When using a straight razor for the first time you should start with the easy and soft parts of the face and should hold the opened razor with thumb and 3 fingers, so that the opened handle stays away from the face, as shown in the sketch. The smooth skin (which has been prepared with a good shaving soap using a brush) has to be stretched, and then you should - with an angle of approx. 30 degrees - first shave down, or in the direction of the whisker’s grain, with the razor. Give yourself plenty of time.
Once you get more experienced, and after the first pass, you can try a second pass shaving up or against the grain. In regard to the blade angle, if you hold the razor too flat, it will tear the stubble. If you hold it too steep, it will cut the skin as shown in the sketch. Always shave in the direction of the cutting edge, never lateral (danger of being hurt). Be sure to shave evenly and hold the razor more steep when shaving dimples and upper lip. Use very little to no pressure on the blade while shaving and let the cutting edge do the work. Sensitive skin should limit the number of passes. Please don’t shave in the shower with a straight razor.
After shaving rinse the razor clean and dry thoroughly. It is extremely important to make sure the razor is totally dry before putting it away, or for longer term storage, especially for carbon steel blades. Carbon blades can form rust spots or stains most quickly. A light oil can be applied to the blade if necessary before longer term storage and the oil should be cleaned off prior to use. Never store in damp locations or store in non-breathable containers unless completely dry.
In order to keep the razor’s edge shave ready, the use of a strop is important. Once or twice a year you may also want to consider honing the blade or using a strop paste. See strop information or other resources about using a strop and maintaining a sharp razor edge. Should the razor get damaged by falling to the ground, or when closing, it shouldn't be used any longer (for danger of cutting yourself). Sharpening a damaged blade will do no good in that case, and only regrinding by an expert can solve the problem.
From the Dovo factory:
The straight razor is a work of art and crafted in fine detail by the master craftsman. Each razor is individually ground, polished and stropped. This assures the user is getting the finest hand crafted razor available.
Straight Razor Disclaimer and Notice: Straight razors are sharp and cuts can occur. Educate yourself and start by shaving small, easy to reach areas first and exercise caution. The use of a straight razor, or any shaving product, is at the user's own risk. Em's Place assumes no liability or responsibility for any person using razors, blades or any other shaving or sharp products. Always keep these instruments out of the reach of children and pets.