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How good are shaving knives?

Discussion in 'Razors, Scissors, & Personal Grooming' started by hank_rearden, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. hank_rearden


    Jun 7, 2002
    do you own/use them? how good/useful are they? qualifying in this category are blades clearly intended for shaving. you have the old case xx slip joint that comes with a razor, some balisong customs, even fixed blade sheath knives (i can think of the snody blades as an example of these.)
  2. KNaB


    Oct 18, 2008
    Not having seen any in person, If the blade was thin enough, hollow ground, and honed properly I suppose they would work well enough (see: comfortably). I don't know about a blade meant to go into a sheath, however, as the delicate edge would be very susceptible to damage.
  3. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Is this a sheath knife that can be used for shaving? Can you post a picture of it? DM
  4. hank_rearden


    Jun 7, 2002
    good question, a fixed blade knife's weakest part is its sheath. how does one carry a fixed razor knife, in a special case like those charlie lewis one-piece razors? that damascus was taken from BF (google image.)
  5. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    Those knives posted with bevels are not going to work unless you regrind them into a completely flat ground knife. They look more like hobby or slashing knives than real straight razors.

    With that said, I once sharpened my Mora #1 to where I did a complete shave with it just to prove that it is possible, but I lost a lot of steel and that edge went-away real quick.
  6. markksr


    Mar 15, 2007
    I am pretty certain that none of those knives are actually intended for shaving.
  7. unit


    Nov 22, 2009
    I would agree.

    Some people think they look cool, or they like the blade shape for the work they do...otherwise, they are simply knives.

    Shaving requires a certain geometry (typically an edge bevel that is 20 degrees inclusive at the MAX and typically closer to 14) that is really not robust enough for anything else. While a person COULD sharpen one and shave with it...you could also do the same with any knife (and the results would not compare favorably to a proper straight razor...ask me how I know this;))

    If you shave with a straight razor that is properly honed and shave ready, you understand what I mean.

    FWIW this blade shape makes a GREAT utility knife and is not very different from my preferred EDC.
  8. Melektau

    Melektau Banned BANNED

    Jan 19, 2013
    That knife with the gun looks like a meat clever beautiful
  9. sodak


    Mar 26, 2004
    This post is right on. I measured my straights with a calipers, and they are all between 13 and 14 deg inclusive. I accidentally nicked my fingernail on one, and it left a sizeable dent in the edge. Straight razors are fantastic for shaving, and worthless for anything else. If you want a knife that performs like a straight, it will be the same.
  10. crazyengineer


    Apr 2, 2011
    Not so on useless for anything else, at least for some razors. Any straight with a near wedge blade isn't as delicate as the hollow ground razors, I have one that looks like someone took a bench grinder to it I sharpen it.....I'm planning on returning it to its original angles etc... And it will make a decent knife. But that is because it is a full wedge...I think im gonna go the route of a fixed blade razor with it, but since it is a smiling blade, I'd say I could use it for just about anything

    I have nicked my hollow grounds with fingernails, drives me nuts, I use more wedge shaped razors because they are harder to mess up
  11. unit


    Nov 22, 2009
    I do not totally disagree with you...but I hope you are planning to freehand an edge on that wedge that is 30+ degrees inclusive AND give up on ever using it as a shaver with that edge geometry.

    Point being, you cannot have both a knife and a proper shaver (even with the support of a full wedge).

    This thread is about knives that look like razors...what I think you are suggesting is a knife that was a razor.

    If you return it to its original angles as you say, I will be interested to hear what sort of knife use you are planning with it. I have taken some steels WAY past their geometry limits. I wouldn't listen to anyone (and I'll encourage you to do the same) but be realistic with your results.

    Please do not take my post as snarky or argumentative. I wish you the best with your project. I am only offering my experience with some very fine carbon steel and sub-20 degree bevels. Fun? Oh yes! Useful for any real knife work? Not really...they are highly specialized (limited) tools at that geometry.
  12. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have one of those folders and have used it numerous times to shave. It works just as good as my straight razor and holds a good edge. DM
  13. hardheart


    Sep 19, 2001
    8 to 10 degrees per side should allow you to shave decently and also perform normal cutting chores. I have shaved several times with a CPM154 parer, and used to do it with a Spyderco Gayle Bradley with no discomfort.

    Your edge needs to be in really good shape, I think people shaving with knives sometimes don't check through a loupe/scope. My most uncomfortable shaves came from disposables and from a couple of vintage straights with too much corrosion. No matter how many times I ground off and reset the bevels on full hollows, there was always a spot that was a nick/dent from old corrosion.
  14. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Agreed, once corrosion gets on a blade it is hard to get it off and difficult to restore the blade back to a decent shaver. After I shave and clean mine I give it a simple light coat of vaseline on the bevel. This sure helps before the next use. DM
  15. Juha Perttula

    Juha Perttula Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 27, 2013
    Scandi knives have angle 20 degrees or sharper. They do not look like razors but you can shave with a sharp scandi knife. I am sure your can shave with your blades if they are properly sharpened.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  16. XiaolongJackson


    Jun 5, 2012
    I can't imagine using that for shaving and flipping. Some things just shouldn't be combined.

    Also, since this thread is sort of related to what I want to ask, I'll ask this here:


    Would it be a good idea to use this in lieu of a straight razor? It seems safe enough, with the rounded tip, and uses Sandvik 12c27, which was apparently made to be used in razor blades. I don't actually want to invest in a real straight razor, since I don't foresee myself shaving very often, as my facial hair takes time to grow.
  17. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I suppose it could even though it looks like a butter knife. Still, would one get a decent shave using it? DM
  18. unit


    Nov 22, 2009
    I'll suggest that you could shave with an old beer bottle if you were determined enough. Count me among the buffoons that shaved with their EDC knife to show off my sharpening abilities.

    That said, I can honestly tell you that while you can achieve insane levels of sharpness with almost anything provided you have the right abilities and hones, do not be fooled into thinking you have anything comparable to a properly honed shave ready razor. Once you experience a truly masterfully honed shave ready razor, you will agree that everything else is just an attempt to prove a failed point.

    It's like comparing a sleeping bag on dirt to a proper bed. You can sleep on both, but the bed is more comfortable. I'm not suggesting that the sleeping bag does not serve a purpose that the bed cannot, or that there may be a certain pleasure offered from camping, but there is a reason that most do not leave their bed every night to sleep in a bag on the ground out back on the dirt.
  19. hank_rearden


    Jun 7, 2002
    the last word here, i suppose. i have a zdp 189 endura; easily my sharpest knife and i know it well enough to bring it to split hair twice using my stones and belts. but shave with it? it doesn't come close to a real hollow-ground straight razor. i think some knife owners (myself included) tend to delude themselves.
  20. 440C knife steel

    440C knife steel

    Apr 7, 2013
    I know Chinese grade 6Cr14MoV steel, they are used to make razor blades, it's ONLY provided to Gillette.
    This steel is fantastic.

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