Lifehacker: You Suck At Shaving Tips
March 26, 2010
Seriously, Lifehacker, enough with the shaving tips. Really. Just stop. Between this and this and now this nonsense, you keep reminding me why ever since Trapani left your site’s become the joke of the Intertubes, and considering this site is also in the running, that’s saying a lot.
Extra threw-up-just-a-little-bit-in-my-mouth points for casting The Colonel from Boogie Nights as the Shirtless Rotarian who’s somehow lived all these years without getting any smarter about shaving than your average 20 year-old Lifehacker
unpaid intern editor.
I don’t usually like to argue semantics with how-not-to sites but seriously, if you’re gullible enough to think you can sharpen a razor cartridge with your FOREARM, and your only supportive data is a naked senior on YouTube, we need to talk.
Sheesh, where to begin.
It’s called a strop, not a strap. It’s made of leather (Horween shell cordovan in the good old days just like my favorite shoes, nowadays it’s mostly cowhide), and yeah, it looks like a strap, sort of. But it’s called a strop.
“Your grandfather” did not use a leather strop to sharpen his straight razor. Strop’s don’t sharpen blades. Sharpening stones (or “hones”) sharpen blades. “Your grandfather” lightly swiped his straight razor across a sharpening stone to hone and restore its sharp edge. A leather strop, on the other hand, is used between honings to realign the molecules on the very edge of the blade so it’s not curving to one side or the other, and here’s where Shirtless Rotarian’s claim falls apart:
You can’t strop a blade if you can only get to one side of it. Which is all you can get at with a cartridge like the Fusion he’s holding. Even setting aside the argument of whether he’s actually achieving anything at all by running the blade along his forearm (he’s not), even if he were achieving some level of stropitude, he’d only be rolling the blade edge over to one side instead of realigning it to point straight ahead as is the goal of straight razor stropping.
Your arm is not made of something like leather. Even Shirtless Rotarian’s arm isn’t made of something like leather. Leather is thick animal hide that’s been dried, cured, treated, coated, manipulated, and toughened to the point where it can withstand a great deal of abuse, such as forcing the edge of an extremely sharp steel blade to move back into shape. This is why they make strops out of leather instead of Shirtless Rotarian skin, which tends to either get cut by the blade if they meet head-on, or do nothing at all if the blade is stroked along the forearm as demonstrated in the video above.
My guess is Mrs. Shirtless Rotarian is secretly replacing her husband’s Fusion blade every week without telling him. I hope so, because I’d really like to think he’s not so out of it that he believes rubbing a Fusion cartridge on his arm keeps it shave-sharp for TWO YEARS, and that he believes this such an important discovery that he’s moved to shoot shirtless bathroom video of himself and post it on YouTube.
Hey, could be worse. He could be somebody’s doctor.