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Newbie jumping straight to Mühle Rocca -- that a mistake?

Hi all,

For the past few years I've mostly used an electric trimmer to shave myself down to stubble. Not because I wanted the look of stubble, but mostly because I figured doing this would annoy my skin less.

Prior to that, I always used a drugstore cartridge razor -- which I recently used again (rather than the electric trimmer) and realized I enjoyed the clean shave.

And that, my friends, led me down the rabbit hole...

At first I was considering the Merkur 34C...

Then father down the rabbit hole, the Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89...

But then somehow I wound up most interested in the Mühle Rocca (V4) with the Birch Bark handle.

However, I literally know nothing about "blade feel" or "aggressive" or "efficient" -- from reading though reviews, it seems people like the Rocca (especially the V4) -- and I guess it tends to be described as having "some blade feel" and being "medium aggressive," though I don't have a first-hand sense of what those terms mean.

I'm partly drawn to this razor because I liked the idea of stainless steel (having read the reviews of the Edwin Jagger DE89, it seemed a lot of heads popped off the bolt) -- and, well, I just think it looks nice -- which I believe would encourage me to use it, and to enjoy using it.

My overall question is: Is it a mistake for somebody who has never touched a dual edge safety razor to go directly to the Rocca?

Thanks for any thoughts.
 
In my opinion it is a better to start with i mid aggressive razor. Learn to feel and respect the blade feel with a light touch.
Starting with a mild razor, which often has a narrow effective cutting angle, may in fact be more difficult to master.
Just start with a forgiving blade.
There might be better options out there, but the Rocca with the wood handle looks great.
If you buy something like the brass Karve razor starting with a B or C plate, you can just buy a new plate if you need something more or less efficient. The razorock gamechanger and lupo is also good options.
The Rocca has a strange head design. No lather channels. I have not shaved with it, so this might not be an issue.
I have had it in my shopping basket before, but went for the Karve razor.
 
Thanks -- so you think a "mild" razor -- such as I believe the Merkur 34C, Mühle R89, Edwin Jagger DE89 would be described -- is actually possibly worse for somebody getting started? My understanding had been those mild razors (or so I gather them to be) might more commonly be recommended for new users.

I do agree that the lack of lather channel seems odd -- though I haven't really seen people complaining about that.

From a novice perspective, is there something different I should expect from (say) the Rocca I seem drawn to vs. the Karve or Razorocks you cited? Or really 95% the same, with different esthetics?
 
Welcome to B&B.
My overall question is: Is it a mistake for somebody who has never touched a dual edge safety razor to go directly to the Rocca?
You need to learn technique with any DE razor so expect to go through a learning curve. Have a look at the Shave Wiki so you have an understanding of the parameters; ShaveWiki | Badger & Blade .
The Roca has a large blade gap so use carefully. It is comparable to the Edwin Jagger 3ONE6 in respect of blade gap but there are other important parameters in razor design such as blade exposure. You may find this illustration from the Shave Wiki helpful;
Safety_Razor_Parameters_around_Blade_Cutting_Edge.jpg

I would suggest you start with a Merkur 34C which is a very effective razor and hone your razor technique with that razor.
 
Thanks -- so you think a "mild" razor -- such as I believe the Merkur 34C, Mühle R89, Edwin Jagger DE89 would be described -- is actually possibly worse for somebody getting started? My understanding had been those mild razors (or so I gather them to be) might more commonly be recommended for new users.

I do agree that the lack of lather channel seems odd -- though I haven't really seen people complaining about that.

From a novice perspective, is there something different I should expect from (say) the Rocca I seem drawn to vs. the Karve or Razorocks you cited? Or really 95% the same, with different esthetics?
The Rocca from what i have gathered requires a steeper shaving angle than both the lupo and the karve razor. I would not rate the Rocca as a beginner razor.
You would probably be happy with the Merkur 34C. I think most people "grow" out of this razor quite fast, and start looking for something a little more efficient or different.
If you buy a razor you can just change the base plate on, you dont't need to buy a new razor when you feel ready to try something new or if the efficiency is not what you were looking for.
 
The Rocca is a very good way to go eventually. You may want something a little gentler to start out with. Since the Rocca is a three-piece razor, you could just buy a Merkur head separately and put it on the Rocca handle. You could switch back and forth fairly easily.
 
IMHO people way way overthink razor acquisitions here. Grandad didn't go on a forum before buying a Micromatic OC. You'll adjust to whatever you buy just fine. One simply needs to exercise more care with pressure with a more aggressive razor that's really all there is to it. Get what appeals to you is always my advice.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
 
Ha, are y'all trying to sensibly prevent me from making a bad decision? Much appreciated.

I do also relate to Jeff's comment -- I know I tend to obsess (which frankly is part of the fun) -- but I also kind of expect "learn to use whatever you get" makes sense, and it helps to have something that just sparks the interest.

So I gather is Rocca is "medium aggressive" that means I basically do the same as I would with Merkur 34C, but just use a lighter touch?

It seems several of you advise the Merkur 34C -- which was the first razor I had considered.

As I did my research, it seemed like several people considered the Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 to be "similar to Merkur 34C, but updated/improved" -- is that not so? Asking just because of the numerous votes here for Merkur 34C, and not those others.

Also, per Atlantic59's suggestion -- would the head on the Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 fit on the Rocca handle?

Because if Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 is comparable (if not even preferable) to Merkur 34C -- and if it's better for a novice as compared to Rocca -- but still exchangeable with Rocca -- then perhaps I have a decent path: Start with one of those, if I eventually want to try something new, get the Rocca -- but if the Rocca head feels wrong, I can always swap the old head back onto the handle?

I don't think the Merkur 34C can swap that way, given 2-piece design.

OTOH, if Merkur 34C is a better place to start than Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 -- or my crazy Rocca obsession -- then that's cool too.

Thanks for all the thoughts.
 
Sorry, to add:

I suppose I could also do opposite?

If I start with the Rocca, and it feels like I'm scraping or cutting myself, I could then just purchase a different head, is that correct?

I think the looks of the Rocca would encourage me to learn -- but if it's just going to be technically tricky, and I wind up scraping/cutting, that would discourage me. The point is to have fun.

But if I could always have the option to fall back to an easier head, and still use part of the Rocca, that may also be a thought?
 
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I believe the King C gillette also uses a head similar to R89. You can just pick it up from your local marked and try it out. The head will probably fit the Rocca to if you buy that after wards. The King C hadle is way to heavy though, but you can see if this de thing is worth spending more money on:)
 
Ha, are y'all trying to sensibly prevent me from making a bad decision? Much appreciated.

I do also relate to Jeff's comment -- I know I tend to obsess (which frankly is part of the fun) -- but I also kind of expect "learn to use whatever you get" makes sense, and it helps to have something that just sparks the interest.

So I gather is Rocca is "medium aggressive" that means I basically do the same as I would with Merkur 34C, but just use a lighter touch?

It seems several of you advise the Merkur 34C -- which was the first razor I had considered.

As I did my research, it seemed like several people considered the Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 to be "similar to Merkur 34C, but updated/improved" -- is that not so? Asking just because of the numerous votes here for Merkur 34C, and not those others.

Also, per Atlantic59's suggestion -- would the head on the Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 fit on the Rocca handle?

Because if Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 is comparable (if not even preferable) to Merkur 34C -- and if it's better for a novice as compared to Rocca -- but still exchangeable with Rocca -- then perhaps I have a decent path: Start with one of those, if I eventually want to try something new, get the Rocca -- but if the Rocca head feels wrong, I can always swap the old head back onto the handle?

I don't think the Merkur 34C can swap that way, given 2-piece design.

OTOH, if Merkur 34C is a better place to start than Mühle R89 or Edwin Jagger DE89 -- or my crazy Rocca obsession -- then that's cool too.

Thanks for all the thoughts.
The 34C and DE/R89 are so close to each other on the bell curve of razor aggression it's really not worth a moments thought that one is somehow "better" than the other for a shaver learning to use a DE.

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I mean, why not? But if you change your mind and decide to start from a 'milder' razor, go for Merkur 34C. Period. Not DE89, not R89, no, just Merkur 34C. Just understand that every step is crucial. Once you got the right preparation, and you prepare your face right, you'll see that it is not a bad thing to start with a Mühle Rocca actually. But don't forget the proverb that says 'enough is as good as a feast'. What I mean by that? I mean that in order to prepare your face you don't have apply every product on your face, for example if you've just got out of the shower, you don't need any compress with a towel and then apply a preshave product etc. No. This kind of 'I-need-to-do-everything approach' may ruin your skin's oil balance. And then you may start to have irritation problems which we, wet shavers, don't want. Know your face first by trying different kind of preparation&shaving techniques, I mean sometimes you may want to compress, sometimes you just wet your face with hot water and start, sometimes you use only cold water just to see how your skin will react to it. And know your beard also. 'Beard maps' are helpful in this context. But no matter what it is, have the right preparation first. And then if you are using a Mühle Rocca you may want to pick a blade that is known for its comfort but sharp enough to cut the beard also. So it may be Treet Platinum or Treet Durasharp (not the new one, but the classic, old one) it may be Gillette 7 O'clock Super Stainless (Green box), some Derbys etc. You just avoid any pressure, I mean your hand will get used to it and in time you'll be able to shave doing a 10-15% of pressure, but at the beginning of your journey, you just need to avoid the 'need' to apply pressure. You just understand that you don't have to get BBS just in a pass, you don't have to get BBS at all tho, you just cut your beard without applying any pressure, shorten them, and then you go for a second pass if you feel like your face does not hurt and there are some whiskers on your face, you may even want to go for the third pass.. But never be in a rush when you shave (especially in first 1-3 months). And don't forget the main thing: ENJOY THE WHOLE PROCESS! That is the main thing. Don't be obsessed about having a BBS etc., just enjoy!
 
Sorry, to add:

I suppose I could also do opposite?

If I start with the Rocca, and it feels like I'm scraping or cutting myself, I could then just purchase a different head, is that correct?

I think the looks of the Rocca would encourage me to learn -- but if it's just going to be technically tricky, and I wind up scraping/cutting, that would discourage me. The point is to have fun.

But if I could always have the option to fall back to an easier head, and still use part of the Rocca, that may also be a thought?
I would go with the Rocca and just buy a different head if it is not something you get along with. If this is your first DE, you have not developed any preferences. So, steep or shallow does not matter that much. You learn to use what you have.
 
The Rocca is a bit hard to use for me for daily shaves (and BBS'). The 6s much easier to use (just have to make sure not to overshave and to remember to hold it lightly). How often do you plan on shaving?
 
All good suggestions here. I have and shave with the 34C and Rocca as well as many others. I don't really find the Rocca any more aggressive than the 34C but it is more efficient. Both great razors.

If you're just getting into DE shaving, I would highly recommend looking into Henson. Fabulous razor and really easy to use and it provides excellent shaves (better than both 34C and Rocca for me anyway).
 

Lefonque

Even more clueless than you
I would second the option that the 34c is a good one The King C Gillette is another option that IMO is a little more aggressive. Good luck.
 
Sorry, to add:

I suppose I could also do opposite?

If I start with the Rocca, and it feels like I'm scraping or cutting myself, I could then just purchase a different head, is that correct?

I think the looks of the Rocca would encourage me to learn -- but if it's just going to be technically tricky, and I wind up scraping/cutting, that would discourage me. The point is to have fun.

But if I could always have the option to fall back to an easier head, and still use part of the Rocca, that may also be a thought?


You can fit the chrome R89 (or R41) head onto the Rocca stainless steel shaft without problems even though the chrome head with matte steel/birch shaft combination does look a bit odd.

But most of all, I would not overthink it. The Rocca aggressiveness falls between the R89 and (open comb) R41 but I do not consider the Rocca that aggressive that you would need to invest in R89 “training wheels”.
Mind you, when I switched to safety razors eons ago I bought a Futur, which was also touted by some as not suitable for a beginner, and yet I survived it and even prospered.

I would not go the Merkur way, if you look at built quality Mühles are IMO superior to Merkurs.

Matte stainless steel is an appealing material for a safety razor and the Rocca is a well-looking, well-built and well-designed razor.
During its development stages I bought the various heads (for comparison) and did not notice much of a difference. To me it was more the production process than anything else that was behind the different versions.

Yet, if you want an attractive stainless steel razor, you might want to take a look at Tatararzors.
They come in the Masamune and (more aggressive) Masamune Nodachi versions, but the concept is modular and they explain on the website how the modular design progresses from mild to more aggressive, so all you would need to do is swap the heads, They are all interchangeable.


Good luck…


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