MD Eastern Shore
(This post was last modified: 08-15-2018, 02:08 PM by ESBrushmaker.)
(08-07-2018, 02:21 PM)Steve56 Wrote: I'll agree with BadDad. A well honed straight with good technique is just hard to beat. As far as differences go, you can certainly get great shaves out of either DE or a straight.

But if you hang around the forums and read, you'll find that the fellows talking about nicks/weepers, razor burn/irritation are almost all DE users. These terms really aren't in the SR vocablulary on a regular basis once people are past say the first 30-60 days or so, not to say that I never get a nick (but I never get irritation or razor burn). The SR is the mildest, easiest on the face shave that there is.

Cheers, Steve


I believe (and think I've said this before) one of the reasons a straight shave can be so good is the ability to constantly vary the aggressiveness/mildness of the shave depending on the amount of beard growth and where one is shaving. For example, I need a more aggressive cut under the chin and along the neck, yet shaving under the lower lip requires a comparatively lower (milder) angle of attack. I suppose that might be do-able with an adjustable DE, but with an "open blade" (i.e. straight or shavette) it's just a natural turn of the wrist.

Granted, it takes time to learn these techniques (and to develop an understanding of one's own beard!) However, once one learns/masters these things, it's a most satisfying experience. Difficult? Mildly frustrating? Perhaps. But the challenge is half the fun.

49erShaver, HighSpeed, Matsilainen and 4 others like this post
I've been shaving with a straight for the past 11 months, about 300 shaves in, after 45 years of DE/SE shaving.

Where the SR really shines for me is in the initial pass. If I skip a day of shaving and have 2 days growth, the first pass with a SR is unbelievably smooth, comfortable, and the whiskers just melt away. With a DE, for me, it's just not as comfortable.

There's also a different 'feel' to the SR shave, hard to describe, but the face feels somehow 'smoother' and the shave lasts longer.

Downsides to the SR? It takes longer to shave. There's a level of concentration and care necessary. I enjoy this, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. And then there's the upkeep of the razor-stropping, honing or having the razor honed, making sure that no water remains on the blade or in the scales.

With my beard, I'm at DFS after 2 passes no matter if I shave with a DE, SE, or SR. If I want to go to BBS, I have to do touch ups-buffing. In my experience, this phase is much easier with a DE razor, because it's more 'nimble'. Because I'm far from expert at this point, if I do 3 passes and touch up with a SR, I get a bit of irritation, especially around the chin. That's what I'm working on now, and I was very interested in what ESBrushmaker  said about a more aggressive angle around the chin. Brad is spot on when he says that it's much easier to vary the angle and aggressiveness with a SR.

One thing I discovered for myself is that when l was first learning the SR, my lather had to be very 'slippery', and when I emphasized making the lather with more glide rather than cushion, the early shaves were much easier. Now I can shave with a cushioned lather, as long as there is also good glide. Speaking of lather, a good tip given me by an experienced SR shaver is that the feeling should be that you're just 'shaving the lather'.

All in all, I'm happy I've learned to shave with the SR, in spite of going through the learning curve. I went very slowly and cautiously at first, and I'm happy to say that after a nick on my 3rd shave, I haven't had a nick or cut with a straight. If you decide to take the plunge, make absolutely sure that your first SR has an edge put on it by an experienced honemeister-it makes all the difference.

HighSpeed, ESBrushmaker, 49erShaver and 4 others like this post
All the best,

Michael P
I definitely find that even when I do get irritation from a straight razor shave, it's loads more comfortable than when I over shave an area with my DE. Burning is much less pronounced. I've basically switched entirely to SR for my face and only use DE on my head

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