Top positive review
52 people found this helpful
Great inexpensive intro to straight razors
on 23 October 2014
I switched to "traditional" single blade shaving quite a while ago as I find the multi blade cartridge razors (Mach 3, Fusion etc) as well as being ridiculously expensive, irritate my skin. I currently shave with a vintage straight razor most of the time (or a DE safety razor when I'm in a hurry).
I'd recommend straight razor shaving to anyone who wants a traditional, close shave with no (or virtually no) skin irritation. But a decent quality straight razor (forget the cheap ones - they won't hold a sharp edge) will set you back around £100 and then it will periodically require honing on a series of stones and stropping on a leather strop before every shave to maintain the edge. Obviously a shavette such as this doesn't require any of that maintenance - you just change the blade when it starts to pull. So I bought one of these shavettes a while ago when I wanted to give single blade shaving a try without spending a fortune. For £7.95 including a pack of Wilkinson Sword blades (which retail at about £4 on their own) this is excellent value for money I think.
For the price the build quality is actually pretty good. I had no trouble changing the blades. But if you're struggling there are plenty of YouTube videos on the subject (as well as videos on proper straight razor shaving technique which I'd highly recommend that anyone new to this style of shaving should watch).
A few people have commented on the wooden handle. If you're concerned about that then just get the one with the metal handle. Having said that, I've had no problems with the wooden handle on mine. If you use the correct technique then the handle shouldn't be getting wet anyway. But as a precaution I coated mine in olive oil and let it dry to provide a measure of moisture protection. And as I've said, I haven't had any issues at all.
After a couple of weeks the pins that hold the blade and handle together needed tightening up a bit. But they are brass screws so that was a two second job!
The metal parts are well made and, if you look after this shavette (ie just clean and dry it after each use), I don't see why it wouldn't last for a very long time. Combine it with a decent Best or Super Badger brush and a good quality shaving soap or cream, such as Taylor of Old Bond Street and you'll be well on your way to seeing your daily shave as a pleasure not a chore.
In summary, it's a good budget introduction to straight razor shaving and even if you decide not to "progress" to a straight razor or decide that single blade shaving just isn't for you, for £7.95 I really don't think you can go wrong with one of these. Dip your toe in the water and start shaving the old fashioned way!