Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
Like Tree15Likes

Thread: What is the double edge learning curve for an experienced straight shaver?

  1. #1
    Stay calm. Carry on. MisterMoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Lizard Lick, NC
    Posts
    1,316
    Thanked: 184

    Default What is the double edge learning curve for an experienced straight shaver?

    Yo - safety razor experts. How long does it take to master DE technique? I do three straight passes in under 20 minutes and can barely justify a shave 18-24 hours later having spent 10-months to refine my straight technique where I felt I was doing a very good job. My prep is working, lathers are excellent, always a DFS/BBS in three passes without irritation. No razor burn or regular hints of an aftershave facefire. I've been running almost nick free for many months and finally feel comfortable answering Mrs. Moos morning questions while shaving.


    Out of curiousity I got an open comb Merk 1904, stuffed it with an Astra and had several very good shaves the first week out. I quickly found the angle, removed whiskers with razor weight only and got smooth without drama. I got a little better each time. Thing is, with a straight (or a Rolls) I have a morning shave and no five o'clock shadow; when I shave at night I'm always good for 18 hours. With the DE, I can feel (and see) stubble within 12-hours. And the stubble feels pretty sharp-like. So, the shaves are very good, quick and easy but not especially long lasting.


    Is this a time/technique issue, a too-mild razor issue, a blade issue or all of above. Or will a DE just not shave everyone like a straight? This isn't downside DE dissing or a deal breaker - just wondering. I probably have interest enough to try one more type of safety razor if the 1904 is just too mild for magical results. I know Feather blades and the Muhle R41 and Gillette adjustables are often recommended as height of the art.

    So, before I make any changes, how long should I give the Merk to learn the game?
    "We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Black Bear, NJ
    Posts
    1,673
    Thanked: 171

    Default

    Great post. Similar experience here.

    I picked up an SE and a DE not long ago. I shaved with what I was told was an aggressive SE. Like a duck to water. A boring 3 passes later and I was done. A very nice shave, quick and boring, though. Enjoyed the novel factor of it all. I would have tried the DE a while ago, but I'm in the throws of BHAD and have embarqed on a 7 razor series set of test... so, the DE has collected dust. I did note that the angles between a DE and an SE are definitely different. I went out and watched a video, just to be sure.

    I also noticed that the stubble came back far more quickly than with my trusty straights.

    Here's an informative link to some of the DE blades out there:

    Choosing the Right Blade

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    32,564
    Thanked: 11039

    Default

    I don't know the answer to longevity of results straight versus DE because I've never paid any attention to it. I'm only mentioning that to clarify why I am not going to address that point. I will say that I have extensive experience in shaving with many DEs and the Merkur 137C or 139C slant was my absolute go to DE until I picked up a used Ikon slant at a reasonable price. Feather blades are my choice but, as we all know, YMMV on that. Just my 2 bits.

    Edit; should the above influence the OP to pick up a slant I would recommend the Merkur. The Ikon is very expensive and adjusting the blade exposure from one side to the other is a PITA compared to the Merkur. The ends of the blade are not exposed on the Ikon as they are on the Merkur. So the Merkur is easier to adjust the exposure using the ends, and it is much more reasonably priced since it is not stainless steel.
    Last edited by JimmyHAD; 05-09-2014 at 04:05 PM.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  4. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    16,022
    Thanked: 3012

    Default

    To start with I can never understand how a shave will last 18/24 hours as I have never been able to duplicate that with any type of razor. The best I can muster is 10/12 hours with either a straight or DE. I* guess everyones stubble grows at a different rate.

    That said I would guess that the more aggressive a razor is the closer longer lasting the shave will be. Factor in a different blade and that might help too. That would be the easiest route to explore first by getting a sample pack of DE blades and see if a feather will get you a longer lasting shave in your 1904 than the Astras will. If that does not work you could try a Muhle R41 or slant. For me the Muhle R41 will definitely run with the straights for longevity of shave so either the Muhle R41 is a very good DE or I am just crappy with my straight razors technique.

    Bob
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  5. #5
    Stay calm. Carry on. MisterMoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Lizard Lick, NC
    Posts
    1,316
    Thanked: 184

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    To start with I can never understand how a shave will last 18/24 hours ... everyones stubble grows at a different rate.
    A friend of mine recently grew a full beard over three months I couldn't have equalled in six.

    So, I read the same as you and Jimmy say about the R41 and the slant as top performers. At this point, you'd say my difference is choice of razor/blade over technique?
    Last edited by MisterMoo; 05-09-2014 at 04:49 PM.
    Siguy likes this.
    "We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

  6. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    16,022
    Thanked: 3012

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMoo View Post
    At this point, you'd say my difference is choice of razor/blade over technique?
    That would be my guess but only a guess. Try different blades first and if that alone improves the longevity of the shave you'll know it is not your technique holding you back.

    Bob
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    93
    Thanked: 8

    Default

    1904's considered a relatively mild razor.

    I've never worried about the BBS timeframe. Even if I shave with a bazillion passes and have a perfect BBS at 6am: I can feel stubble well before noon*.


    *disclaimer: I did have a straight razor shave by a "pro" with a shavette where I did not shave for a week following. It burnt so badly and irritated my face so much that I think my facial hairs were terrified to show themselves. I never want to go through that pain again.

  8. #8
    Stay calm. Carry on. MisterMoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Lizard Lick, NC
    Posts
    1,316
    Thanked: 184

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SpikedLemon View Post
    *disclaimer: I did have a straight razor shave by a "pro" with a shavette where I did not shave for a week following. It burnt so badly and irritated my face so much that I think my facial hairs were terrified to show themselves. I never want to go through that pain again.
    My first experience in 1971 as well; never been duplicated.
    "We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

  9. #9
    Stay calm. Carry on. MisterMoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Lizard Lick, NC
    Posts
    1,316
    Thanked: 184

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    That would be my guess but only a guess. Try different blades first...
    I figured to work my way through the samples with an eye toward ending with the Feathers.

    @JimmyHAD - the many WCS reviews on the Merkur Slant are remarkably similar. 5-stars...
    "We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    10
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    I think the samplers is the way to go. By the time you are done the issue of technique vs equipment should be answered. As a straight razor shaver you will have less bad habits to overcome. Ending with feather is right too. I love the feather razor, alas I cannot get through a shave without a knick or a weaper. I have settled on the Astra as my best razor. YMMV.

    As for the interesting question of which saves closer straight or DE my straight shaving is coming along slowly and I have yet to get it as close as the DE. I'm glad to hear your straight is so close a shave. I was beginning to get worried. But you give me renewed hope that my skill will come and I'll get the shave I am looking for!

    RFM
    pfries and MisterMoo like this.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •