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Thread: New to DE / Saftey Razors- Need some insight. What razor/cream/ blades/aftershave?

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    Question New to DE / Saftey Razors- Need some insight. What razor/cream/ blades/aftershave?

    Hello,
    I am new to DE/ Saftey Razors, I mean very new. I just realized there was even such a thing. I was un aware people still even used them. Forgive me for being nieve, but I am probably younger than most other members on here.

    I am just fed up with my Gillette Fusion, from the quality of the shave, to the blades dulling very quickly, to the price of the blades, to the blue strip on the cartrage drying up. I just knew there was better ways to get the job done. I know even mentioning a disposable razor on the site is probably taboo but that is precisley why I am here.

    A few questions.
    What razor to start with? As with any new interest, research is key but I am confused by the use if the word aggressive when describing razors. What exactly is meant by that?

    Right now I have interest in a few razors after reading around, vintage Gillete "FatBoy" as well as a Edwin Jagger 89L, simply because of the reccomendation of Obie.

    Are either of them better for a novice such as myself?

    Also, I have thick hair and I dont shave every day so what would be my best bet on blades?
    How many shaves should I expect from a single blade?

    Preshave, Shaving cream/soap, Aftershave...?
    I am kind of confused as to what the alternatives are to can shaving cream?
    What is the brush for? Do you mix your own? Brands?

    Use after shave? What brands are good?

    That should get my started, I am sure I will be asking more questions as well as sharing experience here once I get going, I just want to be prepared when I try my first shave.


    Thanks in advance,
    KidFrost

  2. #2
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Hello, Kidfrost:

    Every gentleman is welcome at Straight Razor Place regardless of his age. Any lady regardless of her age, as well. So Welcome to Straight Razor Place.

    Of the two razors you have mentioned, I suggest opting for the Edwin Jagger. The Gillette Fatboy is a fine razor, with a huge following, but I find it a slightly rougher shave, even on the No. 1 setting, than the silky Edwin Jagger. Some gentlemen will disagree with me, but that is my suggestion.

    For blades, I suggest starting with the Gillette 7 O'Clock "sharp edge" (in the yellow pack), the Personna "Red Packs," and the Derby. These will give you a good variety. After that you can explore more razor blades and find what works best for you.

    For cream, I suggest trying Pre de Provence, which some local quality soap shops seem to carry, or Dr. Bigelow, which is Proraso of Italy in different clothes. Both are quality creams. Also, try a quality soap. If there is a L'Occitane shop in your city, their soap is quite good, about $10 a puck, and will last a long time. You can also try Van Der Hagen and Williams, both available at local pharmacies. I am not all that fond of the last two, but they will do for now.

    For a brush, I suggest a pure-grade badger from Omega or Edwin Jagger. Omega also has a good range of quality boar bristle brushes. Right now you need one brush.

    Beyond that, please dig into the Wiki here at SRP for a vast amount of information, watch as many videos as can find, and keep on shaving.

    I'll be more than happy to mentor you, if you like. You're more than welcome to send me a personal message.

    We're delighted to have you with us.

    Regards,

    Obie
    Last edited by Obie; 06-22-2011 at 06:27 PM.
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    Excited Member AxelH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KidFrost View Post
    What razor to start with? As with any new interest, research is key but I am confused by the use if the word aggressive when describing razors. What exactly is meant by that?
    Don't forget: you can always support the Chinese economy by purchasing a new Weishi DE! It's considered a mild shaver, which is good for beginners.

    Quote Originally Posted by KidFrost View Post
    Preshave, Shaving cream/soap, Aftershave...?
    I am kind of confused as to what the alternatives are to can shaving cream?
    What is the brush for? Do you mix your own? Brands?
    Umm, exactly how young are you, Kid Frost? Check out lathering or somethin' on youtube. Then you'll figure out the brush thing. I think Pre de Provence is good advice. Stay away from Williams if your wrists tire easily (or not, if you're as young as I suspect..).

    Quote Originally Posted by KidFrost View Post
    Use after shave? What brands are good?

    That should get my started, I am sure I will be asking more questions as well as sharing experience here once I get going, I just want to be prepared when I try my first shave.
    Mmmmmm.. the gorier the better! I wait with bated breath!

    Seriously, don't worry about mentioning the F word, we consider you to be a refugee and try to be understanding, even empathetic to your kind! And welcome to the best straight razor forum on the planet!

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    Let's talk Horsehair newb's Avatar
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    Razors, Brushes and Blades are a YMMV item. As for razors pick one that you think you would like to use, odds are you will buy more in time. The same holds true for brushes. Buy what you think you would want to use. The Best advice I can give is to get a blade sampler pack. What works for me may not work for you, thus a sampling of different blades will start you off to a good start.
    Last edited by newb; 06-22-2011 at 07:47 PM.

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    Str8 for life! DOOM's Avatar
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    I'm shaving with str8 for almost 5 years now and want to try a DE. I bought a EJ89BA11 Barley and can tell you that this one is VERY forgiving and mild. A little to mild for my taste but a really good starter. I bought with the feather blades and Gillette 7o'clock black and they are good blades. So I bought a Gillette slim adjustable to see how she shaves but didnt get it yet cause CanadaPost are in strike.

    cheers and have fun!!
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    Well Shaved Gentleman... jhenry's Avatar
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    KidFrost,

    +1 on the previous advice. Personally, I would opt for the Edwin Jagger. They are exceptionally well made, come in a variety of styles and are reasonably priced. I would opt for the lowest priced EJ you can find. As has already been noted, you will eventually wind up purchasing one or more additional razors over time.

    As for blades...Find an online vendor who offers a sampler pack that contains the de razor blades Obie and my other SRP comrades have suggested. The sampler pack will probably contain other brands of blades as well. Try them all to find the one that gives you the best shave for the money. Since you don't shave everyday, but have a rather heavy beard, I suspect that your blade may last you no more than 4-5 shaves tops. You be the judge about this once you begin shaving. That may seem a rather low number of shaves, but you must remember that de razor blades are quite inexpensive, compared to cartridge razors.

    You can get a decent quality brush and soap at your local Walgreens, Target or Wal-Mart. Van der Hagen has a soap & brush set that you can purchase at any of these stores.

    As for shaving emollients...Since you have a rather heavy beard, I would opt for shaving cream over soap. This is not to dissuade you from trying the soaps which have already been recommended, but in my experience I found that creams tend to moisturize my face and soften my beard a bit more than shaving soap. I would recommend Proraso for starters. It is quite good and inexpensive. Irisch Moos and Tabac make good quality shaving creams as well. They make shaving soaps too, but as I have noted, for now, I would opt for these brand's shaving creams for your type of beard. A more expensive, high quality shaving cream is Castle Forbes that is high on my list.

    When shaving, apply lather with your brush, then massage it into your beard and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Rinse and apply some bay rum to your face to set up your beard. Then reapply your shaving lather and shave with your de razor. Afterwards, rinse your face thoroughly with warm, then cold water and apply some witch hazel. Last, but not least, apply some type of aftershave balm (ie. Nivea) and then aftershave of your choosing. One aftershave you may want to try is Pinaud Clubman. It is quite popular around here and is inexpensive.

    I hope that this information helps. Take care...
    Last edited by jhenry; 06-22-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    First thing you need to do is forget about that Obie fella. He'll put you in the poorhouse.

    Just kidding.

    There is a lot to choose from out there. If I were you I would go for an EJ model that is reasonable in price. You will get a great shave from it.As far as soap goes I would say, if you can afford it go with an English Milled soap. If you want real basic yea Williams will get the job done.

    As to brushes there is a universe out there. You first need to decide the price and the feel you want and that will guide you. As to blades like others have said get a sampler pack.
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    +1 to all the advice on the thread already. DEFINITELY go with a sampler pack when it comes to choosing a blade. Everyone's face is different, therefore the perfect blade for them is different. Some will swear by Derbys while others think Derbys are the devil. The only thing there seems to be a general consensus on is that Merkurs are lacking for most people, and that Feathers are damn sharp. I HIGHLY suggest watching all of Mantic59's videos on YouTube. He has great videos on choosing a blade, shaving technique, building lather, etc.

    The Merkur HD is touted as a great razor for the beginning DE shaver. I can't comment personally on that model since I don't own it, but I can tell you that I get excellent shaves from my Merkur Futur. It's a little on the pricey side ($60-80 depending on where you look), but it yields excellent shaves and can be adjusted (like the Fatboy) to give a more or less aggressive shave.

    You don't have to drop a load of cash on your first brush. A pure badger brush, quality boar brush, or even a good synthetic brush will get the job done just fine in the meantime. I've even heard some people swear by the Tweezerman brush you can find on Amazon for a very low price. As with blades, the brush you prefer will depend on your style and what your face likes.

    Aftershave will also take some experimentation. Some people use nothing but an alum block, while others use higher end products like Geo F. Trumper's Skin Food (very highly regarded), which can be used as an aftershave as well as something to add to lather or even a pre-shave. I use Proraso post/pre-shave cream and like it very much. If you're into the cool, menthol sensations, then I suggest you give it a try since it is very reasonably priced.

    What I can tell you for sure is that it's going to take some time to find the right combo of cream, blades, and aftershave to suit your style. Be patient, and don't give up.
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    Senior Member deighaingeal's Avatar
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    It looks like you have a lot of great advice here. I would definitely take up Obie on his offer, he is a great guy and while not everything that works for him will work for you; he has done enough research that he knows what direction to guide you from your starting point.
    One major recommendation is do not try the vintage blades. Some of them are great and impossible to find. Some you'll get and they will have a lot of microchipping due to age.
    On that not I have to go search out more 40 year old gillette blades for the wife.

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    Hey guys,
    I am quite suprised I have gotten all the responces and advise that I have. Thank all of you very much. I have read all of your posts .. at least twice and I am taking in all the info that I can. By the way AxelH, I dont know how young you "suspect" I am but I am 23. After reading around and gaining a little more knowleadge I realize I might not be the youngest in the crowd but I had assumed that this may be a more 30's and up crowd. lol.

    Since my first post I have purchased quite a few things to get me started, all from Obie.
    He aggreed to sell me a few of his DE razors and most all of the other products I need to get started.
    I have since bought:
    A brand new Edwin Jagger 89L
    A lightly used Murkur Mergress
    A quite worn in vintage Gillete Superspeed
    Pre de Provence cream
    Mitchell's Wool Fat soap
    Shea Butter Shave pure badger brush
    Styptic pencil
    and Obie also was so gratious to include a sampler pack of a variety of blades.

    I will be glad to share my experience converting to DE shaving, I will keep reading and most likley buying razors and accessories, b.c. I already see how your guy have become so addicted to shaving. BTW In doing research and looking around I have set my eye on a specific razor (link below).. but the price... If anyone has or knows of a used one for sale please fill me in.

    http://www.royalshave.com/p/407-035-...aving-set.html

    Thanks again guys, and Thanks espically to Obie,

    KidFrost
    Last edited by KidFrost; 06-23-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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