Greetings, gents,

An year ago or so I gave up plastic cartridges and started shaving by razor blade. And I liked it a lot, despite a couple of nasty cuts at the beginning. But just recently I tried shaving by razor blade. Now I cannot make my mind with what should I stop. Pros et contras:
Razor blade:
1. Shaving yourself with true blade in the morning forces to wake up and stay focused. And it is a nice feeling.
2. Shaving is finer due to more precise control on cutting surface blade without any steel or pastic holder around.
3. One blade is promised to work for ages. The one I got, of a cheaper kind, is cutting now as good as it did an year ago. And I am shaving every day.

Safety blade:
1. No need to sharpen before every shaving. Makes whole procedure ca. 30% of time shorter. And when traveling, I don't have to carry a piece of leather with me.
2. Despite of improvement in quality of shaving by razor blade after one year, still it appeared to be worse than my first attempt with safety razor.

Was anyone of you, sirs, makingof this choice between safety razor and razor blade? And, if yes, what did you chose?

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I assume you mean a straight razor/cutthroat razor., vs. a safety/double-edge razor. 

I use a straight-razor. Simply because it costs less and I get better shaves out of it. 

Yes, exactly, I meant straight razor vs. safety razor, thanks for the corrections.

Honestly, I never achieved shaving as clean with straight razor as with safety razor. But it may be that I am using straight razor, which is not too expensive. And I did not yet adjusted to sharpen it well. In fact, this is, appears to be, the most critical stage of the process, the making of good blade on leather strap.

Hi Serge, 

Okay...running the blade over the strop does NOT sharpen it. It SMOOTHS IT. To sharpen the razor, you need a sharpening-stone. A good, high-grit knife-stone shoudl do the trick. I know some people go insane, and buy four or five different stones and oils and whatever, but you really only need one good one. Sharpen it thoroughly (at least 50 strokes for each side of the blade), going blade-first along the stone each time). Make sure the stone is WET (with water) before you start. You need lubrication to keep the razor running smoothly on the stone. 

Then, strop the razor thoroughly on the strop (at least 25 strokes for each side of the razor). 

Now, shave. You should have a nice, good shave now. 

I was entirely self-taught when it came to using straight-razors. Everything from sharpening to stropping to how to use it, I figured out by myself. 

I have neither, but I do have plenty of experience. I have excellent shaves, thank you. I'm completely self-taught when it comes to straight-razors. Everything I mention is learned through three years of personal experience. I had a couple of false starts when I began, back around 2009, but have never stumbled since. 

I don't see anything wrong with how I sharpen a razor. I wouldn't have mentioned it if I didn't get results out of it. Which I do; very good ones. There's no reason why he can't learn how to sharpen his own razor. I did. Mostly because I had to; I didn't have anyone who I could send it out to have sharpened. 

Besides, people would've been doing this on a regular basis to their own razors back in the day. It would've been just another one of those daily, household skills that men can't do anymore. 

There's a difference between wisdom and experience. I'm merely sharing what works for me. But that's no reason to discredit it, simply because it comes from the mouth of one who is self-taught. If it works, it works. A lot of people would've been self-taught when it came to using a straight, everything from shaving to sharpening it themselves. 

Oh, thank you for these tips!
Does one really needs to sharpen the blade with wet stone? And, if yes, how often?
I would agree with JonEdanger: the salesman in knife shop discourage me strongly to sharpen it by myself. He said the honing it with leather strop is needed daily, but this is it. But, on the other hand, this must be nice, useful and very manly skill to develop!
Thank you for the explanations. If Lynn is in North America, I'm afraid, it is not worth to send the razor from Europe. But there are similar services that can be found here.
I bought my blade from the knife shop, it was new and, I suppose, we'll honed. But it is not as efficient anymore as it used to be. So, honing might be needed.
Personally I prefer the straight razor. I've used both but my Dovo 5/8 SR is my everyday favorite. There is no closer shave. But there are a few points to consider.
1. For now, get it professionally honed. You can learn to hone it yourself as well, but first you need to make sure it's done right.
2. Make sure your face is very moistened with a good lather. This will make a tremendous difference in the effort required with the razor.
3. Strop before every shave.
4. Take your time. This is supposed to be a very enjoyable experience. This is my personal meditation time. If you aren't enjoying it and feeling great, what's the point?
5. Multiple passes. With the grain, against the grain, etc. Take your time and strive for perfection.

Good luck!
Thank you, you're absolutely right, it is a kind of meditation, considering time, attention and devotion required. This is why I left razor blade shaving for weekend, when I have more time.


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