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Mantic59’s Kamisori Razor Journey (Part 2)

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kamisori sharpened
I recently bought a Japanese-style “Kamisori” straight razor. Unfortunately it was not “shave ready” so I sent it off to Straight Razor Designs for sharpening. I received it back a few days ago and gave it a try. Southern-style biscuits and gravy, this thing is sharp.  If I don’t mess up the edge, I’m set for a while.

Kamisori Challenges

Stropping is easy enough, if a little odd-feeling: I strop the Omote:Ura sides 4:1.  Shaving the dominant side of my face is a piece of cake.  The Kamisori just “feels right” in my hand.  But moving to the middle and opposite sides of my face has proven to be much more difficult than I anticipated and I gave myself a fair amount of nicks and razor burn.  Even reviewing Jim Rion’s video did not help much.  There’s just something about trying to maintain the correct angle on an asymetric razor edge that I’m not getting.
Reading the various forum posts about Kamisori-style razors I read where not shaving on both sides of the edge is not a “set in stone” rule so maybe I should try it.  It would certainly make gripping the razor more familiar, based on Western-style straight razors.  But I really want to use the razor in the way it was meant to be so more practice is definitely necessary.  Give me a few more weeks and I will write another update.  Meanwhile if you shave with a Japanese-style straight razor feel free to comment below with suggestions or tips!  And if you have a question, now is the time to ask it.  🙂
Related Posts:
A Kamisory Primer
Mantic59’s Kamisori Journey, Part 1
An Introduction to Japanese Hones


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

5 thoughts on “Mantic59’s Kamisori Razor Journey (Part 2)”

  1. Pingback: Mantic59?s Kamisori Razor Journey (Part 2) | rasage

  2. Please try both sides. It is a very non-sense idea that Omote should be always against the face… Actually kamisoris weres mostly used by japanese barbers back in the day, so it was probably very easy for those barbers to keep one side only against their customer’s face ;-), but this is not the case for someone who shaves himself for sure..
    As a long time kamisori honer and user, there is nothing wrong to use both sides if it works for you!. 🙂
    Good luck!

  3. You’re very brave to try a Kamisori style razor. Have you had much experience using western style straights? I would have thought that would at least help a little. I remember when I first started using a straight and I decided to use my left hand for the left side of my face as a lot of people recommended doing so. I have never been so nervous as holding it in my left hand and trying to shave with it! After a few weeks I did get used to it though, practice really does help.

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