Shaving Frequently Asked Questions & Tips

Getting Started with Wet Shaving

First of all, welcome!

That’s really exciting!  We were all new once before.  We’ve put together something just for people like you—a Grown Man’s Guide To Wet Shaving. It’ll tell you what you need, and how to get started. A whole new world of shaving goodness awaits you!

If you still have questions, please send us a message, or start a chat or call us by clicking the help icon on the bottom right of your screen.

If you’ve never wet shaved before, a safety razor is a better starting point for a beginner. It works like a disposable razor, except that you have to change the double-edged blade in the head, rather than the whole thing, when it dulls.

A straight razor, while immensely satisfying to use, requires more skill and time to master and has a steeper learning curve. The blade must be stropped and honed occasionally, and requires, in general, more maintenance.

Having said that, if you still want to jump right in and get one anyway, don’t let anyone tell you what to do and what not to do.

Go for it but proceed with caution.

We recommend a double-edge safety razor.   We have many favorites but the Rockwell 6C and Edwin Jagger 3ONE6 are fantastic choices. 

No, silly! This happens to almost everyone in the beginning! Pretty much any activity that yields satisfaction eventually—learning to ride a bicycle, drive a car, play a sport, play an instrument —entails a learning curve. 

If you don’t have one already, the best thing you can do is to arm yourself with an styptic pencil or alum block (it’s antiseptic, soothing, and stops the flow of blood) and get back to the bathroom with newfound resolve.  

You can read a bit more in our blog post Alum Blocks - How and Why to Use.

For those of us with sensitive skin— and there are many! —we recommend experimenting to find out what works best for you, your skin, with the mineral content in your water and the lather you are using.

It is always recommended for beginners to try different double edge razor blades. You will often here people say "Your Milage Will Vary" when talking about razors work for different people. Don't buy a 100 pack of razors right off. Take the time to learn what works for you.

Safety Razors

This is one of the often debate topics in wet shaving.  You will often hear see in discussion on this topic, YMWV, meaning, your milage may vary.  The honest to the answer to the question is, it depends.  It depends which combination of Double Edge Safety Razor and Double Edge Razor Blade your skin reacts to best. 

Our founder Dave has sensitive skin, when he started out he heard Feather Razors were the best so he tried those but they cut him something fierce, so he tried Derby Razors and they were great in his Chatsworth Barley Double Edge Safety Razor.  After trying a Feather All Stainless Steel Safety Razor with Feather Blades they performed totally differently this time.  

The moral of the story, buy a few different 5 and 10 packs and try different variations until you figure out what works for you as YMWV.

Straight Razors

We love all of our razors equally. We are selling only high quality straight razors from Boker, Dovo and Thiers Issard.

If you are new to using a straight razor, there are a few things to consider when choosing your first straight razor:

Round Point has less sharp edges and tends to be more forgiving when you make mistakes resulting in nicks compared to points such a spanish, french, hook or square points.

5/8" inch would be the best blade width to start width. Larger blades such a 6/8" 7/8" and 8/8" can be a bit harder to handle and can be more challenging in shaving in tight places such as under the nose.

Theirs Issard razors come with the best blade out of factory in our opinion. Ensuring you have a properly blade will help you as you get started as if you are having trouble getting a smooth shave you will know it's your technique and not the sharpness of the blade.

These are our recommendations for beginners. If you still have questions, give us a call at +1 508 403 7770 or click the help button on the bottom right of your screen and call us from your computer.

Short answer, we don't. We are selling only high quality straight razors from BokerDovo and Thiers Issard. All of our razors come with a factory blade on them. They are ready to shave with after few passes on a strop.  

This happens so not to worry.  These spots generally appear when moisture or water has been left on the blade.  It is important when you put your blade away that it is completely dry as are the scales.  You can ensure this by running a non-lotion tissue over the blade and scales.

You can use a small amount of metal polish such as MAAS and a polishing cloth to take case of those spots should they appear.   Be very careful as you are holding a very sharp blade.  I would suggest resting the blade into something like cardboard or a towel to prevent it from moving around while you polish it. 

If you have extensive 'patina' on the blade I would recommend sending it off for professional restoration. 

Completely dry your razor after use.  Store the razor in a cool dry place with a light coat of camellia oil to protect the blade from moisture.  The acid-free, non-resinous, and non-evaporating camellia oil is traditionally used to protect from corrosion in the care of blades made from carbon steel. 

Petroleum jelly is a good substitute.

Traditional Damascus Steel is forged from at least two different alloys of steel. The layers are welded at red heat of the materials in thin layers. The Damascus Steel of this type is not suitable for straight razors as the weldseams make the material at the extremely fine cutting edge inhomogeneous.

 

Our razors use state of the art powder metallurgical Damasteel.  Two types of high carbon steel powders are rippled together, pressed and sintered.  With this method you receive a very fine structure of the material and a way higher share of carbide than in the traditional made steel.

'Shave ready' is a confusing term that is often debated in online forums.   Remember there are different quality razors on the market.  We are selling only high quality straight razors from BokerDovo and Thiers Issard.   

All of our razors come with a factory blade on them. They are ready to shave with after few passes on a strop.  We recommend you strop your razor after you shave to help to maintain the blades useful life between honing. 

This is a topic that I see a lot of misinformation floating around so I reached out to my friends at Boker Solingen for their insights.

Carbon Steel is the original steel that Boker started making straight razors with back in 1869 and is the primary metal they use to make Straight Razors today.  The benefit of Carbon Steel is that it is very easy to strop and very easy to keep a sharp edge which makes it a great metal for straight razors and a great choice for beginners. 

The downside of Carbon Steel is it doesn't have any protection to prevent oxidation.  What this means is that you need to make sure to completely dry your razor after use.  Store the razor in a cool dry place with a light coat of camellia oil to protect the blade from moisture.  The acid-free, non-resinous, and non-evaporating camellia oil is traditionally used to protect from corrosion in the care of blades made from carbon steel.  Petroleum jelly is a good substitute as well.

The significant difference between Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel is that chrome is added to the alloy to create stainless steel.  Chrome makes the atomic structure of the steel more coarse.  Straight razor shaving is using a "pushing cut" which requires a fine edge.  For a pulling cut, such as with a safety razor, Stainless Steel would be more durable choice which is why you see many safety razor blades made from Stainless Steel. 

Personally I’m a fan of both Carbon Steel Straight Razors and Stainless Steel Straight Razors and have both of them in my collection. 

I think the effect in terms of performance is more theoretical and overestimated, but there is a difference and a few considerations. 

CREAMS, SOAPS & MORE

These are just different ways of preparing and packaging the same thing. Kind of like how you could get deodorant that’s solid, liquid, cream, etc. All of them get the job done, but different wet shavers have different preferences, usually trying a variety of products until they find what works best for them.

Our shaving sticks come in a smaller form factor and are intended mainly but not exclusively for men on the move.

Include a helpful and informative answer to the frequently asked question here.

This is one of these infinitely subjective wet shaving questions. Having said that, we think it helps reduce friction especially if you have sensitive skin, and recommend D.R. Harris Almond Oil. We can't keep this in stock!