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A Manifesto: The Search for the Perfect Mild Razor

Intro

Hi there. Before I launch into the meat and potatoes, allow me to set up the story. I have been DE shaving for 7 years now. Like most of us, I came off cartridges which I found irritating, expensive, and an unfulfilling experience. I have very coarse and thick beard growth and uber-sensitive skin. I have had to shave daily for as long as I can remember to avoid my skin itching and getting other skin problems.

When I started DE shaving, I started with a DE89 like most noobs, but quickly migrated to Fatip Gentile and from there, I tried a bunch of other mild and not-so-mild razors. Along the way, I have learned that FOR ME, a mild razor that I can take shallow is paramount because with decent technique, even a mild razor can give solid BBS in two passes plus buffing. I hope this post is helpful for some of the current and future noobs on this board and can save them some of the expenses and frustrations I went through in the last few years.

Rather than go over every failed razor in great detail, I will start with the razors that are currently in my rotation, which ones I am looking at next, and then provide a quick list of razors I had but got rid of because they didn't work.

The Current Rotation

1) Charcoal Goods Everyday (Brass): If I could only have one razor, this is the one I'd choose. I use Permasharps in it, and it runs over the face like a hot knife through butter. Zero blade feel, zero nicks, zero irritation, just an excellent BBS every time, and fantastic post-shave feel. If I had one thing to complain about it is that I have to take the razor apart for drying after every use to avoid crappy-looking water spots, but that is truly minor.

2) Timeless .68mm SB (Stainless Steel): Shaves VERY similar to the CG, but just a touch more blade feel. Also gives a very similar post-shave feel, but immediately after shaving, it feels like there is a touch of stubble left, but that somehow disappears after a few minutes. Ultimately, the only minor complaint is that due to its size, it can be a bit more challenging to get under the nose, but again... a very minor issue. I use Gillette Yellows in this one.

3) Wolfman WR2 .95mm SB (Stainless Steel): This one shaves super-smooth, as well, but because of its gap, this is a razor I avoid if I am in a hurry. While it normally won't bite, if I am in a huge hurry and start putting down the razor on my face a little too quickly, the hacking motion with that kind of gap can lead to cuts. But most of the time, this razor works beautifully and with its polish, it is a work of art. Gillette Yellows for this razor.

4) Blutt BR1 .67mm SB (Stainless Steel): The newest addition to my den and it does not disappoint. It is the mildest and least efficient razor in my rotation. But it also is the easiest and safest to use and still gives a BBS...albeit with some more buffing required. This configuration of the Blutt is what I imagine the lovechild of the WR2 and CG Everyday would be. The feel of the WR2 and the shave outcome is similar to the CGE. Permasharp seems to work best in terms of blades for me.

5) Timeless .38mm Bronze: My most efficient razor and the only positive blade exposure razor that has ever cracked my rotation. Mows over the face with a glide like the best of them, but the blade feel is there. This is the razor I use if I know I have a long workday ahead of me or if I need to look good for work for very long...like on travel days. Despite the efficiency, this doesn't irritate with 2 passes (although it can with 3 passes). I do have to be a bit more deliberate with choosing a shaving soap with this one (I go with my most protective ones) and I have to be careful not to load a blade that is too unforgiving. Permasharps or Gillette Yellows in this one are good for me.

6) Tatara Masamune: This is the standard Masamune Setup. I use a Nacet blade if I need/want more aggression, otherwise, I can use Permasharps or Gillette Yellows. This is the only razor in my current rotation that does not glide like a knife through butter. I find it weirdly blade forward with the Nacet and it can be quite draggy when using a steeper angle. I prefer shallow, but it is still draggy. That said...probably the safest razor in my den along with the Blutt and this is the razor I use for travel. Short trips, long trips...doesn't matter. It is so safe that I don't even need to bring an alum block. And will work with even the worst to average soaps and mediocre post-shave routines. It is a very versatile razor and that is what I like best about it. What it doesn't do is to deliver the same shave experience as the prior 5 and especially the first 4 razors. But I can look past that given its qualities.


What Razor is Up Next

The next razor I am planning on trying is the CX-316L from Carbon. Seems like another neutral exposure razor with the ability to go shallow.

Next Posts

Razors I have used but not kept in the rotation will be in the next post in this thread. Buckle up...it'll be a TLDR kind of post (even more so than this one).

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask.
 
Similar situation here, and for me nothing beats a Gillette Red Tip paired with a Gillette Platinum blade, at a fraction of the price of the razors listed here.

With few exceptions like the feather AS-D2 (which is essentially a modern Tech), modern razors tend to shave steep, scrapping rather than slicing hair.

Gillette got it right a long time ago.
 
Similar situation here, and for me nothing beats a Gillette Red Tip paired with a Gillette Platinum blade, at a fraction of the price of the razors listed here.

With few exceptions like the feather AS-D2 (which is essentially a modern Tech), modern razors tend to shave steep, scrapping rather than slicing hair.

Gillette got it right a long time ago.
If I were a minimalist, which I am clearly not, a Gillette Ball End Tech would be the only razor I needed.
 
Intro

Hi there. Before I launch into the meat and potatoes, allow me to set up the story. I have been DE shaving for 7 years now. Like most of us, I came off cartridges which I found irritating, expensive, and an unfulfilling experience. I have very coarse and thick beard growth and uber-sensitive skin. I have had to shave daily for as long as I can remember to avoid my skin itching and getting other skin problems.

When I started DE shaving, I started with a DE89 like most noobs, but quickly migrated to Fatip Gentile and from there, I tried a bunch of other mild and not-so-mild razors. Along the way, I have learned that FOR ME, a mild razor that I can take shallow is paramount because with decent technique, even a mild razor can give solid BBS in two passes plus buffing. I hope this post is helpful for some of the current and future noobs on this board and can save them some of the expenses and frustrations I went through in the last few years.

Rather than go over every failed razor in great detail, I will start with the razors that are currently in my rotation, which ones I am looking at next, and then provide a quick list of razors I had but got rid of because they didn't work.

The Current Rotation

1) Charcoal Goods Everyday (Brass): If I could only have one razor, this is the one I'd choose. I use Permasharps in it, and it runs over the face like a hot knife through butter. Zero blade feel, zero nicks, zero irritation, just an excellent BBS every time, and fantastic post-shave feel. If I had one thing to complain about it is that I have to take the razor apart for drying after every use to avoid crappy-looking water spots, but that is truly minor.

2) Timeless .68mm SB (Stainless Steel): Shaves VERY similar to the CG, but just a touch more blade feel. Also gives a very similar post-shave feel, but immediately after shaving, it feels like there is a touch of stubble left, but that somehow disappears after a few minutes. Ultimately, the only minor complaint is that due to its size, it can be a bit more challenging to get under the nose, but again... a very minor issue. I use Gillette Yellows in this one.

3) Wolfman WR2 .95mm SB (Stainless Steel): This one shaves super-smooth, as well, but because of its gap, this is a razor I avoid if I am in a hurry. While it normally won't bite, if I am in a huge hurry and start putting down the razor on my face a little too quickly, the hacking motion with that kind of gap can lead to cuts. But most of the time, this razor works beautifully and with its polish, it is a work of art. Gillette Yellows for this razor.

4) Blutt BR1 .67mm SB (Stainless Steel): The newest addition to my den and it does not disappoint. It is the mildest and least efficient razor in my rotation. But it also is the easiest and safest to use and still gives a BBS...albeit with some more buffing required. This configuration of the Blutt is what I imagine the lovechild of the WR2 and CG Everyday would be. The feel of the WR2 and the shave outcome is similar to the CGE. Permasharp seems to work best in terms of blades for me.

5) Timeless .38mm Bronze: My most efficient razor and the only positive blade exposure razor that has ever cracked my rotation. Mows over the face with a glide like the best of them, but the blade feel is there. This is the razor I use if I know I have a long workday ahead of me or if I need to look good for work for very long...like on travel days. Despite the efficiency, this doesn't irritate with 2 passes (although it can with 3 passes). I do have to be a bit more deliberate with choosing a shaving soap with this one (I go with my most protective ones) and I have to be careful not to load a blade that is too unforgiving. Permasharps or Gillette Yellows in this one are good for me.

6) Tatara Masamune: This is the standard Masamune Setup. I use a Nacet blade if I need/want more aggression, otherwise, I can use Permasharps or Gillette Yellows. This is the only razor in my current rotation that does not glide like a knife through butter. I find it weirdly blade forward with the Nacet and it can be quite draggy when using a steeper angle. I prefer shallow, but it is still draggy. That said...probably the safest razor in my den along with the Blutt and this is the razor I use for travel. Short trips, long trips...doesn't matter. It is so safe that I don't even need to bring an alum block. And will work with even the worst to average soaps and mediocre post-shave routines. It is a very versatile razor and that is what I like best about it. What it doesn't do is to deliver the same shave experience as the prior 5 and especially the first 4 razors. But I can look past that given its qualities.


What Razor is Up Next

The next razor I am planning on trying is the CX-316L from Carbon. Seems like another neutral exposure razor with the ability to go shallow.

Next Posts

Razors I have used but not kept in the rotation will be in the next post in this thread. Buckle up...it'll be a TLDR kind of post (even more so than this one).

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask.
I agree with Brothers @CCS and @macintoshBR to an extent.

I would re-visit your DE89 and check out a Tech, especially a 50's English one or a Flat Bottom Tech. Efficient but mild, and much cheaper.

A good old Super Speed, ideally pre-50 or a Red Tip is an option too, well within the parameters of efficient yet (by todays modern, often over-aggressive razors) pleasant to use.

Pair it with a Nacet, Gillette Platinum, Silver Blue or Perma-Sharp, and you will have a great experience.

Use soaps, creams and post shave products which are skin friendly. You may have dermatological problems which reacts adversely to many products out there.

Just experiment and get back!
 
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Great thread!

IMO, you might consider going in either of two directions (once you evaluate the CX-316):
1. Try some of the classic ‘vintage’ options suggested, to which I would add the Slim or a FatBoy.
2. Continue exploring ‘modern’ options, to which I would add the WR1 (my favorite).

The main thing is to ENJOY the journey!! :popc::popc:
 
In a similar situation (although with 1.05 Wolfman), I landed on the Masamune. I would suggest other blades, however, as I did find the Nacet was not ideal and I felt it way more than others (normally a Nacet fan). I find a Feather is best in the Masamune, but can use a GSB or German Wilkie too.
 
Great thread!

IMO, you might consider going in either of two directions (once you evaluate the CX-316):
1. Try some of the classic ‘vintage’ options suggested, to which I would add the Slim or a FatBoy.
2. Continue exploring ‘modern’ options, to which I would add the WR1 (my favorite).

The main thing is to ENJOY the journey!! :popc::popc:

The vintage angle is intriguing. That said...not sure how I feel about adding another vintage "hobby" since collecting vintage vinyl jazz can already be super annoying (IYKYK).

The WR1, I already had and sold. Took me just a few days to understand it wasn't for me. Just felt a little rough with any of the blades that usually work for me, so I found it a new home. But there are lots of other modern DEs that could still be explored.
 
In a similar situation (although with 1.05 Wolfman), I landed on the Masamune. I would suggest other blades, however, as I did find the Nacet was not ideal and I felt it way more than others (normally a Nacet fan). I find a Feather is best in the Masamune, but can use a GSB or German Wilkie too.
I have found the Permasharps to be the best blade in this razor although the Nacet will add a little efficiency...so I go with whatever blade suits me on a given day.
 
I agree with Brothers @CCS and @macintoshBR to an extent.

I would re-visit your DE89 and check out a Tech, especially a 50's English one or a Flat Bottom Tech. Efficient but mild, and much cheaper.

A good old Super Speed, ideally pre-50 or a Red Tip is an option too, well within the parameters of efficient yet (by todays modern, often over-aggressive razors) pleasant to use.

Pair it with a Nacet, Gillette Platinum, Silver Blue or Perma-Sharp, and you will have a great experience.

Use soaps, creams and post shave products which are skin friendly. You may have dermatological problems which reacts adversely to many products out there.

Just experiment and get back!

That is a whole separate post/thread...took me years to figure out what soaps work, what soaps don't, which fragrances and/or artisans to avoid. I am in a really good spot with my shaving products.
 
Great thread - I’m going to follow this one. I also prefer mild, shallow shaves. The Blackland Era is incredibly efficient for me and also favors a shallow angle in the lower and mid plates. For me the 3 plate in open comb with a Gillette yellow blade is the perfect balance of zero/low irritation and smooth, close two pass shave.
 
I love aggressive razors, but due to a steady diet of blood thinners, I now have to use only mild razors. That currently limits me to my EJ DE89, Merkur 34c, C2 Gillette super speed and a Gillette heritage.

Once the 2022 sabbatical is over, I’ll pick up a Karve Chris Bradley with a B plate and a Lupo 58. At least that’s the plan at the moment.
 

lasta

Blade Biter
Hi @steffenapelz , a very nice collection! Always good reading about someone who has come a long way.

But for the sake of future entrants, how would you rate the razors against a Tech/Super Speed?

When I came across B&B in the mid 2000's, those 2 razors were de rigueur for anyone looking for mild/efficient. In fact, after 17 years, I still don't see how a DE razor can be or need to be smoother than those two.

 
"Even a mild razor can give a BBS shave in two passes plus buffing." I respectfully disagree.

The whiskers are pretty tough on my 85-year-old face, and I've never found your premise to be true. It might be somewhat true if one has the good fortune to have very soft water, but I have never had that marvelous fluid in my pipes.

The older I get the more I appreciate adjustable razors, which can customize any blade to one's whiskers and skin. I have about 9 adjustable razors. My go-to fav presently is a Gillette Slim or a Gillette Super Adjustable SH. Your wish for mildness can easily be captured on a setting of 3 or thereabouts.

Best wishes on this thread. The topic is one of high interest.
 
The older I get the more I appreciate adjustable razors, which can customize any blade to one's whiskers and skin.

I get ya, brother. The Rex Konsul and I are having an ongoing relationship.

With occasional diversions into other razors in the Lather Pit such as the RazoRock BBS-OC.

We all recommend what we know works for us. Lately I've been using the BBS-OC simply because it's often a touch too mild for me but only just a little. I can spend a little more time with it and have a nice mild smooth shave (like this morning's).

It's a quality piece of machined stainless. Might be worth a look.

O.H.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
For “mild but efficient”, I’d add the ESC Claymore Evolution and the ATT X1 AC Slant to the list. I know they are both Artist Club razors but I’ve found them both simple to use: no drama, intuitive and relaxing shaves.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
Thanks for all the details. I’m a huge mild/efficient razor junkie myself and the best to date for me has been the Karve Closed Comb with a B plate.
The Karve Overlander is mild but efficient for me. And so is the Blutt BR-1 with the.86 base plate. These two give me very similar shaves. Changing out the base plate on the Blutt to the 1.2 base plate increases the efficiency a whole step but it remains smooth as silk.
 
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