What's new

Beginning to end - my DE journey and search for a RFL


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
How Connaught Shaving in the UK can deliver to me in Australia products cheaper than Australian suppliers can, I don't know.

They also sell American-made GEM razor blades to the USA cheaper than USA-based retailers. It’s crazy.

For steep and shallow, shallow is towards the cap and sheep is towards the bar or comb at least as used the Steep Angle Shaving Society.
sheep is towards the bar
Shouldn't that be 'sheep is towards the baa'?

For steep and shallow
Thank you, I think that is where I got to in my mind. I am not very bright at times and I always thought of steep and shallow in terms of holding the razor and the angle of the handle. It never occured to me until writing my previous post that it was referring to the actual piece that mattered being the blade. :facep:
Day 3 Dorco Titan.

Today was standard prep hot shower, splash of water and Arko! loaded in old spice mug and face lathered. Another great lather today, even coverage of thin lather and ice rink feel of blade on skin and the Arko! had enough lather in the brush for all 2.5 passes.

Razor today was the Rockwell 6C and given I had low stubble after yesterday's late shave I chose plate 2. The shave was smooth and very mild, a little bit of blade noise in places but overall a very mild easy shave.

Compared to the Tech, the Rockwell feels heavy and bulky in the head but is very easy to let the weight and head do the work and is a very comfortable and clean razor to use. I feel the Tech is like a light sports car easy to manouver and shave fast. But with that ease you also need to be good at handling it as it can get a bit too fast and lose it on the corners. The Rockwell is more your SUV bigger heavier and harder to get into a tight park but the ride all around the face is comfortable and it chews through the miles with comfort and ease.

The final shave was just a damn fine shave. I went with the number 2 plate as I didn't have much stubble and it did provide a smooth easy shave. With hindsight I think this was too mild and a more aggressive plate would have taken the shave to an easy damn fine shave or beyond.

Blade is still holding out okay, it isn't the smoothest cleanest cutting that I can remember but it isn't tugging and pulling either.

Alum feedback was non-existant and no nicks, cuts or weepers.

Happy shaving all.
Day 4 of the Dorco Titan.

Today's shave was standard, hot shower and splash of water prep with Arko! soap loaded from Old Spice mug with badger brush and face lathered.

Lather today was good, brush had more than enough lather for 2.5 passes and all passes were smooth with good protection. I shave with the grain all over, across the grain (ear to centre line) all over, and then against the grain on the neck and under jawline for two and a half passes.

Day 4 is also the King C Gillette razor again to feel how the blade has travelled. The shave didn't feel terrible as such, but the more I shaved the more irritated my face felt. The cutting wasn't smooth and particularly around my lips it felt like it wasn't slicing cleanly. Instead leaving the area sore and feeling like I still needed to go over it again.

The final result was an easily socially acceptable shave but short of a damn fine shave. It is odd that it is equally shaved in all directions and is probably better than some shaves I have had in the direction I didn't shave. However, my whole face feels like a really high numbered piece of sand paper, not the level you would use to sand wood, the high level that you would use wet to finish the plastic handles on your shaving brushes before final buffing. Not smooth and not stubbly as such, just ever so slightly rough all over.

Alum feedback was non-existant and no nicks, cuts or weepers. After shave finish was Thayers' unscented witch hazel and Tabac aftershave.

I think there are better blades for me than the Dorco Titan, it has performed, just not the best. I won't look to offload my remaining blades but I won't be searching for good suppliers of this blade either. I think for me three days would be the maximum I would want to use it as well.

The next blade I approach with some trepidation given its stable mate:


Happy shaving all.
Day 1 Derby Premium.

I am trying to keep an open mind, really I am. The Derby Extra was one of my worst blades but this is the Derby Premium so I will keep an open mind, and it's premium.

It does make it hard to like a blade when you are trying to get it out of the wrapping and the four globs of wax holding the wrapping to the blade are so large they have leaked through to the other side of the blade and you need to pry the razor sharp blade out without cutting yourself open. But I am keeping an open mind.

Day 1 so it is King C Gillette razor, Arko! soap face lathered and two and a half passes, with the grain all over for first pass, across the grain all over for second pass and against the grain on neck and under jawline for last half pass.

The lather smells intoxicating and is slick and smooth but what more would you expect from Arko!.

The blade starts okay, feels smooth not like the rusty tin can that is the Derby Extra. First pass is progressing but starting to feel something, is it pulling or is it something else, open mind... There is a lot of blade noise. It is not a smooth cutting sharp blade either, I don't have any fear of slicing myself open if I breathe too hard. It feels safe to run all around my face without fear of being cut, but the way it is grabbing the hairs on my face and dragging them out makes me wonder if there is any fear of them being cut either.

Across the grain pass confirms the blade seems to be struggling with the cutting part of its role, down the jawline from ear to chin I was wondering if we would make the whole distance of one shave.

Final against the grain was smooth, but there was not much left to cut at this stage.

The result was not a bad shave, smoother than yesterday and overall a damn fine shave. The experience though was not pleasant.

Alum feedback was minimal but after wash up I noticed one weeper under the chin, blood loss was slowed to acceptable levels with with styptic stick.

If this was the blade at its sharpest, it will not be going much further. But blades do improve after day 1, and I am keeping an open mind.

Happy, open minded, shaving all.
Day 2 Derby Premium.

Today was an interesting shave. I used the Gillette Tech, Arko! soap (face lathered) and did 2.5 passes.

The Gillette Tech being so light gives a bit more razor feedback I think, especially with this blade as it has to be pushed through the stubble if it is not smooth and clean. A heavier razor has some of its own momentum.

There was less blade noise today than yesterday, except when going across the grain on the second pass. Especially the jaw run from ear to chin there was considerable blade noise and resistance from the blade. Similarly, under the bottom lip there was still a feeling of resistance, not a clean smooth cutting.

My face feels generally less tender than yesterday but there is an underlying general discomfort. Final result was a damn fine shave but again not the smoothest or most enjoyable experience I have had to date.

Alum feedback was large but in lots of small areas across the face rather than in any one place. No nicks, cuts or weepers.

The blade is getting me a good result but the process is closer to painful than pleasant, so unless the experience picks up considerably over the next two days I can't see this being a keeper. It is a bit like the difference between using a flat head screwdriver to undo a philips head screw, you can get it to work but the experience can be painful and harder than it needs to be. When you use the right tool it is a much nicer experience. Derby Premium's are not looking like the right tool for my face.

Happy shaving all.
Day 3 Derby Premium.

I have to admit I was unsure if this day would come as this has not been the nicest blade to be using so far. I am also interested to know (and probably never will) if today's performance was the blade or the razor. Today I used the Rockwell 6C on plate 5 for the shave and kept the same plate on for all 2.5 passes.

Otherwise same prep, hot shower, splash of water and Arko! soap face lathered. Lather this morning was very nice, gave me a nice thin layer of lather all over, no peaks, no patches of skin showing through, just nice even coverage of creamy lather. The brush was also holding more than enough lather for the 2.5 passes. I do need to remember to hydrate the lather on my top lip and under my nose more, I seem to keep soaping but forgetting to hydrate this section.

The shave felt okay throughout, it did not feel as smooth and clean as it has with other blades, but not tugging or pulling and not as ragged as this blade has felt at times. The razor was easy to let it do its work and it gave the occasional bit of noise feedback but otherwise shaved smoothly and efficiently.

Final result was a damn fine shave plus, almost baby bottom smooth. Given even the Derby Extra became useable after a couple of days, I am not sure if it is the large number of coatings on these blades - chrome, ceramic, platinum-tungsten and polymer coated edges - that need to be worn off by rubbing on your face before the actual blade is exposed, or if they are just not that well finished to start with. I may, one day in the distant future also load this blade into the Rockwell to see if from day 1 that makes any difference. Today's shave has got the blade across the line to a day 4 to see if it changes in the King C Gillette or if it is now a usable blade.

Alum feedback was present but not substantial and I had one weeper on my top lip which cleared with alum and final wash up.

I really liked shaving with the Rockwell on plate 5, it did not feel too aggressive and the shave still felt safe throughout and not like I was on the edge of taking a skin sample. The final result being a near baby bottom smooth shave was comparatively effortless, not requiring me to go over any areas multiple times.

Happy shaving all.


Head Cheese Head Chef
Maybe plate #5 is where it's at for you @PersistentlyBlunt . And, as always, practice makes perfect so you are likely just plain getting better at shaving. Good technique is something that no hardware or software can give you.

An example would be my shave today. I used my Merkur 37c because I hadn't shaved in several days. When I first acquired this razor we didn't get along well and I was a tad afraid of the slant razor. Fast forward to a few years later and we get along just fine. I also know that I do NOT like this razor for my atg pass so I always switch to a different razor for my final pass.

I guess what I'm saying is that one of the variables is that your technique is improving and that will easily compensate for less than ideal razor blades... most of the time.

Happy shaves!
Maybe plate #5 is where it's at for you
It was a good shave and changing to the different razors over four days has been good to begin to tease out what I like and the differences in the razors. The Rockwell has shown itself to be a comfortable easy shave for me. I initially had some trouble getting the large head under the nose but it has been working well lately (improved technique).

I agree I am sure that my technique still has a long way to go though.

For the next Rockwell shave I think I will push it to the #6 plate as the #5 did still feel very comfortable, despite the one weeper. If I can push it to #6 now then it will give me somewhere to come down from as the blades get sharper, if required.

I can't see myself even considering a slant for some time, if ever, they scare me.
Day 4 Derby Premium.

I guess that Premium really does mean premium, unfortunately it is still preceeded by Derby.

Today's shave was not terrible, it was just consistent with the best I can get from these blades. It may be technique, maybe I am getting hypersensitive in my reviews but while the result is actually quite good the process still does not feel great.

Day 4 so I was back to the King C Gillette razor for the final comparison. There was immediately lots of blade noise from the first run. The blade didn't feel like it was tugging or pulling, but there was resistance to the smooth cutting flow.

I played around a bit with the angle for this shave to see if that would make a difference, some toward the cap some toward the bar (or is that baa). While it varied the amount of blade noise, it did not do a lot for the feel of the cutting. It did make me realise I am still on a bit of autopilot with my angle and maybe need to vary it up a bit to see how or if it changes anything.

To be fair, the blade feels like it has become smoother as the days progress, but it is not getting sharper.

The shave was standard hot shower and splash of hot water for prep, Arko! soap face lathered. One difference for today was I applied the soap directly to the face. The lather was possibly a bit dry on the first pass for one half of the face before I hydrated a bit more on the other side. Still a good lather though.

On the first pass I nicked my adam's apple, I felt it bite as I went over it. Not a lot of blood, but enough that the lather would take a red tinge over the apple on the next two passes. Alum and witch hazel post shave stopped any further leaks.

I have to admit, if I keep an open mind, that these are better than my experience with Derby Extra, but they still took a while to get going and I have not had a shave that felt clean and smooth while shaving. The result today felt pretty good immediately after but now after drying out it does not feel as close as it has, I would say just a DFS-, we are back to the ultra fine sand paper. Not stubbly but not glass either.

Derby Extra is in my don't even think about getting anymore pile, Derby Premium aren't that bad but are in the don't buy anymore but, may be of some assistance if there is a sudden crisis.

Tomorrow I complete the trio of sharks, having tried the stainless steel and chrome I will now be trying:

The Sharks weren't my worst and also weren't my best so I will be interested to try these before the infamous Shark Week brings them all back out again.

Happy shaving all.
Day 1 Shark Platinum.

First impressions are tentatively good.

My shave today was normal hot shower and splash of hot water on face prep, Arko! stick rubbed on face and then lathered on face with badger brush. Lather today was very nice smooth and creamy with good protection and slickness.

Shave is a two and a half pass (although it is sneaking to two and three quarters) being with the grain all over, across the grain all over and then against the grain on neck and under jawline (but sometimes sneaking up to bottom lip lattitudes). Given the third (half) pass drift I was wondering today why I don't just go to three passes. Something for tomorrow and time to sort out.

The blade felt alright at the start, sharp, and was cutting smoothly, felt smoother than the last days of the Derby Premium. There was a lot of blade noise throughout the shave. There has been more with the King C Gillette razor generally but even for this razor the blade was noisy. The blade felt safe and not like it was going to open me up if I looked at it the wrong way. I was very tentative near the weakend adam's apple after yesterday and I also ran into the side of my lump on my chin on the across the grain pass. Although it is still a bit tender, it held up to the onslaught without cracking and I finished the shave with no leaking of blood from cuts, weepers or burns.

Overall the blade was okay, after the first pass it did feel a bit more pulling and tuggy but not so much as to be annoying, just enough to not feel like it was super sharp.

So it was okay, much better than the Derby day 1 shaves, but I am tentative as it needs to get better on the smoothness if it wants to continue. If the tugging and pulling increase then it will be a short lived shark.

Final result was a solid damn fine shave plus approaching the realms of a baby bottom smooth shave. Alum feedback was minimal.

Happy shaving all.
Day 2 Shark Platinum.

Today I changed a couple of things. First I thought I would go back to my old synthetic brush to remind myself where I started. I also stopped at two passes because of time and the short stubble reminding me that if I went to a full three pass shave that I would be too short in the morning for a shave the following day and too stubbly in the mid morning for a work suitable shave.

Normal prep of shower and splash of water to face, Arko! rubbed on face and face lathered. The synthetic brush was horrible. I want to make it clear it is a cheap synthetic and my technique may not be great, this is not a comment on all synthetic brushes. But mine felt like a thousand needles on my face when lathering and the lather rather than staying in the brush leaked out the bottom down my arm, this happens a little with the badger but the synthetic felt like a production line where my face provided the raw material, the brush manufactured lather and then expelled it out the bottom down my arm, no stopping in the middle. It also took a lot more work to get to a good lather by which time most of it was down my arm, in the sink, on the mirror and over the counter top. Never again with this brush. Final lather that I got to stay on my face was okay and felt smooth and slick.

Shave was using the Gillette Tech and was again a light bare bones razor shave. It feels like you are more in touch with the blade because there is so little razor wrapped around the blade. But it gives good feedback. The blade felt like it was struggling, not pulling more just drag through the whiskers with a lot of blade noise. It did not leave my face feeling tender like the Derby Premium, but did not feel smooth either.

Shave was a two pass, first with the grain and then across the grain, both all over the face.

Final result was not the best, I don't think this was the difference between two passes and two and a half passes as it is not close on the cheeks and areas that are not usually touched on the half pass. It could be some razor technique and not being very good with the Tech, but it is also I think the blade being a bit dull. It has another day as it is not painfully tugging but the lack of improvement or smoothness is not encouraging.

No alum feedback and no nicks, weepers or burn. writing this about 4 hous after the shave I am more stubbly now than normal indicating a less than close shave. Will see how tomorrow goes.

Happy shaving all.
Day 3 Shark Platinum.

Today was the Rockwell day and I loaded the blade with plate number 6 on the razor. I also lathered a little differently, using the Marko method with the badger brush in the Old Spice mug with Arko! crushed in the bottom. As per the warning by @Marco, there was substantial amounts of lather falling off the face, down my arms and all over the place. The difference to yesterday was that the majority was also staying in the brush. The result was a lovely thick creamy lather which gave good protection and a good slickness. The brush also held enough for a good four or five passes as well.

The Rockwell razor also continues to impress, despite feeling like a tank compared to the Tech from yesterday, it calmly and smoothly shaved away. The aggression of the number 6 plate felt good and did not feel like it was going to bite, although I did get a small weeper on pass one on my neck which reminded me I was shaving with something more aggressive than normal.

The blade did not sing as loudly in the Rockwell and shaving with the grain did not feel too bad. Across the grain on pass two was a different story and in the hard spots, along the jawline and on the chin, it required a bit more effort to pull the razor through the stubble.

Final result was a damn fine shave. Alum feedback was minimal other than on the weeper which had already stopped its weeping by pass two.

The blade has made it to day four but out of the Rockwell I am not sure it is going to be a pleasant shave tomorrow. I am really enjoying the Rockwell and I am surprised that I found the more aggressive plate to be so good. I know those on here who go for super aggressive razors would not consider the Rockwell plate 6 aggressive, but for me it was interesting to feel and see how the shave today was much better than yesterday despite the, in my opinion, dulling blade. I may be wrong and the blade may be hitting its prime on day four and I look forward to being pleasantly surprised tomorrow for the final King C Gillette shave.

Pleasant shaving all.
Day 4 Shark Platinum.

Rounded out the four days with the Shark with a final King C Gillette razor shave. I also went back to the beginning with a Tabac bowl lathered shave. The resulting lather was very good, smooth creamy and more than enough for two passes. Prep of hot shower and splash of water was the same. I did also add another prep step, which involved adding a bit of lather to my face, rubbing it all around and then lightly rinsing off before the first full lather was added. This did add to the quality and slickness of the first pass lather.

Shave was a two pass shave, with the grain all over and then across the grain all over. I have dropped the half pass for now.

I wasn't expecting much from this shave as I felt the blade was getting dull. While I am sure the blade has no more in it, today was not as bad as I thought it would be. There was less blade noise and the resistance of the stubble in places indicated the blade was struggling. My top lip is still a bit tender where the hair was more pulled out than sliced efficiently off. The other tough area along the jawline felt like I was swinging a 3 iron through the long grass rather than a finely honed scythe through stubble.

Despite that, the final result was only a bit under a damn fine shave, easily a socially acceptable shave, very fine sand paper in the directions of shaving, slight stubble in the directions not shaved. Alum feedback was more than usual across the face, a further indicator that the blade was done.

Tomorrow is a blade I am looking forward to as I have heard good things, it is the:


Happy shaving all.
Day 1 Silver Star.

I have been worried with the last few blades that I had lost technique, or was getting overly critical because the blades have all been described as tugging or pulling or ragged on the first day or so.

But today the Silver Star was a star and started smooth and clean. Slicing easily through the stubble on the with the grain pass. Slight blade noise telling me when I was cutting. Across the grain felt similarly smooth on the second pass.

Final shave was a damn fine shave. Alum feedback was minimal and only one small weeper on the chin that cleared post shave.

Shave prep today was hot shower and splash of water with Arko! rubbed on face and face lathered.

I still may be over critical and have bad technique but there are blades that feel smooth for me yet to be found.

If the Silver Star maintains this performance it will be a keeper.

Happy shaving all.
Top Bottom