What's new

DE Shave Advice Requested

I've been DE shaving for about 18 months now and meeting with only limited success. I use a Rockwell 6C with the 2, 3, and 4 plates. I also have a Parker Semi-Slant, which works great for WTG and XTG passes, but is very irritating on ATG. For blades I've tried everything from Derby and Astra SP to Feather and Personna Med Preps. The best feel comes from the Feather blades on shave one (after shave 3 they begin to tug) and the Med Preps on shaves 2-4. I usually use plates 2 and 3 with these blades, although plate 4 works quite well for WTG. Right now I am using Gillette Nacets which are fairly good.

I usually shave with the blade at a 30 degree angle to my face. There are no problems with WTG and XTG passes, but oh my how ATG hurts on my neck and around the mouth. Riding the cap helps some, but most of the time it feels like the hairs are being ripped out of my face.

Surprisingly I can get a somewhat better shave using my Panasonic Arc4 electric for a wet shave with a good soap or creme. Particularly around the mouth I can get it BBS with little effort. The neck is just about as good and the cheeks not quite as close. I'm really disappointed with the DE shaving since it's a lot cheaper than spending $55 per year for a replacement Panasonic foil and blade assembly.

Any suggestions on the DE front would be most welcome. I have considered trying the Feather Artist Club SS or SR, and even thought about living dangerously and trying a straight such as a Boker King Cutter 5/8.
 
Welcome, @Aalglatt!
I too use a Parker Semi-Slant occasionally, and I find that if I am not really careful about the angle on the ATG pass then it can get a bit testy--otherwise, it works very well for me. Also (you may already be aware of this) make sure you're not applying pressure--I learned that the hard way, I think many of us do.
Your experience with the Feather blade regarding its reduced effectiveness about the third shave is shared by many here, myself included.
I'm really disappointed with the DE shaving since it's a lot cheaper than spending $55 per year for a replacement Panasonic foil and blade assembly.
Welllllll . . . don't be too quick to buy into that. Just ask that rabbit over there; we all see him, and eventually, you would too.
 
but is very irritating on ATG.

The only wet shaving instrument I have ever successfully used ATG is Rockwell S6, R1 - everything else seems too aggressive. Maybe you have sensitive skin?

I usually shave with the blade at a 30 degree angle to my face. There are no problems with WTG and XTG passes, but oh my how ATG hurts on my neck and around the mouth. Riding the cap helps some, but most of the time it feels like the hairs are being ripped out of my face.
This feeling means too much resistance against the blade, which can mean anything from poor lubrication to a dull blade. Do you also get this with a fresh blade?
Surprisingly I can get a somewhat better shave using my Panasonic Arc4 electric for a wet shave with a good soap or creme. Particularly around the mouth I can get it BBS with little effort. The neck is just about as good and the cheeks not quite as close. I'm really disappointed with the DE shaving since it's a lot cheaper than spending $55 per year for a replacement Panasonic foil and blade assembly.

Any suggestions on the DE front would be most welcome. I have considered trying the Feather Artist Club SS or SR, and even thought about living dangerously and trying a straight such as a Boker King Cutter 5/8.

Changing the tech (DE->SE/SR) might help, but doesn't have to. What other blades have you tried? What is your prep? AS?
I would suggest the following in this order:
  • Use a blade's fresh side at most once (like me). This means 1 blade = 2 uses. Or just toss the blade after 1 use if you can't keep track. As for brands, you might want to take a look at Razor Blade Sharpness Summary with Comparison Chart - https://www.refinedshave.com/razor-blade-sharpness-summary/
  • Spend at least 3 minutes working your soap in with your brush. Any brush does the same job. Don't use soap? Try gel, forget about foam or oil
  • You have no trouble on flat sports, but mostly around the mouth - you need to work on your technique. At least around the mouth, you should start with the mildest settings
 
Thanks for the suggestions. My takeaway is that I need to work with a mild shaver setting around trouble spots until I get the technique right, and then move to a slightly more aggressive setting, working again until I get the technique right. I suppose the ultimate aggression setting would be a straight where technique becomes paramount but when perfected yields perhaps the best and most comfortable shave. I guess the perfect shave is like chasing the perfect wave in The Endless Summer; enjoy the journey as much as the goal.
 
If you are getting tugging and/or pulling going ATG, it might be that your stubble is still too long at that point in the shave. You can try one WTG plus two XTG in different directions and see how close you are. If you are close enough, just stop at that point.

If you want to try the ATG, lather up with the slickest lather you can make, use your sharpest blade in a fairly mild razor with very short strokes. Another thing you can try in the mustache area is to hold the razor stationary at the area to be shaved while just slightly rocking your head forwards and backwards to shave the last bit of whiskers off. Probably sounds strange, but this keeps the razor very steady.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Everything you need to know is here...


For a start, I think your angle is wrong. Are you sure the 30 degrees is right for your razor, or is that just something you read? I think your blade is riding high, and you're tugging your beard as a result. The first for posts in the guide thread will help you correct that. Feathers are sharp enough to cut "high" as you've discovered, but once the initial sharpness is gone, you'll be tugging again.
 
Great advice above!

I humbly suggest that ATG is not required. You might try just going WTG and XTG. Another alternative to ATG is to use two XTG passes in opposite directions (‘nose-to-ear’ and ‘ear-to-nose’).

Finally, you should ‘map your beard’ to really understand what you are doing with each pass, especially in the problem areas.

Stick with this and you will get the results you want! :thumbup: :thumbup:
 
Great advice above!

I humbly suggest that ATG is not required. You might try just going WTG and XTG. Another alternative to ATG is to use two XTG passes in opposite directions (‘nose-to-ear’ and ‘ear-to-nose’).

Finally, you should ‘map your beard’ to really understand what you are doing with each pass, especially in the problem areas.

Stick with this and you will get the results you want! :thumbup: :thumbup:
I concur - ATG is certainly not required.

That said, some would say if it ain't BBS, why shave at all... so, it's YMMV.

My 0.02$ to the OP @Aalglatt - mild razor paired with sharp blade and instead of trying to keep some imaginary 30 degree angle, play around and FEEL it out. Feel what actually feels COMFORTABLE. Be intuitive about it and never hold on rigidly to any prescribed "ideal angle". Good luck!
 
Lots of great advice given already.

You didn't mention what soap you use? If you think there is any room for improvement in your soap choices or lather quality, you might as well get that resolved first so you can eliminate it as a possibliity.

I agree wholeheartedly with what @DaveHStone said about angle. I've been successfully going first pass ATG for quite some time now, and I have no idea what 30deg is, nor do I care. I use razors that have some blade feel, and I adjust until it feels right. If you're razors do not provide any blade feel that might be a problem, IMO, that *MAYBE* impossible to solve without using a different razor. If you want to try ATG, try riding the cap, try riding the blade, try riding the bar/comb. Hopefully during one of those tries wil just feel right and then you will know what angle to use. Most likely your angle for WTG will be different compared to ATG.

You have to do lots of skin stretching for ATG, the razor should not be allowed to tug the skin at all. If you see the skin moving at all near the razor when going ATG, stop because you're doing something wrong. If that's happening, I woud try one of these at a time: more skin stretching, slicker soap, better quality lather, less pressure, different angle, new/sharper blade. Hopefully one or more of those things will improve for you.

In my experience:

Derby Extra and Derby Premium are absolutely useless.
Feathers last me 1 or 2 shaves. Shave 1 is great. Shave 2 is pretty average/crap. Pretty expensive, IMO, for 1-2 shaves.
Astra SP and Med Preps are good.
Nacet blades are favorite, great shave and good longevity.

If all else fails, IMO, the Feather AC SS is a pretty mild introduction into straight razor shaving. I still have trouble getting super close shave with it. I have approx 45 shaves with the SS and I'm just now getting to a point where I am starting to get close shaves, but not BBS. I have never had any irritation from using the SS, sure I got maybe 2 or 3 memorable cuts along the way, but no razor burn, no redness, no bumps, zero alum burn, and skin feels fantastic after the shave. If you're willing to dedicate some time and effort to learn it, it absolutely delivers a zero irritation shave.
 
Last edited:
Lots of great advice given already.

You didn't mention what soap you use? If you think there is any room for improvement in your soap choices or lather quality, you might as well get that resolved first so you can eliminate it as a possibliity.

I agree wholeheartedly with what @DaveHStone said about angle. I've been successfully going first pass ATG for quite some time now, and I have no idea what 30deg is, nor do I care. I use razors that have some blade feel, and I adjust until it feels right. If you're razors do not provide any blade feel that might be a problem, IMO, that *MAYBE* impossible to solve without using a different razor. If you want to try ATG, try riding the cap, try riding the blade, try riding the bar/comb. Hopefully during one of those tries wil just feel right and then you will know what angle to use. Most likely your angle for WTG will be different compared to ATG.

You have to do lots of skin stretching for ATG, the razor should not be allowed to tug the skin at all. If you see the skin moving at all near the razor when going ATG, stop because you're doing something wrong. If that's happening, I woud try one of these at a time: more skin stretching, slicker soap, better quality lather, less pressure, different angle, new/sharper blade. Hopefully one or more of those things will improve for you.

In my experience:

Derby Extra and Derby Premium are absolutely useless.
Feathers last me 1 or 2 shaves. Shave 1 is great. Shave 2 is pretty average/crap. Pretty expensive, IMO, for 1-2 shaves.
Astra SP and Med Preps are good.
Nacet blades are favorite, great shave and good longevity.

If all else fails, IMO, the Feather AC SS is a pretty mild introduction into straight razor shaving. I still have trouble getting super close shave with it. I have approx 45 shaves with the SS and I'm just now getting to a point where I am starting to get close shaves, but not BBS. I have never had any irritation from using the SS, sure I got maybe 2 or 3 memorable cuts along the way, but no razor burn, no redness, no bumps, zero alum burn, and skin feels fantastic after the shave. If you're willing to dedicate some time and effort to learn it, it absolutely delivers a zero irritation shave.
So true @Eben Stone!

BTW, stretching the skin is the game-changer if you ask me, but so many people (including many of popular YT shavers) do it wrong. The only person I've stumbled across on these forums that has actually explained exactly how to do it properly is @Slash McCoy. When I read some of his posts, it occurred to me "this guy is doing it right! Someone at last!".

So anyways, the point is skin stretching should always be in the direction OPPOSITE of the hair growth, as only that way the hair will protrude more straight, more upwards out of its follicle, so when the edge of the blade hits it, the efficiency of the cut is maximized. This is what some folks (erroneously) call "shaving below skin level", as when you release the skin and the pores close, the cut of the hair will be below the surface. This is the way to obtain that true, glass-smooth BBS.
 
Lots of excellent advice. One thing is certain, if you continue to use the same technique you can expect similar results. You'll find out quickly if a different razor angle works better for you.

There is also the possibility that you have areas that won't tolerate ATG. My upper lip won't. My solution is WTG, WTG, XTG with blade buffing. XTG in both directions, as suggested, is often a good solution.
 
You might want to try a Schick injector with Schick blades (the ones in the yellow package, made in China, i.e. “Chicks”). With the Schick the angle is built-in and no pressure/a lot of pressure doesn’t matter. Intuitive to use, totally forgiving, 6-10 shaves a blade. A Schick cures a lot of shaving “problems”.
 
Top Bottom