The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
OK a place to discuss specifics on where to buy, what to buy and how to keep sharp. Its my face we are talking about here!
Thought I'd post an improvement post. I can't get over my inability to take advice from people who know more (lots more) than I do. I seem to force myself to ignore good advice. Anyway, I'll try to tell what I've learned that might help other newbies like me. I've been messing with straight razors for one year. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Don't try to use a stone or hone over 8k. Until a person has the skill to use anything higher than 8k he/she will quite possibly do more damage than good. I'm going from the 8k to a strop for a while. Maybe 4-6 months or so. I think this will help a lot.
2. Get a good strop and practice with it as much as you can. Stropping is where the razor edge life is maintained. I have two razors. One I honed a couple of months ago and have only been stropping it between shaves since. It is still in good condition. That is "good condition" based on my honing and stropping skill.
I started with the 2" wide poor man's strop on whippeddog.com because I was limited on money. It's a good strop, no doubt. But there's a reason they also make 3" wide strops along with a second strop of linen or webbing or other material. This second strop acts as a refresher strop and normally has an abrasive applied of .5 micron paste, spray, crayon or some other abrasive. I finally got the Rich man's strop on whipped dog and it's great. Then recently I got a kangaroo/webbing strop from Straight Razor Designs. I really like roo strops for knives so I thought I'd like how roo performs on razors also. Roo puts a super smooth edge on my knives and razors are so much more delicate I am hoping it will help. Of course there isn't any difference in my edges so far that I can notice just from using a different strop. My skill is the only thing that will change that. And that just takes time.
I'm seeing improvement in my shaves that is due to my stropping abillity improving. I'm feeling more comfortable also. My shaving technique is improving I think. Less nicks. lol
The only suggestion anyone should take from me is you should take the advice of the pros. There's a higher concentration of experienced honers, stroppers and shavers on the Straight Razor Place forum than any other forum I've seen. There's a few straight razor shavers here it seems and a few on the Spyderco forum. But for the widest range of experience, the SRP forum seems the best to me. Good luck to everybody who seems to like putting razor sharp metal objects against their face and neck. LOL You're gonna need all the luck (and styptic pencils) you can get. LOL again.
Thanks, Jack. I appreciate the information on both razor sharpening. I gave up on the notion after getting nowhere with a two-sided "razor stone". Given you information, I might give it a shot again.
I've been using my straight razor since April. That gives me about 7 months experience. I have to say that I'm very proud of my improvements and accomplishments with it. The key to razor maintenance is stropping. A good hanging strop with linen and leather is a must. Once you learn how to hold the razor to turn it back and forth and how much pressure to apply, you will realize that actual honing is seldom needed.
All along I will still cut myself. Like last nigh. Boy, those little nicks sure do bleed. For the most part though, I get great shaves. Remember, practice makes perfect.