LESSONS FROM HISTORY

A Straight Razor For SHTF

straight-razor-for-shtf

While looking back through history, the straight razor was the tool that was used to shave. Before the days of electricity and electric shavers and before the days of disposable razors, the straight razor got the job done. In fact, a straight razor can get the job done today just as well.

While so many preppers are filling their pantries and closets with supplies, what about your shaving needs after the SHTF?

I just picked up a straight razor from a USA knife maker who not only makes his products here in the United States, but they are hand hammered and hand forged. The real deal…

Here is just a little bit more about it:


 
I own several knives from knife maker James Wahls of ‘Indy Hammered Knives’ which have been getting a workout around the homestead – and they’re holding up quite well. In fact I’m amazed at their ability to hold a sharp edge. I highlighted (reviewed) two of his knives in the following articles if you’re interested:

My Hand Forged-Hammered Knife
A Hand Forged, Hand Made Knife Made In The USA

With that said, and as I expected, the straight razor from James is as sharp as (a razor!). Although a picture can’t do it justice, I tried anyway to capture the edge:

straight-razor-edge

The key to success for a straight razor is keeping it sharp. There is a technique, and it’s really not that difficult with the right tool (a leather strop) as shown here:

leather-strop

Apparently James (at this time) has three straight razors to choose from. I’m putting it out there for your information and for those who might have not thought about shaving after the SHTF ;)

Indy Hammered Knives – Straight Razors

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24 Comments

  1. Though I love the idea of a straight razor, I still think I’d cut my neck. I switched to an old-fashioned safety razor a few years ago and love that. The blades are really cheap. One of these days I may buck up and make the complete leap. It’s awesome to see this guy making razors – those prices are great.

    1. I have read of several folks who have tried this..there is a way of swiping a safety razor on your blue jeans, which apparently sharpens it, and extends the life about ten times longer. suspect there are some you tube videos on this…

  2. Curious as to how the septic system will function after all the blood drains into it! I think I will just have to go the Grizzly Adams look.

  3. I’ve used the same Merkur Futor double-edged safety razor for most of my adult life. And, the double sided safety razors themselves are cheap at about $20 per 100 online.

    I’ve got myself setup for probably the next two decades! To heck with 3, 4, or 5 blade nonsense at top dollar ;-)

    Making the move to a straight razor is an interesting one, and this is something I’ve thought of over the past couple of years, but I find that what I have is cheap and gives the razors a dual purpose if needed for any sort of SHTF once I’ve used them.

    Maybe as my beard and skin soften up a bit more as more gray hair come in I could play with one… ;-)

  4. As we get older more hair falls out than grows in, so not much of an issue in this house. DH has actually been using the same disposable for about 4 months now. I believe the amount of disposables that we have on hand will outlive us and can be handed down to our son.

  5. This topic got me to thinking a bit more…

    I think this bleeds (pun intended!) into overall SHTF hygiene and it would be interesting to learn more of how people have planned for dealing with their hygiene situation, or not :-(

    There really is something to be said for taking a hot shower, getting a haircut, or having a shave to improve your morale and psyche!

    Think of most any western (Jeremiah Johnson) or SHTF movie (The Road) and you’re going to see a person cleaning up with a shave to feel better overall. The same is going to pan out if there is an SHTF that throws us back a century or two.

    I don’t mind the week long scruff most of the year or beard in winter, but it’s not sticking around long in a hot summertime SHTF…!

  6. I love the stuff this guy makes, if I ever have some cash to spend on something other than bills i plan on ordering from him, the knives, and some of his other hand made stuff is unbelieveable

  7. It’s interesting, to me at least, as we grow older we seen to take more time for the finer things in life.

    Case in point, in the old days I was more than happy with a Bottle of Boones Farm Strawberry Hill, A burger at Carl’s Junior, An Apartment in the city somewhere, Dusty old couch to sleep on, watching the sun come up from the night before knowing that hangover will start in 5 minuets, and a cheap old POS plastic razor.

    Now it’s a bottle of Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon -2010, a Teixeira’s Pan-Seared Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with all the fixens, 40 acres complex with 4 outbuildings and a 2,500 SqFt 4 bedroom main house (don’t forget the Bunker), a very comfortable GrandBed by Tempur-Pedic, watching the sun go down with good friends and family, and a custom hand made Diamondback Straight Razor.

    I don’t personally see anything wrong with that, by God I have worked my azz off to get where I’m at and I refuse to let your buddy’s at the government or anyone else take it away.

    Life is good people, enjoy the riches of your labor to the fullest.
    NRP

    1. WOW! Are we ever different. The first drunk event in my life was due to an untold volume of Thunderbird sometime during my h.s. days and to this day I can’t put down a glass of wine without getting uncomfortable. And filet mignon to me is like liver. My tastes are more colloquial. I’m a beer guy. And the fanciest cut of meat for me is a ribeye. But I think I prefer meatloaf as much. Live on.

  8. I work with several people who talk constantly about their straight razors, and never ending supplies of paraphernalia associated with their use.

    No Offense.

    Personally, this item does not sniff the level of a minor priority.

    Again, shop deals load up on simple shaving items if you prefer a clean face. I’ve spoken on sundries in the past, and their importance. A simple prep.

    On the other hand, the thought of it’s use in a totally different context is appealing.

  9. I tried one of these once years ago. I didn’t care much for it. Could have been to dull… I started using Harry’s Razors a couple years ago and am happy with that. Blades are pretty inexpensive.

  10. A straight razor seems like a good idea now, but shaving in the dark after the SHTF would present me with a challenge. My plan is to use a good pair of scissors to keep my beard short, and save both water and septic sticks…

  11. I planned on not shaving. I was hoping to “blend in” not look so clean cut, eat just enough to stay comfortable.

  12. Thanks to a raised mole on my neck I can’t even use a regular razor let alone a straight razor. So for the most part I plan on using scissors to keep the beard trimmed but when I need to have that clean shaved feeling I have a battery operated razor that runs off 2 AA batteries that I can recharge with my Goal Zero solar charger. I guess when that runs its course then I’ll have to get used to the beard or get used to a bloody neck from using a razor. :)

  13. I switched to razor blade shaving long time back but also picked up a $10 battery operated shaver for quick cuts which I keep in the get out of town now bag. Also experimented with different lathers, oils.
    But this topic is really dealing with alternatives to personal care in the event of lack of readily available resources. How about shoes? Do you have several pair in store? Undies, socks, dish, laundry and personal soap, toothpaste, shampoo, TP, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, band aids, baking soda……..

    oh my

    1. Exactly !

      Been harping on sundries for a couple weeks now.

      How about toilet paper.

      I’ll tell you, my prep plan doesn’t include using leaves.

  14. If you want to try using a straight razor and you never used one before, I suggest you use a balloon first; blow up a balloon, put some shaving cream on it and start to shave the balloon with the razor. When you can shave the balloon with out popping the balloon then you have the right angle and you can shave your face with out cutting yourself.

  15. This isn’t about toilet paper, but wanted to add something anyhow..
    I considered the toilet paper issue for quite awhile.
    lol..
    and what I came up with is a Very small/portable Bidet. I have one that I pulled from a Senior Potty chair assembly…came with it..doesn’t need much water and looks like a tiny solar shower, lol..
    just sayin..
    im glad I have it..

  16. A straight razor is one more item we can buy one or two of, and be done. Prepping is about (I think) gathering what you need for the long run. Skills with things like a straight razor are also important. Maybe more important than the items themselves. Gather simple tools, like a straight razor, a brace and bit, a wooden miter box and saw, and learn to use them. There are a million sites with instructions on everything you can imagine on the web. Use it while you can. PREP YOURSELF. You are the most important resource you have.
    Blessings.

  17. I switched to a straight razor a while ago. Currently using one with disposable blades. Just buy the double sided blades and snap them in half. I’ve had a few decent cuts but nothing too intense. I also have a strop and a few razors that were my dad’s. This blade looks great. And it’s such a better shave and not too hard to do. Angle is key with a straight razor.

  18. I have recently made the transition from multi-blade razors to an old fashioned “safety razor” from Duluth Trading Post. The reasons: #1 I don’t have the guts to bring a straight razor to my own throat. #2 while it was getting harder to find replacement blades for my old “Gillette Mach 3” I was always able to find double edge razor blades at the stores. #3 I was curious that many men that shave everyday , including my father, never switched to the multiple blade fad that Gillette advertises the motto of: more blades are better.

    I will not lie. The learning curve was short but bloody. (about 1 week) but I am now a convert to the single blade method of shaving with a vintage “safety razor” that uses double edge razor blades that can be purchased from just about any pharmacy within the United States. My wife has noticed the difference and I have become less tolerant of 5 o’clock shadow that itches when it gets too long.

    My hints to those that are learning or are going to transition from multi-blade to a single blade: NEVER, EVER shave while you are in a hurry or angry. These razors require a steady and gentle hand much like caressing the smooth skin of a beautiful woman. After all, shaving my face is in order to get attention from my wife in the first place. A good thorough shave will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes if it is done right.

    Part of preparing for tough times can involve going retro. Shaving with a single edge is old fashioned but it still works well, it is cheaper to do in the long run and supplies are readily available now which makes it ideal for the readers of this blog. We all must make our own decisions about how we want to simplify our lives in preparation for hard times to come.

  19. I’m not happy with any of my shaving methods. The one I did like is now obsolete.

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