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New to Safety Razors

Hi all, I'm relatively new to shaving with a DE, so I was wondering if anyone would mind recommending a few razors to me? I have read the book "Gourmet Shaving, Shaving Made Enjoyable" by Michael Ham. I understand that not everyone will have the same preferences, but I would like a few suggestions (preferably cheap). Any and all suggestions, including razors, soaps, and blades, are welcome. Thanks in advance!
 
I started with vintage Gillettes from an antique store. You can find Gillette Techs and Superspeeds, usually between $5-$10. A great cheap way to get into DE shaving!
 
Awesome! I'll look into it. By chance, would any major store chains (walmart, walgreens, etc.) carry safety razors/blades or soaps?
 
Awesome! I'll look into it. By chance, would any major store chains (walmart, walgreens, etc.) carry safety razors/blades or soaps?

Many drug stores carry blades, but at ludicrous prices.
Walmart is going to be some of the cheapest in a regular store at about 1.50 for 10 Wilkinson blades.

Soaps such as Williams and VanDerHagen (VDH) are also available in these shops, more expensive at say CVS than at Walmart.
VDH is easy to lather and a lot of folks like it. Williams can be difficult to lather if you're not used to it.

VDH sells a kit with a brush, a puck of soap and a bowl for around 8 bucks.

There is the Shea Moisture Shave Brush available at Target stores for around 8 bucks as well. It's a pretty good entry level badger brush.

If you have a large market style Bed Bath and Beyond, they also have a selection of blades and the VDH and Williams soaps, and usually some creams like Kiss My Face and C.O. Bigelow.
Many Bath and Body Works stores also sell C.O. Bigelow, which is basically a tube of Proraso - a very good soft Italian cream.
 
Many drug stores carry blades, but at ludicrous prices.
Walmart is going to be some of the cheapest in a regular store at about 1.50 for 10 Wilkinson blades.

Soaps such as Williams and VanDerHagen (VDH) are also available in these shops, more expensive at say CVS than at Walmart.
VDH is easy to lather and a lot of folks like it. Williams can be difficult to lather if you're not used to it.

VDH sells a kit with a brush, a puck of soap and a bowl for around 8 bucks.

There is the Shea Moisture Shave Brush available at Target stores for around 8 bucks as well. It's a pretty good entry level badger brush.

If you have a large market style Bed Bath and Beyond, they also have a selection of blades and the VDH and Williams soaps, and usually some creams like Kiss My Face and C.O. Bigelow.
Many Bath and Body Works stores also sell C.O. Bigelow, which is basically a tube of Proraso - a very good soft Italian cream.

Very good tip and help Phil
 
Hi all, I'm relatively new to shaving with a DE, so I was wondering if anyone would mind recommending a few razors to me? I have read the book "Gourmet Shaving, Shaving Made Enjoyable" by Michael Ham. I understand that not everyone will have the same preferences, but I would like a few suggestions (preferably cheap). Any and all suggestions, including razors, soaps, and blades, are welcome. Thanks in advance!

Welcome to B&B!

Razors: I recommend getting a regular superspeed (with the flare tip) to start with. Another option is to go with a 3-piece tech. Pick one and stick with it for a month. You'll be building muscle memory. These are cheap and easy to find, too.

Soaps/creams: My suggestion is to start out with creams, because they are easier to see how much product you're using, easier to learn how to make good lather, and there are a number of inexpensive options. Get a tube of proraso for 10 bucks. Get an old cereal bowl for making lather. You can find a cheap badger brush for 15-20 bucks that will be fine to start with. My favorite brush is actually a $25 omega -- hardly top-tier -- so you don't need to spend a lot on this bit of kit to find something effective.

Oh!, one cheap way to focus more on the shaving and less on the lather (and learning how to make good lather) is to just use a decent canned foam. You don't need to do brush-built lather to get great shaves with a DE. Barbasol and Proraso canned foams are pretty good, and can be easy to find (especially Barbasol).

Blades: everyone is all over the map, here, but there are very good, sharp blades out there, and for not much money. I recommend picking a single blade brand and sticking with it for the first month. It'll make it easier to identify the cause of problems in your results if you keep changes to a minimum at the start. Astras Superior Platinums are a very good blade, and pretty cheap at ~10 cents a blade. Easy to find on Amazon. 1 blade will probably give you 3-5 shaves, and maybe more.

Hope it helps,
-- Chet
 
I'm not as big as others on sticking with one thing for a month or more. There are so many variables you can't control anyway, so just follow your heart. It's way more fun that way and you'll learn just the same.

For razors, I agree with those who recommend vintage Gillettes. They're great razors and can be found cheap. Any of the Superspeeds; even an adjustable if you set it low and don't mess with the blade setting for a while. Best of all, I think the Tech is fantastic little razor to learn on. Those can routinely be found for $5 or less.

For a great cheap soap, go to www.bestshave.net and order some Arko sticks. They're less than $2 and they foam like crazy. Most everyone loves 'em. While you're there, pick up one of the #6 horsehair brushes. For $2.45 it's got to be the best value in the entire shaving universe as it's a damn fine brush. Go to www.westcoastshaving.com and get yourself a blade sampler. Doesn't have to be the super duper one; just the basics. Make sure it has Astras, Derbys, Feathers, 7'Oclocks and the like. With that, you'll soon find the blades that work best for you. Then you can pick them up online cheap. Don't blow a bunch of money on fancy badger brushes at this point but find yourself a good boar to go with the horsehair mentioned above. A great boar can be found for $10 to $20. I've got an Omega 49 that I use most mornings. Picked it up for something like $9 at West Coast Shaving.

In terms of priorities, first comes face prep; second comes face prep; third comes face prep. Fourth and fifth is learning to mix a great lather. Sixth is blade angle. Seventh is razor and blade. However, above all else, remember to not apply pressure; that's how you cut yourself or get razor burn. And know that if you do cut yourself, it's not a big deal. Blood does this really cool thing called clotting. Blades are so sharp, there really isn't any pain. Once in a while it might look dramatic. If so, enjoy it and take a few photos because it won't happen often and it looks way worse than it is. Unless you're a hemophiliac, you won't be making any trips to the ER.

Most important of all, have fun. This is not rocket science; it's just shaving.
 
Welcome to B&B!

Razors: I recommend getting a regular superspeed (with the flare tip) to start with. Another option is to go with a 3-piece tech. Pick one and stick with it for a month. You'll be building muscle memory. These are cheap and easy to find, too.

Soaps/creams: My suggestion is to start out with creams, because they are easier to see how much product you're using, easier to learn how to make good lather, and there are a number of inexpensive options. Get a tube of proraso for 10 bucks. Get an old cereal bowl for making lather. You can find a cheap badger brush for 15-20 bucks that will be fine to start with. My favorite brush is actually a $25 omega -- hardly top-tier -- so you don't need to spend a lot on this bit of kit to find something effective.

Oh!, one cheap way to focus more on the shaving and less on the lather (and learning how to make good lather) is to just use a decent canned foam. You don't need to do brush-built lather to get great shaves with a DE. Barbasol and Proraso canned foams are pretty good, and can be easy to find (especially Barbasol).

Blades: everyone is all over the map, here, but there are very good, sharp blades out there, and for not much money. I recommend picking a single blade brand and sticking with it for the first month. It'll make it easier to identify the cause of problems in your results if you keep changes to a minimum at the start. Astras Superior Platinums are a very good blade, and pretty cheap at ~10 cents a blade. Easy to find on Amazon. 1 blade will probably give you 3-5 shaves, and maybe more.

Hope it helps,
-- Chet


Helps immensely! I'll be looking into the razors, as I currently have a 3-piece tech (I think, not sure. It was given to me.) I've been shaving with a DE for right around a month and so far, I'm enjoying it. Cleanest shaves I've ever gotten. I'm looking to get a new razor or two for a small change up in routine. I know that if you find a razor you like, you should stick with it, however, I have one razor (like I said) and I wouldn't mind getting out there and trying a few more. Thanks for the suggestions, I'm going to be trying a few of them out. :)
 
Many drug stores carry blades, but at ludicrous prices.
Walmart is going to be some of the cheapest in a regular store at about 1.50 for 10 Wilkinson blades.

Soaps such as Williams and VanDerHagen (VDH) are also available in these shops, more expensive at say CVS than at Walmart.
VDH is easy to lather and a lot of folks like it. Williams can be difficult to lather if you're not used to it.

VDH sells a kit with a brush, a puck of soap and a bowl for around 8 bucks.

There is the Shea Moisture Shave Brush available at Target stores for around 8 bucks as well. It's a pretty good entry level badger brush.

If you have a large market style Bed Bath and Beyond, they also have a selection of blades and the VDH and Williams soaps, and usually some creams like Kiss My Face and C.O. Bigelow.
Many Bath and Body Works stores also sell C.O. Bigelow, which is basically a tube of Proraso - a very good soft Italian cream.


Funny! When I got my shave kit from my older brother (the one that got me started on DE shaving), VDH was one of the soaps he gave me. I love it so far! It looks like I need to make a trip to WalMart or WalGreens (since there isn't a Target or Bed Bath & Beyond within 100 miles of where I'm at) to buy some blades. :) Thanks for the help! Looking forward to learning more about shaving and how to fully enjoy it!
 
My vote would be for a Merkur HD or Progress. I personally use a Progress, Futur and Tradere. I think Astra Blades are a good choice, although I prefer Feathers or S.I.

About the only things you can buy at major stores are Soaps, After Shaves and Mediocre Brushes and Blades. Check out Bullgoose and West Coast Shaving for a good assortment. (Bullgoose ships so fast that he is almost quicker than going to Rite Aid.)
 
Helps immensely! I'll be looking into the razors, as I currently have a 3-piece tech (I think, not sure. It was given to me.) I've been shaving with a DE for right around a month and so far, I'm enjoying it. Cleanest shaves I've ever gotten. I'm looking to get a new razor or two for a small change up in routine. I know that if you find a razor you like, you should stick with it, however, I have one razor (like I said) and I wouldn't mind getting out there and trying a few more. Thanks for the suggestions, I'm going to be trying a few of them out. :)

Yea, it's a three-piece travel Tech. Keep on with what you've got and slow down. Give that Super Speed another chance and I'll look around to find you a full-size handled Tech.

Welcome to B&B and listen to what these guys are telling you, quite a few have been at this for a long time.



Funny! When I got my shave kit from my older brother (the one that got me started on DE shaving), VDH was one of the soaps he gave me. I love it so far! It looks like I need to make a trip to WalMart or WalGreens (since there isn't a Target or Bed Bath & Beyond within 100 miles of where I'm at) to buy some blades. :) Thanks for the help! Looking forward to learning more about shaving and how to fully enjoy it!
:wink2:
 
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