So I committed to my first straight razor. The price came out to $45 including shipping. I have to say I'm slowly falling in love with this thing and I can't wait to actually hold it.
Description: Vintage American steel. Good shaver. Its been descaled, lightly sanded, polished, put into a fresh set of vintage scales and honed. Takes a nice edge. It has some light speckling and a scratch here and there, but its all appearance, not very noticeable, and doesnt affect its shaving. Good newbie razor, its 6/8 and a round point. This razor is shave ready.
Let's decipher the description. Vintage American steel is straight forward. I get points for REUSE. The handle's casings are called scales. So descaled means the originals were removed because they were damaged and replaced with scales from another razor. These razors have the ability to be repaired which is hard to say about most things manufactured today. Honed is the type of edge that is put into the blade; wedge, convex, etc. At this stage of the game worrying about hones isn't necessary. Takes a nice edge means it will sharpen nicely - this doesn't necessarily mean it will sharpen easily. The appearance is cosmetic but I think it shows its had a good life. 6/8 deals with the blade length and round point means the point is rounded. Not squared and therefore producing that nice sharp corner for your face and neck. Both 6/8 and a rounded point are recommended for newbies. Newbie = me.
Now granted I lose some points for having the razor shipped to me as that increases it's carbon footprint. My only other option would have been to drive to an antique shop - there are none around within reasonable biking distance - which was just the same thing. Plus I wouldn't have had the luxury of having some sound advice on what to get.
Of course I'm excited as a kid waiting for Christmas. Luckily Christmas is just around the corner. Wish me luck!