Monday, March 20, 2017

Are You More/Less Motivated to Try a Barbers' Razor?

One wise reader suggested that bloggers like me try things and write about them so that readers may not have to. So this begs the question about my on-going experiment with the Parker SRX barbers' straight razor: did I save you time and trouble?

The Parker SRX replaceable-blade straight razor. Hefty, high quality, and nice looking.

Clearly I don't know about you, but I do know about my feelings regarding my little experiment. Although there came a point early that I thought I was nuts for going along this path of using a no-safety razor, actually I am glad that I gave it a try.

The most important thing I've learned about a straight razor to this point is the truth that angle (not size ;-) matters. The low blade-to-skin angle available with a straight razor -- lower than the common ~30-degree angle of a DE razor -- does offer a skin-friendly-shave opportunity. The only impediment to that skin-friendly shave is one's skill with the razor: having the appropriate light touch combined with the ability to keep razor against skin consistently to remove all whiskers.

I have developed the light touch, and am much more at home in using it. I actually enjoy using my Parker SRX, and on those days when I leave it in the drawer, I do so with a pang of regret. However, I've slowed down my learning time table, and am in no hurry to achieve a baby-smooth result using the straight alone. This is because to rush the skill acquisition is counter productive.


In this situation, slow and steady wins the race -- just like the tortoise and the hare. Impatience and rushing will yield skin insult and frustration. Patience over time will produce results.

So if you're tempted to give a barbers' straight razor a whirl, I say go for it. Just do so with the proper attitude, which is that this isn't an over-night process. Enjoy the gradual learning curve. Have a light touch. Shave mindfully and happily. Don't over reach.

Garage Sale Continues -- Make Me an Offer

Keep in mind that there is about $4 of packaging and mailing costs embedded in the prices of my garage-sale razors, and there really isn't a lemon in the bunch.

But if you think my prices are out of line, send me an email, make me an offer! Let's see if we can find a point of win-win.

Happy shaving!


  1. I have a shavette, the Parker SR1, which I destroyed my face with the first and only time I used it. I tossed in an Astra SP and butchered myself doing one pass. I don't know if I'll ever shave with the thing again, since I get perfectly fine shaves with my DEs. I might pick it up again when I want to line up my beard or something, but I'll toss in a less sharp blade when I do that (like a Derby or German Wilkinson Sword). Right now I find myself liking the slants I have, which are the Fine Superlite and the PAA OC Slant, because they are very efficient and I don't feel any painful resistance from these razors like I do in my non-slant razors.

    1. It's interesting that even though I as of now still get a better overall shave with my DEs, I get the best shave on the most sensitive and injury-prone area, my lower neck, using the straight.

      With time, however, I have seen my straight skills improve, and I've come to the position that slow and steady wins the race -- except it's not a race. :-D

      If you want to try your barber razor again, remember: low angle, light pressure, slow & short strokes, and you might want to get back into it by dulling the corners of the blade and maybe corking a sharp blade with a stroke or two through an actual cork or foam packing peanut.