04-22-2016, 05:31 PM
#1
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Hello gentlemen,

I've been wet shaving for 35 years or so. For the first 34 years it was strictly with a safety razor, I used whatever blades were cheap and I used them until they were smooth as spoons. For the past year, though I've been experimenting with different DE's, blades and am chucking the blades after about 5 shaves. For the past several months I've also been using a straight or two and am very pleased with the closeness of my shave. I don't do it more often, only because it's too time consuming.

All that out of the way, these are my observations from my experiences only:

1. DE's with the right blade can give an exceptionally close shave. But, if I'm not careful or if I'm using a dullish blade I've got the potential for irritation. Also, getting my trouble spots very smooth can take a whole bunch of passes and effort, that I may pay for with irritation.

2. Cartridges, with no attention to setup, can give the closest shave of all with no worries about nicks, cuts or irritation. Plus, Cartridge shaves last the longest. They're also boring and kind of whimpy for everyday use. For me they have a purpose, but it's not for my usual shave. I hardly ever use them. Usually, they're for when I have to get cleaned up fast, especially in an emergency;

3. Straights that are well honed and properly stropped, can give a closer shave than that from a DE, but I've got to pay attention. I also get much less irritation than from DE's. Shaves also last longer than from DE's, but not as smooth for as long as from a cartridge;

In terms of overall closeness of shave, including trouble spots and hard to get to areas, I would rank Cartridges #1, followed by straights, with DE's bringing up the rear.  Same ranking for irritation and for how long a shave lasts.

Here are my questions:

1. what are your observations from your personal experiences and; 

2. for those of you that use SE's, where do they fall in line with the 3 types of shaves/razors that I've talked about. 

Thanks everyone for your time and I look forward to your responses.
Lou

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 04-22-2016, 05:53 PM
#2
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1.  I share your observation.  I don't use a DE blade more than twice.  It keeps me irritation free, plus they are cheap to buy.

2.  I haven't use a cart on a regular basis for over twenty years.  Having said that, Fusion always gives me a good shave if I'm really in a hurry.

3.  Straights?  I have never used one.

4.  SE?  Nothing like my Cobras and GEMS.

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 04-22-2016, 06:44 PM
#3
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SEs sit at the very top ... 
HA! All kidding aside, there are too many variables to day X razor id better. For example I would very much prefer to travel with a handbag only if it weren't for the subpar shaves I get from shaving with a cartridge. On top of that you have the great variability of different SE razors. One thing is certain: the best thing you can do is try one or two.

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 04-22-2016, 06:52 PM
#4
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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Quote:Cartridges, with no attention to setup, can give the closest shave of all with no worries about nicks, cuts or irritation. 

I used cartridges for 20 years and was constantly irritated, especially with the 3 and 5 blade systems.  Switching to DE wet shaving was a revelation.  My .02c.

Eric

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 04-22-2016, 09:40 PM
#5
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I burned through carts really quick, but I also shave my head - so that might have something to do with it. And my shaves with an SE are just as fast.

GEM/Ever Ready SEs are the most efficient and smooth razors for me. My go-to razors are an ER 1914 and GEM Damaskeene. Blades usually last about a 10-12 shaves.

I recently started enjoying straights for face shaves. I have 2, and it's about time I get them touched up. I'm going to get them honed, and then get some film to start doing my own touchups.

I have a couple of DEs that I'll use every once in a while. I tossed them after 4 shaves. I prefer my SEs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 04-23-2016, 06:57 AM
#6
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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I'm like Eric - suffered with miserable shaves for 40 years using carts and despisables. DE shaving was indeed a revelation. I get better shaves with any of my ten DE razors than with any of the multi-blades. Like Hector, I've never used a straight, so no opinion there. SE razors give me wonderful shaves but only two passes. With three passes the neck irritation returns. Same with injectors. 2 passes good, 3 passes irritation.

edit: want to add that my best SE shaves are with my Featherweights as opposed to MMOC, ER1912, GEM Jr or even the G-Bar which seems to have the same head design as the FW. Perhaps it's the weight or the balance, idk...

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 04-23-2016, 07:24 AM
#7
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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All I have ever used is either DE, SE, or straights.  If my physical condition would still permit me to use a straight I would, just for the pure pleasure of the process.

As for as closeness, I get my best shaves with my Schick I2 Injector.

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 04-23-2016, 07:59 AM
#8
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I can get an excellent shave with a DE, SE, or straight. I much prefer straights as they give me more control, provide a slightly better shave, and require more concentration. I enjoy a "zen moment" with a straight, compared to a DE or SE. I enjoy the entire process of using a straight, such as stropping and honing, which also gives you more control over the quality of the shave. I find straights esthetically pleasing to look at, to hold, and to shave with, something that I rarely get from a DE or SE.

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 04-23-2016, 08:01 AM
#9
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My favorite SE razor is AlumiGoose 2 with Triad Ti !



[Image: mROKrhW.jpg]







Lorenzo.

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 04-23-2016, 12:43 PM
#10
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(04-23-2016, 07:59 AM)evnpar Wrote: I can get an excellent shave with a DE, SE, or straight. I much prefer straights as they give me more control, provide a slightly better shave, and require more concentration. I enjoy a "zen moment" with a straight, compared to a DE or SE. I enjoy the entire process of using a straight, such as stropping and honing, which also gives you more control over the quality of the shave. I find straights esthetically pleasing to look at, to hold, and to shave with, something that I rarely get from a DE or SE.
+1

Bob

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 04-23-2016, 05:01 PM
#11
  • Chaddy
  • Senior Member
  • North Carolina
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I don't thank anyone can get a straight as sharp as a de or se. If they can i got a few they can try to prove it on.

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 04-23-2016, 06:31 PM
#12
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The R41 is a fantastic DE, just as the Cobra is a great SE. I enjoy them both & have no issues getting very good shaves with both.
Straight razors for me were a little more challenging but after a short time they gave up shaves just as good as any other blades.
I enjoy the skill and nuances each brings to the table.

I've heard many refer to aggressive & mild shavers - all of these models to me just provide good feedback, and good results.
In all honesty, the Cobra Classic was too easy. BBS nearly every time and it looked great doing it.

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 04-24-2016, 04:53 AM
#13
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(04-23-2016, 05:01 PM)Chaddy Wrote: I don't thank anyone can get a straight as sharp as a de or se. If they can i got a few they can try to prove it on.


Probably not but regardless straights shave as well as any aggressive DE with a Feather blade and vintage SEs I have tried. I don't think shaving is about sharpness solely. Generally a straight razor with a good edge gives less irritation than the other two types for some reason. The hard part for a new honer to grasp is that while sharpness is very much needed the trick is to get it to be a "smooth" non irritating sharp. At least it was for me.

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 04-26-2016, 04:23 AM
#14
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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The cartridge  razors tugged on my face from day one, most particularly south to north under my neck. I got horrible irritation, and none of them I ever used felt like they were truly sharp, from day 1.
I can get just as smooth and close with a DE or SE as I can with my straights, but the straights do it with zero irritation. If I do not watch my technique with a DE, and particularly an SE, I will get a bit of irritation. Even if I do, it is much less than with carts, and goes away typically within about 30 minutes. With carts, it was days before I could shave again. YMMV.

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 04-26-2016, 05:11 AM
#15
  • ddk13
  • Senior Member
  • Nebraska
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Anytime I question my traditional wetshaving hobby I wind up purchasing a Gillette cart to remind myself.  My shave with a cart leaves my face feeling like sandpaper.  If I do a couple passes with a cart I get a pretty good irritation going on.  I got into this hobby to save money (hasn't happened).  I stick with this hobby, not only because I enjoy it, but because my DE and SE razors give me a FAR superior shave to that of a cart.

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 04-26-2016, 06:04 AM
#16
  • VTMAX
  • Banned
  • Woodstock, Vermont
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Carts are not ideal on a Monday morning after a weekends growth or for a weeks tree limbs. For everyday shaves or two days growth a Feather MR3 or Schick Hydro cart beats anything made today in regards to 'traditional' shaving. They just do. 

Other than that straights are great but an SE (King Cobra) followed by a DE is where I would rank them. In term is closeness:

Cobra
37c
Fine Slant 
Fatip Gentile
RR Baby Smooth
Wolfman
AS-D2
and various straights 

One to two days growth the Feather or Schick Hydro carts surpass all mentioned above. Carts are great...The I have the heaviest beard can't shave with carts talk is well worn out imo.  

And yes.... It's still wet shaving Smile

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 04-26-2016, 06:34 AM
#17
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I recently tried both the Feather MR3 Neo cart and the Gillette Guard carts for my upcoming cruise. Neither made the cut, pun intended. On one days growth it caused razor bumps which would have led to ingrowns if I kept using it. On 2 days growth it clogged. The Guard was even worse and cut me up something awful while also causing irritation. 

So while the talk you mention of heaviest beards and carts is worn out, I assure you that at least in my situation it is true. If they work for you then great, but to speak blanket statements like that and call experiences like mine into question is myopic. 

I do agree that it is still wet shaving and I have no problem with introducing my friends to brush & soap while they continue using carts. 

Shave on with whatever works.

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 04-26-2016, 07:48 AM
#18
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Its amazing how much less irritation I have gotten since moving away from carts.  I don't mind using one every now and then, but no way they shave me better than a DE setup.

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 04-26-2016, 09:14 AM
#19
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I get far less irritation since I switched to DEs, initially it was worse but the design forced me to learn technique, which has done the trick.

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 04-26-2016, 09:40 AM
#20
  • VTMAX
  • Banned
  • Woodstock, Vermont
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Myopic maybe but every tool I listed above all shave wonderfully including carts.  

The forums for years have railed against carts/P&G. I do think there is some scrambling to defend the cost of traditional wet shaving when one discovers it actually is no cheaper than what they came from. Guess I'm just lucky in that every time I travel the quality carts give me the same results as a DE/SE.

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