05-09-2014, 08:34 AM
#1
  • Coyote
  • Senior Member
  • Hondo, TX USA
User Info
Wet Shaving Products for Dummies!

I had too much free time on my hands this week and decided to write this “Primer” for newcomers to Wet Saving. It is based solely on my own experience. It focuses on using double edge razors.

Disclaimer: This will be the ultimate YMMV!

One thing that is very difficult in the beginning, is trying to narrow down which products to try. There are many very good razors, blades, brushes, and soaps out there. You cannot count the number of “What is the best razor, blade, soap, or brush to start with?” threads posted. I certainly posted my fair share!

I am just going to recommend some items that work for me and have great track records generally.

I highly recommend following GDCarrington’s sage advice about sticking with the same razor, blade, soap, and brush for the first 30 days while you are learning to develop your technique.

Here are some suggestions for items I have used and like. It may save you some time and money in experimenting:

Razors-If you want to use a new razor, I can recommend the Cadet (RazoRock) and Maggard razors. They are inexpensive and easy to shave with. I personally prefer the vintage Gillette’s. The Tech’s, Superspeed’s, and the Slim are all excellent with very low learning curves. If you are patient, you can still find some good deals on them. I have not paid over $25 for any of my vintage Gillette’s. Remember, less pressure is your friend!

Blades-Do not order a sample pack. I have yet to see one that does not have a “stinker” or two in it. Instead, just order 5-packs of 5 different blades. There are several great vendors where you can get about any blade you want. I recommend picking from the following to try as a good cross-section to start with: Gillette Silver Blue, Personna Med Prep, Voskhod or Rapira Swedish Supersteel, Gillette 7 O’Clock Yellow SE, and Israeli Red Personna. (Yes, I know, I could list 5 more that are just as good to try.)

Soaps-I consider these “must tries”. They are all good performers, even in hard water. These will let you try soaps, croaps, creams, and a stick: Proraso Green Tree & Oat (The White Tub), Tabac (refill puck is less expensive to try), Cella, La Toja or Proraso Blue Cream, Speick Stick. None of these will break the bank.

Brushes-I started with a Van der Hagen Boar from their Premium Shave Set. It worked just fine. For your first Silvertip, I recommend a Whipped Dog ($30-$35 shipped). Mine is 22mmx48mm. I also recommend the WD Synthetic ($22 shipped) for a good travel brush. Mine is 24mmx58mm (higher loft seems better for the Synthetic). For a good inexpensive Boar, I went with the Omega 10066-24mmx54mm ($9.00). There are many good Omega’s and Semogue’s for under $15. The 2:1 rule is a good guideline overall with the loft of the knot twice the size of the width of the knot at the base.

Aftershaves: This is really too personal to make many suggestions. I can recommend the LEA Aftershave Balsam for a good conditioning balm.

I could re-write this with completely different products that I have and still be on target. Everyone here will have a slightly different list. That is one of the nice things about wet shaving. There are plenty of very good options. I hope however, that you can find one or two things in this that will help you. I just wanted to give a good starting point to work from with products that have worked well for me. I see too many posts that start out: “Well, I have read that such and such is good…..” based on no personal experience.

As I stated at the beginning, this is the ultimate “Your Mileage May Vary”, but these have all worked for me.

I can also almost guarantee that no one will agree with me on everything here! Biggrin

Good Luck!

Bob

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 05-09-2014, 10:54 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Well said Bob.

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 05-09-2014, 02:37 PM
#3
  • krissy
  • Active Member
  • Cando, North Dakota
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Don't forget artisan soaps, but only if they have good reviews because there are some very good ones and some bad ones. But the reason why I suggest artisan ones is because there are some very good ones, but also ones that are made in your own country if that is an important feature for you. Perhaps even local to you. But also because scent is a very personal thing and commercially made ones are very limited in to what scents they come in. Artisan can offer it made in any FO or EO that is offered and skin safe. Also unscented, some commercially made unscented products still have scents added especially true of European products that have specific names for some scents that aren't under the broad label of fragrance or perfume that are used to cover up the natural scent of the ingredients used to make it. But an artisan can provide a truly unscented product.

Brushes can also be found from artisan makers who buy knots and turn some lovely handles. As well as some impressive handles. So you can also support someone who makes these in your own country if that is an important feature for you. It can also mean finding the right knot for you. Not just size as in diameter and loft but badger or boar. It took me awhile to find the knot size that I like the best so I'm not quite sure on the 30 day rule for brushes but definitely using one long enough to know if it's the right fit for you. I also think cheaper brushes are lower quality and it can definitely affect the quality of your shave in the long run. Sometimes you get what you pay for applies to brushes. But then there may be some expensive brushes that aren't worth it either. So it's important to read reviews and read them with a grain of salt as well.

For example some artisan soapmakers offer a brush with their shaving soap that might cost them between $2 and $5 and really isn't anything to write home about. But maybe spending between $25 and $35 will buy a much better brush that can really make a difference.

Even if handmade (made from scratch or made from a pre-made base) isn't the cheapest remember you are supporting someone "local" rather than a mass produced company made product that pays minimum wages or a hair above for the ones doing the work while the CEO takes home a hefty paycheck and takes long vacations. There are some great artisan products out there so don't rule them out and buy commercial made right off the bat.

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 05-10-2014, 10:40 PM
#4
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(05-09-2014, 08:34 AM)Coyote Wrote: Wet Shaving Products for Dummies!

I had too much free time on my hands this week and decided to write this “Primer” for newcomers to Wet Saving. It is based solely on my own experience. It focuses on using double edge razors.

Disclaimer: This will be the ultimate YMMV!

One thing that is very difficult in the beginning, is trying to narrow down which products to try. There are many very good razors, blades, brushes, and soaps out there. You cannot count the number of “What is the best razor, blade, soap, or brush to start with?” threads posted. I certainly posted my fair share!

I am just going to recommend some items that work for me and have great track records generally.

I highly recommend following GDCarrington’s sage advice about sticking with the same razor, blade, soap, and brush for the first 30 days while you are learning to develop your technique.

Here are some suggestions for items I have used and like. It may save you some time and money in experimenting:

Razors-If you want to use a new razor, I can recommend the Cadet (RazoRock) and Maggard razors. They are inexpensive and easy to shave with. I personally prefer the vintage Gillette’s. The Tech’s, Superspeed’s, and the Slim are all excellent with very low learning curves. If you are patient, you can still find some good deals on them. I have not paid over $25 for any of my vintage Gillette’s. Remember, less pressure is your friend!

Blades-Do not order a sample pack. I have yet to see one that does not have a “stinker” or two in it. Instead, just order 5-packs of 5 different blades. There are several great vendors where you can get about any blade you want. I recommend picking from the following to try as a good cross-section to start with: Gillette Silver Blue, Personna Med Prep, Voskhod or Rapira Swedish Supersteel, Gillette 7 O’Clock Yellow SE, and Israeli Red Personna. (Yes, I know, I could list 5 more that are just as good to try.)

Soaps-I consider these “must tries”. They are all good performers, even in hard water. These will let you try soaps, croaps, creams, and a stick: Proraso Green Tree & Oat (The White Tub), Tabac (refill puck is less expensive to try), Cella, La Toja or Proraso Blue Cream, Speick Stick. None of these will break the bank.

Brushes-I started with a Van der Hagen Boar from their Premium Shave Set. It worked just fine. For your first Silvertip, I recommend a Whipped Dog ($30-$35 shipped). Mine is 22mmx48mm. I also recommend the WD Synthetic ($22 shipped) for a good travel brush. Mine is 24mmx58mm (higher loft seems better for the Synthetic). For a good inexpensive Boar, I went with the Omega 10066-24mmx54mm ($9.00). There are many good Omega’s and Semogue’s for under $15. The 2:1 rule is a good guideline overall with the loft of the knot twice the size of the width of the knot at the base.

Aftershaves: This is really too personal to make many suggestions. I can recommend the LEA Aftershave Balsam for a good conditioning balm.

I could re-write this with completely different products that I have and still be on target. Everyone here will have a slightly different list. That is one of the nice things about wet shaving. There are plenty of very good options. I hope however, that you can find one or two things in this that will help you. I just wanted to give a good starting point to work from with products that have worked well for me. I see too many posts that start out: “Well, I have read that such and such is good…..” based on no personal experience.

As I stated at the beginning, this is the ultimate “Your Mileage May Vary”, but these have all worked for me.

I can also almost guarantee that no one will agree with me on everything here! Biggrin

Good Luck!

Bob

That was very well put and written. A great read. I have to agree with you whole heartedly.
I would recommend a Weber 3pc. Razor, for the price they are well worth it and you get your monies worth, also they are American Made in the USA.

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 05-15-2014, 06:51 AM
#5
  • Coyote
  • Senior Member
  • Hondo, TX USA
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Quote:Don't forget artisan soaps,

I agree Krissy. I was just hitting the basics. Thanks.

Bob

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 05-15-2014, 08:24 AM
#6
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Very useful information, Bob! Smile

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 01-12-2015, 02:30 AM
#7
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You made some good points there.Well I really liked reading it.

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 05-26-2015, 08:29 AM
#8
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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Excellent overview and recommendations!
It's quite true that there are dozens of different products you could have suggested, and still be putting a beginner on the right track. But all of your suggestions are solid ones, and a whole lot better than just leaving things swinging in the wind as far as what products to try. I would not argue with any of the suggestions you have made. If beginners hang with it, they are eventually going to branch out and try a lot more. At least this gives them a solid base to stand on.

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 08-31-2015, 06:03 PM
#9
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Great read Bob.  Couldn't agree with you more.  This is exactly the information "Noobs" seek out.  Very informative.

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 04-10-2017, 12:35 PM
#10
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Newbie here.
Nice read. Thanks !
I have a dozen questions but I better check around for the right topics. The forum is big and interesting!!

Angel

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