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

Day 2 Silver Star.

Today was a standard shave, hot shower, splash of hot water to face, wet Arko! stick rubbed liberally around my face and lathered with damp badger brush and extra water added by dipping the tips of the brush in water. Lots of lovely smooth lather appeared as if by magic.

Today being day 2 was the Gillette Tech razor in all its simplicity. The shave was again smooth from the start, there is some noise and feel of the blade through the whiskers but it is not a feeling of tugging or pulling.

I am not sure how, but on the first pass I nicked myself on the jawline. I must have had a small lump or something that got decapitated because I felt nothing on the pass and just had blood leaking down my jawline. Alum, witch hazel and styptic pencil post shave stemmed the flow. Other than that the shave was uneventful.

Final result was just short of a damn fine shave, a few patches where I could have shaved closer and the end result, while smooth, is not as smooth as it has normally been. I am noticing that my shaves with the Tech are not always as good as my shaves with the King C Gillette or the Rockwell, I am sure this is technique over anything else.

The Silver Star is still a nice smooth blade, cutting like it is still sharp and with no tugging or pulling it is far better than many of the recent contestants. On to day 3 with the Rockwell, hopefully the Silver Star can put on another show like this tomorrow, but with a bit less claret.

Happy shaving all.
Day 3 Silver Star.

Today's shave was standard prep, hot shower, splash water to face, rub wet Arko! stick on face, lather face with badger brush, dip tips for more hydration and watch lather appear. Lather was smooth, creamy and slick, not much more you can expect from a lather. More than enough lather for two passes without squeezing more out of the brush.

It was the Rockwell's turn today and it was loaded with plate 6 to commence the first with the grain pass. It was as smooth as silk. Lovely first pass, although in rinse it felt like there was still some stubble but not bad at all. Second pass is across the grain all over and it was generally smooth across the cheeks, jaw and neck but there was some sensitivity around the top and bottom lip. This could have been the sharp blade and more aggressive combination or some beginning of pulling in the blade.

Final wash up was smooth with considerable alum feedback and significant aftershave feedback in post shave. After everything dried there was no burn, cuts or weepers and result was a solid damn fine shave.

Shaving with the more aggressive setting and this blade, I could feel at times that I was closer to the edge of a sharp blade and needed to pay a bit more attention. I enjoy the close shave that has come with the aggressive setting but the alum feedback and some sensitivity may indicate it is too aggressive for this blade, razor and face combination. Either way the Rockwell with this blade has given me a smooth clean shave with no direct damage, still a great razor and the blade is holding up and shaving well.

The Silver Star is probably already a keeper, just need to see if it holds up to day 4.

Happy shaving all.
Day 4 Silver Star.

This is a late post as I did not shave until later in the evening today and I will be unlikely to be shaving tomorrow. The reason for this is that I was shaving the lawn and doing other jobs around the house which delayed shaving until the evening. Because of this I had some more time this evening and went for a three pass shave to see out the final day of the Silver Star.

Shave prep was the same, however as I had more time I used the Cella red shave soap to give it another try and play with the wetter soap or is it croap? I loaded the soap on a damp brush and painted the soap on my face, dipped the brush in water and worked on face until I had a nice lather. The lather was excellent and the brush held more than enough for three passes.

Being day 4 it was the King C Gillette razor tonight to give a final impression. The shave was great, the blade was still smooth and slicing well through the stubble. Given I had a day and a half of stubble it was a bit more work in places but there was no feeling of pulling or tugging but maybe a bit more drag in the tough places.

The blade noise on this blade is good, it is quiet but consistent giving a good indication when you are slicing in the right spots.

The three passes were with the grain all over, across the grain (outside to middle) all over and then against the grain all over, including under the nose.

The soap, razor and blade all did a great job across all three passes. I got a bit excited trying to trim the hairs under my nose, going over one area a few times with the predicable result of a weeper on the first pass. Against the grain I also picked up a small nick on the top lip. Both cleared up with alum.

Overall result was a baby bottom smooth shave. The Silver Star was a great blade, it may not have been as smooth as I remember my favourite blades being but it was streaks ahead of the last few blades I have tried. It is definitely a keeper. Looking at my grading system I have blades I love, blades I liked and would get again, blades that if I needed to I would use again but may not buy more of and then blades that I never want to see again. Once this is all over I think I will need to go back and test all the blades in the top two categories to further see what is the best of the best. Silver Star is definitely in the liked and would get more off category and will make any future top of the top testing.

I will be unlikely to be shaving tomorrow as I certainly won't have much to shave tomorrow morning. If I do shave tomorrow the blade of choice and next in the testing line is:

Happy shaving all!
Day 1 Lord Platinum.

My last shave, the Saturday night special, being a late 3 pass shave on Saturday night had me still nearly BBS on Sunday morning but by 10am I was breaking out in stubble and had a significant amount of stubble by 5 o'clock. This put an end to a thought I had been entertaining of shaving at night when I have more time. Unfortunately, by midday I would be approaching not work acceptable. So today was back to a morning shave for the first day of the Lord Platinum.

Shave was standard prep warm shower, splash of water and soap to face, lathered on face with addition of water as required.

The Lord Platinum was loaded in the King C Gillette razor for a standard two pass shave, first pass with the grain all over followed by across the grain all over. From the start the blade was smooth and clean cutting. A little bit of blade noise but not excessive.

Final result was a damn fine shave. No nicks, cuts or weepers and alum feedback was very little to non-existant.

Overall a lovely smooth shave. Blade performed really well, did not feel like I was on the edge of a super sharp blade ready to bite, but had no trouble cleanly dispatching my stubble without trouble or complaint. Hopefully it can keep this up for the full four days.

Happy shaving all.
Day 2 Lord Platinum.

So today was standard prep with hot shower, splash of water in face and face lathered Arko!. One slight change was to the brush used. A few months ago when I thought my oldest son would follow me down the DE path (I am still working on it but slowly) I bought a second brush for him to use. It was prior to the @Chef455 PIF as I purchased another synthetic.

It was a different brand (labelled in the name of the website I purchased it from) but similarly cheap. Last night I saw it sitting at the back of my shaving cupboard and thought I would have a look and see if it was the same as the one I had been using. It was smaller and when I rubbed it on my face it did not dig in like my synthetic. I read the side of the box it came in and it mentioned Vulfix and made in the Isle of Man. This was different to my synthetic and felt softer, but a very small knot both in width and loft and not overly stuffed with bristles either. I had a trial Arko! bowl lather last night and it seemed to perform more like the badger and much less like my synthetic so I gave it a go this morning on my face. While the initial building of lather leaked a bit out the back of the brush it was not as bad as my original and by the time I had finished building the lather it looked to be holding a good amount. It held enough for the two passes and still looked to have a good amount of lather left. The lather was smooth and creamy just like my normal lather. Overall a nice little brush. If my son does head into the DE world it should make a good starter for him, or a good brush for me if he steals my badger.

With the good lather, the shave was again a lovely affair with the Gillette Tech (Tech Tuesday aligned) and the blade smoothly sliced efficiently through my stubble. The blade noise was again present but only very muted.

The final result was a damn fine shave and probably one of the better Tech shaves I have had since incorporating it into the four day test rotation.

There was some alum and aftershave feedback but no nicks, weepers or burn.

This blade is going well and if it can hold out it will be a good blade. I hope this Lord blade can hold out for the four days as I have had high hopes for the Lord blades, but so far they have not been stellar performers for me, passable but generally only just making three to four days at best. I have a few more Lords to come and it would be good if they can make it to the top two ranks.

Today was a nice shave all around.

Happy shaving all.

I think I read recently that Vulfix is a Simpson spin off or at least associatief to Simpsons. Prior to reading that I thought it was just another cheaper brush. I am always amazed at how stupid I was two weeks ago (Alan Weis)
Prior to reading your reply I knew that I had heard the name Vulfix, that is it. Thanks to your post I am now smarter than I was two weeks ago, assuming I didn't forget too much in the previous two weeks that is...

Reading the Simpson website it appears Vulfix now own the Simpson brand so you could say Simpson is a spin off of Vulfix. I hope I can still remember this in two ... weeks days hours.
Day 3 Lord Platinum.

I always look forward to day 3 in my new rotation testing as I know the Rockwell 6C razor will be a good shave. While I am still not sure I have the optimun angle for the head, regardless, the shave is smooth and efficient. I chose plate 5 today as I think plate 6 is on the boundary of aggression for me and the shave with plate 5 is usually still very good.

Shave was standard hot shower, splash of water to face and face lather with Arko!. Lather was lovely and smooth, creamy with good slickness. I am trying to use all the Arko! I smooshed into the bottom of my PIF'd Old Spice mug which I used to load the soap before I was directly rubbing Arko! on my face. Consequently, I used it like I hate it and ended up with lots of lovely lather, enough for the two passes required and probably enough for another two to three passes if needed.

From the first stroke the blade and razor slid effortlessly over the Arko! lather. Minimal blade noise was heard and the first pass with the grain was over too soon. The second pass across the grain (outside to mid line) was for the most part smooth with a bit of resistance felt in the difficult palces along the jawline and on chin. Still a distance from tugging or pulling but noticeable drag.

No nicks, weepers or burn and alum feedback was minimal. Final shave was a DFS- only because there were a couple of small strips on the jawline that could have been closer but I think that is user error more than razor and blade.

I am enjoying this blade and it is a pleasant change from some of the recent blades tried (Derby I am looking at you, not you Silver Star you can have a gold star).

Hopefully the drag was not a sign of dulling too much and tomorrow will see the Lord Platinum take its position in one of the top tiers of my ranking.

Happy shaving all.
Day 4 Lord Platinum.

Today being the final day of testing for the Lord Platinum brought out the King C Gillette razor for the last assessment. The rest of the shave was standard, hot shower, splash of water to face, brush loaded with Arko! and face lathered for a silky smooth lemon scented lather.

Two passes today as is my current normal, first, with the grain all over and then second, across the grain going from the outside to the midline of my face.

The one constant from the start today was that the Lord Platinum had given its all to get to day four and only just got across the line. Throughout the shave the blade noise was increased and the feeling of the shave was moving into tugging and pulling out of just increased drag. There was no smoothness in today's shave, don't get me wrong I have shaved with worse on this journey so it was okay to continue but, the smooth clean cutting and not feeling each whisker give up its life had gone. I was now feeling and hearing the whiskers in their final throws of resistance and the Lord Platinum was, at times, struggling to quash the uprising.

Final shave was just off of a damn fine shave maybe a DFS-, so close but just not as smooth as others. I had no nicks, weepers or burn and alum feedback was non-existant.

While the Lord Platinum has been a good blade and I wouldn't hesitate to load up the rest of my supply at some point in the future, I can't say I am not disappointed that it didn't make the full four days. I think if it wasn't testing, had I had a similar feel on a first pass, I would have switched out blades in the future for the second pass. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't comfortable and is definitely a three day max blade for me.

This seems to be my lot with Lord blades, I don't think I have had one go four days without feeling it dull after three, except for the Silver Star although even that wasn't as smooth as other blades I have used at the end. Lord has another chance to redeem this record with the next blade, some may say the blade has a-peal.


If nothing else I think the name of these blades has a good ring to it.

Happy shaving all.
Surely your nowhere near the end of that Arko! stick yet?!?!?!
When I first switched to Arko! I loaded a large amount of it in the Old Spice mug you PIF'd me so that I could load the brush like I was used to loading Tabac out of the glass bowl. I then discovered that rubbing Arko! on my face from the stick worked just as well and did that for a few weeks.

So there is still a reasonable amount of Arko! off of this stick in the Old Spice mug that I am now working through again so I can free up the mug.

Thank you for the continued support, I am still amazed that anyone would be interested in reading my rambling thoughts and observations.

I am still in GRUME, it has been a good exercise in focusing internally at what I already have in the shave den rather than what I could have. Although while doing this and finding the other synthetic brush in the shave den and finding that I actually liked the brush and feel has made me more interested in trying other brushes... Maybe I need to do the GRUYERE for the rest of 2023.
Maybe I need to do the GRUYERE for the rest of 2023.
You can enter GRUYERE only at the beginning of the year. The hard part is not spending anything on shaving. GRUME offers a little more slack in that if you run out of something you have monthly restocking options. GRUYERE requires a lot of thought upfront and getting the supplies you need to complete it. GRUYERE does have the option of the spending spree at the beginning of the year once you successfully completed it (which sounds counterintuitive, but the idea is to think about what you actually really want or need and then get that rather than going down a rabbit hole).

So I will see you in the monthly GRUMEs for the rest of the year then? :cuppa:


Wait, you've been here less than 3 months and are grume'ing already?!

Sadly, I think I need to show a bit of restraint. It has been less than three months but my den could already sustain me for a year or more without any further purchasing I think.

A few months of using what I have will allow me to slow down and appreciate the process rather than the purchasing endorphins.

Full confession, May got a bit out of hand for me as well, a combination of April birthday money (I sound like a five year old) and discovery of Arko! and Connaught Shaving and vintage razors means my den may have grown through a number of purchases. I am not going broke, I didn't develop a taste for Titanium razors (but they are very pretty), this is still a cheap hobby for me, but it was a bit of a purchasing frenzy.

My blade testing on the stock I currently have will take me over two and a half months to complete and I have more blades from the Great Blade Exchange on the way (which I think is allowed under GRUME, either way the 'payment blades' to trade went out in mid May so outside of June GRUME).

So @lasta fear not, there will be plenty of shiny to come out of the den over the year ahead, without any further purchasing.

Sorry @Guido75 you are probably going to stop posting to this thread, earlier in this thread you were accused of enabling me to the point of excess, now you are being accused of excessively restricting me. I just want you to know that I appreciate your efforts. Although in all my purchasing I still haven't taken your advice on the Fatip, perhaps I may need to restock my den with one as a reward if I successfully make it through half a year of GRUMEs.

Happy gentlemanly restraint or freedom as the case may be.
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Sorry @Guido75 you are probably going to stop posting to this thread, earlier in this thread you were accused of enabling me to the point of excess, now you are being accused of excessively restricting me.
Well it is going to take a little more than accusations to hold me back, so don’t you worry.

Not getting the Fatip on the other hand…

Nah! kidding of course. They will be around after your GRUMEs. And you already have a bunch of fine razors so there is little need to get more (need to say that to myself more often!).

I am also a very convincing GRUME enabler have failed most of the times I entered :lol:. I am not so much about not buying anything as I am from keeping myself from buying everything that moves!

Just enjoy and keep improving your game!

I must say that this thread is bringing back a lot of memories of my own entry into DE/SE shaving. KCG was also my first DE razor, and Rockwell 6$ was my first "premium" razor. I too discovered Arko! early in my journey. Unlike you, @PersistentlyBlunt, I fell very deep into the vintage rabbit hole (records and blades). No need to recount that here. Let me just say thank you very much for the gift of your wonderful posts in this fantastic thread.
Thank you all for your kind words and support.

This forum never ceases to amaze me with the knowledge, support and generosity of time given by the members to each other. A great display of how good the internet can be at times.

@mgweatherly I too have taken a few too many steps down the vintage Gillette rabbit hole. I have imposed on myself a personal restraint so the purchases haven't and won't be seeing action until after this testing but they are there.

As noted above I haven't gone crazy, my total spend on everything I now have is still much less than a Wolfman razor head and certainly less than a Henson in titanium. I am also happy that what I purchased is what I would have wanted to purchase and test at some point anyway, so no regrets. I just needed to slow down and take my time.

The PIF from @Chef455 also arrived at an ideal time as it showed me that a small selection of well chosen items can advance my shaving and knowledge faster than a purchasing of multiple items untried or tested.

Anyway enough sharing for today's session of Shavers Anonymous, on with the enabling.

PS: I am not saying the purchasing of a titanium Henson or Wolfman in full or in parts is crazy, each to their own and we are all adults able to make our own choices. I wonder if they do a Fatip in titanium...
Day 1 Big Ben.

I am continually hopeful that a Lord blade will step up to the plate and knock it out of the park. The Big Ben made a grand opening attempt at exactly that.

Shave was the standard with hot shower, splash of water and Arko! lathered on face. Brush was badger loaded from the Old Spice mug. Being shave one it was the King C Gillette razor taking on the duty for today.

The lather was great and the opening run for the Big Ben was smooth and slick. This continued for the whole of the first pass.

Shave was two passes, with the grain all over and then across the grain outside to mid line. I am thinking of returning to my second pass being across the grain on face to jawline and then against the grain under jaw and on neck, my across the grain on the lower part of my neck gets a bit grabby on the skin despite the slick lather and I think this has resulted in less than possible closeness in this area.

The Big Ben blade didn't seem as smooth on the across the grain shave. Still great for a first shave but not as razor sharp as the first with the grain pass.

Final result was a damn fine shave although I had a couple of tiny weepers which cleared and barely registered a thing on alum application.

A good opening for the Big Ben but it will need to keep performing to get up the ranks.

Happy shaving all.
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