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Razors!

Paul N

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A true story.

When I was a child I remember my grandfather shaving. He used shaving soap and a shaving brush to get a lather on his face. Then he used a single blade, double sided safety razor, as invented by Mr Gillette. The razor was not disposable but the blades were, though it was/is possible to sharpen them.

By the time I started shaving, razors had two blades and the razor was plastic and disposable. This seemed like an improvement for shaving, but not for the ecology.

After a while the razor companies introduced shaving foam and shaving gel, both in aerosols. This was convenient but also not good for the ecology. I noticed that razors were becoming clogged during use, and had to be thrown away quicker. I was looking for an improvement.

My prayers seemed to have been answered! The razor companies introduce razors with three blades. They cost a lot more but we all bought them. No improvement!

Next, to compete with each other, the razor companies introduced razors with four, and then five blades. By now the price of razors had gone through the roof! The supermarkets had to put security tags on them, just as they did with expensive items like laptops and bottles of whisky - what the hell was going on? The quality of the shave was going down and the cost was going up.

I travel by air a lot. The economy airlines charge extra for loaded baggage so a single carry-on bag is the best. Unfortunately to get this bag through security at the airport there must be no liquids, gels or pastes in it. I needed to review my shaving equipment. I bought a stick of shaving soap and a shaving brush. This solved the security problem. Then I thought I would try an old fashioned single blade double-sided razor - so I bought one.

Eureka!!

It took a little longer to get a lather on my chin with shaving soap and a brush but, with Mr Gillette's razor, I got a beautiful, smooth shave and no clogging of the blades - my old problems were solved. The added bonus was that it was costing me pennies instead of pounds. Mr Gillette had invented the perfect safety razor more than 100 years ago, since when the razor companies have introduced changes that don't improve things for us, but they do make them more money.

I told my male friends about what I had discovered. Many of them have now also converted to single blade, double sided razors and shaving soap. They all agree that it is a much better system, giving a better shave, being much more ecologically friendly and saving a fortune. It seems my friends told their wives about it too, so now, I hear, the ladies also approve of these razors.
 
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…now a true bushcrafter would have honed his Swiss Army knife/Mora to razor sharpness on a suitable rock and be shaving by looking at his reflection in a dark puddle using soap made from squirrel fat, white wood ash and his own urine. 🤨 In contrast I also decided on a short beard. Too short for birds to nest in or to catch in agricultural machinery but long enough to be a beard and not stubble. 😂
In truth, I just can’t be bothered shaving most days, life is too short…not that I want kids shouting “Oi Gandalf” at me in the street or anything so I let it exist but keep it well under control.
 
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Paul N

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……forgive me but I thought that was the entire purpose of grandchildren. :sneaky:
No, that's the whole purpose of having adult children - especially daughters. Not beards, but embarrassing them in public by talking to strangers, especially about things that are considered taboo, or their underwear accidents and stupid mistakes when they were 10. Soooo much fun! I wish I had a pound for every time I walked away from such a conversation and my daughter said 'Daaaaaad....!' :)
 

Baytree

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Not saying my father was a hoarder but even though he died a decade ago I'm still using his stock of blades for the gillette and have to agree it's a decent shave. I used to have a beard when I was younger as I found shaving irritated my skin but now if I want a kiss off the wife a beard isn't really on the cards ( or face) although I still don't shave every day. My beard tends to be a bit uneven as well , lots below the jawline but a bit more patchy above . On the subject of sharpening for shaving I've never done it for actual shaving but as a woodworker there have been times when we've sharpened axes , chisels and plane blades and shaved the hairs on our arms ( normally just the left arm) " just because ' .
 

WildWood1965

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I bought a single blade Merkur razor from the Shaving Shack several years ago & with care it is so much better than these throw away harmful to the planet jobs

Much cheaper to use in the long run too :thumbsup:
 

Ark79

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I would love to say my beard is purposely grown, but alas I’m lazy on this part 🤔 and the older I get the less it bothers me,,,, I’m growing old disgracefully and hairy….. however I might give this a go 👍🏻 Also the less I have on my heed the more I want on my face 😂
 

Manthing

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Been using a safety razor and foam for about the last 5 years. Have you tried a cut throat? Dems scary demzis. Practice on a balloon, or if your feeling especially brave, a baboon...
Have got a shaving stick but don't bother with it. The cut throat comes up very nice on the strop.
How in heck do you sharpen a safety blade without cutting your hands to ribbons, uther than carefully 🤔
 

Paul N

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How in heck do you sharpen a safety blade without cutting your hands to ribbons, uther than carefully
They used to has a special mechanism attached to a strop in barbers shop when I was a kid. As you moved the mechanism up and down the strop it gets flipped over to do both side. I got this picture from Ebay and they're on sale there.
 

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Reminds me of the Rolls razor. I've got one although never used it and that has a blade that is honed by pushing the razor back and forwards it flipping over on each stroke.
I have one and I have used it, surprisingly it’s ok. The sharpening stone and strop can be removed from a defunct set and glued to either side of a piece of rigid Perspex to form a great little pocket sized sharpening tool.
 

Joecole

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Not saying my father was a hoarder but even though he died a decade ago I'm still using his stock of blades for the gillette and have to agree it's a decent shave. I used to have a beard when I was younger as I found shaving irritated my skin but now if I want a kiss off the wife a beard isn't really on the cards ( or face) although I still don't shave every day. My beard tends to be a bit uneven as well , lots below the jawline but a bit more patchy above . On the subject of sharpening for shaving I've never done it for actual shaving but as a woodworker there have been times when we've sharpened axes , chisels and plane blades and shaved the hairs on our arms ( normally just the left arm) " just because ' .
My dad used the old gillete blades and being an ex P.O.W had to make blades last and stay sharp. His method was to use a milk bottle. Because the blades are flexible they bend to the shape of the bottle then it was a simple stropping motion.
Talking about sharpening blades, wind down your car window and draw the edge of your knife blade across the top edge of the window just making sure that the angle is correct. The edge of a ceramic tile also works well
 

Baytree

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Yes there's a number of things that can be used. Ignoring the point that I was daft enough to forget to take my oilstone with me I sharpened tools on sandpaper ,stone blocks , slate and even concrete at some point. I've worked at a number of old churches and it's not uncommon to see grooves in the stonework where generations of people have sharpened tools.
By and large I have a carborundum stone that I brought early 80's that does 95% of my sharpening of edged tools. I do have a waterstone that puts an absolute cracking edge on a tool but it's soft and you can literally watch it wearing away so gets used really sparingly.
 

peteff

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I got nostalgic once and bought a razor and some blades to try, I lost a lot of blood and now my wife uses the blades to cut the slash in the top of loaves and I use Harry's.
 

38thfoot

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I’ve an associate who’s a barber that offers wet shaved; H&S requires a fresh blade per customer but he’s repeatedly stated that the quality of shave offered by Gillette/Wilkinson sword are far superior than could be offered by a cut throat.

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