Getting started shaving with a straight razor
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  1. #1
    Corporal Sixgun_Symphony's Avatar
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    Showoff Getting started shaving with a straight razor

    I got tired of buying overpriced disposable cartridge razor blades. So I bought a quality straight razor from "The Art of Shaving" store at Southcenter Shopping Mall near Seattle. The strop and the mug were purchased from a local antique shop. The Williams shaving soap, shaving brush, styptic pencil, and Aqua Velva were purchased cheap from a local drug store.
    Last edited by Sixgun_Symphony; 09-25-2013 at 11:37 PM. Reason: spelling, grammar, and punctuation correction

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  3. #2
    Postmaster General Darthgamer138's Avatar
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    I'm getting a little sick of the cartridge razors too. I think I may soon go to at least a safety razor.
    Proud NRA ​LIFETIME Non-​Member. Don't just support PART of the constitution. Be Skeptical.

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    HEX
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    I'm going to tell you something.. for reasons I can't explain, right until up somewhere around the age of thirty (maybe early 30s, somewhere in there ..I dunno.. it's not important ), I felt like I needed to shave with a razor (of various types). I had been offered electric shavers as gifts here and there, particularly from girlfriends over the years; however I always refused and stuck with the razors. I may have even tried an old one at some point and didn't like it. Then one day one girlfriend or another bought me one anyway, a good one (for Christmas or something, maybe a birthday.. I dunno.. it's not important..heh). I was still tentative about it but it was there and I was stuck with it so eventually I figured I might as well give it a shot. To this day, as I sit here shaving without even thining about it in about 20 seconds while sitting at the computer, watching a TV show, maybe even writing this post.. for the life of me I cannot imagine why in the hell I resisted it for so many years. It's wonderful. Now I know that shaving any other way is for suckers..heh.

    The trick though is make sure you get a GOOD one. Don't scrimp and you'll never look back. I don't have a lot of money (lately anyway) but there are certain things I will always buy the best of if there's any way I can manage it. Something that puts blades against my face is one of those things.

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  6. #4
    Colonel DrgnFly's Avatar
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    I can't use an electric shaver. Doesn't get the neck very well at all. Does the rest OK though...

    i might also also look into a safety razor as well in the future.

    Not from art of shaving they are way overpriced.
    Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.

  7. #5
    Colonel Buell056's Avatar
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    So Hex which is the one you use?


    Quote Originally Posted by hexidismal View Post
    I'm going to tell you something.. for reasons I can't explain, right until up somewhere around the age of thirty (maybe early 30s, somewhere in there ..I dunno.. it's not important ), I felt like I needed to shave with a razor (of various types). I had been offered electric shavers as gifts here and there, particularly from girlfriends over the years; however I always refused and stuck with the razors. I may have even tried an old one at some point and didn't like it. Then one day one girlfriend or another bought me one anyway, a good one (for Christmas or something, maybe a birthday.. I dunno.. it's not important..heh). I was still tentative about it but it was there and I was stuck with it so eventually I figured I might as well give it a shot. To this day, as I sit here shaving without even thining about it in about 20 seconds while sitting at the computer, watching a TV show, maybe even writing this post.. for the life of me I cannot imagine why in the hell I resisted it for so many years. It's wonderful. Now I know that shaving any other way is for suckers..heh.

    The trick though is make sure you get a GOOD one. Don't scrimp and you'll never look back. I don't have a lot of money (lately anyway) but there are certain things I will always buy the best of if there's any way I can manage it. Something that puts blades against my face is one of those things.

  8. #6
    Major snkypete's Avatar
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    You're like the fifth person in a week I know who has converted. I'm with Dragon, I've bought top of the line electric shavers over the years not a one has ever done a good job on my neck.


    NRA | NYSRPA | S.C.O.P.E.

  9. #7
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    My barber uses a straight razor to clean up neck etc. I asked him one time if he did shaves. Said he was thinking about getting started and asked me to come in on Sunday morning (shop closed) so he could practice. Yeah, no thanks lol...




  10. #8
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    I use a straight razor with the disposable blades. I haven't been able to sharpen or hone a blade to save my life.
    "In practice what is an atheist? An atheist is just somebody who feels about Yahweh the way any decent Christian feels about Thor or Ba'al or The Golden Calf. As has been said before we are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in, some of us just go one god further."
    -Richard Dawkins "Militant Atheism"

  11. #9
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    I just got an old double edged safety razor from my Dad that he got years ago from his Great Uncle. It's a Gem Micromatic. Picked up a 10 pack of double edged blades at the grocery store (store brand- will probably not do that again. There IS a difference in blades, I just need to experiment to find the right one.) Gave it a shot with my regular shaving cream. Ended up with some pretty bad razor burn on my neck that I haven't gotten since I started shaving. Still need to find the right angle to use it with to help cut down the razor burn. I also ordered this -> Amazon.com: Van Der Hagen Men's Luxury, Shave Set: Health & Personal Care Should be getting it today. It's basic and cheap but I figured it would be a good set to get started out with. I figure once I find the right blades I'll just get a thousand or so. A lifetime supply of razors for what I would normally pay in a year or two of the cartridge type.

  12. #10
    Colonel SomeSoldier's Avatar
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    I want to get a straight razor, just about have my wife convinced why I need to spend $200 plus on a razor.
    Disclosure: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn last night.

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson

  13. #11
    Major minderasr's Avatar
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    I've been shaving with a safety razor for years. Personal preference is a Merkur Heavy Duty along with Feather blades. Note that everyone is different, and a blade that works for one will shred another. I would STRONGLY encourage anyone wanting to try shaving with a safety razor buy a sample pack of blades. The bigger the sample pack (more blade variety), the better. Shave for a week (or so) with a blade while taking notes. Then try a different blade. Find one that works for you. Then you can stock up on those blades from ebay on the cheap.

    Go here for your blade sampler...
    Razor Blade Sample Packs | West Coast Shaving
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  14. #12
    Corporal
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    Years ago an old timer told me that before I used a straight razor on myself, I had to practice with a balloon with shaving cream on it. When you can shave the balloon without popping, then you are good enough to use it without cutting your own throat. Never did get the hang of it.

  15. #13
    Major Toecutter's Avatar
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    Grow a beard

  16. #14
    Colonel DrgnFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minderasr View Post
    I've been shaving with a safety razor for years. Personal preference is a Merkur Heavy Duty along with Feather blades. Note that everyone is different, and a blade that works for one will shred another. I would STRONGLY encourage anyone wanting to try shaving with a safety razor buy a sample pack of blades. The bigger the sample pack (more blade variety), the better. Shave for a week (or so) with a blade while taking notes. Then try a different blade. Find one that works for you. Then you can stock up on those blades from ebay on the cheap.

    Go here for your blade sampler...
    Razor Blade Sample Packs | West Coast Shaving

    Plus one on this. I've researched. Markup and feather blades are the way to go with a safety razor.
    Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.

  17. #15
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    I use a straight razor once or twice a week. I'm using a 1930's vintage german blade that I got from a retired barber.

    I use a five bladed disposable a couple days a week as well... just to give my skin a rest.

    Maybe once or twice a month I'm in a hurry so I use an electric.

    Of course, I'm growing a winter beard at the moment, so I only need to shave under my neck in the morning-- goes much faster.

  18. #16
    Corporal Sixgun_Symphony's Avatar
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    It takes time to develop dexterity in the hands for shaving with a straight razor. I use the right hand to shave the right side of my face and the left hand to shave the left side of my face. It took me two weeks of persistence before I could shave without cutting myself. Be sure to get a styptic pencil, you will have need of it while learning. There is some prep work required before shaving. You gotta strop the razor to get it sharp enough to shave without tugging on the hairs. It will take time to develop the technique, so practice. You must also soak a washcloth in very hot water and then apply it to your face to soften the hairs before shaving. I also like to use very hot water on the shaving brush to work up a lather in the mug and then apply it to the face. You will also want an alchohol based aftershave.

  19. #17
    Corporal Sixgun_Symphony's Avatar
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    That is good advice.
    Quote Originally Posted by minderasr View Post
    I would STRONGLY encourage anyone wanting to try shaving with a safety razor buy a sample pack of blades. The bigger the sample pack (more blade variety), the better. Shave for a week (or so) with a blade while taking notes. Then try a different blade. Find one that works for you. Then you can stock up on those blades from ebay on the cheap.

    Go here for your blade sampler...
    Razor Blade Sample Packs | West Coast Shaving

  20. #18
    Corporal Sixgun_Symphony's Avatar
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    Try the antique shops. I found good ones for about $50.
    Quote Originally Posted by SomeSoldier View Post
    I want to get a straight razor, just about have my wife convinced why I need to spend $200 plus on a razor.

  21. #19
    HEX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buell056 View Post
    So Hex which is the one you use?
    Right now a Panasonic Arc 4.

    As far as the guys who said the electrics don't work for them, I can see that and it probably has a lot to do with how each individuals hair grows in and such. I have very fine hair and really couldn't grow a real beard if I wanted to (and I have wanted to do so). Besides the very fine hair my genetics make me very "patchy" and I don't get much hair down on my neck. Also though in regard to the electrics in general.. I wasn't implying that it would be as good or as close of a shave as a razor would provide at all; no matter how good the shaver was. For me though I suppose I just don't care if it's perfect..heh. I'd just personally rather have the difference in tremendous convenience over a perfect shave I guess.

  22. #20
    Colonel DrgnFly's Avatar
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    If that had something that got me to a nice even stubble all the time... I'd prefer that over shaving.

    I do not enjoy having a beard, or a weeks worth of growth cause I don't like the look. So it needs to be full beard which I've never done. Or clean shaven.

    But if...by some miracle I could achieve very light, uniform stubble from an electric device..... I'd pay quite a premium for said device.


    I have tried istubble from con air. No dice
    Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.

  23. #21
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    I tried the electric thing for a while but didn't like it. That said I had a Braun and it was pretty good. not sure if they still make them. My problem is I don't like to shave and usually go without on the weekends and the electric doesn't cut it (intentional pun) if you don't keep up with it.




  24. #22
    Major
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    I mentioned the razor, but not the shave cream... I don't use shaving soap like most with a straight razor do-- it drys my skin out too much.

    First I apply an extremely hot wet wash cloth. Then I use a layer of "head slick" (HeadBladeŽ | Ultimate Head Shaving Razor & Head Care Products), covered with a layer of Bigelow shaving foam (https://www.detailsformen.com/Produc...FUqk4AodBmwABw -- don't flinch at the price-- that can will last 6 months).

    I do all of the shaving with my right hand. I do use my left hand when I shave the side of my head with the straight razor.

    It takes practice and some technique not to cut yourself to ribbons... an extrememly sharp razor helps. If you're nervous about it, shave your cheeks with the straight razor to practice and save the jawline and neck for when you know what you're doing.

    After shaving and showering, I apply either Porter's Lotion (PORTER'S HOME) or a bay rum (there are 3 I like... The World's Largest Bay Rum Website, Dominica bay rum site, and Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum, 12 oz. - After Shave & Cologne)

    The problem with most electric razors is that they aren't very sharp, so they pull the hair instead of cutting it smoothly. I tried a LOT of different electrics, and settled on one like this (looks like my exact model is no longer made, but this one is very close): Philips Norelco PowerTouch SHAVER Series 3000 PT730/41 - dry electric razor

  25. #23
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    I converted over to a safety razor after many years of paying a fortune for Gillette Mach 3 - type blades. I bought an Edwin Jagger on Amazon for around $30 and I use Wilkinson Sword blades from Rite Aid. The trick for me is using a good quality shaving cream with a badger brush. I buy Taylor of old Bond Street cream for about $15 a tub and it lasts for 8-12 months. It is awesome stuff.

  26. #24
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    With all this talk about shaving creams and prep I just realized somewhere along the line I stopped using shaving cream most of the time. Just get out of the shower in the morning, brush my teeth and shave. You know real fast when its time to change the blade lol...

    You guys got me wanting to try a straight blade but I honestly can't see myself spending all that time prepping in the am... Maybe as a treat on Sundays hmmm...




  27. #25
    Major laney50w's Avatar
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    I really like my Braun electric shaver, especially for a quick shave.....It's a pretty expensive one, and gives a really close shave. It does come in handy. However, I prefer to use a cartridge blade (I usually use the Schick Quattro Titanium / 4 blade)

    Never used a straight razor, not sure if I feel comfortable enough to use one. hehe Probably slit my own throat...
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