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Thread: Just switched from a straight - need advice

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    Default Just switched from a straight - need advice

    I'm using a knock-off of the Gillette Superspeed (Micro Touch One) and Dorko platinum blades. The razor has a nice weight (brass head & handle) and seems to have good machining (blade sits flat and have even exposure on both sides).

    The razor is very mild, and requires 3 passes - but I get a closer shave than using 2 passes with a straight. I'm using the same soap and lather hydration as with my straight, and no pressure at all.

    With my straight, I've never been able to get BBS on the neck because the whiskers grow sideways. With the DE, ATG is possible on the neck and I get BBS.
    However, I'm getting razor burn on the neck, and a few weepers on the chin groove and upper lip curve.

    The shaving sound is the same as my full hollow straights, so I think the angle is OK. I carefully used no pressure today and still got razor burn on my neck.

    Is it likely that a more aggressive razor that would do BBS with 2 passes rather than 3 (like my straights) or a different blade would fix the problem?

    Or is it likely I just need more time to perfect my technique (although it doesn't seem much different than using my straights - which I've been using daily about 3.5 years) ?

    Thanks for the help !
    Last edited by JohnG10; 01-03-2014 at 07:17 PM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tintin's Avatar
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    i've been using a DE for about a year now (still learning to use a straight). Started with a super speed and then switched to a Slim adjustable. After messing with the settings i found that doing 2 passes on 5 and then doing a ATG pass set on 1 with the angle flatter gives me the best results. Not sure if i need all three passes but that's how i've always done it.YMMV

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    I did the opposite - from DE to straight.

    However, I would just suggest trying a few different blades. Gillette 7 OC Blacks turned out to be my favorites along with Personna Labs. There are many different ones to try and they will feel and shave different.
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    Senior Member tiddle's Avatar
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    I would think a more aggressive razor would make it worse. I would suggest trying different blades. before sinking cash into a new razor. I preferred feather, Wilkinson sword stainless, and persona blue label. others like shark and astra and derby either gave me burn or felt slightly dull. you can easily find sample packs online. keep adjusting your angles with practice. try laying the handle flat then slightly raising it and start your pass, adjust as needed from there. de are a different animal so comparing won't really help here.
    Mastering implies there is nothing more for you to learn of something... I prefer proficient enough to not totally screw it up.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    If you are getting razor burn with a DE then using a more aggressive razor would make it worse. Part of the problem in the area where you are getting razor burn is likely a wrong angle on the blade and too much pressure. Like others have said you might want to try different brands of blades also.

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    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    John,

    You are using a mild razor with mild blades. Try these blades: Polsilver Iridium, Gillette 7 O'Clock SharpEdge (yellow packs), PermaSharp Super and Personna (reds). I chose not to mention Feather blades, because I happen to dislike them. These blades will give you a much better shave. The Dorco blades do not exactly win the Oscar for quality and efficient shave, especially with a mild razor.

    As the other gentlemen have noted, keep the pressure low to avoid razor burn. Also, economize your strokes by not raking your skin. Remember you shave in passes, and the whole concept is to reduce your beard gradually.

    What matters in the end is to get a comfortable shave rather than one which give you a baby bottom smooth at the risk of irritating your skin. I have shaved with the straight razor for a number of years and still do not get a perfect shave on my neck. No matter, because I'd rather have a comfortable shave.

    Finally, it takes years to have a precision straight razor shave, whereas, because of the DE's characteristics, you can achieve precision easier, although, in my experience, the straight gives a silkier shave when done properly.

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    Senior Member kevinred's Avatar
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    I used a DE before taking up straights.

    My neck is very sensitive, but the rest of my face will take anything it seems.

    My first DE was a Parker which had a fixed blade, I found multiple passes to harsh especially on the neck. I switched to a Merkur Progress (adjustable). My first daily shave pass was on setting 2 then my following pass on 1. I would then touch up on one. I would only set a more aggressive setting for a couple of days growth +, but after the first pass I always went back to a lower less aggressive setting. This gave me a BBS shave all the time. I also used mid range blades, some are just to aggressive even on low setting like feather. I preferred 7 O'clock blades.

    I think one of my problems when I used a DE was often I was rushing and not being careful. I got more nicks and cuts and weepers then I do with a straight.

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    Senior Member rmagnus's Avatar
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    JohnG10 nothing wrong with using a DE. 3.5 years of straight razor shaving seems like a long time but how much effort you've put into it is critical. I shave daily except some weekends and use a SR most of the time. When time is short I'll use a DE or sometimes if having an off day w the SR use it for a touch up.

    I think experimenting wit different DE blades is good advise. Last year I upgraded my DE TO an Edwing Jäger DE89L. Two passes and I get a BSS.

    My neck area is similar to yours and I have found a wedge style blade 1/4 to 1/2 hollow more efficient than a full hollow blade. Tis past Wed I used a 6/8 Dovo Bismark and really had to work at getting my neck smooth. Stretching and short strokes seem to help.

    I've picked up 3 or 4 wade butcher wedge blades and I'm guessing there is less blade flex to provide a more efficient shave. I still have to do touch ups but it goes pretty quickly.

    I agree it's easier for me to get a BSS with a DE than a SR but I'm progressing quickly with the SR and really enjoy it much more.

    West wishes in figuring out what's best for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG10 View Post
    I'm using a knock-off of the Gillette Superspeed (Micro Touch One) and Dorko platinum blades...

    The razor is very mild, and requires 3 passes - but I get a closer shave than using 2 passes with a straight. I'm using the same soap and lather hydration as with my straight, and no pressure at all.


    Is it likely that a more aggressive razor that would do BBS with 2 passes rather than 3 (like my straights) or a different blade would fix the problem?

    Or is it likely I just need more time to perfect my technique (although it doesn't seem much different than using my straights - which I've been using daily about 3.5 years) ?

    Thanks for the help !
    Quote Originally Posted by Obie View Post
    John,

    You are using a mild razor with mild blades. Try these blades: Polsilver Iridium, Gillette 7 O'Clock SharpEdge (yellow packs), PermaSharp Super and Personna (reds). I chose not to mention Feather blades, because I happen to dislike them. These blades will give you a much better shave. The Dorco blades do not exactly win the Oscar for quality and efficient shave, especially with a mild razor.


    I have shaved with the straight razor for a number of years and still do not get a perfect shave on my neck. No matter, because I'd rather have a comfortable shave.

    Finally, it takes years to have a precision straight razor shave, whereas, because of the DE's characteristics, you can achieve precision easier, although, in my experience, the straight gives a silkier shave when done properly.
    Hi John,
    Obie nailed it! I shave with Straights, DEs and SEs. Your experience with the DE can improve with more aggressive blades. Any of the ones Obie mentioned, or you can search for others.

    Whether you are shaving with a Straight or Safety it takes practice to dial your shave in the way you want.

    No matter what you are shaving with keep at it until you are satisfied.

    Good luck.
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    My neck hair grows towards my ears. Anything more than two passes will give me a good burn in that area. Try one pass against the growth and one vertical.
    That seems to really help me.

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