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PIF: Straight Razor Starter Kit


Out of gratitude for the forum's support when I embarked on my straight razor shave journey, I've decided to Pay It Forward by using some extra gear to put together a kit that would allow someone to start on their own straight razor journey.

What we have here is:

* a leather/denim strop, that came along with my Titan (Taiwan) razor order
* a kamisori, bought in a set on The Bay, and honed by yours truly, finishing with The Method pasted balsa strops and personally shave-tested
* a pasted 0.1 micron diamond balsa strop, balsa attached to 1x3x12 acrylic with rubber cement. OK, it's not diamond-pasted at the moment, I just sanded it down. But it will be by the time I send it out.

This is not fancy gear, but it is very functional gear.

Knowledgeable people say that if you throw a rock on eBay, and hit a Japanese razor, there is an overwhelming likelihood that it will have excellent hard steel. This razor does. I know, because I just got a great shave from it, and anyway, I could tell on the stones. It took a great edge.

The leather/denim strop is not long, and not fancy, but I know a forum member who used one like it for years.

And balsa and acrylic and diamond paste are not expensive, but they are extraordinarily effective at maintaining a very keen edge on a razor. There are those who say that, as long as you never damage the edge, that you can maintain it indefinitely with such strops.

I admit that my primary dark evil purpose is to entice a DE/SE shaver over into naked blade world. But if a rank newbie wins, that's fine, excellent even. In fact, if that happens, I will throw in a soap I like a lot (but bought too much of) and a badger brush.

OK, on to the boring part: the rules.

1. US only.
2. PIF will stay open until midnight PDT on Sunday, July 25.
3. To join, just say "I'm in."
4. Choice will be random, but Contributors get double odds
5. You have to have signed up for the forum before this post happened. You do NOT have to have become a Contributor before this post happened, to get the double odds.
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Respectfully not in (and on the wrong continent anyway). Great PIF though.

As a non-user of straights, I think the shorter cutting length compared with western straights, and the ergonomic-looking handle would make a kamisori a better introduction, as I'd be less likely to inflict collateral damage (earlobes etc) with it.

If I ever do stick a toe in the water, I know what to look up.
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I'm in...Have wanted to try a kamisori...the whole set up looks neat... How's the soap you showed ? I've never tried it either....
I'm in. This is incredibly generous. I've been toying with the idea of trying out a straight on and off for years, maybe this will be just the push I need.
Respectfully not in your generous PIF. My arthritic right fingers would make it difficult to use this razor safely.


Wow! What a terrific PIF! Thank you @Herrenberg for the generosity! Respectfully not in (sabbatical rules). Definitely planning on heading down the SR path next year though. What a gentlemen!


I'm in...Have wanted to try a kamisori...the whole set up looks neat... How's the soap you showed ? I've never tried it either....
I think of this soap, correctly or not, as being on the "very fatty" end of the spectrum. It's a soft soap that quickly makes very rich, slick lather. I like the scent, which combines peppery, woody, and bright tones into a pleasing whole.
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