The Dovo Astrale Half Hollow 5/8 Ebony Straight Razor is a timeless straight razor made with a carbon steel blade and ebony wood scales.
It has a popular blade width of 5/8 inches and a half hollow grind meaning the blade is slightly stiffer than a full hollow grind - perfect for those with thicker beard hair.
The classically styled round point nose allows access to those hard to reach places and adds to the classic look of the razor. The escutcheon plate on the handle would make an ideal spot to engrave the user's initials.
The blade features unique and intricate gold Dovo Astrale patterning adding an out-of-this-world touch to an out-of-this-world razor! Texturing on the top and bottom of the tang allow for an enhanced grip.
The Dovo Astrale Half Hollow 5/8 Ebony Straight Razor also features Dovo Solingen branding on the tang and is presented in a reusable Dovo Solingen hard case delivered inside cardboard packaging.
A masterpiece in steel.
How to use
Start by thoroughly soaking your whiskers either through a shower or by applying a wet warm washcloth. Apply your lather, preferably using a shaving brush and good quality shaving soap or cream – you will soften up your beard with massaging sweeps of the brush and allow a few moments to let them swell.
Hold the open straight razor between your thumb and three fingers in such a way that the open scales (handle) points away from the face. The scales should be at roughly a right angle with the cutting part of the razor.
Start with the unproblematic, even areas of the face. Commence by shaving with the grain, using very light pressure. Approaching at an angle of approximately 30° towards the surface of the skin, the blade should be guided in short, straight strokes across the skin. At the same time, the skin should be stretched tight with the second hand, always following the razor spine. An even scratching sound should indicate if your technique is correct.
If the angle is too flat, the razor will drag the stubble. If the angle is too steep, the razor cuts into the skin, or moves over the stubble without any shaving effect. It is important to always move the blade vertically scratching in the direction of the cutting edge. To reduce the risk of injury, never turn or pull, always shave evenly, and hold the razor a bit steeper when approaching corners, dimples and the upper lip. If necessary, give the shave a second go against the grain.
There are two important rules when stropping the razor: always strop prior to the shave, and rest the blade for a minimum of 48 hours (preferably longer) between shaves.
While a wedge-shaped straight razor can be used with a handheld strop, a classic hanging strop made of fine leather is preferable for half or full hollow ground razors. The hanging strop features a swivel grommet for hanging, and many also come with a canvas strap on the backside. It is recommended to use a leather balm without sharpening properties to maintain the leather side. The leather balm should be thinly applied by the heel of hand or with a cotton cloth, then polished with the cloth ensuring no fatty layer of balm remains.
Before stropping, check the leather is clean and undamaged. Fine metal splinters that came off the razor during the previous stropping can damage the blade. Perform the stropping by applying the cutting edge and the spine of the razor simultaneously onto the tightened strop. Move the blade carefully across the strop - without pressure, but in constant contact with the leather surface and always leading with the spine. The blade must only be turned over the spine before stropping in the opposite direction. Turning it over the cutting edge will destroy the ridge which only a professional grinding can fix.
Dropping the razor onto a hard surface or allowing the cutting edge to touch the scales usually renders the razor unusable. Therefore, it is important that the blade is fitted carefully into the gap between the scales when it is folded together. Be careful, as the scales can sometimes slightly warp when exposed to changes in temperature. If the edge is damaged, mere stropping won’t do - a proper regrind and stropping by a skilled worker will be required.
After use, rinse the straight razor with clean, hot water and dry thoroughly ensuring the blade does not touch bare fingers. It is also important to clean the handle inside and out of any soap residue, and to dry the handles in all the hard to reach places including where the blade is mounted.
The razor should only be stored when thoroughly dry. Fingerprints, acids from cleaning agents and chlorinated water will quickly tarnish steel. Disinfectants are equally damaging for the razor. During extended storage it is recommended to oil the blade with a highly fluid oil which is free of acid and resin. The razor should be stored in a dry and well-aired environment.