How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

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dantee
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:11 pm

How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by dantee » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:29 am

Hi guys!

I know this topic was likely covered in some great detail over at the old forums. But I never previously joined in those discussions so thought maybe I'd ask this over here.

I only started using a DE razor (custom handle with a muhle straight bar R89 head. Currently using either kai or merkur blades) recently, like half a year or so back. Only getting better / good at it now and don't get any red /abrasions anymore. Hardly nick myself but used to get abrasions and my skin red and bit sore. Think might have used too much pressure or not made a good enough lather.

Well have a good buddy who quite a while before me also got into DE razors and he is quite the shaving nut now. Owning quite a few nice muhle DE razors with nice handles. Haha

He was recently very much contemplating moving into straight razors. He thought that a natural progression of sorts. :p

I'm not yet thinking of that, as it looks like mighty more work, with a lot more proper prep needed, and I don't want to kill myself and cut myself open.

But wondering anyway, especially since there are so many shaving pros and veterans here... How much of a jump is it going from a DE razor to a straight? And if done well, is the shave you get from a straight really that much closer and smooth as compared to a DE?
The technique to use a straight well looks quite different from a DE.
And if one has decent technique and grasp of a DE, and is really careful, would one still be very likely to cut and nick oneself when first moving to a straight?

Sorry for the super newbie questions but would be great to get some insights!:)

Georgek
Posts: 672
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Location: NY

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Georgek » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:06 pm

I jumped from a gillette mach 3 to straight razors and it took almost 20 shaves to learn how to comfortably shave. A few tiny nicks at the first couple of shaves but everytime was better than the previous.
Get a good soap and make a good lather with it.... straight razors will give you a closer and smoother shave but it will take some time to get there... :)

DarkStar
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by DarkStar » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:48 am

DE Experience helps. But if your still cutting yourself with the DE... Expect worse with the straight :). Wet shaving experience is also good. Working the grain and nice face prep are all important.

Advice i was given and ignored but shouldn't have:

First few shaves just do easy flat areas. Like your cheeks. Stay away from the chin and under the nose.

Go SLow. Very little pressure.


Im not getting as good a shave with the straight as i do with my DE yet. I also have to go much slower for fear of blood bath. WIth the DE i can basically shave without a mirror and have no fear of cuts.

Still cant figure out the best way to do the left side of my face. Crossing over with the right hand is weird. PUtting a razor to my face with the left hand is nerve racking.

Getting better every time.

Final piece of advice. Do a full shave with the DE; then start the next day with the straight. Dont have a weeks worth of growth on your first go (I tried this and it was a bad idea)

All my cuts were avoidable if i had listened to the advice above :)

Kalaeb
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Kalaeb » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:05 am

Hard to say. It is definitely a jump. There are many more facets to straight razor shaving than with a DE than just the shave (stropping, sharpening etc). Numerically- 63 percent more difficult than going from a disposable to DE :)

I don't think, at least for me, the shave is any closer with a straight. I only go one direction, however, I nick myself much less with a straight and can get the hard to reach places with less effort.

noobknife
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:38 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by noobknife » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:23 pm

When I first learned I took a long time on the shave and didn't cut myself. But after doing it awhile I got either over confident or was in a hurry and ended up getting a couple cuts.

Be careful especially under the nose, because if you get a small cut there, the tiny line from the cut doesn't go away.

Naples09
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:03 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Naples09 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:03 pm

don't think I have the stones to move up to a straight.

Puduu
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:33 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Puduu » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:15 am

I think the whole straight razor difficulty thing is overblown. Did you learn to shave? Yes. Did you learn to use a safety razor? Yes. Can you learn to use a straight? Yes. Will you nick yourself? Probably. Will you survive? Maybe. :?

The principles for a good shave are the same for any method. You have to learn the technique of holding and moving the razor, but that is easily done. The biggest difference is the cost of entry and commitment to maintenance. It's much cheaper to buy a Merkur HD and a box of Feathers than a straight and strop (and quickly thereafter a stone). But the straight, strop, and stone will last generations.

I also think the whole wet shaving canon is often applied too inflexibly (that's an awful sentence :oops: ). It took me a while to realize that I get a much better experience from cold water/ no pre-shave softening.

If you are at all interested in straights, and especially if you already sharpen your own kitchen knives, I'd say go for it. It's not nearly as daunting as everyone makes it out to be. I use DEs, W&B choppers, and a Feather SS (lots of fun). There are so many options. I hate shaving, but this stuff makes it fun. Also I like stropping; there is something calming and meditative about the whole process. But I suggest you ignore that people who say you should only use a straight until you perfect it. I say mix it up. Try a few strokes with your new straight and then chicken out and finish up with your DE. Next time try a few more, or in a different spot. It might take longer to perfect your technique, but it will be less frustrating, probably safer, and way more fun over all.

PappaG
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:48 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by PappaG » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:47 am

I love sharpening my knives. I just don't think I can keep my hand steady enough for a straight razor. At christmas I got a straight razor with disposable razors. Boy, my hand is not steady enough for straight razor shaving... understanding I have very little experience doing so. Seems so cool though!

Puduu
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:33 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Puduu » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:51 am

Keep in mind that a real straight is more forgiving and smoother than disposable straights are.

PappaG
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:48 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by PappaG » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:33 pm

I feel dumb asking, but how are they more forgiving?

Puduu
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:33 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Puduu » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:04 pm

I think it's because of the amount the blade deforms when shaving.

Image

The disposable is like scraping a tiny DE blade along your skin. It is sharper, generally, but also the edge is thinner and more easily deformed as it encounters resistance. That means it is more likely to scrape the skin as the blade flexes.

Actually I'm just making all this up, but it is how I rationalize it to myself. I do know that my Wade & Butcher is far and away smoother on my sensitive skin than disposables or DE blades are. The skin feels much more pampered after using old Sheffield steel, than factory stamped keenness.

(apologies for the crappy photo - idevice + basement lighting doesn't provide spectacular results :( )

Kalaeb
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Kalaeb » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:18 pm

PappaG wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:33 pm
I feel dumb asking, but how are they more forgiving?
I don't know. I think Puduu's explanation seems legit. But he is right, definitely less cuts with a real straight than a disposable.

Lloyd Harner
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:59 pm

Re: How much of a jump is it going from a DE to a straight?

Post by Lloyd Harner » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:08 pm

Puduu wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:15 am

If you are at all interested in straights, and especially if you already sharpen your own kitchen knives, I'd say go for it. It's not nearly as daunting as everyone makes it out to be. I use DEs, W&B choppers, and a Feather SS (lots of fun). There are so many options. I hate shaving, but this stuff makes it fun. Also I like stropping; there is something calming and meditative about the whole process. But I suggest you ignore that people who say you should only use a straight until you perfect it. I say mix it up. Try a few strokes with your new straight and then chicken out and finish up with your DE. Next time try a few more, or in a different spot. It might take longer to perfect your technique, but it will be less frustrating, probably safer, and way more fun over all.
this is where i stand i love using my straights been doingso for now almost 10 years took about a week to learn not to mangle myself but alos in the last 18 years imnot sure if i have not had a goatee more then a week total so i dont shave the hars spots alll that often

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