07-08-2017, 06:23 PM
#1
  • Nero
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  • le montagne
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Wondering all your thoughts on pressure and how it affects results.

How careful are you to use no pressure?

When you use no pressure, do you feel that the milder razors don't cut as easily or as closely?

How do you ensure you don't drop the razor if you are aiming for no pressure? (Usually people would have to use a very light grip to set the tone for also light pressure. It is difficult to achieve no pressure if you don't grip the razor lightly. How do you deal with these contradictory goals?)

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 07-08-2017, 07:19 PM
#2
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It's all about blade exposure. High exposure (blade sticks out), light pressure always. Neutral or slightly positive exposure and you can vary it to suit your needs and desired closeness. Negative exposure (usually in carts) and pressure is required for the blade to contact your skin. So my answer is that it depends on what you're using. The same pressure may not yield the same results for two different razors.

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 07-08-2017, 07:21 PM
#3
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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No pressure, no pressure, no pressure!!! You want to cut the whiskers, not scrape your face. I primarily use a straight, and therefore have control over the angle of the blade, as well as blade sharpness. There is no reason to apply pressure to achieve a very close, irritation free shave. When I do use a DE or SE, I've always preferred a milder razor but with a very sharp blade, usually a Feather, and likewise, have never had the need for pressure. Perhaps 55 years of wet shaving has something to do with it. I've never dropped a razor. I keep my hands very dry when using a straight. A little alum on the fingertips will prevent the handle of a DE or SE from slipping. If you have to use pressure for a close shave, you have the wrong razor, the wrong blade, or are using the wrong technique.

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 07-09-2017, 12:00 AM
#4
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For the most part now, I pull the razor with some force. Now do I put pressure on the skin, or on the base plate, not really. But I do put pressure behind the blade in order to get through the beard. It helps if you are confident with your angle of whichever razor you are using.

That's my way of saying I DO use pressure, just not so much pressing on the skin.

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 07-09-2017, 04:01 AM
#5
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In my experience, most of my razors works best if you let the weight of the razor do all the work - this even holds true for very light razors, if I stretch my skin.

Going up from the floor requires working against the razor's weight, but I take care to apply the required force parallel to the skin so I avoid putting any pressure on the blade.

YMMV and all that; I'm sure some combinations of skin/stubble/blade/razor requires some level of pressure.

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 07-09-2017, 06:28 AM
#6
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(07-08-2017, 07:19 PM)Blackland Razors Wrote: It's all about blade exposure. High exposure (blade sticks out), light pressure always. Neutral or slightly positive exposure and you can vary it to suit your needs and desired closeness. Negative exposure (usually in carts) and pressure is required for the blade to contact your skin. So my answer is that it depends on what you're using. The same pressure may not yield the same results for two different razors.
Shane, our methods align quite well.  On average, I use very light pressure for all of my DE/Blade combinations but a few require a little more "help" to achieve the desired result and that's usually only for touch up or getting into difficult spots (under the nose, chin, etc.)

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 07-09-2017, 06:32 AM
#7
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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I find it's easier to use less / no pressure with heavier, and somewhat more aggressive razors. With milder razors such as Gillette Techs I do use a little bit of pressure to achieve desired results. But that eventually leads to irritation.

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 07-09-2017, 06:46 AM
#8
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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(07-09-2017, 06:32 AM)chazt Wrote: I find it's easier to use less / no pressure with heavier, and somewhat more aggressive razors. With milder razors such as Gillette Techs I do use a little bit of pressure to achieve desired results. But that eventually leads to irritation.

I have the same issue with mild razors, which is why I don't use my vintage Gillettes. I don't necessarily feel the need to apply more pressure, but I just naturally do it because I can't feel the blade as much. I find I get less irritation with razors when I can feel the blade because I pay more attention to both angle and pressure.

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 07-09-2017, 09:33 AM
#9
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
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Good suggestions all. "No" pressure is a funny concept because there is some pressure just to keep the razor close to your face. What you are trying to avoid is scraping your face like you see in the movies, cue the guy with an ax scraping his face.Wink It's something you learn to finesse over time, that light stroke with the proper blade angle. Most "scraper" I find use excessive pressure because they are having trouble feeling the correct blade angle; so more pressure is used to cut. I think it is much easier for a straight user to pick up a DE and find the right blade angle and pressure because of their SR experience. I will also point out that wet shaving is about whisker reduction, which implies multiple passes to achieve a full shave. Light pressure, two or three passes and you have a nice comfortable shave, hopefully irritation free.

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 07-09-2017, 09:56 AM
#10
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(07-08-2017, 07:21 PM)evnpar Wrote: No pressure, no pressure, no pressure!!! You want to cut the whiskers, not scrape your face. I primarily use a straight, and therefore have control over the angle of the blade, as well as blade sharpness. There is no reason to apply pressure to achieve a very close, irritation free shave. When I do use a DE or SE, I've always preferred a milder razor but with a very sharp blade, usually a Feather, and likewise, have never had the need for pressure. Perhaps 55 years of wet shaving has something to do with it. I've never dropped a razor. I keep my hands very dry when using a straight. A little alum on the fingertips will prevent the handle of a DE or SE from slipping. If you have to use pressure for a close shave, you have the wrong razor, the wrong blade, or are using the wrong technique.

+1. Mild razor + sharp blade + no pressure.

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 07-09-2017, 10:09 AM
#11
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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No pressure at all. I generally prefer razors that weigh about 110+g, so I let the weight do the work.

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 07-09-2017, 06:15 PM
#12
  • Nero
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  • le montagne
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Darn it guys.
I suspected my "sensitive skin" may simply be the result of my tendency to just grip and rip with my razor (pay no attention to pressure and little attention to angle). Granted I use a Mühle R89 pretty much exclusively (although in the last few days I have been mixing in a cartridge...which is actually what made me think of this topic).

Thanks for all your responses. Keep them coming.

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 07-09-2017, 06:30 PM
#13
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Let the razor do the work. 


I let the others do most of the talking. 

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 07-10-2017, 06:27 AM
#14
  • Nero
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  • le montagne
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I'm starting to wonder if my disdain for aggressive razors is just down to my natural inclination to use too much force.

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 07-10-2017, 04:55 PM
#15
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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(07-10-2017, 06:27 AM)Nero Wrote: I'm starting to wonder if my disdain for aggressive razors is just down to my natural inclination to use too much force.

Probably, but blade presentation (exposure, gap and angle) has to suit your skin and beard.  No way around this.

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 07-10-2017, 06:03 PM
#16
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I am from the generation where we wrote using fountain pens so absolutely no pressure and write by moving the arm not the wrist. The same techniques have worked when shaving for over a half century; no pressure; move whole arm not the wrist. This does two things.  First it keeps the blade angle with your face constant and allows even really mild razors to cut efficiently.

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 07-11-2017, 05:07 PM
#17
  • Nero
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  • le montagne
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Thanks a lot, all excellent points!!

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 07-11-2017, 07:46 PM
#18
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I tend towards heavier razors or at least, heavy handles on the razor. This may allow the razor itself do more of the work. That said, I'm similar to Shane & TexBilly where I'll help out when necessary. It's a balancing act with more aggressive razor/blade combinations.

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 07-12-2017, 03:50 AM
#19
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Depends on the blade and razor. I am at the moment using the Jagen David E02 (black handle, similar to the the Gillette 7 0'  Clock) with a Red Personna. With the Jagen David E02, on one side the blade is exposed like an open comb and on the other side its minimal. I put moderate pressure and still nothing, no cuts, no nicks. 

If you use a Muhle 42 open comb with a feather, that would be a different story.  

I just got a my Edwin Jagger DE89, and I'm gonna use the personna and a derby extra which i heard are really unsharp with Edwin Jagger DE89 with no chance of nicks and put more pressure on it. I heard even if you put a feather in a Edwin Jagger DE89 you still cant cut yourself but Im gonna graduate using the lowest risk combination of blades and razors and work my way up to the Muhle 42 with a feather and see if get face-off Blush

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 07-12-2017, 05:47 AM
#20
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(07-11-2017, 07:46 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: I tend towards heavier razors or at least, heavy handles on the razor. This may allow the razor itself do more of the work. That said, I'm similar to Shane & TexBilly where I'll help out when necessary. It's a balancing act with more aggressive razor/blade combinations.

yeah, the Edwin Jagger DE89 i just got is heavy like the Merkur 34c (I wasn't expecting the DE89 to be heavy but its a nice heavy feel). 

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