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The Noise of Straight Razor Shaving

I'm a newbie to Straight Razor shaving.

I'm curious as to why in every video I've watched on Straight Razor shaving by the pros, there is always a loud sound when they shave? It sounds like they are scraping sand paper across their face. These are very very experienced Straight Razor shavers who know what their doing and their technique is superb. But why the scratchy sand paper sound?

Shouldn't there be close to no sound, *** if they were gliding over glass?
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Depends on the beard and the razor. Hollow grinds make much more noise that thicker grinds.
 
That sound is the sound of the hairs popping as the sharp blade glides across your face. Much louder on some razors. Sounds loud and scraping, but feels smooth and glassy.
 
You've never tried a GEM, have you? Those things make just as much, or more, noise. I think the shape of the head is a natural acoustic chamber. My wife noticed it from across the room.
 
A heavy near wedge razor will make almost no sound as it wipes away the whiskers. I do like to hear the hollow ground razors sing as well. All adds to the fun of which razor shall I use today :001_smile
 
I have been a musician my entire life. I love it when a razor "sings". I listen to the pitch of the singing to determine whether I have the pressure correct whether I am shaving, stropping, or honing. The audible feedback is just as valuable as the tactile feedback.

Most of my razors are full hollow or extra hollow. I have a couple of quarter hollow razors and do not enjoy the shave nearly as much. However, as with all things shaving, it is a matter of personal preference. Some love wedge and near-wedge razors that make little or no sound. To me, the singing of a hollowed grind is music to my ears.
 
I also think that in the videos, the effect is amplified by the frequency bias of the microphone. I too, love the sound of whiskers parting.
 
I purposely turn off the exhaust fan while shaving so I can hear the razor sing. Capturing that right sound confirms for me that I have the angle right and the razor is efficiently doing what razors are to do.
 
I'm new to straight razor shaving. The only two I've owned are 'vintage' cheapies from ebay. One is a Wester Brothers 'hi car bin' and the other, an unknown, 'JEM'. The JEM makes a lot more noise than the Wester Brothers and I love it! Both are full hollow ground and to me, it feels like the JEM's steel is harder, causing more resonance/sound. (Forgot razor #3 which was purchased broken.A Rugra Rudolf Grah. The steel was definitely the hardest of the three and it sounded the loudest. Sadly, it dropped and broke again and at one inch, long, I dumped it. hahhahah :p this was the first razor purchase.)
 
Yeah parametrics and all that, most mics seem to accentuate the higher end but if you pay attention when shaving with a hollow grind it sure does make that sound. You don't always pay attention to it.
 
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