View Full Version : lesson in humility
11-27-2007, 08:47 PM
So, I've been shaving with the Union Cutlery Co. Spike JBHoren sent me, that I honed myself, and doing reasonably well with it. Then, a couple days ago, I received a Blue Diamond from Izlat that he honed. His razor shames mine in shaving quality, and I can't figure out why, as it seems about the same in sharpness as mine. it is about 2/8 bigger and double hollow ground, but I suspect that the difference may be in the stropping...does anyone have any advice on how to figure out the difference? I would like to know, so that I could remedy my mistakes.
Also, in a previous post, I said that I felt safety razors were an insult to my intelligence-being completely new to wetshaving, I didn't realize that many people would take safety razors to mean DE's. I meant that I felt CARTRIDGE razors-what I would have called a safety razor-were insulting to my intelligence.
Thank you all for your patience and insight,
11-27-2007, 10:05 PM
Lol, I remember this and I also thought you meant DEs...
For the razors - let me throw several points:
I have built some experience honing edges by now
The blade I sent you is not much of a looker, but it is a tested great shaver - great brand, superb steel
I probably have used better and more hones on it than you have at your disposal
Sharpness is one thing, but I am big on smoothness - maybe this is why you say this one performs better
Stropping makes a big difference for me, but I'd think that in this particular case it's not the major differentiator (I assume you stropped both razors)
Having said all this - Olean Spikes are famously good shavers (albeit flying a bit under the radar), so this one almost certainly has the potential to shave great too. You just need to practice honing, etc. Maybe get some new hones :001_rolle
I am glad you enjoy the shaves, for sure
11-28-2007, 02:41 AM
Most people think that honing is about getting a razor sharp. Although it takes experience to get sharp, its still childs play. Stick with kitchen knives. Tomatoes don't complain about razor burn.
Whisker cutting quality and smoothness play equal parts in the honing challenge.
I've sort of grown weary of extoling the importance of a disciplined stroke, aligned striations, and a smooth bevel. So I won't even go into it. I'll just say, yes, shaving quality is important.
When I have two razors that shave differently I usually use a microscope and can see the difference pretty easily.
Have you tried that?
11-28-2007, 09:41 AM
Razor honing is a balancing act between getting the razor sharp, having a smooth shave and having an edge that lasts. I guess you could go and buy some incredibly fine honing medium and make an edge so sharp you could slice a hair in mid air but it wouldn't shave very well and wouldn't last through a single shave or it may be too uncomfortable. I'm not so sure about a magnifier being the final arbitor of a great edge though. I've had razors that appear textbook perfect under magnification but wouldn't shave worth a damn. its just another useful tool to help. I guess thats where experience and skill comes in.
11-28-2007, 10:48 AM
Yes, I have had razors with pretty rough and big hone scratches on the bevel that shaved very well. Same has been true with very smooth, polished bevels under high magnification. I also agree that the bevel may be very polished and the razor may not shave well at all.
I suspect Alan meant that a loupe would let you see edge microchipping, which you would otherwise miss with a naked eye.
11-28-2007, 01:51 PM
what's edge microchipping?
11-28-2007, 02:06 PM
I noticed a real big difference in the shave quality of my razors when I started using chromium oxide.
11-28-2007, 03:12 PM
Very imperceptable chips on the edge, sometimes seen as little stars, etc. If you have a razor that is shaving well and one that is not, I like to compare the two, looking for any variance at all.
Chances are its just a small variation in the difference.
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