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How do you pass - what's your technique?

For me it all depends on which razor I am using.

iKon Tek is 3 passes: ATG, ATG, WTG.

Feather AC shavettes is 3 passes: WTG, ATG, ATG. Blades only last me 4 shaves, so sometimes on shave 3 or 4 I'll go WTG on the second pass otherwise it feels too tuggy.

Henson and Blackland Dart, and pretty much all my other razors, I don't pay as much attention to my beard map, and is 3 passes: 1) N-S, 2) ear to nose everywhere above the jawline and ATG everywhere below the jawline, 3) chin to ear above the jawline and ATG below the jawline
 
I often see shavers mention with the grain (WTG), across the grain (XTG), and against the grain (ATG) passes. Two to four passes in a shave seems to be the typical range. I was thinking this could be an interesting topic to capture what others are doing.

I typically do three passes, a WTG, then two XTG passes. I hardly ever go ATG, I have found for me that the smooth-feeling that only lasts several hours isn't worth the risk of getting irritation or ingrown hairs that last much longer than the smooth feeling. I've found that ATG is just not comfortable for me during or after the shave, so I have come to enjoy a damn fine shave instead of BBS.

The WTG pass is fairly straightforward, generally north to south, except for the bottom inch or so of my neckline that is south to north. For my second pass, I do a XTG pass that is from the ears to the mouth direction on the cheeks, and then about 30-40 degrees from WTG direction going from the ears to the Adam's apple. For the third pass I do another XTG pass, sometimes ears-chin or chin-ears direction on my cheeks, then from the chin down away from my Adam's apple. I typically do one or two touch ups at the end of the shave now.

So what's your technique for passes per shave?
I always only do 2 passes wtg and xtg with 1 exception. Normally on days where I know I'm not going to see my girl ill do wtg and xtg. But if I know I am going to see my girl I do wtg and xtg but I do some moderate skin stretching to get a closer shave. However I don't do this on my neck because I easily get ingrown hairs because of the skin stretching so I avoid it. But I realized that on my cheeks and chin I am able to get away with it. A true life saver my friend when it comes to avoiding ingrown hairs is to exfoliate your skin before shaving. And by that I don't mean just washing your face. You need to lift the hairs off of your face so that they won't sit flat on your skin or digging into your face. You can do this by wetting your face and gently scrubbing brown sugar in a circular motion over your face. This will lift up the hairs and will make them ready to shave. However if you don't want to go through that process you can purchase a Tstone. Which is similar to one of those exfoliating stones that people use on their feet but this one is softer and has a convinent long handle. Put some moisturizer or shaving lather that you made over your skin and lift the hairs with the tstone ATG to lift them up. I do this every day before I shave and has eliminated my ingrown hairs. Best of luck and I hope you found this usefully. I will leave a link to the product I mentioned if you are interested. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B092MYVVXQ/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_KE0P8FSG94G4DBQFZ2W9

P.s I also have every sensitive skin and coarse hair and this has been one of the best things for my face and shaves.
 
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Single-pass WTG only. Except I shave with a motion I like to call the "eraser method"*. I place my razor on the skin and only push it up, allowing it to fall as needed. This way, I avoid applying too much pressure and nicks around my mouth and on my chin. Three things to remember though
  1. I never change the skin geometry and glide the razor at the same time - this results in cuts. First (I change the way I) pull the skin, then shave.
  2. I try to be quick around the mouth. Too long over this area results in irritation (yes, even wtg)
  3. On my neck, WTG is a lot more complicated than on my cheeks and around my mouth. Therefore I must lift the razor and place it again on the skin, according to the grain direction.
The result is a DFS with no cuts and, if all other parameters are OK, no nicks.
 
WTG, XTG, ATG, chin buffing. The ATG pass on the upper lip is chiefly the upper half of the lip and XTG is employed for the bottom of the lip. I use multiple short strokes. I use the Fool's Pass as one of the best ways to gauge whether it is time for a new blade.
 
I've been growing my goatee back since we're wearing masks at work again, and my chin seems to be especially sensitive for some reason. It's very instructive. Where most of my beard direction is more or less uniform within each region, my chin whiskers grow in *at least* four different directions, practically all on top of each other. Which explains why even getting DFS on the chin requires a minimum of 3 distinct passes for me. Unfortunately it's also the most sensitive, prone to irritation and breakouts. When I was shaving it I had to give up buffing strokes entirely because it was too much. Any pass other than north to south ends up being more or less ATG for about a third of the hairs, so less is more. I think the most comfortable combo was WTG and two opposing XTG passes.
 
I just shaved and watched my own technique very carefully. What seems like W,X,A is actually a hybrid, especially on the neck, where the Gillette Slide handles the topography better, and on the upper lip, where a J hook is used. Anyway, it's the way I have always done it, although in the mid-1960s when I was getting started there was no across the grain pass employed. I picked that up later in life.

I also note that several folk mentioned their prep and lathering. I face lather after a hot water splash. After each pass I barely dip the tips into hot water and face lather again, ensuring lovely, warm, lubricious lather for each pass.
 
Single-pass WTG only. Except I shave with a motion I like to call the "eraser method"*. I place my razor on the skin and only push it up, allowing it to fall as needed. This way, I avoid applying too much pressure and nicks around my mouth and on my chin. Three things to remember though
  1. I never change the skin geometry and glide the razor at the same time - this results in cuts. First (I change the way I) pull the skin, then shave.
  2. I try to be quick around the mouth. Too long over this area results in irritation (yes, even wtg)
  3. On my neck, WTG is a lot more complicated than on my cheeks and around my mouth. Therefore I must lift the razor and place it again on the skin, according to the grain direction.
The result is a DFS with no cuts and, if all other parameters are OK, no nicks.

I like you're concept of the 'eraser method', letting the razor fall and you merely push it up. I like to think about almost trying to lift the whiskers up instead of adding pressure and cutting!

WTG, XTG, ATG, chin buffing. The ATG pass on the upper lip is chiefly the upper half of the lip and XTG is employed for the bottom of the lip. I use multiple short strokes. I use the Fool's Pass as one of the best ways to gauge whether it is time for a new blade.

Another with the fool's pass! Quite a few have noted doing one. Maybe I'll have to be brave one day and try it.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
I have settled in to a hybridized one pass shave most times. Almost impossible to describe. North and South and East and West, just different areas get different treatment. Sometimes the razor don't even get lifted off my incredibly handsome face. And then it is finished and I rinse the razor and my face.
 
My usual is 2 wtg passes, some razors that are aggressive to me I can do just one wtg pass and be good. Sometimes I'll do 1 wtg and a xtg. It's rare these days that I go the full wtg/xtg/west-east/atg. Oh I will add that when I do my usual 2 wtg passes, the chin and undernose portions I'll usually do atg on the second pass.
 
3 passes: WTG, XTG & ATG. My beard grows in different directions, so to follow this I can't just do N-S, E-W, etc.

I have had better success with j-hooking than I have with the Gillette Slide, but I only do it occasionally.
 
When I started my hobby I always did the classic three-pass shave (WTG, XTG, ATG) and it never really worked the way I wanted, especially on my neck. So by trial and error I came up with a technique which works great for me. It's north to south, then XTG on my moustache area, then south to north and finally touch-ups in every direction I find whiskers left.
 
For some reason today, I decided to do ATG, XTG, ATG. The first pass wasn't bad, and the second was actually more comfortable than it usually is when I do WTG first. Had a little more sting under the jawline than normal but the shave was very, very close. I may try this more often.
 
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