Friday, December 23, 2011

Straight Razors

I had to buy some new razor cartridges, and was pissed that they cost so much. Less-expensive ones were higher quality, but had all sorts of plastic and packaging added. It pissed me off. So much disposable and over-priced crap! The modern shaving razor market is a "racket". Stop the train! I want off!

So I used Amazon to find a straight razor. I decided on a Solingen stainless steel straight razor with a cheap plastic handle. All the handle does it cover the blade when stored. When you shave, it has nothing to do with the job. So I spent all my money on the blade and didn't give a hoot about the handle.
Some people take great pride (arrogance?) in the whole religious shaving thing, and they want the prettiest straight razor this side of hell. Me, I just wanted to stop filling the land-fills with stupid plastic and wasting my money. Sorry Gillette - kiss my consumer ass.

The Solingen was nearly impossible to sharpen. For weeks, there was no noticeable progress. All I managed to do was scrape skin off my neck. I was extremely exfoliated, for sure.

Then when I was coming home from my vacation, I stopped in Leadville and visited the big antique shop. I found an old Blue Ring straight razor for only $84. Victorian-age, in the box, and as far as I could tell it was never used. You can tell because the rounded spine ends up with a flat side the more it's sharpened. From the factory, there's very minimal flat. It came in the original box, greased. A 115yr-old brand-new straight razor for less money than I paid for my stainless steel modern one. Wow!
With very little sharpening, I was able to shave with it.
I ended up buying a straight-razor sharpening stone and strop, since I had such a hard time sharpening. Wouldn't you know it - the instant I spent the money, the Solingen started shaving.
When the new stone and strop came, it didn't help - it actually dulled the blade, so I went back to my old stone.
I started with my diamond file, from my machinist days. Then I graduated to my fine-grained dark Arkansas stone. Apparently the Arkansas stone is the very best. It seems I wasted my money on the strop and razor stone.

With two straight razors, plus paraphernalia, I wasted lots of money, but I hope the landfills never see anymore garbage from me from shaving. And eventually I'll end up saving money. It'll take years, though - I already have about $290 in this new shaving gear.

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