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First DE

Discussion in 'Razors, Scissors, & Personal Grooming' started by totkst1, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. totkst1

    totkst1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2016
    I took the leap and got myself a couple de razors, a brush, a set of soap sampler, a bowl, a blade sampler, and the stand to hang the brush on as my Father's Day request. Should be in tomorrow and we shall see what kind of bloody mess I become before the weekend
  2. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    So how bloody a mess have you become?
    Methuselah likes this.
  3. stargawker


    Mar 1, 2014
    Congrats. My DE razor has made my mornings much more enjoyable.
  4. Battle Creek Knives

    Battle Creek Knives

    Feb 23, 2010
    Been a long time since I've seen a DE razor... I'm intrigued
  5. Methuselah

    Methuselah Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2015
    If it's been a long time then you can check out an above the tie Windsor mm that's the latest coolest thing that I can think of also a brand called timeless from there they actually even get more expensive. Rockwell is cool too. Can't forget Wolfman . Enjoy the search and start shaving double edge style it will change your life.
  6. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    DE are great if you adjust your technique.

    With a disposable/cartridge razor, usually more than one blade makes one shaving pass really a multiple of the number of blades (Mach 3 1 pass = 3 passes). And the technique is some pressure to keep the head flexed in the right way to hit the contours of your face.

    Using that technique with a DE razor will be bloody and painful, so one needs to adopt a DE Technique. With a DE each pass just that one pass. With no pressure and an angled DE (head doesn't flex), 2-3 passes with a relathering in between will produce excellent results with the right blade and soap. With an ok blade and soap will produce good-great results, the reason for the samplers of blades and soap.

    My favorite setup is Col Conks Soap or Dreadnought cream on badger brush with Astra Platinum blades shaving 1 pass down, 1 across, 1 across other direction. If I'm feeling lucky the last pass will be up, but not very often.
  7. jkarp_53

    jkarp_53 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2006
    All things come with practice. I've been DE shaving more than 40 years, and have always enjoyed the experience. With a mix of older Gillettes and newer Merkurs, the blade of choice is the Personna brand, esp. the Israeli Red. With a good bar of sandalwood soap and a Semogue best badger brush, my shaves almost never require more than two passes. It's all about relaxing into the routine, and getting used to the right angle. None of us use exactly the same approach. But in common, we all learn the value of using a good sharp blade. And most important is learning to know, by feel, when that DE blade is going dull. Most of the time I can get a week's worth of shaves, more or less. If there's any chance of nicking ourselves it's usually due to not knowing when to change the blade. Cheers!
    sastrugi and bonky like this.
  8. Icehawk


    Aug 9, 2008
    I switched recently and overall do prefer it to my prior Gillette Sensor I've been using for 20+ years but it doesn't shave as close and I had my first major nick ever last week - my fault though, the head had gotten slightly loose and I didn't notice. That allowed the blade to change shape and give me a nice gouge. I keep my Sensor around for getting in tight spots like under my nose as I just can't seem to shave them with my Merkur. Cost savings is ridiculous and in general my face is happier with the shaving.
  9. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Icehawk, a couple of things to get a closer shave with a DE, pay attention with your prep and give it time, that will help some. More is hair direction, and doing 2-3 passes. I do a with the grain, then a cross-grain touch up, and only against on a couple of places, unless I'm doing a slow "fancy day" shave, where I'll really take my time with more against grain shaving. With time you will find more ways to get in close with your DE, I do my whole head, and the backs and above my ears was tough to begin with, but I got there before too long.
  10. Ironbut

    Ironbut Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2016
    Well, we haven't heard from the op for about 4 months, so he must have bled out. I can sympathize. I started DE shaving back in the 60's because at the time it was either DE or straight razors. Over time I ended up trying every kind of injector, disposable & cartridge razor, then a few years ago ended back up with DE. I was a bit out of practice at first & thought I was going to need a blood transfusion. Then when I put after shave on it was like I set my face on fire.
  11. jkarp_53

    jkarp_53 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2006
    Skin warmed up by a shower before shaving really helps the process. That and making sure the blade still glides after a few days of use. Watch the angle and how you hold the razor, all of which come with practice. A good lather really helps the process. I mostly get away with one pass, but two can diffuse any 'fire' created by friction usually.
  12. aih


    Jun 10, 2010
    Late congratulations. Hope you stuck with it. I know I'm not alone looking forward to an update.

    Echoing others:

    Prep is very important. And the most important part of prep is softening your beard with water. (Best in my opinion is shave immediately after a hot shower.)

    One can easily shave as close with a DE as with any cartridge razor. It probably will take multiple passes (2-3) with first pass with the grain and last pass against the grain. A single pass may be socially acceptable. Two passes may be baby butt smooth for some guys. But every guy is different, and the direction of the grain may vary with location. Necks are toughest as grain may vary all over the place on the neck. The other factor is getting the angle correct and holding it during the stroke, but all it takes is practice. Short quick strokes moving over your face and neck section by section and adjusting angle as needed for the stroke and the section of your face is better for control than long strokes.

    Practice makes perfect. Just pay attention and let your brain work on the muscle memory. Tools are less important than technique. Stick with same tools until you have the technique down. An inexpensive but quality razor and decent blades will work fine. Someone mentioned Astra blades. Those are great, and inexpensive. Buy a pack of 100 and stick with them until you have your technique perfected.
  13. bonky

    bonky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 1, 2009
    A little late to the party, but I gotta get my 0.02 in.

    I've been doing the safety razor thing for a while, and fwiw, no two experts give the same advice. Personally, I prefer a Merkur Progress razor loaded with a Feather blade. I own a few nicer Gillettes, but for whatever reason I keep coming back to the Progress.

    I've tried multiple recommended Gillette razors, ('59 Fatboy, '61 Flairtip SuperSpeed, '64 Slim Adjustable, 82 Black Beauty) with almost every blade on the market. Of the ones mentioned, the '61 SS and the '59 Fatboy were the best for me.

    A Head and Shoulders above all of the Gillette razors was the lowly Merkur Progress. Dialed in at 1.5 ~2.0 with a Feather blade, I get shaves as smooth as the inside of my elbow with ZERO irritation. If you want to get a nicer looking Progress, go to bullgooseshaving.com and get a Mergress (same razor, just pimped, I have one in my collection ).

    If you want to save money and get a great shave, though just get a Progress on Amazon and find your favorite blade. I love Feathers, but Persona Reds are a very close second.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!
  14. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    I'll only disagree with one thing Bonky, when it comes to shaving every expert should give one piece of advice the same as the rest, "whatever works best for you" Everyone is different, the trouble is when "experts" start thinking they know how someone else should shave (apart from the basics)

    But that said, I found it super helpful when I was starting out to read all the shave of the day threads, and other guy's setups because I found that over time I could see how and what worked in different ways, what interactions to expect, and that helped me validate my own method, and find areas of my method that needed work.
  15. Icehawk


    Aug 9, 2008
    Does anyone make a longer handle than 100mm? I like the Merkur I have but even as an "XL" I wouldn't mind an extra 1".
  16. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    I use double edge razor and would never go back to fusion5 or other disposables on market.My met our razor with Astra or Feather shaves much better than any disposable on market even with 1-2 passes.Feather blades are best and last me a month if I shave every second or third day.you have to adjust technique to no pressure at all otherwise will cut yourself.
  17. Sharp1AZ


    Jun 19, 2017
    Since I started using my safety razor for the first time 6 months ago (bought it from these guys over in Ireland www.evolutionisland.com ) I could finally get a perfect shave - I use simply Wilkinson blades and they work really well. Will never ever go back to disposable blade! My only problem is that I have a couple of small moles on the neck and need to still use an electric razor over those as it may not be 100% safe to use a blade on them, but not a big issue.
  18. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Meh, if you end up self-surgically removing them, then no problems. If they are catchy though, it can be annoying I know, I've got one on the back of my skull that I open up once and a while. So to each their own.

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