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Thread: Can Anyone Help Start Me on DE Razor Shaving?

  1. #1
    Esy
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    Default Can Anyone Help Start Me on DE Razor Shaving?

    Hey guys, some quick background: I'm almost 19 and ever since 14 or 15 or whenever I started I've been shaving with electric razors. A variety of factors have led me to reconsider my shaving routine: first of all, the electric I'm using now is pretty much at the end of its life and I'd need to either find another electric or a replacement (which I hear can be tough) for it, I've been a bit disappointed all along (even when the electrics were new) at the lack of closeness with the shave, I've been derping around on Youtube and have come across some DE razor videos and they have sparked my interest, and I'm the sort of guy who likes unique and classic stuff (main exmaple being I'm a huge jazz fan and despise pop music). The past few days I've been trying out the complementary 18th birthday Gillette Fusion Proglide, but I've heard the stories of how expensive it can get (~$40 for 8 cartridges? No thanks!)

    I've been doing a bunch of research but still have a lot to figure out.

    The Actual Razor

    I don't know exactly how to select one. I was thinking maybe a Merkur or Edwin Jagger but both of those brands have a lot of models. What are the main differences? I have pretty big hands so might it be better to get a long-handle, even though it apparently makes getting the correct angle tough?

    The Blades

    I think I have the best idea about what to do about this: get a multipack. I've been looking at a $25 multipack that includes 100 blades from like 7 different brands. Probably should be able to find something I like in there.

    Soap, Brush, etc.

    Okay I'm kind of confused about this as well. Like I said, I've only even used a disposable razor a few times, so I've just been using some Edge gel. Most videos I've seen have had guys using brushes with some sort of soap. How necessary is this? Brushes from what I see can be really expensive ($50 for badger) or pretty cheap ($10 for a boar). Do you guys recommend it? I guess if I didn't stick with DE shaving I could always use the brush for disposable shaving, but do they last a while?


    Overall do you think it's worth it? I mean it would be somewhere around a ($50+$25+$50+$15=$140) investment. Oh and add $2 for a styptic pencil haha. Obviously I wouldn't quit after a few cuts, but do you know anyone who has never been able to get the hang of DE shaving?

    Thank you in advance everyone

    --

    Been doing a bit of Amazon window-shopping. I've come up with a few products that seemed to have good reviews and prices:

    * Edwin Jagger De89lbl DE Safety Razor ($40)
    * Escali Pure Badger Shaving Brush ($10)
    * Proraso Soap with Eucalyptus and Menthol ($10)
    * DE Razor Blade Variety Pack ($25)

    Can anyone tell me if these are good products? They have good reviews on Amazon but I'd love some opinions from shaving experts
    Last edited by Esy; 06-01-2012 at 01:38 AM. Reason: Was looking at more options

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    Welcome to SRP, Esy.

    I think you've made the right decision by looking into DE shaving, and once you try one you'll know why. A DE can show you what a close shave should be like, which is a far cry from the abilities of an electric. I see you've been watching some YouTube videos, I'd strongly recommend you look up mantic59 if you haven't already. Anyway, on to your questions:

    Razor - Many guys recommend a vintage Gillette, but that depends on availability in antique shops and e-bay. A solid starter DE is the Merkur 34C (aka the HD or heavy duty), but since you have big hands I think the Merkur 38C is a better option for you since it's the same razor but with a longer handle. Most men with large hands prefer razors with long handles.

    Blades - You're on the right track, get a blade sampler. In case you didn't know, blades shave differently in every razor, so it takes some experimentation to find the right blades for your razor.

    Brush/Soap - You should absolutely get a brush. You'd be amazed at the difference a brush and soap/cream makes to achieve a close shave. Your first brush doesn't have to be expensive, you could get a cheap boar brush but the better option would be a pure badger bristle. My first brush was a Vulfix pure badger that cost around $30 and is a great little brush. For a first soap pick up a puck of Proraso or Tabac, which are both easy to lather and are great products too.


    So yes, all of it is worth it, just remember to get that styptic pencil....
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    Esy
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    Thanks for the reply Ryan.

    It seems like the selection might be tough. On the one hand the Edwin Jagger 89 I've seen recommend on some other threads, has great reviews, and costs $40, but I've also seen a lot of recommendations for the Merkur 34C and 38C, and both of those have great reviews as well, and only costs a little more at $45 for the 34 and $50 for the long. I probably shouldn't dwell on it too long though as I'm sure they're great Razors.

    I think I've found a great brush with this Escali. It looks to be a bargain and is made of badger hair.

    I'm a bit confused about the form of the soap, if you will. The only Proraso I could find, which is what I was thinking of getting, was sort of in a container. Would buying this (http://www.amazon.com/Proraso-Shavin...8511501&sr=1-2) be enough or would I need a separate bowl?

    Thanks again.

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    Actually, the EJ 89L would make a fine first razor as well and is a great price. I bought my Merkur 38C back when they were under $40, so I forgot they they aren't so cheap anymore.....

    Yes, Proraso comes in a plastic tub which is not uncommon for shaving soaps. Other common materials are wood, ceramic and metal. Those types of tubs are typically for a first time purchase, and you would only have to buy the refill pucks thereafter, at much cheaper price I might add. For hard soaps you can get away with buying refills at the beginning as well, but you will likely have to form-fit the soap cake into the dish of your choosing. You may also want to consider traditional shave cream as well (the type you lather with a brush, not Edge or Barbasol etc), which Proraso makes too.

    The aforementioned mantic59 made some fantastic lathering videos in addition to shaving vids, and many a newb learned a trick or 10 from him.

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    Esy
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    Thanks for clarifying the soaps.

    I think I'll place my order tomorrow. In the meantime I'll definitely check out the videos you suggested.

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    "We are the knights who say, "nee!" Yochatman's Avatar
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    If you PM me your address, I will send you a Vintage DE and some sample soap so you don't have to put up quite so much capital(I'll cut a piece off my valobra and lea sticks), if you have a Target around, you can get a really cheap Pure Badger Brush by Shea Moisture or the Van der Hagen Deluxe pure badger for like $10. The Shea Moisture is a really good starter and lathers the soaps quite well, it's just a bit loose, so you may need to hold it a touch past the knot, the Van der Hagen is about the same. If you want to order the other new stuff, cool, I hope that you really enjoy your shaves! Also, I believe that you can get the Van der Hagen deluxe shave soap at Target for less than $5.00 and it works pretty well, as does the Williams shave puck that you can get at the CVS Pharmacy for under $2.00. I would definitely order the blades, as it's good to know what you like, but Wal-Mart does carry the Wilkinson Sword DE blades, and they are pretty good, and they are 10 for $2.00. Good Luck with everything!

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    Esy
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    Thanks for the offer Yochatman.

    I've already placed my order so I should be all set for everything.

    Thanks a lot about the suggestions about getting soap at local stores. I'll have to take a look around sometime.

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    Senior Member Sargon's Avatar
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    good luck. I think you'll be happy with your decision to try a DE. Just remember that it can take a few times till you get used to it, and to use no pressure and multiple passes. Even if you don't like a DE (it is uncommon, but happens for a few guys), you'll probably like the brush and soap. Even ignoring the fact that you'll get better lather and shaves from them, the feeling of not having chemical soup on your face each morning is worth it, IMO.

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    Esy
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    Shaved two times with my DE at this point. I watched plenty of videos so I had most of the basic down, i.e. no pressure, no wrist action, little strokes, and multiple passes. Thanks for the enforcement though

    I definitely think I'll stick with it so that's good. I definitely agree about the soap though. If the topic of shaving ever comes up with my friends I'll definitely recommend a brush and soap at least. Soaps smell better, feel better, (seem like they'll) last longer, etc.

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    Esy
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    whoops double post
    Last edited by Esy; 06-06-2012 at 07:06 AM.

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