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  1. #1
    Member mranderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanked: 8

    Default DE selection help...

    A friend and I traded razors for a couple weeks. I loaned him a couple of my straights he loaned me his Merkur HD. I like the quality of shave the DE gave me and it was faster than using a straight, so it is perfect for the times i need a quicker shave. So I want to suggest a DE for my wife to get me for Christmas, but I am having trouble finding information on them. Can you link to a DE wiki somewhere or answer these questions:

    Which is better, vintage or new?
    Which DE handles will give a closer shave and which are more gentle, and why?
    What is an open comb?
    Which brands are better than others?
    Is a heavier handle better than a lighter one?
    Is a particular design better than another? (thinking merkur hd style vs the type that has a head that opens like bomb bay doors.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member otherstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Porter, TX
    Thanked: 20


    Let me try to answer your questions as best as I can.

    1-There is no hard and fast answer to that question. I have both vintage and new DE razors, but I favor the new. I know many that prefer vintage. The only way to know what you like is to try both.

    2-With practice, and with the right combination of razor and blade, you can get the same level of shave from just about any razor. I own both a Merkur Futur (adujustlbe, huge, weights 4 oz.) and a Merkur HD and I can get just as good a shave from one or the other but I prefer the Futur just because I like the way it fits my hand and it just looks cool

    3-Open comb razors have "teeth" instead of a safety bar. This is a picture of an HD with an open comb (since you have used an HD) Name:  merkur-11c-open-comb-de-razor.jpg
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    4-It depends. I think the cheaper razors might have quality control issues, but I have heard that about Merkur razors recently too.

    5-It depends. Some (like me) like a heaver handle, some do not. I have problems with my right hand and my hands are pretty big so I find that heavier, longer handles work better for me. Others I know prefer smaller handles because they feel like they can control the razor better. Almost all of the vintage Gillettes have handles that are smaller than the HD.

    5-I don't think so, but I'll qualify that shortly. The head design (2 or 3 piece[like a Merkur, but some vintage Gillettes are like that too] vs. twist-to-open [bomb bay doors]) really only affects blade angle and perceived ease of blade loading. Some prefer one to the other. I prefer the Merkur head because I like the more agressive blade angle that design offers. That being said, I DO think one DE razor is better designed than all the rest: the Merkur Futur. The Futur is an adjustable with a head that "pops" off. I personally find it to be the finest designed shaving tool next to the the straight razor that is out there. Not everyone agrees with that, but there are many that love the Futur.

    There are many other shaving forums that cater to the DE razor more than the straight razor that you can find on the Internet, and some of us here are members on multiple fora ourselves. Likewise, there are many here that shave with a DE just as much as a straight who will be more than happy to answer any question that you have.

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