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Contemplating getting out of the "RAD race"....a couple of questions

OK, so I started traditional shaving back in 2009 and got a case of RAD that has persisted for many years; lately I've been thinking about curing it, or getting out of the FOMO phase, at least, and I have a few questions. If you are a newbie, or a person who has ever only owned one or two razors, no offense, but you are not my target audience. Here are my questions.

1) Has anybody on this site ever bought and tried a ton of razors and then one day come to the realization that, although there are certainly differences among them and that one can certainly develop favorites over time, or favorite types of razors, that in the long run, every new razor that comes out is nothing more than a slightly differently designed machine to hold a DE blade to your face for the purpose of removing stubble? And that, therefore, they are actually more ALIKE than they are DIFFERENT? And, therefore, that any brand new razor that comes out onto the market is highly unlikely to be that significantly different from razors you already have? That maybe there isn't really one "magical" razor that will be the best razor you ever tried? And finally, because of all these things, there really isn't any point in buying the latest one, no matter how much people say it is the best razor ever made?

2) Has anybody on this site, conversely, gone through a bunch of razors hoping to find the holy grail, and continued to buy the latest/greatest at whatever expense, and then, maybe surprisingly even to yourself, actually FOUND the "holy grail"? I mean found a razor that was leaps and bounds better than any you had ever purchased before, and that worked so well for you that you thought to yourself that it was unlikely that any future razor, no matter how awesome, could ever be better?

3) Has anybody on this site ever gone through the acquisition phase of RAD over the course of years, for example, trying each new "greatest razor ever" as they came out, and then suddenly realized that not only were the new razors NOT your holy grail, but that a razor you already had, maybe even one you had neglected for a while, was actually your holy grail? In other words, that the best razor for you was already in your possession, but you just hadn't realized it yet?

Last, but not least: Did anybody who could answer "yes" to any of the above questions actually stop chasing new razors and settle in with the one or two or three that you thought were best for you?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. I apologize that the thread title promises two questions but the post actually contains three. I thought I was only going to ask two but then another one arose. And I'm not sure how to change the thread title.


Imagining solutions for imaginary problems

Popcorn eating emoji aside, I REALLY like this question, and I'm going to work on my answer and post more later. Spoiler alert: I am a "yes" for #1 -- but I would remove the "DE" so that it reads, "...hold a *blade* to your face..." I tried various DE's (new and vintage, slant, adjustable, etc, etc), then moved to various SE's (GEMs, Injectors, AC's, Valet's, proprietary [wherein I had to use tools to adjust an existing SE blade to work in the razor], spent a LONG time in the Lather Catcher world), then I moved to Straight-Razor-Like-objects (wedge blades, Hair Shapers, Shavettes [various blades]), and even dipped my toe into pure SR's.

Bottom line: I loved many of them, liked nearly all of them, and truly ignore/avoid very few. The differences between the results, the techniques, and my enjoyment was/is never highly variable. I can get closer with some, some require more finesse (ummm, focused technique), some require an extra pass (or two) or clean-up, and some just have such interesting history, design, and/or physical beauty (to me at least) that I just can't let it go. In fact, aside from PIF'ing and/or trading razors (mostly duplicates), I've never actively tried to thin the herd -- which stands at a number very close to triple digits (honestly, I've never tallied, but I'd say it's definitely more than 80 and quite possibly over the century mark). A great example is injectors -- I believe I have every letter of the Schick type alphabet from A to O (1926 to 1990's), and despite subtle differences in results (some are a bit more efficient than others), I honestly can't tell enough of a difference to argue for one over the other (at least in my shave den); and the same largely goes for my Double-Ring, the Popular, the Slim, the New, the Old types, the Fatboy, the Techs, the....you get the picture. Are they different? sure! Are they so different that I couldn't use one over another? Nah... not to me. While I have historical favorites, as tools to shave, I find them more alike than different....the difference are more subtle than stark (again, to me).

As to what I use today -- it's a version of the Pareto rule (20% of the razors account for 80% of the shaves), although I'd venture to say it's probably more of 10% of the razors account for 90% of the shaves. I know there are some I could let go, but when I think of doing that, I use them and then think, that's a perfectly fine razor, I should keep it! One day I may pare the "collection" down to 10 (or maybe 15, or maybe 50), but for now, I enjoy pawing through the den and finding one I haven't used in a while, pairing it with a soap, croap or cream, choosing a brush (badger, boar or synth), and taking a mundane act of cutting hair off my face and turning it into something....more.

Hmmm, looks like I don't have to come back to post more after all. I hear the popcorn popping, let's hear where others are on their journey!
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In my case, I could answer, ‘Yes,’ to all three questions. :a29:

After awhile I realized that I found my ‘grail’ razor (WR1)! It is now my ‘daily driver’ that I enjoy most every day. Since I could not bear to lose it, I also have a ‘travel’ razor. That’s it for me!!
Great question...

I started using a DE razor in Feb 2022 after being fed up with high cart prices and also cart clogging. I had RAD and tried a number of razors (none more than $50 USD). Thanks to B&B and the experiences of many others, I got The Winning Razor from Wet Shaving Club. I think this might be my "grail" razor.

So I guess I would answer "yes" to questions 1 and 2. Being fairly new to DE shaving, question 3 is a "no."
#2 for me. While I have not been at the RAD game as long as you, I did find a razor that works better for me than the others I have tried. Razors I have owned: Rockwell 6S, British Gillette Aristocrat 3rd generation, Gillette Heritage, Gillette Slim adjustable, Gillette Tech, Timeless .68, Henson AL13 medium, FOCS, Wolfman WR2 1.15, Maxwell June and the Winning Razor. I might be forgetting one or two razors. For me and my face, I get the most consistent comfortable and close shaves with the Winning razor. I think it's design, much like the Henson razor, reduces irritation and weepers. The blade is tightly clamped and it is bent forming the correct shave angle. The short guard span reduces the gap where skin can bunch up in front of the cutting edge thereby reducing the chances for irritation. Being an older, overweight gentleman this might be more of an issue for me than someone with normal weight and younger skin. I am a daily shaver and I do three passes daily including ATG. For someone who shaves less frequently, this razor might be less ideal. I still occasionally use some of my other razors for the change of pace, but I have pretty much determined that for my face, the Winning razor is as good as it gets and I have no burning desire to get the latest and greatest razor. Like you mentioned previously, most razors seem very similar but the Henson and the Winning razors are different animals and you can see the differences when you compare them to other razors.
I guess i identify with #1.

I started in ‘06. Ive gone through hundreds of razors. Ive sold a few very nice razors.

Ive settled on a random rotation of probably 12 razors. I still keep a bunch in storage, but if somebody wants one i rarely use, i offer it for sale. Just sold my wunderbar and my tradere oc.


I shaved a fortune
Even though I'm not the target audience, I'm going to put my little toe in.

I had selected a razor from online research before I showed up here. I had chosen the Executive Shaving Company's Outlaw DE razor. I started talking to Brian Mulreany, the owner of ESC (recently retired). He suggested I forego their Outlaw, either version, and buy their fairly newly released Claymore Evolution, a single edge AC razor. He told me, that was the only razor he'd used since its release.

I didn't know him from Adam but I followed his advice. It's been perfect for me. I did have to experiment with a handful of AC blades available to find the best match for the razor and my face.

I've watched others search for the Holy Grail DE razor since I found B&B on March 1st this year with interest... but from the sidelines. I've witnessed several people find their perfect DE and I've enjoyed it with them. I do think that's what many of us hope for... to find "the one". But others enjoy shaving with different razors because they enjoy the variety. They aren't "wrong", they just have different goals. I appreciate those among us who love to experiment. The B&B community benefits from their input even if all of us don't always follow their example and purchase everything they do.

I seem to have entered another phase of my shaving journey... and when I post that, I realize I might just be deluding myself. I'll continue to enjoy all the threads but my own search for gear is slowing down quite a bit. I've had all that I "need" for months but I wasn't satisfied that I'd found everything I wanted. I can say that now. I'm sure I'll add this and that over time, but the search for the big three gear items seems to be complete, i.e., razors, blades and brushes. More soaps and/or creams? My face can't handle strongly scented soaps or creams, so that isn't a driving force for me. I really did struggle with brushes because I had zero experience and there are a lot of options out there... bristle types... then so many manufactures, each with their various models.

So, KingFisher, I understand the meaning behind your post.... Is your quest for the perfect razor really over but you just don't realize it? or is there something else out there? Is the journey the most important thing or is there an end goal? A never ending quest.. or just one with landmarks along the way? I lean toward the latter.... a life long journey... with various landmarks along the way... this razor or these razors are perfect for me... this brush or these brushes give me joy... OK... I'm really enjoying my shaves now... every one of them????

But that's me..... others find that same contentment by using a whole host of different hardware and software. I'm pretty sure there is no, single right way to approach this hobby of ours.
Today's world biggest problem is an excess of options for everything. We always keep thinking if there are something better we are missing, and probably there are, but we are not sure exactly what. Life isn't perfect and also things are not and will never be.

Internet with everybody's reviews and opinions about these everything just turn this issue exponencial.

My father and my dad did not have this. Just shave with what was available at hand.

#1 tip to "cure" anything acquisition disorder you may have, just get out of internet about it. At once. Cold turkey.
I started wetshaving some two years ago (reason: lack of availability and high price of cartridges in Zimbabwe).
I got seduced by the marketing machine for the Supply Single Edge and couldn't have been disappointed more by it's performance.
My 'replacement' was the Fatip Special Edition. It gave me the opportunity to try out an open comb in a cheap way. And I guess it was love at first sight. The Fatip is commonly seen as an aggressive razor, so I do know that I shouldn't bother with anything the carries the 'mild' tag. I did buy myself a Mühle R41 (and later on a Mühle R41GS) and a Razorock Hawk V2. But that didn't end my lover affair with Fatip. On the contrary, I bought three more Fatips later on. And despite the quality issues with the finish – I never experienced any blade alignment issues – I know not to look any further! I will buy a stainless if they ever decide to produce one, but anyone else will not be able to convince me that their razor performs any better than my Fatips! Marketing is probably the biggest lie in the world ;-)

Just for the different experience, I took a few baby steps in straight razor shaving with a Feather Artist Club DX Kamisori (Yes, I know purists don't call this a straight razor but rather a shavette). And although I am managing a shave without cutting myself, I always finish off with the Fatip...
I identify with #1 but keep buying...not anymore looking for the holy grail for the shave (the whole point of #1) but now more on the aesthetic or their peculiar design. E.g. keep collecting Charcoal Goods or bought the Athena mainly because of the unique base plate design or the Seygus for the frown...
Sometimes I just enjoy looking at them, admiring their design or unique patina.
If it was purely for the shave I could have stopped with my $15 Fatip ahah.
I forgot to answer at least partially your questions.

I could be completely settled with my Red Tip, the blades could be almost anyone, they are all almost the same with just a few out of the Gauss distribution, and a tube of not expensive English shaving cream like TOBS, I don't care too much for the scents, I like them all. Drugstore Gillette Balm is quite enough. Does not get MUCH MORE better than this. And I took no more than a year after the start of traditional shaving to arrive at this conclusion.

I could, but no, I just keep buying. Actually more than I can use for the rest of my life. Because searching and buying and trying is a hobby itself. It is not just for the almost daily act of facial hair removal for a long time.

A child never get tired of getting new toys.

Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
Such a great question! Thank you.

I started with one of the razors we all start with. I began looking around, seeking something "more" without really knowing what kind of "more" I wanted. But I dabbled in DEs and SEs and shavettes and vintage and new and had a lot of fun. Gradually I settled on a preference for slants, and that was Rabbit Hole v2.0 but again I had a lot of fun and tried both old and new razors.

I have actually found several Grail razors. One stands out above the rest, however, and that's the Rex Konsul. I didn't even twitch when I got the email yesterday about the new Konsul XL. Just deleted it and moved on to the next email. I've begun to consider that I may not buy many more razors. That's a little confusing because I like doing my yearly slant reviews in The Tilted Picnic, but just to buy a razor to use for two weeks while I chronicle my progress with it is starting to seem uneconomic.

I can look in my razor drawer and find a Gem Jr. Bar, a Merkur "Super Slant," a Fasan Double Slant, as well as a few other razors that I like just well enough not to pif them off just yet.

I had to take a break from the Konsul because I thought I was liking it too much.

I found that buying razor after razor ceased to bring me any lasting pleasure. It became nothing more than mundane shopping and actually began to sadden me, so I stopped. It got so I could not remember what I owned, what I was bidding on, and what I had bought. I have had more enjoyment scouring antique shops looking for a Darwin razor than I would ever have had if I had found one as it would surely have been a disappointment. This hobby is meant to be fun and for a while it was not, until I found that one thing.

For 5 years I collected vintages like a madman and ended up having owned them all. And I mean all, including the very rarest of rare.

But suddenly it became too much, overwhelming, stopped being fun. And I had razors everywhere. So I made the decision to sell off 2/3 of my collection and am in the process of doing so; I will keep many (40ish) but I am nowadays only using very few.

My current main rotation is the following - I love all these dearly:

1950 Gillette Tech
Rocket Flare Tip
Goodwill 160
Hybrid Tech
Eclipse Red Ring
Aristocrats 1st, 3rd, 4th gens
Rex Konsul

…All interspersed with the occasional fun shave of one of my true rarities.

Today my shaving is actually all about enjoying the shave, no matter which razor I use. And on top the fun of only using the same razor for a few days at a time :001_wub:

Happy shaves, all!
I currently enjoy the RAD!
I started wet shaving about a decade ago. Stopped after about a year and went back to it about 6 months ago. This time it was serious since I really have learned about everything DE (especially after joining B&B). Now I just love it and buy and sell different DE's to try them all out. I don't know if I'm looking for the Holy grail but I'm sure at some point I'll nail down my favorites (I already have a few that are keepers). In the mean time I'm enjoying myself!
I'm also certain that I'll never totally stop buying (since something new & interesting will always come to market) but my RAD on overdrive will eventually slow down.
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Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
I'm more in the #2 camp but with some extra thoughts.
I started buying a few razors to save some money possibly at first and was content with about 6 inexpensive razors for about 1.5 years and then got interested in ASR brand razors mainly the Gem brand and found them a good choice instead of spending $100 + dollars on 1 modern razor where I could have 6 different SE vintage razors with a little clean up for this retired old Machinist was more interesting and it became a hobby(rabbit hole to some folks).
I was always interested in History when younger and a lot of razors where hard to find date codes because in the early 1900's that was not a priority to Manufactures of safety razors and so as years went by I started to accumulate different SE razors. When I was looking for a certain old razor that was very interesting eye candy and I like to dicker on price a little to see if owner is willing to part with it or just buy sales.
What I know now I might change my buying habit slightly, also 5 years ago there was hardly ANY stainless steel razors at all + a person tends to look for a grail razor possibly but I concluded I had some already and I knew this but buying something like a new cheap razor is still fun and waiting for the mail to deliver it. I have never spent over $100 Canadian($65 US) for most of my razors and I have some really good modern & vintage razors now.
I have a RR Wunderbar SS slant that I got for 1/2 price ($60 US approx)from Italian barber that retails for $120 US back in 2018 because they did not stamp the bottom on base plate with Wunderbar made in Canada (scratch & dent sale) was a good deal IMO.
Shaving is such a interesting hobby and it can be inexpensive if you know someone who knows a lot and owns a lot of razors who will guide you to a good all around razor or two possibly.
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For 5 years I collected vintages like a madman and ended up having owned them all. And I mean all, including the very rarest of rare.

But suddenly it became too much, overwhelming, stopped being fun. And I had razors everywhere. So I made the decision to sell off 2/3 of my collection and am in the process of doing so; I will keep many (40ish) but I am nowadays only using very few.

My current main rotation is the following - I love all these dearly:

1950 Gillette Tech
Rocket Flare Tip
Goodwill 160
Hybrid Tech
Eclipse Red Ring
Aristocrats 1st, 3rd, 4th gens
Rex Konsul

…All interspersed with the occasional fun shave of one of my true rarities.

Today my shaving is actually all about enjoying the shave, no matter which razor I use. And on top the fun of only using the same razor for a few days at a time :001_wub:

Happy shaves, all!
I can't believe you are selling off so many of your razors. I know the hours and money you spent building one of the most impressive razor collections that I have seen. But I understand. When your hobby becomes a burden it is time to approach it differently.
I think I am between 1 and 2. I found that some razors are significantly better than others - in the quality and ease of the shave, and in the pleasure of use (how enjoyable is the face feel, how good is the balance, do I like the weight, the glide, etc.). I also like to have some variety and I can enjoy highly efficient razors with blade feel, mild razors that are pretty efficient, and also adjustables, shavettes, and straights.

So I end up with three or four really good, favourite razors that I love in each category, and I am completely happy with those and not searching for anything better. There are still differences in shave and feel between these razors, but they are all top of the tree for me. Any of these could be my only razor, but I do like having a few really great options for each category.

I do agree that there is a limit to how much any razor can exceed a straight line inverse relationship between efficiency and smoothness, so I don’t think there will likely be anything much better out there than my existing razors that perform best. But there are certainly razors that are rough yet disappointingly inefficient, and I wouldn’t say all razors are roughly in the same ball park. There are great ones, good ones, and disappointing ones.

So the conclusion for me is that I want to find three really great high-efficiency razors, three great mild-but-efficient razors, one great adjustable, a couple each of great handling shavettes and straight razors. So that’s ten favourite razors and I’m done searching. And I think that’s where I’m at now. There are other highly recommended razors I’m sure would be great, but I‘m equally sure the ones I have are just as good, so I pass on them.
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I’m in camp 3. Being a collector, I happened to purchase almost every razor ever made except the ultra rare ones. As one can imagine that’s a large number that’s too bothersome to count. I don’t have the space or interest to buy anymore of anything. I don’t have a particular favorite but there are about 20 that I really enjoy using and prefer over the majority. The top ones aren’t fixed and that’s what makes the journey enjoyable. Well that and this site.
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