01-01-2017, 10:51 AM
#1
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For those who've shaved with both SE or DE Safetys and Straight Razors, I'm curious about the differences in quality of shave between the two.

I get an amazing BBS shave with my Mergress XL and Polsilver SI blades (and several others), but I've never used a straight razor. 

Assuming proper technique and equipment - how comparable a shave can one get with an SR vs. a DE?

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 01-01-2017, 11:57 AM
#2
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They are all very different, I started back in the early 80's with a Military issue DE razor then jumped on the Cart wagon for many years and then electric and back to cart then back to DE  Pancarta

My DE revisit was a Merkur 38C BP which now sits in a drawer as I got caught up in the vintage DE/SE trap and used those for many, many months and somehow got talked into trying a straight and now I use a straight 6 days a week and just use a vintage DE/SE on Sundays with Old Spice, with that being said they are all different and you have to get to know each one, I can actually get a pretty close BBS with a straight in 2-2.5 passes but can't with a DE/SE as I don't use them that much so it all comes down to what you like and what you want to use and get comfortable using, the upkeep on a straight is blown way out of proportion and actually are very easy to maintain all you have to do is strop before each shave 20-30 laps on a piece of leather and it does not have to be a expensive custom strop, you can actually strop on folded newspaper in a pinch, if you strop correctly a properly honed edge can last a long time so all the hype on maintaining one is just hype but you will at some point after say 2-3 months have to have a razor touched up but that can be done pretty cheap with a balsa strop pasted with CrOx. If you are looking to keep things simple and pretty much maintenance free it's better to stick with a razor that you can just drop a fresh blade in every 5-7 shaves but no razor with give you the best shave unless you find out the proper angle to use it and for me a straight makes it easy as the angle is always the same.

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 01-01-2017, 04:16 PM
#3
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only wish i had found the joy of wet shaving much earlier.  tried numerous times and just found i was too shaky now.  the new se's out there with the proper blade do a fine job for me.

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 01-02-2017, 06:33 AM
#4
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I shave DE only. (IMHO) no DE on this planet at this time competes with a well honed straight. Well honed straight razors deliver the closest shave, period.

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 01-02-2017, 07:08 AM
#5
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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+1 Jack

Cheers, Steve

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 01-02-2017, 08:00 AM
#6
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My wet shave journey started with DE's, progressed to SE's and I am now a 95% straight razor guy.  Although I have had fabulous shaves with all varieties of razors nothing compares to a straight razor shave for me when you factor in closeness of shave as well as minimal irritation.  The irritation is a big deal for me as I have a soft/medium beard and sensitive skin.  With straights and proper technique I find close to zero post shave burn with the application of an alum block.

I pulled out a GEM MMOC SE this morning with a fresh blade for a a great shave, which got me to wondering why I switched over to straights.  When I applied the alum block and an alcohol based AS I was reminded that close isn't the same as a close and comfortable shave.

There will always be a variety of DE/SE/SR in my den, but with the exception of being in a hurry (not a good idea with a SR), the Straights are my go to razors.

But hey...thats just me : )

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 01-02-2017, 04:54 PM
#7
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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I use all three.  For straight shaves, I use a Feather AC as I can't find a regular straight that will cut my beard (yes, I know how to keep a straight sharp and have had them honed by the best out there, and still no joy).  Yes, you can get a close smooth shave from all three.  I have found that the shave quality is dependent on the sharpness of the blade and the quality of the prep.  I have a Cobra Classic and have had shaves that are as good as it gets with any razor.  In order of smoothness, I would rate the SR and SE using an AC blade to be very close to each other, while the DE is more irritating than the other two.  I mostly shave with SE razors as I find them the most efficient, comfortable and a quicker shave than a straight.  But if you have the time and have a beard that's not the consistency of copper wire, a straight is a great shave.

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 01-02-2017, 08:05 PM
#8
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Feather AC Pro Super blades in a Feather or Kai straight or an ATT SE2 give me the closest shaves with the least irritation. You can certainly get comparable shaves with the right DE razor+blade combination. The only way to find out what suits you best is to try 'em all. Aaaaa

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 01-02-2017, 08:27 PM
#9
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Have shaved with all three.  Yes, my straight is professionally honed to shave ready perfection.  I can achieve the same perfect BBS shave with any of my DE's as I can the straight.  The DE blade touches the skin.  The straight blade touches the skin.  The straight does not somehow shave below the level of the epidermis and create a "closer" shave.  Once you learn your own personal direction of beard growth and do the passes that accommodate that, combined with the slight skin-stretching techniques that most straight shavers employ,  the results are the same.  The "straight shave is inherently better" is a myth and any professional barber will confirm that.  It just sounds cool to keep repeating it over and over.

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 01-03-2017, 05:04 AM
#10
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You get a closer shave with a straight but DEs are much easier to use and give almost the same results.  Ive got a nice Dovo that Ive been dabbling with but its not a razor that Id want for my daily razor, as straights have much more maintenance and take much more skill to use.  
Theres a reason why they invented safety razors.

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 01-03-2017, 12:37 PM
#11
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Once you have your technique sorted in my case a well honed straight razor is the ultimate shave, not knocking a DE loaded with a Feather blade something like a Mekur 34C with a light touch can deliver a exceptional shave but a straight razor puts it on a slightly higher level for me.

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 01-03-2017, 06:26 PM
#12
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Im reminded how good a straight is after 4 days growth and it still feels like wiping your face with a soft towel....i have an SE for days where my vision is lacking from poor sleep but just never get the stubless results of a straight after 8hrs.

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 01-04-2017, 04:35 AM
#13
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I think alot of it comes down to what you get comfortable using, my son uses a DE razor like 5-6 days a week and a straight the rest of the time and is happy and I use a straight 6 days a week and one of several vintage DE/SE razors on Sunday and am happy. I believe shaves from either camp can give you what you want you just have to unlock the secret of using it and learn to map your hair growth and of course beard prep is also super important.

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 01-04-2017, 09:32 PM
#14
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Thanks for all the input everyone!  Much appreciated.

It sounds like the consensus is that a quality straight edge may have advantages over a good DE setup.

While I'm not ready yet to think about purchasing a new shaving setup, I am sufficiently intrigued to investigate further, definitely.

Again, thanks!

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 01-11-2017, 09:42 AM
#15
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
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I am a SR shaver and have recently developed a craving for DE's, specifically Aristocrats. Yesterday I shaved with a 1947 Anglo-American Rhodium Aristocrat (430-030) made in England using a new Rapira Swedish Steel blade and I had a shave equal to or better than my typical SR shaves. It is my belief that this is one of those YMMV situations so I wouldn't generalize from my results. 

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 04-14-2017, 06:21 PM
#16
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It's kind of like beer...personal preference.
You're going to have those who say DE, some say SR, and others neutral.

Just started SR last June; been wet shaving with a DE for over 20 yrs. I find a straight (when I nail it which is happening more and more each week) does it for me.

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 04-15-2017, 12:48 PM
#17
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Only difference is that shaving with a straight means that I need to be completely awake. My facial hair tends to grow back faster after using a double edge razor. Just as my facial hair comes back even faster after using a mach 3.

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 04-15-2017, 01:29 PM
#18
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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(01-02-2017, 08:00 AM)Newton Wrote: My wet shave journey started with DE's, progressed to SE's and I am now a 95% straight razor guy.  Although I have had fabulous shaves with all varieties of razors nothing compares to a straight razor shave for me when you factor in closeness of shave as well as minimal irritation.  The irritation is a big deal for me as I have a soft/medium beard and sensitive skin.  With straights and proper technique I find close to zero post shave burn with the application of an alum block.

I pulled out a GEM MMOC SE this morning with a fresh blade for a a great shave, which got me to wondering why I switched over to straights.  When I applied the alum block and an alcohol based AS I was reminded that close isn't the same as a close and comfortable shave.

There will always be a variety of DE/SE/SR in my den, but with the exception of being in a hurry (not a good idea with a SR), the Straights are my go to razors.

But hey...thats just me : )

What type of grind works best for you?  I have sensitive skin and had lots of irritation when I started learning how to use a straight.  I ended giving it up but still have a lingering interest.

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 04-15-2017, 03:17 PM
#19
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
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I shave with both and can honestly say a straight shave is the closest shave I can get. After 400 straight shaves I expect a BBS shave every time. My razors have only been honed once, I maintain the edges using two strops. My safety razors are amazing shavers and will give me a BBS shave as well. The straight shaves just last longer and are my preferred shave tools.

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 04-15-2017, 04:21 PM
#20
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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A well honed straight is the best, no irritation, redness, razor burn, EVER. Alcohol AS feels like water, and as doc47 says, the shaves last a long time.

Cheers, Steve

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