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My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
05-17-2013, 10:51 AM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2013 10:52 AM by yohannrjm.)
Post: #1
My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
When I've read the 'I'm new to wetshaving; which razor should I get' posts, I've usually gone with the Gillette Superspeed (well-made, cheap) or the Schick E-G injectors (cheap, and very easy to shave with). Perhaps I'd suggest the EJ DE89, if the person wanted a new razor.

However, recently I've had to change my suggestion. SE blades are becoming ever harder to find (they're no longer available at CVS, like they used to be), and a bunch of cheap, good DE razors have become available --- most made in India.

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One of my favourite DE razors is the Cadet TTO-14:

[Image: yhst-16445739206724_2259_26935859]

It is available for a really reasonable price everywhere, including at Bullgoose shaving. It is very well made, with a nice finish, sturdy build, good QC (so far), nice handle length and grip, and very importantly, it shaves brilliantly.

I believe that new shavers will really benefit from a slightly aggressive shaver, like the Cadet. This is because it offers great feedback, and will help newbies work through the common beginners mistakes of using too much pressure, wrong shaving angles, etc.

A milder razor may offer less of a chance of cutting yourself to shreds on your first shave, but I actually think it takes a more experienced user to get a great shave from a mild razor. Anyone can use a mild razor, and get a decent shave - maybe even a good shave ----- but to get a great shave from a mild razor (a Tech or an Old Type) takes experience and advanced techniques (guillotine strokes, blade buffing, J-hooks).....all while remembering not to use pressure.

So, a lot of beginners, who start with mild razors, like their first and second shaves - then they realize that the shaves with cartridge razors was closer, so they proceed to use pressure and bad technique. This may work with the mild razor, but when they inevitably proceed to a more aggressive razor, they cut themselves up.

Of course, a beginner could start with a very aggressive razor, or an adjustable, but those are not necessarily the best razors to start with either. The adjustables are usually expensive (except for the lovely Slim), and the really aggressive razors are not made for the median shaver....just for a group of outliers.

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So, if you're new and you're looking for a great razor to be your first DE razor...or the only DE razor that you'll need, I'd suggest trying the Cadet. It's not going to work for everyone, but most people will be able to get great shaves from one.....and it will really help you learn good shaving technique.

As usual, YMMV. Wink
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05-17-2013, 12:21 PM
Post: #2
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
as a noob, I agree with your logic about the aggressive razor. My first shaves where with a OCMM and boy did that blade feel make me pay attention. Plus, since this is a "feel" activity an aggressive razor forces you to develop your touch or "pink soap incidences" occur.
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05-17-2013, 12:35 PM
Post: #3
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
Well, when explained that way, I can understand that a more aggressive razor than a Tech would be an asset to a noob. That's an interesting take on it.

CVS no longer carries SE blades!? What's up with that!? Shavepocalypse! BTW, I just did a search on their site and they only have scraper blades. That leaves Walgreens and Rite-Aid, or at least I hope they still have SE blades.
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05-17-2013, 03:45 PM
Post: #4
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
Good call Yohann.
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05-17-2013, 08:02 PM
Post: #5
My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
The Walgreens in my area no longer carry the Gem SE blades.
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05-17-2013, 09:26 PM
Post: #6
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
It sounds to me as though the SE ambassadors just need to turn back the SE shavepocalypse. We can do it. All those retailers have done is dealt themselves out.

But I'm off the subject that the OP intended. Sorry.
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05-18-2013, 03:15 AM
Post: #7
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
Yeah, injector blades have completely disappeared from store shelves, and SE blades are becoming increasingly hard to find.

Even online, injector blades are not exactly cheap.
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05-18-2013, 08:26 AM
Post: #8
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
I just picked up SE blades at CVS, but my neck of the woods is about 10 years behind the times. $5 for 10 blades, cheaper than their DE blades

Brian - link this thread somehow to the LOSERS thread and start a revolution?
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05-19-2013, 03:35 AM
Post: #9
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
Fascinating and brilliant.

That begs the question... how many of our old notions are creating challenges for newbies, doing more harm than good?

On the list to reconsider:
Excessively Hot Water Prep vs Warm or even Cold
Excessively Long Prep vs Minimal Prep
Sharpest blade is best vs Smoothest blades at moderate sharpness
Badger vs Boar
Mildest razor for beginners (which OP debunked) vs more aggressive
Tons of pre and post shave products vs basics

The more I learn it seems the less I know.
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05-19-2013, 10:36 AM
Post: #10
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
(05-19-2013 03:35 AM)Aimsport Wrote:  Fascinating and brilliant.

That begs the question... how many of our old notions are creating challenges for newbies, doing more harm than good?

On the list to reconsider:
Excessively Hot Water Prep vs Warm or even Cold
Excessively Long Prep vs Minimal Prep
Sharpest blade is best vs Smoothest blades at moderate sharpness
Badger vs Boar
Mildest razor for beginners (which OP debunked) vs more aggressiveTons of pre and post shave products vs basics

The more I learn it seems the less I know.

Actually, I don't think it was debunked as much as a good reason was given as to why another approach might be of value.

One could just as easily write a rebuttal to "debunk" the idea proposed by the OP. When actually it wouldn't be a debunking at all; it would only be a competing approach. IMO, minds should remain open rather than slammed shut.

Now to argue against what I just wrote, I began with 2 slightly aggressive razors (as compared to a Tech), and I survived and learned very fast not to apply pressure. I still think the idea that the OP discussed holds merit.

Now if we could "prove" it... But there simply is no way to do that. There are far too many variables involved since we're not dealing with machines or physical laws. One way that might work is for a questionaire to be posted as to how the gear one began with and the ease of the learning experience and curve, but even that would be flawed since folks don't know what they don't know and can't respond to it.
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05-19-2013, 08:40 PM
Post: #11
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
It probably depends on the new wetshaver.

I started with a Merkur three-piece razor and could never get past the razor burn. (It's still too aggressive for me to use on a consistent basis.) When I switched to the very mild Weishi and Gillette Tech, my shaves improved dramatically and learning accelerated.

As a result of my personal experience, I have always recommended a mild razor for new wetshavers. I'm still inclined to see it this way, though many have successfully learned to shave on Merkurs equivalent to the one that worked so poorly for me.

- Murray
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05-19-2013, 11:27 PM
Post: #12
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
Interesting points Yohann. I started off with a mild 50's superspeed myself and resisted the temptation to use more pressure after my first few shaves but as you said developed a blade buffing technique and quickly got great shaves from these razors. Although I'm not sure if overall I would have been more discouraged with some crappy shaves from a mild razor versus cuts and weepers from a more aggressive razor when starting out.

About SE blades I've noticed the ASR blades have all but disappeared from stores around me. I used to be able to find Pal, Treets and Gems Blue Stars but now I can only seem to find the re-branded Dorcos.
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05-20-2013, 09:25 AM
Post: #13
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
(05-19-2013 11:27 PM)vuk Wrote:  <snip> About SE blades I've noticed the ASR blades have all but disappeared from stores around me. I used to be able to find Pal, Treets and Gems Blue Stars but now I can only seem to find the re-branded Dorcos.

I haven't used the Dorcos, but from what I've read, Biggrin they used everything they learned by making DE blades and applied them to the SE blades. They're only scraper blades.
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05-20-2013, 10:01 AM
Post: #14
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
To get back on track - interesting though the sidebar on the availability of SE blades is Smile - I think a TTO is a good choice for a starter razor due to the extreme ease of changing blades without slicing fingertips... and the Cadet TTOs are nice razors for beginners and experienced shavers alike in my opinion.
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05-20-2013, 10:43 AM
Post: #15
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
Hans, is the Cadet a mild or mildly aggressive razor?
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05-20-2013, 11:29 AM
Post: #16
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
I would say the Cadet TTOs are halfway between mild and aggressive - so mildly aggressive may be a good term for it. YMMV off course, depending on blade, angle and technique.
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05-20-2013, 12:25 PM
Post: #17
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
I agree with Hans....the Cadet TTOs are not mild and not too aggressive. I call them efficient, and leave it at that.
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05-20-2013, 12:40 PM
Post: #18
Re: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
This is interesting... I started (not long ago at all - 7 weeks ago) with the Merkur 23C and became comfortable with it very quickly. You know how it is when babies want to be big boys and the RAD set in. I then got an SS. Didn't like it one bit. Maybe because the handle is too short for my long fingers. Tried a Slim and liked it better. Lucked upon a Futur and though I keep it on mild settings, I'm getting my best shaves so far. Now I'm concentrating more on which blades work (and I'm taking my time and working on technique). The thing is, after reading so many warnings about how the Futur is not a starter's razor, I gave it the utmost respect and really concentrated on my technique. My first shave with it was definitely one of my best ever. In my case I think this theory holds some weight.

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05-22-2013, 07:17 AM
Post: #19
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
I have the Cadet TTO-13. It's an excellent razor, and the price was superb. I'd have no hesitation recommending it to a new user.

I also have a number of SuperSpeeds and a Weishi. I think that those are also excellent razors--despite all the bad reviews of the Weishis--for most beards. (I have a pretty light beard and an insensitive face, so I'm in good shape!)

I would also recommend the Cadet open-comb razors to new users. They are not particularly aggressive, and I think that they provide a bit more feedback than the safety-bar razors.

I think that the best I've found is my open-comb Gillette NEW (1929-41), shown in the photo below. It shaves very well, and I have had no nicks, weepers, or razor burn from it. I think that it is just a bit milder than the Cadet open-combs. But it's harder to find those in good condition.

But I think that the most important advice to a new DE shaver would be (a) be careful and (b) keep at it.

[Image: gillette-new-a-v-musk.jpg?w=640]
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05-22-2013, 07:34 AM (This post was last modified: 05-22-2013 07:52 AM by Aimsport.)
Post: #20
RE: My new 'First Razor' suggestion for new wetshavers.
(05-19-2013 10:36 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote:  Actually, I don't think it was debunked as much as a good reason was given as to why another approach might be of value.

One could just as easily write a rebuttal to "debunk" the idea proposed by the OP. When actually it wouldn't be a debunking at all; it would only be a competing approach. IMO, minds should remain open rather than slammed shut.

Now to argue against what I just wrote, I began with 2 slightly aggressive razors (as compared to a Tech), and I survived and learned very fast not to apply pressure. I still think the idea that the OP discussed holds merit.

Now if we could "prove" it... But there simply is no way to do that. There are far too many variables involved since we're not dealing with machines or physical laws. One way that might work is for a questionaire to be posted as to how the gear one began with and the ease of the learning experience and curve, but even that would be flawed since folks don't know what they don't know and can't respond to it.

Yes, agreed. "Debunked" is the wrong word.
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