No vendors. No forums. Just pure impact.

Straight shaving forums compared

July 16, 2011 — R

Godzilla vs MothraWhere would the straight razor shaving scene be without the internet? A purely hypothetical question whose answer is beyond the scope of this article. A question more easily answered, however, is: Which straight razor shaving forums are actually worth visiting - and why?

When comparing shaving related forums, one has to keep two things in mind. First, they are almost all spin-offs of The Straight Razor Place in one way or another. Second, even forums like the Straight Razor Place have a section for safety razors (also known as double edge/DE razors, or leg shavers' delight). This means that their usefulness for straight razor users varies. And that includes the reviews of shaving problems, because e.g. some sorts of soaps and creams work better for DEs than for straights.

 Forum  Focus  Pros  Cons  Highlights  You should go there if you...
 You should not go there if you...
Straight Razor Place
  • Straight razors
  • Hones
  • Well established
  • Active management
  • Good management/user ratio
  • Management easily accessible
  • Many active vendors outside the vendor area
  • Fixation on hones and honing
  • SRP's Wiki is probably the single most useful collection of straight shaving related. quality assured information.
  • It also contains a database of straight razors.
  • Their Shave of the Day section has some really good photography.
  • The workshop section is probably the best of its kind.
  • are looking for basic to advanced information about straight razors and paraphernalia
  • need to have a razor identified
  • are looking for reasonably well written, and equally reasonably neutral reviews
  • like to restore or customise razors and are looking for advanced techniques
  • prefer not to be bullied by a moderator in an argument;
  • find compulsive disorders disturbing;
  • have a problem with US American slang and obnoxious cameraderie.
 Coticule.be
  • Belgian hones
  • Active management
  • Excellent management/user ratio
  • Excellent discussion culture
  • Policy enforcement
  • Designed to be an information source rather than a stereotypical forum
  • The site is, obviously, about Coticules. Other topics are probably best taken elsewhere.
  • are looking for information and hands on tips for honing with Belgian hones
  • like a good argument at a high level
  • want to brag, or have a tool fetish;
  • refuse to read available documentation and instead want to barge into a forum to ask a frequently asked question - again.
Badger & Blade
  • Double edge razors
  • Their approved vendors
  • None, compared to The Straight Razor Place. Or any other forum on this planet.
  • The moderation revels in demeaning users, eg by banning them and changing their avatar to a drag queen
  • The information about straight razors is vastly inferior to that of The Straight Razor Place
  • The site is heavily commercialised, resulting in biased and misleading reviews
  • The site has some information about double edge razors.
  • It also has a lot of reviews, but they are mostly inferior to those at the Straight Razor Place.
  • need state of the art information about leg shaving
  • have been banned from The Straight Razor Place
  • like to brag about your hoarding disorder or tool fetish, and expect to get a pat on the back
  • refuse to be taken for a ride by vendors and their undercover sales agents
  • prefer not to get banned for contradicting a moderator
The Shave Den
  • Shaving related software, eg soaps, creams and scents
  • Very well written reviews, despite their sometimes clearly detectable bias
  • There is a strong tendency to promote their own products
  • The straight razor subforum is not really worth visiting
  • If you find a review
    anywhere else but still have doubts, this site is a good starting point to get a second opinion
  • are looking for a site that has the broad specturm of topics that B&B has, but without a lot of the vitriol
  • are happy to get only occasional updates
  • might as well go the Straight Razor Place
Shave Ready
  • Supporting vendors in pushing their shaving related products and services
  • None, compared to anything
  •  None
  • have been banned from every other forum on this planet
  • want to get unbiased, accurate information

Is this an objective comparison? Of course not. I take pride in the fact that I was banned from two of these forums, the reason given that I "did not fit in", the reason being that I spoke up against the shameless promotion of vendors who either owned the forum, or were friendly with the management. Does that mean that these forums are generally useless? Probably not, otherwise they would be empty. Which is why I added two totally subjective columns "You should (not) go there if..." I suggest that you visit each of these forums and see for yourself.

Notably missing from the list are the following:

  • Damn Fine Shave: Irrelevant in every respect.
  • Shave My Face: Combines the negative aspects of Badger & Blade with the excitement of an empty basement.
  • The Shaving Room: Makes the German forums and their administrators look like cuddly toys.

Comments (2)

Excellent

Excellent read..honest,slightly provocative, honest and offcourse non objective in all manners ;-)

After having frequented all the listed forums,I agree. This only leaves a small and dedicated fraction to visit : www.coticule.be .

Torbs

This is funny

The reasons to go to B&B make me laugh. 

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