It is true that straight razors are known for their low maintenance requirements and sturdiness that enables them to last for a longer period of time than safety razors. Yet the daily grit that your straight razor goes through needs a few simple steps of maintenance to keep it running hassle free for a longer period of time.
Here is a detailed way of honing your razor for durable performance:
- Rinsing your razor thoroughly after every use to ensure every speck of soap is washed off.
- Before storing it in your kit box make sure it is entirely dry.
- Also keep it out from the reach of children.
- If your blades do not give you the desired close shave make it go through a process of honing and stropping, this will regain its sharpness. You can get it honed by a professional or in a barbershop if you are not accustomed to the process. The blades which produce a sticky feel when you stroke the edge against the ball of your thumb, actually has the perfect sharpness.
Now there is a list of things that you should not do to retain the sharpness of your razor. These are:
- Don not bang the edge of the blades on any hard material, this will not only break your razor but can also rob off its sharpness.
- Never use your razor for any other purpose other than shaving, such as a box cutter or a pencil sharpener or chopping meat – this can only blunt the edges.
- If your hands are untrained never try honing or stropping on your own, this will get you reverse results.
So, now a few words on stropping and honing to ensure that you know everything about caring for your straight razor
Stropping– stropping is generally done on a leather belt and the mechanism involves stroking the razor from bottom to the top and back again, with the edge of the blade trailing at right angle to the entire length of the Strop. After every stroke the blade is not lifted from the strop but is rolled along the axis of the back of the blade before taking the next stroke. You need to train your hands for the skilled stropping strokes and around 20-30 strokes are needed to give your razor the sharpness of a new one.
Honing– Honing a straight razor requires a honing stone with fine grades about 4000 to 10,000 even 12,000 grits. Now in order to hone your blade first lay the stone flat on a stable surface keep some water to wet the surface of the stone. Hold your razor at right angle to the length of the stone, the edge should be facing away from you. Now slide your razor up the stone with the edge leading, do not lift the blade but continue stroking at right angle. When you notice slurry substance beginning to form on the surface of the blade, you know you are doing it right. Continue with 10 strokes each up and down. Wash your razor and feel it against the ball of your thumb to get the sticky feeling which is the characteristic of a perfectly sharp razor.
So, now you know all the things that you needed to maintain your straight razor so that it lasts for a lifetime.
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