Welcome to B & B, enjoy!
Hi all from Deepest Darkest Dorset in the UK! For our cousins over the pond, you may know Dorset for either:
1) Thomas Hardy the Author.
2) The Jurassic Coast.
3) The Cerne Abbas Giant - the naked and rather aroused figure cut into a local chalk hillside.
So, how have I ended up here? Well I have been lurking for a number of months but decided to make it official. I am in my mid-forties but have been using cartridge razors for most of my post-teens life.
I was never that bothered about the process, it was just a means to an end. In my late 20s, after meeting my late wife, I grew a goatie and have had variations on that theme ever since - so shaving became even more of a chore. I once shaved off the beard and received such a chorus of disapproval from my other half and the kids, that I have never done so again. The future Wife is of the same opinion.
In January, after my long lived Wilkinson Sword Quattro finally gave up the ghost, I started looking into alternatives. I never liked the cost of cartridges but because I didn't enjoy shaving, I didn't use the razor much, they did last quite some time. I was also becoming a little miffed about the non-recycleable waste they produced.
After some research (on here, other forums and articles), I decided that it was worth giving a safety razor a try. So I found a reasonably priced but well regarded one on Amazon and so started the journey that has brought me to this stage. That razor was a Edwin Jagger 89 short handle, which came with some Derby blades.
I wouldn't say the first shave was a revelation but it was easily as good as I was getting with the Quattro using the same methods and no nicks or cuts (to be honest, it has beem a rare thing for me to get nicks). I kept the Quattro for a little while, just in case.....it is now in landfill.
As I slowly discovered shaving soaps (Arko is still my normal in the week one) and brushes....and aftershaves, balms, alum etc etc, I got the bug and now for the first time in my life - I actually look forward to shaving!
Alas, like many others, I have a rather....acquisition addiction personality (I have many Guitars and Basses too - that is called GAS), so quickly got RAS. So after nearly 5 months, I now have in my shaving arsenal:
Razors: EJ89S, Wilkinson Sword Butterfly, Fatip Piccolo SE, Razorock German 37, Razorine, QShave,
Bluebeards Revenge Shavette and CJB Kamisori Shavette.
Shave Prep: Proraso Green Set (Pre, Soap, AS, Balm), Proraso Cologne wipe set (Wood & Spice, Lime and the other one), Tabac Stick (for travel), Arko (for general morning shaving use), Proraso Red Cream, Proraso Cut Stop Cream (rarely used thankfully), OSMA Alum Block, Omega Classic 49 Bristle Brush and Bluebeards Revenge synthetic brush (again for Travel).
I also have many blades that I am currently running through in each of the razors and am looking now at other *** (Bay Rums and Spanish are my currently research target). So that is my journey so far - so many blades, *** etc - too slow growing facial hair lol.
They are very different beasts. I started with the idea that I would use the Bluebeards Revenge for general shaving....and then realised it really wasn't worth the effort. However, it is superb for beard shaping and I use it exclusively now for shaving my cheeks and keeping the beard shaped. I have finalised on the best blade for it now, after trying Derby, Derby Premium, Shark Platinum, Euromax, Permasharp and Wilkinson Sword, the best turned out to be the Shark - smooth and reasonably sharp. Got a 100 box of Shark saloon blades on the way from one of my normal ebay suppliers right now.
The CJB on the other hand, using the only blade I have currently used i.e. Feather Soft Guard, is as easy (and nearly as safe) to use as a DE with the advantage that it can also be used for beard shaping. When I try the more aggressive (and unguarded) blades, this opinion might well change. However, I have not had too long to use it yet - so have not defined how many shaves I can get out of a blade....and the blades are not cheap in relation to DE blades.
Welcome to the forum. Spent many family holidays in Dorset as a kid, lovely place.
My experience with shavettes has been very similar. The cheaper one I bought to try it out was not a stellar experience. However the Feather AC version is a joy.
I notice you have a Fatip Piccolo in the inventory there - have you used it yet?
Following up my own reply....although I haven't returned to the OC yet, the last week or so I have been using the Gentile head. After a few close but irritation inducing shaves, I finally found nirvana. Using a feather blade (other blades may work as well) and purely riding the cap, I got a perfect BBS with a 2 pass (ATG+XTG) with buffing. I suspect this may be the way to use the OC head too - so I will have to revisit the Personna blade.
The Fatip has gone from a razor I was unsure about, to one I suspect might become a favourite.