12-07-2019, 02:01 AM
#1
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
User Info
Gentlemen, on work days I usually prefer to spend a little less time shaving. I still do the whole process...pre-shave, brush, DE and aftershave but want a little quicker. I recently started trying shave sticks to save a little time and actually enjoy them (on work days).

I know shave sticks are usually used for travel but I found that they can still produce an amazing lather and luxurious shave.

My goal is to have a nice rotation of sticks for pre-work shaves. Obviously some days I use a different cream or soap.

I’m still waiting on a few to arrive which I’ll add my reviews of later but so far here are the sticks I’ve used. All of these reviews are my opinion and of course YMMV.

More to follow...

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 12-07-2019, 02:16 AM
#2
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
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1. La Toja- This was probably the easiest to lather. It honestly requires almost no effort and all of a sudden you have lather pouring off the brush. I paid $7.86 for one stick on Amazon, although I’m sure it’s available cheaper elsewhere. The stick comes with a nice cover which I later found out that I prefer. The cover prevents the stick from making the whole cabinet smell like the soap. This brings me to scent, to me the La Toja stick just smells like soap. Having never smelled the cream of aftershave I can’t speak to their scent but the stick was a little boring to me.


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2. Wilkinson Sword- This is also a very easy to lather stick. I paid $9.99 on eBay but again I’m sure it’s available cheaper. This stick does not come with a cover so it’s just the blue stick with a plastic bottom and foil. This stick has the best scent to my nose. It is a soap scent but with a barbershop tone to my nose. I find myself reaching for this stick the most so far.


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3. Valobra- I had the highest hopes for this stick and the hardest time lathering it. It was not impossible by any means but not as easy as the previous sticks. I paid $14.50 on Smallflower which makes it the most expensive stick I purchased so far. The scent is the most complex of all the reviewed sticks this far, it’s sweet but complex kind of Italian barbershop. This stick also did not come with a cover which was a little surprising  for the price. I believe this stick may have been discontinued so that be be the reason for the high price.

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4. Lea- This was also on the harder side to lather. I paid $6.99 on eBay  but have seen it available cheaper. The scent is a very light soap and is pleasant. The stick comes with a cover which I like as I mentioned earlier. I have never tried the Lea cream so can’t compare the two scents unfortunately. 


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I am waiting for a Palmolive and Razorock Blue stick which I will review soon. 

I’m also open to trying other member recommendations and/or trying sticks members would like reviewed. 

I’ll reserve the following post for future stick reviews.

FWIW I’m not a shaving or scent guru, I just enjoy it and want to help others as much as these forums have helped me.

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 12-07-2019, 07:09 AM
#3
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
User Info
Grate your favorite soap and pack it into a tube, generic or an empty one. I use a stick of Martin de Candre fougere packed into an old D. R. Harris tube. You get to use whatever soap that you like. Croaps will usually pack easily without grating and harden up in a few days.

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 12-07-2019, 07:26 AM
#4
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
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(12-07-2019, 07:09 AM)Steve56 Wrote: Grate your favorite soap and pack it into a tube, generic or an empty one. I use a stick of Martin de Candre fougere packed into an old D. R. Harris tube. You get to use whatever soap that you like. Croaps will usually pack easily without grating and harden up in a few days.

That is a great idea, I’ll definitely give that a try with my favorite soaps.

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 12-07-2019, 07:37 AM
#5
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Mike's Natural Soaps offers his excellent artisan shaving soaps in sticks.

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 12-07-2019, 07:41 AM
#6
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
I would recommend giving the Speick stick a try.  That is the only stick I use.

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 12-07-2019, 08:10 AM
#7
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
User Info
(12-07-2019, 07:37 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Mike's Natural Soaps offers his excellent artisan shaving soaps in sticks.

I love his soaps so that is a great idea. I guess I’m just reviewing the “non artisan” sticks for now. Opening up to all of them would be a whole other ball game.

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 12-07-2019, 08:12 AM
#8
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
User Info
(12-07-2019, 07:41 AM)Johnny Wrote: I would recommend giving the Speick stick a try.  That is the only stick I use.

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You can never go wrong with Speick, I’ve been a fan for many years but never tried the stick!

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 12-07-2019, 08:19 AM
#9
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my 2 cents:
DR Harris
Mystic Water

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 12-07-2019, 10:10 AM
#10
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If you’re simply looking to shorten the loading time, select a softer soap like CRSW glide. However, if you’ve fallen for shave sticks - know that it’s easy to make your own with just about any soap and a deodorant tube.

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 12-07-2019, 01:43 PM
#11
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BEA - if you can find it - and Arko (love it or loath it) Smile

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 12-07-2019, 11:50 PM
#12
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
User Info
I've tried most of them, and Speick is the only stick I kept.  Fantastic lather AND scent.

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 12-08-2019, 03:14 AM
#13
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
User Info
Many shave sticks are excellent  soaps but the only one I keep in it's original form are the DR Harris ones. The packaging sucks on most of them so I grate them into bowls, a form I prefer. I keep DR Harris as they are though, initially for travel but as my problem has gotten worse my travel days are pretty much over but I love variety so they stay as they are.

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 12-09-2019, 04:57 AM
#14
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
User Info
5. Razorock Blue- This stick comes in basically paper without a plastic bottom or cover. I paid $3.99 from Italian barber. The scent is based on Floid blue and I’d say it’s really close. If your not familiar with the scent it’s basically a blue aftershave (floid, furbo, epsilom) scent if that makes sense, nice and crisp. The stick was very easy to lather and I was a big fan of the scent. The fact that you just get a plain stick of soap without cover or bottom was kind of annoying but for the price I couldn’t complain and I can put in the plastic bottom of an old stick if I wanted. I would definitely recommend the stick or bowl soap if you are a Floid blue fan.


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Still waiting on Tabac, Palmolive, Derby and Arko to arrive for the next review



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 12-09-2019, 06:42 PM
#15
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
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5.Arko- First of all, I have always loved the old school packaging of Arko. I paid $4.47 on Amazon for one stick. The scent to me smells like a lemon candle/bug spray. Obviously scent is very subjective so I’m not knocking the stick based on that, I was just was not a fan. The stick domes packaged in foil with no case or plastic base. Overall the stick performed well and was easy to lather. Slickness was lacking a little but not terrible by any means. This is probably the first stick (so far) that I would not use again strictly based on the scent. However, it was on par with the previously reviewed sticks performance wise.


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 12-09-2019, 07:32 PM
#16
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If you like Tabac I would recommend the shave stick.

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 12-10-2019, 12:51 AM
#17
  • Devlin
  • Junior Member
  • San Diego
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(12-09-2019, 07:32 PM)morecolor Wrote: If you like Tabac I would recommend the shave stick.

It’s waiting in my mailbox as we speak!

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 12-10-2019, 10:53 PM
#18
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I'm looking forward to hear what you think of Palmolive. I haven't tried all the sticks you have, but I paid £0.49 for my Palmolive at Tesco on vacation and love it. I did a '3017' (use start to finish) of it once, so I'm with you that sticks don't have to be just for travel.


I also wanted to warn you about DR Harris. Their triple milled soap is great in a bowl but I found the stick not only expensive, but very hard lather, mostly because it is hard to load a hard soap onto the face IMO. It isn't all bad, the case is great (twist-up) and the scents are classics. But I will stick to the bowl refills in the future.

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 12-10-2019, 11:00 PM
#19
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(12-09-2019, 06:42 PM)Devlin Wrote: 5.Arko- First of all, I have always loved the old school packaging of Arko. I paid $4.47 on Amazon for one stick. The scent to me smells like a lemon candle/bug spray. Obviously scent is very subjective so I’m not knocking the stick based on that, I was just was not a fan. The stick domes packaged in foil with no case or plastic base. Overall the stick performed well and was easy to lather. Slickness was lacking a little but not terrible by any means. This is probably the first stick (so far) that I would not use again strictly based on the scent. However, it was on par with the previously reviewed sticks performance wise.

As I say often, love it or loathe it - it's impossible NOT to have an opinion or Arko Tongue

Yes, the scent can be off putting for some, but as you point out it's a solid performer. I would be interested to hear what you think if you return to the stick after it's mellowed and off gassed most of the scent.

If you like the performance of Arko but simply can't stand the scent, I would suggest you try to find a GzD stick... it's not as easy as it was, since it seems most turkish shaving stores have evaporated of the web lately.

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 12-11-2019, 05:48 AM
#20
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(12-08-2019, 03:14 AM)Mouser Wrote: Many shave sticks are excellent  soaps but the only one I keep in it's original form are the DR Harris ones. The packaging sucks on most of them so I grate them into bowls, a form I prefer. I keep DR Harris as they are though, initially for travel but as my problem has gotten worse my travel days are pretty much over but I love variety so they stay as they are.

++ for DR Harris sticks.  They have same tallowate formula as the regular pucks and a very good hard tube.  Easily lathers after painting it onto prepped skin.

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