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Newbie Spoilt for Choice

Hello all, I've been a cartridge shaver all 26 years of my shaving life. Heard about the wonders and joys of DE shaving and so I've begun my quest to acquire my first setup. The problem is, here in Singapore where I'm from, there aren't a lot of local options for hardware. There is only one local shave shop that carries a couple of Parkers and Edwin Jaggers, but at their prices I could get something nicer online and shipped over. Simple, or so I thought. After consulting my friend Dr. Google, I'm further than I ever was from making a decision on what to purchase.

Shipping for anything the size of a shoebox, and not over a kilogram, will cost me about USD20, so it doesn't make sense to just get one razor which weighs in at about 150g with packing at most. So I started looking at soaps, creams, brushes, alum blocks, stands......and the list goes on.

So I'm turning to you guys here to help bring me back to earth. So, I have a budget of about USD50-70, and I was hoping to maximize my package. Here are my concerns/questions.

I would love to own an adjustable. My reasoning is that it would allow me to experiment a bit with blade gaps. See if I prefer an aggressive or milder feel. I love the looks of the Parker Variant, but its a little on the pricy side for my first razor, could settle for a MingShi 2000s.

Would also like to try a tradition 3 piece setup, but there are so many choices. Personally I think I would like a heavier handle. Mekur heavy duty, or the RazoRock yin yang combo set looks good from Italian Barber.

For soaps, I've found a local place that stocks red white and green Proraso products, might just go with those. The green eucalyptus one has my fancy.

Brushes, No idea there yet, but everything I've found locally is double or triple the cost of what I can find online, so definitely getting one online.

A simple alum block. Locally they're about USD23!

Lastly, I have 2 lovely kids at home, one turning 4 this year and another just turned 2. I wanted to ask about cases and covers, but as I was banging out this essay, I found a thread on home made solutions. The film canister one looks simple enough, and I've still got a couple of rolls in my closet.

Was also considering after I go through my razor sample pack, and if I haven't ripped my face and head to shreds. I might consider one of those vintage Gillettes floating around the web, but that's getting ahead of myself. Have to keep reminding myself, baby steps.

Oh hey, wow! This post turned out longer that I thought it would. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Oh if it makes a difference, I will also be using the blade to shave my head. Looking forward to hearing all your suggestions.
 
Long posts are fine! You'll get a lot of answers.
Brush: Omega Shaving Brush #10048 Boar Bristle. When it softens it's as nice as a good badger. I still have mine, it was about 11usd.
Razor: Personally, I'd just get a three-piece to start. I prefer Edwin Jagger to Merkur, but the prices are about the same. More nice handle choices on the EJs too. Get the technique down, then work into an adjustable. You'll have a baseline.
Cream: Proraso is great stuff. I favor the blue but all of them are excellent. You also should be able to find Palmolive and Nivea creams in stores where you are as well. Those are great. I load up when abroad.
Alum block: Nice, but not necessary. Get a styptic pencil instead. If it's your first foray you'll need it!
Film canister: Film canister?! I haven't seen one of those in a long time! They were all over the place when I was a kid, but now with digital they are rare. Is photography an interest too? There's a subforum for that.
Good luck!
 
For me DE shaving has been a long journey. I have tried many razors, but found that I definitely prefer slant razors because of less tugging in the whiskers. Even though the guillotine angle is small, it makes a noticeable difference for me. Right now my favorite razor is iKon X3, which is a super mild slant. It is above your price range, but it is not cheap zamak/pot-metal and would probably last longer without falling in pieces. Head can be bought separately and combined with a cheaper handle, to get it closer to your price range. I am not saying this is the only good razor out there, but if I could go back in time, this is the razor I would tell myself to begin the journey with. Shaving is YMMV.

Regardless of what razor you get, you will need a good sample pack. I recommend this one: www.ebay.com/itm/90-mixed-Russian-Double-Edge-Safety-DE-Razor-Blades-sample-pack-Rasierklingen-/222551572086
Additionally you should get Feather blades, not included in this pack, because everybody needs to try Feather.

Most brushes will have a break-in period. If you want something soft from the beginning, consider a synthetic brush. Personally, I like synthetic brushes more than brushes with real hair. The synthetic brushes do not need the long soaking time before usage either. My own synthetic brush is a Mühle, but there are cheaper options out there. Just check the reviews for whatever brush you consider, and especially read reviews written at this forum.

Proraso is in general well liked. I recommend you to get a bottle of glycerin. Adding a tiny amount of glycerin to the cream/soap helps a lot. It gives more glide and longer shaving time as the lather does not dry up on the skin.

Further I recommend Stirling After-Shave balms. They contain witch hazel and will calm the skin. They also add some of the fat back, which got removed by the soap.

This also became a long post...
 
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Hello and welcome Roastin. Great to have you here.

Brushes - Omega #10049 or Semogue 620 are both great, versatile, cheap boars that last forever

Razors - Edwin Jagger, then get a vintage Gillette Super Speed or Slim

Soaps - Your local Proraso is fine

Blades - Any sampler pack will do. Personally, I have not noticed as much variance among blades as some guys here, but YMMV

Alum - Skip it and save the $$. Not needed.

Good luck.
 
Welcome!

I have both the Variant and the Mingshi. They are both well made razors but from a handling perspective I prefer the Variant. The ability of either razor to adjust blade gap and exposure is a big benefit IMHO as it increases the likelihood of finding a setting you will like. I've also found (though some may not agree with me) that in razors such as the Variant I am able to leverage its adjustability to dramatically increase blade life, if that is a factor for you.

Good luck!
 
Wow quick responses.
Whats the differences between a styptic pencil and an alum block? I always thought they were the same thing, just in different packaging.

Will look into the Omega #10049. What about the razorock plissoft synthetic? Any thoughts?

Regarding the actual razor, decided the variant is something I'll consider as my 2nd or 3rd purchase. So it'll either be a Merkur or a parker. I like a simple knurled handle. I might have seen a pre owned DE89BA11 somewhere. With that I could probably squeeze in a MingShi for fun.
 
Oh, my. Well, first I will suggest a couple shops. Shaving ie in Ireland, Maggard in USA. The latter sells starter kit with brush, soap, razor, blades. A razor can be more or less aggressive by blade selection. Feathers are very sharp. Astra SP are very smooth.

My general advice to a first timer is a closed comb Maggard V3 razor, a medium synthetic brush, Astra SP blades. I think soft soaps are easiest to use, at first.

Welcome to the brotherhood!
 
Welcome aboard! Since you asked, here are my suggestions:

Brush - I would pick an appealing boar, for me that would be one of the Semogues but Omega is also good.

Razor - Either one of the EJ89 series or a Merkur 34HD.

Soap - Proraso is just fine, but you can always throw in another soap or two depending on your budget.

Blades - Pick one or two blade sampler packs to get you started.

Alum block- Personally I would skip this. Some here do like them.

Hope this helps!
 
For a starter kit you do not need to go all out. Just some good quality basics are necessary, then you can take it from there.

1) I can't suggest a modern razor as I don't own any, but once you are ready to go vintage, a Gillette Tech or Super Speed would be a good place to start.

2) Proraso is a very good product for beginners and the seasoned pro.

3) You asked about the Razorock Plissoft. I own three and use them more than my badgers and boars. I love them, and you can't beat the price being in the 10 to 20 dollar range.

The rest is fluff - alum blocks, oils, balms, etc. are fine if you decide you like them, but not required putting your first kit together. Enjoy the journey!
 
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Hello all, I've been a cartridge shaver all 26 years of my shaving life. Heard about the wonders and joys of DE shaving and so I've begun my quest to acquire my first setup. The problem is, here in Singapore where I'm from, there aren't a lot of local options for hardware. There is only one local shave shop that carries a couple of Parkers and Edwin Jaggers, but at their prices I could get something nicer online and shipped over. Simple, or so I thought. After consulting my friend Dr. Google, I'm further than I ever was from making a decision on what to purchase.

Shipping for anything the size of a shoebox, and not over a kilogram, will cost me about USD20, so it doesn't make sense to just get one razor which weighs in at about 150g with packing at most. So I started looking at soaps, creams, brushes, alum blocks, stands......and the list goes on.

So I'm turning to you guys here to help bring me back to earth. So, I have a budget of about USD50-70, and I was hoping to maximize my package. Here are my concerns/questions.

I would love to own an adjustable. My reasoning is that it would allow me to experiment a bit with blade gaps. See if I prefer an aggressive or milder feel. I love the looks of the Parker Variant, but its a little on the pricy side for my first razor, could settle for a MingShi 2000s.

Would also like to try a tradition 3 piece setup, but there are so many choices. Personally I think I would like a heavier handle. Mekur heavy duty, or the RazoRock yin yang combo set looks good from Italian Barber.

For soaps, I've found a local place that stocks red white and green Proraso products, might just go with those. The green eucalyptus one has my fancy.

Brushes, No idea there yet, but everything I've found locally is double or triple the cost of what I can find online, so definitely getting one online.

A simple alum block. Locally they're about USD23!

Lastly, I have 2 lovely kids at home, one turning 4 this year and another just turned 2. I wanted to ask about cases and covers, but as I was banging out this essay, I found a thread on home made solutions. The film canister one looks simple enough, and I've still got a couple of rolls in my closet.

Was also considering after I go through my razor sample pack, and if I haven't ripped my face and head to shreds. I might consider one of those vintage Gillettes floating around the web, but that's getting ahead of myself. Have to keep reminding myself, baby steps.

Oh hey, wow! This post turned out longer that I thought it would. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Oh if it makes a difference, I will also be using the blade to shave my head. Looking forward to hearing all your suggestions.

John, I should add, with Badger and Blade, for every ten participants, there are eleven opinions! And they are all correct.

DE shaving is a journey. And just when you think you have found the right combination, a new soap or brush or blade will whisper in your ear. LOL
 
John, I should add, with Badger and Blade, for every ten participants, there are eleven opinions! And they are all correct.

DE shaving is a journey. And just when you think you have found the right combination, a new soap or brush or blade will whisper in your ear. LOL
Ah I know that feeling all too well. As a Chef, everytime I buy a new knife, I tell myself, "ok this is the one, it's perfect!" Until I browse the stores and see some blacksmith releasing a new line of hand forged blades. I'm lucky, or unlucky depending how you see it, that nothing is available locally for me. Everything has to be shipped in. Otherwise I'll be a poor man with a healthy knife collection.

Fortunately, de razors only cost a fraction of my knives, so that's my excuse for starting a collection. Or at least that's what I'm planning to tell my wife.

Sent from my F3216 using Tapatalk
 
Oh, yes! Understood. I could not rest until I acquired an expensive Japanese cleaver. Nice toy, but soon went back to using one of three chef knives. And I am a home cook. LOL.
 
Hello all, I've been a cartridge shaver all 26 years of my shaving life. Heard about the wonders and joys of DE shaving and so I've begun my quest to acquire my first setup. The problem is, here in Singapore where I'm from, there aren't a lot of local options for hardware. There is only one local shave shop that carries a couple of Parkers and Edwin Jaggers, but at their prices I could get something nicer online and shipped over. Simple, or so I thought. After consulting my friend Dr. Google, I'm further than I ever was from making a decision on what to purchase.
I will be in Singapore next month, and I'd like to take a look if products are available. I've read that the Mustafa Center may be an option. If you have any more tips, I'd love to hear them, though based on your description, it's sounding like options are limited.
 
I will be in Singapore next month, and I'd like to take a look if products are available. I've read that the Mustafa Center may be an option. If you have any more tips, I'd love to hear them, though based on your description, it's sounding like options are limited.
Hi, yes indeed, products here are limited. What are you looking for exactly? If you let me know what you have in mind I may be able to advise you better on availability.

Sent from my Phone using Tapatalk
 
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Whats the differences between a styptic pencil and an alum block? I always thought they were the same thing, just in different packaging.
...

Alum blocks are usually potassium alum. Styptics are usually sodium alum.

Sodium alum styptics are more effective for stopping weepers, sting more, and most leave a powdery white residue.

Potassium alum stings less. Blocks are used more as an overall astringent to reduce redness, inflamed follicals, and help prevent ingrowns. They will stop weepers, but probably not as effectively.
 
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