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Straight Razors?

Straight Razors? – July 14, 2009 12:21 AM (edited 7/13/09 8:21 PM)
Airclair (1096 posts) Doesn't Play Well with Others
Rating: Not Rated
Hey Tozzi,

A friend of mine is thinking about getting a straight razor and I remember we had a conversation about that once and you had a website?

Can I get the website again and a little blurb about it? I remember being convinced it was worth it but don't remember why.

Thanks!

Re: Straight Razors? – July 14, 2009 1:13 AM (edited 7/13/09 9:13 PM)
Balerion (1224 posts) Elite Powergamer
Rating: Not Rated
it's www.classicshaving.com (he convinced me to go there a while back) - great selection of all sorts of razors and such. I was personally deterred from the straight razors by the price and (of course) the sense that I might die if I tried them Smile But to each his own . . .

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I really think the three “!”s really captures the exuberance that Clair must have been feeling when he almost said it. -Cuzzo
Re: Straight Razors? – July 14, 2009 2:26 AM (edited 7/13/09 10:26 PM)
chaoscat (452 posts) Ambassador of Good Will
Rating: Not Rated
Yeah, Matt has the right site. I personally cannot recomend the straight razor - it is expensive, and requires much more skilled use than the safety razor. The classic double edged safety razor, on the other hand, I whole heartedly endorse. For in the ballpark of $35, you can buy the razor itself, and then blades will cost you $5 or so for a pack of 10 double edged blades (effectively 20 blades), and it's no harder to use than the Mach 3, although (as Matt can attest to, there is a slight learning curve. The motion is slightly different - I describe it as wanting to avoid pressure at all costs, just let the blade float across your face.) For a fraction of the price of what the Mach 3 is costing you for blades, you can buy the razor and a set of blades, and get a better shave with it. It's an economic no brainier, and only Gillette's FUD campaign keeps them raking it in.

This is the razor I use and these are the blades. I personally think the hexagonal handle sits better in the hand than the round (a friend of mine has the round and I tried it), but it's a matter of taste. Also, the one I have has a short handle - which is the classic style - but they have a long handle if you want a better grip on it. I've never found the short handle to be an issue, as I hold it with thumb and fore-finger anyway.

If your friend is dead set on the straight razor, the advice I've heard from barbers is to get yourself a bag of plain balloons. Blow one up, cover it in shaving cream or soap or whatever you use. When you can get every bit of lather off of the balloon with the razor without popping it, you can try it on your face. Also, don't skimp on the strop. You'll need to strop the blade before each use, maybe even during use if you have a thick beard. It's quite an investment, compared to the safety razor.

In either case, I suggest investing in some quality shaving soap and a brush. When I bought mine, you could get a real bristle brush, albeit with a crappy plastic handle, at CVS for about $5. The classic shaving site has nicer brushes as premium prices. I don't think the difference in brush is likely to make a difference. At the rate I go through soap, the $5 for the good soap from classic shaving is an indulgence I'm more than willing to pay, but I used the Williams Shaving Soap (I used to pay $1.80 or so at CVS) for years and was quite content with that. Either way, the soap and brush method provides as good a lather as you'll get from anything out of a can for a fraction of the price, and I think a quality soap is better than the canned stuff. Plus, with soap you can lather with warm water, much more pleasant than cold shaving cream. I grabbed a surplus coffee mug from the kitchen to mix lather in, and it's served me well for years now, although I am cruising antique shops for a good old fashion scuttle.

As I said, I can't endorse the switch enough, and I'm happy to answer any other questions.

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Why in the world is your title "Ambassador of Good Will"? Is it some attempt at the Guiness Record for Irony?
--Balerion
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