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where can i get a good budget straight

I've been considering starting with a straight this summer when I have a little more time in the AM. I'm working my way through the Pasted Balsa strop and other "Method" threads. I took a look at the Bay seller that was noted earlier (April7th) in the thread--tremendous number of razors! I'm curious for those who are familiar with this bayer--did you find that his "shave ready" listings were shave ready? I have zero experience with honing anything and would want something shave ready to start with so that I could actually know what shave ready is.
 
Shaving with a straight razor does not have to be expensive, but there are expenses. You can purchase a vintage razor that may or may not need repairs. I got a good Wade & Butcher blade that needed new scales and honing. I purchased some other vintage blades that I never could restore to shaving condition. Money wasted.

If you purchase a razor that has not been properly honed, you will either have to pay $25-35 plus shipping costs for that. If you purchase a $50 razor that includes honing, remember that the razor itself is worth no more than $25.

You have to have a strop to maintain the razor. You can get strops anywhere from $10 for a cheap Chiinese strop or a table strop that is nothing but a flat piece of leather up to several hundred for a Kanayama shell cordovan strop. Most decent strops will cost $50 and up.

A leather strop alone is not sufficient to maintain the edge on your razor. You will need some form of hone or pasted strop for that purpose. Depending upon the size and quality, these can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Some people can use balsa strops coated with abrasive diamond pastes to maintain their edges almost indefinitely. Some people also use lapping films to hone their razors. If you do not purchase your own equipment for maintaining your own razors, you will have to send your straight razor off for honing on a regular basis.

Thus, if you are really on a limited budget, I caution you to look at the overall cost of owning and maintaining a straight razor. Don't misunderstand me, I love owning, maintaining and shaving with straight razors. However, make sure you understand the costs of ownership before going down that rabbit hole.


If you still want to get a straight razor, my recommendation for new SR shavers is to purchase a new razor from Ralf Aust, with a 6/8" blade being ideal. The 5/8" blades are less expensive, but many experienced shavers find that 6/8" blades are easier to use. Ralf Aust is a one-main shop in Germany. His blades are not fancy, but they are very well made and they are properly sharpened when you get them. If you start out with a good blade, you will learn how good shaving with a straight razor will be. However, good blades do not come cheap. if you purchase a cheap blade that has not been properly sharpened or won't hold an edge, you quickly will become frustrated.
 
I've been considering starting with a straight this summer when I have a little more time in the AM. I'm working my way through the Pasted Balsa strop and other "Method" threads. I took a look at the Bay seller that was noted earlier (April7th) in the thread--tremendous number of razors! I'm curious for those who are familiar with this bayer--did you find that his "shave ready" listings were shave ready? I have zero experience with honing anything and would want something shave ready to start with so that I could actually know what shave ready is.
Yes, actual shave ready, not just internet shave ready. You should definitely be able to shave with one of his edges.
 
I bought a beautiful Japanese razor on B&B's BST site and it was shave ready at $60. That razor would sell for a lot more on April's site. It may take a while, but members are looking to clear out some good razors there. I will check that site every week or two.
 

Aidah

Contributor
I've been considering starting with a straight this summer when I have a little more time in the AM. I'm working my way through the Pasted Balsa strop and other "Method" threads. I took a look at the Bay seller that was noted earlier (April7th) in the thread--tremendous number of razors! I'm curious for those who are familiar with this bayer--did you find that his "shave ready" listings were shave ready? I have zero experience with honing anything and would want something shave ready to start with so that I could actually know what shave ready is.
I’ve bought two straights from him both under and over $100 and have never been disappointed with the shave ready edge. Of course I also apply the method edge after shaving with a new straight for the first time. I like having the baseline for comparison.
 
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