“I can’t shave with the razor”

Occasionally, I get a customer who comes back to me saying the razor won’t shave their face. I always first ask how many times they’ve shaved with a straight razor. Usually the response is “This is my first time”. SO! What can I tell you? I can guarantee that when I send a razor or knife back to someone, it’s going to be extraordinarily sharp. What I CANNOT guarantee is that you’ll be able to shave your face with it. Why? Because shaving with a straight razor is a skill that becomes better the more often you do it. I can’t give you that skill, it really is something you have to learn for yourself. It’s the same when I sharpen wood chisels. I will give them back to you very sharp but I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to carve the head of a violin. Carving is a separate skill.

I also have had people say “It won’t shave a tomato or a kiwi so I can’t imagine it would shave my face”. OK, stop trying to imagine and shave your face. Straight razors are designed for shaving faces (or whatever). Any test other than shaving your face is an indicator AT BEST! You have to try it on YOUR face to see it work.