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Question - Using shavettes when shaky?

Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
Not much to add but another voice, perhaps.

As a head shaver I find that the Feather SR is more congenial to me than the Feather SS. The Kasho Woody (Kai professional line) is about like the Feather SR for me.

I have two things: some nerve damage in my left elbow and now degenerating arthritis in my spine. Together they can generate some serious twitches if I'm not careful with how I'm shaving.

My preference for the Feather SR over the SS is due to the bulb on the SS, which often forces me to steepen the razor's angle to my skin in order to get steel to touch down. I like the Feather SR kamisori style better than the Kasho Woody western style, too. Putting my arms into unusual angles to use western style is part of my problem.

With reference to blades, I prefer the Kai Captain Titan Mild Pink. It is an unguarded blade, but feels like the AC equivalent of an Astra SP which is my favourite DE blade. I have tried a number of guarded blades from Feather and Kai, and find them to be quite rough shavers for me. In fact, I'm more likely to cut myself with a guarded blade.

I agree with your comments about 1/2 DE shavettes in general, having tried several. In one case I have to say I was most pleasantly surprised, however. The Focus Slim Al is a lovely shavette and quite tractable due to the inbuilt angle guides and blade corner protection.

Mostly I proceed carefully and am always prepared to switch to a standby razor if things begin to go pear-shaped; usually either the ATT S2 or the ATT G1 is loaded and ready to step in and carry the ball. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it handy!

Good luck! Go at your own pace, stay calm and enjoy the shave.



B&B's Dr. Doolittle.
Staff member
While I don’t have shaky hands, I do know that as long as I use very little pressure, a shallow angle and maintain forward motion of the blade I won’t cut myself. As a matter of fact I use a scything motion (adding a slicing motion to the perpendicular pass)to catch hairs I can’t hit with a ATG pass due to anatomy. One practice method would be to use a butter knife, lay it dead flat on your lathered face with just enough pressure
to keep it in contact with your skin, raise it up just a hair and make a pass. Eventually you will raise it just enough to remove the lather from your skin. Apply that to a razor and Bob’s your uncle.
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Sone truly great information above. I'll add my own experience, FWIW.

I "graduated" from DEs to straights and shavettes (occasionally) about 4 years ago. Since that time a minor tremor in my dominant hand has gotten progressively worse. It's most troublesome on ATG strokes and sometimes causes the blade to bounce and skip across my neck or cheek. No major bloodletting so far, but an occasional nick before I can get my brain to move the blade away from my face.

For me, it's been about adaptation. I shave with two hands when shaving with my dominant hand. One hand holds the razor and the other hand holds the hand (heel or wrist) holding the razor. No skin stretching then, which many will tell you is imperative for a good shave. But an open blade shave without stretching is still better then any other shave, IMHO.

Also, I have to be willing to just STOP. Taking a short break (30-60 seconds) seems to allow me to reset and then resume under more control. It's also a great opportunity to adjust your grip, flex your fingers, massage a shoulder, etc.

I also prefer heavier razors, which I find counterintuitive. Something about the added weight is stabilizing and minimizes or dampens the shakes.

And while I haven't done it, I like the idea of modifying handles.

As I said, adaptation of equipment and technique is totally the key. Find what works for you and you can enjoy your open blade shaves in relative comfort and safety. All the best...
I also prefer heavier razors, which I find counterintuitive. Something about the added weight is stabilizing and minimizes or dampens the shakes.
I have been pretty shaky for a couple weeks and was just coming to the same conclusion.

Another aspect of this, with regards to shavettes versus traditional straights, is that honing is a real challenge with tremors. Especially when you're trying to finish with super-light pressure.


Multilingual Beer
Fwiw, corking the blades on shavettes does help. Even with that I think a real straight is better. I have went 2 years with my first blade before I had it rehoned. Simply stropped it and kept it clean. You can always send it if to be sharpened. My right elbow has maybe half the range of motion ,from an old injury in powerlifting. So I have come up with ways to still shave. Up and down is easy, ear to chin is still rough. Lol take care.
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