Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Straight Notes

Clean First Pass

I took nearly a full first pass with the shavette this morning, with not a single new nick or cut. I used both my right and left hands for the shave. Ironically, I did a second pass with a double edge (DE), and actually did nick myself at the jawline when shaving with my left (non-dominant) hand.
A seller's photo of my Parker SRX barbers' straight razor, with
disposable half-DE razor blades.

Rethinking the Angles

I should probably update my thoughts on shaving angles when using a straight or shavette. I wrote a couple of days ago, based on recommendations of others, that the straight can tolerate a larger angle between blade and skin -- as much as 45 degrees. I now question that advice. It's probably a good idea in general to keep the blade-skin angle for both shavettes and classic straights at 30 degrees or less.

After all, most DEs are designed to have the blade at about a 30-degree angle, which may be a bit too much of a scraping angle for some skin. Hence the justification for trying the barbers' razor, which may cut sweetest when closer to 20 degrees between blade and skin.

Weight and Grip

Some users or prospective users of the Parker SRX might be concerned about the weight of the scales making it difficult to maintain the desired acute angle between blade and skin. Dry hands definitely helps in this effort. I have also found that if I open the angle between the razor head and the scales to about 135 degrees (by keeping just my little finger on the tang and my other three fingers on the blade side of the scales), there's no effort at all to control the razor angle.

Snapping Blades

If you have a  shavette that takes half-DE blades, a common recommendation is, instead of buying half-DE blades, to bend a whole DE blade in half, while still in its wrapper, until it snaps in half. This works okay, but at the point of breakage, the blade has a curve to it, which if put in the razor with the curve upward can make it difficult to seat the blade properly. It's not a big deal, but the problem goes away entirely if you take some old scissors and cut the blades in half instead of snapping them.

Happy shaving!

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