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How a chance discovery reignited my interest

Hello gents,

Bit of a story ahead.

I've been wet shaving most of my life, using cartridge razors and canned shaving cream. At some point I got tired of buying cartridge razors because 1. They're expensive and 2. They don't last nearly as long as I felt they should, for the cost. Naturally I wanted to stretch the life of the razor to save money, but that always led to a vicious cycle of crappy, unsatisfactory shaves.
In my quest to find something better, I tried a dorco cartridge, decent, but same issues. I had also stumbled across some articles on traditional shaving with a DE razor and decided this was something I wanted to try.

Received the Microtouch safety razor as a gift back in 2014, and started my journey. Being that it's a very mild razor, combined with my lack of experience and good technique, it was difficult for me to get a close shave without a lot of effort (3 passes with enough touch up to qualify for a 4th pass). This eventually led me to the conclusion I needed something more aggressive to knock down my tough stubble. Well, I went from one end of the spectrum to the other, and got a Merkur 39C. This razor really taught me how to shave with a DE...took a while, but I got to where if I was careful, I could shave with it every day. Mostly without irritation, but it was still there to some degree in some cases.

For years I didn't tough a cartridge, until 2018 when I started travelling a lot for work. Since I usually travel with a carry-on bag only, DE blades were no longer an option so I packed a cartridge along, and continued using my slant when I was home. I'm not entirely sure what it was, but after a while I sort of got burned out with the DE shaving routine. Which was a huge bummer, because I really enjoyed it. I'd find myself skipping shaves even on days off when is normally still make time to get a shave in, as I thoroughly enjoy the process. I also noticed skin irritation issues starting to pop up again when I used the DE. Figured this was partly due to a negative transfer of skill going back and forth between that and a cartridge.

One day I was home and found myself looking at my old Microtouch safety razor. Been years since I shaved with it. I thought what the heck...popped in a blade and went to work. Yep, still takes a lot of work and touch-up to get a close shave with that thing. However, once I was finished, I realized something....my shave was actually pretty close, not as close as I could get with the Merkur 39, but still good. But the ah-ha moment was realizing that my face felt great! Almost zero irritation, after being somewhat reckless with the Microtouch (I think it's next to impossible to cut yourself with that thing). So, this got me thinking....maybe I need a milder razor for everyday shaving. Something in between the Microtouch and 39C.

Back to the internet and down the rabbit hole all over again. After reading reviews, watching videos, and doing some searching, I actually decided to go for an adjustable...ordered the Parker Variant. It arrived a couple weeks ago and I've been using it every day, trying different settings, and getting a feel for it. The results have been outstanding! Some of the closest shaves I think I've ever had with a DE, and much less irritation. My face and neck both feel and look better after a shave. So far I haven't taken it past setting #3, as there hasn't been a need. Setting #2 gets me a perfectly smooth, irritation free shave. Eventually I'll have to skip a day or two of shaves and try it on a more aggressive setting to see how it performs.

I gotta say, it's nice to be back in the groove again. This little discovery has reignited my enjoyment of the shave again. I've been enjoying waking up early and going through my routine for the first 30 minutes or so of the day. I'm still gonna keep the Merkur 39C around, but I think it'll be on vacation for a while. Awesome razor, but for me and my skin type, I think it's a little bit much for daily use. I'll save that beast for the rare occasion when I need to get rid of a 4 or 5 day growth.

Happy shaves, all!
 
The Parker Variant is a really great razor. It's one of my favorites. I tend to like adjustables too because I find most non-adjustables either too mild or too aggressive for me. With an adjustable I can dial in my perfect shave. The Parker, being essentially a copy of the Merkur Progress has great geometry too. Merkur's adjustable designs are really second to none for me. They have larger blade gaps than most others but the blade exposure is smaller than most. That's really the winning formula for me. Their adjustables are efficient without being aggressive and I like that.
 
Sometimes we don’t even realize the things we miss most until we revisit them.

Maybe I should pull out my old Braun electric for another go. No, I don’t think so.

Glad you’re back to the best way to shave.
 
My face and neck both feel and look better after a shave. So far I haven't taken it past setting #3, as there hasn't been a need. Setting #2 gets me a perfectly smooth, irritation free shave. Eventually I'll have to skip a day or two of shaves and try it on a more aggressive setting to see how it performs.
I have the Merkur Progress so not sure how the Variant settings compare but those settings would be close to the DE89 and Merkur 34C geometry.
The Microtouch, manufactured by Weishi I believe, is known to be mild and if it does the job then keep using it. The Sledgehammer is quite a beast with a slant design and a heavy handle. I thought about buying one but the 37C seems to give a good shave.
 
Yeah the internet can be the devil. I stayed away from Forums and buying stuff for a good few years. I was happy with what I had. Then I broke my Schick G. I went online to find a replacement and revisited a few shaving Forums. The fall down the hole was swift. :thumbup1:
 
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