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Disposable Straight

Background

Sanguine X-D20
The shavette seems to get a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to their use. It's been said that they are a poor substitute to a regular straight, that they are a cheap imitation and not a quality product. that they will slice your face to no end, etc, etc, and on and on. I'd like to focus on the shavette, and hopefully dispel some of the often wrong ideas and other things said about them. I'll do this from the point of someone who only uses this type of razor for my straight shaves.

What is it?

Dovo Shavette
Shavette is the name of a disposable blade straight made by Dovo, and is not the correct name for any other disposable blade straights. These types of straights can cost from just a few dollars, and then run up into the hundreds of dollars for the better quality models. These types of straights have the same features, looks, and feel of a regular straight, are used in the same manner, and when used correctly will give an outstanding shave. The only difference between the two is that with the disposable blade straight there is no need to deal with having to strop or hone the blade. Its a simple matter of just changing the blade, the same as one does with a DE razor. When it comes to changing the blade this will depend on the users beard type. Some will get just a couple of shaves, while others may get five or more, here it's a strict YMMV. Having tried quite a few of the disposables, I've found they seem to fall into either the good to excellent, or the poor to really bad sides. Don't let price decide which model is right for you either. I've found really good disposables for around $15.00, and some really bad ones costing $40.00 and more. The main thing to look for is how good does the razor hold the blade. Is it a good solid fit, is the blade secure and is not going to move at all. Or is it somewhat of a loose fit, or will work its way loose. And does the razor feel good to hold. These are important features, and are something that you should notice right away. The razor should just feel right to you.

Different razors

Feather Artist Club RG
Feather Artist Club
The disposable straights that I now use are any of the Feather Artist Club straights, the new Feather SS straight, the Kai disposable straights, and any of the Parker straights. I use the Feather and the Kai straights in both the folding and the non folding models, and I have all of the Parker straights. The prices of these straights go from the Parkers, which are under $20.00, up to the Feather and the Kai straights which will be between $150.00 up to the $200.00 range. And I should point out that any of the mentioned straights that I use are all excellent IMHO. Starting with the Parker straights which are very inexpensive straights, they are very well made, and have a very secure blade holding arm. Once in place the blade will not wobble or move around, and the razor has a really nice feel to it. The Parkers use half a disposable blade which is very easily snapped in half, and put in place in the razor. Use which ever brand you like and gives you the best shave results. The Feather's and the Kai's take their own blades which are put in place according to the directions supplied with each razor. In all cases blade insertion is simple and very easy to do, just follow the manufactures directions. The Feather or the Kai blades are made the same, and can be used with any of the Feather or Kai razors. Any of these straights provide a strong hold on the blade, which is a very important feature of any disposable blade straight. I found that using the Dovo shavette, the blade is just held in place with a piece of plastic sleeve which can allow the blade to wobble in the holder, and work itself loose over time. From the expensive Parkers up to the Feathers and the Kais, the blade is very secure. Once you've found the disposable blade straight that suits your needs, all that needs to be done is to practice and develop your technique of shaving with it. Any disposable blade straight is, and so is any regular straight, an open blade razor. They are both used the same way. So take your time and allow your technique to develop as you get comfortable with using this type of razor. Its been said that the disposable blade straights are less forgiving, and are quick to nick or cut you, while the regular straights are kinder, gentler, and more forgiving. Yes, I've found that to be true, and this is because no regular straight can be honed, or stropped to the sharpness of any DE or disposable blade. The trade off to this is the fact that any slight mistake might result in that nick or irritation. However with practice, experience, and technique, the rewards will be better, smoother, and quicker shaves.

Pros and Cons

Feather Artist vs. Dovo Shavette
I've found more pros than cons to using disposable blade straights. For one thing I don't have to worry about having to take the time and effort to hone or strop my straight, which IMHO is the only con of a regular straight. A quick change of blades and I'm ready to go, having to change the blade could be said to be the only con of using a disposable. The learning curve or course is longer and steeper than that of a DE, but the results are well worth the effort should the desire to straight shave are there. Of course there will always be those who say that having to hone and strop a straight are part of the ritual, and the lore, of using a straight. And of course they are right, and for them a disposable will not be the razor to use. That's the way they are, and they are not wrong to think that way. But for the person who wants a great shave without the hassle or the bother of having to get their straight ready for a great shave, the disposable blade straight is the way to go.

References

  1. ^Dovo shavette - thoughts? - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/251735
  2. ^Parker Shavette question - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/210664
  3. ^looking for a nice shavette, yes a shavette - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/236189
  4. ^Parker Shavette - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/245153
  5. ^Shavette question - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/239664
  6. ^Shavette to start? - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/84222
  7. ^Shavette help needed - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/246394
  8. ^Is a disposable blade shavette sharper than most straights? - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/242484
  9. ^Dovo Shavette - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/238734
  10. ^*PICS* Feather Artist Club VS Stainless Dovo Shavette - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/47
  11. ^Feather Artist Club -- DX vs. RG - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/129116
  12. ^Feather Artist Club RG (final thoughts/review) - http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/236

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