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Close shaving DE Razors with very little blade exposure?

After several years of daily DE shaving, I decided a while ago that my skin just doesn't like a lot of blade exposure. It really shows when I get even a little irritation, so I made it my goal to get absolutely zero alum feedback after my shave. Here's what I've figured out about getting that kind of shave reliably. A smooth blade helps but even that by itself won't stop cumulative irritation for me. The secret has been using a razor with minimal blade exposure. Like most everyone here though, I still want a close shave. The best razors I've found for me so far are the adjustable Merkurs.

The Progress and Futur seem to have very little blade exposure, at least to me, but they reliably give me some of my best shaves. I have a theory that the large gap/minimal blade exposure is what makes them work for me. It almost doesn't matter what blade I throw in them, I barely feel the blade but get BBS with absolutely no alum feedback almost every time. I use them both on about 3 give or take a little either way. I've even tried the Feather AS-D2 and I feel the blade more with that razor. I usually get at least a touch of alum feedback after shaving with the AS-D2. When I use an R41 with a steep angle, I can get a BBS/no irritation shave pretty often but it's not quite as reliable.

Seems like most of the new high-end razors that I've tried have pretty significant blade exposure, or at least lots of blade feel. I've tried the Timeless Ti .68 and it's very close to what I'm looking for but still has just a touch more blade exposure than my skin likes. So what else is out there that I should try? Does anyone else make a razor with a large gap but minimal blade exposure?
 
H&S N075, it has neutral blade exposure. Karve with plates C (neutral) or below (negative blade exposure).
Game changer might be another option.
 
Thanks. I'll read up on those a bit more. Never heard of the H&S so must have missed any chatter about it. With a fairly small blade gap, I'm not sure that's the one I'm looking for though. I fear the same with the Karve but always willing to hear any opinions. I've heard some talk about the Game Changer but hadn't checked into it at all yet so I will. Thanks again.
 
What exactly is blade exposure?

I would think other factors in the head geometry of the razor would matter more.
On the contrary it's more closely related to blade feel and efficiency than other factors. Gap doesn't stick you exposure does.


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On the contrary it's more closely related to blade feel and efficiency than other factors.


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That only make sense if you ride the bar, not the cap. I don't shave that way anymore, because when I did it was a recipe for rough cheese-slicer shaves.

It also assumes that the shaving surface, your face, is perfectly flat and no pressure is applied to roll or stretch the skin at all. And as much as we talk about "no pressure", razors do not magically hover above skin.
 
That only make sense if you ride the bar, not the cap. I don't shave that way anymore, because when I did it was a recipe for rough cheese-slicer shaves.

It also assumes that the shaving surface, your face, is perfectly flat and no pressure is applied to roll or stretch the skin at all. And as much as we talk about "no pressure", razors do not magically hover above skin.
We don't agree. And it's another discussion.

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More gap makes the razor less "safe", it's that simple.

Exactly how much blade is exposed is going to depend on how you hold the razor. DE razors do deform the skin somewhat, which is why it's possible to shave with a variety of angles and have the notion of "Ride the cap" vs. "ride the bar" at all.
 
More gap makes the razor less "safe", it's that simple.

Exactly how much blade is exposed is going to depend on how you hold the razor. DE razors do deform the skin somewhat, which is why it's possible to shave with a variety of angles and have the notion of "Ride the cap" vs. "ride the bar" at all.
It’s not quite so simple. Gap is one factor among multiple, as is exposure. The diagram is very informative in that way.

Blade exposure is pretty much a set constant by the manufacturer. It can’t really be increased or decreased except, one might argue, by shims, different blades of varying lengths, or when a certain amount of shaving pressure used in less rigid razors. How you hold the razor only affects the cutting plane, not the exposure. Either the blade protrudes from the neutral cutting plane or it doesn’t. Riding the cap or guard is simply a way to change the angle the blade cuts and increase or mitigate blade feel.

This is why the OP is asking about razors with less exposure and bigger gap. For them it sounds like the larger gap allows for some of that skin deformation as you say and a little bit of increased efficiency, but the reduced blade exposure (or neutral, or even negative) allows a smoother feel to the shave.

Anyway, back to the OP’s question. I think it’s interesting you cite the Futur as one of your favorites. I haven’t used one myself, but more than a few folks claim it’s a blade beast and you really have to pay attention!

Throw my vote in with the Game Changer .84 SB. It’s a pretty smooth, efficient operator!
 
First that comes on my mind is Gillette Tech when it comes to zero irritation.

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I think it’s interesting you cite the Futur as one of your favorites. I haven’t used one myself, but more than a few folks claim it’s a blade beast and you really have to pay attention!

Throw my vote in with the Game Changer .84 SB. It’s a pretty smooth, efficient operator!
If you use any pressure the Futur will bite for sure. But with no pressure it's smoother than about any other razor I've tried. A couple people have mentioned the Game Changer so I'll check that one out. Thanks!
 
First that comes on my mind is Gillette Tech when it comes to zero irritation.
Yes, I have a pre-war Tech and it's probably my favorite vintage Gillette. Well, between that and the NEW SC at least. The TTO Gillettes have never really agreed with me at all. The only issue I have with the Tech is that I can get a comfortable shave but it won't be as close as I'd like most of the time. The Tech is a great example of a razor with fairly low exposure and a small blade gap. I've tried some others that are sort of like it - the Muhle R89 and Merkur 34c come to mind here. What I'm really looking for is a razor with a large gap but still very little blade exposure.
 
H&S and Stahly are my top two
Well the H&S appears to be sold out right now and it's one of those things I'd put on my Christmas list rather than buy for myself anyway. The Stahly does seem worth trying though (goes to check the auction site...). Thanks!
 
Yes, I have a pre-war Tech and it's probably my favorite vintage Gillette. Well, between that and the NEW SC at least. The TTO Gillettes have never really agreed with me at all. The only issue I have with the Tech is that I can get a comfortable shave but it won't be as close as I'd like most of the time. The Tech is a great example of a razor with fairly low exposure and a small blade gap. I've tried some others that are sort of like it - the Muhle R89 and Merkur 34c come to mind here. What I'm really looking for is a razor with a large gap but still very little blade exposure.
Just shaved with Karve this morning, SB with C plate.
It gives me pure BBS and no irritation that alum can find.
Its more efficient than tech you just have to make sure not to press it on the skin.

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Just shaved with Karve this morning, SB with C plate.
It gives me pure BBS and no irritation that alum can find.
Its more efficient than tech you just have to make sure not to press it on the skin.
Thank you! That sounds like what I'm looking for. I'll check out the Karve.
 
That only make sense if you ride the bar, not the cap. I don't shave that way anymore, because when I did it was a recipe for rough cheese-slicer shaves.

It also assumes that the shaving surface, your face, is perfectly flat and no pressure is applied to roll or stretch the skin at all. And as much as we talk about "no pressure", razors do not magically hover above skin.
If you think exposure does not apply to those who ride the cap, try this on your next shave. Take an old credit card or two (ATM bank cards work just as well ;-), cut it to the size of a razor blade, but a few millimetres narrower, punch a hole in the middle, and use that as your baseplate.

You now have a razor with monster exposure. Does it shave the same? Probably not. Why? Because most people who ride the cap are riding the safety bar as well. Exposure applies to almost everyone.
 
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