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Thread: 1 Shave with a DE and I'm ready to quit... Help!

  1. #21
    Senior Member Deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silents View Post
    I have no doubt that most of my issue is operator error. Im just looking for a more forgiving blade to help this operator on his journey to becoming proficient. Thanks to everyone that responded.
    Like yourself, I found some blades to not do their job as well as I'd like; Merkur blades spring to mind. However, I gave some Wilkinson Sword blades a try. These were better, but still not quite what I was after. After reading about Tesco's "Own brand" blades, I gave those a try... and have used them ever since; although I'm currently giving Derby blades a go. It was also discovered that the Tesco own brand were in fact repackaged Israeli-made Personna blades; which are rebranded for various other stores as well.

    This page here gives a sharpness rating of the most commonly-available blades out there.

    DE's are a learning curve. There's no one setup that will work for everyone, it's just a case of trial and error. Get yourself a blade sampler pack.
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    ~ Dave ~ ... back to lurking...

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  3. #22
    Senior Member EggSuckingLeech's Avatar
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    Feathers chew me up. I prefer Merkur (contrary to the post above me which only proves the infamous "YMMV" acronym ).

    But I think it's a big mistake to assume that a DE is any "easier" than a straight. DE has it's own learning curve just like a straight. You probably prepared yourself for the time it took to figure out a straight. A DE is the same way. So I wouldn't quit. Consider it a challenge just like starting a straight was.

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    Senior Member Wayne1963's Avatar
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    The Edwin Jagger DE-89 is a darn fine razor. You should get a blade "sampler pack". Most every vendor sells them and they will help you find "your" blade. The "your milage may vary" cliche especially applies to blades. Feathers do the same thing to my face. I use Gillettes in the green pack and Wilkinson Swords with great results. No one blade is going to appeal to everyone. Good luck.

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    Senior Member Silents's Avatar
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    Ok gentlemen, I went out yesterday and purchased a pack of Green Derby blades and gave it a shot today. After 3 passes, I have a good, not BB soft shave, but very good shave with minimal razor burn. On a as ale of 1 - 10 ( 10 being face on fire ) I probably have about a 2. Mostly the burn is from technique and having to touch up these spots multiple times. I'd definitely give it a few more attempts before putting the DE into the rotation or purchasing another DE. Thanks for all of the good advice!
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    Senior Member Silents's Avatar
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    Ok, now I'm thinking that I'd like to get a few more and have a weeks rotation of DE's. I know I'm still learning, but this is what happened with SR's too,and I own 30 SR's now .
    Looking through this category, it looks like some good vintage DE's would be Gillette's Tech, Super Speed and Fat Boy. For new, I was thinking a Merkur 34C.

    Any other less aggressive suggestions?

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    Member vferdman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silents View Post
    Ok, now I'm thinking that I'd like to get a few more and have a weeks rotation of DE's. I know I'm still learning, but this is what happened with SR's too,and I own 30 SR's now .
    Looking through this category, it looks like some good vintage DE's would be Gillette's Tech, Super Speed and Fat Boy. For new, I was thinking a Merkur 34C.

    Any other less aggressive suggestions?
    Less aggressive razor will not solve your razor burn problem. It's you technique, not the razor. Trust me, going more mild will only lower the quality of your shave. In fact, I as counter-intuitive as it sounds I would suggest going to a more aggressive razor and loading it up with a mild blade. Derbys are mild, but I do not care for their lack of smoothness. I prefer Dorco ST300 for a mild but smooth blade. Sharks are not bad, but also not the smoothest. Merkur blades are actually quite smooth and pretty mild, but they get a bad reputation for some reason. They are certainly too expensive for what they are. Astra SP are medium sharp and very smooth. Personna Super (US made Lab prep) are pretty sharp and very smooth, I would leave those for later. Getting anything like a Merkur 34C when you have an EJ DE89 is not a good idea. Pretty much the same shave. If you want to get something where you can actually experiment with aggressiveness get a Merkur Progress. One of the pest adjustable razors out there. You can adjust it mid-shave and by tiny amounts. Kind of like turning the volume up on your radio. It also is one of the very best DE shavers in safety bar style (as opposed to open comb). Se it to the lowest setting and it's as mild as a Tech. Set it higher and you can get a very, very aggressive shave out of it. Everything in between comes steplessly as in infinitely adjustable. Progress is my favorite safety bar razor and I have pretty much given up on all my other safety bar razors. EJ DE89 was my very first DE and I really like it, but Progress will out perform it and do it with almost any blade you choose to load into it. If you want to get a moderately aggressive open comb razor I recommend Gillette New Long Comb. Wonderful razor, will give you plenty of blade feel, but if you are not doing it right will burn you for sure. Basically, you want to stay with that 30 degree or less angle and no pressure. Just guide the razor along. If you do that almost any razor will work. I find mild razors almost annoying because they leave so much behind I am forced to go over areas and that causes razor burn. A good aggressive razor just takes care of business with no need to go and rework spots with more pressure. For me a mild razor cause more razor burn for the same quality of shave. All of that can be figured out using the Progress with a middle of the road blade like Astra and dialing it low or higher and seeing what happens. It's like having a range of razors without buying more than one.

    Best of luck!

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    I went from de89 to 37c. I don't regret it a second. Keep in mind that what people call "aggressiveness" is really just efficiency. You'll get a closer shave in less passes, and that's the key to less irritations, I think. The twisted head gives more rigidity to the blade, and the automated slicing motion is very nice in the neck where, if you have an angular face, it really is a hassle to use a "Gillette Slide".

    People are right, DE's make a with the grain pass easier, but they're way underrated when it comes to shaving under the grain : the require as much precision in the angle as a straight, I find. Don't be fooled by the name "safety razor".

    And try Astra SP. A magic blade for many. I tried quite a few, and this one just instantly stood up from all the others. It is a sharp yet mild blade.

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    Good to hear the derby blades worked! They are my favorite.

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    It was late last night when I posted my reply and I forgot to mention one very important thing. You if you are thinking of having a rotation of DE razors, don't! Stick with one razor for a few months at least. Otherwise you'll be chasing variables for ever. Pick a good razor such as your EJ DE89 or if you must feed the RAD beast get a Merkur Progress, because you will likely not have to get any more razors after that. Stay with the same razor for like 3 months. Learn to get good shaves out of it and then you'll be able to shave with pretty much any DE razor. I think rotating a different razor every shave at the beginning is a very bad idea. EJ DE89 is a fine first razor. It's on the mild side, but is a fine tool and can give absolutely wonderful shaves. If you put the head on top of a nice heavy bulldog handle like Ikon or Weber you will be set for the learning duration. Even with the stock handle, it's a great razor. You can experiment with different blades, but again, start with a known good blade like Personna Super (US-made lab/med prep) or Astra SP and stay with that. In fact, the fewer the number of variables in your shave the quicker you will be up and running with perfect results. Once you do get consistent perfect results (and you will) then you can introduce variables and see what those variables do tot he shave. I have really learned the proper angle and pressure from using my Progress for about 4 months non-stop. Then I picked up a Gillette New LC, which gave me terrible razor burn before the Progress tenure and it felt mild as a Tech. I was amazed at the change. It was all in my muscle memory because I did not do anything seemingly different. It just happened. So, do yourself a favor and do not rotate razors for a while. I am not saying do not buy them, mind you, just do not try using a different razor every day. Stay with the same one and it will reward you.
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  13. #30
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    With DE, you have to remember no pressure on the blade. If you were getting that much irritation you probably didn't have a proper cutting angle. Also you might try an adjustable razor, I use a Merkur Futur; there are other options for adjustable. If your DE is adjustable, consider lowering the aggressiveness.
    Out of the blades I've tried so far, Feather have given me the best shaves.
    Last edited by greatnessinc; 03-08-2013 at 09:43 PM.

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