Are you a straight shaver? Do you hate rust? Do you like great razors? This is for you!

This is about leveraging the only meaningful innovation in straight razor manufacture in the last 75 years for a relaxed Austere August without worrying about your precious razor rusting while you enjoy your summer.

This is about Friodom! (from rust)

TL/DR:

  1. Get yourself a Friodur, Inox, Eisgehärtet, Edelstahl (or any differently named stainless steel) straight razor.
  2. Participate in AA with it.
  3. Profit!

What do I need?

A stainless steel razor (If you don’t have one and are tempted by this challenge, I strongly suggest getting a Friodur 5/8 or larger, they are all very good, and typically in can be found in great condition on eBay).

Can I combine $FriodomRiders with other challenges?

Yes! $FriodomRiders is compatible with $headless, $RawHoggin, $Honemeisterschaft and all the software challenges.

How do I participate?

Include the character string “$FriodomRiders” in your SOTD posts. (Yes, that’s a Dollar sign $, not a hashtag #. If I never have to talk about hashtags in SOTD posts again, it’s still too soon 😅)

What do I get?

The honour of displaying the 🗽FriodomRider🏇 flair.

Backstory

The heyday of straight razors is the late 19th century, and a 130 year old full hollow ground Böker looks exactly like one made this year. Even modern razors who try new design languages are typically made exactly like a century ago: A blank of carbon steel is forged, tempered, ground, and scaled.

After an initial learning curve, a good straight razor delivers fantastic shaves for a lifetime if properly cared for, and here lies the rub. Most straight razors rust. You need to keep them dry and oiled between uses, or they will turn into expensive red powder.

We’re not really used to things rusting any more in our lives. Our cutlery, pots, pans, and most kitchen knives are made from stainless steel, so why aren’t razors?

The first stainless steel knives appeared in 1914, and they weren’t a success, but known as “the knife that would not cut”. The ice-hardening process for quality blades in stainless steel was only invented in 1939 and patented by Zwilling in 1951 under the name Friodur (pseudo latin for cold-hard). This means that good stainless steel came about only after the straight razors fell out of fashion.

Zwilling (Friodur), Weltmeister (eisgehärtet), Thiers Issard and Dovo (Inox), Ralf Aust (Edelstahl) all produced or still produce stainless steel razors.

I’m convinced that good stainless steal razors are on par with good carbon steel razors, and they have an undeservedly bad reputation. Join me in shining light on the best straight razors ever made.

  • I wish I could love straight edges, but oiling was the least of my maintenance concerns; stropping takes time and a little skill, and keeping your strop conditioned takes maintenance, and finding a reliable sharpener when you need a sharpen (no way I’m going to ruin a blade trying to learn how to sharpen it myself; kitchen knives are hard enough).

    I agree with you about how good the shave can be. I solved my maintenance issues by getting a Feather Artist Club folding razor, and I use the safety blades in it. It’s close enough, and hella easier to maintain.

    I’m glad you’re able to enjoy a true straight edge; the upkeep was just too much for me.

    • Kaput@lemmy.world
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      11 days ago

      Strope and edge maintenance suggestion. I built my own with a flat piece of wood, about an in inch wide glued a strip of leather on both side and added polishing compound to one side.the leather I do 2 or 3 passes on the polishing side than 2 3 pass on the leather side. Being flat make it easy to strope at the right angle. I had it sharpened once, about 3 years ago and it still perfectly sharp. The advise of using a stick instead of just a strap came from the sharpening guy

    • djundjilaOPMA
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      11 days ago

      no way I’m going to ruin a blade trying to learn how to sharpen it myself; kitchen knives are hard enough

      Sharpening razors is easier than kitchen knives. It’s easy to mess up the bevel on a kitchen knife because you need to free-hand a constant angle. Razors lie flat on the stone. It’s honestly a very accessible and also satisfying skill to pick up, if you like that sort of thing.

      My other Austere August challenge is about easing into maintenance and making finding a reliable sharpener unnecessary, if you’re interested.

  • waldenMA
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    11 days ago

    I would, but I don’t believe in Austere August.

    I also can’t travel with a straight razor which makes it impossible to succeed 😭

    • djundjilaOPMA
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      11 days ago

      I would, but I don’t believe in Austere August.

      It’s really “Austere” August at this point 😅

      I also can’t travel with a straight razor which makes it impossible to succeed 😭

      😭