Straight Razor and lather

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by DEATHMgck, Aug 12, 2018 at 4:48 PM.

    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.

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