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Thread: Shaving/honing Question

  1. #1

    Default Shaving/honing Question

    So I restored a blade, there was a chip so it was a long honing process to restore, and I started shaving about a month ago. My shaving technique has improved a lot since the first shave. I'm finding that because of my growth pattern I need to go over some areas multiple passes in multiple directions, that's a little annoying, but I've definitely had worse shaves with disposables. But I'm wondering if the problem is in the blade.

    I feel that one side of the blade is not as sharp as the other, if that makes sense. The first pass on the left side of my face is fine. But the first pass on the right, using the opposite side of the blade is horrible. It's grabbing and barely cutting. Doing the second pass, the quality switches to the other side of my face, which is consistent since the blade sides are opposite for the second pass.

    Is it possible I rolled the edge stropping? I'm using a paddle strop I made myself with latigo leather mounted on marble. I'll be looking into getting a hanging strop next week. I was definitely using too much pressure stropping in the beginning, but the blade passed the hanging hair test back then and will not do so now. It still passes thumbnail and pad tests.

    Now I did use electrical tape in honing, is it possible that since the strop is so flat it isn't doing its job because of the slight angle difference? Since shaving with just one side of the blade is pretty impossible, I need to figure out what the solution to this is.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Metro Atlanta, GA


    How about your blade angle when you switch hands to do opposite side of your face?
    - Rob

    Limey: My Gear

  3. #3
    Thread Starter


    Would make sense, except when I turn the blade upside down for the second pass, it switches around, my left side is easier to shave than my right.

    Basically, it's a closer, more efficient shave using the one side of the blade. I've addjusted the angle as I shave and it seems to make no difference on the bad side.

  4. #4


    It certainly is possible one side could be sharper than the other but you can't have a burr or rolled edge on one side and not the other. That would affect the whole edge on both sides. You might want to check both sides with some magnification and see what they look like. Do the usual tests with both sides and see what the result is. It could also be a technique problem so be careful with your angles and pressure.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Albuquerque NM


    I have to agree. Odds are you are slightly changing the angle you are shaving at. I had a heck of a time when I first started as well but after spending many mornings fiddling with the angle I found a "feel" for the blade that made it work for me.

    Also you might need to strop in between passes or when changing sides. I had to do this when I first started but don't now. I think over time shaving with a straight razor my beard has become less coarse... Go figure!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Grandview, Washington


    When honing or even stropping, you might have a bit of difference in pressure from backhand to forehand. If the razor is pulling you may need to go back to the hone. Use very light pressure when getting close to keen. Do a ton of passes on your strop getting lighter as you go. Not to say that it could be your shaving technique as well. One tends to be a bit stronger in one direction more so than another when learning.

    "...never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can make a difference, in fact it is the only thing that ever has."

    - Margaret Mead

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