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Buy new or restore – best approach to start with a straight razor

Welcome, you just became one of the manliest of men with your new foray into wet shaving, and with a straight razor. It is by no means a mean feat as only the most confident and courageous men have towed this path, you just became one yourself.

Your decision to start using a straight razor might have been influenced by a lot of things, some of which may include you respect for the way and manner at which your grandfather or great-grandfather performed the art, or you’ve seen several reminders about it or it may even be because you were influenced by how you’ve seen it in action, either way, you are here and it’s all worth it.

Succeeding in the use of a traditional straight razor like Dovo goes beyond having the will alone, mastery of the craft is also a big factor, before you get your face riddled with nicks and cuts. This is not assuming that you haven’t done your homework or you don’t know what the stakes are, of course you do. A reminder won’t kill.

Of course, the most important tool to wet shaving with a straight razor is the straight razor itself, the imposing, long razor may look dangerous but it’s a beauty when handled well, such that a shave with a straight razor is a perfection compared to every other razor.

Yes, I said that.

And to think this tool is quite cheap economically and maintenance wise makes it even more worthwhile to own. A single straight razor may be all you ever need to buy in your lifetime, if well maintained. It may also be passed on to your son or grandson.

If a single straight razor can last a lifetime, that makes buying one an important decision, right? I know so too. Which brings to the topic of this blog – buy new or restore?

As you may have found out in your many endeavors, the new is not always the best but in which case does this apply and how do you distinguish? Follow this through, because herein lies your answer as regards the straight razor.

Buying a new straight razor as your first

The truth is; there are many excellent quality new straight razors for sale around us, the same goes for the low quality ones and the outright classless metals branded as straight razors. The first thing that gives these low quality razors away is the price. You can’t get a premium quality for a cheap price. Moreover, not everything that appears cheap are really cheap, you tend to pay more in terms of resources and other means because you bought something cheap. That’s by the way.

A new straight razor means you are starting a significant journey with a brand new tool, as you may already know, classic wet shaving is a culture and wanting to start with a new set is welcomed as a personal decision.

Reasons why you should use a new straight razor for your wet shaving.

There are a few reasons that makes using a new razor an important decision.

  • If you are someone that prioritizes a fresh start with new things
  • You don’t always use something that has been used by another person in the past, especially a personal item
  • You like modern tools
  • You prioritize brand new over antique

Advantages of choosing a new straight razor

  • A completely new razor to start your wet shaving journey
  • No extra effort needed to restore
  • Razor is in pristine condition
  • Razor edge is well sharpened for use immediately

Disadvantages

  • You are exposed to the potential of buying a knock-off
  • Good quality new razors are quite expensive

Why restore an old razor for your first straight razor experience?

What was your reason for deciding to start using the straight razor? Often, the answer to question posed in the heading of this section is connected to the later. Many people embrace wet shaving with a straight razor because they were influenced by their father, grandfather or a respected figure who had done it while they were here. Restoring and using a straight razor used by someone who had influenced you to embrace it in the initial seems to be just the right decision.

One of the most important point to note is that – not all razors are restorable, the following examples might be reasons enough to forego restoring.

  • Too much damages like severe pitting, deep or wide rust, and chips – these makes the condition of the metal questionable
  • Low quality razor
  • Cost of restoration is too high
  • There is severe discoloration
  • Razor has visible signs of large amount of honing

However, razors from places known for competitive quality in metal already have stamps of quality on them which makes them worthy candidates of restoration – provided that the other factors favor them. Popular examples include razors made in Solingen in Germany and Sheffield in England.

That’s not all there is to restoring an old razor, what other reasons makes restoring the best approach?

  1. If you are one that firmly believes in the history and culture of wet shaving, restoring a razor used when this culture had its first heyday is applaudable
  2. If you are a firm believer in the unique craftsmanship of earlier brands who made the straight razor popular
  3. You like to be assured of the quality and story behind your razor
  4. Shaving with a straight razor is touted as  a form of meditation, an old razor makes it even more so

Advantages of restoring an old razor

  • Assurance of quality associated with the earlier razors
  • A chance to connect with the culture as practiced by men of the past years
  • A chance to put a family heirloom to good use
  • They are cheap – an antique razor costs about $50 averagely

Disadvantages

  • Not all antique razors are worth restoring, some are already in severely bad conditions that restoring them could cause more harm than good
  • The condition of the razor is already compromised
  • The extra effort put to restoring could be useful somewhere else, especially when there are numerous good quality alternatives out there
  • The assurance of quality is not always available, since it’s been years since anyone used the razor

Take away

This should by no means be a source of confusion, rather a source of guidance in making an informed decision before you choose either means. By evaluating the information and relating them to the conditions around you, any of the option you eventually go with will be from a position of knowledge, not of naivety. The end result is that you get to buy a razor that will not only serve you for years but also a great value for your money and time.

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