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Looking to get int o Straight shaving.

Currently I have been shaving with quality DE razors, love them and I'll never look at a disposable with love again unless forced to. I have always been allured by straight razors however, their simplicity and looks really appeal to me though I have ignored my yearnings to delve into and experiment with this medium due to initial cost. However I am looking again with the intent of saving up and purchasing a kit including razor that I will need to be on my way with it, I will list some items I have seen fit to purchase in the near future to start. Do let me know what you think, opinions are very much welcomed.

Dovo Best Quality, Full Hollow Carbon Steel, 6/8" $85.87 at Royal Shave.com

30 Degree Extra Wide Red Russian Leather Strop $79.95 at Royal Shave as well

Dovo Strop Paste red and black 2 part set at RS too...$9.57

I'm lost on strop pastes, but know one needs them and will find tutorials and the like to help me out when the time comes. Any thing I might add? What do you think of the quality of the items and are they good for some one just beginning? I hear a 5/8 is best but I like the heft and look of a 6/8, and I know carbon steel is best due to the fact they strop better from what I hear as stainless or silvers are a bit more difficult.
 
Once you've got the bug it's pointless to try and ignore it:)
I'm sure you are aware that there are more affordable ways to start if you want to, the Whipped Dog starter kit is one of the popular options and a lot of bang for the buck.
I would suggest at least going the cheaper route on a strop. You may or may not nick up your first strop but I know for me starting out with one that didn't set me back much left me able to concentrate on the stropping and getting a technique down.
As far as the razor goes, if that one jumps out at you go for it. For the money you could buy a very nice vintage razor or a few different not as nice, but with different grinds, widths, etc.
 
I think you should give whippeddog.com a look and see what he has available. It is the least expensive way to get started.


I personally do not use pasted leather strops, and you need to leave your main strop unpasted, just plain leather. If you want, you can apply pastes to a piece of balsa or to extra strops you have, but you need one plain leather strop.

I see nothing wrong with the items you have selected, but I feel that the dovo paste are non-essentials, YMMV.
 
Thanks for the advice, any one can feel free to tip in their 2 cents as well on it.
I'll go to whippeddog.com and see what he has, I have to say that I do have my heart set on a Dovo. Their reputation catches me, also for the price of the razor I am looking at I think it is a great deal, in fact I MIGHT expand my budget for the razor itself and possibly go for a slightly higher quality one with a bit more aesthetics not quite sure as it will be my first. I have absolute no strops or related SR equipment, all I have atm is DE equipment, which I use daily with great results. But I do have this bug you speak of, it is the allure and also the satisfaction I will have as the end result of mastering SR shaving that attracts me. I got a thrill and still do from using a DE and using it well, shaving is now fun and not a chore and I think I will get the same from a SR possibly more so.
 
Excellent prices at whippeddog.com...I should likely start out with the Poormans strop kit and take their 'extra' option for a second stop etc. Any thing else when first starting taking the fact that I might nick the strop, I think it might be just the best option for the buck. Also great that the balsa comes pre treated with those pastes and you get more with it as well. Excellent thank you much for the tip, taking a bit of the questioning out of buying my first pieces of the gear I will need. On the note of where I will buy my Dovo...I found a site called Straight Razor Designs...I see they have the same types of SR's I have been looking at in Dovo...and they come professionally hand honed and really ready to go out of the package when you get it AND they include a free first honing after you get it. I think that is an even more excellent deal. What say you gents?
 
I don't think you need to paste your strop. You will want something to practice on. Newspaper will work. So will a couple Whipped dog practice strops. Unless, of course, you can afford to learn on an eighty dollar strop or you are extremely careful. I can't say for sure if the Royal Shave Dovo will be shave ready or not. Worst case is send it out to be honed after you get it. My buddy started out with a Boker 6/8 faux turtle and he is off and running. A lot depends on whether or not you think two hundred dollars is a lot of money or not.
 
I agree with those above that you don't want to start with high end equipment. Get a razor that comes shave ready and start (can strop on newpaper for start). When your technique improves the bug will bite and you will NEED the other stuff!!!
 
The Superior Shave looks great, good pricing and selection...keeps getting easier to want to buy buy buy right now at this very moment but sadly my budget wouldn't allow for me to purchase a strop of any kind...I DO need a strop of some sort right? I am a total beginner so...a strop COULD come later but it sounds a little off to me but what do I know in terms of this? lol

At any rate I am now sorely tempted to get one from TSS and see what happens, suppose I could get a strop later...hum...is this recommended ? rofl At any rate I'll follow what is advised here, you know better than I and I'll gladly do what is needed. News paper? How exactly dose that work?
 
You will need something to strop on. I have not tried newspaper but there is at least one good thread on it here somewhere.
Just in case you missed it:
http://www.whippeddog.com/products/view/poor-man-strop-kit
If you are absolutely strapped the option to buy a cosmetically flawed strop for $8 (if available) is good too. Same site.
Here is a nice affordable one to keep in mind:
http://shop.starshaving.com/New-Design-3-Wide-Big-Daddy-Black-Latigo-Leather-Strop-0049.htm
I love mine. There are also some cheaper models there as well.
 
I suggest you either: 1) save up so you can buy the razor you want AND a starter strop; or 2) Buy a whippeddog kit to get started, then later on buy the razor and strop you want.

The ink in newspaper is slightly abrasive, so you can lay out a piece of newspaper on a flat surface and lightly strop your razor on it. A leather strop would be much better and easier to use though.
 
I think you need to do a couple of things ...

1) Buy the Lynn Abrams DVD from StraightRazorDesigns.com

2) Watch it three times.

3) Determine if you will shave all the time with a Straight or if you will use it most of the time.

4) Determine if you will hone your own Straights or send them out for honing.

5) Read all you can on the forums about straights. This Forum and StraightRazorPlace.com and any other forum or booklet you can find i.e. Chris Moss's booklet and I think there are a couple of others.

6) To shave you need at least a Razor, a Strop, Strop Conditioning Oil, Razor Oil.

7) You need paste a little later and that is to bring back the edge after you have used the straight for a while.

8) Find a starter set wippeddog has a kit and there are a few others.
 
Here's my 2 cents...

Get a razor that is SHAVE READY.

DO NOT buy a fancy strop. In fact, I highly recommend 2.5" or 2" strops - they're cheaper generally speaking, and they teach you the ever important x-stroke - a 3" strop, you don't have to use a X-stroke, so you likely won't do it.

I don't believe that you need any pastes or oils - a new strop will come in ready to use condition, and shouldn't need oil for a very long time - I have a strop from 2004 that has never had a thing done to it other than use. Doesn't need paste now either... (an Illinois #827) I would spend no more than $35 on a strop, and that would be high for me to recommend to a newbie.

Whipped dog is the way to go IMHO... And newspaper will work fine for a strop (although a poor man's strop would be better)

As far as a video goes... I haven't seen Lynn's DVD, but I can say this... There's tons of free video here and on youtube, and nothing can teach you more than live practice. And I'm not dogging Lynn at all here - he's responsible for most of us even being here in the first place...
 
Yes, I do think I'll save up a bit and get what I am wanting in a razor. That urge to but sucks when your on a tight budget, but it wont be that way forever and I'll take this knowledge and use it toward a good investment later into SR shaving and see how it goes. Until then I'll take my time and read every thing and watch videos and how to things. Thank you very much for all the imput, saving this in a note pad for later when I make a purchase.
 
Just keep in mind that a properly honed razor will shave well, no matter the provenance. An badly honed/cared for $400 razor is no more useful than an badly honed/cared for $5 antique store find...

My best shaves currently come from $4.75 Gold dollars, and I have some awesome customs, and high end Thiers Issards... (ok, so the gold dollars are pimped out and PROPERLY HONED, but they're cheap razors nonetheless). I can't stress enough that for starting out a Whipped Dog, OR a used bargain off of BST from one of our esteemed and experienced forum friends is the perfect place to start... Pick one up for peanuts, learn to shave with it, and in the meantime start saving your pennies for that fancy razor that makes you drool when you look at it.
 
I previously suggested that your starting razor is dependent on how much two hundred dollars is. I totally agree with trick420 one hundred sand ten percent based on your comments. Get a whipped dog setup. You'll have a sharp vintage razor, a leather strop and a balsa strop to fall back on. That will keep you going for months if you don't ruin the edge. And if you act now you'l be shaving on friday. He will even send a little soap sample, i am betting.
 
To add to what has been said above, an order from Star Shaving might be the way to go. A 5/8 G&F might be a good all-around starter, provided that you arrange to have it made shave-ready from their recommended source. Can't agree more with trick420's advice regarding the narrower strops and X-strokes. Personally, were I to return to my newbieness, I would spring for a Star 2" wide without the felt, and a Star balsa bench laden w/chromium oxide paste for starters. Their 2" hanging strop is plenty long. Pull it tight, and use a light touch, and only use around one-half the length at a time while perfecting your technique IMHO.
 
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I, too, must disagree about the narrow strop. True, a 3" strop won't develop your x-stroking skills. But if you have a 3" strop, you don't NEED to x-stroke anyway. The big strop is easier to use and to me, more enjoyable. The "Big Daddy" from star shaving, if it is currently available, is an excellent SECOND strop, i.e. your first upgrade after learning on your poorman or your newspaper strop. It is still less than half of what a high end strop costs, and pretty nearly as good.

I personally do not think the current production Dovo Best razors are worth considering. You will get a better razor in a vintage blade, for a fraction of the cost. A whippeddog is IMHO your best bet for a first razor, or a second, for that matter. For barely more than what most guys charge to hone YOUR razor, he hones one of HIS, and gives it to you. Can't beat that deal. If you want a Dovo, I suggest not bothering with their entry level razors. 2 out of 2 that I have owned were pretty messed up. Consider a Prima Klang or a Bismarck, maybe. I haven't owned either, but I haven't heard much bad review on either one, either. My personal favorite currently produced razor is probably the Boker King Cutter, FWIW. Apart from the Gold Dollar, of course, which only satisfies me after a lot of work.
 
Me, when learning to strop: uuuuuppp, baaackk, uuupp, baack, uup, back, up, back, upback, upback, upbackupbackupback, "hey this is fun!", upbackupbackupbackup>CHUNK!< Aww dang! Missed the flip!

Repeat the scenario with smaller chunks and less often over the next month. Bought big daddy and have not looked back. Nary a nick for a year now.
 
Cagliostro, You will recieve A LOT of information. All of it is good. What makes it work is what you do with it.

Look into your wallet and see if there is money in it. Don't tell us how much... you'll discover your own addiction dissorder soon enough. Buy what you can afford. I went with the Dovo combo at SRD on my own initial search and found that they are very good. I believe that you will be happy with whatever you purchase. Larry at WhippedDog is set to get people into the straight razor hobby easier than most. Jarod at The Superior Shave has combos as well but they cost just a bit more. He and Larry are very popular on our Forum. Finally... look into your wallet and see what you can afford.

Hopefully, moths don't fly out... Welcome to the club.
 
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