08-07-2015, 08:12 PM
#1
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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What's the deal with them anyways? Why are they so popular?
What are the differences from a cartridge?

Let me know what you like about your safety razors. I've never used one. Just curious about them.


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 08-07-2015, 08:19 PM
#2
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They're easier to use than straight. No annoying maintenance. Since I know you like straights, I suggest you don't bother with double edge razors and go with single edge razors. The blade is thicker and the shave is very much like a straight razor-- lots of tactile feedback and auditory feedback. I dislike the shave DEs give and experimented with straights-- they shave well but too much hassle for me.

A GEM 1912 pictured below.
[Image: 4J3K20l.jpg]

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 08-07-2015, 08:32 PM
#3
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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A man with a great taste in after shaves none the less. Top notch.

What does an aggressive razor mean? How can a razor be aggressive or are you guys talking about technique


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 08-07-2015, 08:55 PM
#4
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(08-07-2015, 08:32 PM)Scoti Wrote: A man with a great taste in after shaves none the less. Top notch.

What does an aggressive razor mean? How can a razor be aggressive or are you guys talking about technique


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To answer your OP and first question, DE razors are cheaper to use and provide a smooth and close shave without being as harsh on your skin as multi-blade cartridge razors. I personally prefer a DE safety razor but have not tried a straight razor. 

An aggressive razor means it has more blade exposed or larger gap (corrected this but Otis below explains it better) and therefore cuts better. I have a Muhle R41 like many others on here and it is very aggressive compared to my Edwin Jagger DE89. I like the aggressiveness a lot and honestly can't see why I would need to try a straight razor as a result. My EJ on the other hand is quite mild in comparison, yet I get a BBS shave every time if I take my time and do a three pass and touch up. I shaved today at around noon and cannot feel any hair on my face, and barely on my neck. That was from a 3 pass with no touchup. When using the R41 I only do 2 passes because it is so aggressive, but the results are good, just not BBS. I can't seem to go against the grain with it, only along and across. I prefer the Muhle R41 for when I have 3 days growth or sometimes 2 days. Since I shave every day usually I use the EJ as my regular razor. I honestly can't imagine wanting to try anything more aggressive than the R41, which means no need for straight razor if they are indeed more aggressive. I actually would like to find a razor in between the R41 and EJ DE89 to use as a everyday shaver.

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 08-07-2015, 09:20 PM
#5
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Aggressiveness is not all about blade exposure. Matter of fact the r41 blade exposure is not as much as say a fatip, glade gap the distance from blade to baseplate also is a factor, associate aggressiveness with efficient, as in amount of hair removed per stroke.

I've used both straights and DEs, to be honest a good shave is a good shave no matter how you get it. I prefer DEs now just because of the time it takes me with a straight. They are cheaper than modern razors too. It's really just personal preference. If your good with a straight and have the time or it doesn't take you long its not worth even trying to be honest you won't get a better shave.

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 08-07-2015, 09:37 PM
#6
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Something else to keep in mind is that some people mean unforgiving when they mean aggressive. A DE with lots of blade exposure is going to flex-- a lot. SE blades are rigid and don't have this problem. The Ever Ready 1924, one of the most aggressive SEs out there, for example has a blade exposure of 5mm. A Fatip DE has significantly less blade exposure but is unforgiving due to the flexy paper thin blade.

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 08-07-2015, 10:17 PM
#7
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The old single edges look like weapons or something that came out of a torture chamber but they work very well for me . Dirt cheap too, had I discovered SEs before DEs I may not of bought so many razors and a lifetime supply of DE blades.

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 08-07-2015, 10:59 PM
#8
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(08-07-2015, 09:20 PM)Otis375 Wrote: Aggressiveness is not all about blade exposure. Matter of fact the r41 blade exposure is not as much as say a fatip, glade gap the distance from blade to baseplate also is a factor, associate aggressiveness with efficient, as in amount of hair removed per stroke.

I've used both straights and DEs, to be honest a good shave is a good shave no matter how you get it. I prefer DEs now just because of the time it takes me with a straight. They are cheaper than modern razors too. It's really just personal preference. If your good with a straight and have the time or it doesn't take you long its not worth even trying to be honest you won't get a better shave.

Thank you Justin. I just compared my R41 and EJ and they actually do have the same blade exposure, or pretty close.

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 08-07-2015, 11:02 PM
#9
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(08-07-2015, 09:37 PM)fram773 Wrote: Something else to keep in mind is that some people mean unforgiving when they mean aggressive. A DE with lots of blade exposure is going to flex-- a lot. SE blades are rigid and don't have this problem. The Ever Ready 1924, one of the most aggressive SEs out there, for example has a blade exposure of 5mm. A Fatip DE has significantly less blade exposure but is unforgiving due to the flexy paper thin blade.

Don't mean to get off topic but have a question. How many shaves per blade do you get out of a SE? I'm sure it varies with different manufacturers but I am curious. Since you aren't able to use the other side I would think it would dull faster, but since the SEs are thicker it sounds like then I imagine they would last longer. I am interested in trying one eventually but only if the price is reasonable for blades.

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 08-08-2015, 01:21 AM
#10
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(08-07-2015, 11:02 PM)Hobbyist Wrote:
(08-07-2015, 09:37 PM)fram773 Wrote: Something else to keep in mind is that some people mean unforgiving when they mean aggressive. A DE with lots of blade exposure is going to flex-- a lot. SE blades are rigid and don't have this problem. The Ever Ready 1924, one of the most aggressive SEs out there, for example has a blade exposure of 5mm. A Fatip DE has significantly less blade exposure but is unforgiving due to the flexy paper thin blade.

Don't mean to get off topic but have a question. How many shaves per blade do you get out of a SE? I'm sure it varies with different manufacturers but I am curious. Since you aren't able to use the other side I would think it would dull faster, but since the SEs are thicker it sounds like then I imagine they would last longer. I am interested in trying one eventually but only if the price is reasonable for blades.

14 for ptfe stainlessblades. 2-3 carbon.

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 08-08-2015, 02:34 AM
#11
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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At home I use mostly SRs but travelling by car I use a DE as it is less hassle. The less hassle is likely why they took over from SRs in the first place. With the more aggressive DEs I can get a shave that gives a SR shave a rub for the money. I also have a few SEs and the 1912 Gem is a peach to use, shaves close and comfortably too. Reminds me of using an adze to shave with. If you go the SE route get stainless steel blades as carbon steel ones are a pita because of rusting. 

A top shaving DE, for me, is my Myhle R41 followed closely by my Merkur slant. Of the two the slant is much more pleasant to shave with. Also my Gillette Fat Boy adjustable set at 9 is also a top shaving DE and is as aggressive at that setting as the Muhle R41.

If you go the DE route I'd suggest picking up a Gillette Fat Boy adjustable. If you look around you can still find one in good condition locally without paying the premium they go for on the net. The Fat Boy is good to learn on as you can start at a milder setting like 3 and as your technique improves you can go up the scale a couple of clicks at a time till you find the setting that gives you the best results. That saves buying a mild razor to learn on and the moving through progressively more aggressive razors. The Fat Boy changes aggressiveness by increasing the blade gap as you go up the scale.

Bob

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 08-08-2015, 05:46 AM
#12
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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Cool I think my dad has an old safety razor he used to use. That may be a place to start when I can find it. I'm not sure which type it is but when I find it I'll post pictures.


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 08-08-2015, 07:14 AM
#13
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(08-07-2015, 08:12 PM)Scoti Wrote: What's the deal with them anyways? Why are they so popular?
What are the differences from a cartridge?

Let me know what you like about your safety razors. I've never used one. Just curious about them.

Razors differ; even within a type, each razor is unique.  It is difficult to generalize on the subject of safety razors vs. cartridge razors.
  • If your goal is to get the very closest shave possible, you can get a very close shave with a safety razor, but you can get just as close a shave, or an even closer shave, with some cartridge razors;
  • If your goal is to minimize irritation and skin redness, you can get an irritation-free shave with a safety razor, and you can get just as irritation-free shaves with a cartridge razor;
  • If you like the sensation of warm brush-generated lather on your face, you can use the same soap and brush to lather up your face for shaving with a cartridge razor as you can use to lather up your face for shaving with a safety razor.
The analogy that works for me is the difference between driving a modern refined sedan with an automatic transmission and Electronic Stability Control and all of the electronic accoutrements like air conditioning and surround stereo sound (cartridge) vs. driving a roadster with a manual transmission and stiff springing that makes you feel every nuance of the road surface in the seat of your pants, and which does not have a stereo because you could not hear it anyway over the throaty growl of the engine and the rush of wind past your ears because — of course — you drive it top-down whenever possible (safety razor).  Yes, the safety razor is the roadster, and the cartridge razor (assuming it is a modern cartridge razor and not the straw man generic cartridge razor often referred to derisively on Internet shaving forums)  is the refined sedan.  The sedan and the roadster both will get you from point A to point B, but if you are driving the roadster, you might go out of your way to find a really twisty back road somewhere between A and B, because the driving itself is so much fun.  It will take more time to get to B, but, well, that’s kind of the point of the exercise.

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 08-08-2015, 08:42 AM
#14
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(08-07-2015, 10:59 PM)Hobbyist Wrote:
(08-07-2015, 09:20 PM)Otis375 Wrote: Aggressiveness is not all about blade exposure. Matter of fact the r41 blade exposure is not as much as say a fatip, glade gap the distance from blade to baseplate also is a factor, associate aggressiveness with efficient, as in amount of hair removed per stroke.

I've used both straights and DEs, to be honest a good shave is a good shave no matter how you get it. I prefer DEs now just because of the time it takes me with a straight. They are cheaper than modern razors too. It's really just personal preference. If your good with a straight and have the time or it doesn't take you long its not worth even trying to be honest you won't get a better shave.

Thank you Justin. I just compared my R41 and EJ and they actually do have the same blade exposure, or pretty close.

That's actually pretty crazy right? The r41 11 had a lot of blade exposure but the 13 looks mild to me based on looks..

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 08-08-2015, 08:49 AM
#15
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(08-08-2015, 08:42 AM)Otis375 Wrote:
(08-07-2015, 10:59 PM)Hobbyist Wrote:
(08-07-2015, 09:20 PM)Otis375 Wrote: Aggressiveness is not all about blade exposure. Matter of fact the r41 blade exposure is not as much as say a fatip, glade gap the distance from blade to baseplate also is a factor, associate aggressiveness with efficient, as in amount of hair removed per stroke.

I've used both straights and DEs, to be honest a good shave is a good shave no matter how you get it. I prefer DEs now just because of the time it takes me with a straight. They are cheaper than modern razors too. It's really just personal preference. If your good with a straight and have the time or it doesn't take you long its not worth even trying to be honest you won't get a better shave.

Thank you Justin. I just compared my R41 and EJ and they actually do have the same blade exposure, or pretty close.

That's actually pretty crazy right? The r41 11 had a lot of blade exposure but the 13 looks mild to me based on looks..


I'd compare the blade gap between the two as looks, apparent blade exposure, can be deceiving if you don't take into account blade gap also. The blade exposure doe not really change on my Gillette Fat Boy as you go up the numbers to the most aggressive setting, the balsde gap increase though.

Bob

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 08-08-2015, 08:52 AM
#16
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I don't think the exposure could change on a razor because the blade is locked in there right? I've got a futur, progress and slims and it look like just the blade gap changes. I just can't see how exposure could be changed .

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 08-08-2015, 08:55 AM
#17
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(08-08-2015, 08:49 AM)BobH Wrote:
(08-08-2015, 08:42 AM)Otis375 Wrote:
(08-07-2015, 10:59 PM)Hobbyist Wrote: Thank you Justin. I just compared my R41 and EJ and they actually do have the same blade exposure, or pretty close.

That's actually pretty crazy right? The r41 11 had a lot of blade exposure but the 13 looks mild to me based on looks..


I'd compare the blade gap between the two as looks, apparent blade exposure, can be deceiving if you don't take into account blade gap also. The blade exposure doe not really change on my Gillette Fat Boy as you go up the numbers to the most aggressive setting, the balsde gap increase though.

Bob

I think what makes the r41 what it is is that comb,or lack there of a comb. Because what I'm trying to say is if you go by blade exposure alone the r41 looks mild. Open combs and whatever ther41 combs are called you can't really judge blade gap,and IMO blade exposure is kind of unreliable.

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 08-08-2015, 09:27 AM
#18
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I went to a DE razor about 10 years ago. I could not justify spending 14 to 20 bucks for cartridge blades. I get a lot better shave and its makes it less of a chore.Not to say you cant get carried away buying different razors,soaps etc. but that's part of the fun and hobby.

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 08-08-2015, 01:00 PM
#19
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(08-08-2015, 09:27 AM)hook777 Wrote: I went to a DE razor about 10 years ago. I could not justify spending 14 to 20 bucks for cartridge blades. I get a lot better shave and its makes it less of a chore.

Justifying a DE razor vs. a cartridge razor on the basis of the price of the blades vs. the price of the cartridges is an interesting academic exercise, but not far removed from the medieval question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  

  1. Cartridges are generally sold in the supermarket where you are going to go to buy bread and milk anyway, so you need not pay to have them shipped to you, whereas you must take into account the shipping costs of the DE blades that, for most of us, are not available locally, at least not without a separate trip out of one’s way; and what value do you put on your time?
  2. If you keep your eyes open for the periodic sale prices, you can get a five-pack of Schick Hydro3 cartridges at the supermarket (or always at Wal-Mart) for under $10.00, or $2.00 per cartridge.
  3. A typical price for quantity 50 of, say, Gillette Silver Blue DE blades is $19.50, or $0.39 per blade; a typical price for quantity 50 of, say, KAI Stainless DE blades is $20.00, or $0.40 per blade; shipping would be added to either of those prices.  
  4. Based on my personal experience, I can easily get 15-20 good shaves from a Schick Hydro3 cartridge, and I can get 6-7 good shaves from either of the two DE blades above.  
  5. Using the low-end of the per-blade or per-cartridge shaves, I would need 24 Hydro3 cartridges or 60 GSB or KAI DE blades for a year's worth of shaving.  
  6. The per-year cost (no shipping costs required) of the Schick cartridges would then be $48.00, and the per-year cost of the DE blades would be $24.00, plus whatever shipping costs are incurred with the on-line seller.
  7. While the per-year price of the cartridges is therefore double the per-year price of the blades, the actual dollar total difference is $24.00 (if shipping costs are ignored), or about $2.00 per month, which is less than the cost of one latte at Starbucks — do you get more than one cup of coffee a month at a Starbucks or the equivalent?
As to the “better shave” and “less of a chore” aspects, both are much less objective (more subjective) than the cost argument, and degustibus non disputandum est.   In my personal experience, I require just about 20 minutes, start to finish, to shower and shave when I use a cartridge razor, and about 35-40 minutes to shower and shave when I use a DE razor, in neither case rushing nor dawdling.  I guess that data point can be read in two ways:  it is more of a chore (= takes longer) to shave with a DE, or it is less of a chore (= I must be enjoying it or surely I would rush the process more) to shave with a DE.  But as to the “better shave” assessment, I can get as close a shave, with care, with a DE as with a good cartridge, and I can get as close a shave (and more consistently) with a good cartridge as with a DE; and I do not get more irritation with either than the other.

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 08-08-2015, 03:03 PM
#20
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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I can get just as many shaves with a de blade as a cartridge, but with little to no irritation. Cartridge razors don't agree with me.

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