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WHY a STRAIGHT razor?

You’ve twice quoted a fear of loosing your penis as a reason to not try straight razor shaving. The way that you carry on suggests to me that your phallophobia is being exacerbated by a distinct lack of cojones. In your situation it’s best not to get into a car with strangers.
And yet… am I WRONG? 🔪🩸😳
 
Why would you own a horse, in this day and age of cars? Imagine the cost and time involved with taking care of a horse especially if you are not wealthy. Because it’s fun! That is why I shave with a SR. The sheer joy…
 
Why would you own a horse, in this day and age of cars? Imagine the cost and time involved with taking care of a horse especially if you are not wealthy. Because it’s fun! That is why I shave with a SR. The sheer joy…
And yet… the MANURE! 😳💩💩💩🐴
 
So, say someone wanted to try out the “SR” lifestyle, WHERE would they begin?🤔 (asking for a friend 😉)
Depends on how you want to get started. You need to decide how much effort and money you want to invest first so if you just want to dip your toe in the pool, so to speak, you might want to grab a Feather AC SS or cheap clone and a box of guarded blades. If you want to try a shave-ready SR and just strop for a few shaves you could do that as well for a little more.

I would definitely recommend that you at least do something shave-ready (AC or SR) and it's probably best to avoid the DE shavettes at first since they are considered harder to learn for beginners. If you don't have a shave-ready razor you'll have to hone one yourself and that adds another learning curve on top of the shaving itself. If you do get a SR you'll have to get a hone, and probably some paste as well, but learning to strop isn't that difficult, it just takes a bit of rhythm and you can practice with a knife to get the hang of it before you touch your razor to the strop.
 

RumpleBearskin

Contributor
Those are a niche inside a nice for the SE side of the house. Lather Catchers are a specific type of SE razor that looks like a GEM blade and Rolls are a type of auto strop with a fixed blade AFAIK. I've looked at those and they look great but I just haven't had to urge to try them, although I hear they are really smooth.
I can personally vouch for both lather catchers and Rolls shaves. Soooooo dang much fun and also a great shave (again, once you learn the technique).

Lather catcher on the left, Rolls razor on the right.
PXL_20210616_043345891.jpg
 
So, say someone wanted to try out the “SR” lifestyle, WHERE would they begin?🤔 (asking for a friend 😉)

Here's a sample kit:

  • Ralf Aust round point 5/8" shave ready $135 (Buy direct from his website)
  • Tony Miller Horween strop $50 (Buy direct from his website)
  • set of 3M lapping film sheets $20 (Amazon or the hardware store)
  • 3 syringes of TechDiamond Tools polishing paste $30 (Amazon or direct from TechDiamond)

You will also need a few pieces of balsa, a backing material for the balsa and something to use as a base for the lapping film (I use a hunk of plexiglass). Follow Slash McCoy's advice on lapping film and The Method (search B&B for the threads). Try it for a few months. It is not difficult. If you don't like it, the Tony Miller strop and Ralf Aust razor should hold most of their value. Sell them. No harm, no foul.

Total investment=about $250 + a little time + a little elbow grease
 
Here's a sample kit:

  • Ralf Aust round point 5/8" shave ready $135 (Buy direct from his website)
  • Tony Miller Horween strop $50 (Buy direct from his website)
  • set of 3M lapping film sheets $20 (Amazon or the hardware store)
  • 3 syringes of TechDiamond Tools polishing paste $30 (Amazon or direct from TechDiamond)

You will also need a few pieces of balsa, a backing material for the balsa and something to use as a base for the lapping film (I use a hunk of plexiglass). Follow Slash McCoy's advice on lapping film and The Method (search B&B for the threads). Try it for a few months. It is not difficult. If you don't like it, the Tony Miller strop and Ralf Aust razor should hold most of their value. Sell them. No harm, no foul.

Total investment=about $250 + a little time + a little elbow grease
”lapping film?” “polishing paste?” 😳

Just when you thought you knew it all… (smh).

Seriously, IF I were to join the “SR” club, it wouldn’t be my everyday go to method (too time consuming).

Also, I’d probably go for a basic model from Dovo or Theirs Issard (they seem to be the most prominent manufacturers).

I’d probably invest in a basic leather strap as well.

Initially, I’d probably send my razor out to get honed professionally, from time to time, unless or until I decide to buy a whetstone and learn to do it myself. 🤓

Then, if I become enthralled by the whole process, I might even upgrade to better razors/strops.

Sounds like a plan? 🤔

(Surprised at the lack of SR inventory from the “usual suspects” - WCS, Maggard’s, Fendrihan’s. Guess that’s due to the limited manufacturers as well as the general consumers preference for DE safety razors).
 
Knowledge. The patience, practice and persistence it takes to confidently shave with a straight razor. It requires time and commitment. The journey to learn is very rewarding, but you have to step up to the plate first. Then when you get there…you will know. Knowledge.
 
After watching my fair share of shaving videos on-line, I still have to ask, WHY would anyone use a STRAIGHT razor in this day and age?

I’ll admit, it does look COOL, but damn, as someone who’s a DE user, I also see the downsides.

One major one for me - I sometimes like to shave in the NUDE. I know that even with a safety (DE) razor, I still face the risk of a substantial nick/cut should it slip from my hand.

But, with a STRAIGHT razor, I just keep imagining that with just ONE potential slip-up, it's an instant “sex change” down there (in the LONG history of straight razor shaving, it MUST have already happened to someone, no? 😧).

Besides, you gotta get a strop, a strop handle, a sharpening stone, blade oil, etc., plus, there’s a long learning curve if you’re gonna get any good at wielding that thing.

Just trying to understand what the appeal is, from the other side, RESPECTFULLY. 🤓 🙏🏼
uh.............

because effortless DFS to BBS shave with zero irritation for me is what I was searching for while traveling through the different razor types.

spent a little time with DE razors before moving on to SE razors for a bit. I knew the sirens were calling me though.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for old GEM razors though.

20200307_171405.jpg

one word summary: Comfort

camo
 
I got started with a gold dollar from buca, made my strop with some veg tanned leather, made a balsa strop to use with crox, and eventually some lapping film all for under $60

It doesn't have to be expensive at all.

I started 7 years ago because I was intrigued by the idea and haven't used a DE on my face since.

There's something to be said for self sufficiency in shaving and the satisfaction it brings. I also make and use my own shave soap exclusively(with an occasional shave using Tabac which lathers exactly like my soap).

Sent from my SM-G981V using Tapatalk
 
”lapping film?” “polishing paste?” 😳

Just when you thought you knew it all… (smh).

Seriously, IF I were to join the “SR” club, it wouldn’t be my everyday go to method (too time consuming).

Also, I’d probably go for a basic model from Dovo or Theirs Issard (they seem to be the most prominent manufacturers).

I’d probably invest in a basic leather strap as well.

Initially, I’d probably send my razor out to get honed professionally, from time to time, unless or until I decide to buy a whetstone and learn to do it myself. 🤓

Then, if I become enthralled by the whole process, I might even upgrade to better razors/strops.

Sounds like a plan? 🤔

(Surprised at the lack of SR inventory from the “usual suspects” - WCS, Maggard’s, Fendrihan’s. Guess that’s due to the limited manufacturers as well as the general consumers preference for DE safety razors).
Lapping Film = high quality fine grit sandpaper. Much cheaper than buying a honing stone.

My suggestion: Vintage razor honed by someone with a reputation for doing true “shave ready” edges. Note that many brand new razors are hit or miss in terms of being “shave ready”. But certain websites and e-bay sellers can sell you a true shave ready for $50 (more if you want it to look pretty!). And then a strop. Tony Miller has great “plain” ones for $50, Whipped Dog has a simpler strop for even less. You don’t want to invest a lot on your first strop because its very likely that you will nick it up as you learn to hone. With regular stropping you shouldn’t need to rehone for 30-60 shaves, so you can kick the can down the road on honing. So I would argue that $100-$120 should be enough if you live in CONUS. If you already use a DE you are set for brush and soap.
 
Lapping Film = high quality fine grit sandpaper. Much cheaper than buying a honing stone.

My suggestion: Vintage razor honed by someone with a reputation for doing true “shave ready” edges. Note that many brand new razors are hit or miss in terms of being “shave ready”. But certain websites and e-bay sellers can sell you a true shave ready for $50 (more if you want it to look pretty!). And then a strop. Tony Miller has great “plain” ones for $50, Whipped Dog has a simpler strop for even less. You don’t want to invest a lot on your first strop because its very likely that you will nick it up as you learn to hone. With regular stropping you shouldn’t need to rehone for 30-60 shaves, so you can kick the can down the road on honing. So I would argue that $100-$120 should be enough if you live in CONUS. If you already use a DE you are set for brush and soap.
THANKS for the informative post, “2bit!” 🙂

Wondering if the QUALITY of the leather matters when purchasing a strop? 🤔

Also, do most of you prefer the “loose” strop, or the one attached to a block? 💈
 
For the simple fact that straight razor shaving provides the most comfortable and gentlest shave you can get. There are many other benefits but for me it is all about comfort.

For most people the learning curve is about 30 shaves to become competent. That’s one month of practice for a lifetime of vastly better results.

Compare this to walking vs riding a bike to work on a daily 5 mile commute. A bike costs more than a pair of shoes and takes some time to learn. On top of shoes you will need a pump, helmet and lock. You will have to pump the tires and oil the chain. Then there is an increased risk of injury if you fall off. On the face of it the bike is much more hassle. Why would anyone do it? And why does everyone that rides to work keep talking about how much better it is. You really have to try it to find out. The bike riders find it just as crazy as the walkers that someone would do it any other way.
@Tomo, how about folks who just drive a car? 🚗 😀
 
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