View Full Version : Good for Beginner
02-09-2010, 06:33 PM
Having switched to the Trac II from DEs, my shaves are great and fast. However, I would like to get more luxurious shaves during the weekend but I just don't like DEs.
So, I'm looking for to start straight shaving on the weekends. I know nothing about straight razors and I'm not looking to get into collecting them. I just want a useable razor to use on weekends.
What are some good qualities in a beginner razor? It seems most new straights are full hollow. I see some cheaper straights come up on the B/S/T every once in a while. Are some of these good for new straight shavers? Also how important is getting a hone? Are there any cheap alternatives?
Here is my great grandfather's straight razor. It says The Herold Bros. Co. Cleveland O. (with Germany on the shank) and Blue Steel Special on the other side. Can it be fixed so it can be used?
If it could, would anyone be willing to get it shaveable for me in exchange for a superseed DE or a 22mm golden nib finest brush in a vintage opal handle or both? I could also throw in some soaps. I'd pay shipping both ways.
02-09-2010, 07:23 PM
What are some good qualities in a beginner razor?
Good condition. Shave ready.
It seems most new straights are full hollow. I see some cheaper straights come up on the B/S/T every once in a while. Are some of these good for new straight shavers?
IMHO there's not a huge difference in how "easy" a razor is to use. Maybe a small difference, but even that likely varies. A good razor for a beginner is a good razor for someone who's been shaving for years. The only difference is the new user may be more likely to drop it or hit a table while stropping or something like that, so I wouldn't get a $300 razor as my first.
Also how important is getting a hone? Are there any cheap alternatives?
Important, but you can probably go at least a month without one, just stropping. A hone is the cheap alternative. You can get a cheap touch up hone for ~$20.
02-09-2010, 11:30 PM
Regarding your greatgrandad's straight? I'd have to say "yes" to the 'is it worth keeping?' question, is it able to be gotten back to shaveworthy condition? that depends on a few things, Most notably the condition of the edge, if it's in reasonable condition, with not much rust and not terribly worn hone marks, then yes, Yes it most likely fits into the "shaveworthy restore" spectrum.
Welcome to the straight razor shaving game, Bandages are to your left, Styptic to your right, Careful on the pressure, and keep your edge sharp:lol:
A 'good' razor is anything that is suitable for shaving, You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on a fancy blade for "just" a shaving razor, BST razors are reasonably priced, so is RuppRazor's Gold Dollar and Filly Deal ($60 incl Shipping CONUS)
You will need a strop, or at the very least, a smooth piece of leather, A belt can be used, but I would be suggesting to get one that does not have any stitching or embossing.
Hones and other paraphanalia are probably not a big requirement either, as you can get a razor honed/touched up for a decent price whilst you're still learning how to use the razor.
Above all, Have fun with it, take your time, and just relax in the shave:thumbup1:
02-10-2010, 02:37 PM
Bump with pictures
I think it would need to be cleaned up and honed. You will then need a strop and you will be ready to go!
I would restore my grand-pa straight razor if I had one. The one you have seems perfectly save-able!
02-10-2010, 03:29 PM
That is great news!
02-10-2010, 05:03 PM
This razor can definitely be salvaged, but I would only do it for sentimental reasons.
It's worn down considerably and frowning (requiring more material be removed to correct) and in rough shape metal condition-wise (again requiring more material removed.
When all is said and done you will most likely have a <3/8" razor.
That said, it can be done and if you want to do so for sentimental reasons, I wish you lots of luck.
If you're not in a rush, I'll do the work for shipping both ways, if no superior skill (I'm no expert) volunteers first.
A warning on the method I would tackle that razor with though.
First I would dremel (high speed rotary grinder) the shoulder in to where the tang meets the blade, as the extra thickness of the shoulder would slow down my beveling considerably (especially since the dremel is the only power tool I have with me). Then I'd use a rough grit diamond plate to correct the frown. I'd butterknife (saw away the current bevel) the remaining bevel to remove any pitting on it, and then I'd do the best I could with dremel and hand sanding to remove the rust and pitting. I'd do my best to minimize the remaining dremel marks, but I can't make any promises (I'm not a professional). Finally I'd bevel it and hone it up to shave ready, strop it and mail it back. Depending on my coursework I'd expect ~1 week turnaround time from when I get it.
I fully expect someone who's much better at this than I am will save you from my "skills" though. But that razor does require a lot of work (though in my opinion your offer is more than fair).
02-10-2010, 06:01 PM
A wapienica NOS straight razor and an Illinois 827 strop are what I started on, and what I would recommend to others. They are cheap (each around thirty bucks if you look for a good deal) and they are good enough to last you a lifetime.
If you only shave on weekends, you might want to consider just sending it out twice a year to an experienced honer instead of honing yourself.
But if you think you'd like to start honing, keep in mind there is a learning curve, and you are going to have to devote both some time and resources into it. For equipment, a diamond 1200 and a norton 4000/8000 combo stone are cheap and effective. Later when you get more experienced, you could go further using a finishing hone like a couticle or naniwa 12000.
Also, dont start off trying to hone the razor you shave with, and dont practice with your great grandfathers razor either because you dont want to ruin it. Instead get an old beat up one from ebay or an antique store for a few dollars to practice honing and restoring first. Only after you get to the point that you can get nice and sharp shaves with your practice model should you proceed to your other more valuable razors.
Anyway, this is what I would recommend to a newbie straight razor shaver, and I think this advice would be echoed by many other experienced straight razor folks too.
Good luck and happy shaving!
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