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A trail knife you can shave with and use

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by wheelgunslinger, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Well-Known Member

    Something I really don't like is shaving...for a couple of days. Then something I hate more is not shaving after 3 days of beard.
    But, I spend a lot of time in the outdoors, backpacking, and hunting.

    So, does anyone recommend a good blade that you can actually shave with and do utility tasks with?

    I'd like to buy a shaver, but packing the extra weight of a shaver and a general purpose knife is unappealing. Not to mention unnecessary with the right tool.

    eh... and I despise the image of the great white hunter shaving while in the bush, but I'm spending longer and longer out there and don't mind the idea of shaving so much anymore...
  2. sammoh

    sammoh Well-Known Member

    Umm, pack a straight edge razor in your gear? Aside from that, while all my knives are sharp enough to shave with, I wouldn't shave with them. Otherwise, a package of disposable razors are always a good idea too, buy one and stick a couple in your pack for an outing.

    Frankly, I think getting a straight edge razor and packing it for the outing is a good idea. It can serve as a secondary cutting tool should you somehow lose your knives.

  3. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Good Straight Razor

    Like the man said.

    Get a good straight razor.

    It's not hard to learn. My barber (in England) taught me how to use it, and actually ordered mine for me. Cost me about $5.00 back in the day.

    Lost that one. Got another at Cutlery World in 1982 ($25.00). Still have that one.

    Today, a really good one can set you back over a hundred bucks, but a decent one can be had for less.

    It will do a much better job than any trail knife. You just can't get that same edge on a knife with a bevel strong enough to do outdoors stuff. I have a couple of Marttiini hunting knives that I could shave with if I had to, but I'd have to sharpen them finer than usual, and that would weaken the edge (thinner, y'know), making it easier to dull.

    Get a real razor, and if you don't know how to use it, have your barber teach you. It's not hard.

    Actually, now that I think of it, there are a couple of folding knives out there that have an actual razor as one of the blades. I'll have to look that up -- unless hso beats me to it.
  4. sm

    sm member

    is often shared in regard to being such a sharp knife, folks shaved with them.

    Same knife was/is a working tool, a user, for all tasks in addition to being shaved with.

    Feared as a weapon and in fact banned in some areas,back in the day because of the intent of the users of this sharp, non-locking, carbon steel knife.

    I no longer have a small Douk-Douk, still I assure you I have gone out into the woods, for a week at a time, or longer, and that was the only knife I used for everything!

    I really need to get a few more of these again...

    Edit to add link :
  5. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    I have been shaving with a straight razor for the last couple of years. It's bad enough shaving with a blade made for the job. You need a good quality blade (I use Dovo razors) kept clean and sharp, good face prep and tough skin. Even with a first class razor, your first few sessions will be bloody until you get the hand of things and your face toughens.

    Can you shave with a knife? I've done it. You want a very acute angle on a blade meant for shaving and a polished edge. This type of edge is not great for cutting.

    I recommend a high carbon (not stainless) blade. Sharpen with a very shallow angle. Follow you standard stone with a surgical black, or better yet, japanese water stones. I sharpen my razors with an 8000 grip water stone. Finally, you'll want to strop.

    Such a knife will work for other tasks, but you will really need to watch the edge. A nearly invisible nick with wreak havoc on your face.

    Why not just carry a plastic disposable razor?
  6. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    Note the greatest photo, but note the difference between the razor and this hollow ground knife.

  7. qbpc

    qbpc Well-Known Member

    Save your face and pack a couple disposable razors. What maybe 2oz at the most or you could always just chance cutting your trip short by cutting your face (pun intended).
    My .02
  8. .38 Special

    .38 Special Well-Known Member

    I'm another straight razor "hobbyist", and can't imagine trying to use one in the wilderness. For me -- and for most people, in my experience -- face prep is critical to a good straight razor shave. Piping hot towels, a good lather on a badger hair brush, and plenty of time...

    I can't imagine how much more unpleasant it would be with a knife, rather than a purpose-made razor. I think the advice about bringing a cheap disposable safety razor is spot-on.
  9. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Cutting Yourself

    I have owned a straight razor for more than 25 years.

    I have cut my thumb, my knuckle, and the tip of one finger.

    I have never cut my face or neck.

    Proper care and technique, and alertness. Nothing wakes you up like looking in a mirror at your face next to the sharpest blade you can buy.

    I have used shaving soap, shaving cream, shaving gel, and hand/body lotion for shaving, including Williams Waterless. An unscented lotion lubricates well, doesn't dry prematurely, and is easy to remove when you're done.

    Oh, and what GunTech said about nicks in the edge. True story. Protect your edge.
  10. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    I hate to shave. Hate it. Hot water, good lather, hot, wet towel is a recent discovery, and a VERY sharp straight razor is all I can stand to use.

    I shave my neck and upper cheeks once or twice a week. Won't shave the rest. Wife got used to it.
  11. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Well-Known Member

    I suppose I was just hoping there was a folder that had 1 shaving blade and 1 utility blade. Or some wunder-knife.

    Douk-Douk sounds good.
    Maybe I will just keep on toting the disposables...
    I wouldn't mind buying a razor to use at home, though. It looks like a Zen activity, shaving with a good razor.
  12. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Well-Known Member

    Nothing compares to a proper shave with a quality straight razor but I wouldn't want to pack and carry all the necessary stuff that goes with it into the boonies.
    I use my Gransfor Bruks axe.
    (just kidding but I probably could)
    cheap plastic disposables or go naturally hairy.
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member


    A utility knife will not have as fine an edge as a shaving razor and anything fine enough to be a good shaver will almost have to have an edge geometry that is fragile.

    There is no one knife for all tasks.

    Just do what the ultralight backpackers and mountaineers do, trim down a disposable.
  14. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Well-Known Member

  15. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Well-Known Member

    My wife saw the face of a guy who was a woodsman in the emergency room.
    Used the same knife he used to butcher game to shave with.

    Didn't sterlize the knife, cut his face and got an infection that turned a good part of his face black.

    Grizzly Adams cried like a baby while being treated. Another nurse commented, why not just carry a disposable razor?
  16. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Why shave while hunting? Sheesh.
  17. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    I have honed and stropped hunting knives to where I could shave with the blade.
    However. the super fine edge was NOT a good working edge and dulled easily.
    I don't like shaving either but to make the chore easier, I shave AFTER a hot shower, use HOT lather and a Gillette Fusion razor. Total comfort!!
    In my trapping and hiking days I never gave shaving a thought for a week or two at a time.
  18. sm

    sm member

    Ya know life simpler before marketing made it difficult.

    I have been out for as long month in the middle of nowhere, hiking, canoing portaging, or even "dumped" and told "see ya when ya get back" and did so with just a simple slip joint.
    Case Slimline Trappers , Trapper, Mini Trapper, Case Stockman, Case Sodbuster...and even a Case Peanut !

    Chrome Vanadium Blades and one small 3" oil stone. I sharpen freehand and use a dry stone.

    Shaving was not a priority, and it was not a big deal to have one safety razor for all of us guys to use - if we chose to shave.
    One Safety Razor, and we each had our Blue Steel Razor Blade we just inserted when and if we chose to shave.

    We always kept a Wilkerson, or Gillette "Blue" - not stainless razor blade in the First aid kit, and one in the sewing kit.

    Still a person can survive for up to 2 weeks, with a Case Peanut, and CV blades.
    Nope, not really.
    Lessons being small plane goes down , or Tornadoes come through, or due to being cut off with the "Ruskies" during Cold War Era and Civil Defense ...

    Person might get caught out away from home, office, and any CD shelters.

    Single edge razor blades with "injection" system come next and again everyone could share one razor and "eject" and "inject" their blade if'n one needed to shave.

    Disposable Razors cut down work fine.
    One can even take apart one to use the edge to dress small game, cut bandages and what-not.

    Still the old safety razor and single blades worked real well and not just for shaving.

    Progress. Gotta wonder if we are progressing forward or progressing backwards with all this new fangled stuff and how it is Marketed.

    Old razors being steel, some even had carbon steel as part of the make up...worked just dandy in hitting a magnesium starter to make a fire.

    How about that, hitting a mag starter with a razor to toss sparks to make a fire.
    Try that with a Disposable Razor ...doable, tricky, still doable.

    My perspectives...

    One owns the tools, therefore one should approach the situations and tasks from a skill set perspective, and then choose wisely the tool to fit the task or an adaptation to fit a task.

    Never allow anything, or anyone to have power over you.
    Including firearms, knives , edged tools....
  19. Ash

    Ash Well-Known Member

    Man, I skip shaving on the trail and save the weight. No, a disposable isn't much weight, but I just don't bother. Bathe? Yep. Shave, nah.

    Besides, when you come off the mountain, you have to look rugged, man, you have to!

  20. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Well-Known Member

    Because the stubble looks terrible with my pink pack and calico dress. :neener:

    It sure was. But, I don't really have a lot of marketing hype steering me around.
    I was just tossing this idea around and, because I respect the experience and knowledge of guys like you, SM my fellow southerner, HSO, and lots of others, I thought I'd ask around and see what the collective intelligence thought.
    I'm glad I did. You guys never disappoint.

    Me three. I still do. Spent 10 months in and out below mexico and above panama.
    Of course, now I'm more of a section hiker, trying to spend time with my Dad.

    See, this is why I like your perspective, SM. You always make a lot of sense. cryptically sometimes. But you still make sense.
    Even though I'm not a tactical ninja, I still get it. I hope. This is a philosophy that applies to various disciplines, not just guns and knives and such.
    I'll just keep using lopped off disposables, or just not shave at all...

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