I’ve used a Dovo Shavette successfully for many years without any problems, but the blades only last about three shaves and they’re weird to change, involving sliding out a plastic sleeve and clipping the blade in. So I’ve always wanted to switch to a straight razor. However good Dovo straight razors are difficult to find for less than €200 in Ireland so I decided on a middle-of-the-road stainless blade for €40 to start with for a year or two.
It came just about sharp enough to shave with, not nearly as comfortable as a fresh blade in a shavette (More like shavette shave three or four) but it quickly became unusable and stopped cutting the hairs.
I tried stropping it a couple hundred times to no avail.
So I got a block of sharpal green stropping paste and put it on an old leather strop. Sharpal Green is about 2 microns, 10,000 grit. Now I’ve read that 8,000 grit, 3 microns will sharpen a straight razor, so this seems more than fine enough, but I applied it to the old strop and went over about 60 times and it seemed to make it duller!
I have some .5 micron diamond paste somewhere, but it sounds like that wouldn’t help given that Sharpal Green should do the trick.
So, where do I go from here? I’m not going to splash out on an expensive razor if I can’t get a respectable mid-level one to at least work.
Better strop? Different paste? Different combination/order of pastes? Buffing wheel for my grinder? Whetstones/oilstones (I have some) before the paste?
Also what does the canvas side of the strop do?
Okay I've managed to improve things. I found a 3000/8000 sharpening stone, taped up the spine of the blade and gave it about 30 goes on 3000 and about 150 strokes on the 8000 side, then stropped it on the same strop that still had a residue of 10000 grit green sharpal on and it now shaves arm hair and short stubble, which is a great step in the right direction.
Because the blade is stainless rather than carbon steel, I believe it benefited from a little pressure on the fine side of the stone, and great care to always strike the stone at the same angle each time. This is progress :)