09-13-2018, 06:42 AM
#1
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Hello All!  I am new to DE shaving, having used electrics for many years (no longer taking blood thinners, so DE is OK now), having used my last DE about 50-ish years ago....   I have fairly fine hair, mildly sensitive skin, and get congestion (allergies) from many 'scents' and fragrances.  I have a moustache and chin-beard., so no challenging lip and chin-area shaving required for me.

I am somewhat obsessive about new hobbies/habits, etc. and have been researching like crazy and have purchased a bunch of stuff to experiment with.  So far, so good, but the lust for more/different equipment is strong within me.  I am also lucky enough to have QBrothers in town, so indulging my tendiencies is far too easy, not to mention Amazon Prime....

All that said by way of background and a long-ish hello, I am really curious what you folks would say about the relative importance/contribution of technique vs tools for getting a great shave. It furstrates me that I have to wait a decent amount of time between shaves (aka 'experiments') to compare, e.g., blades, or settings on an adjustable razor. 

So far I have purchased a Qshave adjustable razor, a Merkur 34C, and a Rockwell 6S, in that order.  Blade-wise, I have gotten the Astra Platinum, Feather Platinum, Green package 7 Oclock, German Wilkinson Sword, Voskhod, Polsilver and the throw-in blades that came with the three razors I have purchased.  I have tried all the blades except the Polsivers, so far.  The Feather and Astra were early-on, and my technique may not have been up to the task.  The 7 Oclock and Wilkinson have given me pretty good shaves, as has the Voskhod.....

I use an Art of Shaving hand-made badger brush ( pretty sure I overpaid for it) along with Old Taylor's organic shaving cream.  I wet-towel my face, shave oil, lather, then do 3 passes....


Is there a blade, razor, brush or ??? that should be on my list of things to explore?

What is TSA-approved for carry-on for plane-travel, if I decide to take my show on the road for an upcoming 4-day trip?

Thanks for reading this.

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 09-13-2018, 07:22 AM
#2
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I'm sure you'll find as many opinions on this as it is shavers... but I think that if you have the right technique, almost any gear can give a decent shave. Point in case; I've gotten great shaves with my Yuma razor, which cost me less than a cup of coffee with shipping.

If you're still getting the grips of your technique, I would suggest diving into the wonderful world of soaps first... most soaps give good glide and cushion these days, and there are soooo many to sample Biggrin

As for travel, Either buy blades where you are going, or settle for carts or disposables. I tend to bring BiC Sensitive SE disposable razors, since they are travel safe and gives a good shave if handles properly. Brushes are okay to bring, as is hard soaps. Aftershave can be a problem unless it's in a small bottle (100ml / 3 f.oz.) ytou carry inside in a 1 litre (1 quart) clear ziplock bag.

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 09-13-2018, 07:44 AM
#3
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Hello fzman1956. Welcome to TSN.

Hans had a good point. If you're looking for a rabbit hole, try soaps. You have some good, dependable hardware. Get to know it really well while improving your technique.

Ask all the questions you can think of. Folks here are always happy to share an opinion Wink

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 09-13-2018, 07:45 AM
#4
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I think proper technique is the single most important aspect of wet shaving.  Without it I don't think you could get that truly exemplary shave no matter what equipment you use.  That said, the beauty of this hobby is finding the equipment and software that works best for you.  And it is different for everyone.  The initial foray into classic wet shaving is the discovery of all the different razors, blades, brushes, soaps and creams there are.  The only way to really know what to pursue is by perusing wet shaving forums and reading threads about stuff that interests you.  Buy some of them to try out.  Eventually you learn what characteristics satisfy you.  Initially you can spend a fair amount of money amassing a large collection of stuff.  But once you settle on the stuff that you like, you can re-sell the stuff you don't like and get most of your money back.  And when it comes to vintage stuff, you can probably make money on those items.  

As for travel, you can't take double edge razor blades on the plane in your carry-on.  I travel a fair amount and have a kit dedicated to travel.  Since I prefer to carry-on that means I leave the double edge razor and blades home and take a Mach 3.  But when I travel by car I have a dedicated double edge in an Altoids type container lined with felt.  It is one that I don't really care too much about in case it gets lost.  And the brush I take is synthetic since I don't always have the time to properly dry the brush before packing it all up.  As for software I take small containers of shaving cream, aftershave, witch hazel so it will fit in the TSA approved bag with my other stuff (toothpaste, hair gel, etc.).  

Welcome to the hobby.  It's fun.  Enjoy the journey.

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 09-13-2018, 07:55 AM
#5
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(09-13-2018, 07:22 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: ...I think that if you have the right technique, almost any gear can give a decent shave...

This.

It's fun to get a bunch of stuff to experience and experiment with but in the end, technique trumps equipment every single time. As long as that truth is understood, the many acquisition disorders available to you in this hobby can bring you a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction.  So, have at it, and strive to improve your technique every chance you get.

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 09-13-2018, 08:07 AM
#6
  • DaveL
  • Member
  • Houston, Texas
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Proper technique will be the most important regardless of your gear. Learn to use what you have well then the fun of collecting or accumulating can come later.

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 09-13-2018, 08:10 AM
#7
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Thanks for the replies, guys!  It is heart-warming.  I tend to get a bit carried away with the new toy aspect of things, and am willing to spend to get real value. Still learning, but enjoying the experience.  Hope to find my happy place soon.

Keep those cards and letters coming (old expression).

Mark

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 09-13-2018, 08:28 AM
#8
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I would add the Feather blade in the Merkur would be a disaster combo to me, I have sensitive skin, but that's my opinion.
The Q and the 6s are great razors IMHO and will do great with all the blades you have. I would suggest, start at the low settings and work up
use the same razor and same soap when testing a blade. Same for dialing in your razor, same soap same blade . Don't judge a blade on 3 or 4 
shaves....Judge a blade on a whole tuck (package) at least five blades.....unless the blade is just sooooo bad you know from the first shave
it's lousy. Read reviews and you can be pretty assured of a good brand of blades. Soaps are the easiest, cheapest, safest way IMHO to experiment.
If you have sensitivity to scents, you may have the same with a lot of the scented soaps out there. Don't mistake razor rash or a fairly strong
or even a mild sting or burning sensation after shaving as a sign of blade or razor usage, it can be  the soap. I believe the two major culprits
are Limonene and Linilool . They are often not listed because they are hidden in the fragrance. I do use soaps with these ingredients but I do
limit the days I use them and some soaps have these but the amount is not high. BUT, you may not have a problem with them. Trial & error
is the only way to know. Good luck......enjoy your shaves...…. Cheers

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 09-13-2018, 09:02 AM
#9
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(09-13-2018, 07:45 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: I think proper technique is the single most important aspect of wet shaving.  Without it I don't think you could get that truly exemplary shave no matter what equipment you use.  That said, the beauty of this hobby is finding the equipment and software that works best for you.  And it is different for everyone.  The initial foray into classic wet shaving is the discovery of all the different razors, blades, brushes, soaps and creams there are.  The only way to really know what to pursue is by perusing wet shaving forums and reading threads about stuff that interests you.  Buy some of them to try out.  Eventually you learn what characteristics satisfy you.  Initially you can spend a fair amount of money amassing a large collection of stuff.  But once you settle on the stuff that you like, you can re-sell the stuff you don't like and get most of your money back.  And when it comes to vintage stuff, you can probably make money on those items.  

As for travel, you can't take double edge razor blades on the plane in your carry-on.  I travel a fair amount and have a kit dedicated to travel.  Since I prefer to carry-on that means I leave the double edge razor and blades home and take a Mach 3.  But when I travel by car I have a dedicated double edge in an Altoids type container lined with felt.  It is one that I don't really care too much about in case it gets lost.  And the brush I take is synthetic since I don't always have the time to properly dry the brush before packing it all up.  As for software I take small containers of shaving cream, aftershave, witch hazel so it will fit in the TSA approved bag with my other stuff (toothpaste, hair gel, etc.).  

Welcome to the hobby.  It's fun.  Enjoy the journey.

Much agree and well said!



Happy Shaving!
49erShaver

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 09-13-2018, 10:52 AM
#10
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(09-13-2018, 08:07 AM)DaveL Wrote: Proper technique will be the most important regardless of your gear. Learn to use what you have well then the fun of collecting or accumulating can come later.

I completely agree about technique.  If you have improper technique someone can hand you a $500 razor and you will still get sub-par shaves with it.  Also work on lathering and skin prep.  As for travelling, I usually just mail a pack of razors to where I'm going and have the hotel hold them for my arrival.

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 09-13-2018, 11:02 AM
#11
  • SCOV
  • Senior Member
  • Minnesota
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To somewhat quote Yogi Berra:  "Shaving is 90% technique, the other half is shaving gear".

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 09-13-2018, 11:04 AM
#12
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Technique.

If you don't have that, you just spend money without enjoying your shaves.

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 09-13-2018, 11:21 AM
#13
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I think it's the same with any "gear".  Sports equipment, race cars, kitchen equipment, etc. etc.  Good technique generally trumps good equipment.

But there are limits.  Put me in a Formula 1 car to race against Lewis Hamilton driving a pedal car, and I'd probably win.  Similarly, if you try to shave with a butter knife, you won't get a good shave no matter how good your technique.

But within normal ranges... yeah, technique.

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 09-13-2018, 12:48 PM
#14
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(09-13-2018, 11:21 AM)BrickHud Wrote: I think it's the same with any "gear".  Sports equipment, race cars, kitchen equipment, etc. etc.  Good technique generally trumps good equipment.

But there are limits.  Put me in a Formula 1 car to race against Lewis Hamilton driving a pedal car, and I'd probably win.  Similarly, if you try to shave with a butter knife, you won't get a good shave no matter how good your technique.

But within normal ranges... yeah, technique.


You may crash with a formula 1 car and not finish and thereby lose.  But anyways....
As someone gets more experience with technique the "gear" doesn't matter to about maybe 95%(give or take) but that 5% improvement that someone with good technique and the right equipment can get is worth it(to me).

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 09-13-2018, 01:10 PM
#15
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One place where gear is king is in blades IMO. I just couldn't get a decent shave with certain brands. They require testing and when I was getting started I tried over 40 types.

Too, don't just stop with DE razors. There are vintage SE safety razors available and the shave is similar but different. OK, there are modern takes on SE razors as well, but I confess I haven't tried them. I can't remember the last time I had a shave with a DE razor, my hand just gravitates to a loved  SE razor.

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 09-13-2018, 01:19 PM
#16
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Just got back from QBrothers, with side trips to get myself a delicious bowl of Thai Red Curry Chicken, and a delicious Latte.

I bought myself a Mitchell's Wool Fat refill,  a SOC Mistura brush, and a Fine Accoutrements lather bowl....  Finally figured out what a slant razor is- I thought it meant it slanted a la blade angle for shaving.  doh!!!  Ramon, at QBrothers did not think that there was any reason for me to buy another razor, as the Rockwell 6S is heavy, cool-looking, and quite adjustable, and that I could still improve technique and try more software and blades before getting another razor.  

I also shave my head competely bald- and am switching over from specialized rotary electrics to some form of wet blade shaving-bought some Schick 3-blade disposables, and also a Headblade ATX.  There's a Feather F3 in my short-term future as well.

So, using the 6S in setting 3 or 4, what blades would you suggest that are efficient, not aggressive, and give a mirror-smooth 3 pass shave? Any a newbie sould avoid?

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 09-13-2018, 02:16 PM
#17
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(09-13-2018, 01:10 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: One place where gear is king is in blades IMO. I just couldn't get a decent shave with certain brands. They require testing and when I was getting started I tried over 40 types.

Too, don't just stop with DE razors. There are vintage SE safety razors available and the shave is similar but different. OK, there are modern takes on SE razors as well, but I confess I haven't tried them. I can't remember the last time I had a shave with a DE razor, my hand just gravitates to a loved  SE razor.


The reason why I don't try the SE razors is that I'm afraid that I'll like them and then have to buy a bunch of razors and blades.

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 09-13-2018, 02:47 PM
#18
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An easy mistake would be to purchase top-rate gear before developing fundamental technique. However, once you’ve got great technique - go right ahead and experiment with gear. It’s not technique OR gear, it’s technique AND gear. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

Tiger Woods will hit great with inexpensive clubs. But with even better equipment... he’ll win contests. Which is why he spends what he does on great gear. As do pro photographers. And some wet-shavers Smile

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 09-13-2018, 03:10 PM
#19
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(09-13-2018, 02:16 PM)bkatbamna Wrote:
(09-13-2018, 01:10 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: One place where gear is king is in blades IMO. I just couldn't get a decent shave with certain brands. They require testing and when I was getting started I tried over 40 types.

Too, don't just stop with DE razors. There are vintage SE safety razors available and the shave is similar but different. OK, there are modern takes on SE razors as well, but I confess I haven't tried them. I can't remember the last time I had a shave with a DE razor, my hand just gravitates to a loved  SE razor.


The reason why I don't try the SE razors is that I'm afraid that I'll like them and then have to buy a bunch of razors and blades.

This!

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 09-13-2018, 03:16 PM
#20
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(09-13-2018, 01:19 PM)fzman1956 Wrote: So, using the 6S in setting 3 or 4, what blades would you suggest that are efficient, not aggressive, and give a mirror-smooth 3 pass shave? Any a newbie sould avoid?
Voskhod, Polsilver, Gillette Silver Blues I think are good. Also the Gillette Wilkinson Sword (Indian) pretty cheap too.
Then the Feather and Kai are up there on top.

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