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Thread: Cheap straight razor

  1. #1
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    Default Cheap straight razor

    What is the cheapest I can expect to find a usable straight razor for?
    I have been shaving with a DE for the last few months and really really like it.
    There is something obviously cool about straight razors and wondered how much it would cost just to try it out.
    Tony :c2:

    I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.
    - Robert Kennedy

    "“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”"
    - Jack Kerouac

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ltltony View Post
    What is the cheapest I can expect to find a usable straight razor for?
    I have been shaving with a DE for the last few months and really really like it.
    There is something obviously cool about straight razors and wondered how much it would cost just to try it out.
    New or vintage? What condition? (Usable doesn't mean good) Pre-honed, or needs to be honed?

    Also, keep in mind you'll at the least, need a strop. Usually most shave ready razors in good condition will be about $50, and a strop $30-50.
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

  3. #3
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    Hi Tony, what Joel said. And you may want to keep your eye on the "shaving mall" forum. There are some very reasonably priced "shave-ready" razors there from time time.

    Jordan

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    I bought a shave ready straight on ebay from an SRP member for $16 that has become one of my favorites, a 5/8" Geneva.

    Keep your eyes open, and you may run into similar bargains.
    Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    New or vintage? What condition? (Usable doesn't mean good) Pre-honed, or needs to be honed?

    Also, keep in mind you'll at the least, need a strop. Usually most shave ready razors in good condition will be about $50, and a strop $30-50.
    I don't care about the age or it looking nice, just that it shaves properly.
    I saw the clip of you that manic had about straight razors and it definitely got me interested in trying it out.

    I was curious if all the razors on ebay for $10-20 were complete garbage. I know the vision looks awesome but a $5 tech will give you a nice shave and wondered if the same thing apply to straights?

    I have also seen vintage strops for around the same price (10-20) should I steer clear of those or are they usually ok starter strops.
    Tony :c2:

    I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.
    - Robert Kennedy

    "“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”"
    - Jack Kerouac

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ltltony View Post
    I don't care about the age or it looking nice, just that it shaves properly.
    I saw the clip of you that manic had about straight razors and it definitely got me interested in trying it out.

    I was curious if all the razors on ebay for $10-20 were complete garbage. I know the vision looks awesome but a $5 tech will give you a nice shave and wondered if the same thing apply to straights?

    I have also seen vintage strops for around the same price (10-20) should I steer clear of those or are they usually ok starter strops.
    Yes and no. You can pay triple that amount and get a piece of garbage, and you can pay that little and get a gem. Such is the endless mystery of ebay.

    If you stick with well known, respectable sellers (I'll pm you a name to look for), a little patience will be rewarded. Mind you, you're not likely to score on every low ball bid you make, but some incredible bargains will invariably fall through the cracks.
    Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ltltony View Post
    I don't care about the age or it looking nice, just that it shaves properly.
    I saw the clip of you that manic had about straight razors and it definitely got me interested in trying it out.

    I was curious if all the razors on ebay for $10-20 were complete garbage. I know the vision looks awesome but a $5 tech will give you a nice shave and wondered if the same thing apply to straights?

    I have also seen vintage strops for around the same price (10-20) should I steer clear of those or are they usually ok starter strops.
    Most $10 - $20 e-bay razors are in need of some (if not a lot) of work. I've purchased NOS razors for $15, but they still need to be sharpened.

    You can buy a nice shave-ready (which means properly honed by someone who knows what they're doing) from someone here or at SRP for between $35 and $45 - it won't be a looker, but it will shave just fine.

    The strop is a necessity as well - you can go with a paddle or hanging strop. You can get a good starter strop from Tony at The Wellshavedgentleman for about $25 - for $37, you get a much nicer one with linen as well as leather.

    The other thing you will need (likely sooner, rather than later) is a pasted strop to refresh the edge (Tony's bench strops are a great deal, but there are others as well).

    If you're really trying to do this on the cheap, start a WTB thread telling people what you want and what you want to spend - there's lots of folks with extra gear who might be interested in doing a deal.

    I think you can put together a decent starter kit for about $100 that should get - and keep - you going for a bit.

    If you don't like the straight, you can probably turn around and sell the stuff you buy (assuming you haven't really screwed up the edge of your razor or sliced your strops to bits) for half or more of your original cost.

  8. #8

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    If you want a good starter kit, I suppose I could part with one of my french razors, and a top of the line Dovo Strop for $100 shipped.

    I don't really like selling my razors all that often, but if you got interested in 'em because of me, i'll help ya out
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

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    I get asked that same questions when I hang out the guys and the conversation turns to, how many days you get from a blade. When they get up off the floor after telling them I shaved today with a blade close to a hundred years old, my response is that there is a few things to look for and out for when buying someone elses razor off Ebay. Many things cannot be photographed. Stay away from hazy pictures, flat ridge on either side of the spline( thick part of blade). This means that the angle of the edge is probably no longer right. Also, chips on the edge,cracks in the blade. Off the to of my head everything else can be fixed. Blades that don't shine, scales (handle) not perfect, even dull edges.

    Lurk around Ebay for awhile,, get the feel, make a few mistakes, get LUCKY.

    What I would do, since you are new is get a shave ready razor from someone reputable. You will be more likely rewarded by good shaves and stick with it. rather than cut yourself up and quit. At the same time look around.

    I have been experimenting with straight shaving for 10 years, and still learning. And here is a good place to learn.
    In Search of the Light and 0° radius
    32° F&AM

  10. #10
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    Some buying tips:

    if it is cheap AND new....stay away, far far awaay. Brands like Young, Sanguine, Zeepk, and some others are all pretty nasty blades. I can't say anything for Master, but I would steer clear anyways. Most of these cheapo razors like these won't hold an edge for very long after honing them.

    For cheap, you will probably get ugly, but usable. My Henckels Twinworks is a great example. I paid $38 shipped for it. It did need a good honing, and the wood scales are in good shape, but the wedge is cracked and the blade is heavily grayed (which is fine, it's just cosmetic...I actually like it).

    Primarily look at the blade when buying used....any visible imperfections in the balde edge is NOT acceptable. Try to avoid obvious re-ground blades, and get something where the scales haven't broken (unless you want to learn how to re-pin a razor, and spend that much on new scales)

    I make it a point to buy a blade I know is either made in the US, Germany, England, or France....the blade must be stamped with country of origin in most instances (with exceptions to some like winchester, which don't put the country of origin, but for winchester....beware of forgeries!)

    It's all just a matter of what you want to do. Someday in the future you might find some more well-priced (I've seen as low as $25) shave ready straights on Joe Chandler's page (writerferret). I have bought from him in the past as well, and he does fantastic work.
    Last edited by catatonic; 01-11-2007 at 03:52 AM.
    --SteveF

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