If the outcome of your shave rests on a knife edge then you know one thing for sure: this blade is blunt! Despite all maintenance, regular stropping of the blade and a well-earned rest between shaves for the blade, at some point the day will come when shaving brings knicks and snags and you just don't get the same sense of wellbeing.
The high-quality steel used in A.P. Donovan straight razors means that this will only happen after several hundred shaves, but that day can't be put off indefinitely. This is where the hardened DIYer takes a different approach from the man who understands the art of delegation.
Sharpening a straight edge razor (not to be confused with using a machine to grind the blade) is an art that is developed from experience. This experience comes from working with the materials and tools every single day. A tutorial in a book or a video can only provide the most basic knowledge in this respect. Instead, it really requires "learning by doing" in the traditional way.
In addition to the requirement to obtain all the necessary tools, one thing is needed more than any other: time. One of the most valuable commodities in our fast-paced era, time is priceless yet experience shows that it is always underestimated. Moreover, sharpening a blade requires determination and a certain humility when faced with failures as you learn the skill (which are not inevitable, but still likely).
If you are a committed DIYer, at this stage all we can says is "Good luck!" We mean that sincerely: every man who takes on this task deserves our respect. But before you start sourcing grindstones and tutorials, consider the following offer: A.P. Donvan offers a free, five-year sharpening service for every straight razor that you buy directly from us.
Five years of free sharpening services? Does this seem like a con with hidden costs? That's completely understandable in view of the spectacular, easy come, easy go advertising that you see. Promises and superlatives are thrown around freely, but when you examine them more closely, they turn out to be untrustworthy and unrealistic. Planned obsolescence leaves things unusable in astonishingly short order once the legally required guarantee period ends. Products are no longer manufactured with a view to quality, and a wasteful throwaway mentality rules the market.
At A.P. Donovan we draw a line in the sand at this stage: we exclusively sell products that meet our own, high expectations and where we are convinced of their high quality. The offer to provide a five-year sharpness service for all straight razors bought from us is derived from this philosophy. What does that mean in concrete terms for you? Are there conditions that must be fulfilled for the razor blade to be sharpened? Yes, but they are easily comprehensible and just as binding on us as they are on you. The following overview sets out the details of our service offer:
"When praying and shaving, man makes an equally devout face." [Christian Friedrich Hebbel, (1813 - 1863), German lyricist and playwright]
If you are making a face right now, that could be a side effect of our service promise. We know that an offer like this makes us stand out from other dealers and we also know how much it costs to get an expert to sharpen your blade. Despite, or better - precisely because we understand that - we are passionate about providing this offer. We want to make it as easy as possible for enthusiastic beginners, who are just getting into straight razor culture, to get to grips with this primeval, manly ritual. In addition to our exclusive selection of high quality straight razors, we also take care of the chore of sharpening your blade. Not only that, but we do it with all due thoroughness and care.
Men with razor-sharp minds use A.P. Donovan's free, five-year sharpness service.