08-19-2012, 03:21 PM
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Hi there!

I am of course not new to shaving (I am in my late 40's), but in many ways I do feel like a newbie.

As far as I can remember I have been using cartridge-style shavers, but always fighting with razor burn, cuts, and ingrown hairs, so for the last 10+ years I have been using electric shavers of various brands trying to find the "elusive" one (the one shaver to rule them all?). Second most recent brand was the Braun, and the most recent (for the last 3+ years, the high-end wet Panasonics (ES-LA63 and ES-LA93). These Panasonics I have been primarily been using in the shower, most specially since I started shaving my head 2 years ago.

I have been getting tired of the high cost of the replacement blade/cutters/screens/cleaning kits for the Braun/Panasonic, and although I was getting a lot less razor burn with the electrics, the ingrown hair problem is still there. In fact, I started with the Panasonic ES-LA93, but the replacement blade/screen was so expensive that it was just a little bit more to buy the ES-LA63 on special, which is why I have both.

So the cost and in-grown hairs got me started into "the next shaving option", which got me looking into the straight razors. I am however an engineer (my lovely wife says it is like a curse!), so I do a lot of reading/research before I dive-in into anything new. I loved the many potential benefits of the straight razor, but the more I read about the maintenance and the more I watched videos about them, I decided I am not willing to spend time with the honing/stropping, so I decided to focus on the DE safety razor instead. It seems that the preparation was key to both, but the simplicity of the DE blades won over.

I found many posts/web sites over the last 2-4 weeks, and watched many videos on youtube as well. I then got "lucky" to run into the Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving (Michael Ham), and bought the book on Amazon.

Based on recommendations from the various sources, I ordered my first ever DE, a Edwin Jagger DE89L-BL, a local (Wally Word) "Premium" shaving kit, and ordered the "recommended" Omega 643167 Artificial Badger Shave brush (which has not arrived yet, so I am using the "cheap" brush that came with the premium kit). I also got a pack of Wilkinson blades at Wally World.

Since I read the book before starting, I knew about the need to do the preparation routine, the importance of a light pressure, studied how the grain my face is oriented, etc., so I had some mental preparation - the videos from youtube helped a lot here. Of course I still need lots of experience in setting the right angle, but I understand the concept of the 3x passes to gradually cut the hair down.

First shave, I took it really easy. It was weird to lather after each pass - something I never done before - no doubt a reason for my earlier problems with other shaving types/systems. I can tell how smoother the razor moves when there is a lubrication layer there. I know I don't know shi& about this stuff yet, and no reference point as to make a statement objectively, but I am "not" impressed with the cheap shaving brush that came with the "Premium" kit. Maybe it is also the cheap shaving soap - I don't know, but I am most definitely looking forward to the Omega brush!

I did not try for a super smooth shave - just tried not to bleed to death!. And so I finished, without a single cut, nor razor burn. True, it was not as close as a shave as I can get from the Panasonic ES-LA93, but not bad. I felt good and relieved to survive with no blood/redness - I was very happy when I finished rinsing my face, and applying my alcohol-free after shave that I like.

So the next morning (today, Sunday), I went for my second shave. This time I was a little bit more confident, and (mistakenly) tried to go for a closer shave. Yup, I got a small nick, and a small razor burn on my upper lip. Nothing bad, not too much blood at all, but it was a good wake-up call about needing to take it easier as I learn more and develop proper technique - I am sure my angle of not quite "there" yet. I need more practice.

I don't know if it is just bad beguiner's technique, but so far (2 shaves) I don't like these Wilkinson blades - they don't seem to slice the hair as easily as I expected after watching the youtube videos. I will of course try a little longer, before trying the Dixie blades that came with the EJ-DE89. I went ahead and ordered a DE sample pack to later try to find a blade that works better, although I know I have to wait and be patient - it is way too early to be changing blades when I still don't know what the heck I am doing.

All in all, I think I am "hooked" into the DE word now. The preparation with the cleaning, warm water, and of course lather before every pass made a huge difference. But I travel a lot, and since the TSA does not allow safety blades in carry-on (90% of my trips are always carry-on only, so no chance to check-in extra stuff), so after researching again for a couple more hours, I ordered a Gillette Guard razor/cartridge, which I plan on using while traveling as I "do" want to stick with the single blade concept for my shaving needs.

For my head, I will wait a little bit longer, and keep using the Panasonic, since it is relatively easy to shave my head in the shower with the Panasonic, but eventually, I would love to use a DE, or the Gillette Guard, or some other "low risk" option for my head.

I am also "very" intrigued about using a comb-style DE razor, and/or eventually a slant head as my 2nd razor, but of course I first have to master the EJ-DE89 before I try anything else.

Sorry for the long first post - lost of things I wanted to convey, all bottled up until now. I waited for over a week to post until I had the first hand experience with the EJ-DE89.

Thanks for the great tutorials, guides, reviews, etc. I look forward to learning more Smile


0 90
 08-19-2012, 03:39 PM
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Will, welcome to The Shave Nook. There is a wealth of information on here. Never hesitate to ask a question as someone on here has surely been there and done that.

Big D was my home for 40-years before I moved up here to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. We still try to get down once a year if possible to visit with relations and friends.

180 24,590
 08-19-2012, 03:39 PM
  • krissy
  • Active Member
  • Cando, North Dakota
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Welcome to the NooK Will, it's a great place to hang out. There are a lot of guys here who can give you some help, suggestions and whanot if it's needed. Enjoy the ride!

7 405
 08-19-2012, 03:44 PM
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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89 7,215
 08-19-2012, 04:19 PM
  • Triad
  • Triad Razor Handles
  • Texas
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Welcome and Enjoy!!

118 1,714
 08-19-2012, 04:20 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

213 12,569
 08-19-2012, 04:20 PM
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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Welcome Will.

116 3,804
 08-19-2012, 04:27 PM
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
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Welcome Aboard the Nook!

9 1,684
 08-19-2012, 04:53 PM
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Jump on in, the water's fine!

48 19,273
 08-19-2012, 05:02 PM
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Welcome to The Shave Nook, Will, and enjoy your stay. Smile

If you have questions please ask them. Someone here will do his/her best to answer.

As for Wally World's Wilkinson blades, they are not universally loved so you are not alone there. Getting the sampler pack was a great idea. The blade is the one thing that is easy to switch, even while you are still looking for that perfect razor angle. There are a lot of good blade choices out there and plenty of bad ones, too, and no one seems to agree on which are good and which are bad. That is something you will easily be able to determine for yourself.

Again, Welcome to TSN and we're glad you're here. Thumbsup

2 11,211
 08-19-2012, 05:46 PM
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Welcome, Will! I have fond memories of growing up outside of Dallas. Glad to have you hear.

48 1,269
 08-19-2012, 05:51 PM
  • biggiej42
  • Looney for Rooney
  • Stony Point, NY
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Welcome to the nook Will!

9 408
 08-19-2012, 06:04 PM
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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Welcome to the Nook!

45 3,955
 08-19-2012, 07:33 PM
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Welcome! Glad to have ya, tell your friends Biggrin

88 4,233
 08-19-2012, 07:51 PM
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Hi Will, welcome to TSN!

101 18,029
 08-20-2012, 04:27 AM
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Hello and welcome! Cool

2 5,556
 08-20-2012, 01:51 PM
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Thanks much for the warm welcome Biggrin

Probably too early to change, but I wanted to see/feel if the first Wilkinson blade was a fluke, so I put in a new Wilkinson blade, and today I had my 3rd shave. No Difference blade-wise - still seems like too much work to cut/slice my facial hear. I remember that cartridge/disposable shavers never lasted long, so maybe my beard is kind of hard on blades?

Today I concentrated more on the angle, and things went well - just a couple of very small nicks. I am starting to feel what is the right angle, so today was more enjoyable, and I was less afraid of getting cut. The area on my chin seems to be hard to shave due to the curvature - since I don't want to push my luck yet, that area had the longest hair stubs when I was done (not as smooth as the rest). Not yet as smooth a shave as with the Panasonic, but still making progress.

One of the many tips I read was helpful: to have a quiet bathroom - it does help to hear the razor do the job, specially when the angle is good. I can also feel the transition from the smooth cover in the EJ DE89 to when the blade starts cutting as a lower the angle of attack. So I am learning the feel and sound as the beard is being cut. And sure enough, with this angle there is less tug/pull - the blade moves easier as it cuts.


0 90
 08-20-2012, 02:22 PM
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Welcome to the Shave Nook.

87 21,180
 08-20-2012, 03:13 PM
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Welcome Will to The Shave Nook. Glad you found us.

130 13,472
 08-23-2012, 04:02 PM
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OK, so an update, after shave #6. Things have not improved much. Varying the angle (which I though was the main culprit) is not helping - my face is still red in a few places, I am still getting a couple of nicks, and overall not too happy.

I watched a couple more videos, and my razor does not "glide" as smoothly over my face as the folks show in the various videos on youtube. I am guessing that perhaps my lathering soap and/or technique is not that good. I am still using the same Wilkinson blades, but I am going to try changing to a different soap: I bought a Palmolive euro formula shaving stick and an Arko shaving stick to try (so far I am using the inexpensive soap that came with the Wally World "Premium" shaving kit).

So I am not giving up yet. Any more tips/suggestions?


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