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Is the importance of shaving technique over-emphasized?

Mind you, now that I think about it , every takeoff is optional but every landing is mandatory. In my extensive flying experience, we start and finish with a bit of driving. :biggrin1:
Kind of my thoughts and why I never went to the Submarine service.
Everything that goes up, must come down (though not necessarily at the same speed), but everything that goes down, does not have to come back up.
 
good point ... my counter would be: should have been obvious to change the angle .. I am not saying that technique isn't important at all, just that it was for me rather easy, and the razor made a lot more difference than the technique. If you have to focus a lot on learning technique, you have the wrong razor. Oh well ... I'm going to have to give up because I am vastly out-numbered here!
Finding or changing the angle is technique. I think it depends on what you consider technique
 
I think for me, it was about 60/40 techniques. Once I got them down, it helped get better performance from the equipment I had and have since acquired. I was comfortable enough in my techniques to change them one by one to adapt to new equipment.

To use the earlier analogy, I've since learned to skillfully use any saw you put in front of me for any task. But let's keep it apples to apples. Techniques are what makes my cuts accurate and straight. Including using the hammer to cut a 2x4 in half for you.

The tools only highlight the techniques. But YMMV.
 
I think what was discovered by the original poster is that many razors are more forgiving and don't require a disciplined technique as much as others. However, even the bloodbath razor you could probably learn to use deftly. The trial and error cost of mastering it is something most people don't have the patience for, understandable.
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
I think what was discovered by the original poster is that many razors are more forgiving and don't require a disciplined technique as much as others. However, even the bloodbath razor you could probably learn to use deftly. The trial and error cost of mastering it is something most people don't have the patience for, understandable.

And the choir sang Amen! Can close this thread now. I’d love to see the OP post in this thread in about, oh, three years, and see what he’s learned. I’m ten years in now and I believe making my biggest strides right now. Our esteemed moderator @never-stop-learning screen name says it all.
 
And the choir sang Amen! Can close this thread now. I’d love to see the OP post in this thread in about, oh, three years, and see what he’s learned. I’m ten years in now and I believe making my biggest strides right now. Our esteemed moderator @never-stop-learning screen name says it all.

Zen and the Art of Shaving Technique..... :cool:

Every razor has certain idiosyncrasies. I use a slightly different technique with the Blackland Vector than I use with the Wolfman WR2 than I do with the FOCS than I do with the Gillette Tech than I do with the Roedter 1909 and so it goes on.....

Let the razor guide your technique and you should be able to get a very good shave with most of the razors out there.

Try to bend the razor to your will and frustrating shaves will almost surely follow.

It's almost always easier to go with the flow than it is to fight the current. ;) :cool:
 
Technique matters. Better or more appropriate tools may help poor technique get decent results. But good technique will get good results with even lesser tools.

Pete Rose was probably the best pure hitter I ever saw, I could buy the same bat he used but never hit like him. Take golf, many of us own the same or similar clubs as the top professional golfers but how many can hit a golf ball like them or even more dramatically putt like a top pro?

Technique and tools both matter, but good technique will make any tool better.
 
I respectfully say this is just as much an opinion as the one you are questioning. You have figured out the small pool of razors you have and don’t believe it was technique because the angle was automatic…to you. If you are getting good shaves then you also must have figured out the correct pressure, speed, buffing vs. long strokes, the grain of your facial hair, and so on. My opinion is that technique encompasses all of this. It’s excellent to hear that you took to it so readily but I can assure you that many shavers have not had such an easy time, or perhaps, we’re not so proficient so quickly. There was at least some amount of trial and error along with muscle memory being developed that took time to improve.
 
The notion that you can shave with anything as long as you learn the technique seems ... iffy to me, at best ... it's mainly about the razor. I think this is what should be emphasized to newbies. It seems misleading to me to tell them to stick with on razor and work on the technique until they get it down.

I guess I'd say "yes and no." How's that for an unequivocal answer? :)

I can agree from the premise that some who are new to wet shaving don't want to spend their time on a learner razor, but instead want to unload their wallets for some high-end razor that may be well beyond their present technical skills. In an ideal universe -- well, in my ideal universe most would recognize their skill level and put in the time to build the skill. This is hand-eye coordination and there is no way to learn it quickly.

I've used razors that I thought were too much for me, because I'm one of those impatient people who wants to believe that wet shaving skills are imprinted on the Y chromosome. They were too much for me. So I went back and put in the time on some razors that weren't quite so demanding. I've also learned to assess my skills a bit more honestly and have also picked up a few pointers about evaluating a new razor. I have a few razors that really make me concentrate, which is a good thing. I have some I can run around like a sports car with no danger; also a good thing.

I will also say that the other piece here is that you can grow your technique with a razor that is too much for you in the early going. There may be better ways to go about it, but using the same razor shave after shave you will learn its quirks and foibles.

The more important question is: do you know how you learn?

O.H.
 
I have found it interesting to read what everyone's interpretation of 'technique' is. From preshave, prep, lathering, razor, and shaving. I always interpreted 'technique' of being the actual action of a stroke of the razor.

Based on either definition, I believe technique matters. I think that good technique allows people to get a good shave from a range of razors (and shaving setups).
 
...
The notion that you can shave with anything as long as you learn the technique seems ... iffy to me, at best ... If you are experiencing a blood bath, you need to get a milder razor, not just keep using the offending razor until you learn how not to cut yourself (which could be never). With a milder razor, the newbie won't cut themselves ... regardless of technique considerations ... I think ...
IMHO, the notion you describe is different from the importance I attach to technique.
Bad technique => poor shaves with anything. Even mild razors.
Good technique => good shaves with the right shaving gear and prep.
Good technique does not fix a razor with loose tolerances, broken parts (e.g. baseplate), uneven blade exposure (because of design flaws) or other faults.

Therefore, the way I read your post, your technique seems good enough, so you have an important learning step behind you. Congrats!
 
This might go under some existing thread - up to to the moderators!

I am bewildered by the emphasis on the importance of technique in DE shaving. Here are notes:

1. I've really only shaved with the following DE razors: Viking Blade the Chieftain, Merkur 34C, King C. Gillette, Baili 171, and Karve Brass SB (B and C plates). So this relative lack of experience might influence my opinion.

2. Among these, the VB Chieftain had by far the most blade exposure. Regardless of trying, I was never able to shave with it without a relative blood bath. Now, it is possible that some technique training would have helped ... I contend that the razor is just 'too much' for me.

3. Among the others, mostly mild to at most medium type razors, there was no issue whatsoever in terms of technique. I mean, the angle is intuitive and obvious based on the design of the head of the razor - you can figure it out immediately, more or less. Granted, there is going WTG and XTG and ATG .... that isn't much in terms of technique. Pressing harder or not as hard is just sort of intuitive too ... not much in terms of technique.

4. In terms of pre-shave and soap and all that: it doesn't matter much for me as long as I have some soap on my face when I shave. Hand soap works as well as anything else for me.

So I guess my point is this: the razor made all the difference for me, not the technique. The technique was 2%, the razor was 98%. The notion that you can shave with anything as long as you learn the technique seems ... iffy to me, at best ... it's mainly about the razor. I think this is what should be emphasized to newbies. It seems misleading to me to tell them to stick with on razor and work on the technique until they get it down. If you are experiencing a blood bath, you need to get a milder razor, not just keep using the offending razor until you learn how not to cut yourself (which could be never). With a milder razor, the newbie won't cut themselves ... regardless of technique considerations ... I think ... YMMV: I am just throwing this out there.
It sounds to me like your technique is instinctive, & probably engraved in muscle memory. So much so, that you dont realise that you have technique at all!

It's only when you have to change your technique (for example, when switching to a more aggressive razor) that your muscle memory cannot change to adjust automatically.
 
...I am bewildered by the emphasis on the importance of technique in DE shaving...

Just read some of the posts made by people who are brand-new to DE shaving. They tend to have a lot of problems with irritation, not getting close shaves, nicking themselves, etc. They might be using razors like the EJ DE89 or Merkur 34c. We encourage them to stick with it. No amount of talking will replace hands-on practice.

If they focus on hardware, they may keep switching razors, blades, soap, and so on, but that is not really going to help them as much as just continuing to practice shaving for about a month or so with the same setup. Eventually, they will develop their muscle memory and things begin to click into place.

Once they have developed their technique, they often post to say things are going well for them, they are getting good results. Their technique has become subconscious and automatic.
 
It's an interesting perspective, but smacks a little of "I don't have good technique so it can't be important."

To extrapolate that widely we'd end up with no musicians, no artists of any kind, no expertise anywhere. Most definitely a huge jump, but just trying to take it to its illogical conclusion.

I believe the reality is that anyone who ends up with a consistently bloody face is in desperate need of better technique.

Using as mild a razor as you can find that still gets the job done sounds very reasonable to me, but understand that there are many beards out there that will not cooperate with that approach.

Shaving is not golf, you can learn pretty not too bad technique in a fairly short amount of time if you're willing to adjust pressure and blade angle. Pressure is easy, blade angle does take some time - but not a ridiculous amount of time.

And there are certainly razors and blades that fit each face/beard better - and part of the search at the beginning of the process. But I still think the search results are better served with the best technique you can muster at any given point in time.

There is nothing special about me, but I manage to shave with a fairly aggressive razor and very sharp blade while only producing a weeper about every 3 months. And I am slightly perturbed with myself every time, because they are all the result of a lapse in technique.
 
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