07-25-2012, 09:11 AM
#1
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Despite my somewhat funny tagline in the header of my blog, traditional wetshaving can be had on the cheap without sacrificing much in the way of quality. To prove it, here is one suggestion for a starter kit costing less than 10$ from my favourite Turkish web-shop, consisting of items I have tried and enjoyed myself. I know this will not be the best possible set-up for a newbie - but I think it'll be hard to beat the price/performance curve on it.

- A Racer razor, which is a good if slightly aggressive razor - 3.75$
- A Turkish No6 horse hair brush, which makes up in performance what it lacks in quality - 2.45$
- A tube Arko shaving cream, which lathers easily and abundantly - 2.49$
- Ten Shark Super Chrome DE blades, which I've found to shave rather well in the Racer razor - 0.85$

Total cost as listed is a whooping 9.54$! In addition an newbie wetshaver might want to borrow a bowl from the kitchen for lathering in - unless s/he wants to make lather directly on the skin - and perhaps an aftershave or balm.

I could have suggested the Dalan d'Men shaving cream instead which retails for 24 cents less than the Arko cream, or even the 1.75$ Arko stick. But I have no experience with the former, and the later is one of those you either love or hate and as such may not be a good choice for a beginner.

In addition I would suggest that someone who is just taking up traditional wetshaving spend some time online, checking out the multitude of wetshaving blogs and forums that have sprung up the last few years. I can also recommend picking up a copy of Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving, even if that book costs as much as my suggested shaving kit.

With a kit like this, and a steady hand, a fresh wetshaver can get about eight to ten weeks worth of traditional wetshaving under their belt before needing to stock up on more supplies - and when they need more they'll need just more blades and perhaps more shaving cream. The razor and brush will last forever, if taken care of - at the very least the razor and brush will last until the time comes to replace them with more expensive, higher quality gear.

Comments? Other suggestions?

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 07-25-2012, 09:33 AM
#2
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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The starter gear you have listed is perfect for a beginner wet shaver. Even an experienced shaver would like the Racer razor, horsehair brush and Arko creams.

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 07-25-2012, 10:12 AM
#3
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Hans, great suggestion for a starter kit. It is a great price to pay to experiment with wet-shaving.

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 07-25-2012, 12:13 PM
#4
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Hans, thanks for taking the time to consider the beginning wet shavers here at The Shave Nook. I just got done looking at one of our other threads where members were commenting about how much they enjoyed TSN. Your post here is a perfect example as to why. Again, thank you. Thumbsup

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 07-25-2012, 03:45 PM
#5
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This is what I really like about The Nook, members don't just pass up on a decently priced, good value product calling it cheap and assuming that it would be a sub-standard product.

Great write-up Hans! Nice recommendations.

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 07-28-2012, 11:22 AM
#6
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I've not tried the Racer razor, but it sound interesting. I may pick one for that price..

For those that are put off by "slightly aggressive," The Lord L6 is a mild but effective metal 3 piece DE. Sells for about $13US. Obviously busts the cost limit, but may be a consideration for those that need a milder razor.

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 07-28-2012, 12:06 PM
#7
  • Notary
  • Member
  • Montreal, Quebec
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Your kit sounds very interesting. Would it be possible for you to forward the contact information of the Turkish website to procure the items. Thanks and Happy Shaving. Sam.

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 07-28-2012, 12:56 PM
#8
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(07-28-2012, 12:06 PM)Notary Wrote: Your kit sounds very interesting. Would it be possible for you to forward the contact information of the Turkish website to procure the items. Thanks and Happy Shaving. Sam.

bestshave.net - no relation other than being a satisfied customer.

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 07-29-2012, 07:47 AM
#9
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Great starter gear, but I'd go with the Arko shave stick over the cream.Biggrin

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 07-31-2012, 07:18 AM
#10
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The problem with a kit so cheap is newbies may not have a good experience with such a low quality kit and be turned off to the idea of a DE

For people starting out, I suggest a Merkur 23C razor and a VDH kit. it may cost around $30 for the kit, but it is one that you can really experience a DE with.

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 07-31-2012, 07:52 AM
#11
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Actually sounds like a fine travel kit as well

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 07-31-2012, 08:25 AM
#12
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A very nice list, Hans. My only hesitation would be the recommendation of the Turk No. 6 brush because of the variability in quality from brush to brush. I know you've had good luck with yours, but as I posted on your review thread, the hairs on my Turk would pull away to the outside, leaving a large cavity to deal with. If the new shaver were to get a brush like you have, then all is well. If they get one like I had, then they may not be happy with it. Then again, my old Turk No. 6 could get the job done, in spite of its quirks.

I'm glad you didn't recommend the Yuma razor. I tossed mine after finding that the blade alignment was very uneven. One side was mild, the other side was violent.

You mentioned the Dalen D'men. I have the Sensitive version and this is a fantastic cream.

I like your idea of building a starter kit around a certain price cap. It would be interesting to see what one could assemble for $20, or $30, or $50.

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 07-31-2012, 08:34 AM
#13
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(07-31-2012, 07:52 AM)MichaelD Wrote: Actually sounds like a fine travel kit as well

That WAS my travel kit last week on vacation: Racer razor, Turkish No. 6 brush, Arko stick. Only difference was a Racer blade. Did not feel in the least bit deprived, and I use a lot of gear orders of magnitude more expensive.

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 07-31-2012, 11:20 AM
#14
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(07-31-2012, 07:18 AM)AbsoluteMustard Wrote: The problem with a kit so cheap is newbies may not have a good experience with such a low quality kit and be turned off to the idea of a DE.
One of my goals when I assembled the list was to show that good kit can be had on the cheap - using things I've tried myself. While the Racer and the No6 won't last as long as a Merkur and a VDH, they are both of surprisingly good quality given the price and will give you a good shave.

The jump from 10 to 30 dollars may seem small.. but for some people that might be twenty dollars they can't justify spending on something new.

(07-31-2012, 08:25 AM)5Savages Wrote: I'm glad you didn't recommend the Yuma razor. I tossed mine after finding that the blade alignment was very uneven. One side was mild, the other side was violent.
The Yuma is a fun razor, but not something for a beginner to play with in my opinion. I'm very happy I got one though, even if I have to pay close attention to the blade putting it in.

(07-31-2012, 08:25 AM)5Savages Wrote: I like your idea of building a starter kit around a certain price cap. It would be interesting to see what one could assemble for $20, or $30, or $50.
Sounds like a fun thing one could do almost as a competition... the problem would be that since YMMV, it's impossible to pick a winner.
Well, we would all win really - learning about what others think are the best kit for a set price.

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 11-08-2012, 03:42 PM
#15
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Great thread! I may buy this kit for my cousin to introduce him to wetshaving. Also, checked out bestshave.net and will be ordering a few items from there for myself.

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