What to start with?

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by adamant, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. I am hoping that my order with my first DE razor arrives today or tomorrow. In it I have a Merkur Long Handle (23c) with WCS's Extended sampler pack with:

    # Merkur Super Platinum (10 blades)
    # Feather New Hi-Stainless Platinum (10 blades)
    # Crystal or "Israeli" (10 blades)
    # Derby Extra (5 blades)
    # Gillette Platinum (5 blades)
    # BIC Chrome Platinum (5 blades)
    # DORCO Platinum (10 blades)
    # Red Pack Israeli (5 blades)

    I also ordered 2 scents of Col. Conk's soap, a cake of Proraso soap, and a tube of Cremo cream.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on a blade/soap(or cream) combo for the first time. I'm planning on taking notes on the blades/soaps so that when I need to reorder I'll have an idea of what I like more.
  2. I would start out with the Derby, Crystal/IP, Red Pack IP, or Dorco blades. They seem to be the most gentle blades of the bunch and best for starting out. From what I have read I would never use the Merkur blades. I have none of those soaps/creams so someone else will have to chime in there. Good luck!
  3. I bought the same sampler a couple weeks ago to get me started. I started with the Merkur, and had a great first experience, but second and third time out, that thing tried to kill me. I chucked it, and I don't want to see them anymore. Next I went to the Crystal(Israeli), and it is head and shoulders above the Merkur as far as smooth shaving and comfort. I don't know if I even want to try any others, but I'm going to try them all anyway. I just can't see anything for me to complain about with the Crystal after half a dozen nice shaves. Some of the Crystal shaves have been what I would have to call DFS, and with no blood or irritation on all but one of them. I'm not worrying about BBS at this point, especially since the shaves I'm getting are far and away better than what I was getting with my old M3.

    As far as soaps and creams, I've had nice shaves with Kiss My Face cream, and Proraso cream. The only soap I have tried so far is the Tabac, and it is super comfortable, but a little more work than the creams. I use the Proraso pre-shave cream before, and but I'm not sure how effective it is at softening my beard, but it does feel nice. I also use the Shave Secret oil for touch up afterwards, and it is absolutely fantastic. I've taken a liking to the Nivea Extreme Comfort ASB. It's cheap, and feels great.

    I also have waiting in the bullpen a couple different soaps from Ogalalla, which smell good enough to take a bite of, and some samples of The Gentleman's Refinery, Truefitt &Hill, and Trumpers on the way.

    I'm not far into this wet shaving experience, but I've actually learned to enjoy my shave now rather than dread it. I've also already put to bed any dreams of this being less expensive than cartridge shaving. There is so much to buy! Today I ordered my third brush(Penworks Silvertip), and I'm sitting here at work looking at the internet at other crap that may find it's way to my bathroom as well. If I'm not careful, I may end up with more stuff than my wife has.
  4. Adamant

    +1 on Marks blade recommendations i would also have said Derby or Dorco to start with, Merkurs are for me so-so blades.

    Col Conk is a glycerin based soap and a pretty good one (i have the lime)
    Proraso is what i'd call a soft soap, but you'll love the menthol feeling when you rinse your face after shaving, damn if you don't rub your chin every 5mins afterwards for an hour!!
    both are good soaps so either would do i guess

    Oh before i forget, DO NOT go anywhere near the Feather blades:behead: for a long time

    Good luck

  5. Thanks for the tips, I think I'll give the crystals a try. Unfortunately, the stuff still hasn't arrived. I'm hoping for today.

    Are the feathers good blades, and I just need a more trained hand to use them, or are they no good?
  6. Feathers are great blades, and also amongst the sharpest. Hence, why you were given the above suggestions as those blades are a lot more gentle and forgiving. AS a new DE shaver you are bound to make mistakes in the beginning and making a mistake with a feather makes you pay a deadly price.

    Once you get used to DE shaving you will adore the feathers just like most other people here. Nothing else matches it imo.

    P.S. Also you will develop, according to your skin type/shaving habits, your own personal favourites etc. So while the lists given are a good starting point, there is no hard and fast rule and what works for someone else may not work for you. For instance, I have had terrible shaves with a Dorco while they are loved by other people. YMMV. :lol:
  7. Skip the Merkur blades and save the Feathers until after you've mastered your technique.
  8. Derby's, Crystals or IP's as learner blades, stick to one make of blade until technique is mastered then experiment with samples. Some blades might irritate you more than another. Drawing blood really has nothing to do with the variance in the sharpness between razor blades but more likely due to poor technique or a lapse in concentration.
  9. Although probably less experienced than the gentlemen above suggesting that you save the Feathers for later, I strongly disagree. If Feathers are the best blade to use why save them for later? I started using Feathers about two weeks into DE-shaving, and had no problems whatsoever. If I had continued using the crappy Merkur blades I started with, I probably would have given up on DEs altogether.

    Feathers are not possessed by the devil and will not slice your head off. In my opinion, the sharper the blade the less grief you´ll have. But if you´re worried, go for the Derbys or Swedes.
  10. Amen to that. If your technique is off enough to cut yourself with the feathers you will do the same with other blades. They are ALL sharp when compared to your skin. It's the beard that is tough to cut.

    As a matter of fact, I would give the opposite advice as I believe it is the frustration and lack of patience with dull blades that lead to mistakes (pressure, hurrying) resulting in cuts, weepers and razor burn.

  11. scoopster

    scoopster Moderator Emeritus

    Nice order - you are well set up!

    One thing I can offer is: Early on only change one variable at a time. So while you are getting to know all the blades in that awesome sampler pack, only use one razor and one soap (or cream). I found that early on when I changed too many things at once it actually slowed down my learning because I wasn't sure which thing caused an improvement or degradation of my daily shave.

    Again, enjoy that nice kit!
  12. Start with Derby, then try Dorcos.

    Leave Feathers for later, when you catch some technique.

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