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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2010
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    Default Intro and question

    I looked for an intro sub-forum, I didn't find it. I'm new to safety razor shaving. I've been wet shaving and took a crack at straight razor shaving, it would appear that my personality doesn't really suit the straight razor.

    I purchased a Plain Jane safety razor and started trying to learn it. I like the shave except that there are a few places that always seem to get cut (on my neck & under my nose). I purchased a small moustache razor (that pulled more than cut). I was considering an adjustable razor. Any thought on this fixing the problem? DE vs. SE?

    I appreciate your advice.

    Wooly Biscuit

  2. #2
    Well Shaved Gentleman... jhenry's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
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    Welcome to SRP...Happy to have you aboard.

    What type of Plain Jane razor did you purchase? Consult the SRP wiki to find out what brands of straight razors are considered acceptable. Second, was your razor honed prior to you purchasing it? These are two questions that the answers to will assist us in diagnosing your problem.
    "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Welcome to SRP. The type of safety razor you are using can make a difference, the brand of blade can too. Finally, technique, preparation and lathering are also very important in the scheme of things. Rather than an adjustable I would try and get hold of an older Gillette Super Speed.

    The best route with blades is a sample pack with a variety to try. The "right"blade for me may not be right for you. What are you shaving with now? I mean what brand of razor and what blade ?

    Was the straight razor you shaved with honed by a professional and shave ready ? With either of these there is a learning curve that must be negotiated. It took me a few weeks to begin to see progress with the straight and to shave my whole face with a straight razor alone. Well worth going through the dues paying though.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  4. #4
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
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    Default Intro and question

    Hello, Woolybiscuit:

    Welcome to Straight Razor Place.

    I, too, suggest not giving up on the straight razor. Of course, the learning process takes time, but the final conquest is worth every effort.

    In the meantime, however, let's face your problems with the double edge razor. I can't comment on your razor or blades, because I don't know what they are, or how good.

    From what I can assume, since I have not observed you shave, you are using excessive pressure and the wrong angle.

    Under the nose, use care on how you come down with the razor and the angle you use to place it on the skin. No pressure whatsoever. Light as a baby's breath. The same thing can apply to the neck area: How do you place the razor on your skin? Do you use much pressure? What angle do you use? Important things to keep in mind.

    One more thing: never rest the razor on your face. The razor needs to be in motion at all times. The weight of the razor and the edge of the blade are enough to cause a nick if resting on the face.

    Good luck and keep us apprised of your progress.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Obie has a point, the pressure of a safety razor is a big concern. I'll never forget my first week shaving and saying "Shaving with one of these is like using a Bic!" After I stopped pressing on it and let the razors weight do the work my shaves got progressively cleaner with hardly any irritation.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but typical safety (double edge?) razors aren't honed (besides the Rolls razor posted earlier), are they? I thought you just pop a blade into it and take off.

    Wooly it's all about the angle and finding blades that you like. Blades can be anywhere up to a dollar for each razor. Decent blades that I have had luck with are Derby and Gillette 7 O'Clock yellow. You may have gotten an aggressive razor, or maybe it's just a piece of junk. When my friend started shaving he hated them - he bought a Parker but after he found the right blades he was pretty happy.

    Do you have a make and model of your razor?
    Last edited by DoubleEdge23c; 05-16-2010 at 12:47 AM.

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    Obie (05-16-2010)

  7. #6
    Senior Member sensei_kyle's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Oklahoma City, OK
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleEdge23c View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong but typical safety (double edge?) razors aren't honed (besides the Rolls razor posted earlier), are they? I thought you just pop a blade into it and take off.
    You are correct, sir.

    Blade choice plays a large role in the quality of your shave. While I love the Merkur HD razor, I just don't get a good shave with Merkur blades in any DE. I love Derby blades, and the Feather DE blades are pretty awesome too.

    Good advice so far. Let the razor do the work, use a light touch -- and when you think you're light, get lighter.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrowhead's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Yorkshire, England
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    I'm in complete agreement with JimmyHAD and Obie, including the bit about not giving up on the straight. Acquiring a good technique with one does take some work, but it's the passport to a lifetime of irritation free shaving.

    What I'd like to add concerns adjustable DE razors. I own a Fatboy and a Slim, and whilst they both acquit themselves well enough, they almost never get adjusted. It seems to me that's the case with a lot of people: you find a setting which suits and then forget about it. My recommendation therefore would be the same as JimmyHAD's: a Superspeed or Rocket, or for a more aggressive razor a modern Merkur.

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    Obie (05-16-2010)

  10. #8
    Senior Member Vekta's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Learning to use a straight razor reasonably well will probably make your DE shaves better.

    Things like pressure, angle control and getting to know your beard growth are still important with a safety razor. After I learned to use a straight I switched to a DE and the learning experience on a straight transferred over to the DE.

    I'd suggest sticking with the straight a little longer to. It'll probably help you in the long run.

  11. #9
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2010
    Detroit MI
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    You'll get better at navigating the nose and neck as time passes. You can buy the DE blade sampler packs on Ebay and some online stores now. That is what I did and found a decent blade/razor combo that worked for my skin and beard.

    I usually don't have time for the straight razor during the week. Straights on the weekend and DE during the weekdays. Keep with the straights though, makes for more variety.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowhead View Post
    for a more aggressive razor a modern Merkur.
    Sorry to hijack, but since I'm not a huge DE guy I just have to ask: are Merkurs (the razors, not the blades) considered aggressive? Compared to what? IME my 38C is probably the least aggressive out of my collection, and that includes my Fat Boy adjustable.

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