Curiosity got the better of me, and late in January, I ordered a straight razor, sight unseen, from Larry @ The Whipped Dog.
I asked for something with black scales, full hollow ground, 6/8. He said he only had 5/8 razors and I gave him the go ahead. It arrived a week later in a brown envelope. The razor wrapped securely in bubble wrap. It came also with a leather strop (a length of leather to strop the blade a-la barber style) and a balsa strop (a strip of balsa wood loaded with abrasive compound). Better, it came with detailed instructions on how to use, care for and sharpen the razor. It also came with extra abrasive compound for the balsa, and a small Lavender Chamomile sample from Bald Frog Soap. The tagline says “Slicker than a bald frog” – can’t wait to try this.
To be completely frank, I didn’t like the look of the razor out of the box. There was significant pitting on the spine of the blade and was rusted where the pivot is. It looked like it was a thicker blade (like maybe 6/8), but it’d been honed to a 5/8. There was also not much information I could find about this manufacturer online. Made in Germany, but Phil Eisemann (sometimes Eiseman) operated from 616 N. Queen St., Lancaster, Pennsylvania – and was in business between about 1906 and 1934.
I posted a picture of it on my Facebook page for my friends to see, and they advised that I ready band-aids and/or a turban. I took a first exploratory face shave with it a couple of days later. I have to say it didn’t feel right. The angles were odd, the blade didn’t feel particularly sharp compared to the DE. I stropped it (cut my finger in the process) and haven’t used it for about 3 weeks – until tonight.
Using my Semogue 730HD and the last of the Mama Bear Lime soap, I painted my head white and went to town. Unlike a DE, you can’t just use the weight of the razor. Some pushing is required. 2 slow WTG passes and I’m done. A close comfortable shave. One mistake – put the blade edge down one time on my scalp and felt the sting – no blood.
This isn’t so bad! I can see this becoming part of a routine relaxing Friday evening shave. Now if I could JUST keep my eyes off a Dovo Master’s in Stainless Steel.