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First DE Shave

Okay, so I'm not really new around here. I've been using a straight for about a month now, maybe a little longer. I bought this little Gillette Tech from the BST here on B&B to use for traveling. I have put off using it for a few weeks simply because I'm having so much fun with my straight razor.

None the less, I gave it a go tonight. (This would be the place to skip to the questions at the bottom should you not be interested in the back story and my long winded banter.)

I had a fresh puck of D.R. Harris Marlboro that came in just yesterday. I was dying to try that stuff, and I was not let down. I LOVE the smell of it. This was also my first try at face lathering. My Vulfix 660 small, super badger held enough soap for four and a half passes. I think I would still rather use a separate bowl for lathering, but I bought the D.R. puck without a bowl to save some green. All I had to house the soap was my lather bowl, a Conk apothecary. I'll roll with this until I find a solution. A custom scuttle from Georgetown Pottery, perhaps?

The shave went great. It took me about two passes to really dial in a good blade angle. Once that happened, I kept speeding up and ended up finishing the shave quicker than I could carve out three passes with my straight. Even so, I have no nicks, cuts, or even irritation to show for it...a pleasant surprise.

The B&B'er who sold me the Tech included a box of Dorco blades for me. I haven't even begun to research blades, and now I think I need to. The Dorco Platinums proved to be no match for the tougher hair on my neck and side burns. This brings me to the few questions I'd like to bug some of you DE shavers about:

1-I think I have seen some arguments about this, but how often do most of you change blades? Since I'll only be using this occasionally, I may just throw a new blade at it for every shave or two. What do you think?

2-Any good blade ideas from some fellow tough-bearded fellows? I have a pack of Derbys on the way to try out. That seems to be a standard around here.

Thanks in advance for the advice, guys.
 
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1-I think I have seen some arguments about this, but how often do most of you change blades? Since I'll only be using this occasionally, I may just throw a new blade at it for every shave or two. What do you think?

2-Any good blade ideas from some fellow tough-bearded fellows? I have a pack of Derbys on the way to try out. That seems to be a standard around here.

Thanks in advance for the advice, guys.
I have a tough beard myself and my favorite blades are Feather and Astra and I change them after 3 shaves (9-12 passes) or when they become too uncomfortable whatever comes first.

I don't like Derby that much while others like them.
If you really have a tough beard, don't buy a big sample pack.
I did and I'll passing through most of the blades to my wife who just begon shaving her legs with a DE because they are completely useless to me.
Get a smaller pack with the top-5 (max 10 different) blades.
 
I love a good tech shave, congrats on yours.

I personally only use feathers and feel that at about 3 shaves I need to switch out the blade. Although I could easily use it for a week of shaving but like I said the comfort will start to degrade after 3 for me.

I have a tough beard myself and find that feathers do the trick for me. Ive got to head out to the post office tomorrow PM me your address and Ill send you a few to try out.
 
I'm mostly using straights but do keep a DE with a blade it on the counter for those mornings when I feel like a change of pace. Since the DE blades I use are stainless I will leave one in for 7-10 days before changing it out. Obviously, it lasts this long as I'm not using it everyday. When shaving everyday with a day with a DE, I typically get about 3-4 shaves from a blade.
 
Thanks very much, guys. It sounds like Feathers are a pretty heavy favorite. I had heard a little about them before and was wanting to give them a shot anyway.

Ambrose, I really appreciate you offer for the trial blades. I sent you a PM.
 
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