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First DE Shave...I'm Speechless (Tips for Other Noobs)

Hey guys,
Well I finally decided on a Merkur HD classic and it arrived in the mail today. First off, let me just say I was shocked at how small it was. I ordered some of the Merkur blades and some Derby's to go along with it. I took the advice of the forums and started off with the Derby's. I was kind of nervous after looking at how sharp the blades were, but I went for it, AND I even went against the grain. The results: A perfect BBS shave with no nicks or razor burn. This comes from a guy who was plagued with razor burn on the neck and hairs that just wouldn't cut when trying every double and triple bladed razor out there.

Anyways, here's some tips I learned for people just starting off:
1. The blades look scary, but in actuality, it's pretty hard to cut yourself with them. I tried a variety of angles, and I actually had to go more aggressive than the 30 degree angle that was suggested.

2. DONT USE ANY PRESSURE, I REPEAT NO PRESSURE! If you do this, you'll eventually hear the schhhhick of the razor cutting the hairs. I also learned not to go for the gusto in one pass, and take multiples. I tried two NS then 2 against the grain passes.

3. I highly recommend the Derby blades for beginners.

4. Make sure that you always have lather on the area that you'll be cutting. I did this and had no problems even when against the grain.

These are just some helpful suggestions, and once again, thanks guys at B&B! I got my first good shave in 11 years!
Same here! Been wet shaving for a week now with a Merkur Classic Long Handle with Gillette Platinum blades and while it's not always BBS, I have not yet encountered real irritation etc.

I admit that the day before yesterday I had too much confidence and gained some razor burn on my chin and 2 smaller cuts so yesterday I let my face heal and today tried again with some more caution resulting in a very comfortable shave with not alot of sting coming from the alum block.

This just prooves that there's a big learning curve for me and that a few good shaves without any issues do not mean that I have the wet shaving technique under control.

As of yesterday I made a few simple notes to myself:
- respect the blades - they are very sharp and can cut you when you're overdoing it
- take your time to learn and enjoy the shaving moment
- proper angle is not always 30degrees, this is dependant from face to face and spot to spot on the face
- keep touch ups to a minimum because before you know it you're creating razor burn (it's better to feel a little bit of stubble than to walk around with red spots over your face for a large part of the day)
- always lather up if you have to touch up, even if it's only for a few whiskers

I could go on and every time I will shave I will learn and experience other new things but I'll keep the list to a minimum for now.
Congrats on the DE shave. That is the same set up I use merkur HD with derby. Good stuff. The blades do look a little intimidating at first.
I'm another that started with a merkur classic (non HD) I like it and it provides a great shave. Unfortunately, I've got a couple of bumps that I'm still learning to shave around, I still get a little toooooo close to them for their own good. Didn't have this much trouble with the excel. No irritation on multiple passes, unlike the excel. I like it much better than the excel and would recommend it for anyone thinking of using a DE.

I just ordered my first set up yesterday. A Merkur HD, Feather blades and all the other necessities. Can't wait for it to arrive so I can join the ranks. I've been using electrics for too long.

Glad to hear your first experience was a good one. Hopefully I'll be able to report this as well.

Thanks for the info,

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