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Not bonding with Le Grelot

Santa gave me Le Grelot for Christmas, but I am not reaching for it very often and I have been wondering why. I just don't enjoy shaving with it as much as my other razors, almost all of which are Ebay specials of one ilk or another. This razor is highly regarded and Chimensch chose it for his amazing 7 day set, so I am thinking I should be happier with it than I am. So I decided two days ago that I would shave with it every day for two weeks to see if it was my technique that needed adjusting to the large, heavy blade to bring out the best in it.

Three mornings into it I just don't think my technique explains why I can't get no satisfaction. I have other blades as large, even though not as heavy or the exact same grind. I like that the wide (7/8) blade gets into places more easily than my smaller razors, especially that I can reach spots with the heel easily. The balance is fine and it feels good in my hand. But the shaves, although they feel good while in progress, leave a harsh feeling and I nick myself once or twice a shave, not my usual outcome.

So, now I am left thinking the most obvious thing, that the factory edge isn't for me. I bought the razor from Jarrod at Superior, and he said his experience was that these razors came shave ready sharp from TI and didn't need touching up. So I have shaved on the factory edge, only stropping on fabric and leather between shaves. I was hesitant to hone this one as I wanted another professionally honed blade as a baseline against which to compare my own efforts. I've shaved on two from Larry at Whipped Dog and the rest are my own efforts using a coticule and modified dulicot. It is good to have a standard from outside to compare, but I'm thinking I get better shaves off my own edges on blades with much less of a pedigree, so perhaps it is time to put the Grelot on the coti. Maybe, having shaved mostly on coticule edges I've just become accustomed to how they behave and my technique is adapted to that. Arguing against that is the fact that I shave quite well on Larry's edges. I don't know what he finishes on, but whatever it is I find it comfortable and comparable to my own.

Anyone else have any experience with the factory edge on Le Grelot? I know the standard answer is have it honed, but Jarrod seemed confident that it would come ready to go and he has never steered my wrong. There is always the chance that it was a Friday afternoon in France when mine was sharpened and the gent's mind was on his date for that night.....Perhaps I should have more confidence in my honing and less trepidation at my impudence in thinking I can do a better job than the pros........
 
I have a TI Le Grelot as well. The factory edge does shave arm hair, but it's not shave ready. When I tried it, it was tug-tug-pull-pull-tuggy-tug-pull-tug.

My Wapi was honed by floppyshoes, so I had a good idea as to what a shave-ready blade is supposed to be like. I am learning to hone as well (coti like you) and just jumped into it. It took two honing sessions, but now I'm getting HHT-3/4 and had a wonderful shave with it this morning.

Hang in there. It's worth it! But wowsa, is it ever loud!!
 
I didn't even bother with the factory edge on mine. I taped the spine and started a new bevel on my dmt 600 and worked my way up to an escher finish.

It is one fine shaver, but I cannot comment on the factory edge as I never even tried it.
 
If no one has honed it, that is your problem. I'd never consider a factory edge to be shave without scrutinizing it for myself. Most of the time, I wouldn't bother. Nor would I take someone's word that it is shave ready if they had not assessed my razor specifically.

If you are going to do it yourself, they can be a little harder to hone than your average razor. IIRC, mine took three trips to the rocks before it made me happy.
 
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I checked the edge when it came and it was a 3-3.5 on the HHT out of the box. That is as good as I usually get with a coti and they shave quite nicely. The HHT is idiosyncratic of course, but it compared quite well with edges I get good shaves off of. The confusing thing is this edge didn't tug, it sliced quite nicely through the stubble. But it just doesn't feel smooth so I'm thinking it just isn't the finish for me. Perhaps my shaving skills are getting good enough that I actually notice the difference in finishes. Onto the hone it goes as soon as I get the time.
 
I have 3 of the 3/4 grind Le Grelots. None of them were up to their potential with a factory edge. I did not get a great shave with them until I did a Dilucot. You should absolutely sharpen them on your coti before you shave again with them. It made a world of difference on each to work them on a Dilucot.

One razor was the easiest I have honed. 4-5 bevel corrections followed by a 15 step dilution as well as the final steps and I had an outstanding edge. The other two required more work and patience. The most difficult took 2 1/2 hours to get right. Now it is wicked sharp and very smooth. These razors love the coticule. They may take some work, but it is worth it.

Bottom line, from my experience, you have not shaved on a Le Grelot until it has been honed on a coti.
 
I got my Le Grelot (NOS) from Martin at Rasurpur and he had honed it for me himself. I agree with some of the other members that a factory edge may shave arm hair but the doesn't mean it will give you a great shave. I hone 90% of my razors on my vintage coti and 9% on my jnat. You should try to hone another razor of your's first if you are worried about ruining the factory edge.
 
Ok, once again the collective wisdom of this site proves spot on. The kids and I decided not to go skiing today because conditions are not good, so I had a little time to hone.

Did a quick rehone on the Grelot. Started with a medium slurry on my 50x150 coti. Dulled the edge on glass and honed. This is fast with slurry but can't be used on warped blades because of its width. I was gratified to sense no trace of a warp in this new razor. After correcting the bevel on this, I moved to my 40x175 combo, yellow side. Did an accelerated dulicot then flipped it over and did a 6 step dulicot on the blue. At this point it was violently violining and popping every so often. Back to the yellow side with half strokes on water. This side gets sticky when the edge is close to finished, so I rubbed it with some valobra and did a few more half strokes. Then I took it to my green bout for about 40 X strokes on water alone. The edge was still not quite consistent, so i rubbed this stone with valobra and did another 30 or so X strokes, got interrupted by my son and lost count. (he came back from shaving for the 4th time with the Fat Boy I gave him as a starter. Cut his upper lip by dragging the blade sideways and wanted a styptic penicil, he is learning fast)

At this point it was easily popping a medium hair and even hit HHT 4 in spots, which made me do a double take. I stropped on fabric and leather and now it is a consistent 3+. What is really interesting is this edge will pop hairs effortlessly in either direction, which is a new level for me. I found this blade easy to hone. The large size and weight make it simple to flip the blade and keep it nice and flat without much pressure, and it gives enough feedback to feel nuances. Very controllable. I am very pleased and I wish I hadn't already shaved. I'm expecting tomorrow morning to be quite different than this morning. I'll do this all over when I have a bit more time to be systematic, but so far I'm really pleased.
 
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I'm a Le grelot man myself and would love to know which one you got. Perhaps some pretty pictures to go with your post?

As for the edge it is hit or miss but once you hone it up to how you like it you will never be anything but a Le Grelot man.
 
I'm seeing quite a few threads both here and on other forums about this very topic recently. It seems that some of the retailers need a lesson in what a shave ready straight is. A number seem to be telling customers that they come shave ready from the factory which as far as I'm aware, none do. They are quite sharp and will easily cut arm hair but they are no where near sharp enough to shave with.
 
Didn't post pictures cause this is a run of the mill 3/4 grind with stamina scales, nothing to look at except for that marvelous blade. I don't care for the TI scales, I don't like those points, so I figured I'd get the cheapest I could and if I liked the blade I'd replace the scales. I have a pretty oosik I've been saving for that special razor so if I decide this is a keeper it would be an appropriate use of the late walruses penis. If I'm going to exploit its mana I want it to be a worthy use.

I'm not disappointed with the retailer in this case, I think he was correct in that this would be considered shave ready by most people, but something about the edge just didn't agree with my skin. Also, there might be enough variability in the edges coming out of TI that this one was different than Jarrod had sampled before. Coming from TI I wonder if they use TI paste in the finishing stages. I've not had experience with pasted strops (bought some paste and made a strop for it last week so I will learn) so maybe I don't agree with a pasted finish. I got it for a very good price and I don't mind putting some time into perfecting it. I would have wanted to hone it myself anyway, I just wouldn't have waited 6 shaves into it first :laugh:
 
No razor's left our shop w/o at least being HHT-3. To me, that's the practical standard for a commercial shop (and what I'd certainly happily take to my face); I can't be shaving with every razor we sell and only do so with the restorations. We've got to rely on that hair test to tell us if it is sharp or not. If a random sampling of any vendor's razors are consistently HHT-4 or 5, I need to shake their hand. While I can easily get there with a deliberate dulling and a coticule from scratch, HHT-4/5's awfully impressive w/o starting over on each one. And even were we to do so, there's no guarantee that our flavor of HHT-5 creation's also that which a habitual user's come to prefer on their own.

We've sold a bunch of those thick Le Grelots. I've not seen one yet that didn't easily do a solid HHT-3 out of the box-more often HHT-4 before I even strop 'em...I know all of us have our preferences, but that's got to be considered a damn good score. Conversely, some Evide Sonnant Extra stocks have, on rare occasion, barely been an HHT-1 out of the box. When that happens they go to the coticule until at least HHT-3.

I've got a beautiful La Grosse Blanche bout in the shop for finishing when folks ask for it, the darkest sides you've ever seen and I've only sold one I shaved off of which I found superior. But were we to use it exclusively, there would be plenty whom would perhaps complain of it being too mellow, especially 1st timers...so I use a Dressante which comes close to the liveliness of a diamond edge, as that'll please more of the people more of the time (or at least more of the newer shavers).
 
And indeed this blade did give me a solid HHT 3 out of the box. And my first impression was of a sharp blade that was easily cutting my whiskers. So I do not think this is a case of someone selling a straight as shave ready that actually wasn't, I think it is more of a subtlety in the nature of the edge. It just left my face more annoyed than I felt it should have (is this a case of the infamous "crispy" edge I've seen discussed on Bart's site, albeit not a coticule edge?). And I didn't expect that from such a highly rated razor.

Let me be clear- I think Jarrod's assessment of the edge was as correct as it can be without actually shaving with it, which isn't practical for a dealer. And I rehoned it on two lovely stones that he sold me that are fantastic, so I have no complaints about his service in the least. He offered the rehone and I declined because I wanted to see how this came from the manufacturer. i purchased, I shaved, I rehoned and if tomorrow morning works out as I think it will I will be happy indeed. Alternatively, the Grelot may not be for me and I'll sell it and try something else, that's one of the fun things about this sport, seeking that slightly better shave.
 
No razor's left our shop w/o at least being HHT-3. To me, that's the practical standard for a commercial shop (and what I'd certainly happily take to my face); I can't be shaving with every razor we sell and only do so with the restorations. We've got to rely on that hair test to tell us if it is sharp or not. If a random sampling of any vendor's razors are consistently HHT-4 or 5, I need to shake their hand. While I can easily get there with a deliberate dulling and a coticule from scratch, HHT-4/5's awfully impressive w/o starting over on each one. And even were we to do so, there's no guarantee that our flavor of HHT-5 creation's also that which a habitual user's come to prefer on their own.

We've sold a bunch of those thick Le Grelots. I've not seen one yet that didn't easily do a solid HHT-3 out of the box-more often HHT-4 before I even strop 'em...I know all of us have our preferences, but that's got to be considered a damn good score. Conversely, some Evide Sonnant Extra stocks have, on rare occasion, barely been an HHT-1 out of the box. When that happens they go to the coticule until at least HHT-3.

I've got a beautiful La Grosse Blanche bout in the shop for finishing when folks ask for it, the darkest sides you've ever seen and I've only sold one I shaved off of which I found superior. But were we to use it exclusively, there would be plenty whom would perhaps complain of it being too mellow, especially 1st timers...so I use a Dressante which comes close to the liveliness of a diamond edge, as that'll please more of the people more of the time (or at least more of the newer shavers).

The HHT is a poor judge of a razors shaveability. I found out the hard way recently when I shaved with an eBay straight that passed the HHT and popped the hair on my arms but the edge was rough and was very uncomfortable to shave with and cut my face.

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=185851

A poor shaving razor will pass the HHT better than a correctly honed razor.

If it was sold with a factory edge, it is not shave ready, regardless of how sharp it appears to be.
 
johnmrson;

That's why I wrote that I shave with restorations; they are an entirely distinct category. You can't trust a passing grade on the HHT with old razors and I learned that awhile ago. For restorations, I dull them on glass at the inception of the process, to ensure that that bevel-intersection plane will have to be unearthed from new metal with no chance of those little pits.

A quick look with a good 20x loupe would've easily alerted you to what caused your irritation in your referenced example.

When we started this shop I used to look at each new Dovo/Thiers with 20x magnification, trying to find one that would've had the partially-chipped edge line which, though of thin and well-pointed bevels, would cause irritation despite good HHT scoring. But after a couple of hundred examinations like this in the first 5 or 6 months or so, I decided it was a poor investment of the time of running the business. If you disagree with that assessment, we'll have to agree to disagree.

You cannot shave with every razor you sell when you're selling multiple copies of them every day (and were I the customer again I don't even think I'd prefer that, it is a little gross to me). You must rely on examinations with magnification, your thumb, and of course the famous hanging hair and its reactions to being introduced to the edge. We're sending out excellent edges that I'd be happy to shave with, but of my own preference I will always take the most extreme 'mellow' coticule edge over the 'brisk/lively' edges of other variants, other natural stones, and other man-made stones. To each their own!
 
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johnmrson;

When we started this shop I used to look at each new Dovo/Thiers with 20x magnification, trying to find one that would've had the partially-chipped edge line which, though of thin and well-pointed bevels, would cause irritation despite good HHT scoring. But after a couple of hundred examinations like this in the first 5 or 6 months or so, I decided it was a poor investment of the time of running the business. If you disagree with that assessment, we'll have to agree to disagree.
If you're selling the razors as "shave ready" then I disagree. I've never seen a single Dovo that came in a "shave ready" state from the factory. If you're just checking them for imperfections, then I agree.


You cannot shave with every razor you sell when you're selling multiple copies of them every day (and were I the customer again I don't even think I'd prefer that, it is a little gross to me). You must rely on examinations with magnification, your thumb, and of course the famous hanging hair and its reactions to being introduced to the edge. We're sending out excellent edges that I'd be happy to shave with, but of my own preference I will always take the most extreme 'mellow' coticule edge over the 'brisk/lively' edges of other variants, other natural stones, and other man-made stones. To each their own!

I wouldn't expect you to shave with every razor that you sell but if you're not honing them, then they are not shave ready and IMHO should not be sold as such. I've seen a video of how Dovo finish the edges on their straights prior to leaving the factory and they might be sharp and have no jagged edges but you would never say it was a shave ready edge.
I would hate to think of a new straight shaver been told that his new TI or Dovo was shave ready straight from the factory.

If you're telling customers "So, now I am left thinking the most obvious thing, that the factory edge isn't for me. I bought the razor from Jarrod at Superior, and he said his experience was that these razors came shave ready sharp from TI and didn't need touching up." then you are wrong.
 
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ouch

Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
I find this interesting. I purchased a Le Grelot from TSS a little over a month ago, and it was one of the smoothest razors I ever received.
 
Ah, and so it ends...

For the record; ALL the razors we sell EXCEPT for the Le Grelots are stroked on coticules 100% of the time. Every Dovo, every time. Every TI 'Evide Sonnant Extra' and 'Le Dandy', every time. Guess I can throw the Le Grelot into that category from now on, too. In every case, we don't reset any bevels.

Buy from whom you have faith within; that's what I'd do.
 
If no one has honed it, that is your problem. I'd never consider a factory edge to be shave without scrutinizing it for myself. Most of the time, I wouldn't bother. Nor would I take someone's word that it is shave ready if they had not assessed my razor specifically.

If you are going to do it yourself, they can be a little harder to hone than your average razor. IIRC, mine took three trips to the rocks before it made me happy.

Big +1

Mine regardless get honed by me.
 
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