding.

"A Western straight is like a Porsche; a kamisori is like an F1 car."


Thanks folks!

Go for it!
 
I love my kamisoris. they are certainly not for everyone though. Only way to know is to try. They are not hard, just different.
 
Most of the shaves in my straight journal here are with a kamisori. If I can do it (well, just about do it :tongue_sm), you can too! I much prefer it to western straights.
 
I don't know if most folks know but Kamisori has an alternative definition-blood thirsty piece of metal.
 
That's the "self-lubricating" built-in feature, right Doc226? Probably explains why they typical cost more than western straights.
 
The "spike points" are corners at either end of the cutting edge. If you're a sissy, you can round them slightly so they won't poke you. I'm a sissy.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
The "spike points" are corners at either end of the cutting edge. If you're a sissy, you can round them slightly so they won't poke you. I'm a sissy.
haha ok gotcha. poking your face with a sharp object is usually a bad thing.
 
kamisoris have mystique, a sense of the exotic, a strong preferential side to be used, a different grip.


Aside from that, they are a sharpened piece of steel, just like any other razor.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
kamisoris have mystique, a sense of the exotic, a strong preferential side to be used, a different grip.


Aside from that, they are a sharpened piece of steel, just like any other razor.

It is also my prejudice that they can be honed sharper than most too. For better or worse.
 
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