03-17-2017, 09:02 AM
#1
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Are there other members who, like me, got off the hardware and software train some time ago, and own only 1 brush, 1 razor and 1 soap?

I have one rule - something comes in = something goes out. The major thing that gets changed these days is my soap. I generally try a new one when a tub finishes. 

The minimalist wet shaver, if you will.

One of the beauties of only owning 1 razor, 1 brush and 1 soap is you can pretty much buy what you like. Most folk who are in this hobby spend well over $500 on multiple items pretty quickly - I know I did when I got into it seriously a few years ago - whereas it is hard to spend $500 on just 3 items unless you really try. 

The other benefit of a minimal approach is that the only variable day to day is you - which focuses one's attention on preparation and technique. In consequence, I find that my shaves get better and better as time goes on. Which, after 35 years at the basin, is no small achievement. 

I'm interested if anyone else has, like me, found happiness in a simpler approach which has less daily choice?

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 03-17-2017, 09:06 AM
#2
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(03-17-2017, 09:02 AM)Andrew George Wrote: Are there other members who, like me, got off the hardware and software train some time ago, and own only 1 brush, 1 razor and 1 soap?

Not this guy.  Tongue

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 03-17-2017, 09:49 AM
#3
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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Earlier this year I was in transit. Nearly all my gear was in storage. I used one razor (Weber), one soap, one brush. It was "ok."
When I was able to unpack and regain a brush and soap rotation/selection, I was a more contented shaver.

To each his own...

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 03-17-2017, 11:37 AM
#4
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When I started this hobby I took a minimalist approach, I started with excellent gear. Cobra Classic, MDC and Simpson Duke 3. Used this setup for about 6 month and then only changed Soap to XPEC and for the brush used a Romera and kept using the cobra for another 6 month!
You are a 100% right about technique, keeping the variables to minimum and using the same setup for long periods of time PERFECTS technique. Cool thing about that too once you change any parameter such as blade, soap or whatever you can immediately tell if it's superior or inferior to your go to product. This have allowed me to pinpoint exactly what I enjoy about certain products and which ones to chase.
Now I am not as much of a minimalist but not awful Smile 9 brushes, 5 soaps, 2 razors, 3 balms and 4 splashes!
Like you I only buy new soap when one of the 5 is consumed and honestly once I am done with the ones I have, I am only going to use SMN and MDC fougere.
At one point I was trying to stick to the rule of "3's" - can only have 3 of each piece of gear.. for the most part I stuck to it but with brushes I failed miserably. I keep saying I'll sell one when I get that new brush but end up keeping both until out of nowhere I had 15 of them and reduced it to the 9 I absolutely enjoy

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 03-17-2017, 11:42 AM
#5
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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Oh well...
I just counted that I went through about 160 brushes in the past 5 years.
I kept 55.
I am still buying (and selling).
It is fun!

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 03-17-2017, 11:43 AM
#6
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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On the positive side: I have only one razor ... Mach 3  Biggrin

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 03-17-2017, 12:10 PM
#7
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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I'm fairly minimal.  I have 3 razors, 2 brushes, 1 soap, and 1 cream.  I mainly use 1 razor, but it's nice to switch it up from time to time.

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 03-17-2017, 02:52 PM
#8
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(03-17-2017, 09:02 AM)Andrew George Wrote: Are there other members who, like me, got off the hardware and software train some time ago, and own only 1 brush, 1 razor and 1 soap?

One of the beauties of only owning 1 razor, 1 brush and 1 soap is you can pretty much buy what you like. Most folk who are in this hobby spend well over $500 on multiple items pretty quickly - I know I did when I got into it seriously a few years ago - whereas it is hard to spend $500 on just 3 items unless you really try. 

I'm interested if anyone else has, like me, found happiness in a simpler approach which has less daily choice?

For about 25 years, I used one brush (a Vulfix 2234S Super Badger) and one soap (Col. Ichabod Conk Amber) with a succession of cartridge razors, one at a time.  

Timing is everything, though:   three years ago at this time, my brother-in-law in Japan wore out his shaving brush fairly close to the time that we were going to visit his family, so, as omiyage, I purchased a new brush (just like mine) to give him when we went there.  Of course, I did some research before making the purchase, and — although I did end up buying a Vulfix Super Badger for him — my interest was piqued by the then-novel Mühle STF v2 synthetics just coming onto the market, and curiosity “made” me buy one to experiment with as soon as we returned home.  That in turn spurred a spurt of acquisitions of several soaps . . . and one DE razor, a Standard Razors razor.   After that initial spurt, the urge to buy recessed to background level, however, and, even three years later, the majority of the seven or eight soaps in my cabinet date from that 2014 spurt.  

Totally agree with the idea that there is greater satisfaction than one gets from mere acquisitions of new gear in simply taking the tools one already has and devoting one’s energies to making those tools outperform their previously best performances, with ever higher goals.

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 03-18-2017, 04:03 AM
#9
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Thanks for the replies - it is really interesting to me to hear different folk's perspectives and experiences. 

@German - 160 brushes in 5 years? now that is some serious collecting.....good for you. 

I agree with this from Snowman:


Quote:Cool thing about that too once you change any parameter such as blade, soap or whatever you can immediately tell if it's superior or inferior to your go to product.


and this from Mel


Quote:there is greater satisfaction than one gets from mere acquisitions of new gear in simply taking the tools one already has and devoting one’s energies to making those tools outperform their previously best performances, with ever higher goals

That is exactly how I feel.


FWIW:

My big spend this year is an ATT SE1 to add to my S1. Same handle - a Kronos - for both, of course. Yet to try it. I like ATT product and Stan's way of doing things - thoughtful and purposed. 

I use MdC Fougere. It is a lovely soap with a wonderful scent. 

I find the whole experience shopping at MdC is enjoyable: there is real joy is receiving a beautifully packed and presented product from a company that cares about what they do. 

Incidentally if you haven't tried the MdC bath soaps and shampoos I can recommend them. They are, in my opinion, first rate. The Camomile Shampoo is really lovely. Out of stock at the moment, unfortunately. 

If you are contemplating it, may I suggest the smaller  "guest" size soaps - easier to use and last just long enough for the scent to remain strong. Small thing, but a treat.

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 03-18-2017, 04:11 AM
#10
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(03-17-2017, 11:42 AM)German Wrote: Oh well...
I just counted that I went through about 160 brushes in the past 5 years.
I kept 55.
I am still buying (and selling).
It is fun!

thank god I am not alone in this! Now I need to convince my wife...when I got to 55 soaps she let me know it was time.

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 03-18-2017, 06:44 AM
#11
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I'm pretty far from minimalistic - but have moved past the acquisition phase, and am squarely in the 'only buy, keep, and use' products that work excellently for me.

I hit my personal limit on soaps and aftershaves a while back. PIF'd and sold some, and only have purchased replacements for my favorites when on sale via the BST for a good price. Else, I'm down to using up the stock I have - and have made great progress. There are only a couple of splashes I'd re-buy, and my personal favorite list of balms is down to three that are eligible for repurchase. If you want to use a soap quickly, grab a 2-band with good backbone and use Merkur-man's 'build the lather on the puck' method; you'll chew through that soap (and get great shaves in the process!)

I have grown my brush collection subtly and with good restraint - added a few somewhat less-common brushes (paladin, M&F, custom Shavemac), sold a few. In my meager inventory, there is only one item that doesn't see regular, loving use: a travel synthetic. I keep it for obvious reasons.

My single razor (an ATT H1 on a UFO grand titan L) now has a friend - an ATT SE1 head, which I'm enjoying. No plans to expand further.

Blades are similarly tame: about 90 GSB's, and 40 SE's: feather pro's & pro supers.

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 03-18-2017, 07:17 AM
#12
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I think I reach the point where I try not to buy anymore (last think I bought Rockwell 6 months ago and since then nothing).
I collect so many staff that I have problem to keep it. From start I was trying to find out what is the best for me and after 4 years I think I got it.

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 03-18-2017, 08:14 AM
#13
  • Tokyospike
  • Artist's Club Recruiter
  • New York City
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I only started traditional shaving 8 months ago, and in all that time I've only had one razor and one brush. i came up with a medium-sized list of soaps and aftershaves I wanted to try, and by the time we got through Christmas, I had them all. So except for some shaving cream samples, all has been calm sailing this year. But . . .

My excellent razor is a satin B3 Mongoose, and I don't regret that decision for a moment. Still, I can't help wanting to experience/experiment with DE blades. For the last month, I've been researching what would be the DE partner for the SE -- the answer obviously is Wolfman, but that's a long wait for a train don't come. Considered Timeless. In the end, I got an ATT R1 Atlas off the bay at a reasonable price, and it arrives Tuesday.

I feel like my minimalist cred is in danger, but I doubt there are anymore purchases save blades in store for months to come.

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 03-22-2017, 08:56 PM
#14
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I've never had a huge hardware issue. Only a total of three razors, one of which I sold, and two razors (one natural one synthetci).

Software though, even though I have my favorites, I keep trying new things. I'm up to 35 soaps/creams including duplicates and 12 aftershaves, but I am trying to trade instead of purchase these days. Sooner or later if I don't find a trade I'll buy Mike's & CRSW.

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 03-23-2017, 02:04 AM
#15
  • I.P.
  • Junior Member
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Μy rule is finish what you have started and I use one synthetic brush and one razor. Minimizing my shave den is going to be a long process, but I'll be in your shoes a few years from now.

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 03-23-2017, 11:27 AM
#16
  • Quando
  • Banned
  • Somewhere far-away, from Home
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I have been weeding out the unneeded, and, trying to limit myself to one of each type of thing, ever since I read that one thread, on this site, about only having one set-up for the rest of your life. 

So, yeah,  I have narrowed down everything to just one for each product category.  

I am satisfied with everything, except the soap.  If Taylor of Old Bond Street made an unscented hard soap, it would be the natural choice.

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 03-25-2017, 06:42 AM
#17
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Hi guys!

But, but, but... I thought i was a minimalist! I only have 10 straights, 2 SE, 10 DE, 20 soaps and creams, 10 brushes, 4 pre shaves, 6 balms, and i don't know how many after shaves, but not thaaat many!  Its only about five million combos!  The fact that our dear friend snowman has only about a thousand makes me jealous.  So, he is not only a minimalist.  He is stoic!

Therefore, Andy is not only a stoic minimalist, he is a saint!  And of course, Quando is a tibetan monk, on his way to sainthood.  jeje...

Posting another thread.  I don't want do derail this one.  

Best regards,

Pepe Peña

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 03-25-2017, 12:27 PM
#18
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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I am no minimalist, but I applaud your discipline.  I am not entering my 20th attempt of completing my acquisition phase-only took about 11 years.  In the last two months I have spent over $1000 USD on brushes alone, with a few new soaps and some splashes.  This madness must end.

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 03-26-2017, 02:28 AM
#19
  • Nonick
  • Straight razor
  • Australia
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I went through the usual acquisition phase because of the huge variety of choices available in wet shaving. After a while it's narrowed down as favourites and preferences are established.

I have a 7 day set of straights I've collected over the years. Otherwise 2 brushes, 2 soaps and 2 splashes provides me with enough variety now.

I generally tire of a scent before the soap finishes, and sell it on if i want something new. Soaps are so cheap - considering they really last a long time.

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 03-26-2017, 04:13 AM
#20
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Close. One soap. Three razors. One brush. One aftershave.

Castle Forbes Lime
2 x Mongoose (one is a backup)
1 x B&R adjustable DE
Thater brush (same brush for five years)
Poraso AS
Feather blades across the board

I sorted through a lot to get to this point, including many of the coveted items on this forum - One Blade, Black Bird (up for sale soon), ATT SE, other ATT DE. I wouldn't know what to do with 5, let alone 55 brushes. Or soaps.

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