Thursday, August 28, 2014
Your First Straight Razor: The Gold Dollar
Its very seldom to see people shaving using a straight razor nowadays as it seems that the long lost tradition of straight razor shaving is all but a bygone era that is well remembered by old timers such as you grand fathers. Today, most men shave using a safety razor or an electric shave as these both offer a convenient way of shaving off their mustache and beard in the morning. The only place that you will ever see straight razors being used is in a barber shop, a salon or in an old movie. Unfortunately, straight razors have seemingly outlived their popularity since electric and safety razors are easier to use.
However, there are still some people that prefer straight razors over the more modern electric and safety razors as traditional shaving implements such as the cut throat razor offer a cleaner and smoother shave compared to modern day safety razors. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of the use of the straight razor by people and straight razor enthusiasts that has revived people's interest in the lost traditional art and ritual of cut throat shaving. It is easily quite understandable why most traditional shavers prefer the straight razor over the safety razor because of the ritualistic approach in how it is undertaken.
You can ask any old timer who has used a straight razor for their entire life of how it feels to shave using a very sharp scalpel like razor blade under their neck, keeping a very steady hand over any sudden movements on their hand and trying to avoid cutting themselves, just for the thrill of being able to achieve a smooth, clean shave. The risk involved in learning to negotiate a sharp razor on your face does not seem to be a fun way of starting the morning, but it does give traditional shavers a sort of adrenalin rush.
In the olden days, if a boy enters the age of adolescence, their fathers would usually give them a straight razor as a welcome gift on their entry to manhood. Straight razors are usually passed on from generation to generation as heirlooms within the family and is often used for decades among the men in the family. Traditional straight razors such as Dovo, Theirs-Issard, Boker and Parker are among the well known brands of straight razors that have the reputation of being among the sharpest in the world.
Unfortunately, these old brands are quite expensive today since their reputation precedes them with regard to craftsmanship and fine quality. There are a lot of affordable brands nowadays that are available in the market for just as little as $10 to $20 which you can buy without spending a substantial amount of money should you decide that straight razor shaving is not your cup of tea. A fairly cheap and inexpensive straight razor should be more than adequate to get you started in learning the fine art of shaving using a straight razor.
One well known inexpensive brand that most people buy is the Gold Dollar straight razor that is made in China which is made of 5/8th carbon steel blade which can be bought just about anywhere. The blade of the Gold Dollar is made from carbon steel which means it will rust after prolonged use, especially if you do not clean it after you use it and apply a thin coat of light oil in order to reduce oxidation when you keep it away for safe keeping. The Gold Dollar straight razor does not come in shave ready although it is pretty sharp to begin with, but not sharp enough to give you a decent clean shave, unless of course you do not mind carving your face with a cheese grate, as that's what it feels if you do not use a perfectly honed straight razor.
Since it is your first time to use a straight razor, we may suggest that you take very good care of how you handle the blade of the razor, for your own safety. Make sure that you have your newly acquired razor hones by a person who knows how to bring out the sharpness of its blade to its full shaving potential. Take slow hand motions to make you get used to the sharpness of the blade and its weight against your face so that you can estimate the force that you have to exert to successfully attain a smooth and cut free shaved face.