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.
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. 🙂
A Kamisory Primer
Mantic59’s Kamisori Journey, Part 1
An Introduction to Japanese Hones