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Looking for a complete straight forward straight kit.

I don’t have a lot of time to spend on straight shaving.
Do you guys have a complete straight forward economical straight kit? Something I could easly put together. Even if it’s in the form of more then one link to order from. Minus the brush and soap. (Clearing the throat😁) I think film is the way I would like to go. I have a lot to learn and I know there is a lot of info hear on B&B. (Newbie Honing Compendium) My problem is that I have been working 12hr days and don't have time to read it all. So a complete prefabricated starter kit would be nice. That way I could have what I need and just hit the threads like cliff notes. Please reminder the statement about it needs to be economical. I also realize that this is a YMMV kind of thing.
If you don't have a lot of time then I'm thinking that the Method is probably your best bet here. Learning to hone on stones, or film, and stropping are time-consuming pursuits and can be quite costly, but if you get a shave-ready razor you can make the balsa strops in an afternoon, and you'll be able to maintain your razor without honing pretty much indefinitely. The costs of the balsa, paste, and substrate cost me around $25.

Alternatively, you could also grab a Feather AC or clone and just change the blade as required.
A simple and quick kit could consist of:
  • A truly shave-ready straight razor. There are many to choose from based on your budget and location (neither of which you have told us). For cost here, you are looking at about USD 40 and up plus shipping.
  • A decent leather strop. An Heirloom strop is recommended.
  • A set of three (0.5μm, 0.25μm & 0.1μm) diamond pasted balsa strops:

This will set you back about USD 50 to 80. They are not available pre-made. You will need to put them together yourself. Once you have the parts (you can order online) it will take an hour or two to put them all together.

That is all you need. You will never need whetstones or lapping film if your SR is truly shave-ready and you maintain the edge properly on your diamond pasted balsa strops.

That is all. Quick and easy. The rest is up to you in developing your techniques; shaving, stropping and using the balsa strops.
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There is a caveat here. Many "shave ready" razors from reliable vendors have been honed with tape on the spine. If that is the case, the balsa/diamond paste method will not work. You must specify that the razor be honed without tape. Then you can maintain the razor indefinitely with just the balsa/diamond strops. Brad at Maggards will hone a razor to shave ready without tape. Others may do that too.

If going the diamond pasted balsa stroping route, edge maintenance with take you about 1 to 2 minutes per shave. If shaving daily, that can add up to about 7 to 8 hours total per year.

If that is a problem for you, you can go down the lapping film route. That will cost you less and, per year, will probably save you a bit of time only having to refresh the edge about every 2 or 3 months. It is however a longer learning curve to get it done properly.
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My advice is to put it off for now. Wait until you have more time. The Method would definitely seem to be out, if you don't have time to read the threads. There is more info in there than just how to make or acquire the gear.

If you just want a better or more cool way to shave, with minimal commitment in time, consider a vintage Schick Injector. You can pick up a type G on fleabay for probably around $10 or $15. The Chinese Schick blades work really well and they cost more than DE blades, but are still cheaper than carts. The single blade design keeps irritation down and makes clogging a non issue. There is only one real issue to be aware of with this type of razor, and that is that if you get one with no blade already in the razor, the first one you put in will be ruined as soon as it goes in. When you inject a second blade, the first one keeps the razor from destroying the edge of the second one. Each blade must push the old one out.

If you already have a good brush and soap, and know how to make a nice slick lather, how to stretch the skin good and regulate pressure, you can get quite a nice shave out of an injector. So you get significant cool factor, a pretty good shave, a low entry fee, and really, not a whole lot of new stuff to learn.
Have to agree with @Slash McCoy here. Two words that don't really go together is Straight-razor and quick.

If time constraints are an issue, but you still want to try the Straight razor experience, I would recommend you go the Feather AC SS route. Takes all the edge maintenance out of the equation and still gives a very good experience and teaches you how to shave with a straight. No honing, no stropping, just load a blade and shave, rinse and put it down.
Straight razor shaving does take time.
It takes time to learn to shave with it. My first shaves were taking 45 mins. Even now a good one takes me 25 mins. Lapping films are probably the cheapest way to maintain your edge short term but it takes time to learn how best to use them. Same with stones which are less messing about and last forever but are a bigger initial outlay.
Even daily stropping takes time to become proficient at it.
I personally enjoy the maintenance, using stones taking my time etc but I do have to factor this extra time into my day.
If you can make the time I’d go for it but if time is super tight you may just frustrate yourself.
But to answer your question I’d get a Naniwa 12k stone for maintaining your edge. You won’t need anything else really unless you chip your blade somehow and if that unlikely event happens you could always get a pack of films to fix it.
With films you need a flat block to hone on and you need to cut the film to size but a Naniwa is just spray and go. About £50-£60 and the honing will take you 5 mins once every month or two.
As for a razor I hear Ralph Aust are very good and come shave ready for about £150. This saves you messing about with vintage blades which may or may not be shave ready. You can get Avery usable strop for £25 on Etsy.
So it takes a bit of time and a bit of money but it’s worth it and you’ll never have to buy another blade your whole life.
Thank you guys for your responses. I do understand that it takes time. After all it’s an old time way. And often times good things take time. It just hit me one day that I’ve been wanting to do this and haven’t got it done yet. I was looking for a quick answer for something that takes time to get right and enjoy.

My next thought is to go down the lapping film road, with my current razor. Following the instructions that I find here on B&B. I know there’s more than one way to skin a cat here so I’m just gonna go with my gut. And live with the consequences.

The razor I’m using now is so dull, I don’t think it would make much difference what I do to it. And even if I screw this up, I know that there are other methods. I could just switch.

The razor is self is just a cheapo that I got off the Internet. I’m not expecting miracles here.
Can we have a clear picture(s) of your current SR? It may just be a razor shaped object (RSO) and will never hone to a shave-ready edge, like my first SR.

I think most of us had an RSO or two early at some point in our shave journey. It's almost a rite of passage. I had mine except I was already 20 years in, stumbling in the dark, pre-internet. Then I found B&B, and also all the wonderful cheap razors on fleabay, and learned that there were worse razors than my warpy twisty Dovo Best Quality. and its name was ZeePk. You old timers may all now groan in unison. I don't think they have made straight razors for about 10 or 12 years now but they apparently still have a hand in the shave game.
RSO I like it. Thats the first time I have heard of that acronym. That describes what I have.

Yes, I would like help. It’s probably an idiosyncrasy, but I need to try by myself first. So give me a few days to gather the things that I think I need.

I have no problem loading pictures, but I’m not ready to show them yet.
I think most of us had an RSO or two early at some point in our shave journey. It's almost a rite of passage. I had mine except I was already 20 years in, stumbling in the dark, pre-internet. Then I found B&B, and also all the wonderful cheap razors on fleabay, and learned that there were worse razors than my warpy twisty Dovo Best Quality. and its name was ZeePk. You old timers may all now groan in unison. I don't think they have made straight razors for about 10 or 12 years now but they apparently still have a hand in the shave game.

Fortunately, I never had the experience of getting a RSO, but that's only because I just got into it a few months ago and looked at a lot of posts etc, and kew what would work. Gold Dollar was a great way to start for learning to hone and I stayed a great local vendor to get my German and French blades. I had an issue with a Dovo Best Quality that they replaced with no questions asked. I hope to avoid RSOs for life!
And… in regards to the none truly straight suggestions, I say thanks but no thanks. I mean that respectfully. My interest in this is in the idea of goining the old time way. Maybe minus some big things like the use of the internet and lapping film.
Today I shaved with my first edge. I’m sure it’s not the best edge, or even an edge that someone else would like. But it was my edge dang it. 😃

The first thing I did was check the geometry of the RSO. I did that by using a permanent marker and marking all of the places that should come in contact with the film.



The plate I used, is a 4*12*1/4 inch clear glass tile from the depot. It looks white in the picture. Thats just because of the sticker on the back


The film is where I’m having the most
trouble. It came to me curved, as in not flat.


I should have bought sheets and not pieces. This was most likely cut from a roll of film. My mistake.
When I try to flatten it on to the plate it just curves up again. Yes, I used 💦 on it first.



Please note that I didn’t use this piece of film on my razor. I used the 3 micron pink and 1 micron green.


The eye loupe helps me see where the film is contacting the steel. It also lets me see the edge. I’m happy to report that there are know nicks or pitting. So far at this micron level I can see the marks left by the film.


I think you can see that the film is giving me problems, do to the curve in it. I am using a spine leading stoke to make sure the edge doesn’t cut into the film.

I was in it for the fun of it, and to use this razor as a leaning experience. So I decided to glass the edge. I ran it two times over the edge of the plate. After that it was so dull it wouldn’t ever shave arm hair at the skin. Just for fun I lathered up with some Arko and tried to shave. It was the same kind of feeling that I get, when I do that with a safety razor and no blade.

I started out on the 3 micron film. Once it started to shave arm hair I stopped and looked at the edge. There where some tiny bits of who knows what showing up with the loupe. A quick palm stropping cleaned it off. After I was able to tree top a few hairs I stoped. I didn’t want to keep going with this film. I’m concerned that it will mess with the edges geometry.

O well, at least I’ve started down the straight road. :straight:


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