08-31-2020, 12:43 PM
#1
User Info
I am just curious what software/hardware everyone started out with. And do you still have any of that gear? Mine was/is as follows:

Razor: Merkur 38C
Brush: The Body Shop Synthetic
Soap: VDH Glycerin Puck
Blade: Merkur/Shark/Derby
Splash: Proraso Green

I still have and use the Merkur, I haven't used any of those blades in some time, no idea where the brush is but for $12 it served my purpose getting started. I would like to find the brush again and see how it performs compared to what I have now and with the newer soaps I have. And now with a much better lathering technique.

1 103
Reply
 08-31-2020, 01:16 PM
#2
User Info
I don't use any of products from my starting setup. 

Razor: Edwin Jagger DE89 -- Too aggressive for me.
Brush: Semogue 1305 boar brush -- Don't like it. Gave it to a friend who didn't have a brush. Strongly prefer badgers and synthetic brushes over boar. 
Soap: Proraso Green -- Don't like it. Insufficient protection and poor face feel.
Blade: Derby -- Too dull. Get horrible shaves and irritation from it. 
Aftershave: Aqua Velva alcoholic aftershave -- Don't use alcoholic aftershaves any more. 

If I could be back and give advice to my younger self, given the state of mind I was in then and the amount of money I was willing to spend then, I would recommend the following setup.

Razor: Merkur progress. Parker variant didn't exist then, otherwise, that would have been my choice.
Brush: A razorock or stirling "plissoft" style hair synthetic brush. 
Soap: TOBS shaving cream or another well regarded cream in that price range.
Blade: Permasharp
Aftershave: Nivea sensitive no alcohol shave balm.

0 146
Reply
 08-31-2020, 02:51 PM
#3
User Info
That was a bunch of years ago!
Razor: shick injector
Cream: Gillette Foamy or Barbasol.  Whatever was on sale.

Then years of cartridges where the experience went Down hill with each iteration, pivoting head being the worst for me.

The return:
Razor: cheap Chinese zamak affair
brush: boar hair so crooked you could lather around a corner
Soap: Williams mug
Blades: Astra SP

Shaves with that crap gear were so much better than with the carts that I didn’t care.......for awhile.

6 566
Reply
 08-31-2020, 03:24 PM
#4
  • MrGuy
  • Member
  • Black Hills of SD
User Info
An L-1 Slim from EBay (I “overpaid” at the time, $15), Dorco blades, ToBS Rose and Avacado creams, and a Vulfix 2198 (I think) in pure badger. Used up both the creams way too fast, I was having far too much fun making lather that didn’t smell like a cheap stick of deodorant. Got in to soaps next and rarely look back. Still have and occasionally use the razor and brush. That was, maybe 17-18 years ago. Guessing from where I lived at the time. Anyone else remember time by where you lived, or have I just moved too much? The razor has maybe lost a little plating, but can’t really remember. The brush is definitely thinner, but still works well.

1 98
Reply
 08-31-2020, 03:56 PM
#5
User Info
(08-31-2020, 01:16 PM)meshave Wrote: I don't use any of products from my starting setup. 

Razor: Edwin Jagger DE89 -- Too aggressive for me.
Brush: Semogue 1305 boar brush -- Don't like it. Gave it to a friend who didn't have a brush. Strongly prefer badgers and synthetic brushes over boar. 
Soap: Proraso Green -- Don't like it. Insufficient protection and poor face feel.
Blade: Derby -- Too dull. Get horrible shaves and irritation from it. 
Aftershave: Aqua Velva alcoholic aftershave -- Don't use alcoholic aftershaves any more. 

If I could be back and give advice to my younger self, given the state of mind I was in then and the amount of money I was willing to spend then, I would recommend the following setup.

Razor: Merkur progress. Parker variant didn't exist then, otherwise, that would have been my choice.
Brush: A razorock or stirling "plissoft" style hair synthetic brush. 
Soap: TOBS shaving cream or another well regarded cream in that price range.
Blade: Permasharp
Aftershave: Nivea sensitive no alcohol shave balm.
I have a few Edwin Jaggers and use them in regular rotation. I also have the Merkur Futur and 39C slant. I also used Proraso red, blue, and green in soap or cream form and used the Derby blades. I currently have TOBS almond cream and love it. I have to agree 100% with the money aspect. I know there are plenty more expensive items than what I am using now, but I really was trying to buy things on the cheap when I first started. Except for the Merkur I suppose that ran me somewhere between $50-$60 10 years ago.

1 103
Reply
 08-31-2020, 03:59 PM
#6
User Info
(08-31-2020, 02:51 PM)Lipripper60 Wrote: That was a bunch of years ago!
Razor: shick injector
Cream: Gillette Foamy or Barbasol.  Whatever was on sale.

Then years of cartridges where the experience went Down hill with each iteration, pivoting head being the worst for me.

The return:
Razor: cheap Chinese zamak affair
brush: boar hair so crooked you could lather around a corner
Soap: Williams mug
Blades: Astra SP

Shaves with that crap gear were so much better than with the carts that I didn’t care.......for awhile.

It was 10 years ago for me. I went back to cartridges for bit during this time. Even using the Dorco ones which I did think were decent, they kept getting more expensive. Astra SP are the only blades so far recently I didn't seem to like. I tried 2-3 times and got nicked everything. I really literally get nicked very rarely. My dad used Williams I still have a few pucks lying around I believe. Even using a cartridge razor he still used soap, a brush, and a mug. Him and/or my mom thought it was harder to get so she when she saw it she bought a few pucks.

1 103
Reply
 08-31-2020, 04:05 PM
#7
User Info
(08-31-2020, 03:24 PM)MrGuy Wrote: An L-1 Slim from EBay (I “overpaid” at the time, $15), Dorco blades, ToBS Rose and Avacado creams, and a Vulfix 2198 (I think) in pure badger. Used up both the creams way too fast, I was having far too much fun making lather that didn’t smell like a cheap stick of deodorant. Got in to soaps next and rarely look back. Still have and occasionally use the razor and brush. That was, maybe 17-18 years ago. Guessing from where I lived at the time. Anyone else remember time by where you lived, or have I just moved too much? The razor has maybe lost a little plating, but can’t really remember. The brush is definitely thinner, but still works well.

I have used some TOBS creams and they do have an authentic smell. I would like to find a Slim for $15, and I have been looking!

1 103
Reply
 08-31-2020, 06:31 PM
#8
  • 2Chops
  • Member
  • North Central PA
User Info
I just started DE shaving back in Feb.  Still have the goods.  In fact, except for the blade, I used it all for tonight's shave. Original gear: VDH razor, blades, soap and brush. 

 The VDH blades sucked.  I'll not buy them again.  Thankfully they were the freebies that came with the razor.  The brush is pretty nice for a $15 badger.  Soap is decent too.  Lathers well and is slick enough.  Not as well as my PAA soap.  But again, can't beat it for $4.  The razor is not bad either.  Does the job and will be my travel razor.  Not as good as a performer as my '57 Flair Tip.  But again, for less than $20, it's a decent starter DE and will be part of my rotation.

0 182
Reply
 08-31-2020, 06:34 PM
#9
User Info
(08-31-2020, 06:31 PM)2Chops Wrote: I just started DE shaving back in Feb.  Still have the goods.  In fact, except for the blade, I used it all for tonight's shave. Original gear: VDH razor, blades, soap and brush. 

 The VDH blades sucked.  I'll not buy them again.  Thankfully they were the freebies that came with the razor.  The brush is pretty nice for a $15 badger.  Soap is decent too.  Lathers well and is slick enough.  Not as well as my PAA soap.  But again, can't beat it for $4.  The razor is not bad either.  Does the job and will be my travel razor.  Not as good as a performer as my '57 Flair Tip.  But again, for less than $20, it's a decent starter DE and will be part of my rotation.

Yeah, I started with a VDH puck. From what I remember it did the job, but I agree. The PAA soaps are a whole different world. I have a few as well as their splashes.

1 103
Reply
 09-01-2020, 12:55 AM
#10
User Info
First kit? Oh my...

Parker R22, an Omega 10048, a tube of Green Proraso, some Proraso Liquid Cream and two packs of Feather blades.

Yes, I paired aggressive blades with a fairly aggressive razor. My only excuse what that I didn't know better, and figured sharper blades == better blades. Resulted in a pretty steep learning curve though... I ordered that kit on June 21st 2010 - two months before I was set to deploy abroad for a year - and didn't bring a back up razor when I left.

My second order - delivered just in time to be packed in my luggage - was more Feathers and an alum block...

3 7,259
Reply
 09-01-2020, 05:19 AM
#11
User Info
I skipped the DE and went straight to the SR for my first kit.
(I doubled back later for some vintage British Aristocrats and an Old-type).

So my first set up was:

Razor: Ralf Aust 6/8 Round point
Brush: Parker Silvertip with faux turtleshell handle
Soap: Proraso Green

I still have all of these items. Acquiring wet-shaving gear in Japan
is a challenge, unless you are willing to shell out a lot for international
shipping. The easiest way is ordering from Amazon Japan,
which is where I got my soap and brush. However, the selection
is extremely limited. I ordered the razor direct from Ralf Aust
after doing a lot of research. My only regret was the brush,
which is now too floppy for my tastes.

I now prefer vintage Japanese SR's but as the St. Pauli beer
adverts used to say "You never forget your first girl." Ralf
Aust was a purchase that I will never regret...and Proraso is
still a decent performer.

1 22
Reply
 09-01-2020, 06:14 AM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
My very first razor was a Wilkinson Bonded “system” which included the handle and a dispenser of blades. That was when I was 14. I shaved my moustache and a couple of whiskers on my chin. As did Lipripper, I also used either Barbasol or Foamy (do they still even make Foamy?). Shortly after that, certainly by the time I was around 17, the Wilkinson blades were no longer available locally, so I switched over to Trac II (still have a current production one of them).

My first DE was a MicroTouch TTO that my wife spied on the shelf of a CVS in Buffalo, NY in (it was mid-May, and we were in Buffalo for our daughter’s graduation) across the street from the building where Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated. That package came with a razor stand and two ten packs of blades, no brush. The first “real” shave cream I used was the Proraso-made, Bigelow cream in a tube, sold in some chain store who’s name I can’t seem to recall at the moment. Days later, my awesome wife had ordered me an Amazon p.o.s. brush that became balder than I was, in truly under a month. Man, that brush seemed to lose dozens of hairs with every shave! She also bought me a Merkur long handle razor (23C?), the business end of which I still have and enjoy once in a while. By July/August-ish I’d already started surfing regularly between here and B&B and became acquainted with our friend Phil. Rabbit holes started appearing shortly thereafter. My first “good” brushes were a horse/boar Vie-Long, and a Whipped Dog pure badger.

Other than the Merkur razor head, I no longer own any of my “firsts.”

19 4,452
Reply
 09-01-2020, 06:48 AM
#13
User Info
Muehle R89
Astra SP
Unbranded pure badger brush
TOBS Sandalwood cream
TOBS Sandalwood aftershave gel

Aside from the brush it's still a very respectable setup, if I were to do it again I'd keep everything the same but get a Semogue owner's club boar instead.

4 351
Reply
 09-01-2020, 08:31 AM
#14
User Info
(09-01-2020, 12:55 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: First kit? Oh my...

Parker R22, an Omega 10048, a tube of Green Proraso, some Proraso Liquid Cream and two packs of Feather blades.

Yes, I paired aggressive blades with a fairly aggressive razor. My only excuse what that I didn't know better, and figured sharper blades == better blades. Resulted in a pretty steep learning curve though... I ordered that kit on June 21st 2010 - two months before I was set to deploy abroad for a year - and didn't bring a back up razor when I left.

My second order - delivered just in time to be packed in my luggage - was more Feathers and an alum block...

Proraso cream was I believe my second purchase. Seems like a rite of passage. I just tried Feather blades after 10 years but haven't in an aggressive razor yet. Might never, not sure. Haha!!!

1 103
Reply
 09-01-2020, 08:49 AM
#15
User Info
(09-01-2020, 05:19 AM)YokohamaGaijin Wrote: I skipped the DE and went straight to the SR for my first kit.
(I doubled back later for some vintage British Aristocrats and an Old-type).

So my first set up was:

Razor: Ralf Aust 6/8 Round point
Brush: Parker Silvertip with faux turtleshell handle
Soap: Proraso Green

I still have all of these items. Acquiring wet-shaving gear in Japan
is a challenge. The easiest way is ordering from Amazon Japan,
which is where I got my soap and brush. I ordered the razor
direct from Ralf Aust after doing a lot of research. My only
regret was the brush, which is now too floppy for my tastes.

I now prefer vintage Japanese SR's but as the St. Pauli beer
adverts used to say "You never forget your first girl." Ralf
Aust was a purchase that I will never regret...and Proraso is
still a decent performer.
A straight is what attracted me in the first place though I do not have one. I tried a shavette but it didn't go as well as I had hoped I will try again someday.

1 103
Reply
 09-01-2020, 08:53 AM
#16
User Info
(09-01-2020, 06:14 AM)chazt Wrote: My very first razor was a Wilkinson Bonded “system” which included the handle and a dispenser of blades. That was when I was 14. I shaved my moustache and a couple of whiskers on my chin. As did Lipripper, I also used either Barbasol or Foamy (do they still even make Foamy?). Shortly after that, certainly by the time I was around 17, the Wilkinson blades were no longer available locally, so I switched over to Trac II (still have a current production one of them).

My first DE was a MicroTouch TTO that my wife spied on the shelf of a CVS in Buffalo, NY in (it was mid-May, and we were in Buffalo for our daughter’s graduation) across the street from the building where Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated. That package came with a razor stand and two ten packs of blades, no brush. The first “real” shave cream I used was the Proraso-made, Bigelow cream in a tube, sold in some chain store who’s name I can’t seem to recall at the moment. Days later, my awesome wife had ordered me an Amazon p.o.s. brush that became balder than I was, in truly under a month. Man, that brush seemed to lose dozens of hairs with every shave! She also bought me a Merkur long handle razor (23C?), the business end of which I still have and enjoy once in a while. By July/August-ish I’d already started surfing regularly between here and B&B and became acquainted with our friend Phil. Rabbit holes started appearing shortly thereafter. My first “good” brushes were a horse/boar Vie-Long, and a Whipped Dog pure badger.

Other than the Merkur razor head, I no longer own any of my “firsts.”

Yes, I believe the 23C is a long handle. I have used the Bigelow cream, it is good. I used to get it when it was on sale at B&B.

1 103
Reply
 09-01-2020, 08:56 AM
#17
User Info
(09-01-2020, 06:48 AM)Rohleder Wrote: Muehle R89
Astra SP
Unbranded pure badger brush
TOBS Sandalwood cream
TOBS Sandalwood aftershave gel

Aside from the brush it's still a very respectable setup, if I were to do it again I'd keep everything the same but get a Semogue owner's club boar instead.
I have the Sandalwood cream coming with the aftershave. I currently have the TOBS almond and have used the coconut in the past. I also have the Muhle R41 open comb which is a great razor.

1 103
Reply
 09-01-2020, 09:44 AM
#18
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
User Info
Cremo brushless shave cream, "incredibly slick" says so on the tube. A WuShi Futur which is actually a nice razor when you put the cap on correctly (dent on cap goes to the left when looking at the red aggressiveness dot), Astra blade still in the rotation, Aqua Velva, now used as deodorant, and a leaf and a half of fresh cut Aloe vera juice (not necessary anymore)

0 477
Reply
 09-01-2020, 01:54 PM
#19
User Info
(09-01-2020, 08:49 AM)Mike Distress Wrote:
(09-01-2020, 05:19 AM)YokohamaGaijin Wrote: I skipped the DE and went straight to the SR for my first kit.
(I doubled back later for some vintage British Aristocrats and an Old-type).

So my first set up was:

Razor: Ralf Aust 6/8 Round point
Brush: Parker Silvertip with faux turtleshell handle
Soap: Proraso Green
A straight is what attracted me in the first place though I do not have one. I tried a shavette but it didn't go as well as I had hoped I will try again someday.

I have never use a shavette but my impression is that it is similar to the SR experience
but not the same. Many seem to be intimated by a SR and/or could not be bothered with
honing and stropping. My experience is that I can maintain a good edge with minimal effort
through the use of lapping film and pasted balsa strops (there are some good threads on B&B on this).
A SR ordered directly from Ralf Aust is shave ready...a dozen laps on a strop are you are good to go.

1 22
Reply
 09-01-2020, 03:06 PM
#20
User Info
(09-01-2020, 09:44 AM)RyznRio Wrote: Cremo brushless shave cream, "incredibly slick" says so on the tube. A WuShi Futur which is actually a nice razor when you put the cap on correctly (dent on cap goes to the left when looking at the red aggressiveness dot), Astra blade still in the rotation, Aqua Velva, now used as deodorant, and a leaf and a half of fresh cut Aloe vera juice (not necessary anymore)

Area blades weren't for me. When I started experimenting with blades I found I get great shaves with Gillette Nacets and Feather Hi-Stainless. I ma curious about Creme products, they seem to have variety of products out there. Is the Cremo "incredibly slick?"

1 103
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)