Shave ready or not? Explained!
Is a brand new straight razor out of the box shave ready or not?
I wanted to answer this question as clearly as I possibly can. Not all factory edges are the same.
What is a factory edge?
It is an edge honed by an employee who works for the manufacturer before the razor is packaged and sealed.
Of course they're not all the same, some are better than others and I have seen edges that weren't too bad and not great either. I've also seen edges that required restoration work before honing. Some of those examples are frowns, excessive hone wear, uneven bevels, dual bevels and the list goes on.. But they can all be rectified in one way or another.
I'm only referring to brand new straight razors in this thread from manufacturers (not artisans)
Here is a picture below of a brand new Dovo that was sent to me yesterday to get honed, it is brand new and the end user complained about tugging and pulling which is very evident in the microscopic photos.
Photo on the left (before): The edge has deep scratches in the bevel and microchips on the cutting edge, I wouldn't dare to put this blade to my face.
Photo on the right (after): I have set a new primary edge (bevel) and worked through the progressions and finished this razor on my Wakasa Toishi with an Asano Mikawa Nagura set. There isn't one scratch on the bevel and the microchips are gone. The bevel is left with a nice uniform grainy texture as expected from a natural finisher.