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Back to the Old Razor

I have wet shaved since I first began shaving, but around 2007, suffering from daily, terrible razor burn, I found B&B and switched from MACH-3 blades and canned cream to brushes, creams, and soaps. I used a Merkur HD for a short time, but I found it to not give me as close a shave as cartridge blades and to not offer any improved comfort, so I went back to a Gillette Sensor 2 disposable razors and away from the forums for years.

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I want to get back to SE or DE shaving and need some guidance. I have coarse hairs that grow sideways and not in a typical vertical direction, and I have sensitive skin. A blade that is SHARP and SMOOTH sounds ideal, but I'm not sure which one would be best and can't afford to test them out.

Though out of my budget, the SE Mongoose has intrigued me because it seems similar to the Gillette, which works great for me, but I prefer the look of a DE and wonder if a DE could provide an equivalent shave. After reading through various forums, I *think I would prefer an aggressive razor because I need something sharp, but I'm not sure. I want something that really cleans my face in one pass--like my current Gillette. I used a straight edge disposable for a while (with Derby blades), but, while I learned the technique, my shaves were uneven. One area of my cheek would be clean, while another area right below the blade pass would have hair. My Gillette, however, offers a consistently close shave. Maybe the blades were to blame?

Could you all help me figure out what kind of razor (DE, SE, Open, Closed, etc) might be best for me based on the above experience?

Thanks, and it's good to be back!
 
As an avid SchickHead, I would recommend you try an injector. They are easy to use and smooth shavers IME. You can get a nice vintage one on daBay and Schick blades on Amazon...and you're good to go.:thumbup1:

Some have compared the injector razors to carts as regards the angle of the razor, so you might find them more intuitive to use than a DE or shavette (neither of which I have any experience with...just sayin'). I returned to injectors from using a Mach3 (may it rest in peace), and the (re)learning curve was short.

My $0.02...
 
I can get consistent close shaves using a Gem 1912 with ptfe coated Gem blades. You should be able find one in good condition for a lot less than a Mongoose. Or for the smaller head try finding an Injector model.
 
Vintage SE. Gem/Ever Ready 1912 variant, Micromatic Clog-Pruf or Bullet Tip, maybe a Schick injector G-type or later. The 1912s have a more open comb and would probably be better for your growth pattern. Stay away from the Micromatic OC at first, it's a very temperamental razor unless you have your technique down cold.

The big advantage of the SE is the paucity of blades available. These are all middle-of-the-road razors aggression-wise but paired with a sharp (and all the ASR SE shaving blades are sharp) will give a smooth, comfortable shave.

The biggest drawback, at least for me, in DE shaving is the never-ending quest for the One True Blade, which is dependent on mating it with the One True Razor. Way too many variables for me, but if you want to go that route pair a mild razor like a Super Speed or Krona with a very sharp blade like a Feather OR try a more aggressive razor with a blade with a reputation for smoothness rather than sharpness. You will be firmly in YMMV territory and it will take a lot of trial-and-error. I got tired of paying for the errors with my face.
 
Any of the quality vintage razors will give you the shave you want with proper operation. Poor shaves with any razor (DE, SE, cart) are caused by operator error more than equipment (except for dull blades).

Try a Gem, any Super Speed, or perhaps a Slim.

Blades? Feather for ultimate sharpness and Gillette Silver Bloe or Astra SP for great performance with a tad less "edge.

Good luck.
 
Welcome back. However, this is an impossible question to ask as you have to decide which razor will work best for you, but anyone should be fine as it is all about technique and practice. Any of the vintage ones should work for you as well as the modern ones.
For blades, that is even a more challenging question, but the original Super Iridiums, Gillette Blues, Polsilver Iridiums are quite nice.
Good luck.
 
As an avid SchickHead, I would recommend you try an injector. They are easy to use and smooth shavers IME. You can get a nice vintage one on daBay and Schick blades on Amazon...and you're good to go.:thumbup1:

Some have compared the injector razors to carts as regards the angle of the razor, so you might find them more intuitive to use than a DE or shavette (neither of which I have any experience with...just sayin'). I returned to injectors from using a Mach3 (may it rest in peace), and the (re)learning curve was short.

My $0.02...

Not a bad suggestion, though I haven't tried an injector yet. I suffer from a similar issue. VERY coarse hair that grows parallel to the skin instead of straight out of it. My dermatologist just told me this morning that I have the hair of African American and Asian men, although I am Caucasion. Luckily it's not as curly, just thick. Aggressive razors definitely work better for me. Not sure if you want to jump right into the deep end and pick up an R41, but it's an option. The Cadets and the Fatip are also cost-effective options, and slightly less aggressive than the R41. I would say stick with Feather, Polsilver SI, or Gillette 7 O'Clock Black blades. www.tryablade.com is a great way to pick up just a few of each with flat rate shipping.
 
i've tried (own) a bunch of DE razors and have about 700 blades, and the funny thing is i'm getting my best shaves ever just using a vintage Gillette 1940's Thick Handle Tech... yep a Tech??? Matched it up to a Polsiver SI blade & cant be happier... Its taken some of the fun out of the collecting part (which i love & hooked on and there is always soap) but im getting great shaves....
 
Okay, I did some research, and I dwfinitwly want a DE. Using an I hector feels too much like the disposables, which I ahbor! The question I have, then, is would an aggressive razor be better for my coarse beard? I consider a straight edge razor to be ideal--a large, sharp blade that can slice through my copper wire like a hot knife through butter. What DE will give me a comparable experience? I want the blade to give me a comparable or closer shave than the disposable Gillette I currently use.

Not a bad suggestion, though I haven't tried an injector yet. I suffer from a similar issue. VERY coarse hair that grows parallel to the skin instead of straight out of it. My dermatologist just told me this morning that I have the hair of African American and Asian men, although I am Caucasion. Luckily it's not as curly, just thick. Aggressive razors definitely work better for me. Not sure if you want to jump right into the deep end and pick up an R41, but it's an option. The Cadets and the Fatip are also cost-effective options, and slightly less aggressive than the R41. I would say stick with Feather, Polsilver SI, or Gillette 7 O'Clock Black blades. www.tryablade.com is a great way to pick up just a few of each with flat rate shipping.
 
Any thoughts on a DE that approximate this Gillette? No injectors. I just want something close and good for coarse hair.
 
For a vintage Gillette perhaps a red tip super speed or one of the adjustables like the slim, in your case id take the red tip
 
I personally prefer mild razors with a very sharp blade.

Combinations that work best for me (but that may be different for you!):

Feather Popular / Feather blade
Feather Popular / Personna "Red" blade
Schick Krona / Rapira Platinum Lux blade
Gillette Knack / Feather blade
 
Tough call indeed, but I think some of the suggestions, specially the Injector razor, could be a good start. Good luck in rekindling the SE/DE experience.
 
Have you thought about a Merkur Progress adjustable DE razor? I like the cutting angle compared to other DE razors, and you can adjust its aggressiveness on the fly. Match that with a good blade like a Voskhod and you can dial in a perfect shave for you.
 
I suggest you consider a Parker 24C. I just ordered one a replacement from Royal Shave for $32.90 (incl. ship.). This razor model gies me outstanding shaves, with only an occasional nick. I had to replace mine because the screw bolt broke off of the cover plate.
 

mswofford

Rest in Peace
Take a look at vintage Gillette Techs or Super Speeds and see if they appeal to you; They are great shaving razors. For blades Astra SP's are a safe choice for most of us but I also like (as already mentioned) Gillette Silver Blue and Gillette 7 O'clock Black blades.
 
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I used to use the Custom Plus that you pictured in your original post. Recently I tried a Schick Krona and it felt like I was back using my old Custom Plus. Something about the handle length, weight, and head geometry, don't know, but it was pretty nice. May be worth a look if you don't mind vintage.
 
I have the exact problem. My hair on my cheeks grows perfectly and is easy to shave. However, my neck has hair that grows sideways and is the most coarse hair. I have tried DEs, single edge, straights, injectors, etc. I have found my perfect razor that gives me a shave with no left over hair showing in those neck areas. It's the ATT M2 OC. It's the first OC I ever used, but I love it. And to be honest, I tried a Personna red in it and initially hated it. However, I bough a pack of Exchange Select blades from an NEX and said what the heck and have them a go. Amazing. While YMMV, I would say try and OF and see what it does for you. Trust me, if you don't' like the ATT it would be an easy sell.
 
My only modern razor is the Matador Toro Mastiff. It is designed to be aggressive, if you are sure that is what you want.

You can get a two pass DFS with almost any blade. You should google the model and get more info. It's also a good value.
 
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