The Art of Shaving
more_vert
Blade quality, handle build, stropability... What do you look for when choosing a straight razor?
search
thumb_upKavik, Leaffan, and 9 others
11
8
remove_red_eye
999
bookmark_border
kyleemj
509

search
14themoney
1186
Feb 28, 2019
bookmark_border
A victim?
Feb 28, 2019
method_burger
344
Jul 4, 2018
bookmark_border
I just buy opinels and modify them. Takes about an afternoon and all you need is a hacksaw, and sandpaper. I can't really justify buying a good razor
1) buy an opinel, at least a no.6 otherwise it is too small 2) using the hacksaw, cut the front tip off, but leave a little bit of belly. (careful not to overheat the blade) 2b) optional, take the lock ring out (just throw it away) and cut the collar so the blade can rotate past 180 degrees 3) use sandpaper, sand the blade down to about 2/3 it's original thickness, and any saw marks (preferably mirror polish the blade) 4) sharpen
Jul 4, 2018
method_burger
344
Jul 22, 2018
bookmark_border
Yup, it's better at 20 degrees! I actually find hollow grinds harder to sharpen, because it is harder to seee your edge angle on a hollow vs. a flat grind (comparing a flat bevel to another flat edge is easier than a hollow bevel to a flat edge) And the benefit of a convex edge for shaving is it a bit safer when you shave, because it won't cut you as easily if you under-angle (less than 45 degree cut) the razor. if you over-angle it just feels like a bad shave.
I actually don't really like it when my razor is too sharp. Slightly not-as-sharp gives better feedback to where your razor. I like a the slightest 'fuzzy' feeling when I shave, so I know exactly what I'm doing. But the upside for a sharper knife is, it definitely removes more hair cleaner, and gives a much more consistant shave. Hopefully this 20degree edge lasts!
Jul 22, 2018
Kavik
4801
Jul 22, 2018
bookmark_border
45 degrees is too high of an angle according to most people. The usual advice is to shave with it at about 30 degrees. This kind of brings us back to my original thought that any knife can be made to "scrape cut" hair at the surface, but that's not really akin to a good razor shave. Now, the caveat to that is that whether or not that is acceptable is entirely up to the individual and their skin type. So it's different for everyone. It's all a balancing act between an acceptable shave and a manageable level of damage to the skin. I'm not talking about nicks and cuts. Dragging any knife or razor against your skin is going to damage the surface to some degree, but it's the difference between no irritation vs mild irritation vs razor burn.
I have a feeling what your skin can take before getting physically and/or visually irritated might be way more than mine can. And, just guessing here, more than the average face can.
Jul 22, 2018
Kavik
4801
Jun 29, 2018
bookmark_border
This topic is going to be waaaay too subjective lol
But then.... My favorite razors of the ones I own range from the late 1700's to mid 1800's... Which I don't think is something you can provide here 🤣
Quality high carbon steel, 5/8-6/8" is a sweet spot for blade height for me. I prefer a square point with a barber's notch, but a round nose (like you've pictured) is more recommended to newer straight shavers to avoid nicks. (ask my earlobe why your first one shouldn't be a square point lol) Scale material/looks are important in a way, but secondary to balance. The only part on the scale that REALLY matters beyond looks is the tightness of the pivot pin and the centering of the blade.
But the biggest thing that will effect the feel of one blade to the next is going to be the grind :
search
Each one will be weighted differently, and will have a different level of flex to the blade.
I've tried just about every example above, they all do the job, just a very different feel to each. I don't necessarily have a favorite, but Half Hollow and Bellied Hollow are a good midrange between lightweight and not too flexible
Stropability? That's a funny concept to me... If the geometry of the blade is no good for honing or stropping, then it's simply not a usable razor
Jun 29, 2018