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Recommendation for a first straight

Is there a size and grind that lends itself to a first try at straight shaving?
 

Raymondmillbrae

Totally bogus
From a newbies point of view...get absolutely anything your heart and eyes desire.

You are the one that will look at it, and shave with it, in the end.

They all have their pro’s and con’s.

You’ll probably end-up trying a few in your “Tao of Straights“ anyways.

Just don’t fully open your wallet on the first one. Hold back a bit.

You may learn a few things in the beginning. And it may steer you towards a different direction once you know a bit more.

THEN you can open your wallet prudently, and as a wise steward.

Just my opinion.
 
First SR? I would recommend a round point, half hollow, 5/8, high carbon steel, shave-ready for well under $100.

Welcome to the gentlemanly art of SR shaving. Be warned, once mastered you will have to live with another regret in your life. The regret will be that you didn't start SR shaving in your teens and stuck with it.
 
5/8 or 6/8, 1/2 or 1/4 hollow, round point. If you are going to maintain your own razor, or are worried about damaging your edge as you learn to strop, heavier grinds will be better until your skills advance.

I would also recommend that you make and learn to use a three strop diamond pasted balsa progression. You'll get lots of stropping practice on cheap gear and your edges will last without going to a hone or film. Get a decent leather strop as well. Don't expect a 10 or 20 dollar strop to deliver much.

PM to follow.
 
Thanks for the info...Maintaining the blade won't be an issue....I have around 30 stones and multiple stops...Just need to research some makers.
 
Thanks for the info...Maintaining the blade won't be an issue....I have around 30 stones and multiple stops...Just need to research some makers.
Even with a multitude of stones, like @Tanuki said, I strongly recommend that you make three 300mm x 75mm balsa strops to use with 0.5um, 0.25um and 0.1um diamond paste. All is explained here:

I use them on all of my SR's for a guaranteed close, comfortable and smooth shave every time. If used as directed, you should never have to hone a blade again after it's initial honing.
 
Even with a multitude of stones, like @Tanuki said, I strongly recommend that you make three 300mm x 75mm balsa strops to use with 0.5um, 0.25um and 0.1um diamond paste. All is explained here:

I use them on all of my SR's for a guaranteed close, comfortable and smooth shave every time. If used as directed, you should never have to hone a blade again after it's initial honing.
I also have multiple diamond pastes and a few other powders that are loaded on balsa and leather strops.
 
I know a lot of people are saying get a 5/8
but I think 5/8 is just too small, even for a first..
a 6/8 is the sweet spot I think, in terms of grind, heavier grinds are more forgiving, but I learned on a hollow ground with no issues myself.
Whatever you do, don't get a modern Dovo, they are crap to put it nicely, same for TI. Get a vintage blade, Solingen or Sheffield, get someone who knows what they are doing to hone it. Plenty of guys on here for that.
 
5/8 or 6/8. half to full hollow but not extra hollow. Just an ordinary middle of the road standard modern straight razor from a trustworthy brand and vendor is all you need. The SLD's ("stupid" little details) are not particularly important. What IS important for your first razor is receiving it in total complete absolute shave ready condition. Most new razors do not come from the factory even close to shave ready. And most internet sellers who claim their razors to be shave ready, are simply repeating a fashionable buzz term that is guaranteed to make sales. So be sure of your vendor. Verify on this or another forum. Then you need a proper strop, not one of those Chinese naugahyde and denim jobs with the bent wire "D" rings. Buy your strop the same time you buy your razor. You can maybe shave the first time without stropping as the person who honed your razor and declared it shave-ready should have stropped it. For every shave thereafter, you must strop and no, do not use a belt or a leather file folder or a saddle girth or a weightlifting belt or a phone book or a newspaper. Use a strop if you want to be successful. When you don't actually know what to do, do exactly what those who DO actually know what to do,

The balsa strop progression is not the same as a leather strop and the two accomplish two completely different things. You MUST have a hanging leather strop. You SHOULD have a properly (I say again, "properly") set up progression of diamond pasted, lapped balsa strops. They will take your razor to a new level of sharpness, and the finest one, .1u, will keep it there indefinitely. For that to work, you need to be able to do one simple thing... follow The Method exactly and precisely in every detail. It is in the already posted link elsewhere in this thread.

If you can't be bothered with maintaining your straight razor, you are much better off with a shavette and a good disposable blade. Anything from a $1.25 Chinese swingback Parker style to a Feather AC or clone of it, all are EQUALLY GOOD. I can say this quite authoritatively, having used an awful lot of them. Currently my fave of the moment in shavettes is a clone from Alibaba of the Feather folder that uses a half DE blade. Loaded with half of a Feather DE blade, it is a joy to use, and way cheaper than using the long blades. No discernable difference in the shave or the handling between the knockoffs and the real thing. Sorry if this bursts any bubbles but it is true. The only cheap shavettes that I cannot recommend are some of the slide-out types selling for under two bucks. They can be very wobbly and fidgety. The common swingback that you see on fleabay with the stainless scales and the teardrop shaped cutouts, is very very good at holding the blade solidly, if you install it correctly. What do you get for buying the genuine Feather shavette? Well, you get very good workmanship and you get a shavette that looks exactly like the clones on alibaba. And pride in not stooping so low as to buy a knockoff. You don't get a better shave. That all depends on your choice of blade. The long blade format is available in several brands and models and they are all excellent except IMHO the ones with the plastic guard on them. However they do cost about 4x what the Feather DE blade costs and a DE actually makes two blades because you snap it in half. If you don't care about saving a few cents per shave, go with the long blades. Kai or Feather. For DE blades, I definitely prefer the Feather for its unrivaled sharpness. Only thing about a shavette is you need to stretch the skin really well, and keep the shave angle extremely low. That 30deg crap will cut you like a mean mother-in-law's tongue. You need to be practically dragging the spine on the skin.

Stick with known and respected brands. Be very careful of Chinese razors as most, especially the no-name ones, are crap. The good ones are only good if they have been made shave ready by a honer who knows how to make them shave. Pakistani razors, Indian razors, pretty much all garbage. For modern razors I suggest Solingen brands and for vintage, American, Swedish, Solingen, Japanese, French, Spanish. The brand names are too numerous to list here. Post your find before you buy, just remember you cannot post a link to a live auction. A good vintage is perfectly acceptable and you will not only be shaving with a piece of history, but you will pay about a third as much.

My favorite new production razor is the Dovo Bismarck. Very ergonomic, great steel, good workmanship. Second place is about a 50 way tie and some I am prohibited from mentioning anyway, so I won't expand on that, but if you can afford to drop say $170 or so on a great razor, a new Bismarck will do nicely. A vintage, OTOH, might be more expendable if it is not a significant collector's item. You will make mistakes, and you might prefer to make them on an "old" razor that only cost you $20 to $60.
 

Sinnbad11

Contributor
First SR? I would recommend a round point, half hollow, 5/8, high carbon steel, shave-ready for well under $100.

Welcome to the gentlemanly art of SR shaving. Be warned, once mastered you will have to live with another regret in your life. The regret will be that you didn't start SR shaving in your teens and stuck with it.
Not true! I started at 19 and I still regret that I didn't start earlier than that!
 
get two 5/8 or 6/8 vintage razor from........as has been mentioned.....a reputable seller that sells em sharp.

nice American made ones.......and a good strop. my $15 Strop gets used for kitchen and hunting knives.

since your near big city, might actually have some local sources too.

camo
 
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