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View Full Version : Is 4/8" ok for a starter?



Pumpkin
03-24-2010, 04:06 PM
Just scored this (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220573040495) French Straight on the bay :thumbup:
I'll be sending it for proper honing to get it "shave ready" (will practice myself on a Gold Dollar and another "cheapy" first).

Is 4/8" a good size for a first straight? Or am I giving myself extra work for my technique?

holli4pirating
03-24-2010, 05:28 PM
With a smaller razor, it is not as easy to judge the shaving angle, simply because it is a smaller blade (less sticking off your face to watch/judge the angle of). I also find that smaller blades are easier to roll on both strops and hones, again, just because they are narrower (shorter "wheelbase").

That said, any good razor with a good edge will give you a good shave, regardless of size, grind or steel.

Pumpkin
03-24-2010, 06:15 PM
With a smaller razor, it is not as easy to judge the shaving angle, simply because it is a smaller blade

Thanks for the "heads up".


smaller blades are easier to roll on both strops and hones, again, just because they are narrower

Is that a good/bad thing?

Chimensch
03-24-2010, 08:13 PM
Thanks for the "heads up".



Is that a good/bad thing?

It's bad. But I don't think it's going to make that much difference. Don't worry about it and shave.

dancraig
03-25-2010, 01:49 AM
For a good while I "thought" that I only liked large blades. This week I added a pre-Dovo "Tennis" #80 to my rotation and I am liking it. It is about a 9/16.

Luc
03-25-2010, 03:45 AM
4/8 is a bit small for me but I think if you want to start somewhere, it's not so bad. Just make sure that someone hone it properly!

Moe
03-25-2010, 05:37 AM
It's bad. But I don't think it's going to make that much difference. Don't worry about it and shave.

+1

I bought a couple of 4/8 in addition to my 6/8, just for the fun of it. While the angle on the face isn't as obvious, you can still see it if you're looking for it, and if you keep your strop tight and the spine on the strop, you don't need to worry about rolling the edge.

The major difference of a narrower blade is you'll have to clear lather from it a little more often. To do that, I highly recommend a wet sponge, a tip I got from Chimensch's video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIM0Coix6Gg), rather than rinsing under running water and risking dinging the blade on the faucet (not to mention wasting water).

JRichmond
03-25-2010, 05:23 PM
I've recently started using a 4/8 Puma after using 7/8 or 8/8 razors, and it's really a lot easier for me. I love the way that I can maneuver it around my face, but as with all things on this site: YMMV.

richmondesi
03-25-2010, 10:40 PM
4/8 Blades are excellent shavers IMHO. I've heard a lot of guys mention how they are harder to maneuver on the strops and hones, but I've had different experiences. I've known several newbs who have had 4/8s and even 1 3/8s razors who absolutely loved them and had no real trouble.

Oh well... They are really fun and nice to me

conteins
03-26-2010, 02:11 AM
^ 3/8? wow.

TS its all a matter of personal preference, but i'd start closer to the middle since you'll find that razors at either extreme (3/8 and 9/8) need different handling. you'd rather learn and get used to a 5 or 6/8 and, when ready, explore up or down as prefered.

bluefoxicy
03-26-2010, 08:20 AM
rather than rinsing under running water and risking dinging the blade on the faucet

Hey you shut up :a31:

Antique Hoosier
03-26-2010, 09:14 AM
I highly recommend a wet sponge, a tip I got from Chimensch's video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIM0Coix6Gg).

The Chimensch Sponge has been a welcome addition to my daily shave!

As for 4/8 razors, give it a try.... I prefer 5/8 and 6/8 myself but you never know, you might like that slightly smaller blade.

Pumpkin
03-26-2010, 05:03 PM
4/8 is a bit small for me but I think if you want to start somewhere, it's not so bad. Just make sure that someone hone it properly!

It arrived yesterday :thumbup: looks like a great razor!

I'm sending it to Steve at The Invisible Edge for a hone and polish...that will give me a good benchmark to aim for when I start practice honing on the couple of cheap 6/8's I've also bought (yes, SRAD is already kicking in).

bigstick
03-26-2010, 05:58 PM
a century ago the acknowledged wisdom was that beginners should get the lighter, more maneouverable 4/8 to start with, and then get wider razors if they desired later.

bonusmarple
03-26-2010, 06:25 PM
I would develop your technique on a larger razor first. A gold dollar should be fine.

gaj90027
03-31-2010, 01:42 PM
I quickly grew out of my 4/8 razor but it was really comfortable and unintimidating to learn to shave with a smaller blade for me.

The Invisible Edge
03-31-2010, 04:03 PM
It arrived yesterday :thumbup: looks like a great razor!

I'm sending it to Steve at The Invisible Edge for a hone and polish...that will give me a good benchmark to aim for when I start practice honing on the couple of cheap 6/8's I've also bought (yes, SRAD is already kicking in).

heavens I hope i get that one right! :w00t:

kwigibocity
03-31-2010, 04:21 PM
To me newbies should start with the shorter blades and thicker grinds.

Getting around your face is for most the tougher soil to plow than the time on the strop at the onset of this obsession, and better to be concentrating on what a blade feels like than what the cutting angle looks like.

Pumpkin
04-03-2010, 07:32 AM
heavens I hope i get that one right! :w00t:

No pressure Steve! :lol:

Pumpkin
05-21-2010, 05:15 PM
I thought I'd resurrect this thread to post an observation....

After 18 shaves with the 4/8 Round (and my 2 latest shaves with a 6/8 Spike) I'd say that (for me), a small razor IS a good starting point! I'll acknowledge that the generally "preferred" 5/8 or 6/8 is a more average base-line to work from. However, the smaller size and lighter weight has made the step into straights a lot less intimidating than it could have been (again, this is just my opinion...as always YMMV) .

The angle probably was a bit less intuitive, with the 4/8 than a larger blade, although I was (and still am) taking my time to get the whole set-up right so I didn't rush things. Additionally, I have the advantage of a job that doesn't require me to be clean-shaven so I don't have the extra pressure of getting a good shave every time...if I do it's great, if not it's no big deal! :thumbup1:

richmondesi
05-21-2010, 05:22 PM
Congrats, Peter!

I'm very glad to hear you're positive experiences. Keep it up, Sir :thumbup1:

Pumpkin
05-21-2010, 07:27 PM
Congrats, Peter!

I'm very glad to hear you're positive experiences. Keep it up, Sir :thumbup1:

It's definitely a steeper and longer learning curve, than it was with a DE. I know I've still got a lot to learn, but the journey has been made a lot more enjoyable thanks to the experience of gentlemen like yourself, who've been happy to point me in the right direction, even if there's no guarantee I'll take the advice!! :001_smile
Hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to help those who come behind me....even if it's just to warn them about the potholes in the road that I'm bound to fall into :lol:

bigstick
05-21-2010, 07:37 PM
Thanks for the update. Keep up the good work. Y'no, there are days I wish my 5/8 was 4/8 instead. I haven't even honed the 7/8 yet.

Shaman
05-23-2010, 01:01 AM
I have a couple of 4/8 razors that I really like. Stropping them is a little differant, but really not that bad once you get used to it. Far as the shave goes a 4/8 is easier to handle in the tight spots like under the nose. Now if you really want to try something differant get a 3/8. I have a Dovo 3/8 that is a differant animal entirely. It shaves great but my big hands have a tough time handling it on the strop. I'm on the look-out for a nice 2/8 just to try one.

rickboone1
05-23-2010, 06:55 PM
I dunno...I'd almost say it'd better. For me the smaller blade seemed easier to control and manipulate into different angles and strokes, whereas the larger blades took getting used to. A 4/8 makes for a nice shaver, imo.

Will P.C.
05-23-2010, 07:07 PM
4/8 is a fine size to start with. I know the bigger blade (6/8 and higher) can be a little intimidating when you hold them in your hand.

Every blade is a little different to strop, but once you learn to strop on one blade the adjustments should be fast.

Probably the biggest negative is if you re sale it, the smaller blades don't get as much money.

gaj90027
05-24-2010, 01:20 PM
I started with a 5/8 and quickly acquired a 4/8. The 4/8 was a LOT less intimidating and shaved every bit as well as the 5/8.

Pumpkin
05-24-2010, 03:16 PM
4/8 is a fine size to start with. I know the bigger blade (6/8 and higher) can be a little intimidating when you hold them in your hand.

Every blade is a little different to strop, but once you learn to strop on one blade the adjustments should be fast.

Probably the biggest negative is if you re sale it, the smaller blades don't get as much money.

Now that I've got comfortable with the 4/8, I've found that switching to a 6/8 things are feeling a lot more intuitive than they did initially :001_smile

Low re-sell value also makes them a lot cheaper to pick up in the first place! :thumbup: