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Newbie straight razor questions.

About a month ago I started looking at the site and thinking "I think I wanna try this" I bought a few DE's off of ebay and had a nice 6 hr Brasso session with them and made them look nice again, but I was really just waiting on my straight to show up.

Well now the day has come. This http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390183266716&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT just showed up at the house. Now sadly my strop has not shown up yet, and I am sure it will, but since it has not then I decided to read more in the newbie forum.

I was reading a great article that was warning us not to go crazy on the first razor and assume it's shave ready. Now I may not have paid $150 for my first blade, but I would assume this isn't a total crap blade. Let me get opinions here (I need them).

Other than "shaving" is there a way to tell if this blade is honed already? I placed it gently on my arm and the weight of the blade cut 2-3 hairs already... Being a completely newbie I don't know but would assume that it's pretty damn sharp, but again I am turning to the experts!!

any other suggestions I'm all ears on

Let me know and I'll let you know how many times I have to use my septic pencil..

P.S. My strop did show today, it's only got the leather side and I have no paste (didn't know I needed it). I also tried the hanging hair test, but this didn't appear to work like the videos show. she small shave test on my arm seemed to have worked fine though *Shrug*

Any feedback is appreciated!

**Link Fixed**
 
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Firstly, that's a damned fine razor.

Literature states that all DOVOs come shave ready from the factory. I guess you will hae to find this out for yourself.


Hanging hair test, arm hair test, running your thumb on the blade... parlour tricks. Yes they are fun to do but say nothing as to how well the razor shaves.


The only test to use is the shave test.


Draw the razor lightly along the face. No pressure. Just take off the shave foam like a squeegee. There should be no pulling or discomfort.




Now let's talk about that strop. Screw the pastes. You don't need them.
 
Literature states that all DOVOs come shave ready from the factory. I guess you will have to find this out for yourself.

Dovo's literature might indicate the razors are shave ready from the factory, but any seasoned straight razor veteran will tell you that is far from the truth.

:001_smile

Now let's talk about that strop. Screw the pastes. You don't need them.

Do tell us about the strop.

I'll disagree on the pastes issue: you will probably need them, but perhaps not until a couple dozen shaves down the road. It's eventually nice to have some means of touching up a slightly dull edge, so you can keep professional honing to a minimum. So either pastes, or a barber's hone (or both) might be items to eventually place on your wish list.
 
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Dovo's literature might indicate the razors are shave ready from the factory, but any seasoned straight razor veteran will tell you that is far from the truth.

:001_smile



Do tell us about the strop.

I'll disagree on the pastes issue: you will probably need them, but perhaps not until a couple dozen shaves down the road. It's eventually nice to have some means of touching up a slightly dull edge, so you can keep professional honing to a minimum. So either pastes, or a barber's hone (or both) might be items to eventually place on your wish list.



You comment on the first sentence but not the second sentence (even though you quoted it) You know, the part where i said he will have to find out for himself. What if it is sharp and ready to go? You would like for him to waste money on an unnecessary honing? He should try the razor first to determine the sharpness.

And the paste thing is a joke. I read where guys are running straights down a pasted strop every week.

A good razor serviced by a reputable honemeister followed by proper stropping does not need a pasted strop after 12 shaves.

Perhaps you like to have 4 strops in your bathroom. Perhaps you just like buying lots of shave crap. But the new guy does not need them.
 
You would like for him to waste money on an unnecessary honing? He should try the razor first to determine the sharpness.

I certainly don't want him to waste money on an unnecessary honing. Dovo razors don't come from the factory truly shave ready. I have no way of knowing if the razor in question was already honed by a professional. His only choice is to shave with it, and find out. Except he has no knowledge to know what a properly sharpened straight razor should feel like.

I would certainly shave with it, but for piece of mind, it might be beneficial to have it professionally honed anyway; they you don't have to wonder if the razor is sharp enough.

And the paste thing is a joke. I read where guys are running straights down a pasted strop every week.

The pastes are far from being a joke. I have a piece of balsa with Ferrous Oxide on one side, and Chromium Oxide on the other. Ferrous Oxide is less abrasive than Chromium Oxide.

In my zeal as a newbie, I stropped over a significant nick I placed in my strop. The razor the next morning pulled quite badly.

If I didn't have the pasted balsa, or the barber's hone, I would at that point have been sending it away for professional honing. A few passes on the Barber's hone, and about 100 passes on each side of the pastes, and the edge was good as new.

You might consider the pastes a waste of time, but that has not been my experience.

A good razor serviced by a reputable honemeister followed by proper stropping does not need a pasted strop after 12 shaves.

That would be true, if you are a seasoned straight razor user, however, newbies are rather rough on their edges, and as such dull them far faster. Improper stropping (as I noted above) can also lead to the edge degrading faster than usual.

Perhaps you like to have 4 strops in your bathroom. Perhaps you just like buying lots of shave crap. But the new guy does not need them.

I own two straights, two basic low cost strops, and the already mentioned barber's hone, and pasted balsa. I am trying to keep my purchases to a minimum as this hobby can get very expensive. I am also hoping to reduce the need for professional honing via the pastes, and barber's hone.
 
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I'm hoping that if I did send it to a "reputible" Honingsmith that they would send it back f it already had a proper edge... wth a small examination fee being understandable. Else I think it would be worth the time getting it done. It would also be a shame to have just recieved a nice blade as my first and to ruin it due to "newbie didnt know".

Should I consider sending this one off, and buying another one? if so the $150+ I have already dropped in stocking up for a "first shave" is going to keep climbing :)

Again these are all just opinion questions really, but I figure they are important.

as for the strop I have it's the one that rickboone1 is offering. It looks to be a 14+ inch peiece of leather with a loop fastener. I'm assuming at the least this would be a good practice strop if not a nice enough one to not destroy :)

TPV
 
as for the strop I have it's the one that rickboone1 is offering. It looks to be a 14+ inch peiece of leather with a loop fastener. I'm assuming at the least this would be a good practice strop if not a nice enough one to not destroy :)

TPV

I recently purchased that same strop from Rick. I am a straight razor newbie myself (recently completed shave #25) but I quite enjoy that strop. Mine is decently wide, and quite well made. I think they are a very good value.

You will destroy your first strop, it's pretty much a given!! :001_tt2::001_tt2:

I am divided on the use it, or have it honed issue. I know you are anxious to take it for a spin, and I would be too. On the other hand, if the blade is dull, you would likely have a less than stellar first shave experience.
 
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