Dovo Shavette Review
I've talked a few times about Dovo's Shavette, the training wheels of straight razors, and I feel like it deserves its own article.
It took me a while to finally order one as I just didn't see the point, but now I'm absolutely in love with the thing. The reason I got it in the first place was because after several months of using a real straight with uneven results (most likely the result of using an uneven blade… caveat emptor when buying thin pieces of metal older than you are), I started to get the sneaking suspicion that I needed to buy either: a hone, a new razor, or the shavette. As usual, I went the cheap route and it finally paid off.
You see, I never really knew just how sharp a straight razor was supposed to be. Now I know. I popped in the pre-bent, almost-snapped-in-half blade that was supplied with the device and away I went. First try -> closest shave ever. I'm not kidding, it was that good. Of course I'd been practicing my technique with semi-dull cut throats so I was able to get a great shave with a sharp blade, but damn.
It's pretty easy to set up. It comes with a red holder to accommodate half of a standard double-edge blade. Also available are two other holders that accept a longer version of a DE blade, and one that takes a single-edge blade. I've never bothered with these.
Just snap a blade in half. These things are flimsy and are connected only at the ends, so just fold one in half a few times until it snaps, or take a pair of kitchen shears to it. You don't have to pay extra for the pre-perforated blades and shipping. Just take those $.30 blades and cut them in half yourself. It's not hard or dangerous, assuming you have a steady enough hand. If you don't, stop what you're doing immediately as you'll surely have other problems the first time you touch down with a straight razor.
Now that you have a neatly snapped-in-half blade, fit it into the holder, which has notches to hold the blade in place so there's no guess work. Fold the holder back up and slide into the shavette and you're good to go.
What I don't like: It's less expensive than investing in a legitimate, high quality carbon-steel straight razor, but it's still a $39 conveyance for holding half a DE blade.
The name bothers me. I'm being vain and petty, and I don't care. Shavette just sounds so feminine. I despise juvenile diminutives, but I'd rather this thing be called Shavey Junior or Li'l Scrapey instead. Straight razors are about the manliest thing around, but "shavette" makes me want to hand this thing to my girlfriend.
Also, the construction leaves a little to be desired. I don't expect it to fall apart, but there's so little there that it's a tad light. What I love about safety razors and real cut throats are the weight, allowing the business end of the razor to do the work. Still, with a light touch the shavette does its job admirably. It just feels a little Mattel.
Reservations aside, I think it's worth it to take the hone and strop out of the equation, making it a great learning tool for the novice wetshaver. Experienced users may want one for travel. Overall, I like it a lot and highly recommend it.
You can buy one at Amazon here (aff link): Dovo Silver Shavette Satin Finish Straight Razor with Red Holder-Matt Look