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Mild slant razor - am I doing it wrong?

Hi Op, similar situation here, long time lurker, very sensitive skin, daily shaver with a Rockwell 6c/plate 3. Except I'm a tinkerer and perfectionist and don't want to settle for anything less than a BBS every single day in under 5 minutes, mindlessly and without irritation/nicks.

I have/had something like 10 razors since I made the switch 5 years ago. My absolute fave is the Taiga, a SS open-comb adjustable. The finish is exceptional, the mechanism is really clever, the Ti handle is very grippy, it hovers on the skin without any noise or feeling anything and delivers the closest shave. Being an open comb, it can bite easily so I need to be mindful and shaves take longer than 5 minutes but I absolutely love it. Problem is my skin does not. Irritation builds up, then nicks before my neck orders me to leave it alone.
And this is a recurring story for all my razors which I have persevered with for months each time. I have to compromise, either shaves take longer, or less than BBS or more likely mandatory breaks because of irritation/nicks. All of them I can get 5 shaves a week with; I suspect with a few I could maybe achieve 6 shaves a week with better technique adjustments but 7/7 was always out of reach. Then I bought a 6c for my son who decided electric shavers are better for him, so I tried it last year and that's when I was finally able to achieve my dream. I've been shaving every single day with perfect results and my neck skin looks better than it ever did.
I've learned to accept that my skin and facial features (lean with angles) dictate what is possible. Examples:
- with anything else than very mild razors, my skin will scream at me on the third consecutive shave
- with flattish head razors, irritation builds up when hair grows back but it does not when the head is round and the blade is flexed
- multiple ATG passes and buffing are possible with very mild razors otherwise even one is very risky
- the razor head never touches my skin if there is no lather on it, etc...

I've had to tune my technique for each razor. For the Rockwell I started with plate 2. My hair grows in multiple directions but always horizontally or vertically so I do two passes, one vertical, one horizontal, both against the grain as much as possible (ex: up where the hair grows down and down where the hair grows up) with a little bit of buffing (always lather!). With plate 2 more buffing is needed and it's wise to learn not to insist. Over time I graduated to plate 3, BBS is now a given with less buffing and it lasts longer. Same story with plate 4, longer lasting, easier to achieve but my skin won't tolerate it more than a couple consecutive days so I do alternate the 3 plates (plate 2 to recover from 4), using plate 3 most of the time. I have it so nailed down that some days I'm done in barely more than 4 minutes.

That Ikon slant would be too aggressive for me as well I think. As others have suggested shaving with the grain might help. My go-to technique with more aggressive razors is two diagonal passes, if you're righty then top-left towards bottom-right then bottom-left towards top-right, it's efficient and less aggressive on the skin. But with a slant I'm not sure that would work around the Adam apple for the nicks.

And finally razor acquisition disorder is real. I have a Seygus Zeppelin V2 .5/.5 on the way. It's very slightly slanted, I'm hoping it will behave like a slightly more efficient plate 3 and anyway it's a unique razor, I could not resist... I'll let you know how it goes.
@AnotherMatt: Thanks for sharing.
Yes, all of that sounds really familiar. I also alternate between Plates 3 and 4, depending on mood. I also have (the rest of) a 6C lying around. I had to contact Rockwell when the handle's thread stripped after about a year's use, and they gave me such a good deal on a 6S on that one that I could not resist. Much more sturdy and virtually indestructible. So you might watch that.

I tried WTG with the X3 yesterday, very mediocre result but no nicks, so there's that. But very unsatisfactory, as I also have to go ATG on at least some parts of the face (upper lip, for instance) to get a good shave. I did have to give my skin some leeway today, though, so I went back to the 6S for today and probably tomorrow, too.

That disorder you mention does not only apply to razors, believe me. There are lots of things where you can actually only use one at a time, but need/want some diversity lying around. So I'm really interested if I'll have better luck with the S1 that's incoming. As it is a set with the M1 head, the mild one, that will only open up more possibilities. I also have some different blades incoming, so maybe that'll turn things around.

But yes, people whose skin can tolerate a more aggressive razor certainly have less trouble with efficiency and achieving a clean shave.

The one spot a bit tiresome seems to be under the nose, to where no safety razor (DE or otherwise) seems to be able to reach. But I've become somewhat handy with a shavette, so that's taken care of.


Solid advice here. The Fatip slants are very popular, and I love my RR German 37 Slant. It performs great with the RR bulldog handle giving smooth shaves even with Feather and Kai blades.
You're not really doing anything wrong, but shaving skill with a new razor is developed through muscle memory, which requires practice and making some mistakes along the way.

Think about it this way, the razor is not nicking you, you are nicking you. It's not the equipment, it's the operator. You will learn with practice, it's just that you have not yet developed your muscle memory to use the X3 without getting nicked.

If you want to try another slant, think about the Razorock G37. You can buy the head only for $11. Put it on an HD stainless handle and you've got a great razor, for $11. If you are concerned about zamak, why worry? You could buy 10+ G37 heads for less than an ATT S1 or Razorock Wonderbar. You might go through three heads in your natural lifetime, saving $100 or so.

The Fatip Slant OC costs $30-35 and is all-brass construction. That is another good choice. You really don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good slant razor.
Yep, covid does no good for acquisition disorder... Truth is I have been gawking at that Seygus for ages even if I'm 100% happy with the Rockwell, your post was the trigger ;)

Thanks for the tip, my 6c has developed a small speck of rust at the base of one of the top cap posts, since I got it I knew I would end up getting the 6s at some point anyway...

Blades don't matter too much on the Rockwell for me but on other razors it's night and day. Takes some time to find what works best for oneself. I tried a couple dozens over the years and settled on Derby premium for the mild option and Gillette SS green on the sharp side which is the one I use the most now.

Between those who shave once a week and those with rhinoceros hides on puffy necks it's tricky to filter all the opinions when one shaves daily with a sensitive skin. Best of luck with the ATT bundle.
I have some Astra Superior Stainless (not the Platinum I use now), Gillette Silver Blue and Gillette Nacet incoming. Will see how they pair with the X3 and the S1/M1 when it arrives.
Had a couple shaves with the Seygus, shaves as close as plate 4 and feels like plate 1/2 (very muted feedback). Very long lasting BBS in 2 passes with almost no buffing required. So far I love it but the real test for my skin will be after a few weeks of daily shaves.
My #1 slant is a Merkur 39c Sledgehammer. I like it better than the 37c. My next favorite is a iKon Shavecraft 102, which has a tilt slant head. I need to get back to my X3 someday. Not a jig fan of the Maggard slant.
The only slant I've used is the Fatip but it's difficult to imagine any razor achieving a better balance between gentleness, smoothness, closeness, effeciency, and quality.

And they're all sort of autopilot shaves with my mind wandering. So it's very pleasant and relaxing. Have yet to get cut (knock wood), a few weepers as I worked on technique in the beginning but no slicing.

I'm really loving mine. Every single blade I put in it gives me a genuine bbs. The blades all vary a bit regarding harshness, closeness, and longetivity. But in my experience every single one delivers a great shave in the Fatip slant. I think in it good blades become excellent, mediocre ones become good, and superb blades become sublime.

I've found carbon blades are fantastic in it, which is a little miracle every day.

Haven't used anything else since I got it a few months ago...
Technique really matters with a Slant type razor and getting an intuitive feel for it with a mild blade really helps. Kind of like training wheels on a bicycle.
I agree with @Atlantic59 and @Nidan that technique is very important. I've always used a very light touch with any razor I've owned. This comes from the fear of slicing myself to ribbons. Taking your time and knowing that you should let gravity and the razor's weight do most or all of the work really helps. Once you train yourself to do that, your shaves should improve. Well, that seems to have worked for me at least.

For reference, I just started using a slant, the Razorock German 37, a few weeks ago. I have (knock on wood) not received any cuts or anything of that nature, and I even shave my head with it. I also went from using a mild Treet Platinum blade on my first use to a Nacet blade.
I don't have experience with any slants so can't add directly in that regard. I do have very sensitive skin and also use a Rockwell 6s most days.

Near BBS on one pass is a bit of a tough ask from the lower plates on the Rockwell. Just curious why you wouldn't do a couple of passes with the Rockwell? I get a BBS shave with plate 3 or even plate 2 with a 3 pass shave. A 2 Pass shave would probably be good enough as well.

As far as the X3 not sure if it's a comparable situation but a while back I picked up a Timeless Bronze SB .38 thinking it would be mild with that smaller blade gap. But I didn't realize the blade exposure is pretty agressive on the Bronze and so I was hacking myself up with nicks and bad irritation at first and almost gave up on using it. But some comments on here motivated me to stick with it and now I can pick up the Bronze and get a great shave with it, as long as I am careful on technique. But my point is you may learn to use the X3 if you put in the time as others have suggested.
My (B&B-bought) ATT S1/M1 arrived yesterday! I was feeling brave this morning and used the S1 for my 5am-1-pass-XTG shave in Ultra-cautious mode with an end-of-the-week-old Nacet. Wow. Compared to the X3 it's like pruning shears vs a machete. Not BBS yet (that will likely come with practice), but way better than a SAS. Already love this thing.

And the craftmanship of the ATT is really top-notch. Tight tolerances, the blade has no play at all.

So anyone else reading this who wants a mild slant for sensitive skin, this is a very good choice.
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