Hand Tools Archive

resharpened straight razor and DE blade *PIC*

David Weaver
The same razor resharpened with said earlier japanese stone. This can be chased finer, but it just leads to blood and razorburn. The go-to for the average beginner if they come up short here is to wipe it all away with graded chromium oxide, and that works to some extent. It leaves an edge that's transient, and you really want the strop and linen to do what was done in the other picture. That blade with the uneven looking edge is probably more pleasant than this one will be for a week or two.

At any rate, dennert razor honed (dennert is an old company from solingen-foche - old razors are generally better than anything new because the alloys weren't gamed for stability very much).

This is a light round on the linen. With the edge exposed from fresh honing, no heavy hand is a good idea on linen and leather, you can deflect things. As the edge gets a couple of weeks of shaves on, then it settles in to long term use and changes very little.

You can see that the tips of the abrasive grooves and the edge are just starting to burnish. The shave will be good. If this were finished with oxides, the edge would be a bit transient, but it would be sharper (than it needs to be) in technical terms.

And two pictures of damage to an astra blade with a few days of shaves. Some parts are undamaged, and some are like this. I have no idea what the effective angle is, but the blades are so flimsy that they can bend around inside the razor as it's used. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the razors that seemingly make blades last longer do a better job of preventing bending at more than just the tip. If the tip bends, the razor starts to shave the hair on more of a diagonal and the force pushes the edge up while it's happening. I am no expert on DEs, I only use them when visiting relatives.

The straight razor would seem fragile to us, but it bends much less than these do.

I could've told the guys studying razors three things, but they would've known too much to listen to me:
1) the blades could be a little bit stiffer with the tip rounded some to mimic a straight razor in use for a while (the chromium coating on them is wonderful, though - it's slick. Straight razors generally seem nicer to shave with if the bevel is tiny - mine is just over a hundredth of an inch because it was wonderfully ground - as thicker razors get a fatter bevel, it literally does add to the friction of the cut and make them feel more dull).
2) the more plain the alloy, the better the razor will be in not losing bits of its edge, but it will also be harder to manufacture due to warpage
3) i can't remember what it was, it looks like there are two things in 1, but failure due to deflection in commercial irons is obvious. We're not made of sand and the razors have a chromium or sometimes other coating on them. It would last a long time on skin.

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