02-27-2016, 06:41 PM
#1
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
The perfect starter kit...

All of us had to start somewhere and those that are just starting out always ask advice in relation to where to start...

So if you were to recommend the perfect starter kit what would it be... ?

* * *

I'll start.

I'm limiting myself to currently available items as I've found it difficult here in Australia to source quality vintage items and I predict most new comers would be more comfortable with unused items.

I'll commence with the brush. I believe badger is a nice place to start, especially given most evaluation and comparisons begin with it. The Simpson Duke 3 represents an accessible brush in my opinion. Easily sourced. Comfortable design. Sensible knot specification. In Best it represents the strongest value.

Razor, I'd recommend safety bar to begin with. An open comb might feel more aggressive to someone just starting out. My first was a Merhur 34C and I would happily recommend this, but as this is a starter recommendation and I'm conscious of budget I'd suggest an Edwin Jagger 89. Well made, well priced, easily sourced, mild and comfortable razor.

As for blades, I'd suggest a sample pack - you really should try a variety of blades.

Software, IMO is less crucial. Although, I'd recommend starting with a shaving cream or croap. I believe, for the novice, they are much easier to make a decent lather with. I started with Cella and would happily recommend it, but something like Proraso is much easier to find here in Australia.

As for aftershave, my first was Floid (and who wouldn't recommend it?), but I like symmetry and would suggest the Proraso again (mainly because its easier to source here). I'd also recommend some Alum.

So, much of my recommendation takes into account location and ease of sourcing products.

BRUSH: Simpson Duke 3 Best
RAZOR: Edwin Jagger 89
BLADE: Sample pack
SOAP: Proraso shaving cream
AFTERSHAVE: Proraso Splash, Alum

99 18,011
Reply
 02-27-2016, 06:54 PM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
User Info
Hmm.

BRUSH: EJ STF XL or Thater 2-band
RAZOR: EJ 89 or Merkur 34C
BLADE: Sample pack
SOAP: Proraso or Tabac
AFTERSHAVE: Floid or Myrsol

102 18,652
Reply
 02-27-2016, 07:11 PM
#3
User Info
  • BRUSH: Simpsons Special OR Semogue Boar
  • RAZOR: Merkur long handle safety bar model
  • BLADES: Personna Lab
  • SOAP: Prorasso White or Dr. Selby's
  • AFTERSHAVE: Aqua Velva or Mr. Fine's American

9 1,414
Reply
 02-27-2016, 08:30 PM
#4
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
(02-27-2016, 06:41 PM)ben74 Wrote:
The perfect starter kit...

All of us had to start somewhere and those that are just starting out always ask advice in relation to where to start...

So if you were to recommend the perfect starter kit what would it be... ?

* * *

I'll start.

I'm limiting myself to currently available items as I've found it difficult here in Australia to source quality vintage items and I predict most new comers would be more comfortable with unused items.

I'll commence with the brush. I believe badger is a nice place to start, especially given most evaluation and comparisons begin with it. The Simpson Duke 3 represents an accessible brush in my opinion. Easily sourced. Comfortable design. Sensible knot specification. In Best it represents the strongest value.

Razor, I'd recommend safety bar to begin with. An open comb might feel more aggressive to someone just starting out. My first was a Merhur 34C and I would happily recommend this, but as this is a starter recommendation and I'm conscious of budget I'd suggest an Edwin Jagger 89. Well made, well priced, easily sourced, mild and comfortable razor.

As for blades, I'd suggest a sample pack - you really should try a variety of blades.

Software, IMO is less crucial. Although, I'd recommend starting with a shaving cream or croap. I believe, for the novice, they are much easier to make a decent lather with. I started with Cella and would happily recommend it, but something like Proraso is much easier to find here in Australia.

As for aftershave, my first was Floid (and who wouldn't recommend it?), but I like symmetry and would suggest the Proraso again (mainly because its easier to source here). I'd also recommend some Alum.

So, much of my recommendation takes into account location and ease of sourcing products.

BRUSH: Simpson Duke 3 Best
RAZOR: Edwin Jagger 89
BLADE: Sample pack
SOAP: Proraso shaving cream
AFTERSHAVE: Proraso Splash, Alum

Wonderful recommendations here, Ben. I might tweak it in favor of a Merkur, only because I prefer the shave to the EJ/M 89, but otherwise, yeah +1.

7 2,159
Reply
 02-27-2016, 08:51 PM
#5
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
Well, I'm figuring the guy just starting out or switching from carts and canned foam will be on a limited budget, much like my son was.  So I would recommend the following as I did for my son.

BRUSH: Simpsons 57
RAZOR: Schick I2 Injector (easy to find on ebay)
BLADES: Current issue Schick Injector Blade
SOAP: Speick Cream
AFTERSHAVE: Speick After Shave Lotion or Alt Innsbruck

Not only is that a good starter kit, it's good for anytime.  Except for the brush, I use all of these products today, after 55+ years of wet shaving.

178 23,809
Reply
 02-27-2016, 09:16 PM
#6
  • Rob W
  • Senior Member
  • Central IL, USA
User Info
BRUSH: Simpson Duke 3 Best (because this was the first Simpson I purchased followed by many)
RAZOR: Merkur 38C
BLADE: Sample pack
SOAP: Asylum Colonia by Saponificio Varesino
AFTERSHAVE: Floid SE Vintage Vigoroso After Shave

4 633
Reply
 02-28-2016, 05:25 AM
#7
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
User Info
Brush Simpson commodore
Soap/cream Taylor of Bond pick a flavor. 
Razor EJ89
Blade. Astra
Aftershave. Thayers or Fine

All are somewhat budget minded and easy to use. 

My start was
VDH badger kit with apothecary mug
Dovo Best 5/8 from SRD
Various junk strops from Amazon

Starting with a straight taught me respect for the razor and care of my shaving equipment. Learning DE was tough since I still want to push the razor into my skin like a cart razor.

7 451
Reply
 02-28-2016, 06:10 AM
#8
User Info
Brush: Semogue BC Mistura (Good price, nice combination of Badger/Boar)
Razor: Merkur 180 HD (Won't break the bank, longer, thinner handle than the 34C, might be better for a beginner)
Blade: Polsilver SI (smooth, affordable) (I was specific, but the sample pack is a better choice)
Soap:  C.O. Bigleow (Proraso) Cream (Easy to lather, popular scent, good price)
AS:     Fine American Blend

39 3,920
Reply
 02-28-2016, 07:01 AM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
User Info
My thinking is similar to Johnny's in that beginners may be a little cash strapped. So I'd go with a more modest recommendation.

Brush - Omega 10066 boar
Soap - Arko stick which can be formed easily into a mug if you don't want to go the stick route
Razor - Vintage Gillette Tech which is easily available here for minimum cost. No experience with modern "mild" shaving DEs having no use for a mild DE personally.
Blade - Sample pack so you can figure out what works for you
Post Shave - Aqua Velva Ice Blue and Alum

For a more upscale entry point I'd go

Brush - SOC 2 band badger
Soap - Tabac
Razor - An adjustable, either new or vintage. Start with a mild setting and as your skill improves you can increase the aggression to suit with no need to buy
           another razor.
Blade - A sample pack
Post Shave - Tabac and alum

Bob

0 1,694
Reply
 02-28-2016, 07:19 AM
#10
User Info
Merkur 1904 Open Comb
Jagger DE89
Muhle or Jagger Medium synthetic brush
Personna Lab Blue Blades
Crabtree & Evelyn Indian Sandalwood Shave Cream

I think two razors would be good for a beginner. The Merkur open comb is mild and teaches the right angle for shaving more than any other razor.  It is simple and easy to clean. The Jagger DE89 is a medium aggressive razor. I would have chosen the Merkur 34c but didn't because it has a fixed base plate.  There is some versatility in the DE89 in that you can use the Merkur open comb baseplate with the Jagger handle and top plate making heaver larger handle than the 1904.

A good quality synthetic brush is inexpensive, works well, and is super easy to keep clean.

The Personna blades have wide appeal are comfortable and sharp enough.  Of course after a short while, then a sampler blade pack.

I recommend the C&E shave cream because it is available and creams are typically easier to lather.  C&E is an English made cream that is a good introduction.

0 620
Reply
 02-28-2016, 07:24 AM
#11
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
User Info
I was thinking about it today. My ideal starter kit would be:
  • Semogue OC 2Band
  • Pannacrema Nostalgia
  • Edwin Jagger DE89L
  • Astra S. P.
  • Old Spice Original
Unfortunately, the Nostalgia is now discontinued... It has a wonderful scent, with orange notes and bay rum. Just lovely. It's the only Pannacrema with tallow I have right now.
In this case, my alternative would be the Speick stick or cream.

49 1,999
Reply
 02-28-2016, 08:18 AM
#12
User Info
For the budget friendly 

Preshave: noxzema
Brush: razorock plisson
Razor :Edwin jagger de89
Soap: proraso green 
After shave: Nivea for men aftershave balm sensitive.
Blades: personna labs

Less than 70 bucks for around 6 months or more of shaving .

0 127
Reply
 02-28-2016, 09:19 AM
#13
User Info
for me, i bought a starter kit from VDH, the one in the green box and a 1954{?} Gillette TV Special Razor and wilkinson blades. still use the razor and the green VDH soap {classic ,i think} and old spice after shave.

0 189
Reply
 02-28-2016, 12:58 PM
#14
  • NJDJ
  • Member
  • New Jersey
User Info
(02-27-2016, 06:41 PM)ben74 Wrote:
The perfect starter kit...

All of us had to start somewhere and those that are just starting out always ask advice in relation to where to start...

So if you were to recommend the perfect starter kit what would it be... ?

* * *

I'll start.

I'm limiting myself to currently available items as I've found it difficult here in Australia to source quality vintage items and I predict most new comers would be more comfortable with unused items.

I'll commence with the brush. I believe badger is a nice place to start, especially given most evaluation and comparisons begin with it. The Simpson Duke 3 represents an accessible brush in my opinion. Easily sourced. Comfortable design. Sensible knot specification. In Best it represents the strongest value.

Razor, I'd recommend safety bar to begin with. An open comb might feel more aggressive to someone just starting out. My first was a Merhur 34C and I would happily recommend this, but as this is a starter recommendation and I'm conscious of budget I'd suggest an Edwin Jagger 89. Well made, well priced, easily sourced, mild and comfortable razor.

As for blades, I'd suggest a sample pack - you really should try a variety of blades.

Software, IMO is less crucial. Although, I'd recommend starting with a shaving cream or croap. I believe, for the novice, they are much easier to make a decent lather with. I started with Cella and would happily recommend it, but something like Proraso is much easier to find here in Australia.

As for aftershave, my first was Floid (and who wouldn't recommend it?), but I like symmetry and would suggest the Proraso again (mainly because its easier to source here). I'd also recommend some Alum.

So, much of my recommendation takes into account location and ease of sourcing products.

BRUSH: Simpson Duke 3 Best
RAZOR: Edwin Jagger 89
BLADE: Sample pack
SOAP: Proraso shaving cream
AFTERSHAVE: Proraso Splash, Alum

I agree.  Great recommendations.

8 224
Reply
 02-28-2016, 04:39 PM
#15
User Info
I wouldn't recommend a spendy beginner kit in case they don't like it.

My recommendations

EJ 89 or Merkur 34C
Semogue boar, upgrade to Simpsons commodore when have the money
Blade sampler, has to have Astra and Feathers and voskhod
Proraso soap tub or ToBS Sandalwood
Proraso aftershave

That should get them going. Not expensive and can stick to just these basics for quite a while until ADs kick in

2 342
Reply
 02-28-2016, 06:04 PM
#16
  • SCOV
  • Active Member
  • Minnesota
User Info
Goodfella new long OC = $56  (mild razor, medium size, OC helps novice)
10 Derby blades comes with razor = $0
NOS Edwin Jagger on eBay $15 (option some brush under $20 at Bullgoose)
Proraso cream favorite scent big tube = $11
Qwik Stop Styptic Powder for Dogs (.5 oz) = $4
Total setup = $86 - $91 depending on brush
Total first year cost add $30 for blades and cream 

(actually close to my starting configuration.  I had Edwin Jagger DE87 but still used cartridge razor 50% of the time.)

4 394
Reply
 02-28-2016, 08:34 PM
#17
User Info
A beginner's kit should prioritize two things; 1) all items should be easy to learn to use & 2) the cost shouldn't be a huge barrier. Products that can be found at a B&M store is a plus but not necessary woth today's internet shopping. 

Save money by starting with a synthetic brush. The one I'd recommend to start with is a mere $10. Put the extra money into a razor that can be easy to learn on, yet can grow with you as you get better. A blade sample pack from Try-a-Blade is a no-brainer. Soap and aftershave is a little tougher as this will be much more scent driven then anything else to start with. 

Brush: RazoRock Plissoft
Razor: Merkur Progress
Blades: Sampler
Soap/Cream: Bigelow (Proraso) from B&BW. De Vergulde Hand or Cella if ordering online. 
Aftershave: Aqua Velva Ice Blue or Unrefined Shea Butter

31 8,057
Reply
 02-28-2016, 10:44 PM
#18
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
User Info
My recommendations:

Brush:  Semogue 1305 (boar)
Razor:  Merkur Progress
Blade: Crystal or Astra (Sample pack after basic technique established)
Soap:  Valobra hard soap (cake or stick). 
Other candidates would be some of the excellent artisan soaps, such as Tim's Soap or Mike's Natural Soap.

   - Murray

4 1,150
Reply
 02-29-2016, 11:11 AM
#19
User Info
(02-27-2016, 06:41 PM)ben74 Wrote:
The perfect starter kit...

All of us had to start somewhere and those that are just starting out always ask advice in relation to where to start...

So if you were to recommend the perfect starter kit what would it be... ?

* * *

I'll start.

I'm limiting myself to currently available items as I've found it difficult here in Australia to source quality vintage items and I predict most new comers would be more comfortable with unused items.

I'll commence with the brush. I believe badger is a nice place to start, especially given most evaluation and comparisons begin with it. The Simpson Duke 3 represents an accessible brush in my opinion. Easily sourced. Comfortable design. Sensible knot specification. In Best it represents the strongest value.

Razor, I'd recommend safety bar to begin with. An open comb might feel more aggressive to someone just starting out. My first was a Merhur 34C and I would happily recommend this, but as this is a starter recommendation and I'm conscious of budget I'd suggest an Edwin Jagger 89. Well made, well priced, easily sourced, mild and comfortable razor.

As for blades, I'd suggest a sample pack - you really should try a variety of blades.

Software, IMO is less crucial. Although, I'd recommend starting with a shaving cream or croap. I believe, for the novice, they are much easier to make a decent lather with. I started with Cella and would happily recommend it, but something like Proraso is much easier to find here in Australia.

As for aftershave, my first was Floid (and who wouldn't recommend it?), but I like symmetry and would suggest the Proraso again (mainly because its easier to source here). I'd also recommend some Alum.

So, much of my recommendation takes into account location and ease of sourcing products.

BRUSH: Simpson Duke 3 Best
RAZOR: Edwin Jagger 89
BLADE: Sample pack
SOAP: Proraso shaving cream
AFTERSHAVE: Proraso Splash, Alum

Agree 100%, except for one substitution:  Razorock Plissoft/Maggard Synth for Duke 3.  One of the key learning curves for the beginner is making good lather and while you are right in choosing Proraso cream -- it practically lathers itself -- the Plisson style synth makes lathering sooo easy.  And it reduces the cost of the whole kit by $100.

11 973
Reply
 02-29-2016, 09:55 PM
#20
User Info
BRUSH: Thäter 3-band Silvertip bulb 26 mm
RAZOR: Mühle R89 Twist
BLADE: Personna Lab Blue
PRE-SHAVE: Proraso
SOAP: TOBS Cream
AFTERSHAVE: Speick After Shave Splash

24 5,971
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)