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Thread: D.E advice

  1. #1
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    Default D.E advice

    I've been thinking about getting a double edge for those occasions when...Well, when I feel like slacking off from being so damn straight all the time. Can anyone tell me what the 'combed' variety is used for compared to the non-combed variety? I assume also, that a short handle is a wiser choice than a longer handle for better manuverability. Other (wiser) opinions thoughts on that? Thanks for your help.


    Mick

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    Senior Member LawsonStone's Avatar
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    I have a Gillette Super Slim adjustable, which I use with Super Iridium blades. I like it a lot and use it sometimes just because it's fun. I got it after reading the "first shave" wiki. It said to shave my cheek, then finish with my usual method of shaving. Well I didn't want to go back to disposables, so I though I'd get a DE since I used them for about 20 years.

    It's like straights...next thing you know...you have a collection! So I have another adjustable, then a flare handle super-speed, then a Merkur Progress…I've tried various blades...

    Is there any relief from SGAD (Shave Gear AD?)

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    Senior Member Joe Edson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickR View Post
    I've been thinking about getting a double edge for those occasions when...Well, when I feel like slacking off from being so damn straight all the time. Can anyone tell me what the 'combed' variety is used for compared to the non-combed variety? I assume also, that a short handle is a wiser choice than a longer handle for better manuverability. Other (wiser) opinions thoughts on that? Thanks for your help.


    Mick
    Hi Mick,

    The open comb razors expose more of the blade, so hence they become more aggressive than the closed comb razors. Even further aggressive (IME) are slant razors. They are closed comb, but hold the DE blade such that it is slanted on each side. A little difficult to get used to, but I actually quite like them.

    I actually prefer the shorter handled razors, but then again I grip the razor right below the head anyway so I don't need all that extra handle to get in the way.

    What exactly are you looking for in a razor?
    Modern Aggressive:
    Merkur Slant
    Muhle R41 open comb
    Merkur Open comb
    Merkur 34HD

    Modern Mild:
    EJ89 or Muhle 89 (same head, different handles). IME this is the best modern day DE.
    Merkur classic, though not as mild as the EJ89

    Vintage Aggressive:
    Gillette NEW long tooth comb
    Gillette Red Tip
    Gillette Fat Boy/Slim (can be as aggressive or mild as you want)
    Merkur/Hoffritz Slant

    Vintage Mild:
    Gillette 40s style superspeed
    Gillette Blue Tip
    Gillette Flair Tips
    Gillette Techs

    anyway, there are a ton a razors out there and if you are looking for just something to use every once in a while, I would go with modern: EJ89 or Merkur 34HD; Vintage: Gillette Slim, red-tip or 40s SS

    Hope that helps!

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    Senior Member Arrowhead's Avatar
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    Hello Mick,

    If I understand you correctly, you're looking for a DE to use just occasionally for a change or when you don't feel like concentrating too hard. Presumably you'd also like a nice piece of kit.

    Based on that, and restricted by my very narrow field of expertise, I'd say a 40's Superspeed would fit the bill admirably. They're easy to find, not especially collectable (thus affordable), excellent easy going shavers, and to my mind the best looking razor ever made in a no nonsense designed by an engineer sort of way. For a weightier option, try to find a Rocket, which is nearly identical to a SS, made in England, and ... heavier. Either would be an excellent starter razor.

    Of the more sophisticated vintage models, my pick would be the Slim adjustable: again affordable and nicely engineered, and you get to play about with the adjustment mechanism to get the level of aggression you prefer. Mine is stuck on *very aggressive*, which will cause some shaking of heads, but it suits me and I've had a lot of practice. A sensible place to start is no higher than 3.

    I'd leave an open comb for a second purchase: they are a little less forgiving apparently, but I've managed to avoid them so far.

    As regards handle length, I'm in the short camp, resting the end of the handle on my little finger, but that's entirely a personal decision.

    That's the view from the vintage Gillette corner: hope it might be of some help.

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    Senior Member Joe Edson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowhead View Post
    Hello Mick,

    If I understand you correctly, you're looking for a DE to use just occasionally for a change or when you don't feel like concentrating too hard. Presumably you'd also like a nice piece of kit.

    Based on that, and restricted by my very narrow field of expertise, I'd say a 40's Superspeed would fit the bill admirably. They're easy to find, not especially collectable (thus affordable), excellent easy going shavers, and to my mind the best looking razor ever made in a no nonsense designed by an engineer sort of way. For a weightier option, try to find a Rocket, which is nearly identical to a SS, made in England, and ... heavier. Either would be an excellent starter razor.

    Of the more sophisticated vintage models, my pick would be the Slim adjustable: again affordable and nicely engineered, and you get to play about with the adjustment mechanism to get the level of aggression you prefer. Mine is stuck on *very aggressive*, which will cause some shaking of heads, but it suits me and I've had a lot of practice. A sensible place to start is no higher than 3.

    I'd leave an open comb for a second purchase: they are a little less forgiving apparently, but I've managed to avoid them so far.

    As regards handle length, I'm in the short camp, resting the end of the handle on my little finger, but that's entirely a personal decision.

    That's the view from the vintage Gillette corner: hope it might be of some help.
    The 40s SS is indeed one of my favorite DEs and a great shaver as well. Can usually be picked up in the $10-20 range depending on condition. Of the adjustables, I slightly prefer the Fat boy, but the Slim is a great shaver and can be had for about $20 cheaper than you will pay for a fat boy. I leave my adjustables on 7-9 setting as well as I like aggressive razors.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    At this point in time with advancements I don't think the open comb type really gives any better shave. The new Muhle type heads also using the Ejs give great shaves. I have the EJ Chatsworth and it outshaves my fatboy and the mercur Future I used to have. I don't know about the new stainless feather or the pils.
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    Senior Member Joe Edson's Avatar
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    I have pretty much stopped using and sold my vintage DEs. The only ones I'm looking at keeping for DEs are the EJ89L, vintage Hoffritz Slant (same design as new Merkur Slants), Cooncatbob's Bull Mastiff w/ Gillette New head, and lastly my best razor - a vintage Darwin DE from the 1920s. The darwins are very rare and can be quite pricey (I lucked out on mine), but IME it is the smoothest shaver of any I've tried. The first stainless steel razor ever made as well.

    Bottom line, while collecting vintage Gillettes may be fun, the best razors IME are not them.

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    Senior Member Arrowhead's Avatar
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    All good points, but you get comfortable with what you have. I'm fond of my old Gillette razors, and to be honest, they don't see a great deal of action these days anyway, but they're all fine when they do get dusted off - for me. (The same applies to straights I think, and I wouldn't swap my unassuming Klauberg for a "better" razor with a famous name because we get on so well). With reference to Mick's requirements, the 40s - 60s razors are a cheap and reliable way to dip one's toe in the water, and the history gives them a bit of character. The twist to open mechanism is a big bonus too, in my opinion.

  9. #9
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    Ok, I've read through all the comments so far and all are very helpful...Far from the simple solutions that I thought it would be though. So what I was thinking of, as far as what I want in a razor:- Modern (easy to get/readily available), adjustable (so I can go from mild to wild at will), weighty (just because!), short handled (seems like a sensible choice)...Would the Merkur HD fall into that catagory? If not which one would?
    I just know this is going to get very complicated.


    Mick

    P.S thanks to the Mod that shifted this to the proper thread. I have no idea why I didn't get it right in the first place.
    Last edited by MickR; 08-21-2010 at 02:01 PM.

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    Senior Member LawsonStone's Avatar
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    The double-edge razor to my mind, is a lovely example of a "technology" that peaked and became almost impossible to improve upon. There are any number of DE razors out there, costing around US $7-15 used, that do a great job if the razor is in good shape. You can also get some fabulous Merkur razors for USD 50-100 that are the same identical technology in modern manufacture.

    For fun, I picked up this GI WW2 issue Gillette shaver and used it. I think I paid maybe USD 20 for it on eBay. Great shave! This might become my travel kit! The little razor-blade container alone was worth the price.
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