The Case for DE

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by Elgar, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. I'm new to this group and thought I'd say a few words about why I now use a DE razor (and not an electric, twin blade, triple blade, etc.). I'm grateful for what I've learned over the last few months as a reader of this forum and I believe the case for this "old technology" is very compelling.

    I've had issues with acne, ingrown hairs, dry/sensitive skin, contact eczema and other wonderful skin conditions since I began shaving at 17. Every year, I had no choice but grow a beard to make it through brutal Ohio winters without having my face and neck skinned by some unforgiving implement. When returning to shaving in the spring, I'd only been able to shave five days a week without trouble, and then only with a prescribed topical steroid to contain inflamation. After trying every commercial cream and gel, shaving oil, every brand of electric razor, and all the expensive designer blades and novelty razors served up by Gillette, the problems persisted until I spent an evening on the internet trying to find a way to avoid another ghastly, itchy beard in 2005/2006. Some relief came when I was turned onto a shaving brush and shaving soap, finally setting on Classic Shaving's store brand soap after sampling a number of options. This product, along with my Sensor and Mach 3, took me to mid-January until I again began to look like a bowl of raw hamburger. I returned to the web and eventually bumped into an article by a dermatologist explaining the evils of modern cartridge razor blades. I excitedly ordered a Merkur Progress, bought some Personna blades, and proceeded to cut myself to ribbons every day for a week. Out of frustration, I logged back on and finally located this forum. Reading the posts here has been a tremendous help in unraveling the mysteries of shaving with one of these slightly anachronistic instruments. Things improved greatly, and I was not only able to shave through the winter, but also, for the first time, seven days a week.

    One morning in the middle of this little adventure, I was running behind getting ready for work and decided, in the interest of time, to forgo the somewhat dangerous Progress in favor of my old idiot-proof Sensor. I figured this wouldn't hurt for one day. I got an excellent shave in record time (lol). I figured the skills I'd learned from using a DE had somehow made the Sensor a favorable alternative. By the fourth day of this digression, my neck had again turned an uninviting puffy dark purple with little red bumps. After laying off a day, I returned to the Progress and made a full recovery. I'm still shaving every day and love the feeling of being clean shaven and smooth-skinned.

    Thanks to everyone here for the wonderful posts. I can now re-focus my efforts on getting that elusive perfect shave.

  2. DoubleE

    DoubleE Moderator Emeritus


    Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations and ultimate success. It serves as encouragement and reinforcement to others entering the world of wetshaving or those who have strayed and are returning!
  3. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus Contributor


    Welcome to B&B, and thank you for sharing your story. Liberation is, indeed, a wonderful feeling.
  4. PoshRichM

    PoshRichM Moderator Emeritus

    Ken, congratulations on your discovery, and recovery! Funny how something as simple as finding and using the right tool for the job can make such a huge difference.

  5. Scotto

    Scotto Moderator Emeritus

    That is a great story, Ken! Now your shaves can move from chore to pleasure.
  6. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Welcome aboard. Feel free to add as much pomp and circumstance as you desire.:tongue_sm
  7. Greetings all!
    I would like to put in a plug for Feather blades, those highly volative DE blades made in Japan. They are, in my view, without a doubt, the finest DE blades available, A word of warning however- the proper use of these blades presupposes a bit of experience w/ wet shaving. I spent several months learning w/ the Merkur DE blades before moving on to Feathers. The results for me were remarkable. My face is smooth as a light bulb when I'm done shaving, and my shaves are most comfortable (I use the 2 pass system. The first north/south, and the second oblique,w/ some small touch ups to finish). I would encourage those of you who haven't tried Feathers to do so so, after some skill has been developed w/ other, less volatile blades.
    Jim Whiting
  8. Man is irrational. Socrates was a man. All men are Socrates.
    Woody Allen
  9. I obtained some Feathers a month ago or so and obviously didn't have the experience necessary to get good results. I took few chunks out of my face and noticed my skin was much more sensitive than usual when I splashed witch hazel on it. These blades are really quite different from the Personnas and the Merkur sample I tried. They seem to be a lot thinner. Another thing I noticed immediately was the completely different sound they produce while shaving. I'm bidding on a lot of Derby Extra blades and I'll see how I get on with them. I also have an order in for a Classic HD because I'm a little frustrated by the uneven blade exposure I've been getting with the Progress. I certainly plan on revisiting my stash of Feather blades after I'm sure I have my sea legs. My last experience was a bit humbling!

  10. DoubleE

    DoubleE Moderator Emeritus

    Hang in there Ken, it gets better! It sometimes takes a little experimentation to find the combination that you like and that works for you. Once you solidify your technique, give the Feathers another try. I get my best results with them in the Vision but it didn't start out that way.
  11. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus Contributor


    I think you will really enjoy the HD razor and the Derby blades. Both are of excellent quality. These two items paired together have provided me with the most consistently good shaves of any other combo I have tried.
  12. I had a similiar experience. In the end I came to the same conclusion.

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