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Looking for a straight razor

I have been shaving with DEs and shavettes and would like to buy a straight razor. But it's like trying to buy a stock on the nasdaq. There is just too much to choose from; too much to research. Too many choices leads to bewilderment. I like carbon steel because it can take an edge and can be easily sharpened. And I definitely like vintage because I believe in recycling (also vintage is very cool). So I will look on eBay and Etsy. I'm hoping someone can give me recommendations for the top three or four makers to look for and what I might be expected to pay for a razor in decent shape. I know I will have to send it out for restoration, sharpening and honing. I expect to pay $40 to $50 for that. Any advice on brands and shops that will restore is appreciated.
 
I have been shaving with DEs and shavettes and would like to buy a straight razor. But it's like trying to buy a stock on the nasdaq. There is just too much to choose from; too much to research. Too many choices leads to bewilderment. I like carbon steel because it can take an edge and can be easily sharpened. And I definitely like vintage because I believe in recycling (also vintage is very cool). So I will look on eBay and Etsy. I'm hoping someone can give me recommendations for the top three or four makers to look for and what I might be expected to pay for a razor in decent shape. I know I will have to send it out for restoration, sharpening and honing. I expect to pay $40 to $50 for that. Any advice on brands and shops that will restore is appreciated.
Welcome to B&B. I hope you enjoy your stay here and find it informative.
There are talented members here who restore razors. I just had one restored several months ago that was gifted to me by my barber. It had a few nicks in edge and a tiny bit of rust. It’s gorgeous now and is a good shaving blade. But the restoration with honing was a bit higher than you’re figuring on spending.
You might want to check out The vintage offerings of Griffith Shaving Goods or Bobsrazors.com.
What they sell is absolutely shave ready and really brought back to life. You don’t need to spend a lot to get a well restored razor that is shave ready.
You’ll find shaving with a straight has a totally different feel than a shavette. Good luck!
 
Welcome to B&B. I hope you enjoy your stay here and find it informative.
There are talented members here who restore razors. I just had one restored several months ago that was gifted to me by my barber. It had a few nicks in edge and a tiny bit of rust. It’s gorgeous now and is a good shaving blade. But the restoration with honing was a bit higher than you’re figuring on spending.
You might want to check out The vintage offerings of Griffith Shaving Goods or Bobsrazors.com.
What they sell is absolutely shave ready and really brought back to life. You don’t need to spend a lot to get a well restored razor that is shave ready.
You’ll find shaving with a straight has a totally different feel than a shavette. Good luck!
Thanks, I checked those two websites and it looks like the offerings there are way better than Etsy. Etsy tends to be overpriced. And while I don't mind some pitting (it adds character) the razors on those two sites looked like they were perfectly restored. Both sites claim the blades to be shave ready. Do you have any experience with them?
 
As a general rule, most all ebay and etsy blades labeled "shave ready" are not, and will either need to be honed yourself or sent out to someone else. Honing's not that difficult to learn, and not too expensive if you stay away from stones and just buy lapping film or a pasted balsa strop - just buy some $10 gold dollars to ruin while you're learning.

Otherwise, it's a lot like nasdaq, as you said. There's various modern blades, some junk, some good, there's artisanal ones, there's country to consider, origin steel, even which blacksmith forged it and which one honed it. You can go way deep into specifics, but if you're searching for an entry point, the cheapo gold dollars are a good way to learn how to hone and get into straight shaving while you figure out how to drop $100+ dollars on your first quality blade (then $200 on a NOS, then $300, then an Iwasaki $1000, then a Zowada $2000, then...)
 
Not sure about carbon steel but Kropp, Bagnall, Wade & Butcher are all worth looking out for. Anything Sheffield steel or Solingen. I don't think you need to worry about sharpening stainless.

Corrosion or pitting will often polish out so it might not be a dealbreaker. However, don't buy anything with pitting near to or on the edge. You might not be able to sharpen it.

And avoid anything with heavy wear on the spine.

A wedge, or near wedge, will slice through heavy growth like it wasn't there. Full-hollow will feel different. The blade is much thinner - and noisier. Like buttering toast. Full hollows are sometimes called "singing" razors because they make a ringing sound like pinging a cocktail glass. I'm not sure which I prefer.

A round point is safest. I can get around my face just fine with a round point - even the tricky bit at the nostrils.

You'll also need a leather strop, of course. Something inexpensive to start with. I used to read endless forum posts saying "you're going to cut up your first strop so don't waste money on a good one".

"Not me" I thought to myself "I'll be careful. And skillful".

After three shaves it had a dozen nicks.
 
+1 to Griffith shaving. They have all sorts of vintage razors for great prices, I would recommend getting a Solingen razor (german can be filtered at their site). They have some options from USA and Sheffield but I feel like the solingen ones are better bang for buck and very beginner friendly. Just pick out one you like
 
Thanks, I checked those two websites and it looks like the offerings there are way better than Etsy. Etsy tends to be overpriced. And while I don't mind some pitting (it adds character) the razors on those two sites looked like they were perfectly restored. Both sites claim the blades to be shave ready. Do you have any experience with them?
[/QUOTE
Yes , I have made numerous purchases from both vendors. You can buy with confidence from either site. You buy what you fancy. Bob has many NOS razors and they are in pristine shape with shave ready edges.
Call Bob up, his number is on the website and he’s more than willing to give you his time. He’s an honorable gentleman and stands behind what he sells.
Matt at Griffith has a wider selection than Bob. He’s also very honorable and stands behind what he sells.
On the bay you take a chance but many do well on the bay.
If you want a turn key project ready to remove whiskers from your face either of those vendors can supply what you want. The choice is yours depending on your budget.
 
@Eastcoast30, both Griffith Saving and Bobs Razors have a good reputation of supplying true shave-ready SR's. Either will do you. Just choose one that you like the look of, 5/8 or 6/8, Dutch (round) point and you won't go wrong. Also get a Gold Dollar SR (not shave-ready) to learn to hone on.

You will also need a leather strop. Get two, one cheap one at about $10 to $30 that you will cut up as you learn to strop. Trust me, I went and sliced up two before I had my stropping worked out. Your other (good) strop will be $50 or more (@Tony Miller strops are highly recommend).

Your good shave-ready SR should last you 50 to 100 shaves with just 50 to 60 laps on a clean leather strop prior to each shave before it needs honing again. This should give you plenty of time to develop your honing skills using the Gold Dollar.

As you are probably new to SR honing (it is NOT like knife honing), I suggest that you look into first learning the B&B Method detailed here:


Once you have mastered that, you can look into the natural whetstone rabbit hole. Just be careful not to fall in too quickly.
 
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I have been shaving with DEs and shavettes and would like to buy a straight razor. But it's like trying to buy a stock on the nasdaq. There is just too much to choose from; too much to research. Too many choices leads to bewilderment. I like carbon steel because it can take an edge and can be easily sharpened. And I definitely like vintage because I believe in recycling (also vintage is very cool). So I will look on eBay and Etsy. I'm hoping someone can give me recommendations for the top three or four makers to look for and what I might be expected to pay for a razor in decent shape. I know I will have to send it out for restoration, sharpening and honing. I expect to pay $40 to $50 for that. Any advice on brands and shops that will restore is appreciated.
When you don't know what NASDAQ stock to buy or how to spot a good setup and entry, if the index is going up, just buy TQQQ or else a micro e-mini futures contract, MNQ with the next expiration date. Buy when it hits the lower Bollinger band and starts back up again. Sell when it touches the upper Bollinger band unless volume is way up and you think there might be a breakout. If NASDAQ is going down, buy SQQQ instead, which is the inverse of TQQQ. Much simpler than shorting. Of course you can also just buy and hold TQQQ or QQQ, with the former making 3x bigger moves (both up and down) than the latter.

Trading stocks of derivatives is much easier than buying a great razor for a good price on fleabay. Always verify! When the seller says it is shave ready, he might be lying. Or more likely he simply doesn't know what he is talking about. See if anyone on any of the straight shaving forums knows him. Look at his rating and sales, and how dedicated he is to selling just straight razors. If he sells a lot of razors and has a high feedback rating, he is probably telling the truth if he says his razors are sold shave ready. Or maybe not. LOL

Buyer beware!

There is a Buy/Sell/Trade forum on this board, and also on the other major discussion forums. A member who claims his razors are shave ready when not, will see his reputation take a nose dive. So razors from a member are a fairly safe bet. Make sure you start with a shave ready razor. And keep a close eye. The good deals get snapped up quick.
 
I have been shaving with DEs and shavettes and would like to buy a straight razor. But it's like trying to buy a stock on the nasdaq. There is just too much to choose from; too much to research. Too many choices leads to bewilderment. I like carbon steel because it can take an edge and can be easily sharpened. And I definitely like vintage because I believe in recycling (also vintage is very cool). So I will look on eBay and Etsy. I'm hoping someone can give me recommendations for the top three or four makers to look for and what I might be expected to pay for a razor in decent shape. I know I will have to send it out for restoration, sharpening and honing. I expect to pay $40 to $50 for that. Any advice on brands and shops that will restore is appreciated.
run while you still can.......but if you're posting this probably too late.

ebay sellers......ask around and verify if good seller and shave ready.

beware of unscrupulous dealers with vague descriptions or pictures that look like they were taken with a kids camera and not in focus. never hurts to ask seller questions....... especially if some detail, smudge, line, etc might be questionable.

second the @Tony Miller suggestion.

welcome to the jungle.

camo
 
When you don't know what NASDAQ stock to buy or how to spot a good setup and entry, if the index is going up, just buy TQQQ or else a micro e-mini futures contract, MNQ with the next expiration date. Buy when it hits the lower Bollinger band and starts back up again. Sell when it touches the upper Bollinger band unless volume is way up and you think there might be a breakout. If NASDAQ is going down, buy SQQQ instead, which is the inverse of TQQQ. Much simpler than shorting. Of course you can also just buy and hold TQQQ or QQQ, with the former making 3x bigger moves (both up and down) than the latter.

Trading stocks of derivatives is much easier than buying a great razor for a good price on fleabay. Always verify! When the seller says it is shave ready, he might be lying. Or more likely he simply doesn't know what he is talking about. See if anyone on any of the straight shaving forums knows him. Look at his rating and sales, and how dedicated he is to selling just straight razors. If he sells a lot of razors and has a high feedback rating, he is probably telling the truth if he says his razors are sold shave ready. Or maybe not. LOL

Buyer beware!

There is a Buy/Sell/Trade forum on this board, and also on the other major discussion forums. A member who claims his razors are shave ready when not, will see his reputation take a nose dive. So razors from a member are a fairly safe bet. Make sure you start with a shave ready razor. And keep a close eye. The good deals get snapped up quick.
I gave up on Bollinger bands, MACD, candlestick patterns, etc years ago. Instead, I went into buy and hold. Everything I own is now at three to ten times the price I paid (own MSFT at 23). But it took a lot of doing nothing, just waiting. Doing nothing was the hard part.

Next I will get a straight edge. I think I will pick a mid-price razor from Griffiths or Bob's based on the recommendation above. But I am leaning towards a 4/8 because I trim my beard and need to get into some tight spots, like under my lip. rbscebu had some very good advice for me above.
 
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