Evidently, in the world of knife and razor sharpeners, there's a bit of a competition going on about shaving with kitchen cleavers. I'm not sure what the point is, other than to show off how fine of an edge they can get on something, but it sure makes for an entertaining way to pass the time on a Friday. Here's a taste:
You probably know about the great grooming supplies available at Art of Shaving, but did you know they have some beautiful straight razors as well? Check out these three sweet straight razors:
These Bocote wood straight razors are handcrafted by Thiers-Issard, a prestigious French razor maker since 1884. The carbon steel blade is hollow ground to deliver a more comfortable shave and the sharpest edge.
Handcrafted by DOVO, a prestigious German razor maker since 1906, the polished carbon steel 5/8" blade on these Cocobolo razors is full hollow ground with a 14 karat gold-plated laser etching on the blade and spine.
This straight razor is also made by Thiers-Issard, with a hollow ground blade and beautiful horn handle.
All of these straight razors (and more!) are available at the Art of Shaving.
If you've ever wanted to begin learning how to shave with a straight razor, then you've probably spent a good amount of time looking at all of the different options there are for razors, and you might be salivating over the thought of a beautiful blade (with an equally high price tag).
But does it make sense to spend a chunk of change on a new top-end straight razor (that may still need to be honed before shaving, which is something difficult for beginners to do), when you can pick up a quality used razor that's been honed to shave-readiness, for a lot less money?
You might consider the second option, and take a look at what's offered at Whipped Dog:
"The prices are very low, while the quality of the straight razor shaving edge is very high. As sold, the straight razors are cleaned, but not buffed and polished as is sometimes done. This keeps the price down, and maintains the vintage look and feel of the blade."
I've tried brand new straight razors that haven't been honed to shave-ready sharpness (not knowing any better!), and it's a really frustrating feeling. So if I was going to go out and purchase my first one, or a gift for someone, I would be looking through the selection of blades at WhippedDog.com. For around $40, which includes shipping, you can have a razor ready to meet your face.
And then, once you feel like you're ready to commit to shaving with the straight every day, go ahead and start looking at those one-of-a-kind razors...
"While newly made blades are available from companies like Dovo and Muhle, finding a vintage straight razor is not only more economical, but can often prove to pack more punch for the time and money you invest into it. Like anything made in the 19th and early 20th centuries, vintage straight razors can be found in very high grades of steel from classic old world cutlery empires such as England, Sweden, and Germany. However, you may be asking yourself, where do you find such a razor?
The first place to look could be closer than you think."
Have you ever been drawn to try shaving with a straight razor? If so, you'll quickly realize that it isn't like any other kind of shaving experience, and you might have to work at it a bit to really get the hang of it. Check out this guide to straight razor shaving:
"The old-world, masculine charm of the straight razor shave is undeniable. Not since the days of Al Capone or the Old West have high end men's grooming salons and products been so in demand as they are now, thanks to vast improvements in the technology, service and availability of the classic shave. But straight razor shaving still remains an art, and in most cases should be left to well-trained professionals; however, for those interested, this little practicum will provide you the basics to properly care for your face and skin before, during, and after so you can enjoy the pleasures of the gentlemanly shave."
I just came across some great honing videos for straight razor enthusiasts on gssixgun's channel on YouTube.
Check this one out:
"From bevel set to shave ready in 17 minutes, How to use one stone to hone with, once the bevel is set or at least close...
Part 1 is mostly setting the bevel, and the first part of using a Thuringen. Keep in mind this system works with just about any hone you can shave off of if it can raise a slurry or hold a slurry.."
"Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons proudly introduces it's one-of-a-kind made-to-order straight razors. Aptly named after the prehistoric giants, each Mammoth Razor is comprised of Alaskan Woolly Mammoth ivory, sterling silver, a masterfully restored vintage blade and a quartz Stanhope lens containing vintage micro-photography from our collection."
One of the issues that many men face when they decide to start shaving with a straight razor is that the razor they purchase may not be honed properly in order to get a great shave - and I speak from personal experience. It can be very frustrating, even to the point of giving up on using a straight razor for their daily shave.
But if you purchase your straight razor from Straight Razor Designs, they will not only professionally hone it for you, but will also give you a certificate for a free second honing. While that may seem like an obvious thing for a razor dealer to do, it's actually not as common as you might think.
So if you're considering making the switch to a straight razor (or are frustrated at your attempts so far), try getting it professionally honed before you begin, or buy from a dealer such as Straight Razor Designs.