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Help climbing the efficiency ladder


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Hi all,

I've been DE shaving for a few months now, and I'm looking to try more efficient razors. At the moment (after PIFs and a layoff fire sale) I have a postwar Gillette Tech and a Gillette 1970 black handle super 84 (the one I am currently using at setting 5). I use Lab Blue blades and the king of budget soaps that smells like bubble gum if the US Army made bubble gum :) I would characterize my stubble as average/coarse, but I'm no expert. The way I have been shaving with both razors so far is WTG all over, XTG on the cheeks and ATG on the chin (for some reason only ATG does a good job on the chin). I am prone to *some* irritation on the cheeks and neck. I do shave daily.

I saw a video with Shane from @Blackland Razors where he says that using a more efficient razor may actually help with irritation. As counterintuitive as that sounds it makes sense to me so I'd like to try "moving up the efficiency ladder" to see if I can't get a better shave with less irritation. Since my technique is likely not the best yet I don't want to jump straight to something like an R41, but make it a progression from one razor to the next until I get what I would consider my dream shave. BBS not necessary, but would like to get good results from just a WTG pass. Maybe like Shane says, the less time a razor is on my skin the less irritated I'll be.

The Blackbird Lite SS with a lighter handle is super intriguing, but since I'm now unemployed with no money coming in for awhile I need to keep any new acquisitions at under $100. I did take one step without asking advice...I saw a Lupo .58 on BST that I jumped on and it should be here this week. Hopefully I didn't mess up...if that's not a step up let me know and I'll put it on BST. If the Lupo is a step up, what would you consider good next steps after I have used it for awhile? Something easy to figure out how to use would be nice, I'd like more efficiency but not something that will slice me to ribbons if I make a small mistake.


This link may help you with your search:

Thread 'Comparison of DE Razors in My Den From ~$75 to ~$125 (USD)' Comparison of DE Razors in My Den From ~$75 to ~$125 (USD) - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/comparison-of-de-razors-in-my-den-from-75-to-125-usd.600310/

Hope this helps. :)
Feathers were OK, but are pricey and I could only get one or two good shaves before it got rough.

May I suggest the Bic Chrome Platinum? Been my personal fave for years.

I find it quite similar to a Feather but longer-lasting.

IME, the Bic comes out of the gate just slightly less sharp than a Feather but then actually gets sharper on subsequent shaves. Plus, no wax. 😎
Before coming to B&B I never used terms like "Aggressiveness" or "Efficieny" to describe a razors performance. It either shaved well, or you start trying different blades, hoping you'll find one that works.

I'm beginning to grasp how the two terms relate to each other. At least in my 68 year old addelled brain.

Based upon discussions here, I'm starting to understand that "Efficiency" can be loosely defined as a razor that does the job of shaving with less passes and less irritation.

The more times you go over an area on your face with a sharp blade, the greater your chances of hot spots and irritation. Not a comfortable shave.

It's usually said, a more "Aggressive" razor, is more "Efficient". Although, I'm sure there are examples of just the opposite to be also true?

In Layman's terms, to be more "Efficient" means you don't need as many 'passes', e.g., one or two WTG, ATG to achieve same smooth shave as maybe 3 or 4 passes with a less "Efficient" razor. This can translate to a less irritating shave, with less 'hot spots' because you're not repeatedly dragging the blade over the same real-estate.

This is kind of counterintuitive for those of us just starting to use the 'jargon'. One would naturally think using a more "Aggressive" razor/blade would cause more irritation, cuts, bleeders and weepers. And, to a point that's true.

The downside to "Aggressive/Efficient" razors is the chances for nicks, cuts and weepers increases with the "Aggression". Ying and yang.

Blade "Exposure" also plays into the equation.

The other downside is, there's no set of rules or guidelines showing you when you'll go past "Efficiency" to a bloody mess.

Hence the reason "JMHO,YMMV" is used as a catchphrase rather then, "Danger! Danger! Wil Robinson"! It doesn't scare people away. LOL!


Well, I just got my GreenCult 2.0 with the III plate. It's quite simply...amazing.

It's a great razor, isn't it. Now you need to upgrade to the IV plate!

Oh My George Takai GIF
Great advice above!

For what is worth, I started with ‘mild-moderate‘ razors, moved to more aggressive, etc. in a common progression. Then, I found that my best shaves occur with ‘mild-moderate’ razors paired with sharp blades! In other words, where I started!!

Of course my technique improved substantially during the process (or at least that‘s what I want to think)!!:a29::a29::a29:
I'm not sure what beard mapping is...

I've tried numerous blades with the postwar tech as the platform when I got it. I'm avoiding Russian-made blades for reasons I won't go into here. Feathers were OK, but are pricey and I could only get one or two good shaves before it got rough. The lab blues are cheap, easy to get and seem a good middle ground. If I can, I'd really like to stay with those and have them be the constant in the equation and find a razor that fits well with them. Trying a bunch of different blades as a noob was kind of a confusing experience, and I didn't get much out of it. I have the remaining sampler blades in an altoids tin that I keep in my travel kit.
Try a Kai blade very sharp and smooth. You may also want to try a vintage Gillette short comb. They can be had relatively cheap and are great


I shaved a fortune
Well, I just got my GreenCult 2.0 with the III plate. It's quite simply...amazing.
I still have my Level 3 plate for the Green Cult 2.0. It's more efficient than I need. I seem to like those razors that fall into the "mild but efficient" category. The Green Cult 2.0 Level 2 is perfect for my face. I have several other razors that fit into that grouping as well. When I first joined B&B, I had no idea there were so many variables, so many different face feels for razor/blade combinations, soaps, brushes, etc. I was a total novice. After a year, I know enough to know that I will need to continue to learn as I go along. ;)
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