04-02-2012, 12:15 PM
#1
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Hi everyone - on Saturday I got the SK9 in the mail, and I haven't been able to get a good shave with it yet. I know that the blade sits straight, so do I need to "shallow" the angle more, as opposed to the more "normal" (30 degree) angle of a Merkur or equivalent? I love the feel of the iKon and the modern look, but I'm practically a sasquatch here at work this afternoon.

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 04-02-2012, 12:29 PM
#2
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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jpakstis,
The 30-degree angle is an arbitrary number, both in straight and DE shaving. It's a starting point, so to speak. On the type of the razor you have, with its flat blade, the shave angle needs to be flatter on the face. You do that by raising your hand and, consequently, the handle. The razor, then, is more horizontal as you shave. It takes a few tries, but you will find the razor's sweet spot. Just remember that the razor you have has distinct characteristics and they are different from those in the standard razor in which the blade arcs in the shave head.

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 04-02-2012, 12:34 PM
#3
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(04-02-2012, 12:29 PM)Obie Wrote: jpakstis,
The 30-degree angle is an arbitrary number, both in straight and DE shaving. It's a starting point, so to speak. On the type of the razor you have, with its flat blade, the shave angle needs to be flatter on the face. You do that by raising your hand and, consequently, the handle. The razor, then, is more horizontal as you shave. It takes a few tries, but you will find the razor's sweet spot. Just remember that the razor you have has distinct characteristics and they are different from those in the standard razor in which the blade arcs in the shave head.

Obie - thanks! I used the "30 degree angle" as a "standard" for everyone. I figure at some point we've all used a razor that has that geometry. I will try an angle where the head is closer to the face. Thanks, Josh

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 04-02-2012, 09:07 PM
#4
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Josh,
Be patient. It will take a few weeks to get comfortable with the design of the Ikon. Once you find the proper angle and your technique improves, you will be fine.
Good luck.

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 04-03-2012, 04:47 AM
#5
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Thanks so much for the responses. I used a shallower angle this morning (or is it steeper - its the angle where the head plate is more flush to the face) and it was much, much better.

My next area of advice is dealing with the "dual personality" nature of the razor. Do you all find that use the open comb side only for a pass or two and then switch to the closed comb? Or do you just flip it like an HD or any other "single personality" razor? I tried doing that this morning and my face feels pretty uniformly shaved.

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 04-03-2012, 06:30 AM
#6
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I usually go Open comb with the grain, rinse and lather, closed comb across the grain, rinse and evaluate how good the shave is going, lather, and use the Open comb if I've still got some shag going. If I'm almost there after that across the grain pass then I just do some light work with the milder closed comb side. The first two passes use equal amounts of each side of the blade and the final pass just depends on progress.

For the final pass I've even been known to use the open comb around the cheeks to get close and the closed comb on the neck to avoid irritation. I know some people think both sides are too mild for a "close" shave, but if you can get consistently BBS with a Tech or SuperSpeed then there's no reason you can do it with any decent modern razor. (And I would wager that men got great shaves from those vintage Gillette's for decades.) I just find that it's easier to get to DFS/BBS with this razor.

Note:
I'm not here to criticize anyone's technique; I know mine could use lots of work. However, I don't use a thick Santa Claus beard of lather. Mine would be thin by most people's standards. However, I get a burn free alum rub and BBS shave almost daily. The reason that's improtant to me is that I don't find myself really hindered by using one side at a time. I only have to rinse the razor 3, maybe 4 times per pass. I've seen videos where they had to rinse after every swipe, accumulating a dozen or more rinses. Therefore, the dual personality fits my shaving style as well as the temptaion I had for years to look into using 2 razors for shaving. I never did it, but there are some days with say a slant that I wish every pass after the first were much milder.

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 04-03-2012, 09:35 AM
#7
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(04-03-2012, 06:30 AM)TYdeFan05 Wrote: Note:
I'm not here to criticize anyone's technique; I know mine could use lots of work. However, I don't use a thick Santa Claus beard of lather. Mine would be thin by most people's standards. However, I get a burn free alum rub and BBS shave almost daily. The reason that's improtant to me is that I don't find myself really hindered by using one side at a time. I only have to rinse the razor 3, maybe 4 times per pass. I've seen videos where they had to rinse after every swipe, accumulating a dozen or more rinses. Therefore, the dual personality fits my shaving style as well as the temptaion I had for years to look into using 2 razors for shaving. I never did it, but there are some days with say a slant that I wish every pass after the first were much milder.

I usually go one rinse per "area" (i.e. one cheek, or half of the neck), so I rinse about 3 times per pass. Maybe I'll try this idea, especially now that I'm getting a better feel for the angle.

I've actually been using the Proraso foam (the horror, the horror) and I've been liking it alot.

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 04-03-2012, 10:22 AM
#8
  • Qhead
  • Member
  • Cleveland, Ohio
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Josh I've used the sk9 off and on for a few weeks and am still trying to get the hang of it. It just doesn't seem to give me close shaves like my go to beginner Merkur, but I'm not giving up yet. From these replies, it seems like once you get the technique down you'll love it.

I use the OC for first pass, with the grain, then closed side for ATG and touch ups. The problem with the OC to me is that it does not take off all of the lather but rather "combs" through it, whereas a closed bar picks all of the lather up. Not sure if I like that, or if all OC razors do that.

Good luck, Jeff

Josh I've used the sk9 off and on for a few weeks and am still trying to get the hang of it. It just doesn't seem to give me close shaves like my go to beginner Merkur, but I'm not giving up yet. From these replies, it seems like once you get the technique down you'll love it.

I use the OC for first pass, with the grain, then closed side for ATG and touch ups. The problem with the OC to me is that it does not take off all of the lather but rather "combs" through it, whereas a closed bar picks all of the lather up. Not sure if I like that, or if all OC razors do that.

Good luck, Jeff

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 04-03-2012, 11:24 AM
#9
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(04-03-2012, 10:22 AM)Qhead Wrote: Josh I've used the sk9 off and on for a few weeks and am still trying to get the hang of it. It just doesn't seem to give me close shaves like my go to beginner Merkur, but I'm not giving up yet. From these replies, it seems like once you get the technique down you'll love it.

I use the OC for first pass, with the grain, then closed side for ATG and touch ups. The problem with the OC to me is that it does not take off all of the lather but rather "combs" through it, whereas a closed bar picks all of the lather up. Not sure if I like that, or if all OC razors do that.

Good luck, Jeff

Josh I've used the sk9 off and on for a few weeks and am still trying to get the hang of it. It just doesn't seem to give me close shaves like my go to beginner Merkur, but I'm not giving up yet. From these replies, it seems like once you get the technique down you'll love it.

I use the OC for first pass, with the grain, then closed side for ATG and touch ups. The problem with the OC to me is that it does not take off all of the lather but rather "combs" through it, whereas a closed bar picks all of the lather up. Not sure if I like that, or if all OC razors do that.

Good luck, Jeff

I think we're on to something here! I do not experience the "comb" marks of lather. Sounds like you might be too steep on your angle. In other words, roll the top of the razor back onto your face more. I wish I had a macro lens to better show what I mean, but I think you'll have a Lightbulb moment when you get the angle right.

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 04-03-2012, 01:05 PM
#10
  • Qhead
  • Member
  • Cleveland, Ohio
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Thanks, I'll try a less "steep" angle. I thought I was using as flat of an angle as possible but maybe I need to go more extreme. Frustrating because I love the weight and balance but don't seem to get close enough shaves.

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 04-03-2012, 08:46 PM
#11
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Josh,
As i mentioned to you, i found the closed-comb side too mild, so i used the open-comb side for the entire shave! i would suggest the open-comb for the first two passes when you are very comfortable with the technique with the razor and finish with the closed-comb.
Good luck and enjoy!

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