11-25-2013, 11:28 AM
#1
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After a few years shaving with an EJ DE89 I've decided I can't seem to get a close enough shave on my neck/adams apple area. The hair on my neck grows in all directions, and realize that makes it difficult to get a really close shave. I just end up with visible hair on my neck and I'd like to tackle it! So my question is, would jumping to a more aggressive/efficient razor help? Or should I just try to perfect technique?

I've considered a Merkur HD or a Gillette new long comb. Any suggestions?

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 11-25-2013, 12:57 PM
#2
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Since I switched to a Weber my neck is clean and pain free. Astra SP.

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 11-25-2013, 01:15 PM
#3
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I think even with the best technique it's not possible to get problem areas. I can get a BBS with more efficient razors bit can only get a DFS with less efficient ones. My tough area is just be
Ow the Adam's apple.

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 11-25-2013, 01:18 PM
#4
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For me it's the jawline. I keep searching for different razors. I can get it BBS, but only with multiple touch up passes. I want one that goes SHINK and it's gone.

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 11-25-2013, 01:47 PM
#5
  • Triad
  • Triad Razor Handles
  • Texas
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After 2 years i think your technique is down on the 89. Would a more aggressive razor help? Possibly but it might come at the cost of irritation but you wont know unless you try. If i had to suggest mayby an adjustable like say a merkur progress. Best of luck

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 11-25-2013, 02:10 PM
#6
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Never used a 89 but a stop gap might be using a shim to increase aggressiveness.

You cut the edges off a DE blade, place in the base place. Then you put the cutting DE blade on top and the razor is ready for shaving.

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 11-25-2013, 03:04 PM
#7
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Face mapping, multiple passes (in different directions - WTG, XTG, ATG), skin stretching or even the opposite - slack skin method may all assist, but given the length of time you have spent with your current razor perhaps you have reached a plateau with it (for now).

Using a variety of razors forces you to adjust angles and shaving styles as each razor works slightly differently and requires a slightly different approach. If you are achieving comfortable shaves, but desire a closer shave, then IMO it's time to try another razor.

A more aggressive razor isn't necessarily the answer, but it is a logical progression and the step I would take. The shim is also a good idea too.

I found that I moved to an OC when I first started trying to achieve a closer shave. The idea behind the teeth is to assist with lifting the hair prior to cutting. I found that helped initially, but now I'm less convinced that there is much of a benefit of one over the other (OC vs SB), more just a case of variance in presentation of the cutting edge. With this in mind another option to consider is a slant.

In short, trying another razor will actually assist in further advancing your technique and you may just discover it provides a better shaving experience for you.

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 11-25-2013, 04:09 PM
#8
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I unfortunately can't shave ATG as my hair lays so low on my face. I've tried it once, when I first started wetshaving and will never try it again. I'm definetly using every technique I can to get a close shave. I think you are right, logical progression says move on to another razor.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a more efficient razor? I did look at the Weber as someone commented on earlier. They look like really nice razors! The opinions I see on them suggest they are slightly more aggressive/efficent than a EJ 89. The progress seems like a good choice because it's adjustable. These two will be on my list for possible razors. I'm also considering some vintage gillettes as the blade exposure and angle looks to be different than the 89.

Any suggestions on a slant? The merkur seems to be the way to go.

(11-25-2013, 03:04 PM)ben74 Wrote: Face mapping, multiple passes (in different directions - WTG, XTG, ATG), skin stretching or even the opposite - slack skin method may all assist, but given the length of time you have spent with your current razor perhaps you have reached a plateau with it (for now).

Using a variety of razors forces you to adjust angles and shaving styles as each razor works slightly differently and requires a slightly different approach. If you are achieving comfortable shaves, but desire a closer shave, then IMO it's time to try another razor.

A more aggressive razor isn't necessarily the answer, but it is a logical progression and the step I would take. The shim is also a good idea too.

I found that I moved to an OC when I first started trying to achieve a closer shave. The idea behind the teeth is to assist with lifting the hair prior to cutting. I found that helped initially, but now I'm less convinced that there is much of a benefit of one over the other (OC vs SB), more just a case of variance in presentation of the cutting edge. With this in mind another option to consider is a slant.

In short, trying another razor will actually assist in further advancing your technique and you may just discover it provides a better shaving experience for you.

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 11-25-2013, 05:31 PM
#9
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I would also suggest the Weber PH as it is just a tad more aggressive than the EJ89. I also think the Merkur Progress would be a very good option.
Good luck. Smile

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 11-25-2013, 05:46 PM
#10
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(11-25-2013, 04:09 PM)jpmess Wrote: Does anyone have any suggestions for a more efficient razor?

I would try a vintage Gillete New long comb. That was a progression that worked for me (EJ89 to NEW LC). It's not a quantum leap, and I think that model does shave more aggressively. And they can be had for pretty cheap.

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 11-25-2013, 06:40 PM
#11
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May I suggest you try the ATG pass again? You have more experience now with the feel of the razor and the proper angle with other orientations...you could work your way up to an ATG pass by taking XTG passes that are almost, but not quite, ATG. Of course, make sure your prep and lather are optimized and that your blade is not tired.

If this idea doesn't work or doesn't interest you, I would also suggest a more efficient razor. An adjustable, like a Progress or Fatboy, could work. It really depends what catches your fancy and how much you would like to spend. A Weber or Merkur slant are enjoyed by many as a step up in efficiency above the DE89. Gillette open combs are a readily available affordable vintage option. The 2013 R41 is a great option with the same finish you are accustomed to with the EJ. Additional promising stainless options include the Tradere SB and ATT M1.

Or you could spend significantly less and cut to the chase of a great shave with a GEM or Ever-Ready SE razor (start with a 1912 or Junior, IMHO) or Cobra Classic Wink

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 11-25-2013, 06:42 PM
#12
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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I also vote for a Weber, on a scale of 1-10 the DE89 is about a 2 and the Weber is about a 5.
If that doesn't work you could try a Fatip or R41..the latter of which can get amazingly close with minimal passes...I've only tried the 2011 Rambo version though, I hear the 2013 is a bit more tame while still remaining fairly aggressive.

Although, if you can't go against the grain, your shaves aren't ever going to be extremely close or BBS on the neck.

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 11-25-2013, 06:53 PM
#13
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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(11-25-2013, 04:09 PM)jpmess Wrote: I unfortunately can't shave ATG as my hair lays so low on my face.

I experienced a similar issue when I first started out and at the advice of others I switched to OC, which assisted greatly at the time. Now I can shave ATG with any razor and without any issue. As I stated above the OC lifts the hairs, so an OC may still be worth considering...

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 11-26-2013, 12:16 AM
#14
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Shim. Works.

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 11-26-2013, 01:03 AM
#15
  • ischiapp
  • Senior Member
  • Ischia, Naples, Italy
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(11-25-2013, 03:04 PM)ben74 Wrote: Face mapping, multiple passes (in different directions - WTG, XTG, ATG), skin stretching or even the opposite - slack skin method may all assist
...
The shim is also a good idea too.
I quote totally the wise words by Ben.
After twenty years using my grandpa Rocket 1958 Flare Tip, a couple of years ago I discovered wet-shaving forums searching for blades, and a new world appeared at my eyes. Blush
Reading about all different techniques, I found my way in Face Mapping with this online app (http://www.pbjsite.com/shave/whiskarmap/) with Mantic's advanced tips.


For my face works fine to pull the skin in direction of the razor pass against the grain (ATG/XTGR) to improve closeness of the shave ... just in the day I want a perfect BBS.
Normally everyday WTG/XTGN.

As gear all work fine, but the best for me are parallel slant (not twisted aka torsionhobel as Merkur 37C) as my Vintage Zorro, with two different angle of blade exposure (sx2dx/dx2sx) and two different exposure (less/more aggressive).

A word I must spend about the really perfect shave, over the BBS, wich I call gummy-face-shave (GFS) and last for all the day.
This I can have it only with the new "plas-thing" Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power as you can see in my Provember challenge SOTD (use this razor as long as the cartridge works fine ... and today is the 26th day of BBS !! Cool ) using the techniques above with the complete 4 passes + touches round with featherweight pressure and pulling the skin in the proper way.

As Ben pointed, the tool you use have its skills (with pro & cons).
I'd try to change something in technique (if not done before).
Otherway ... try a new razor, maybe a slant. Wink

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 11-26-2013, 03:07 AM
#16
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I have and enjoy the EJ de89, Mergress (progress) & Weber PH (recently acquired). As a newer shaver it has taken me awhile to learn how to use the Mergress. Still learning. I instantly liked the Weber and it is quickly becoming my favorite razor.

The Mergress needs to be dialed in for your face. The advantage is that you can adjust just how agressive a shave you want, and adjust for different parts of your shave. I not only use a different setting for each pass, I am now fiddling with a different setting for my jaw line and for part of my neck.

I consider the Weber "slightly" more agressive than the EJ, but vastly more efficient . In other words I don't perceive the blade as being at more agressive angle like I do with the Mergress, but it cuts better/smoother for lack of a better way to describe it.

Either would be a logical next step, and both have merits. In my case using different razors has helped me to shave better with all of them, each requiring subtle differences in technique.

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 11-26-2013, 08:55 AM
#17
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I'd try a different razor, and possibly different blades.

Having an intimate knowledge of face/beard terrain is essential to best shaving results, and mapping can undoubtedly be a useful exercise. But I never did it and don't regard face mapping as a necessary key to mastery. That said, I didn't start DE shaving until I was 58 (about two years ago), and by then my face and I were already pretty well acquainted.

My face is also challenging. The whiskers above the corners of my upper lip grow down, directionally, and almost flat against my skin, I have prominent scarring between my lower lip and chin, and, like you, I have opposing growth patterns on both sides of my Adam's apple. On top of that, my skin has become relatively thin with age (too much time in the sun without UV protection), wheras in some patches my whiskers are as thick and hard as wire.

My first DE razor was a Mekur Futur. I had a bloody experience with it (sliced off a chunk of my thumb), and only used it two or three times. Next was a Fat-handled Tech I had found in some some my Dad left me -- it turned out to have been my grandpa's. That turned me on to vintage razors. I bought and tried about 30 different vintage Gillettes over the course of the next six months, but the main line of progression was Tech > 58 TV Special > British HD500 Rocket > British #58 > British #21 > British 2-piece LC NEW > British Regent, brass, ball-end, LC NEW (about $12 on UK eBay).

What I learned between the 58 TV Special and my first British HD Rocket was that I don't like adjustable razors. I tried a FatBoy. My issue with it was that adjustabality comes at the expense of more volume in the head, which compromised my sense of proprioception extending through it and connecting with my face (i.e., tactile feedback wasn't as good and I couldn't maneuver it as deftly and effectively as the non-adjustables I'd tried.)

Between the HD500 and #58 (which have the same basic head geometry), I tried a British #66. It didn't seem either as aggressive or efficient to me as the HD Rocket. I'd sometimes loose a sense of where the blade was in relation to my skin, which was an experience I'd also had with a birth-year ('53) Gillette President.

Between the #58 and my first #21, I tried the much praised British #16. It was a disappointment to me. That model is often held up as the most aggressive of the British TTOs; however, I found it to be less efficient than my HD Rocket and #58.

My first use of a British #21 was a revelatory experience. Contrary to the opinion of many, I believe the #21 has more aggressive blade exposure than the #16. But from the start and consistently thereafter the more efficient shaves I obtained from the #21 also produced generally less irritation and fewer weepers. I'm pretty sure that was because I tended to polish much more with less-aggressive razors in the pursuit of perfect BBS shaves. That wasn't necessary with the #21. Although I had to pay a bit closer attention when using it (especially with Feathers, which were my main blade back then), the #21 almost immediately took me to a higher level.

The next significant lesson I learned (I already had an inkling of it) is that once you're really dialed in with a particular razor, you can start to sense subtle but not always insignificant differences between examples of the same model. I picked up a couple or three additional #21s because I loved mine so much I was anxious about losing or breaking it. Each was great, but each also was also a little different. I think that's probably true of many, if not most, razors, but it's far more noticeable when you find a razor that feels like an extension of yourself, connecting your hand, ears, eyes, and face. For me, using that first #21 was a little like driving a 911 as compared to a Chevy Super Sport.

I didn't think I'd ever lay down the #21 for another razor, but then a friend on B&B persuaded me to try a Britsh #77/88 (i.e., 2-piece, LC NEW). I'd already tested some US OC LCs (both Old Types and NEWs) with unhappy results and wasn't optimistic about the #77/88 at all. But whoa!, what an experience. If the #21 was like a Porsche, the #77/88 was more like a Lotus. Without the TTO mechanism, it has less head volume than the #21, which for me opened up a new range of subtly manipulable blade angles, along with tight maneuverability, fine control, and amazing feedback. I still continued to use the #21 now and then for luxury rides, but I pretty much became instantly addicted to the #77/88, so I started buying more of them, which reinforced the point made above about differences within models.

Finally, for reasons I don't recall, I picked up and tried a butt-ugly, British Regent-style, all-brass, ball-end, LC NEW, that another B&B friend bought for me on UK eBay. It cost me about $12. And, to my complete surprise, it turned out to be my Grail razor. I'd guess I've used it for 19 out of 20 shaves since around June of last year. I did pick up a couple of pre-WWII OC Rotbarts I enjoy taking for a spin now and then. And I swap in various of my old favorites from time-to-time. A few weeks back I actually used my first #21 for about seven straight days, which was good. Someone once told me that using the same razor all the time results in complacency. I agree. It's good to find ways to put yourself on your toes occasionally.

The point of all this is for me DE shaving has been a path. Different people have different orientations to shaving. For some, it's just a job to get done. It became something else for me. I'd encourage you to try different razors. I used to think the whole different razors want different blades thing was a lot of BS. But I mostly use Feathers in TTOs and Astra SPs in LCs. I probably flitted around more than I should have in the beginning, but it took trying different razors to find the right one for me. And then it took trying more razors to learn that the right one for a while might not necessarily the right one forever.Finally, I'd say sometimes trying different razors, at least up to a point, goes hand in hand with improving technique.

Good luck.

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 11-26-2013, 09:53 AM
#18
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I can identify with what you have said Chief. I've used every Gillette and Schick known to man over the past 50+ years and the two razors most said I would hate have turned out to be the only two DE razors I use now. My Tradere SB and my PILS. Same thing with blades. I've tried them all and the only two I use now are the Personna Med Preps and the Polsilver Super Iridium. Go figure.

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 11-26-2013, 10:27 AM
#19
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Thank you everyone for thoughts and ideas. I appreciate the feedback. Sometimes it's nice to hear what others have done to help guide you on your path to that perfect shave!

I agree with you Chiefbroom, this has become a path and I have only shaved with five DE razors. A 40's tech I picked up in an antique shop when I first decided to take the plunge into wetshaving. A 1928 tuckaway that I regret selling because as I've progressed in my shaving, and I think could be useful! A Merkur progress that again I sold to early as it could also have aided in my current dilemma, and I did not give this razor enough time to make an educated decision on. A Gillette black beauty which I really wanted to like but it never caught on with me. Finally my current EJ 89, which I love, it's a great razor that gets the job done.

After processing what everyone has said, I'm going to try some slight ATG passes. Not quite full blown ATG just slight! I do think another razor is in order though. I'm going to pick up a couple of razors and give them some shave time to see what I might like. The weber, the Gillette New long comb, and a slant are all in my future at this point. A progress/mergress is another option I'm considering just because it's adjustable and might be the best of both worlds.

The R41 is another beast completely. It's something I would like to try at some point in my life. Who know's maybe now is that time! It's a very intimidating razor though, just based on all the hype behind it. I've watched videos of guys getting great shaves and guys hacking up their faces. So, the R41 is something I'm going to really really think about.

I'll post some pictures of what I pick up! Because who doesn't like shave porn?!

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 11-26-2013, 10:37 AM
#20
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(11-26-2013, 10:27 AM)jpmess Wrote: After processing what everyone has said, I'm going to try some slight ATG passes. Not quite full blown ATG just slight!

I exploit just about every angle in the course of a shave. Some would probably be appalled by my technique, but I use lots and lots of repeated short strokes, especially on the second pass. No way I could get a satisfactory shave if I didn't.

What guides my strokes is more sound and feel than sight. I actually close eyes (instinctively) when I shave ATG directly under my nose on the second pass. I only do two passes, but the second one is really many passes. Lather characteristics are critical to that. I almost always combine a tallow-based hard soap with a glycerin-based cream.

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