07-31-2015, 01:40 PM
#1
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OK, I've been shaving with (or trying to shave with) a DE for about four months. I've been having fun buying and selling DE razors on EBay. But I am not doing very well in shaving with them. Whether it's the Gillette Tech or the Super Speed or the Gillette 1-9 Adjustable, I keep getting little "bleeders", especially on my neck. Yesterday I brought out the Harry's razor I bought last year, and it gave me such a clean, smooth shave. So I ask myself, why am I still trying to shave with a DE. Maybe technology has indeed moved ahead and left the DE in the dust.
I especially like the Gillette adjustable I got on Ebay earlier in the week since it was made in the 2nd quarter of 1965, the time when I graduated from college and proposed to my wife. I have it set on "3"...but still again this morning I got several "bleeders" under my chin. I'm not putting any pressure on the razor.
Can anybody give me any help?

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 07-31-2015, 01:53 PM
#2
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It's fine that you don't like DEs. Go back to cartridges if that is what you like. 

Personna makes a twin cartridge that costs $15 for a 100 pack in bulk. I prefer that to all but one DE- the Feather Popular.

Mostly I use Single Edge GEMs and injectors though. So don't sweat it. DEs are not for everyone.

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 07-31-2015, 01:54 PM
#3
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Learning to use a DE certainly takes a little time.  I think it took me about 6 months before everything really clicked.  My lathers started to be consistently good, I had figured out which blades fit my face, and I had found a few razors that seemed to work really well for me.

Not knowing any of your specifics, I have a few thoughts.
-Are you lathering up soaps or creams with a brush?  If so, try going back to canned stuff for a while just to take the lathering out of the variables for a while.  It took me longer to get good, consistent lather than it did to learn DE technique.
-How many blades have you tried?  In my year of using a DE I've tried around 40 different blade types.  I only really enjoy using about 5 of them.  http://www.tryablade.com and get the top 10 sampler.
-How many consecutive shaves have you spent with a single razor and blade combo?  It takes some time to learn how to get the most out of a particular DE.  You will have trouble doing so if you are constantly switching up your gear.

Contrary to your belief that you are not using pressure, I'll bet you are.  I thought I had a good handle on no pressure technique until I opened my Fatboy up to 9.  The first couple of shaves had a lot of weepers, then it was smooth sailing.  Aggressive razors are what finally taught me what no pressure really feels like.

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 07-31-2015, 02:09 PM
#4
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What blades are you using and like posted above what's your lather looking like?

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 07-31-2015, 02:16 PM
#5
  • Csd3
  • Active Member
  • Denver, Co
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Good on ya for sticking with it for so long.  I did the same with straights- after 6m I gave up due to lack of time to devote to it.  I use a feather cart for travel and its great!!

Ps my shave improved when I started using a sharper blade. Suggestion: a Feather (I dont have stock in the company I promise) As-d2 with a feather blade is "mild" while super effective.   Very forgiving.

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 07-31-2015, 04:27 PM
#6
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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Hey Paul, I started wet shaving a little over 10 years ago and I can still remember wondering if I would ever be able to shave in less than 30 minutes. It will get better and now I get far better shaves in the same or less amount of time than I did with cartridges.

There really isn't one single thing but a combo:

1. Make sure that you REALLY understand how to lather; practice makes perfect
2. Make absolutely sure of your razor angle
3. Know your beard direction; what you think may be WTG may actually not be

This is where I would start in the interest of not tackling too much at once. Stick with it and you will get there.

Good luck!

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 07-31-2015, 05:04 PM
#7
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I used to get the kind of bleeders you describe on my neck as well.  I got those on the concave part of my upper neck/under the jawline, where it is very easy to "dig the blade in" to your skin by not changing the angle enough to meet the curve of your neck.  

Three suggestions:  one, make shorter strokes and consciously adjust the angle of your head after taking a couple of strokes.  two, use a very shallow angle.  Three, don't shave under your neckline by going ATG "straight up" or south-north; try diagonal strokes as you approach your jawline.

Try these along with the general notes of zero pressure, good prep, don't rush, etc.   Practice, practice, practice.

You'll get past it!  I did.

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 07-31-2015, 05:31 PM
#8
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Stick with it once it clicks it's amazing shaves!  My biggest mistake when I started was changing everything up too often. Changing my soaps and my blades not really giving anything a fair chance. If the first shave wasn't good with what I was using I'd change it up. When starting to find your technique keep as many variables the same and when you do change a blade or something else keep everything else the same so you can know the difference isn't from another variable. My mistakes and quick judgements blaming the products not my technique made me toss aside 2 of my favorite blades today that I foolishly thought didn't work for me. The most important thing is to have fun with it. If you're not having fun with it and see it as a chore more than a hobby maybe it's not for you. Either way best of luck.

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 07-31-2015, 05:35 PM
#9
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Another thing to do is go to a barber shop and have them shave you with a de call ahead and make sure they canoe will, my local barber allows me to bring in my own products for him to use on me, or get an experienced friend to help you out so you an feel what a real BBS shave feels like. IMO there's not much that compares to wet shaving

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 07-31-2015, 05:41 PM
#10
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Learning the proper way to shave with a DE razor takes patients and time. .  What DE blades have you tried so far.  A DE blade coated with  platinum will shave smoother than a Dorko. http://www.tryablade.com/blade/rapira-platinum-lux 

What shaving soaps or creams are you using.  Do you use any other lubrication in you pre-shave preparation before applying shaving soap or cream?

Each pass with a DE razor is all about beard reduction.  Don't apply pressure and try for a smooth BBS shave on the first razor pass. Good Luck and don't throw in the towel just yet.

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 07-31-2015, 05:51 PM
#11
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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Great advice above. 

I shave with a straight. I started DE after learning to use a straight razor and immediately went back to the pressure I used with a cartridge. 

Pressure or lack of is very important. 
The other item I learned from shaving with a straight that I also do for DE shaves is skin stretching. If you can pull skin flat it's easier to shave

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 07-31-2015, 06:10 PM
#12
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I will be receiving my first DE Monday. Thank you all for some good advice. I hope everything works out for you RevPaul.

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 07-31-2015, 06:13 PM
#13
  • gp569900
  • Senior Member
  • Franklin, TN USA
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I'm a relatively newbie as well. I can empathize with you. I grew frustrated and gravitated back to my cartridges. However, I loved the rest of the wet shaving experience (brushes, soaps, creams, prep, etc.) that I wanted to master the DE as well. I figured if men all over the world for generations could master it, so could I. So, I went back, slowed down. Tried different blades. Did half DE and Half cartridge shaves. Slowly, slowly it got better. I found I was getting BBS shaves on my cheeks and jaws, but had challenges on my neck and around my mouth and nose. Then my neck came along. Then my chin. Then around my mouth. Last, my upper lip under my nose. I am still working on that. I will say that shorter strokes and attention to angle made the world of difference. 

Hang in there. Don't beat yourself up if it is slower than you like. I can vouch, the first full BBS shave I had with a DE was a victory. I walked a little taller that day.

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 07-31-2015, 07:41 PM
#14
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Sometimes finding the right razor and blade combo make a big difference. I use Muhle R89 razor with astra blades.

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 07-31-2015, 07:52 PM
#15
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(07-31-2015, 01:40 PM)RevPaulDD Wrote: OK, I've been shaving with (or trying to shave with) a DE for about four months.  So I ask myself, why am I still trying to shave with a DE. 
Can anybody give me any help?

I cannot answer the last sentence in the affirmative, but I can empathize.  I graduated from college a year before you did, and for most of the time since then, I have shaved with various cartridge razors, using a real badger brush and real shaving soap to prepare my beard before shaving.  I am now in the final stages of a nominally one-year trial of DE shaving; the trial is in its 15th or 16th month right now, because there are times when DE shaving is inconvenient (traveling by air, with only carry-on luggage).  

Where you and I apparently differ is in patience to get one learning lesson down pat before moving on to another.  It seems that you have never tried to refine your technique with one eBay razor before you abandon it and move on to another eBay razor.  Do not stop practicing the violin to take up the viola until you know that you can master the violin.  (You do not need to have fully mastered it; you need only to be certain in your own mind that mastery is a certainty just over the horizon.)  I went eight months using only the first DE razor that I tried, using various blades in it, before I felt that I had wrung out its potential and tried another.  The second razor that I tried was/is better than the first, and I am satisfied (for now) that improvements in my technique will not be limited in any way by my present hardware, and therefore I have zero razor acquisition disorder.  Can you move yourself to that stage?  

And in the midst of my Voyage of Discovery, I encountered a Siren Song:  I acquired a new cartridge razor (Feather MR3 neo) that is so much better than all of the other cartridge razors that I have used before over all these years that it raises for me — as your struggles with DE shaving seems to have raised for you — the question whether I should keep on with DE shaving after my “year”-long trial of using a DE razor has run its course.  

Ultimately, you should feel no peer pressure to embrace DE shaving.  No one will think the less of you should you choose to shave with Harry’s cartridge razors for the rest of your life.  (O.k., I may think the less of you, but that reflects more upon my defective character than it does upon you.)  It is your face and your beard, and ultimately you are the undisputed master of that domain. Exercise your sovereignty confidently.  

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 07-31-2015, 08:00 PM
#16
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I started with a Micro touch got a couple of weepers, the razor felt cheap to me so I picked up a 1904 merkur worked great never a problem very mild razor. So hang in there you will find something that works.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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 07-31-2015, 08:11 PM
#17
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Stick with it. Lots of good advice above. I want to give a +1 to the suggestion about limiting variables. I realize that there are experienced wet shavers that change up their razors frequently; however, I'd strongly suggest you stick with one razor and find a good blade for it and then work out the kinks with that hardware. FYI, my go to blade is a Personna Med Prep. The first razor I seemed to get it with was a Merkur 34c, which isn't too expensive and was recommended to me as a good newbie razor. Now I use a Feather AS-D2, which I love.

While I shave with the grain and across the grain with few issues, I found that most of my problems came when I was shaving against the grain so I stopped doing that for a while. If I do it now, I'm extra careful. On BBS shaves, I don't try for those unless I have extra time to devote to my shave. I'm perfectly happy with a DFS and no cuts. Smile

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 07-31-2015, 08:31 PM
#18
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Great advice given above. Be patient and if it doesn't work out for you, just use whatever works for you. Best of luck.  Smile

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 07-31-2015, 08:44 PM
#19
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The answer you look for maybe a simple one and not always the one you want to ear, there are a small number of individuals who simply cannot master traditional shaving techniques no matter how much they read or no matter how many different set ups they use you are obviously doing something wrong that's why you keep having weepers and cuts, my guess would be you are trying to go to close to soon with far to much pressure better off going with three very light passes rather than two heavy handed passes.

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 07-31-2015, 09:42 PM
#20
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Be glad that a cartridge can work for you. I never got a really smooth shave comfortably; not with carts, not with electrics, not with DEs. It wasn't until I tried a SE razor and blade that I finally understood how there could be so many people enjoying their shaves to actually have online communities to discuss this daily ritual). 

It was the stiffer blades that saved my neck, literally. The flexible blades of DEs would just chatter and bite me while they tried to cut my stubble. A pivoting cartridge might take up for some of that slack and keep you from getting the weepers that a DE blade gives. 

So if you can't tell, I am highly suggesting that you try to find a SE razor and pick up a pack of blades at your local drugstore (but not a hardware store) in the shaving aisle. 

Please keep us updated on what you decide to do/try and how it works out for you.

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