What's new

Why so many straight razors?

I see a lot of people that have at least a 7-day rotation of straight razors.

What's the reason for having 7 different razors? With DE's, each razor has a different angle, blade exposure, etc. But with Straights, you have total control over the blade. So why have so many razors?

Thanks
 
I have a few matching seven-day sets. Reasons are:
  • Every true gentleman of (even modest) means needs to have a matching seven-day set of straight razors.
  • They look good.
  • Consistent shave quality every day for seven days in a row.
  • It feels good having a set or more.
  • Balsa stropping is reduced to just one day a week.
  • Impresses my girlfriends.
I have a few other SR's because I like the look of them and each SR gives me a different enjoyable experience. Part of that enjoyment is learning how to shave with each different SR. No two SR's shave exactly the same.

Here are a few variations that can be had just in a SR blade:
Grind - full hollow, half hollow, quarter hollow, wedge​
Point - French, Dutch, Spanish, American​
Stabiliser - none, single, double​
Belly - none, face only, back only, both sides​
Just that gives 240 variations.
 
Last edited:
I currently have ‘only’ six different straight razor models in my collection. I’ve been trying to exercise some restraint… Each razor has a unique look and feel based on different:

Steel alloys
Blade width
Blade shape
Blade grind
Razor weight
Razor balance
Scale materials
Finishing and decoration
Overall condition
Country of manufacture
Brand of razor
Age of razor
Edge finish applied

I still need to get a few more straights razors but I’m being selective now. A good collection should tell a story and have a theme. I’m trying to build a collection of two day sets that span a few countries of manufacture. This approach is mirrored in my brushes, soaps and hones. I’m looking for a small, well balanced collection where everything gets used. I only need enough supplies for a single lifetime.

The trouble with straight razors is that you can’t buy whatever you want when you want it. You need to have a list of what you are going to buy and be ready to buy it when you see it.

I currently have the following items on my buy list. At the right price and condition. Building a collection is a slow process.

Theirs Issard P.Hospital in Blonde Horn
Heljestrand MK32 in Tortoise and MOP
Iwasaki 30 H Series
Filarmonica 13
 
Last edited:
Variety is fun. I kind of like having razors from different countries, different blade profiles, different grinds. For me it was kind of part of the process of finding what I like. I was up to 20 razors at one point, now down to 12 but two more are on the mail truck today which will round out my second assorted 7 day set. I didn't set out with 2 7 day sets in mind, it just kind of worked out that way. I have razors from 4/8 to 7/8+, super hollow to 1/4 hollow. The majority are 11/16 and Sweden is heavily represented. So I think I found what I like.

Like @Tomo I have a potential purchase list. It is kind of generic at the moment. A Spanish razor, a French razor, and maybe another Japanese razor. I haven't decided whether to stick with 14 total or not.

From a pure *need* standpoint I think two razors is good. Never know when you might chip an edge or something.
 
As others have said, different grinds, different steel, different points, different countries of manufacture.

I thought I had found my preference with 13/16 Japanese western grind, but would still go back to my German and English hollows on occasion. Then I found an absurd deal on a Heljestrand MK24 in 5/8. Now I need a MK 32 for comparison.

I believe there is a formula for the appropriate number of SR razors. If N=the number of razors you currently have, the formula is N+1.
 
5F3962F7-D73B-4280-91C6-3F3188880744.jpeg D8F6646C-6DB9-4E86-95A2-A506E00DB1F3.jpeg 0A26D3D4-4BB2-4A67-B499-7B5B23B8C3EC.jpeg 0844A62E-229F-4435-9B92-D9B5BB9F0261.jpeg 4C16C9BD-FD79-4F76-9AD5-8489F418A044.jpeg BAC6107A-8601-4412-8D40-F3E702645877.jpeg

Good question.
I suppose it’s a “values, priorities, preferences” sort of thing. Or, it could be along the lines as why do people own hundreds of shoes, or 365+ suits (yes…I know such people). Or why does Davis Love III own so many pieces of cast iron cookware?
Simple answer really: “Because they (I) can.” 😉
 
Because the thing I like most about hobbies are variety and trying new things.

Granted I only have 3 straight razors and generally use my T.I. though. I have a backup "good" razor and I have a cheap gold dollar if I feel like practicing my honing skills. So far the RAD hasn't quite hit hard yet but it will eventually. And so what, it's fun!
 
When I began honing I would acquire multiple “barn find” razors in need of repair to develop my skills. They were relatively cheap and plentiful, but with different grinds, sizes, shapes and styles. Turns out I was able to get many of those castaways shave ready. I now have a humble stable of razors I enjoy using and relish the variety.
 
View attachment 1318502 View attachment 1318503 View attachment 1318505 View attachment 1318506 View attachment 1318507 View attachment 1318508

Good question.
I suppose it’s a “values, priorities, preferences” sort of thing. Or, it could be along the lines as why do people own hundreds of shoes, or 365+ suits (yes…I know such people). Or why does Davis Love III own so many pieces of cast iron cookware?
Simple answer really: “Because they (I) can.” 😉
Nice, where did you get those zippered pouches? They look like they are lined with suede.
 
At first I assumed that repeatability was my goal and I would need to try an n-factorial matrix of variables (point, width, grind, etc.) in order to home in on my One True Preference so that I could *then* begin to build the skills necessary to truly enjoy SR shaving.

What I found instead, to my complete surprise, was that I enjoy the variety and challenge of using a different razor each day. It's like a new dance with a new partner every morning. Sometimes it's getting reacquainted with an old friend and reliving good times; other times it's a more careful "getting to know you" dance; other times it's finding common ground with a difficult aquaintance. (And sometimes the relationship does not survive.)

Maybe it's somewhat like the menu at a really good restaurant: if you have a meal you enjoy you can order it over and over and over and it will be delightful *every time*! Wahoo, and that's terrific. Or you might try something new every time because every time you reorder your favorite you are NOT eating a different meal that might become a new favorite! So much great food. So many great razors.

I admit I do suffer some from recency bias, or what we sometimes called in my working life a "one-bit buffer" where I favor the last item used. Surely this is the best razor possible! Wait, this entirely different razor is! I enjoy the spark of each day's (re)discovery.
 
At first I assumed that repeatability was my goal and I would need to try an n-factorial matrix of variables (point, width, grind, etc.) in order to home in on my One True Preference so that I could *then* begin to build the skills necessary to truly enjoy SR shaving.

What I found instead, to my complete surprise, was that I enjoy the variety and challenge of using a different razor each day. It's like a new dance with a new partner every morning. Sometimes it's getting reacquainted with an old friend and reliving good times; other times it's a more careful "getting to know you" dance; other times it's finding common ground with a difficult aquaintance. (And sometimes the relationship does not survive.)

Maybe it's somewhat like the menu at a really good restaurant: if you have a meal you enjoy you can order it over and over and over and it will be delightful *every time*! Wahoo, and that's terrific. Or you might try something new every time because every time you reorder your favorite you are NOT eating a different meal that might become a new favorite! So much great food. So many great razors.

I admit I do suffer some from recency bias, or what we sometimes called in my working life a "one-bit buffer" where I favor the last item used. Surely this is the best razor possible! Wait, this entirely different razor is! I enjoy the spark of each day's (re)discovery.
Nothing like a good engineering reference to make my day! Sounds like you suffer from a major buffer overrun condition 🤣
 
When I began honing I would acquire multiple “barn find” razors in need of repair to develop my skills. They were relatively cheap and plentiful, but with different grinds, sizes, shapes and styles. Turns out I was able to get many of those castaways shave ready. I now have a humble stable of razors I enjoy using and relish the variety.
Ditto that - one of the issues with honing via “the Method” is that you usually only get one shot at a razor. Once its honed, it never needs honing again (at least not for a long while). So the only way to get really proficient at honing is to keep getting more razors. In particular, the older and more thrashed a razor is, the more opportunities to learn something new.
 
are y'all spending $200+ per razor? This could get expensive fast!
It happens, sure. But it doesn't have to be that way at all. If you learn to hone well, and to spot old razors that are worth buying, there is a whole world of razors from previous generations that shaved with a straight. Tons of excellent old razors in the $50-100 range, if you're looking for a great shave, and not a collector's piece.
 
What other people own doesn't matter.
Everyone should be happy with what they own, and let others be happy with what they own.
Some people collect cars, others collect baseball cards. Some guys collect razors. Not a big deal.
 
Top Bottom