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DE leaving stubble and shadow - fault of razor, blades, or beard?

So I'm new to safety razors, but have been reading about the subject for a while, and decided to try it. My skin was too sensitive for cartridge razors, so I was using electric for a while, but that wasn't great for a variety of reasons.
I ended up going for the King C. Gillette DE razor and blades, and used it with my canned shaving foam, figured it's the cheapest way to see if I like it or not.
It's been great, with minimal irritation and close shaves, but sadly nowhere near bbs. I can't do ATG because I get crazy ingrown hairs, and only doing WTG and XTG basically leaves my face feeling like sandpaper and with a visible dark shadow. I don't really want bbs, but right now I'm left with more hair than I'd like.
I've heard that this razor and blade combo are not particularly aggressive, and to get sharper blades - but that got me thinking. How is a sharper blade supposed to help if the razor is what keeps it at a certain distance from the skin?
So, here's the question. Should I try sharper blades, a new more aggressive razor, or am I just doomed because of my beard genes?
 
I would suggest ditching the shaving foam as a first step, and buying some decent soap.

After that, it's mostly patience as your technique improves and you adapt to the contours of your face and hair growth. Don't strive for BBS, just work on getting a smooth shave.

Changing up blades and razor at this point will just force new adaptions that won't necessarily build your technique.
 
I would suggest ditching the shaving foam as a first step, and buying some decent soap.

After that, it's mostly patience as your technique improves and you adapt to the contours of your face and hair growth. Don't strive for BBS, just work on getting a smooth shave.

Changing up blades and razor at this point will just force new adaptions that won't necessarily build your technique.

Yeah, my original plan was getting some new blades and soaps now that I know I want to get into this. Sadly I do need new blades, I can't get these for cheap here in the Netherlands. I've noticed that product variety is really bad here all across the spectrum, with anything you can find in a supermarket. This is especially the case with DE razors and blades, where stores only sell the King C. Gillette stuff if they even stock it at all - and a 5-pack of those blades is €5, what I'd pay for a 10-pack of Feathers online. The thought of getting a new razor popped into my head just as I was about to order the blades and soaps.
 
You probably just need some more practice. There's nothing wrong with the razor or the blades you have. Just stick with it. It usually takes a few weeks to get close shaves when you are new to this. That razor's got the Muhle R89 head, one of the most popular (good compromise between comfort and close shaving).
 
If your skin can handle it try another XTG pass going the opposite way of your first XTG pass. If not, just keep shaving as you’re doing now. Your technique will improve and you’ll find what works for you.

You can order lots of different blades to try from razorblades club for a decent price and cheap shipping.
 
Welcome to B&B.
It's been great, with minimal irritation and close shaves, but sadly nowhere near bbs. I can't do ATG because I get crazy ingrown hairs, and only doing WTG and XTG basically leaves my face feeling like sandpaper and with a visible dark shadow. I don't really want bbs, but right now I'm left with more hair than I'd like.
I've heard that this razor and blade combo are not particularly aggressive, and to get sharper blades - but that got me thinking. How is a sharper blade supposed to help if the razor is what keeps it at a certain distance from the skin?
The blade edge rides the skin so if it is off the skin, your razor angle is incorrect. This may help you understand blade angle; Blade Angle | Badger & Blade
Two passes will leave a little stubble behind so try a 3rd pass XTG reversed, as you cannot do ATG.
There will always be a bit of shadow depending on your hair colour.
The razor is capable of giving you a close shave, you just need to improve your technique. I would persevere with that razor and those blades which are top notch but expensive. You should be able to buy Gillette Silver Blue or Gillette Platinum blades online, the latter are similar to the KCG blades.
 
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ajkel64

Check Out Chick
You have been given some very sound advice. You will get there with some persistence and please be patient. Just remember it is gradual beard reduction using a DE razor. I would try three passes one WTG, then one XTG (ear to nose) and then the third pass XTG ( nose to ear) as mentioned by @Invicta.
 
Yeah, my original plan was getting some new blades and soaps now that I know I want to get into this. Sadly I do need new blades, I can't get these for cheap here in the Netherlands. I've noticed that product variety is really bad here all across the spectrum, with anything you can find in a supermarket. This is especially the case with DE razors and blades, where stores only sell the King C. Gillette stuff if they even stock it at all - and a 5-pack of those blades is €5, what I'd pay for a 10-pack of Feathers online. The thought of getting a new razor popped into my head just as I was about to order the blades and soaps.
as a fellow Dutchman (as there are some more here), just send me a PM, and perhaps I can help you. There is a Dutch forum as well, but I don't want to advertise here ;-)
 
Stubble needs to be well hydrated (softened) in order to be cut efficiently with any razor. Short stubble is the hardest to get well hydrated as the length of whiskers hold less moisture (water). This is where good pre-shave is essential or lather and rinse before re-lathering and shaving. When I let my beard grow, getting a close shave is so much easier, because the longer whiskers hold more water, and are therefore softer and easier for the razor to cut. All this applies to whatever razor you use; cartridge,DE.SE or SR
 
Using shorter strokes might help to dial in the angle. The only problem i have with the razor is the heavy handle and the grip, but that is jus a personal preference. The blades are good, but i would look for more affordable options when you run out. A sharper blade will probably not solve your problem. I does not hurt to get a sharper blade just to experiment. A Feather blade is probably a good step up.
I struggled in the beginning with my AS-D2, which is on the mild side. Now i feel like i end up in the same place regardless of the razor i use.
 
Welcome! Having recently come from carts and cans myself, I second losing the canned foam sooner than later. It's just not slick, even something like Cremo would be much better. Soap is probably better still, I'm going to try that next.

Also, I'm surprised nobody has suggested ordering a blade sampler. This recent thread has some good suggestions of blades to look for.
 
You probably just need some more practice. There's nothing wrong with the razor or the blades you have. Just stick with it. It usually takes a few weeks to get close shaves when you are new to this. That razor's got the Muhle R89 head, one of the most popular (good compromise between comfort and close shaving).

+1! ’Traditional’ wet shaving requires a skill set that takes awhile to develop. Once your technique is reasonably solid, then it is worthwhile to start trying different hardware and software. Just my $0.02!
 
Welcome to the forum. As others have stated, you already have a decent razor so I wouldn’t worry about getting a different one right away. You should have access to less expensive blades somewhere so it shouldn’t be an issue. If you still have that much stubble with WTG/XTG passes then my guess is you don’t have the angle quite right or what you think is WTG/XTG could be off. Have you tried beard mapping? It certainly helped me to know which direction to shave.
 
Watch a few straight razor videos which show some skin-stretching techniques. That can help razor efficiency. It can also help to avoid nicks going against the grain.

If you've got thick hair, sharper blades like Nacet and Feather will probably work much better.

Try two XTG passes if you can't go fully ATG. Maybe angle them a little.

When you've finished a pass in any direction, your face should feel smooth when you run your fingers in the same direction. So after WTG it should feel smooth WTG (but not XTG or ATG). And so on. Even a mild razor should do that - if not it's definitely technique (ie finding the angle).

When you get a bit of practice, and a good feel for the razor, you might find that skin-stretching and a good, slippery shaving soap allow you to do some ATG.

To be honest I only do ATG passes when I have an early start: a full BBS before I go to bed will easily see me through the next day.

An efficient razor can get you pretty close to BBS with just a two-pass shave. The Fatip Piccolo might be worth a look if the Tech just doesn't get the job done. An inexpensive classic.
 
First dont worry, your journey is just begin. Foam lather is very good and wont change anything in result. The gear you own is a good starting set, upgrade it when you will found what are your needs. Primordial is mapping your beard to shave your face in thee best angle, 2 passes will give you a good DFS and suppose to feel stubbles only if you touch your face ATG. Good learning
 
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