Shaving with a straight razor?

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

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Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by SweetTea » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:37 pm

Does anyone shave with a straight razor anymore? I really hate the throwaway shaver heads, and I think it would be way cool to go back to a more sustainable way of shaving since you buy it once and then just keep it sharp. Does anyone here do this, and have suggestions on how to get hold of one? Is this the worst idea ever?
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Molon Labe » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:45 pm

It involves a lot more skill, that's for sure. I can shave with my Mora when need be, but a straight razor is several times more tricky. The edge is so keen that you can take skin off and not even realize it. You get used to it eventually though. Just takes practice.

On a side note, never laugh when using one of those. You'll regret it.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by KarLorian » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:09 am

The topic in particular is about mug soap, but many discuss straight razor use.

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... ight+razor" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Gingersam » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:43 am

I've always wanted to try it using a cut throat razor. Seems way cooler.

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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by TafkanX » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:15 am

There's just something old-world and classy about a straight-razor that makes me really want to try it out.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Jamie » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:16 am

When zombie roam the Earth, I plan to stop shaving once and for all...fuck my ugly 4-color beard, and anyone who mocks me!!!

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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Gingersam » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:20 am

I really want a Goatee. My old science teacher had a Goatee. He nipped off campus for a cig and stunk of vodka.

He was a legend.

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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by TafkanX » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:23 am

I tend to grow one in-between jobs that don't allow them :|
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Gingersam » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:29 am

Facial hair is so bad asse. It took me the better part of two years to finally persuade my old school to grow a van dyke. If I could grow a beard I would. :(

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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by sferrari » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:11 am

Straight razor use HURTS. I've had one for a few years now and I still haven't gotten the hang of it. It takes about a week to heal every time I use it. I'm sure my results have a lot to do with the fact that I have a gnarly beard. If you have high school peach fuzz it probably wouldn't be too bad.

Keeping the thing sharp is the most difficult part. It's an art. If you don't keep the thing RAZOR sharp, you will mangle your face.

I would LOVE to have an excuse to grow a beard, shaving sucks. If I were you, I would be looking for a way to keep a beard trimmed short. It would suck to spend all that time and effort preparing, just to die from some shitty infection you got when you cut yourself shaving.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by dixieboy30513 » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:32 am

straight razors are cool, but WTSHTF I'm growing a beard. shaving sucks, and it will suck worse when you have to use an object that can cut your throat.
“I may be crazy but it keeps me from going insane.”- waylon jennings

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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by andygates » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:40 am

I use one. My dumb sideburns are easy to keep tidy with nice clean lines, but it was a wannabe-Victorian affectation at first. I use the hairdresser sort with a disposable blade, because I can't keep 'em sharp otherwise. :(
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Maeklos » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:23 pm

One thing to keep in mind about shaving in a SHTF situation with a straight razor is, as others have said, you're probably gonna cut yourself. And open wounds are generally a bad idea when society is busy breaking down around you. Nevermind that one guy who was involved in the opening of King Tut's tomb, got bit by a mosquito, then nicked it when he shaved, and ended up getting an infection and dying from it.

All said, you're either better off not shaving, or taking the Elizabethan route and just keeping your beard trimmed short with scissors.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by andygates » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:51 pm

I don't cut myself shaving with my straight razor. But in a SHTF situation, tonsorial affectations go out the window and I'm growing a big bear beard.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by SweetTea » Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:15 pm

I realize that it's hard to learn and that I will cut myself until I get good at it, but the idea is to get good at it before the apocalypse so I can be the hottest clean-cut square-jawed lug on the block. And also I find beards to be itchy.

How hard is it to sharpen a straight razor? I know I'll need a strop with one side impregnated with abrasive, but how much finesse is there to the technique? It looks like you just rub it, is it harder than it looks?
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Gatorfarmer » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:21 pm

You might want to practice on balloons, that is what they teach at Barber school. Most real barbers know how to use a straight razor - note that a barber is NOT the same thing as a hair stylist. I have a Dovo "Bismark" razor. My wife is better at giving a straight razor shave than I am, she had to learn when she was assigned to a VA hospital.

I won't growing a beard come SHTF time... Lice are not a good thing.

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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by sferrari » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:46 am

SweetTea wrote:How hard is it to sharpen a straight razor? I know I'll need a strop with one side impregnated with abrasive, but how much finesse is there to the technique? It looks like you just rub it, is it harder than it looks?
Yes and no. You strop the razor before each use to straighten the micro-serrations; however, every few months the edge will get dull and will need to be honed. Stropping is easy, honing is not. It's an art and it takes even more practice than using the razor to shave. Straight razors are VERY delicate, and finicky, instruments. For instance, if you drop your razor in a ceramic sink or on a tile counter top, and it lands on it's edge, it will probably have to be sent to a professional for repair. That's IF it's even reparable. Again, if you try to shave with a fucked up razor, it will mangle the shit out of your face. The first time you cut yourself with a straight razor you WILL shit your pants. It's nothing like cutting yourself with a regular razor. I don't care how bad-ass you are, it's unsettling. Check out youtube. They have a few videos about honing a straight razor.

If you are worried about facial hair, you might want to consider laser hair removal. You will never have to worry about shaving again.

Now that I have gotten all this out of the way, you should definitely get a straight razor. It's a great experience. Plus, when your friends see one of those things in your medicine cabinet, it's instant man-cred. You will also get a feel for how easy modern life is when you experience just how difficult it was, back in the day, to accomplish a task as mundane as shaving. Buy one for fun. If you try to use it daily, it will get old real quick.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by andygates » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:17 am

I never did work out how to hone my blade; after killing two decent ones, I gave up. It's like me and houseplants: I kill fine blades and houseplants stone dead.

As for learning to shave, balloons? What are we, men or magicians? Get your beard good and soft and wet and go for it. You will fuck up and cut yourself the first few times. Skin heals, it doesn't scar, you ain't going to saw your head off. And nothing focuses technique like physical pain. ;)

Here's a very good guide to straight razor technique:http://www.en.nassrasur.com/razorcentral/index.html
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by crypto » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:22 am

SweetTea, I'd like to suggest a compromise between buying the latest 5-bladed hunk of plastic and metal that costs $3 a pop, and the utter terror that comes with pulling an open razorblade across your neck:

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The safety razor.

These were the first real alternative to the straight razor that found mass market appeal in the modern world. They use the little all-steel blades that look like this:
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You can get a 20-pack of these at any drug-store or grocery store for about $2, which makes them about a tenth of the cost of a MachIII system. Also, since the blades are all steel, you can easily recycle them when they're dull.

As far as the shaver itself, you can go two ways: Merkur makes the one I posted the picture of. I have one, and have been shaving with it for 10 years. I love it. It's about $45 new, which is steep, but it's a solid hunk of German chrome steel.

If you dont want to pay that kind of money, go on ebay and get an old used Gillette safety razor. They're classy as hell, and fairly cheap in good condition.

Anyway, it's an escape from the 5-blades-and-two-strips nonsense.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by sferrari » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:14 am

I think crypto might be on to something here. I might just have to get me one of those things.

Also, I forgot to mention in my last post, while the razor might be a pain in the ass, the shaving soap/brush system that typically accompanies the straight razor is a wonderful thing. I've always considered foam shaving cream to be a big can of fail.

Get yourself a safety razor, a nice brush, a mug, and some shaving soap. That's plenty manly, and zombie apocalypse friendly.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Sworbeyegib » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:18 am

I bought one of budk.com for a couple of bucks just to be cool like that. I've only used it a few times, I know its a cheap one, and I know I probably didnt do it right.. so needless to say, I didnt cut my self but it sure did hurt after wards. I dont even grow facial hair that fast, and I only shave about once a week as is at the most, something about being half asian...
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by SweetTea » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:43 am

Crypto, thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into those.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by dogbane » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:37 am

A big Plus One to crypto on the old-school safety razor. I've been using one for over a decade now. I found it in a family member's shed in a box and adopted it with permission. I haven't bought a plastic POS in twelve years, and a few years ago my local grocery sold all of their blades on clearance and I bout every package I could get my hands on. I recently used the last one and had to go buy some more, but the price was very reasonable. Use a mug and a brush and you'll feel like a gentleman without the hazard of opening an artery.

I do have a very nice German-made straight razor from the 1920s (I think) that I inherited recently--I'll post pics--that I have yet to try. It's sharp as, well, a razor.
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Re: Shaving with a straight razor?

Post by Mahatma Zombie » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:34 pm

crypto wrote:get an old used Gillette safety razor. They're classy as hell
Hell yeah! +1 again, besides...

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