Straight Razor Exchange

After two shaves with my exchange partner’s Boker that was finished on a Japanese Nakayama stone, I am happy to report that it was very fun and interesting. I recommend it to everyone!

My first shave was smooooth! The blade was a lot lighter than my TI or Bismark, and the thin hollow grind made the blade sound “weird”, but these had no effect on the performance. I was a little tentative on my first shave, as I didn’t want to break anything as I was finding out what the blade could handle. I was able to get my usual WTG and ATG shaves, along with some resulting BBS. Overall, the result of a very nice sharpening job, IMO.

The second shave required a little stropping. I decided not to use the stones because I figured that if I brought out one stone, I would bring them all out and want to resharpen the entire razor – and that wasn’t part of the deal. The strop kept the blade alive in order for me to finish the shave. This time around, the blade found its way around my face much easier, as I was more comfortable with the weight and balance of the razor. There was a slight difference in the overall edge of the second shave, but nothing that was the fault of the sharpener. – Which leads me to my conclusion:

I would say that the bottom line is that the owner of the Boker did a very good job at honing his razor.

Just in thinking about it, I realize that it is difficult to pinpoint anything accurately – is anything I notice the sharpening job, the razor characteristics, my expectations, or a combination of any of them? The only answer I could come up with, based only on my culminated thoughts, was “Corporate Shave”.

The razor was sharpened well, no doubt there. What I imagined was that I know my razor has more of a “sharp” feeling on the face, and it will keep on scraping the skin on subsequent passes, no matter if there is hair to cut or not. The Boker seemed to know “when to stop”, even if I could feel the hair on my face with my fingers. While this is not a bad trait, per se, it lead me to believe that the edge could benefit from some more refinement – not necessarily from higher grits, but just from more passes.

The “Corporate Shave” entered my mind because I could very well see this blade being used every day or every other day, leaving a “smooth enough” shave for work. It is quite light, and it found its way around my face very quickly. The characteristics of the blade – relatively thin hollow grind- lent itself to this.

As all of this is subjective I think everyone should try other people’s razors (with permission, of course)


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