07-08-2015, 05:53 PM
#1
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OK.  Got my Feather Popular yesterday.  Whipped up some lather and shaved with it.  I think some old muscle memory (old muscles and old memories) kicked in because I think I did pretty good for the first time though I did look at some videos on the web about DE shaving.  Just a couple of nicks.  I guess the Feather blades are so sharp, I didn't even feel them, just saw a little blood.  The shave was about equal to my cartridge shave, and there was some razor burn.  Today, I decided to use Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Shave Cream so I could see what I was doing with the razor - it doesn't give any lather, but lubes well.  Well, this shave was very, very close.  Wow!  Still a couple of nicks, and a little more razor burn than yesterday.  Should I keep plugging along to better my technique?  Try different blades, i.e. get a blade sample pack?  Or?  Opinions please.


Thanks.

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 07-08-2015, 06:00 PM
#2
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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Your beard prep and lather are very important for a good shave so keep working on that. I also do agree on getting a sample pack of blades- different strokes for different folks and it will help you find what works best for your shave.

If you are getting a lot of razor burn I would also really focus on your blade angle as it sounds as if it may be a bit steep and causing that irritation. Not sure how many passes you are doing but reduction is key and I definitely wouldn't be chasing the BBS as you ramp.

Regardless, keep at it and good luck!

PS. I am not a cologne type of person and only in the last year began using aftershave. There are some really great ones out there and they DO help with irritation post shave. I am partial to Floid and Myrsol. Aqua Velva can also be readily found at drugstores and supermarkets, is similar to Floid Blue and is very inexpensive to try out.

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 07-08-2015, 06:09 PM
#3
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(07-08-2015, 06:00 PM)kwsher Wrote: Your beard prep and lather are very important for a good shave so keep working on that. I also do agree on getting a sample pack of blades- different strokes for different folks and it will help you find what works best for your shave.

If you are getting a lot of razor burn I would also really focus on your blade angle as it sounds as if it may be a bit steep and causing that irritation. Not sure how many passes you are doing but reduction is key and I definitely wouldn't be chasing the BBS as you ramp.

Regardless, keep at it and good luck!

PS. I am not a cologne type of person and only in the last year began using aftershave. There are some really great ones out there and they DO help with irritation post shave. I am partial to Floid and Myrsol. Aqua Velva can also be readily found at drugstores and supermarkets, is similar to Floid Blue and is very inexpensive to try out.
Thanks for the info.  Any blade brands you'd recommend?  I've read some good things about Astra Superior Platinum for beginners.  What do you think?

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 07-08-2015, 06:22 PM
#4
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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Astras are actually my favorite all rounder and I feel a great middle ground blade- always give me a good shave and have decent longevity. I also personally like Crystals, Polsilvers and the Feathers you already have. For me, Gillettes of any color/flavor just don't have what I am looking for in a shave. As always YMMV.

Tell you what, PM your address and I will grab a handful of various blades and shoot 'em your way. Give me until the weekend to get them out but at least will give you a starting point and some different things to try.

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 07-08-2015, 06:57 PM
#5
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(07-08-2015, 06:09 PM)razornewbietx Wrote: Any blade brands you'd recommend?  I've read some good things about Astra Superior Platinum for beginners.  What do you think?

The War & Peace version:  do you know anything about the difference between high end chef's knives from the region around Thiers, France, and those from the region around Solingen, Germany?  The French knives are a different shape (straight edge profile, suited for chopping with a slicing motion) and are made of a softer (relative to the German blades) carbon steel: carbon steel takes the very sharpest edge of any knife when honed, but dulls rapidly, and therefore needs to be re-sharpened frequently.  The German knives have a curved edge (designed for a rocking chopping motion) and are generally made from a harder and more brittle (relative to the French) stainless steel:  stainless steel cannot take quite as sharp an edge as the French carbon steel knives, but knives made of the harder stainless steel do not need sharpening as frequently as French carbon steel knives do.  Good arguments can be made in favor of either the German approach or the French approach.  Apply these lessons to the next paragraph.

The Japanese city analogous to Thiers and Solingen is Seki, where both Feather and KAI razor blades are made.  Seki is home to KAI, while Feather, based in Osaka, has a razor blade factory in Seki.  Feather blades are like French chef's knives, as sharp as a razor blade gets, but less durable (shaves per blade) than famous competitors such as the stainless steel blades from the St. Petersburg factory majority owned by Procter & Gamble (Astra, Polsilver, Gillette Blue, Gillette Platinum, etc.).  KAI DE blades, which most regard as the second (to Feather) sharpest blades generally available, are made of a harder stainless steel and are more durable (more shaves per blade) than Feather blades, and are generally regarded as smother shavers than Feathers.  If you liked the Feather blade but for the roughness, you might want to experiment with the KAI blades.

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 07-10-2015, 02:34 PM
#6
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I am of the view that a bad shave has nothing to do with your choice of razor or blades.  It is all about the prep and How aggressive you are with the razor.  Take the time to prep adequately...and ease up on the pressure.

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 07-10-2015, 03:21 PM
#7
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I think a lot of my issue is technique.  I mainly have irritation on the neck where I have a harder time seeing how the razor is angled to the skin besides the grain going every which way.  My prep is like Sully said:  shower, leave face wet, lather, shave.  I'm going to try a cold water shave that Celestino mentioned next to see how that does.

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 07-10-2015, 04:54 PM
#8
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The cold water might help, but this will always come down to technique, really. You can't avoid it, unfortunately. It takes time to develop and once you have, then things will greatly improve. Take your time, use lighter pressure than you think you are, focus on your angle and try some unrefined shea butter to alleviate any razor burn. 
Good luck.

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 07-10-2015, 05:12 PM
#9
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Astras are probably a good choice for a beginner. Personna lab blues are another - all around good quality blades that behave themselves fairly well. I wouldn't try too many different blades until you get your technique down though. Keep the number of variables to a minimum so you can focus on the getting the correct pressure and angle.

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 07-11-2015, 05:08 PM
#10
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(07-10-2015, 05:12 PM)Shannon Wrote: Astras are probably a good choice for a beginner.  Personna lab blues are another - all around good quality blades that behave themselves fairly well.  I wouldn't try too many different blades until you get your technique down though. Keep the number of variables to a minimum so you can focus on the getting the correct pressure and angle.
I hope I'm getting my technique better.  I need to keep telling myself that it's not time to try for the BBS shaves, and quit going over my face to try to get it.  I've decided that short strokes will help.  I'm used to just letting it fly with long strokes with a cartridge razor.  Patience, patience.

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 07-11-2015, 05:28 PM
#11
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(07-11-2015, 05:08 PM)razornewbietx Wrote:
(07-10-2015, 05:12 PM)Shannon Wrote: Astras are probably a good choice for a beginner.  Personna lab blues are another - all around good quality blades that behave themselves fairly well.  I wouldn't try too many different blades until you get your technique down though. Keep the number of variables to a minimum so you can focus on the getting the correct pressure and angle.
I hope I'm getting my technique better.  I need to keep telling myself that it's not time to try for the BBS shaves, and quit going over my face to try to get it.  I've decided that short strokes will help.  I'm used to just letting it fly with long strokes with a cartridge razor.  Patience, patience.
I had problems with this myself at first.  I'd have a super thick slick lather and just keep on and keep on.  One of the most painful shaves I've ever had came from a Edwin Jagger and a derby blade.  I bet I went over my chin 20 times trying to get it smooth., bad part was I didn't feel any pain until about 10 minutes later. 

Because DE razors don't cut the hair below the skin like carts do I haft to shave every single day, so on days I have a bad shave oh well If I look ok then I'll get it tomorrow. You just haft to know when to quit. 

Try letting your beard grow for a day or 2 if possible so you can map the direction your beard grows, I know things get kind of funky on my neck and when first starting I never could figure out why I couldn't get a good shave on my neck and the reason was I was doing basically 2 cross the grain passes. 

Try getting some alum,  rub it on your skin after the shave,  if you went over the same place too much the alum will tell you, with a burn. It's not a bad burn but a burn, the alum will also help heal your skin too. Main thing now is just practice on looking ok.  I'm telling you many people thought they never get a good shave with a DE but give it about a month and you'll be ok.  Just do not use pressure and until you learn take it easy.

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 08-28-2015, 08:06 AM
#12
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Just wanted to bring everyone up to date.  Got a Feather Popular, a blade sampler, and some other blades from a very kind member.  So far, I have the Feather, Astra, BIC, and Wilkinson Sword have been placed in the "nice and try again later" pile.  Haven't got to the Persona Lab Blue or Gillette 7 o'clock sharpedge.

Impressions of the ones I didn't like:
Derby - 1st shave was "Wow!  This is amazing". 2nd shave was "Ow!  Get this out of my razor, Stat!"
Kai - just didn't care for it.
Lord - felt like I was shaving with a rake.
Polsilver - really don't want that expensive of a blade, and the ones I like are as good or better
Gillette 7 o'clock super platinum - seemed like shaving with a dull blade - maybe I shouldn't have waited until 8 o'clock to try Rolleyes

Liked ones:
Feather - first one I tried.  Very sharp, and will give it another try now that I've got my technique down better.
Astra - middle of the pack shave
Wilkinson Sword - surprisingly nice shave
BIC - 1st shave - a little uncomfortable, 2nd shave - Wow!  This is great, 3rd shave - Do I still have a blade in my razor?

Oh, and this will probably get me in trouble, but I've used King of Shaves gel for years and really like it.  I tried it with the DE, and I like it better than brush and soap.  Some of it is being impatient and wanting to get this over with.  But, it really gives me a good shave.  It lubes great, and I can do WTG, XTG, and ATG without lathering back up.

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 08-28-2015, 08:34 AM
#13
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Ive had a few blades i hated and gave up o become some of my favorites.  The best advice i can give is to give the blades a fair chance and to try to keep your prep, your brush your soap as many factors as you possibly can the same. if you shower before a shave shower every time.  make all the variables you possibly can constant so you can rule them out as reason you had a bad shave.

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 08-28-2015, 12:23 PM
#14
  • Jovan
  • Banned
  • Traveling USA
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Bolzano and Polsilver blades are sharp but forgiving.  Create your own sampler pack, check shipping prices at WCS or the B&B blade exchage.

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