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I picked up a platinum preppy recently. I can't quite believe you can get such a good, solid performer at such a low price. You'd think it would be cheap junk but it's really good. Eye-dropper convertible.
Shavettes which use a half DE blade are very unforgiving but IMO an AC shavette loaded with one of the milder AC blades is much easier to use.
There will still be a learning curve, of course, but a much less daunting one.
Arko. Rub the stick around. Whip up a lather with a wet brush. Maybe add some more water for a nice slick lather (Arko can take quite a bit of water). The brush will hold enough to do a second or third pass.
Shallow angles help protect you from one type of cut but not another. You might need to increase the angle to get over a mole, for example.
I found the Feather blades too sharp out of the pack. Very easy to nick yourself. But after 4 or 5 shaves they lose some of their excessive sharpness. A...
Fully exposed DE blades are used in many shavettes. That's a great way to learn a light touch: your blood is a great teacher ;)
Seriously though, you do learn a lot about shaving with straights/shavettes. You develop a feel for how a very sharp blade can glide safely across...
I made a strop with a piece of veg-tanned cow hide 4mm thick, 3" wide, and 600mm long (two feet). It was advertised specifically for stropping.
Don't skimp on the length: one of the best things about making your own is the luxury of a nice long strop.
I'd recommend something sharp and consistent - some blades can vary a lot from shave to shave. Nacet is a good choice.
There is a razor blade sharpness study with more information on different types of blade but we're not allowed to link to it.
Pears can produce a surprisingly good lather. I'd happily use it for head shaves. For face-shaving I like my shaving soaps too much.
I've only tried the orange Pears. Not a brilliant scent. But if you were on holiday, or if there was a zombie apocalypse and this is all you could find, you could...
I actually think you're more likely to cut yourself with a very shallow angle.
Think about it. If the movement of the razor is in the same plane as the blade (zero angle - not quite possible when shaving) it will simply slice through any meat which gets in the way - lumps, moles, ears... - like...
A mild razor makes the task very easy.
An open comb will slice through longer hair with no difficulty (I sometimes go a week without shaving).
So the perfect head shaver is... drum roll... a Merkur open-comb. This is one of the mildest designs you can get with negative blade exposure.
How did you cut yourself:
(a) a clumsy moment when the blade hit the skin when you didn't mean to
(b) a deliberate shaving movement which didn't work out
I think the solution for either is to leave the chin & mouth area alone for now. Just shave the easy bits like the cheeks. Maybe the neck...