Getting used to my straight razor

This morning I used to my Ford & Medley straight razor. I am still trying to get used to it though. I have discovered that my skills at shaving with a DE razor, gained over many years, do not seem at all transferable. It still takes me too long.

It turns out my razor is rather old, now that I have found out some more details about it on the website of who sell reconditioned Ford & Medleys and have lots of info on them. My razor features in a catalogue dated 1902 so it could be a little older or a little later. Mine is the ‘Select’. Not a full hollow ground but good quality. I toy with the idea of changing the scales but I also like the idea that it is in original condition. It must have been in a drawer almost from the moment it was first bought.

I managed to hone it okay to ‘shave ready’ as having been a chef years ago I had sharpened many knives. In fact I was good enough at honing knives that I was often asked to sharpen the knives of colleagues. We knew when they were ready as I used to test them by shaving my arm.

Having discovered the paraphernalia that some straight razor shavers buy such as honing stones, strops and strop pastes I have concluded there are far cheaper ways to do it using modern sharpening options. Though I suppose some of the straight razor crowd are deliberately wanting to turn the clock back. I may like gadgets, but they have to serve me not me serve them.

These men made my razor - from 1902 catalogue

“What would Jesus do” is familiar question and that did occur to me. Though many traditions insist Jesus had a beard there are also reasons to believe he had adopted the current Greek practice of face shaving. We can not know either way. But if he did shave I wonder what he would have used.

Will I switch from my DE razor and move to a straight? I find it hard to believe that even a straight razor would shave closer or smoother than my Merkur Futur with my favourite blade, the Russian Gillette Seven O’ Clock SharpEdge. Shaving with my Futur is quick even when I include the various passes WTG, XTG, ATG. Straight razor shaving would have to be for when I can spare the extra time, perhaps on a day off.

I have also obtained online a vintage Wa-Kamisori from Australia. It arrived today. Trying that will be fun once I have it honed up. I will report the results.

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