What's new

Shavette vs Straight Razor

I have been using a cheapo shavette with Shark blades, and they have been serving me well. Looking on this forum has me looking into a straight razor. They have always interested me but with honing, stropping and all it just seemed like something I could never do right. Also the price was also a big concern as well.

As I scour the forums for everything straight razor, a question came to mind. How different is using a shavette compared to a straight razor? I am thinking they are similar but obviously have differences.
 
I have been using a cheapo shavette with Shark blades, and they have been serving me well. Looking on this forum has me looking into a straight razor. They have always interested me but with honing, stropping and all it just seemed like something I could never do right. Also the price was also a big concern as well.

As I scour the forums for everything straight razor, a question came to mind. How different is using a shavette compared to a straight razor? I am thinking they are similar but obviously have differences.
I don't know the answer but I know some people who can. Try asking that question to this group of people: Shavette And Barber Razor Enthusiast (SABRE) group - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/shavette-and-barber-razor-enthusiast-sabre-group.360385/

Several of them have transitioned from shavettes or barber razors to straights.
 
I have been using a cheapo shavette with Shark blades, and they have been serving me well. Looking on this forum has me looking into a straight razor. They have always interested me but with honing, stropping and all it just seemed like something I could never do right. Also the price was also a big concern as well.

As I scour the forums for everything straight razor, a question came to mind. How different is using a shavette compared to a straight razor? I am thinking they are similar but obviously have differences.
I was where you are now 7 years ago. Both will remove whiskers. You hold them approximately the same way.
After that it’sa whole new ballgame. A straight will be much more forgiving on your face. Or it’s much easier to draw blood with a shavette.
Trust me stropping isn’t that big of a deal. Buy a cheap one to start because you will cut or nick it. It’s just muscle memory like any repetitive motion.
No need to worry about honing yet. Buy a straight from a reputable vendor who will when they say shave ready it really is shave ready. That way you’ll have a bench mark to compare a straight feel with a shavette. What you need to experience is a” shave ready edge” not a gem of a razor. That way you can decide if this is for you or not.
So yes big difference in face feel.
You just need a cheap strop and a shave ready edge to see if this is for you or not.
I assume you have a brush and slick soap and stypic pencil already
Good luck and let us know what you decide to do. Anymore questions just ask.
 
Come to think of it, several of this group (some of the same people, obviously) will know as well. They both love to help out.

 
I was where you are now 7 years ago. Both will remove whiskers. You hold them approximately the same way.
After that it’sa whole new ballgame. A straight will be much more forgiving on your face. Or it’s much easier to draw blood with a shavette.
Trust me stropping isn’t that big of a deal. Buy a cheap one to start because you will cut or nick it. It’s just muscle memory like any repetitive motion.
No need to worry about honing yet. Buy a straight from a reputable vendor who will when they say shave ready it really is shave ready. That way you’ll have a bench mark to compare a straight feel with a shavette. What you need to experience is a” shave ready edge” not a gem of a razor. That way you can decide if this is for you or not.
So yes big difference in face feel.
You just need a cheap strop and a shave ready edge to see if this is for you or not.
I assume you have a brush and slick soap and stypic pencil already
Good luck and let us know what you decide to do. Anymore questions just ask.
Sound advice.
 
I have been using a cheapo shavette with Shark blades, and they have been serving me well. Looking on this forum has me looking into a straight razor. They have always interested me but with honing, stropping and all it just seemed like something I could never do right. Also the price was also a big concern as well.

As I scour the forums for everything straight razor, a question came to mind. How different is using a shavette compared to a straight razor? I am thinking they are similar but obviously have differences.
I forgot to add….. straights have a personality of their own especially the way they perform not to mention cool visual appearance. Plus the historical factor of vintage blades
Relatively speaking I find shavettes kind of boring.
 
I'm not afraid of barber razors or shavettes... the straight razor rabbit hole might just be deeper than I can afford. Actually, I know it is. I took a long hard look at it. The razors are just the beginning... and the end, too, I suppose... then you have stones, natural and synthetic and let's not forget the strops, film and balsa wood strops. I'm sure the list goes on far longer than that if you get into buying straights that need work and restore them yourself or send them out.

I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing the straight razors the people here have and love. The photos are breathtaking, truly..... I'll have to enjoy them vicariously. I can't imagine how much money I'd save over the outrageously expensive Gillette cartridges if I got into Straight Razor shaving. <eg>
 
Thank you all for the info. I have been checking out those threads. I already know I cannot go more than toe deep into the rabbit hole. I like the idea of a vintage blade and it's history. But I have seen some brutal looking razors on here that practically scared the growth off my face just looking at them. What would be nice is one of each, something vintage and something clean but brutal looking. But in reality I will have to get a cheap razor and cheap strop.
 
Thank you all for the info. I have been checking out those threads. I already know I cannot go more than toe deep into the rabbit hole. I like the idea of a vintage blade and it's history. But I have seen some brutal looking razors on here that practically scared the growth off my face just looking at them. What would be nice is one of each, something vintage and something clean but brutal looking. But in reality I will have to get a cheap razor and cheap strop.
Cheap is perfectly fine, so long as it’s shaving sharp on delivery unless you already hone. Have fun along your SR journey.
 
Thank you all for the info. I have been checking out those threads. I already know I cannot go more than toe deep into the rabbit hole. I like the idea of a vintage blade and it's history. But I have seen some brutal looking razors on here that practically scared the growth off my face just looking at them. What would be nice is one of each, something vintage and something clean but brutal looking. But in reality I will have to get a cheap razor and cheap strop.
They only look scary now because you’re a newbie. I think you can find nice clean vintage blades for not too much especially from members here on the BST. I suggest you start with a round point or muted square point blade. You definitely don’t want a spike point unless you want to pull a Vincent Van Gogh!
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
@losing most of your answers will be found here:

Cost wise, you can set yourself up in traditional straight razor shaving for well under USD 100. All you need is a straight razor and a strop to be good for your first about 50 SR shaves. Within that time, you can decide if traditional SR shaving is for you. If it is, and extra USD 50 or so cand set you up for the next 2,000 to 3,000 SR shaves.

If you find that traditional SR shaving is not for you, you can sell your gear and get a lot of your money back. Many here are waiting for @discomike to do just that 😁.

Knowing your location (which we don't know) would help greatly in suggesting what to get and where.
 
In moving from the shavette and blade you have mentioned to a shave-ready straight, I would venture to say that stropping is going to be your biggest hurdle at the start. For you can wreck the edge of a shave-ready straight very easily through improper stropping as well as risk to cut your strop in starting out. And there is no equivalent with shavettes. Otherwise, things are fairly analogous, a shavette even being arguably more difficult to use than a straight. Good luck.
 
For me it is a question of time. A traditional straight requires stropping, periodic honing or ongoing edge maintenance, oiling when not in use, and several learning processes - that’s the minimum. More realistically getting into straight razors will also mean experimenting with different honing media and techniques since the ability to tailor the blade edge to your preferences is an advantage you will likely pursue, but it is time consuming. I think there is no question that if you can spend the time then traditional straight razor shaving will give you the most gentle shave, and it is also a very enjoyable way to shave. I believe it is worth the time, if you have it.

Shavettes or barber razors are great when you don’t have the time for all the rest of the stuff. You just shave with it, wash it off, and put it away. Swap a new blade in when needed - it takes a few seconds. It’s by far the most convenient way to get a straight razor shave. I do enjoy straight razor shaving, and a barber razor gives you that without any inconvenience. But the replaceable blades are really sharp and pretty aggressive, and will never be as gentle to your skin as a traditional straight razor edge that you have prepared to your preference. With a barber razor you will probably still get a smoother shave than a safety razor - you won’t be buffing like crazy - and they are fun to shave with, but you will probably get more nicks than either a traditional straight or a safety razor, which using a guarded AC blade like the Feather Proguard will alleviate significantly (but not entirely).

Most of the time I am too busy to use a traditional straight razor, even though they give me the best shaving experience. I find barber razors to be kind of a gateway drug which will inevitably lead to interest in traditional straights. It’s really just a question of how much time you have. Traditional straights can become very much more expensive if you’re going to get into different stones and stuff but, as rbscebu rightly points out, it can be done extremely cheaply too if you use lapping film, home made pasted strops, etc.

Overall, I think a barber razor is really a great way to experience straight razor shaving in the beginning. Just enjoy it and don’t be put off by getting a few nicks when you make a small mistake. Maybe you decide to stay with barber razors, or maybe it‘s just a skill you develop and use for occasional shaves. And if you do ultimately want to explore traditional straights then you can take your time to learn honing and stropping, since you always have the barber razor to shave with as a back-up.
 
I haven't had the chance to try a straight razor due to sourcing an affordable strop in my country, but I have tried several shavette long time ago. Now I am using one with artist blade format. The blade is a Kai Protouch. The blade with its guard format gives a fantastic shave just as good as a De /Se razor for me. If using a straight razor is better than this combo, I will be in trouble as I would want to try a straight razor ASAP.

An AC shavette yearly shave maintenance would be between 1 till 3 cartridges, which would cost about 50 usd max.
 
For me it is a question of time. A traditional straight requires stropping, periodic honing or ongoing edge maintenance, oiling when not in use, and several learning processes - that’s the minimum. More realistically getting into straight razors will also mean experimenting with different honing media and techniques since the ability to tailor the blade edge to your preferences is an advantage you will likely pursue, but it is time consuming. I think there is no question that if you can spend the time then traditional straight razor shaving will give you the most gentle shave, and it is also a very enjoyable way to shave. I believe it is worth the time, if you have it.

Shavettes or barber razors are great when you don’t have the time for all the rest of the stuff. You just shave with it, wash it off, and put it away. Swap a new blade in when needed - it takes a few seconds. It’s by far the most convenient way to get a straight razor shave. I do enjoy straight razor shaving, and a barber razor gives you that without any inconvenience. But the replaceable blades are really sharp and pretty aggressive, and will never be as gentle to your skin as a traditional straight razor edge that you have prepared to your preference. With a barber razor you will probably still get a smoother shave than a safety razor - you won’t be buffing like crazy - and they are fun to shave with, but you will probably get more nicks than either a traditional straight or a safety razor, which using a guarded AC blade like the Feather Proguard will alleviate significantly (but not entirely).

Most of the time I am too busy to use a traditional straight razor, even though they give me the best shaving experience. I find barber razors to be kind of a gateway drug which will inevitably lead to interest in traditional straights. It’s really just a question of how much time you have. Traditional straights can become very much more expensive if you’re going to get into different stones and stuff but, as rbscebu rightly points out, it can be done extremely cheaply too if you use lapping film, home made pasted strops, etc.

Overall, I think a barber razor is really a great way to experience straight razor shaving in the beginning. Just enjoy it and don’t be put off by getting a few nicks when you make a small mistake. Maybe you decide to stay with barber razors, or maybe it‘s just a skill you develop and use for occasional shaves. And if you do ultimately want to explore traditional straights then you can take your time to learn honing and stropping, since you always have the barber razor to shave with as a back-up.
Well said👍💈
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
I find barber razors to be kind of a gateway drug which will inevitably lead to interest in traditional straights.

That’s for most of us, but at least one person moved from straight razors to barber razors out of convenience and my inability to adapt knife sharpening to razor honing made the Sedef brand barber razor (a traditional, Turkish barber razor capable of using half DEs and cabinet blades) very appealing. And my worse skill at shaving makes looking at said barber razor while cleaning up my safety razors what I usually do.
 
Can someone post a feather/kai shavete side by side with a straight razor? I am curious to see the size difference between them.
 
Top Bottom