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Thread: Question: Safety vs. Straight Razor

  1. #1

    Default Question: Safety vs. Straight Razor

    I am thinking of purchasing a razor but I don't know whether I should buy a safety razor or a straight one.

    What are the pros and cons of each? Which one is better? Any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hello and welcome to B&B! If you read this FAQ, and the tutorial sticky threads, there is a ton of knowledge relating to this topic and many others. Be prepared to hear many different opinions though!

    http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/index.php/FAQ
    Well my heart's runnin' round like a chicken with its head cut off All around the barn yard falling in and out of love

  3. #3
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    If straight razors entice you at all I would go straight to that. Skip the middle man sort of a thing.
    ~Anthony~

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    I can't say one is better than the other. If you don't have interest in one, don't get it. Straights have a higher start up cost and require maintenace like honing. Which can costs.

    You can get a DE very inexpensively and 100 blades for less than $15.

    I use both. I like both. Straights take a little longer to learn and are way different than DE's. Both give incredible shaves. Okay, for me a DE is closer shave because I'm not experienced enough w a straight!

  5. #5
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    Welcome to B&B!

    This is a preference. Pick the one that you think will suit you the most! I love both!
    Cheers, Luc - My Gear(Wiki) - Have a question, PM a mod. That's why we're here!

  6. #6
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    Good to have you here at B&B. I've given straight's a lot of thought, and have been so close to making the move, but I get such a great shave with a DE that I'm just going to stay with them.

    The DE is a nice way to get into wet shaving, and I think that once you get good shaves with the DE, if the interest in straights is still there then give them a shot. Of course that's just IMHO however.

    I've got a new DE on the way, but who knows, I just might make the switch anytime.

  7. #7

    Cool Both are nice

    Shaveing with a straight takes lots of practice to get a good shave. I to am new to de n straights. Straights are expensive compared to a de . The way i see it a straight makes me feel more like a man. I see someone shave with a straight , i think in my head that looks badass. Either switching from the plastic disposables or them new 5 blade razors is goin to help everyone out . Less polution. I am still tryin to learn to get a good lather i got the cheap vdh from walmart for about 8 bucks. Good luck with the shaveing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron177 View Post
    I am thinking of purchasing a razor but I don't know whether I should buy a safety razor or a straight one.

    What are the pros and cons of each? Which one is better? Any recommendations?
    Probably redundant answers. If so just count as a vote for whatever I am repeating!

    Which is "better" depends on what you are after. Things to consider:

    • Straights have steeper learning curve.
    • Straights cost more and require extra (and expensive) equipment (primarily a strop).
    • If you get serious about straights you may want to use a set of hones. This is an even bigger expense and bigger learning curve. (You can get away with paying "honemeisters" to hone for you.)
    • Straights can be more of a hobby, if that's what you want, just because of the previous three points.
    • The shaving "experience" is a bit different. Some prefer one some the other.
    • You can get just as good a shave from either. (Others may disagree.)
    • All the other "wetshaving" stuff is the same: soaps, brushes, pre/after shaves, prep, even the techniques although the techniques are more important for straights.
    Last edited by Bertilak; 10-28-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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  9. #9
    Thread Starter

    Default Thank you & HD

    Many thanks all the responses! I am very appreciative of all the insights. I am thinking of buying a Merkur HD (based on reading reviews on this website actually).

    However, there are more than one Merkur HD out there in the market.

    - Merkur HD Classic "barber Pole" Long Safety Razor #38c
    - Merkur HD 34c
    - Merkur HD Slant Safety Razor 37c

    Any thoughts as to what's the difference between these. Which one of these is the famous HD that everyone talks about?

  10. #10
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    Default Famous HD

    Welcome to B&B!

    The 'famous' HD is the 34c - generally, the "standard" by which other razors are judged.

    Many (most?) members here own (or have owned) one - that should say something about the 34c by itself.

    The 37c is the 'slant' or 'slant bar'. Probably not a razor for a beginner, but everyone's different.

    The 38c has the same head as the 34c, but a much larger/heavier handle. Some like this, some do not.

    There are also B&B member opinions of all of these in the Safety Razor section under 'Reviews' - I believe these are the top 3 under 'M'.
    Last edited by norton; 10-28-2009 at 02:55 PM.
    Q: If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? A: Four: a tail is not a leg no matter what you call it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickboone1 View Post
    I can't say one is better than the other. If you don't have interest in one, don't get it. Straights have a higher start up cost and require maintenace like honing. Which can costs.

    You can get a DE very inexpensively and 100 blades for less than $15.

    I use both. I like both. Straights take a little longer to learn and are way different than DE's. Both give incredible shaves. Okay, for me a DE is closer shave because I'm not experienced enough w a straight!
    +1 - But I would add that straights have the potential for better shaves once you figure them out. I started with straights and still prefer them, but I use DE's from time to time and enjoy that as well.
    -Adam

  12. #12
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    Hey Ron.
    I'd get an Muhle-Pinsell R-89 instead of a 34c. Same head, slightly different balance but much better made and the same price. I'd also start with a DE as you probly need to get other aspects of you shaving regime sorted out, i.e. soap or cream, boar or badger brush, prep techniques, understanding your hair-growth etc. I think its likely that you'll at least try a straight at some point, but you have the rest of your life to do this. Give it 6 months with safety razors. Start with the R89 for a few months trying different blades etc, then maybe buy a Superspeed, Tech or a Slim and then when you can get a damn good shave anyway, try a straight. It took me a stupidly long time to get good results with a straight. Don't know if I'm more clumsy than normal or if there's just a huge drop-out cohort which my bloody-mindedness refused to allow me to be part of, but if you're going from Mach3 and "goo" to a Dovo, you're putting a lot of un-necessary pressure on yourself, your face and your nerves.
    This is just my advice of course. One thing I would say. You've come across the "Encyclopedia Shavetannica" in this forum. They are a wonderful bunch of true gentlemen who will never knowingly steer you wrong. I am proud to be a part of badgerandblade....and someone always knows the answer to your question no matter how arcane and has made the same mistake, no matter how stupid.

  13. #13
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    in my opinion - straights are better.

    If its not something you really want to do though, choose DE. Its not super easy to do, and theres a fair bit of a learning curve, so if youre not dedicated to it you will get frustrated and give up.

  14. #14
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    Huge +1 with Mdunn

    Actually if yer asking you should start with a DE...
    Straights are more of a calling, then a decision...
    [

  15. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GsSixgun View Post
    Huge +1 with Mdunn

    Actually if yer asking you should start with a DE...
    Straights are more of a calling, than a decision...
    I agree. What first got me thinking about them was seeing an old television program where one of the main characters was using a straight. From then on, I knew I was destined to use them.

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