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  1. #1
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    Default Some Thoughts On DE Shaving (a follow-up to "A Choice of 2 Merkurs")

    Greetings all!

    After my initial thread (see above) I finally chose the Merkur 38C (long handled HD, the "barber pole"), though I didn't get to use it for a while as I was waiting until after my wedding to slice myself up . Anticipation is usually half the battle, and I think safety razors scared me WAY more than straight razors did when I first started last year. Go figure.

    Anyway, I did prepare myself by watching mantic59's video series, and along with my solid foundation in SR shaving I felt confident to give it a go with the Merkur.

    To summarize, I am up to 3 shaves with my DE so far, two with the dreaded Merkur blades (underrated I say) and my last shave with a fresh Derby. The results?....... Superb, close, very irritation free shaves right out of the gate! I have to say I'm more than impressed, not a single cut, weeper or spot of razor burn at all. Even a splash of Proraso AS (alcohol based) doesn't sting at all. My last shave, with the Derby blade, I hate to say even rivaled some of my best BBS straight razor shaves. After 3 shaves! I can't believe I was nervous before I tried a DE.

    Anyway, I'm not chalking up my great results to my magical shaving skills, although it would be nice. However I do have some observations about the switch-over for newbies or members just willing to listen:

    -I had a solid foundation in straight razor shaving before picking up a DE. Although some may say a DE is a better intermediate step before going SR, I wholeheartedly disagree. It didn't hurt me at all!
    -I already had mapped my beard for growth directions long ago, in anticipation of SR shaving.
    -The idea of shaving in passes, or stubble reduction, was already ingrained in me.
    -My straight razor background meant that beard prep is something that I already religiously observe, so that was not a problem. My collection of top performing shaving soaps and creams didn't hurt either.
    -I had already been practicing the art of "zero pressure", and the additional heft of the 38C definitely helped in that department.

    In short, the principles of wet shaving, whether you are using a straight, DE, or a crappy Bic disposable, are entirely transferrable. With practice the skills you learn will get you a great shave no matter what. In fact if it weren't for the info shared here at SRP and other forums, I would not have had the great success that I did. The only problem I have now is resisting the urge to continually DE shave with different blades! Time to get back to my straights.



    Cheers,

    Ryan

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  3. #2
    Member MadAussie's Avatar
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    Sounds good! I wouldnt say merkur blades are underrated, they are universally panned as one of the worst blades around. If you find a blade you like, stock up on it to the tune of a couple of hundered blades. DE blades when you find a good one, like to be discontinued!

    I'd scrap the merkur blades, and try some kai, israeli crystals, feather, yellow box 7'oclocks, etc.

  4. #3
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    I used a DE before a straight and still use one now and then. I started with the 38C and switched to a vintage Fat Boy. I don't think using a DE prepared me in any way for using a straight however the skin prep and lathering are all the same so in that way I guess yes.

    Personally I like the mercur blades. I get a great shave from them.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

  5. #4
    jcd
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    I agree that if you can use a straight then using a DE is easy as pie. I was able to fly around my face with a DE on my first try, and it's only getting easier. I wish I had used my budget on a more advanced razor now, like a slant or an adjustable, rather than the 34C I did buy.

  6. #5
    Don
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    The 34C is a great razor, though the adjustables can really dial it in, no pun intended. I like using the Vision and starting out high on the first pass then dialing it down for the following passes, Awesome Shave.


    Quote Originally Posted by jcd View Post
    I agree that if you can use a straight then using a DE is easy as pie. I was able to fly around my face with a DE on my first try, and it's only getting easier. I wish I had used my budget on a more advanced razor now, like a slant or an adjustable, rather than the 34C I did buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadAussie View Post
    Sounds good! I wouldnt say merkur blades are underrated, they are universally panned as one of the worst blades around. If you find a blade you like, stock up on it to the tune of a couple of hundered blades. DE blades when you find a good one, like to be discontinued!

    I'd scrap the merkur blades, and try some kai, israeli crystals, feather, yellow box 7'oclocks, etc.
    Thanks mate, that's pretty much my plan. I do want to experiment with the highly regarded blades, but don't want to get bogged down so much with the DE as I'm primarily a straight razor shaver.

    As for the Merkur blades, I guess YMMV. Prior to shaving with one I did know that they are panned. But when I said underrated I meant that I expected to have a sub-par shave with irritation, and instead I've had fantastic shaves with zero irritation from Merkurs. I have little doubt there are better blades out there, but they seem to work fine for me.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    I don't think using a DE prepared me in any way for using a straight however the skin prep and lathering are all the same so in that way I guess yes.
    Spendur, I think you got it right about the beard prep, which I could see as being just as beneficial to a DE shave as a straight shave. But I would also add that DE shaving also shares a couple other factors, such as concentration, shaving angle and beard reduction passes.

    BTW - I know you recommended the Fat Boy in my original thread. Out of curiosity I checked e-bay (it might have been the Canadian version, can't remember) and the prices were not very good, to say the least. I do want to try one, but I'll wait until I can find one below the $50/$60 range.

  9. #8
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    I've gone back to part time DE shaving because I had some wrist pain issues that stropping aggravated and I was test driving a couple for my dad, who I was trying to get off of bic disposables (and succeeded - he is a big gillette superspeed blue tip fan now).

    You can get a perfect DE shave - the advantage of straights is coolness and sometimes for me my face feels better, but in terms of close BBS, you should be able to do that with a DE or Mach 3.

    I agree the merkurs are overly panned. They work really well if you know what you are doing. My favorite is the feather, and after that probably the 7 oclocks, but I dig the Derbys, Crystals and Irridiums too. With a good razor and a little concentration, it's all good.

  10. #9
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default Some Thoughts On DE Shaving

    Gentlemen,

    My double edge razors have always given me a good shave. Having trimmed my collection of about a dozen DE's (included Merkur 38C and 34C), I have chosen to keep the Edwin Jagger "Chatsworth" "barley" and the mock ivory, in addition to the Cyril Salter (uses a Merkur head). My blades of choice are Feather and 7 O'Clock (yellows).

    The straight razor is my daily companion, of course. I love the art and the skill that goes into using it. I love stropping it. Taking care of it. Studying the history of it, and the different brands.

    Yet, I save two or three shaves a month for the DE just to stay in touch. I am aware that some straight razor users completely abandon the DE. I cannot do that, because I am still fond of the DE. Also, I use a DE when strapped for time. When traveling, along with a Feather AC straight and a regular straight, I also carry a Merkur travel DE just in case time is short.

    Some friends are worth keeping and my DE is still a friend.

    Regards,

    Obie

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obie View Post
    Gentlemen,

    My double edge razors have always given me a good shave. Having trimmed my collection of about a dozen DE's (included Merkur 38C and 34C), I have chosen to keep the Edwin Jagger "Chatsworth" "barley" and the mock ivory, in addition to the Cyril Salter (uses a Merkur head). My blades of choice are Feather and 7 O'Clock (yellows).

    The straight razor is my daily companion, of course. I love the art and the skill that goes into using it. I love stropping it. Taking care of it. Studying the history of it, and the different brands.

    Yet, I save two or three shaves a month for the DE just to stay in touch. I am aware that some straight razor users completely abandon the DE. I cannot do that, because I am still fond of the DE. Also, I use a DE when strapped for time. When traveling, along with a Feather AC straight and a regular straight, I also carry a Merkur travel DE just in case time is short.

    Some friends are worth keeping and my DE is still a friend.

    Regards,

    Obie
    I agree. Just out of curiosity, do you attach the same gender to your straight razors and DEs? For example, some refer to their straight as "she" [she shaves like a beut, for example]. Whereas I could see a DE being more of a dude, like a buddy.

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