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Advice appreciated for SR new to DE

Hi all,

I’d appreciate some advice from members.

I’ve been shaving for close to 15 years with straight razors but wanted something to replace cartridges which I use when I travel.

I’m about 10 shaves in with an r89 but I’m so far unable to get a close shave. Patches of stubble around my cheek are occasional errors I put down to incorrect angle which I’ll fix with practice.

More of concern is around my neck - just can’t seem to get at the stubble there. I have a a very bony jawline and scrawny neck so lots of contours there. Multiple passes haven’t helped (just one does it with the straight).

I’m wondering if a more aggressive razor would help?

What do members think?

David
 
When first started wet shaving I started off with half DE shavettes after about 4 to 5 months I decided I wanted to try Safety Razors so after a bit of digging I decided to buy an adjustable so I bought a merkur progress. My train of thought being I didn't know if I'd prefer a aggressive/ efficient razor or a mild/ less efficient razor. And with the adjustable it would make it easier without buying more than say 3 razors to find out what my preference was. I'm not telling you to by an adjustable just letting you know what worked for me. Hope you get it sorted soon and this maybe helps a little.
 

ajkel64

Check Out Chick
You could buy yourself on old beater Gillette Tech. They are plentiful and cheap as chips so to speak. Plus if you leave it behind it would be no great loss. Techs are on the milder side but if you pair it up with a sharper blade such as a Feather it could give you a great shave like most of us get out of the Fantastic Gillette Tech. Also I have seen on eBay disposable Straight Razors. I don’t think they are that cheap but there is another option if you wanted to keep using a Straight Razor.
 
I'm a big fan of the CJB kamisori style shavette. It takes AC blades, though, which isn't as convenient. A shavette that takes a DE blade, while not my favorite, could be packed in your carry-on, and you can get DE blades at your destination if your luggage gets misrouted. Probably harder to find ACs at the corner store.
 
Welcome to B&B.
More of concern is around my neck - just can’t seem to get at the stubble there. I have a a very bony jawline and scrawny neck so lots of contours there. Multiple passes haven’t helped (just one does it with the straight).
Perhaps try stretching the skin like you would for the SR may help. ?If you can get a reasonable shave with a cartridge, you can get a reasonable shave with the R89. I would also suggest trying different blades like GSB, Nacet or 7 O'Clock SharpEdge.
 
Thanks for all the replies everyone - much appreciated.

@Dave himself that’s a much more prudent route than jumping to an aggressive non adjustable. 👍

In my humble opinion cartridge razors aren't all that bad. When you're on the road they're convenient and cheap.
agree, but they do give me a bit of irritation though. Plus I want to get closer to the straight razor benefits in a travel friendly way.
Welcome to B&B.

Perhaps try stretching the skin like you would for the SR may help. ?If you can get a reasonable shave with a cartridge, you can get a reasonable shave with the R89. I would also suggest trying different blades like GSB, Nacet or 7 O'Clock SharpEdge.
I’ve been playing around gurning and twisting and stretching trying to get at the little valleys in my neck but just can’t seem to pick them up cleanly. Maybe it’s my technique - probably getting the wrong angle. Must admit still struggling with the cap of the razor.
I’ve got a sample pack of blades but they’re ones suggested for beginners.
Clearly it’s a decent razor and doubtless my technique is to blame. I was just thinking if I were to up the aggression through my kit then I could overcome the issue, in the knowledge that the techniques from straight razor shaving should prevent me causing any damage to myself!
You could buy yourself on old beater Gillette Tech. They are plentiful and cheap as chips so to speak. Plus if you leave it behind it would be no great loss. Techs are on the milder side but if you pair it up with a sharper blade such as a Feather it could give you a great shave like most of us get out of the Fantastic Gillette Tech. Also I have seen on eBay disposable Straight Razors. I don’t think they are that cheap but there is another option if you wanted to keep using a Straight Razor.
Will they provide much of a difference to the Muhle I have?

I'm a big fan of the CJB kamisori style shavette. It takes AC blades, though, which isn't as convenient. A shavette that takes a DE blade, while not my favorite, could be packed in your carry-on, and you can get DE blades at your destination if your luggage gets misrouted. Probably harder to find ACs at the corner store.
That’s a thought. £10 seems to cover the cost of one so one option for me to consider.
 
Some great advice above!

It takes me awhile to ‘dial in’ any new kit. So read through the WiKi and focus on your DE technique.

For what it is worth, my ‘travel razor’ is a Tech clone, the humble Lord L6, which provides fine shaves. It is in the ’mild/moderate’ range that I prefer.
 
Before purchasing a new DE, try using a shim or two or three in your R89. It will increase the blade gap and also efficiency. All it costs is a used blade or three. Just snip off the sharp edges of the old blade(s) and load between the working blade and the baseplate. The shim makes the Gillette Tech sing for me.

If you "need" a new razor :), I wholeheartedly support the recommendation for the Merkur Progress. It is all the razors you will ever need at the turn of a dial.
 
Before purchasing a new DE, try using a shim or two or three in your R89. It will increase the blade gap and also efficiency. All it costs is a used blade or three. Just snip off the sharp edges of the old blade(s) and load between the working blade and the baseplate. The shim makes the Gillette Tech sing for me.
If you "need" a new razor :), I wholeheartedly support the recommendation for the Merkur Progress. It is all the razors you will ever need at the turn of a dial.
Thanks for the tips. I think the best route forward is 1) perseverance and practice, 2) Failing that then I’ll try the ‘shim’, 3) Failing that I’ll possibly try a shavette; slim or Progress.
 
For those that may be interested I just wanted to share that option 1 of my plan appears to be working!

Just taking my time. Keeping as many variables of my prep the same. Being determined. Only changing technique once shaving to try everyone’s advice here and elsewhere on the site.

Shaving daily and enjoying it immensely.

Reminds me of the satisfaction when I started with straights.

Thanks for the input everyone.
 
Had a disappointing shave today.

Used one of my straights yesterday and got a close and very gentle shave with zero irritation. Absolutely zero - even on my often troublesome neck patch where I’ve got a follicular whorl.

Then went back to the R89 today and did just a single pass very lightly and ended up with a few weepers. The alumn block told me I’d done a bad job.

Seems like my face tolerates a different stroke direction (i.e atg on the neck hair crop circle) with the straight but not with the DE.

Is this normal? Anyone else experienced this?
 
Seems like my face tolerates a different stroke direction (i.e atg on the neck hair crop circle) with the straight but not with the DE.

Is this normal? Anyone else experienced this?
Could be the blades do not agree with you. I hesitate to make any specific recommendations because every person's skin reacts differently. Common wisdom says pair a sharper blade with a milder razor. Some of the known sharp blades give me great efficiency but also the same irritation and weepers you describe. After trying several, I discovered three that work well for me and stocked up on them.
 
If you feel you can't get a close enough shave there's a good chance you'll end up using too much pressure to try to get closer. That might explain the weepers.

Even the mildest razors should be able to deliver BBS with a full, three-pass shave.
 
Could be the blades do not agree with you. I hesitate to make any specific recommendations because every person's skin reacts differently. Common wisdom says pair a sharper blade with a milder razor. Some of the known sharp blades give me great efficiency but also the same irritation and weepers you describe. After trying several, I discovered three that work well for me and stocked up on them.
I’m currently trying to stick to Astra’s until I master the razor. Following the logic that introducing as few variables as possible until I know I’ve got good technique. Then I can explore what blade works best for me.
 
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rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
@DG109 for travel (carry-on only) I take generic Chinese stainless steel shavette. Probably the cheapest razor you can get that takes a (half) DE blade. With your SR skills, it shouldn't take you much to master this razor and get the same (or better) results than you get with your SR(s).

This week I am shaving with a generic Chinese stainless steel shavette and Feather DE half-blade to see how many acceptable shave I can get. Shave No. 4 this morning and still going strong, although it's getting close to it's end.

IMG_20210815_083846.jpg
 
Will read al the new posts later but wanted to drop a quick update.

A newly acquired Tech came yesterday. Tried it this am with a Feather for the first time and had an incredible shave. Blissful!
 
I’m currently trying to stick to Astra’s until I master the razor. Following the logic that introducing as few variables as possible until I know I’ve got good technique. Then I can explore what blade works best for me.
Sounds like you are very wise to take a measured approach; but 15 years of SR shaving already proved it. Your wisdom is further demonstrated in your acquisition of a Tech :) Glad it is working for you. And they say "ignorance is bliss." Turns out bliss is found in a Tech.
 
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