Straight Razor and lather

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by DEATHMgck, Aug 12, 2018.

    So after a couple months using a DE, I decided to pull out my straight and give it a go. Soaked the brush, bloomed the soap, hot towel for my face.

    I immediately notice that razor doesnt feel like its gliding across my skin. I made my angle even more shallow (spine practically resting on my face) and continue. Still no good.

    I have seen in a few spots on these forums people say wetter lather helps this problem. My lather was wet enough that it almost dripped off the blade wheni’dgo to rinse it.

    Could it be just lack of skill? Or am I over looking something.
  1. It cuts best at a 30° angle. Maybe it needs a bit of the stone?

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  2. Did you buy the razor new and was it professionally honed?

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  3. Sounds like it needs to be honed. It could also be user error. It takes a few shaves to get the angle down. Try laying the blade flat and then raising the spine 1-2 spine widths. I also had better luck with creams when I first started using straights.
  4. My guess is that the blade is just too dull. Sounds like you were getting the angle tight enough and any soap should be adequate and you should be able to shave a bit even if not well practiced. Best get the razor honed well by someone on this board before you get too much into what your skills may or may not be. Shouldn't be thinking about all the fine points until your razor is truly shave ready. Shaving really isn't all that complicated.
  5. What they said. Dull razor. To sort of quantify the sharpness, do the Treetop Test.

    Sweep the razor over your forearm, about 1/4" above the skin. If it is nice and sharp, it will sever at least a couple of hairs, and leave them lying on the blade. Super duper sharp, and it will practically mow them all down, and not disturb the base of the hair. Rare edge, that. You won't see that too often unless you are a devout practitioner of the dark arts contained within The Method. If it will not treetop at 1/4" above the skin, try at 1/8". If it won't get at least one hair with every pass at 1/8", it is not sharp enough to be trying to shave with it. If it does, then it is marginal but usable. That is a general summation though your results may vary a bit depending on hair texture and sweep technique.

    Ideal shave angle is where the gap between the spine of the razor and the face is equal to the thickness of the spine. If you have to lean it out much more to get it to shave, your razor is not sharp enough or your technique is lacking. Higher shave angles tend to leave your face a bit raw. That is scraping, not true shaving. Yeah there is a little wiggle room there, but if it is good and sharp then it will shave nicely at one spine thickness.

    So give it the treetop test and if it utterly fails, then you need to have it honed. New razors are generally NOT shave ready unless the vendor says it is and you trust him. Don't trust any seller who does not shave with a straight razor to sell you a shave ready razor, because it has become a buzz word that many include in an item description in spite of being totally ignorant of exactly what constitutes shave readiness.
  6. Those are fair assessments and pretty much what I thought. I got it from Straight Razor Designs and it was noted to be shave ready. Guess ill have to eother find a honemeister or get some better sharpening gear.

  7. If it came from SRD, 12 to 18 laps on a Naniwa 12000 should do it and you should have something similar to maintain your blades anyway. My razors from STD shave fine, but not perfect. Some folks might not like them that sharp.

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  8. I have stones just to sharpen the kitchen knives every so often. Been wanting a higher grit for that final touch. This might just push me to do it.
  9. You need a good finishing stone to maintain an edge, even if you don’t generally hone.

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  10. It might be worth getting a sheet of 1 micron lapping film first off, them stones are expensive.
  11. Im going to try lapping film for other reasons. In the long run, I don’t think cost would decide for me. I think you only get seven uses out of film and probably a lifetime out of stones.

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  12. Newbie Honing Compendium
    The Method.

    Actually I get about a dozen or so sessions from one piece of film, three pieces to a sheet. Some stones definitely will not last you a lifetime LOL even the Naniwa 12k. Usage and lapping take their toll and if you drop it, it MIGHT break. But yeah, it's not just about cost. It is effective and consistent and you don't have to lap it.
  13. Oh, I think it will, if you go to a stone 4 times per year to maintain your edge, it’s going to last a very very long time.

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  14. I would not just assume the blade needs to be honed. That might be the case, or not - but with the given info it's just an assumption.

    Pulled the straight razor out of where exactly?
    How long was it sitting, how was it stored?
    Had you shaved with it before? If yes, was it sharp then?
    How much experience with straight razor shaving do you have?
    Did you strop the blade before, or now? How and on what?

    FWIW _ it is not unusual for new SR users to think their blade is dull, there are several possibilities only one of which is that the edge isn't up to snuff. There are many instances of new users with blades that were fine and their technique is way off, or they ruined a good edge with poor stropping or no stropping.
  15. Yeah, figured id give it a couple goes and see if slow technique would get better. See how it goes.

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