Multi Blade vs Single blade dispute with myself

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by PZBarber, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. I was lying in bed the other night unable to sleep and started thinking about the whole multi blade cartridge versus the single open blade and DE.

    Before I get into this I want to point out that this is a conversation I had with myself and is not me disputing what 1000's of people say. Just one other thing. I shaved with multi blades for years with no problems. I never used a brush, just some decent shaving cream. Never really BBS but never any burn or irritation.

    Now it occured to me that the safety cartridge razor is designed for Joe Public, the man on the street who just wants to get up, shave and go. He doesn't want to think about his shave or the techniques he uses. He just wants to get rid of the hair on his face with minimal effort. So off he goes shaving this way and that, with the grain, against the grain, round and round the grain. In between scrapes he's shouting at the kids and putting his pants on. He's putting way too much pressure on the blades but at the end of the day he got clean shaven without getting cut up too bad and with a bit of burn or maybe not.

    Now, we all agree that DE or a straight gives you a great shave with minimal burn/ irritation and so on.

    Why? and this is my point.

    Because we are thinking about what we are doing. We know that if we go hell for leather, this way and that and pressing down too hard we won't have a face left to shave the next day. We practice good preparation and technique unlike Joe Public. We take our time and achieve, hopefully, what we set out to do.

    Now here is the dispute I had with myself.

    Is a straight/DE actually better than a 37 blade razor OR is it purely down to good shaving practice? I mean, because we don't use too much pressure and we prepare properly and use proper technique we get a good clean irritation free shave. If Joe prepared his face properly and shaved gently with the grain would his irritation go away? Would he achieve a far more satisfactory shave? Would the burn go? Is a Gilette multi wotnot as good as/better than a single blade if you practice proper shaving technique.

    I hope this doesn't stir up any controversy, it's just a thought I had.:wink:

  2. It's simple Mat: Do what works best for you!:smile:

    There's no magic anywhere... if you get good shaves from a cartridge, then I see no reason to change.

    Now, for myself, I could never get a good close shave with a cartridge... razor burn and ingrowns being my biggest problems... along with not being able to get a close shave.
  3. I'll just point out that I started using a shavette type straight with snapped Merkur DE blades nearly 2 months ago and I am very happy with the result. Still no burn or irritation but a slightly closer shave for less passes.

    I asked the question because there are many die hard fans of the straight and DE that will tell you that cartridge razors are borne of the devil. Is their shave so much better now because they practice good technique or is it purely because the use a single blade?

  4. I can chime in on this one ....I had good prep and good technique. I used a multiblade razor and a single blade....I would still end up with razor bumps or in grown hairs..

    I just started using a DE with good blades..I have had a couple of in grown hairs but they were easy to remove..They were not the one's that take two weeks to heal.

    The only thing that changed in my shaving was the razor...

    I can tell you by the sound and feel that a DE with a good blade is better than any multiblade out there..
  5. htownmmm

    htownmmm Moderator Emeritus

    Even with using good technique and good prep, if you shave with a multi, you are multiplying the amount of blades that are cutting your stubble vs. only one blade with the DE. More blades = more irritation(at least in my situation.) YMMV.

  6. Here's how I rate the choices for closeness and comfort based on 25 years of scraping:

    3.Bic Metal
    4.Trac II (no strip)
    5.Bic Standard
    6.Atra (no strip)
    7.Braun electric shavers
    9.Current cartridge razors

    I'd rate the Sensor as the single worst but all the new cartridges require a lot pressure to cut my beard (I put it down to the flexible blade thing) and they all tear the heck out of my neck. And the latest ladder rung types cant even fit under my nose.
  7. ead


    For me DE or str8 is much better, and I will explain
    When using a one blade, I feel like I move the blade only one or maybe two times for getting a real close nice shave
    When using multi blades, it seem like every time I slide the blade, 3 or 5!! blades moves on my face witch mean 5 times at least more irritation :frown:
    Also, after the mover of the first blade out of the 5, all of the leather is off, so the next 4 will just go on my skin with out any leather, witch cause me even more irritation
    And not to mention the fact that my hair get caught between the 5 blades, witch gives me even more irritation :eek:
  8. ead


    Just what I have said a second after you :biggrin:

  9. I used a 3blade disposable for many years. I DID pay attention to what I was doing, and I improved my technique constantly. When I stopped shaving with those and went to the DE/Straight it wasn't because I was having any problems with closeness/burn/nicks, it was for other reasons.

  10. Personally I've never had much trouble with a multiblade. I simply didn't enjoy it much. It was a boring chore that I rarely did. Many people state that irritation was the reason they switched, but I never had a problem with irritation due to multi-blades. In fact I'm probably more prone to get irritation with a DE due to bad technique.

    You would think that if it was up to having a simple, irritation free shave with a multi-blade razor and the complex, irritation and blood letting world of a DE, one would pick a multi-blade razor.

    For me, shaving with a DE makes me feel like a gentleman. Learning how to shave with a DE requires patience and mindfulness. Those are two important traits that a man needs in order to become a gentleman. I believe that without those two traits, there is no way I man could start to be a gentleman. If I loose my patience with a DE, I am liable to cut myself.

    When I shave with a brush on DE razor, I feel I'm paying homage to all things gentlemanly.

    Eric. - Good list of gentlemanly traits
  11. I've always thought that people get better shaves with DE's because of the attention that is required ; I'm sure that if they come back to M3's, chances are they may get get good shaves due to the improved technique (and less rush)

  12. Very well said Eric. I think you and I have a similar experience.

  13. +1

    For me:
    Lift & Cut cartridges = ingrowns & long term irritation. Shave is a chore.
    DE = no ingrowns & close shave with occasional short term irritation. Shave is an experience.
  14. Good responses there folks.

    I started with the straight because I wanted to shave other people in my shop and thought it only fair to start on myself. I am now a changed man. A shave is now a pleasure rather than a chore. I actually look forward to it.

    I agree there is a sense of both manliness and gentlemanliness (if there is such a word) about 'proper' shaving. It certainly gives you a sense of wellbeing and inward knowledge that you are doing one more thing to retain a gentlemanly outlook in a world of hate and violence.

  15. ead


    Yep :biggrin:
    I do hopt that any one here (Include myself) will teach his children and friends, so we can keep this "wet-shving" tradition for ever :001_wub:
  16. +2

    Lift & Cut cartridges = same as taking your car to a drive through car wash. Decent results but nothing outstanding, higher cost, no skill needed

    Straight or DE = hand washing and detailing your car. Nuff said :cool:
  17. I had always shaved with creams or soaps, but with a cartridge. I got fed up with three things:
    - price
    - ingrowns and irritation
    - lack of "connectedness" or control (stoopid pivoting head thing) during the shave

    The light went on for me in September, during a spa visit on my honeymoon, I was in the change room and saw a bunch of shaving product, so I though "yeah... a shave right now would be great". The razors were bic disposables for sensitive skin. I had a better than average shave (just a single WTG pass, I didn't know about multiple passes) and liked the control I had over the blade. After talking to my baby brother later on who started using a straight, I did some sleuthing and ended up here.

    Also... all the other great points mentioned by everybody else.
  18. We live in a world where hype is king and people believe everything they read or are told by manufacturers and that is combined with an attitude of the easiest way is the best way and I want it now.

    The cartridge razor is a product of this mentality and the gullibility of most people. Sure it works and does what it is supposed to as does an electric also. Using a wet shaving technique and a DE is for those who are more romantics at heart and are willing to go the extra mile to get a better and more satisfying shave something the general population is unwilling to do. I won't even go into straights because thats more of a hobby thing to most and not for most people. You have to be really different to use them.
  19. ead


    LIFT & CUT is so bad :thumbdown
    I just can't stand the feeling of the electric machines, and the cartridges are going the same way

    One of the smartest thing I have read in the recent time, brilliant :thumbup:
  20. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    My feelings are that a good shave is a product of good technique and good tools.

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