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Thread: Is there that much difference between safety razor brands?

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    Senior Member Costabro's Avatar
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    Question Is there that much difference between safety razor brands?

    Just recently I joined the wet shaving world with the purchase of a Dovo 5/8 full hollow and am loving it. However, I shave my head regularly and find that using the straight edge might be dulling it quicker.
    So, I purchased a Parker 71R that came with a pure badger brush and a stand. My purpose was to keep myself from the hone as long as possible. The shaves with the Parker have been incredible! I'm using Merkur blades and cannot fathom that it gets much better than this. Am I wrong?

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    Special Agent Gibbs's Avatar
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    Try a Personna Medical Prep or Lab blade sometime, it may get better. Other than that, no, the DE shaving is a unique experience all unto itself.
    ~~ Vern ~~
    I was born with nothing and managed to keep most of it.
    Former Nebraskan. Go Big Red

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    Costabro (10-04-2011)

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    When I started shaving with a DE I didn't think it could get better than using Derby blades (was never a fan of Merkur blades). Nowadays I still like Derby, but have found them to be a very average, middle-of-the-road blade. There are much better out there. Same goes for DE razors too. I like my Parker 22R, but I have better razors. Each seems to have its place in the shave den, so I keep it in the rotation. I'm sure you'll find that the more you experiment the more you will realize the place each piece of gear holds in your shave den, too.

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    Costabro (10-04-2011)

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    Straight razors require some maintenance. A strop and pasted strop will carry you a long way before a stone honing is needed. If you add a barber hone into the process, you may be able to maintain a straight razor for a very, very, long time.

    I like my DE to wrap up a straight razor shave from time to time just for variety, but it always takes a back seat to the straight razors. The big blade on your skin with the heft behind it, and the pressure and angle directed by your hand - this gets the closest shave for me. If you are getting great results with with your DE set-up, then rock on!

    Straight razors do take some time to learn how to keep them finely tuned to your preference. But once you are there, its hard to settle for anything else.

    SE and/or SR, enjoy!

    Pabster

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    Costabro (10-04-2011)

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    Senior Member otherstar's Avatar
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    To answer your original question: yes, DE brands shave differently. I've not tried Parkers, but I have a few Merkurs and vintage Gillettes and none of them shave alike. I've also found that the blade you use changes the shave as well. I've used a DE exclusively for the last 3 years and only recently started using straights. I would avoid the medical prep blades myself...I've not heard good things about them. The Merkur blades are OK, but not the best I've ever used. I personally prefer the Astra Superior Platinum, but those are a fairly sharp blade. Derby blades are a good middle of the road blade. There are lots of options and no brand works the same for everyone, the same can be said for the razors themselves.

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    Costabro (10-04-2011)

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    Senior Member Sargon's Avatar
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    Blade makes a huge difference in a DE, and razor can make a pretty large one as well. The difference between say a Gillette Tech with a generic Persona blade ( not very sharp at all), and a slant bar with a feather is HUGE.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth celestino's Avatar
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    Costabro,
    There are many differences between DEs and the blade you use with them. The usual suspects as the Pils, Feather, Future, FatBoy, etc are very nice, but so are some of the old Gillettes. It really depends on the individual.
    For the blades, try a sampler pack. If you want a comprehensive review on blades, then here is a good site:

    SMF :: View topic - Squire's Blade Reviews

    Good luck.

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    Costabro (01-12-2012)

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    Senior Member Costabro's Avatar
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    Ok. I had to find out for myself and have to say, "ya'll were right". I've managed, for a combined cost of about $75, to collect a mint '59 Fatboy, '69 Super Adjustable, flair tip superspeed, red tipped superspeed, fat handled tech, aristocrat, an GEM to add to my Parker. What a difference!
    cpcohen1945 likes this.

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    Member normbal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sargon View Post
    Blade makes a huge difference in a DE, and razor can make a pretty large one as well. The difference between say a Gillette Tech with a generic Persona blade ( not very sharp at all), and a slant bar with a feather is HUGE.
    As others have said as well. The overall geometry of the safety bar (toothed or non-toothed when you're talking about VERY old DE razors, then short or long-combed ones are different), there are so many subtleties it's like cars, cell phones, homes, anything there is a variety of in different sizes and shapes and styles.

    When I was a kid, I was given a razor and some blades and that was that. Few years later I got another, then a single edge injector, tried the twin blade disposables for a while and went to an electric.

    Doing the DE thing for 5-6 months now, SR about 6 weeks. Any time I go back to trying a DE it makes me a little nervous.

    Keep at it.

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    Senior Member Costabro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costabro View Post
    Ok. I had to find out for myself and have to say, "ya'll were right". I've managed, for a combined cost of about $75, to collect a mint '59 Fatboy, '69 Super Adjustable, flair tip superspeed, red tipped superspeed, fat handled tech, aristocrat, an GEM to add to my Parker. What a difference!
    Add a 1930 Gillette Deluxe Criterion in mint condition for $15!

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