04-26-2016, 01:38 PM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
Yr obdnt srvnt has shaved since some indeterminate date (the date is between 1956 and 1958); for the first ten or twelve years of that time, with a Ronson (rebadged Braun) electric razor, and — since August 7, 1968, a day that changed my life in much more important ways than this one — “wet” shaving with a human-powered blade (initially, a Pal Adjustable injector).  My first wet shaves were with Noxzema aerosol shave cream, of which, to this day, I have used a grand total of one (1) can; VERY soon thereafter, I purchased a drugstore boar brush (I still have the box it was packaged in, and it was a Vulfix) and  a puck of Williams shave soap, and I have shaved only with real prep ever since.

Then, two years ago this week, on April 30, 2014, never having even held any double-edge razor in my hand, I ordered (on line from the direct source) a then very new in the marketplace Standard Razors razor, to begin a “one-year” (my estimate at the time) trial of DE shaving, sufficient to allow me to make the trial analytic and fair, so as to give DE shaving every chance to prove itself against my standard at the time, a Schick Hydro3 cartridge razor, which was the latest in a series of cartridge razors — commencing with the Wilkinson Bonded Blade “system”— that I had used since early in the 197os.  The date that the Standard Razors razor arrived at my door (packaged with one (1) Astra blade) was sometime in the first week of May 2014.  In the meantime, I had ordered 25 (five 5-packs) Gillette Silver Blue blades, which arrived here a day or two after the razor arrived.   (I did not use the Astra blade until I had used about a dozen of the Silver Blue blades.)

So, about a week short of two years after both razor and blade first were in my hands, the “one-year” trial is over, and the verdict is that I am going to stick with a DE razor as my primary hardware going forward.

My personal hardware has evolved; nine months in (January 2015), I added an iKon DLC Slant head and a Maggard MR5 handle; nine months after that, I invested much more that I ever had dreamed that I ever would spend on a Feather AS-D2 razor, which has turned out to be a bargain even at its (high) price; the Standard Razors razor since has found a home in the Philippines, and the iKon Slant/Maggard MR5 razor does not get much use now that I have seen what the AS-D2 can do.  Along the way, when I was on a trip in Japan, I picked up a Feather MR3 neo cartridge razor, and, as I often travel by air with only carry-on luggage, the MR3 neo has displaced the Schick Hydro3 as my travel razor.   In all honesty, I have never had a closer shave, even one administered by a barber, than the shaves that the MR3 neo gives me (but shaving with the Feather AS-D2 is more fun).

The 25 Gillette Silver Blue blades all have been used up, and I do not anticipate ever getting any more.  Similarly, early on, I purchased two 10-packs of Wizamet packaged Iridium Supers (as labeled on the boxes; the blades inside the boxes were labeled “Super Iridium”); I have used those up, also, and I do not anticipate ever getting any more.  A 5-pack of Super-Max blades were a throw-in gift from Greg Kahn when I purchased the iKon Slant head; I do not anticipate ever paying real money for any more Super-Max blades.  Another vendor threw in an Astra blade, identical to the blade that came with the Standard Razors razor, with a shipment; I used both Astras, and I do not anticipate ever purchasing any more.  Somebody threw in a Personna Super “made in USA” blade into a shipment of something else; halfway through the terrible first shave with the Personna, I replaced it with a different blade, and no Personna blade ever will find its way into any razor of mine again.  A 5-pack of St. Petersburg Gillette Platinums were quite good, but pricey, and if I am going to go pricey, I am going to go with KAI blades.   I bought ten Kai blades, and loved them; I have bought (but not yet used) a lot more KAIs.  I have gone through two 5-packs of Rapira Swedish Supersteel Blades; they are an amazing bargain, and I do not forswear the possibility of purchasing more in the future.  I have used the five Feather Hi-Stainless blades that came with the AS-D2; I have bought some more to extend my evaluation of the Feathers head-to-head against the KAI blades; but I expect — based upon the KAI blades that I already have used — the KAI blades will win the contest with the Feathers.   Having finished using the last Rapira Supersteel blade from Moscow, my entire inventory of DE blades comprises only Japanese blades:  KAIs and Feathers.  The our varieties of blades from the Gillette PPI facility, and the Rapira blades from Moscow, all were good, and some were very good, but in the end the outcome of the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 presaged the verdict on my face:  やっぱり 日本製  の ブレエド  は  いい よ。

I opened up my blade bank this morning and took a hasty photo of every DE blade that has ever been in a razor in my hand:  

[Image: KUiwcEw.jpg]

So how has your journey progressed?

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 04-26-2016, 01:49 PM
#2
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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My journey:  Before Shave Nook, and After Shave Nook.  Biggrin


Before SN - 3 and 5 blade cartridge systems for 20 years, followed by 3 years with a Merkur 34C, B&B LE Blonde Boar, TOBS and Tabac.

After SN - Merkur 34C, Mergress, King Cobra, BBS-1, Ralf Aust, Mastro Livi, Filarmonica, Simpson, Shavemac, Paladin, B&B Boar, Vie Long, TOBS, Tabac, ABC, MDC, Nuavia, Castle Forbes, MWF, etc. etc. etc.!!!  LoL

Eric

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 04-26-2016, 02:10 PM
#3
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(04-26-2016, 01:49 PM)EricM Wrote: My journey:  Before Shave Nook, and After Shave Nook.  Biggrin


Before SN - 3 and 5 blade cartridge systems for 20 years, followed by 3 years with a Merkur 34C, B&B LE Blonde Boar, TOBS and Tabac.

After SN - Merkur 34C, Mergress, King Cobra, BBS-1, Ralf Aust, Mastro Livi, Filarmonica, Simpson, Shavemac, Paladin, B&B Boar, Vie Long, TOBS, Tabac, ABC, MDC, Nuavia, Castle Forbes, MWF, etc. etc. etc.!!!  LoL

Eric

Just keep repeating to yourself Eric that you are saving ton's of money by not buying those cartridges.

If you swirl your Simpson's three times in a jar of MdC and repeat those words it will come true!

Biggrin

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 04-26-2016, 02:25 PM
#4
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
User Info
(04-26-2016, 02:10 PM):DAzpatriot66 Wrote:
(04-26-2016, 01:49 PM)EricM Wrote: My journey:  Before Shave Nook, and After Shave Nook.  Biggrin


Before SN - 3 and 5 blade cartridge systems for 20 years, followed by 3 years with a Merkur 34C, B&B LE Blonde Boar, TOBS and Tabac.

After SN - Merkur 34C, Mergress, King Cobra, BBS-1, Ralf Aust, Mastro Livi, Filarmonica, Simpson, Shavemac, Paladin, B&B Boar, Vie Long, TOBS, Tabac, ABC, MDC, Nuavia, Castle Forbes, MWF, etc. etc. etc.!!!  LoL

Eric

Just keep repeating to yourself Eric that you are saving ton's of money by not buying those cartridges.

If you swirl your Simpson's three times in a jar of MdC and repeat those words it will come true!

Biggrin

Lol!!  The more I repeat it the more it makes sense!  Biggrin

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 04-26-2016, 07:35 PM
#5
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(04-26-2016, 01:49 PM)EricM Wrote: My journey:  Before Shave Nook, and After Shave Nook.  Biggrin


Before SN - 3 and 5 blade cartridge systems for 20 years, followed by 3 years with a Merkur 34C, B&B LE Blonde Boar, TOBS and Tabac.

After SN - Merkur 34C, Mergress, King Cobra, BBS-1, Ralf Aust, Mastro Livi, Filarmonica, Simpson, Shavemac, Paladin, B&B Boar, Vie Long, TOBS, Tabac, ABC, MDC, Nuavia, Castle Forbes, MWF, etc. etc. etc.!!!  LoL

Eric

Magnificent progression, Eric! Thumbup

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 04-26-2016, 08:30 PM
#6
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I might take a can opener to my blade bank whenever it gets full.

I'm thinking it's been four years ago that I first put one in it. 

I used carts for years, usually with a brush and puck of soap.

In 2007 or early 2008 I bought an Edwin Jagger online.

In 2009 I started poking around eBay and various shaving forums.

Since then I've stuck with DE shaving most of the time. I really enjoy injectors, but don't use mine often.

I've owned and tried just about every kind of vintage Gillette and most of the non-Gillette vintage DE razors I've ever heard of or come across. Keeping one or two of some models and selling many, gifting some. I've tried and owned many modern DE razors and a few SE too. Tried a straight, but knew that I wouldn't have the time to enjoy it.

My vintage journey turned my attention to soaps. I've amassed a few pucks of this and that. Some of my absolute favorites are vintage out of production tallow soaps.

My love of vintage lead me to double down on DE blades. I've got a stash of Spoilers and Schicks that I hope to live long enough to enjoy. I also like Kai and some off brand vintage blades too. By far Spoilers are my favorite daily blade.

From the time I started shaving as a young man I used a boar brush most of the time. A can of Barbasol was always then, and now in my arsenal. Brush and soap was my preference though. 

I bought a Chubby in 2009 and traded it for a Persian Jar shortly after. Used the Persian Jar and a Semogue in natural bristle in a texugo handle pretty exclusivity as a two brush rotation. Leaning heavily on the badger most of the time. 

Shortly before last Christmas I broadened my horizons with brushes and think I'm set until my name comes up for a Varlet which I intend to be my final brush acquisition. In the last six months I've picked up a dozen plus brushes in various brands and styles. A horse hair, a synthetic, and many different badgers.

Looking forward to trying the OneBlade during the pass around, but have a hard time thinking I'll like it enough to invest in one.

Earlier this year I got fortunate with the generosity of a fellow Nooker to acquire a Wolfman. Recently received a Barbaros as well. Haven't used another razor besides these two since.

Razors, blades, soaps I'm set. Happy to try a new soap here or there but don't need to buy for any reason other than curiosity now.

One more brush.

I feel I've explored everything currently available that interests me and am finally content that the grass is greenest on my side of the fence.

I've still got my Edwin Jagger. Holding on to a few vintage razors and will shave with them occasionally as I do enjoy some of them quite a bit. Some, like my BRW handled ones are just special to me.

In the last seven plus years of using safety razors I've had a blast trying new things, old things, and finding what works best for me. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to try many different things for myself. Have met and spoke with many fine people who also enjoy the hobby too. 

If I were to have done anything differently, I may have tried a nicer brush earlier. I love that Persian Jar, but I am enjoying some of my new brushes and kind of got caught up with blinders on searching for the perfect razor for far too long before looking into other aspects of the shave I could have been exploring too.

I am gearing up to pair things down now. Going to be tough to decide what stays and what goes. Mostly razors. Probably a couple of brushes. At the end of the day I'm going to try and let the things that I don't actually use go to new homes. No intentions of going the minimalist route. Just time to crown the Kings of my den and let the rest move on to be enjoyed rather than set in a drawer not being appreciated.

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