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cut-throat razors and beyond...

Killer Kamisoricut-throat razor noun [C] UK (US straight razor)

a type of old-fashioned razor with a long blade that folds out from the handle

(Definition of cut-throat razor noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

The illustrated guide to hone progressions

February 26, 2011 — R

This is the first in a series of illustrated guides to straight shaving mysteries. Many aspiring honers are confused by the concept of hone progressions. This concept requires the honer to use as many hones as possible in haphazard order. Apparently, this concept is not easy to digest. Which is why I have created the illustrated guide to hone progressions (see below).

Everything you ever need to know about hone progressions.

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For the love of...

February 25, 2011 — P

Over the last decade, the straight razor scene has seen a tremendous increase in activity, information, and panache.  Concurrently, it has seen an evolution from a niche hobby being served by an industry from its figurative death bed to an industrial Phoenix rising from the ashes, seeing venerable names among straight razor manufacturers like Revisor, Puma, and Böker being revived to serve the burgeoning community of enthusiasts.

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Robert Williams Review Revisited, or How Customer Service Should Be

February 19, 2011 — P

I'm quite sure everyone who has visited this website has read Robin's review of a Robert Williams Custom razor.  That razor belongs to me, and Robert has been more than gracious in his handling of that razor return.  No one is perfect, but the measure of a man (or company for that matter) is seen in the way they handle their mistakes.

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Selecting a Strop

February 16, 2011 — P

Some stropsNow that you have determined that you want to try your hand at straight razor shaving, you have to consider some maintenance aspects of the endeavor.  In order to master artisan shaving, developing effectual stropping skills is essential.  However, picking your strop is an important consideration and it should be researched considerably.  Stropping is King, afterall.

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Gangrene, or a little knowledge is a dangerous thing

February 12, 2011 — R

Swift justice"Gangrene is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of body tissue dies (necrosis)." [Wikipedia] It also describes the shaving scene well. In the beginning was a small group of people dedicated to a common cause. And the cause was straight razors. Information was scarce for those without access to proper libraries, and information on the internet was even scarcer.

More than 10 years have passed since then. Time for a look at the state of the shaving nation in detail.

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The Truth about Coticules... as I see it.

February 11, 2011 — P

La Petite BlancheIn recent months, little has been more controversial in the straight razor community than Belgian Coticules and their fraternal twin, the Belgian Blue Whetstone.  Robin recently dealt with the uproar resulting from the release of Coticule.be's team of researchers.  Without getting into the personalities and politics at the center of this Hone War, allow me to tell you the truth, as I see it, about Coticules.

 

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Wetshaving's Cottage Industry, or Beware of the Overnight Soap Makers

February 9, 2011 — P

Meringue like lather - just as it should beOne of the first things a newcomer to the wetshaving scene will notice is the myriad small shop soap makers and their loud lauding patrons.  The marketeering tactics of these, and other vendors, is of no concern to me, but there is a reason to beware the overnight soap makers. Read more »

Disorderly conduct, or a complete honing setup for approx €50

February 2, 2011 — R

In January 2010 (a year ago), the research team of Coticule.be started an extensive experiment with the goal of determining the capabilities for honing razors of the Belgian Blue Whetstone. Are they capable to reclaim a dull edge with a bevel that requires some work? Are they capable of bringing that edge to sufficient sharpness for shaving? Are they capable to finish a razor's edge? And if so, how smooth is that finish?

The report was finalised last week and published yesterday. If you like working with natural hones, and are looking for a more affordable alternative to a Coticule, you will probably find it quite interesting. Coticule.be's Research Team have attempted to study the capabilities of Belgian Blue Whetstone to put a satisfactory shaving edge on a straight razor by letting two random exemplars compete against a Belgian Coticule of premium reputation. The results show that a random group of eight straight razor users found BBWs capable of successfully sharpening razors with the suggested procedure. A series of blinded tests demonstrated that these edges performed on par with the Coticule edge. While BBWs likely lack the abrasive speed to reach as far into dullness as a Coticule can, once a razor has a decent bevel, a BBW can be considered a valuable alternative for refining and finishing the edge of a straight razor. Read more »

Opinions are like...

January 29, 2011 — P

You know the quote.  There are many witticisms pertaining to opinions, but in the straight razor community, expressing negative opinions is, almost universally, taboo.  Opinions that are shared so freely about how opinions *should* be expressed (yes, I catch the irony) in the wet shaving community are as varied as they are stinky. Read more »

Reviews, or it really is personal

January 28, 2011 — R

Review writing can be a rewarding pastime. With the resurgence of wet shaving has come a plethora of new shaving related products. Ranging from hones to strops to soaps and creams, they provide aspiring wet shavers and experts alike with an abundance of choices.

The purpose of reviews should be to help readers make informed buying decisions. In order to achieve this goal, both the reviewer and the review have to meet a number of criteria. Read more »