09-05-2013, 06:42 AM
#1
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There are a lot of threads on shaving forums dedicated to the question, "If you could only have ONE...what would it be?"  That one thing could be anything: one razor, one cream, one brush, etc.  The question is asking what product is your most trusted, most favored, most relied upon.  It's one of those questions that people ask so that they can get to know the people that they're talking to better, but it's also used by newbies to help them try to get a better handle on the myriad and seemingly endless list of shaving products that are available to them.

Most folks do not have a good answer for this question, not because they don't have a favorite soap or most often used blade, but because the idea of limiting themselves to just one product is intimidating.  How can you choose just one when there are so many good products out there?  The reality is that, before entering the world of traditional wet shaving,most of us did use just one razor and one cream or gel, and never thought twice about it.  Most of us would have found it insane to have a collection of razors or creams.  But, like so many other things in life, when you find a better way to do something you want to know more...and in the world of traditional wet shaving there is a whole lot more than any of us could have ever imagined.  The question isn't difficult to answer because of all of the products that we use on a regular basis, the question is difficult to answer because of all of the products that we COULD use on a regular basis.  After a brief period of experimentation most of us settle down and gravitate toward a core set up that is only occasionally altered.  I may have dozens of soaps, but I really only use four or five on a regular basis...the rest are just there for when I'm feeling squirrelly.

I have thought about this "one product" question a lot and while my answers have always been a bit mercurial and evasive, the truth is that I do have a solid answer.  There is one cream, one soap, one razor, etc. that I would gravitate towards if I could only have one set up.  I do have a set up that always does well and that always produces excellent results.  I think that most folks, if they're really honest with themselves, would be able to say the same.  For me, the other razors, and soaps, and things are nice, but are hardly necessary.

My core set up is almost boring in how common and simple it is.  There is nothing particularly spectacular about the products that I find most trustworthy, nor is there anything in my set up that could not be easily replaced.  There is no one of a kind soap or hard to find razor, there are just good, solid products that can be relied upon each and every time I use them.  While I may have a few honorable mentions in each category, when I am really honest it wouldn't be difficult for me to have just one set up to use every day.  Without further ado here is my "just one" set up:

--Pre: Shave Secret.  I love this stuff.  It's easy to find, smells good, and works beautifully...all for under $4.
--Razor: RiMei.  A solid, low cost razor with an excellent grip and a well designed head.  It's just top notch.  It's a very close contest between this razor and the Parker SRW, but the RiMei edges the SRW out by virtue of that fact that it's quicker, easier, and less expensive.
--Blade: SuperMax Titanium.  There are many good blades and a few that come very close to the SuperMax Titanium (Lord Platinum, Astra SP, and Croma Diamant), but no blade exceeds the Titanium.
--Brush: Mixed loft boar/badger.  Until recently I was never really blown away by a brush, but this one has done it. It's a Chinese knot from eBay paired with a simple plastic handle.  It looks great, and performs extremely well.  There are softer brushes, brushes that hold more heat or water, and brushes made of better materials, but there are no other brushes that make me gravitate toward them over and over again.
--Lather Bowl: VDH Premium Shave Set Bowl.  I bowl lather roughly 75% of the time and when I do I use either a $1 La Coccina salsa bowl or the VDH Premium Shave Set bowl.  I use to dislike the VDH bowl because of its small size, but lately I have discovered how to use that to my advantage, creating denser and more concentraited lather in the smaller area.  Thanks to this revelation I now find myself using this bowl almost exclusively when I bowl lather.  It's a nice, compact bowl that's easy to find and inexpensive to buy.
--Soap: Van Der Hagen Deluxe/Glycerin blend.  I take one puck of Deluxe and one puck of Glycerin, melt them and mix them together, and pour the mixture into either a Kingsley dark wood bowl or a twist up shave stick container and I end up with the perfect soap...all for under $10.  It smells good and works great.
--Cream: Kiss My Face Cool Mint.  When I'm in  hurry or need a cool down, KMF Cool Mint works wonders.  It's fast, easy, and not so cold as to completely freeze my face.  11oz. costs less than $8, and I can often get it on sale for as low as $5.
--Post: SAL Alum.  This stuff is inexpensive, effective, and easy to use.  I know that my skin is safe when I use SAL Alum.  The only thing that even comes close is T.N. Dickinson Witch Hazel, but when I need my skin ready to be abused by sweat and heat without having to worry about irritation, I always turn to SAL Alum.
--Blade Disposal: Tin can blade bank.  There are a lot of options for blade disposal, but none are as effective, customizable, and low cost as a DIY tin can blade bank.  50 cents gets you years of safe blade disposal, for me there was never another option, the tin can blows everything else away.

So that's it.  Nothing fancy.  Most of that stuff I can get locally and none of it costs more than $10, but it's all good, solid gear.  I know what to expect from these products and I can recommend them without reservations or qualifications.  In fact, it's the exact set up that I used yesterday...and my skin came out baby butt smooth, so really what more could I ask for?

[Image: 6a5ybeve.jpg]

Sent from my rk30sdk using Tapatalk 4

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 09-05-2013, 07:19 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
I can agree with most everything you said and like you I have several brushes, soaps, aftershaves, etc. that I can use, but the combination that I know will give me good results every time I use them are these.

Pre-shave: Prairie Creations Pre-Shave Unscented Oil. I've tried a lot of pre-shave oil and for my face/skin, Krissy has hit a home run with this one.

Soap: Mitchell's Wool Fat. Enough said about this one.

Brush: Omega 40 Boar. I love all of my boar brushes but this one just feels best in my hand.

Razor: Feather AS-D2. Not the least expensive razor in town but the one that gives me consistent good shaves.

Blade: Personna Med Prep. Again for my conditions I have found this blade works best for me. It is sharp, smooth, and I can get an easy 7 shaves from a blade. Besides, it is one of the only blades out there that does not have glue marks on it.

Aftershave: Krampert's Arcadian Spice Bay Rum. I find this to have a good scent, refreshing without burn, and has good skin conditioning properties.

After-after: Prairie Creations Unscented Balm. Another home run by Krissy. Great for those cold dry Wisconsin winter days.

[Image: Vm40FWZ.jpg]

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 09-05-2013, 07:25 AM
#3
  • Michel
  • Member
  • Offenburg/Germany
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My Exit - Stuff:

Soap: D.R. Harris Lavender Shaving Soap - The best ever
Brush: Semogue 1305 - my beloved brush - i`m a facelatherer
Razor: Merkur 23c - simple and familiar. My first DE
Blade: Red Personna - smooth and forgiving
After Shave: Tabula Rasa Cooling ASG - very good skin care

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 09-05-2013, 08:30 AM
#4
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Tough to choose one, but for a guaranteed great shave, my gotos:

Pre-shave: don't use one.
Soap: Mike's Natural Soap - easy to lather, great scents.
Brush: TGN 24mm finest knot (fan shape) in an custom Elite razor handle.
Razor: going with the Ikon slant here.
Blade: Super Iridium
Aftershave: Provence Sante Green Tea.

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 09-05-2013, 08:58 AM
#5
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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Tough question at first. However, after thinking about it the answer is fairly obvious.
1. Pre-Shave Prosoro
2. Scuttle SWK
3. Brush Simpson QE II
4 Soap MWF
5. Cobra
6 Feather Pro-Guard
7 Witch Hazel mixed with menthol
8 DR Harris Windsor after shave
Even though those are my favorites it's seldom that they ever come together at the same shave.

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 09-05-2013, 09:26 AM
#6
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
User Info
I enjoy reading other's posts about single favorite products.

I'm unable (or unwilling) to go to such a solitary state. As evidence, my list of soaps and creams in nearing 80. The brush count is nearing 40. However, of the dozen razors, I've pretty much settled in to using a Weber every day.

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 09-05-2013, 10:01 AM
#7
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I can state that for the past 18 months, I have only really used one razor; Weber DLC. Not that I wanted to, but more out of necessity for my skin. It is just that smooth and nothing has even come close, unfortunately, for me as I love variety! Blush
Good thing I have a few different brushes and soaps! Biggrin

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 09-05-2013, 10:33 AM
#8
  • Leo K.
  • Senior Member
  • Mankato MN
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This is a good thread. I really like this subject.

I discovered a set up that always provides a great shave, and I use it everyday. I figure why mess with what works?

Schick E2 Injector
Omega 20102 boar bristle brush
Arko

That said, soon I'll be recieving a Semogue 1305 and Dirty Bird Bill Bowl. I expect the Semogue and Bill bowl to become a part of my permanent kit.

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 09-05-2013, 10:58 AM
#9
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Replied to one of these threads the other day, my answer has not changed (yet):

Razor: Merkur Progress
Blade: red Personna
Soap: Martin de Candre
Brush: Simpson Jubilee
AS: Speick
Balm: Musgo Real

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 09-05-2013, 10:59 AM
#10
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
(09-05-2013, 10:33 AM)Leo K. Wrote: This is a good thread. I really like this subject.

I discovered a set up that always provides a great shave, and I use it everyday. I figure why mess with what works?

Schick E2 Injector
Omega 20102 boar bristle brush
Arko

That said, soon I'll be recieving a Semogue 1305 and Dirty Bird Bill Bowl. I expect the Semogue and Bill bowl to become a part of my permanent kit.

We will have to start calling you little Nick. Biggrin

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 09-05-2013, 11:24 AM
#11
  • Leo K.
  • Senior Member
  • Mankato MN
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(09-05-2013, 10:59 AM)Johnny Wrote:
(09-05-2013, 10:33 AM)Leo K. Wrote: This is a good thread. I really like this subject.

I discovered a set up that always provides a great shave, and I use it everyday. I figure why mess with what works?

Schick E2 Injector
Omega 20102 boar bristle brush
Arko

That said, soon I'll be recieving a Semogue 1305 and Dirty Bird Bill Bowl. I expect the Semogue and Bill bowl to become a part of my permanent kit.

We will have to start calling you little Nick. Biggrin

I would like that! Biggrin

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 09-05-2013, 03:58 PM
#12
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(09-05-2013, 07:19 AM)Johnny Wrote: I can agree with most everything you said and like you I have several brushes, soaps, aftershaves, etc. that I can use, but the combination that I know will give me good results every time I use them are these.

Blade: Personna Med Prep. Again for my conditions I have found this blade works best for me. It is sharp, smooth, and I can get an easy 7 shaves from a blade. Besides, it is one of the only blades out there that does not have glue marks on it.

[Image: Vm40FWZ.jpg]

Can't beat the Personna Meds. Everything you said about them is right on. I especially like the fact that there are no wax dots to screw up the finish on the razor.

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 09-05-2013, 04:02 PM
#13
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
(09-05-2013, 11:24 AM)Leo K. Wrote:
(09-05-2013, 10:59 AM)Johnny Wrote:
(09-05-2013, 10:33 AM)Leo K. Wrote: This is a good thread. I really like this subject.

I discovered a set up that always provides a great shave, and I use it everyday. I figure why mess with what works?

Schick E2 Injector
Omega 20102 boar bristle brush
Arko

That said, soon I'll be recieving a Semogue 1305 and Dirty Bird Bill Bowl. I expect the Semogue and Bill bowl to become a part of my permanent kit.

We will have to start calling you little Nick. Biggrin

I would like that! Biggrin

You could not pick a better man to be named after.

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 09-05-2013, 04:49 PM
#14
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(09-05-2013, 03:58 PM)CyanideMetal Wrote: I especially like the fact that there are no wax dots to screw up the finish on the razor.

* Randy, you could just get a stainless steel razor head and you wouldn't have this issue.Biggrin

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 09-05-2013, 06:40 PM
#15
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Pre-shave: any Proraso product
Soap: Stirling or Proraso
Cream: Proraso
Astringent: Thayers Witch Hazel
AS: Musgo Real Original
Balm: Musgo Real Original
Straight Razor: Bartmann 86 Extra Manganese 15/16
DE: Merkur Futur / Blade:Feather or Astra SP
SE: Schick L3(?) Paul Revere/ Blade Personna 74
Brush: Shavemac D01 26 mm knot 52 mm loft

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 09-05-2013, 07:33 PM
#16
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I one person who can't pick any one of anything. I must have variety, except for my after the shave product. I always use one of mine, so even there I have variety.

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 09-06-2013, 01:16 PM
#17
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Brush: Rooney Heritage 28/48
Razor: Muhle R41 Merkur Type Head
Blade: Feather
*Soap: Can't Decide
Toner: Thayers Medicated
ASB: Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet
*Cologne: Can't Decide

* = No Way Jose!

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 09-06-2013, 07:13 PM
#18
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Right now as it stands, if I could only have one:
Cream - GFT Spanish Leather
Soap - MWF
DE - Merkur 39c
Brush - SOC cherry in Boar
Blades- Undecided. Really loving the Personna labs right now.

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 09-07-2013, 10:40 AM
#19
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
Well, we all think about this, I think. I know I do. If I had to pare down to a single setup like the old days our grandfathers mostly had one setup. This shaving "hobby" is a new thing. Our grand dads just shaved, didn't they? So here is my "grand dad" setup if I had to have one.

Pre: Huh? No special product, just wash my face really well with whatever hand soap is on the vanity counter. Usually do two washes: one before and one after I brush teeth.

Razor: Merkur Progress. I find that I do change the adjustments on mine, but once or twice a year as the weather changes and my skin and beard also change with seasons.

Soap: Cella. This could easily be my only soap. However, there are a few more I would also keep around. Palmolive stick, at least. Soap is difficult to have "the one" of.

Brush: Simpson Case. It is small, inexpensive, dries fast and feels great to work with. I would also have a boar, most definitely. Just love them too much. At this point a boar would be either a B&B Essentials Omega boar or one I made from a 22mm Omega knot (from TGN) and an old Stanley Home Products handle. Honestly, I would even forgo the Simpson in favor of it if I was pressed for "the one". Badger brush just dries faster and holds a it more heat and lather, but the Omega boar is outstanding, so I'd be torn...

Blade: Here is where I have much less passion than the brush or razor. With Merkur Progress I find just about any blade can be made to work. I really like the Personna Super (lab) for having minimal bulk packaging, being manufactured in US (I'm a US citizen and such things are important to me) and really being one of the best blades out there. Again, I can use and enjoy a wide variety of blades and I don't think blades can ever be "the one" because they are disposable and brands and models come and go. It's important to identify what I like in a blade and it is sharpness, smoothness and simplicity of package. Since we shave pretty much daily (I do it every other day) waste from packaging is a significant consideration for me. I love Personna Super because I can get them for about $13/100 and they come in a single 100 pack instead of tucks or boxes. Also, the blade is wrapped into a single piece of paper and no wax dots. All good. I also enjoy Astra SP, Super-Max SP, Dorco ST-300, Perma-Sharp Super, etc. But if I had to stick with one blade it would be the Personna Super as long as it stays inexpensive and readily available.

Bowl: I have only one scuttle, the G5 by Georgetown Pottery. I face lather mostly, but use the scuttle as a brush scuttle. I do not bring it with me when I travel and do fine without a bowl at all. Still, I love the G5 and this is "the one" for me. I have no plans of trying another.

Post: Alum and witch hazel. I do not do aftershaves, balms or frags. I use Thai or Crystal brand deodorant stick and for witch Hazel I use Thayer's brand of various flavors. It is non-alcoholic, feels wonderful and is locally produced in Connecticut.

That's about it for me.

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