03-22-2012, 02:03 PM
#1
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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Hi,

I've been wetshaving with DE, SE and injectors for about 2 years. I started with DE and never went back to multiblade cartridges...

After a while I tried a Schick Injector (Easy Rider from 1969 or 70) and was kind of shocked at what a great shave I got with it, with very little effort. I've since added G and E models to the rotation and love them!

Later still I tried various SE razors, 1912 GEM and Star, all 3 GEM Micromatics and a 1924 Ever Ready. Once again the quality of shave blew me away!

So now I'm asking this of all the "cross-training" (DE,SE, injector) shavers out there:
Can you get as great a shave from a DE as is easily achievable with an SE or injector?

If so, what's the magic technique I'm missing? Is it that the SE and injectors force you into a correct angle that I don't have with my DEs? Is it the stiffer blades? Is it that the SEs I like are all aggressive razors?

I'm capable of getting very good to great shaves with my DEs, but it takes a lot more time and care. When I select a DE these days it's generally to get a CCS to DFS. I use a 40s SuperSpeed, 70s Super Adjustable, Star DE or Gillette NEW (long-comb), usually with a sharp blade like a Rapira or one of the St. Petersburg blades.

When I choose an SE it's pretty much a sure thing that I will get a DFS or BBS in 2 passes plus touch-up.

Any other "cross-trainers" out there who want to weigh in?


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 03-22-2012, 03:22 PM
#2
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Bjorn,
I'm with you 100% here. I, too, get my best shaves from the aggressive SE razors. The OCMM is my daily driver. The only DE that I've found that can give as good of a shave (for me) is a Slant bar. I have a Merkur 39C (thanks to Dave (itsmedave)) and I love it. It's the only DE that can give me the same results I get from a DE. I still have to pay it a bit more attention than my OCMM, but not much and it can actually be a bit smoother.

Why??? My theory is the blade stiffness which you referred to. A thin DE blade "vibrates" as it meets resistance from the stubble. The coarser your stubble, the more vibration and thus the higher possibility for a rough shave and in particular weepers. My SE shaves are weeper free. My DE shaves get weepers. Even in my Slant a Feather will give me weepers while a Voskhod won't. I still need to try some more blades in the slant to get more information but that is my experience so far. The Slant puts a 3-dimensional torque on the blade which increases it's stiffness relative to a 2-d bend that most DE heads provide. This allows the DE blade to have more of a SE stiffness along with the benefit of the slicing motion from the leading edge of the blade.

That's just my experience to date and I look forward to hearing what others say.

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 03-22-2012, 03:30 PM
#3
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Now I'm not saying I'm definitely going to do this, but if I were going to try a SE for the first time, which razor would you guys recommend as a good starter for someone who has only used DE razors? (And just to complicate things, I didn't really like a Slant, Pils and iKons were just OK, and a Feather and a Wilkinson Sticky are great for me, especially with the old classic blades I use: Personna 74s, Light Brigades, Plus Platinums.)

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 03-22-2012, 03:37 PM
#4
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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Brian,

Exactly my experience regarding weepers! I get them if I push a DE too far, but almost never with an SE.
(I've had some nasty, flat-out cuts, but almost never weepers) Wink

I'll have to check out a slant one of these days. My brother just bought a nice one so I'll try his next time we get together.

This is such an interesting "hobby" Smile

(03-22-2012, 03:30 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Now I'm not saying I'm definitely going to do this, but if I were going to try a SE for the first time, which razor would you guys recommend as a good starter for someone who has only used DE razors? (And just to complicate things, I didn't really like a Slant, Pils and iKons were just OK, and a Feather and a Wilkinson Sticky are great for me, especially with the old classic blades I use: Personna 74s, Light Brigades, Plus Platinums.)
I would recommend a GEM Micromatic Clog-Pruf or Bullet-tip. They are gentler than the Open Comb (OCMM). I would suggest a GEM Stainless blade. The Carbon Steel blades are even sharper, but not as smooth. You can get the GEM stainless blades at Walgreens, Rite-Aid or CVS in small quantities and if you get hooked, you can buy them in bulk from Ted-Pella and others. The 1912 models from GEM, Star or Ever Ready are also great shavers, but more strange-looking to a DE user.

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 03-22-2012, 04:29 PM
#5
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I use both DE and SE. Yes, both are capable of fantastic and easily attainable shaves.

In DE I use the Slim set to 9 and the Muhle R41 and stopped looking with the Slim, but I just had to have a R41. In SE, which I have far more of, all of the MMs will give me a similar shave with absolutely no effort, but the OCMM heads the list. There are many other SE razors that will do the same; the Valet AutoStrop VC1 and VC2, the 1912 Jr, the 1912, the EverReady '24, the ER '06, and Kampfe '13 so far. These are all very aggressive razors. One can either handle them or one can't, and there is no grading on a curve since they never heard of PC, so if you can't handle them don't even try.

Church' I'd help also, but not knowing anything about those razors, I'm at a loss. Maybe you can translate what I'll write. While the bullet tip and clog-pruf feel milder, they shave just as aggressively IMO.

I'd try the 1912 Jr for a mid-agressive razor, but it tends to the aggressive side, the 1912, is quite aggressive and I'd put that on hold for now. A 1912 closed comb Damaskeene would be a mild razor, but it'll still give a fantastic shave. And I'm always a proponent of the Heavy flat top or G-bar (different name, same razor) and the Featherweight. They are probably the mildest of the SE razors, but in no way are they as mild as a mild DE razor.

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 03-22-2012, 04:54 PM
#6
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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(03-22-2012, 04:29 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: ...
And I'm always a proponent of the Heavy flat top or G-bar (different name, same razor) and the Featherweight. They are probably the mildest of the SE razors, but in no way are they as mild as a mild DE razor.

Never tried the G-bar or Featherweight but I have heard good things about them. I've liked or LOVED every SE razor I've tried, except the 1924 Ever ready. It didn't do anything that a MM or 1912 didn't do better, IMHO

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 03-22-2012, 05:49 PM
#7
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Church... I will be agreeing with SD in that the Heavy Flat Top (aka G-Bar) would be a great starter SE. Most SE lovers will steer you to the 1912s as a beginner, & yes that's what I started with but they weren't a great razor for me. The only 1912 style I'm on the look for is an open comb Damaskeene. If I had a spare '12 I'd send it to you but I just sent my last one to a Gem virgin in Canada.

Bjorn: you have to find a HFT (G-Bar) to try. I highly prefer it over the Feather Weight, but then again I prefer heavier razors. Thus why I really like the Sledgehammer Slant, the 39C over the 37C. The HFT can give me the same quality shave as the OCMM it just takes an extra pass and some touch ups.

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 03-22-2012, 08:34 PM
#8
  • Sargon
  • Member
  • St. Louis, Missouri
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I get my closest shaves with a 1912 (which would be the type of SE I'd suggest trying). A very close second is my Futur, though. I think there is something about the futur's head that causes the DE blades in it to act more like an SE, they even *SOUND* similar to an SE. YMMV of course.

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 03-22-2012, 08:53 PM
#9
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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Absolutely. Can SE shaves be great? Sure. But with proper setup and technique there is no reason you cannot get as good or better shaves with DEs.

Still, I do miss my every so often vintage GEM shave....

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 03-22-2012, 09:29 PM
#10
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Yes. I can get BBS with a Gillette Tech or a GEM. It is all technique. My old man used to snap the guards of of his Gillettes and shave with them that way. He never nicked himself or got razor burn. It is all about developing feel and technique.

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 03-23-2012, 08:07 AM
#11
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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(03-22-2012, 08:53 PM)texbilly Wrote: Absolutely. Can SE shaves be great? Sure. But with proper setup and technique there is no reason you cannot get as good or better shaves with DEs.

Still, I do miss my every so often vintage GEM shave....

Tex,

I'll buy "as good" , but better...? Dodgy

I'm not giving up on DE at all and I love the variety of razors and blades that DE offers. But if I were going to do a "competitive shave-off" for the best possible shave, I'd reach for a Micromatic or possibly a Schick "E" injector.
If I was going for a close but "guaranteed no blood" shave I'd go for a Schick G or a DE, probably a Star DE or Super Speed.

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 03-23-2012, 09:24 AM
#12
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I think this must be a YMMV question. Because clearly there are plenty of guys getting great shaves with SEs. But to get a consistent great shave I actually had to move *down* the aggressiveness ladder. Once my technique is more fully developed, maybe I'll move back up, including to SEs. Or maybe my face is just too sensitive to the pressure of the blade. Time will tell.

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 03-24-2012, 08:59 PM
#13
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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I get my best shaves with a DE set-up, possibly because of the great range of choices we have in razors and blades.

I learned to shave originally with a Type L Schick Injector, back around 1967. For reasons of nostalgia I would really like to be on good terms with the Injector now, but I just can't get back into it. I don't get the smooth glide that I can with a DE.

When I comes to SE razors, I have a Featherweight, a Heavy Flattop/G-bar, and a 1912. All of them are too aggressive for me to use regularly, and again I don't get the smooth glide that I do with DE. I like the ergonomics and the audible feedback of the 1912, but it is just too aggressive for me to mess with. When I do use an SE razor, I use the Featherweight or HFT with a Treet carbon steel blade. The Treet blade is so sharp that I can use a very light touch and get less irritation. Stainless blades, coated or not, are just plain dull in comparison, and the added effort that it takes to make the cut with a stainless blade results in more irritation to my skin.

If we had the same variety and choices in SE that we have in DE, I might find a razor that suited me and get better results. If we had similar limitations in DE and, for example, the only razors available were made by Merkur, I would be expressing the same dissatisfaction with DE.

- Murray

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