Guide me on going straight

#1
I first came across this site when I bought a really naff cheap straight and nearly decapitated myself in the process of 'learning'. May be not so drastic but I did a wonderful job of removing just enough skin to feel as if I was suffering the death of a thousand cuts. So I came here to be more learned and soon dropped the cheap welcome to traditional shaving kit, duly binned it (correctly please note) and replaced with a good old traditional DE. Loved the return after some 40 years and then moved in to the wonderful world of SE's. My shaving routine is now a mix of the two and feel very confident with either.

However I feel ready to try straights again except this time I have done all the reading, watched all the videos and ready to dip my toes. Plus of course I have become a damn site more learned in getting this far in terms of preparation, lathering, brushes and whateverelsy.

So a starter for 10 question. What next?

I get the general gist of try avoid a full hollow ground blade and go for something intermediate. So my question is which? I was looking at a Dovo and have a budget of around £150 including any strops or other accessories required (any other essentials?) but obviously open to any other wise suggestions as to which.

I know you chaps are always full of great ideas and guidance and do thank you in advance for any input.
 
#2
Honestly, it's as much about where you buy the razor as what you buy - the person getting the razor shave ready is the critical link in the chain.

Coming back to straights after a break I was very disappointed by the so called shave ready razors being sold. I have found two eBay sellers who supply truly shave ready razors and I would recommend Ed Brice custom razors.

Happy to share the eBay vendors.

You need to have a good stropping routine. I prefer paddle strops, which I've used for decades. Pasted balsa is also a good option but fiddly to set up.

Bear in mind that DE and SE blades need less lubrication than straight razors. You will need to adjust your lather to get a good shave experience.

Within your budget I would recommend buying one or two restored vintage razors and a good quality paddle strop.
 
#9
You could always try the method I used, though I probably wouldn't advise it.
I bought a razor from eBay, a good one as it happens but that was pure luck.
Then I taught myself to sharpen it, quite an adventure, only took eighteen months or so.
Good fun though.
Eighteen months? Fortunately I have no immediate plans for an ultimate demise over the foreseeable so 18 months is fine with me.
 
#10
I was under the impression (from reading around) it was the one to avoid when starting out on straight razors. But if anyone says 'What a load of danglies' then I will be more than happy to go the hollow route
From what I've seen full hollow ground blades are the cheapest and easiest to get your hands on.

Obviously if you're buying new, and there's quarter/ half hollow blades available then my previous statement doesn't really matter!

I have heard some people say their favourites are wedge/near wedge blades for their added weight, but I've never seen anything suggesting hollow ground aren't suitable for beginners
 
#13
I started with two blades: a 1/2 hollow Titan from China and a full hollow from Revisor Solingen. And I favoured the chunky heft of the Titan for the first 100 or so shaves. It was not until I really got the hang of straight razor shaving that the more finely tuned Revisor started to shine in my hands. Now I enjoy both (and a bunch of other blades).
 
#14
As a newbie I got a cheap strop and some pink and light green 3M lapping film. My initial stropping did not do edge any favours but I managed to restore it with the use of lapping film. Also scored chop marks on strop every now and then fixed with gluing and sanding but after 100 shaves feeling a bit more secure I bought a new more fancy strop.
 
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#16
Well chaps this straight business is a bigger minefield than either DE's or SE's but after wading my way through it all and listening to your solid guidance and the removal of myths; I have settled on a Dovo 5/8 Stainless with a rounded tip and full hollow. I chose to go the 'new' route as being my first I wanted to be sure about what I was buying and it is after all my Christmas gift to myself. It should be with me in a week or so and went with 'The Invisible Edge' being as they claim nothing leaves them without honing. I trust this to be the case and certainly Adam was excellent in helping me choose which once I had ideas in my head.

Also went for a wide paddle strop as recommended by you guys. I looked in to the vintage and used but I would have an even lesser clue on where to start. It was the same with DE and SE, but once I'd got things right it was used all the way afterwards.

Stainless because it is not going to be going away to sea with me until I feel confident (then I doubt it anyway) and didn't want to worry too much about staining etc when not at home. I do realise it is going to be harder to strop but I am happy.

Would it be sensible to buy a cheapy, not to use but to practice my stropping skills?

I am really thankful to you all and no doubt I will be back with a million questions.
 
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