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  1. #1

    Default Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    A few weeks ago, I was watching the movie "1984," and I noticed that part about Winston Smith needing razor blades. Well, I thought about straight razors, and how convenient they can be if you just don't have a supply of razor blades for your safety razor. Is the upkeep on straight razors expensive? I know you need something to sharpen it with. Do you need oil to keep it from rusting? And is that oil expensive? Hard to find?

    I guess I should look on Badger and Blade, but as I don't shave but once a month or so, and I shave different parts than most of the forum members on Badger and Blade, I felt more comfortable asking here!
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  2. #2

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    A straight isn't too high maintenance, but obviously it's the only kind of razor that needs any form of maintenance at all. Straights are expensive to begin with, after that there comes a certain point where the total amount spent on cartridges will be higher than the amount spent on the straight razor. You do need to put oil on the razor, but I've always used sunflower oil without any problems. You will also need to hone and sometimes sharpen your razor. The stones will cost you, but the biggest problem is with learning proper sharpening technique.

    But err... are you planning on shaving your armpits with a straight? Do you think that's a good idea? Legs okay, but armpits... I dunno!
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
    Indult Tihota & Rêve en Cuir
    Chant d'Aromes extrait
    Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)


    Selling/swapping:
    Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
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    http://polderposh.blogspot.com/

  3. #3

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    A straight isn't too high maintenance, but obviously it's the only kind of razor that needs any form of maintenance at all. Straights are expensive to begin with, after that there comes a certain point where the total amount spent on cartridges will be higher than the amount spent on the straight razor. You do need to put oil on the razor, but I've always used sunflower oil without any problems. You will also need to hone and sometimes sharpen your razor. The stones will cost you, but the biggest problem is with learning proper sharpening technique.

    But err... are you planning on shaving your armpits with a straight? Do you think that's a good idea? Legs okay, but armpits... I dunno!
    Straight blades are not too high maintenance but require more time shaving. Each stroke must be carefully suited to the curve of the body and handling the correct pressure/direction of the blade. Ankles are H*ll! Grab that styptic pencil or have an alum bar on hand!! For that matter, keep those smelling salts handy if one faints at the sight of blood... LOL!

    Have you thought about a DE blade? (Double-edged.)

    Yes, the price can be high for a straight blade. Oil, stropping--depending on the blade. I think some are out there that do not require much upkeep.

    Much easier to grab the old Mach 3 blade and hit the ground running.

    As a woman, you might want to ask Em, who is a woman: http://www.emsplace.com/aboutems.htm

    She also has an interesting line of men's scents.
    Last edited by Primrose; 7th October 2009 at 07:19 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    I've used straights exclusively for that last three years or so, and the answer is: it depends. You can do fine with a couple of leather strops, some green chorme paste, and a decent waterstone for touch-up work. If you buy a used razor from ebay, you might need a coarser stone to get a fresh edge quickly, but that's it for me.

    A new razor usually gets a few minutes of a buffing wheel, then a careful grind, then hone, then pasted strop, then strop, and by then it's shave ready. Once that's done, all I have to do is make a few passes on the strop before shaving, and then a few passes on a pasted strop every few weeks or months.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merlino View Post
    But err... are you planning on shaving your armpits with a straight? Do you think that's a good idea? Legs okay, but armpits... I dunno!
    Well, I'll admit, it isn't actually for me. It's for my significant other. Ever since I started splurging on 'fumes, he has taken an interest in some other things, like nicer-smelling shaving creams, aftershaves (other than his usual Brut), and old fashioned safety razors with blades from Germany. He recently bought a straight razor as well as a strop, but hasn't tried to use it but once as he finds the safety razor actually gives him a good shave (better than the Mach 3000-whatevermajib he was routinely buying expensive quadruple blade cartridges for).

    I have a feeling he hasn't used the straight razor because honestly he has no clue what he's doing.
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  6. #6

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    As a woman, you might want to ask Em, who is a woman: http://www.emsplace.com/aboutems.htm

    She also has an interesting line of men's scents.
    Ooh! Marvelous site! Thanks for the link!
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  7. #7

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiona View Post
    Ooh! Marvelous site! Thanks for the link!
    Em's Place is a good start. A nice selection of straight blades and supplies. She'll help you out. (There is nothing sexier than watching a man shave, n'est ce pas?)
    Last edited by Primrose; 7th October 2009 at 11:43 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Quote Originally Posted by tfaust View Post
    a couple of leather strops, some green chorme paste, and a decent waterstone for touch-up work
    That's the first I've heard of the "green chrome paste." Fascinating! It seems almost like a hobby of sorts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    nothing sexier than watching a man shave, n'est ce pas?
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  9. #9

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Straight shaving is indeed more time consuming than shaving with a mach3 or safety razor. You need to strop and like Primrose said, you need to pay much more attention to what you're doing.

    That's why I gave up straight shaving on weekdays, I now only shave with a straight on weekends (if I shave at all ). My trusty Merkur Futur does the job during the week.
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
    Indult Tihota & Rêve en Cuir
    Chant d'Aromes extrait
    Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)


    Selling/swapping:
    Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
    ---

    "The Sunshine bores the daylights outta me!"
    http://polderposh.blogspot.com/

  10. #10

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiona View Post
    That's the first I've heard of the "green chrome paste." Fascinating! It seems almost like a hobby of sorts.



    Hobby, disorder, addiction...it's all a matter of degrees.

    The green chrome paste is an abrasive you apply to the strop - on its own the leather doesn't do much at all, but with the paste it polishes an edge very quickly. Woodworkers use it all the time for their chisels, knives, and plane blades.

    A good place to start is: straightrazorplace. They know what they're doing, and are a friendly (if slightly unruly) bunch.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Straight Razor -- High Maintenance?

    Quote Originally Posted by tfaust View Post
    A good place to start is: straightrazorplace. They know what they're doing, and are a friendly (if slightly unruly) bunch.
    Unruly people with straight razors. 'Sounds dangerous!
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

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