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Does the shaving stroke speed influence the shaving result?


A quick question regarding something I started wondering about from another thread: do quick shaving strokes cut the beardhairs better or is that not really necessary?

While I can't describe or explain my reasoning I came to think that quick shaving strokes provide a better, smoother (and possible shorter) "cut" of the beardhairs?

I'm wondering this because I have always shaved rather slowly but often times I read/see people shave with quick strokes. Does that make a difference in the shaving quality or is it just a stupid thought?
Thanks for your feedback guys. Even though I shave rather slowly, I'm very satisfied with the results thus far therefore I won't change anything in the speed.

As Scotto mentioned, once I master the technique better I'll most likely go a bit faster but even then, going slow to mid paced makes me enjoy the ritual just a little more. :wink:
Its one of those "your mileage may vary" things. When I showed the "first draft" of my shaving video, some folks were appalled that I went so fast. I guess the best thing is to start "low and slow"--maybe strokes of an inch or so, with each stroke taking about a half-second. Then, as you become more confident of your technique, you'll start modifying the stroke to your liking.

I do think that stroke speed is an important variable--I use slow strokes for my initial 3 passes, and move to faster strokes for the T&C/blade buff.

I feel that the slower strokes have more cutting power behind them which works better early on when the hair is longer. Of course, its likely that this is all in my mind!:eek:
Well here's my opinion. As a disclaimer first though, I have not tried anything with this while shaving, so my opinion is basically worthless. That said, I have extensive experience from growing up, and from cooking, of hacking at things with sharp and less sharp objects.

Technically I think fast strokes should cut slightly better, because there is an inertial effect. With a slow stroke it is easier to push something over, rather than cutting it. A faster stroke carries inertia and is more likely to slice cleanly through something. This is a pretty universal rule. (Want proof of this, stand something like a celery stick or carrot balanced upright on counter. Try to cut in half from the side with a slow moving blade. Then try again with a good fast swing. If you have a good angle, and a sharp kitchen knife, it should cut cleanly through the second time, instead of just falling over with a little nick).

That said, I am not sure how this applies to shaving. Celery /= beard hair. At all. I am not sure that a "fast" stroke is actually fast enough to have any real inertial benefit in slicing through a hair. Also, there are so many other factors that are more important, that I think trying to go fast would likely be counterproductive anyway. Trying to move the razor head faster without real expertise could easily result in sacrifices in angle or pressure, with clearly seem more important. Plus, it would seem a really bad idea for anyone relatively new to go here. Very very very sharp blade + face + trying to use speed to cut better = high probability of blood.

Edit: See John's post for evidence of bad effect of trying to cut fast, as hypothesized above.
Thans for the feedback guys. While I am convinced about Moses' post, I think a careful approach to cutting beardhairs is in order. I will continue to shave with slow strokes unless I'm hurried (which doesn't happen often seen the fact that I always calculate sufficient time to properly get ready for the day).

I agree with all of you that the quicker you go, the more careless your shave will be, possibly impacting the fresh shaven feeling afterwards. It's much easier to focus on good movement while doing slow to midpaced strokes instead of speeding over your face. I could do it on my sidebums but even their I prefer to do it gently and slowly.
I think it does make a difference as does pressure. It's easier to use very little pressuer with a smooth continuous stroke than one that really crawls along. My initial with the grain pass is very gentle with relatively long strokes--not very close but clearly debulks. Relather and again very little pressure against the grain--mostly quick pulse strokes of about 1 inch and then for the areas that are very sensitive and hard to get close (angle of the jaw and moustache) I use lateral passes and an against the grain blade buffing technique and these are very short but very quick.

rtaylor61 said:
I believe that fast strokes are careless strokes.

Thanks Randy, for capturing in one sentence the entire point of my three paragraph post. :rolleyes:

Yeah, I would agree. Although I find smooth and confident is better than super slow and cautious.
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