I've had a traditional safety razor for some years now.
I switched to a traditional safety razor out of a fascination with the old nature of it, but it turns out to be a vastly more simple and cost effective shave.
As I don't like to have a lot of "moving parts" in my life, keeping to simplicity, not having to go out and buy huge disposable razors or packs of itsy bitsy six-blade-and-shaving-strip shaving heads and cans of shaving foam is appealing to me.
I had done significant research before, and now I'm collecting all the notes in one place.
Although I had been looking at using straight razor.. it's expensive, dangerous, difficult to use and maintain and the entire kit has too many objects.
Contemporary disposable razor blades ∞
These are wasteful; don't use them.
For the life of me, I could never get a good shave out of a single-blade razor. Multi-blade razors have cut me to pieces in the past, but probably because I was too heavy-handed. Recently, a single-blade old fashioned razor was a poor experience. I shave once, twice, thrice and there's still stubble. I've played with the angle and all sorts of other stuff, but to no avail.
Schick FX Diamond
- A double-blade.
- A simple crappy double-blade old thing that I had been using for years.
I ended up switching to various electric razors beginning with a Braun (model not recorded) and going through to a Braun 360 complete 8985 before switching to a traditional safety razor.
Electric razors ∞
I had maintained for a long time that a proper electric razor and a light hand has always done better than a disposable razor.
Traditional safety razors, handles ∞
- Seems expensive for what's available elsewhere.
- Unknown brand (maybe Merkur), Chrome-plated, 3-1/4"L, German made
- Extremely inexpensive, yet usable enough to try this method of shaving without much investment.
General Razor ∞
This stuff applies to razors or blades in general.
Drying. Water is hell on metal and the sharpness of a blade.
- e.g. placing a blade in a cup of rubbing alcohol.
Straight Razors ∞
- I don't like having their logo on it.
- 3" Black English Bridle Leather Stropping Board
- Red Leaf Men's Soap and Shave Cube, Oatmeal, Milk & Honey
- Red Leaf Travel Shaving Soap, Oatmeal, Milk & Honey
- Razor Blade Dispenser Case by Shaving Factory
Some sort of paste.
There are three popular tools to strop with.
A leather Razor strop . This is a hanging piece of flexible leather.
- I believe these leathers are given their more red look with the application of Iron(III) oxide ("rogue")
- A leather stropping board. This is a piece of leather on an inflexible board.
From what I can tell, these require maintenance.
There appear to be other ways to maintain a blade. I can't tell if these are replacements or just supplements. Why I would want a supplement compared to using a more official tool is unknown.
- Denim (e.g. Jeans ) to remove fine burrs. This is some sort of maintenance thing or
- Bare leather
- Clay-coated paper
-- Heavy semi-glossy (cardboard-like slippery finish) paper like what a lot of junk mail uses. Phone book and magazine covers.
- The palm of your hand
- Glass (e.g. a mirror)
The bottom of a coffee mug.
I see mention of doing this to remove "stropping compound", whatever that is.
Pressure is said to be very light on more flexible materials like regular leather. The firmer leather on a block is more forgiving. Unconfirmed.
Stropping a disposable blade (don't) ∞
- Disposable cartridges.. impossible
From what I understand, shaving is done at one angle, and stropping is done at another. If set in a disposable cartridge, then stropping cannot be done at a useful angle by dragging all of the blades in the cartridge against a material.
- Razor blades.. perhaps
For traditional safety razors, it is theoretically possible to remove the razor blade to strop that. I don't know if there are issues with the safety and comfort of holding it or the flexibility of such a blade.
- Don't bother
The thing is that metallurgy has advanced such that you don't get the fragmentation on the blade like in the 1800s, so there's nothing to scrape/polish off. Furthermore, there are now coatings, like platinum, so the edge isn't like that of those old days.