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Advice for starting DE

I suggest starting with something along these lines:
Razor: Merkur 34C or EJ 89 series
Blade: Sampler pack or two
Brush: Reasonably priced boar or a synthetic
Soap: Start with a quality shave stick, likely La Toja or Speick
AS: Pick one, likely he already has one or two

Read through the WiKi and watch a few videos. That should get most guys off to a good start!
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Can’t just hook him up with a user-grade Fili 13 or 14 and a strop?

If not, a Fatip Grande and some Astra Superior Stainless blades would work.

I would if he were willing and he will get there yet. He has a family of 4 sharing one bathroom in the mornings so a SR shave is something that he says that he’s not ready for, time wise.
 

Tirvine

ancient grey sweatophile
I started a friend with a brush, some Pre de Provence, a DE89, and a sampler. If I were doing it today, I'd be more specific on the brush, probably a T2 for that budget, and some Gillette Silver Blues or Personna Israelis since most samplers have some blades that just are not popular, and although there are certainly other blades that some folk prefer, I think most people like the Silver Blues or the Personnas. He picks his own aftershave since scents can be pretty polarizing.
 
I have to recommend The Winning Razor by Wet Shaving Club. It is an American made stainless steel CNC machined double edge razor that cost $50. The head has a long flat shaving face that makes it easy to find the shaving angle every time. The blade gap is .50 mm and the blade exposure is 0. The exposed blade edge is minimal and it is clamped close to the edge so no blade chatter or flex. The guard span is also very small, leaving less room for skin to bunch up in front of the cutting edge and get irritated. I own the Rockwell 6S, Timeless .68, Wolfman WR2 1.15 among others but the Winning razor is the one that I reach for the most. It shaves closer and more comfortably than my other razors and requires less passes and touchups to reach BBS. This dang razor is magic in my book. As far as blades go, I would recommend the Astra SS (not the SP), Lord Platinum as a couple to start with. They are fairly inexpensive and easy to find. The Personna Israeli Red is the most comfortable blade I have found but they are hard to find since production was moved to Germany.

Winning Razor.jpg
 
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For a razor, I second the nomination of the Henson AL 13. As noted, it is mild, meaning gentle and comfortable, but still quite efficient. Plus, the manufacturing precision is as good as anything on the market, so blade alignment is dead on every time. There is never any inadvertent blade misalignment or any fidling required. Finally--and most important for the new DE user--the Henson is absolutley the easiest DE razor to use out of the many I have tried. The basic geometry assures that the correct angle is practically automatic, and there is almost no chance of a nick or cut, even if you get a little careless. It is as easy as any cart or disposable, but gives far better results. IMO, it is not only the best starter razor, it may well be the only razor your friend will ever need.
 

Tirvine

ancient grey sweatophile
I have to recommend The Winning Razor by Wet Shaving Club. It is an American made stainless steel CNC machined double edge razor that cost $50. The head has a long flat shaving face that makes it easy to find the shaving angle every time. The blade gap is .50 mm and the blade exposure is 0. The exposed blade edge is minimal and it is clamped close to the edge so no blade chatter or flex. The guard span is also very small, leaving less room for skin to bunch up in front of the cutting edge and get irritated. I own the Rockwell 6S, Timeless .68, Wolfman WR2 1.15 among others but the Winning razor is the one that I reach for the most. It shaves closer and more comfortably than my other razors and requires less passes and touchups to reach BBS. This dang razor is magic in my book. As far as blades go, I would recommend the Astra SS (not the SP), Lord Platinum as a couple to start with. They are fairly inexpensive and easy to find. The Personna Israeli Red is the most comfortable blade I have found but they are hard to find since production was moved to Germany.

View attachment 1357970
After reading up on this one, at this price point I think I might recommend it instead of the DE89 even though I have never tried it. It sounds simply amazing. I doubt it has "high end" finishing, but it is obviously nice enough that you like it as well as some notoriously well finished den mates.
 
I've been using DE razors since June of 2019. Started with a DE89. Now I have over 10 + razors. About 2 months ago after trading for a Merkus 33C I added a 34C. The 34C & 33C are the razors I mainly now use every day. Start with a 34C & pair it with a sharp blade like Nacet or Wizamet blades. On Amazon as of today 11/6 it's $40.43 & returnable!

Brush wise I only own one, a synthetic Simpson. But have lots of different creams.
Good luck.
 
@South Dakota Guy although I haven't thought about buying another razor since I acquired the 34C I'm tempted by the Winning razor since it's made in the USA. The lather channels are small. Is the razor hard to rinse? Also is the handle slippery. Although as of today it's $55 I'm tempted to buy one before Christmas.

Thanks.
 
Another vote for The Winning Razor. Using code "newclub" gets it less than $50 shipped. I get my best shaves from it even though I've got more expensive and aggressive razors. USA made stainless steel! Having both the Henson and the Winning Razor I prefer the Winning Razor. I'd toss the Tatra blades that come with it though. Those are the worst blades I've ever tried.

My favorite brush is the Stirling Pro Handle with the Yaqi Timberwolf also being very good. Both are inexpensive and easy to use. Throw in a tube of Proraso red and a sample pack of blades and he'll be good to go.
 
@South Dakota Guy although I haven't thought about buying another razor since I acquired the 34C I'm tempted by the Winning razor since it's made in the USA. The lather channels are small. Is the razor hard to rinse? Also is the handle slippery. Although as of today it's $55 I'm tempted to buy one before Christmas.

Surprisingly, despite the small lather channels, rinsing is not a problem for me.
The handle is not overly slippery. Personally, I prefer a knurled handle but this one feels OK in my hand. For added grippability, you could add rubber O-rings in those shallow grooves.

I find the winning to be similar in use to the Henson AL-13, but with more heft, a shorter handle, and a lower price tag.
 
Surprisingly, despite the small lather channels, rinsing is not a problem for me.
The handle is not overly slippery. Personally, I prefer a knurled handle but this one feels OK in my hand. For added grippability, you could add rubber O-rings in those shallow grooves.

I find the winning to be similar in use to the Henson AL-13, but with more heft, a shorter handle, and a lower price tag.
Thanks.
 
@South Dakota Guy although I haven't thought about buying another razor since I acquired the 34C I'm tempted by the Winning razor since it's made in the USA. The lather channels are small. Is the razor hard to rinse? Also is the handle slippery. Although as of today it's $55 I'm tempted to buy one before Christmas.

Thanks.
As mentioned the small lather channels are not an issue. I also previously owned the Henson Aluminum 13 in medium and I got inconsistent results with it. I think because the Henson is so light i found myself using "some" pressure but I never mastered consistency with that pressure. The heavier Winning Razor let's me just use the razor's own weight for pressure as I am more used to. The handle isn't slippery but it's also not as grippy as I like. I have been using a longer WCS shaving 79S handle ($15) and I prefer that but I like longer handles. The stock handle works fine. I am considering buying a back up Winning razor. It should last forever but it is the one razor I would hate to lose the most. Black Friday deals are just around the corner, best to wait a couple of weeks.

Here is my razor with WCS 79S handle
Winning Wiz Heather.jpg
 
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After reading up on this one, at this price point I think I might recommend it instead of the DE89 even though I have never tried it. It sounds simply amazing. I doubt it has "high end" finishing, but it is obviously nice enough that you like it as well as some notoriously well finished den mates.
You are right, it isn't highly finished but several people have polished the razor up. I have considered doing it but as is, it is easier to clean after shaving compared to my polished Wolfman and Timeless razors. It doesn't show lather haze as easily.
 
Sorry to hijack this thread. On his Youtube review of the Winning razor IAMCDM mentions a strange feeling when using this razor. Like a suction feeling. Does anyone have any idea what's he's talking about?
 
Sorry to hijack this thread. On his Youtube review of the Winning razor IAMCDM mentions a strange feeling when using this razor. Like a suction feeling. Does anyone have any idea what's he's talking about?
Yes there is a bit of a suction like feeling to the razor. I didn't like it at first but don't even notice it now. As long as you have enough water in your lather it'll be fine. A too dry or pasty lather will make it more obvious.

It's got a very good review from the Captain, and that's good enough for me.
 
Sorry to hijack this thread. On his Youtube review of the Winning razor IAMCDM mentions a strange feeling when using this razor. Like a suction feeling. Does anyone have any idea what's he's talking about?
There is a different face feel because of the large flat face of the razor dragging against your face compared to other DE razors that I have used. The first shave or two I really disliked that feel as it was so different than what I was used to. I think someone using the Winning razor for their first DE razor wouldn’t notice it as much. After about four or five shaves it stopped bothering me. The shave results overcame my dislike of the drag feel pretty quickly. I hardly notice it now. Like @borwish stated, keeping your lather well hydrated helps to overcome that feeling and after several shaves you will find that you are getting exceptionally close shaves with a minimum of irritation and the drag feeling isn’t noticeable.
 
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