Ask Aaron Q/A: Preparing a straight razor for its first shave

ask aaron image

Jason Maloney, from the UK, asks:

“I recently bought my first Dovo of Solingen razor, I’ve also bought Canadian 2500 grit travel stone, and a strop. When I first used my blade I thought it would be like a hot knife through butter, but I found the shave very hard in the aspect the hair on my face was pulling. It felt like the blade was not sharp enough? But there supposed to be shave ready? I also steamed my face so the hair was really soft and I lathered up properly as on the tutorials on Youtube, can you tell me what I’m doing wrong?”

Dovo of Solingen Shavette (Polished Steel Handle)
Dovo of Solingen Shavette (Polished Steel Handle)


“Mr Maloney,
Despite their claims, most razors do not come shave ready, sadly. I would definitely suggest getting it honed before trying to shave much more with it. If you are going to hone it yourself, read up on it thoroughly and practice practice practice. It’s a difficult art, but very worthy once you learn. You’ll want to get progressively finer stones as well, especially as high as 8000, 10000, 12000 for that fine, sharp edge.

I am a big proponent of preparing your face to shave. However I will caution that you can over-prep with hot water and steam causing your face to be tender. I doubt this was the case from your description, but wanted to provide you with the caveat. I wish you all the best on your straight razor journey!

Smooth Shaving!

Do you have any burning questions you would like to ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger?


Leave a Comment

Established in 2005, The Shaving Shack is your number one online traditional shaving shop. As one of Europe’s leading online shaving retailers, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best in double edge shaving, as well as men’s skincare and men’s grooming products. We’ve got shaving brushes, double edge safety razors, cut throat razors, shaving soaps, soap bowls, shaving creams, shaving sets and other shaving accessories to suit every budget.

Phone: +44 1752 898191

The Shaving Shack is a trading style of Dash Direct Ltd (Company number 04223426).


Shaving Against the Grain: Do or Don’t?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at The Shaving Shack is about shaving and hair direction. The most specific question regarding shaving and hair direction is whether …

Read More

Shaving tips for men: Top 5 rookie mistakes to avoid

One of the hardest things about starting a new skill is understanding exactly what you do and don’t know. Finding that piece of awareness that little nugget of knowledge that …

Read More

Saving Money on Your Shave: Safety Vs Cartridge Razors

Whether it’s car insurance, house bills or shaving, it’s always nice to save some cash. The problem is that nobody wants to feel like they’re getting a lesser experience as …

Read More
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top