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Tackling the Fearsome Slant Bar

In preparation for the forthcoming B&B Slant Bar, I ordered a standard Merkur Slant Bar from ClassicShaving, and it arrived Monday. According to advice from a few B&B members, the appropriate blade for use with the Slant is the Feather, so that's double the danger for your thread-reading pleasure. :wink:

I'm now two shaves into my Slant Bar experience, and so wanted to post my experiences for those like me who are/were hesitant before the power of the Slant.

Tuesday (Day 1)
Been looking at the razor on and off since I received it yesterday, and man, is this a crazy-looking instrument. Putting a Feather blade in it this morning doesn't quell my fears at all: at the extreme low end of the bar, the blade hangs out into space!

Still, no guts no glory, so I lather up some Musgo Real (one of my go-tos for lubrication), prep my face as well as I can with my hot-water splash & soak, and just...start shaving. Surprisingly there's little difference to the grip or to finding the right blade angle. The advice one hears is on the money, though: as little pressure as you can muster is the key, even supporting some the weight of the razor, rather than letting the full weight do all the work. Light, light, light touch.

The razor scares me a little, so I don't get as BBS a result as I might have through simple timidity, but I also, through some plain old bad bladework, scored several weepers. Luckily Proraso Crema Liquida Dopobarba is equal to the task, and I go through the day with little discomfort.

Wednesday (Day 2)
Well, no arterial bleeding after yesterday's Slant-Feather ministrations, and the face is fairly well healed, so today I attack the task with a little more confidence. Proraso Sapone Da Barba for the cream, same hot-water prep.

It's incredible how much more precise a Slant/Feather feels to use than a HD/Merkur. In short, I get a pretty decent shave again today: the cheeks are BBS and then some, but the neck is still a bit rough, primarily because I'm still feeling some weaknesses in my technique there. Still some weepers (but many fewer), still a little sensitivity afterward, but all in all a much better result than yesterday, and not nearly as scary an experience.

I don't know if the Slant is going to become my go-to razor anytime soon, but the week is yet young, and so far the experience has been a positive one.

Days three through seven yet to come!

The slant is a funny little beast. The shave experience varies by blade more than any other razor out there. Personally, I don't enjoy the Feather/slant combo. However, the Euro-Gillette in it feels like there is no blade in there at all as it cuts - weird.

That being said, the Futur kicks the slants *** all over the playground. I use and enjoy both, however. Variety is the spice of life.
Scotto said:
The slant is a funny little beast. The shave experience varies by blade more than any other razor out there. Personally, I don't enjoy the Feather/slant combo. However, the Euro-Gillette in it feels like there is no blade in there at all as it cuts - weird.

That being said, the Futur kicks the slants *** all over the playground. I use and enjoy both, however. Variety is the spice of life.

Interesting. Your thoughts on the Vision?
Give the slant bar a good test use it for three to four weeks to get a good feel for the razor.

For me it's the best razor for getting a close comfortable shave bar none.

Again, as with any razor DON'T PRESS LET THE RAZOR DO THE WORK.:001_smile :001_smile :001_smile

Stanley----Have a great shave!
KUJO said:
Interesting. Your thoughts on the Vision?
Not a fan. Had one and sold it. Too easy to cut yourself, too big a head, and very unwieldy. Then again, some people swear by them. That is what makes life interesting.
Thursday - Day 3
This post was bery nearly titled "Why I $#@$%ing Hate the $#@$%ing Slant Bar," but I've cooled down, thanks to the powers of my styptic pencil and Proraso Crema Liquida Dopobarba. :biggrin:

Put simply, the Slant Bar (especially fitted with a Feather) magnifies any weaknesses in your shaving technique, and I'm still battling some, evidently, though they're issues I can evidently ignore with my Merkur HD. I was also trying a technique-tweak suggested by a few gents here, and managed to "top" a mole of mine that the HD has never touched. And the seas became as blood...

Anyway, light, light touch is the watchword--and has been, for the past few days--but so far there are still just some areas on my throat that I can't yet seem to cut at all without gore. Well, soldiering on--this too shall pass, and I'll eventually get it down. Thankfully my A/S regimen has proven a match for my Slant fumbling, or I'd be looking like the victim of an attack dog this morning.

The reason I don't shave with a Slant...is because I have!:yikes:

Every once in a great while I pull it out, dust it off and shave away...like this morning. It didn't take me long to remember why it was in the back of the drawer. I had 3-4 "weepers" when I finished...ends up I'm pretty happy if that's all I got!

I can shave day after day with my Merkur HD or Merkur Classic and never get a nick or even a weeper. The key to the Slant is NO pressure! I just don't have a light hand when it comes to shaving, plus, believe it or not, I have a bit of tremor in my hands...makes DE shaving real interesting! But I have managed rather well. Nothing like Propranolol as a pre-shave!

I will probably eventually sell my Slant so I can buy something else I really NEED! :biggrin:

If you have steady hands, a light touch and refined technique...the Slant is the razor for you. Guaranteed you will be Dr. Glass Face with a BBS Degree!!!:thumbup1:
Ron & Rich & Scott & Stan, et al:

While I await my Futur, can I expect that the Futur will be, uh, "less aggressive" than a slant bar? If not less aggressive, how about more user-friendly?

Or am I about to enter, as Walter (John Goodman) says to Smokey in "The Big Lebowski," "a world of pain"???
It is a bit like apples and oranges. The blade exposure on the slant bar is not as wide as the Futur on its higher settings, but the angle of the blade is quite different. I can assure you that you can hurt yourself as bad (or worse) with the Futur as you can with the slant. Start on a low setting, go super-light, and you'll be fine.
The Slant is a great shaving tool. One of the big reasons I don't care for it is that it is not congruent and/or symmetrical. I like both sides of the razor to shave the same [all the way along the length of the blade]. It is this same reason that has caused me to relegate my Progress and Gillette adjustable to the back of the pack!

IF I could find an ajustable that shaved the same on both sides, I might consider it. Otherwise, I'm fine with fixed head razors, especially Merkurs!

I can tend to be a bit OCD with symmetrical, sometimes to a fault!
Like Rich, I have been working on my slant bar technique this week. I've had mine for a while but until last Saturday had not fully dedicated myself to learning how to use it correctly. While my first couple of shaves were ugly, the last two have been incredible. I usually find that about 6 or 7 hours after a shave, the hair directly under my chin (gullet for lack of a better term) is pretty rough again. With the slant, 14 hours later I am still fairly smooth. I have a very thick and coarse beard, so this is really saying something. As several other gents have stated, the slant will definitely test your technique and expose you flaws. I will be very interested to see how differently my HD will perform with the lessons that I am learning from my slant.
Hey, gents, thought I'd pop on here and give a post-mortem on my Slant Bar experience, especially since it looks like the B&B Slant Bar project will be stillborn...

To make a long story short, after four days with the slant bar I was just too irritated to continue. This whole week has been all-HD-all-the-time, devoted to healing all the big nicks and tiny irritation sites I acquired, as well as the vicious mole-topping I gave myself. :yikes: Evidently I'm just a spaz, because others, like Kyle, haven't had nearly this kind of trouble. So, please, don't take my experience as the norm.

I think that if I were to just put all other razors aside and focus exclusively on the slant, and teach myself to shave all over again, I could master it, but frankly life is too short, and I can get BBS, 10-hours-no-stubble close with the humble HD.

Once I've healed fully, though, I might try to land some Israelis or Euro-Gillettes and see how they do in it and my other razors... A sickness, I tell ya...

I've shaved twice this week with my Slant and both times I have achieved a very close shave and with little irritation. My emphasis has been on "NO pressure!" I have even thought about writing "NO Pressure!" across my bathroom mirror if it would help. :biggrin:

I've tried Merkur and Israeli blades in my Slant and both seem to produce more irritation than a Feather blade. I think it is because I have to apply more pressure with the Merkur and/or Israeli to achieve the same results. But I know exactly the "raw" feeling you are talking about. I plan on keeping my Slant in my rotation and would probably become more proficient with it if I set myself a schedule of using it at least every other day.

I am becoming a little more accustomed to the unsymmetrical design of the Slant. I am convinced it is a great shaving tool and...hey...it gives me something to conquer! I know I'll NEVER shave with a straight since I have a slight tremor in my hands...but I really do want to master the Slant. And, believe it or not, I've not had any cuts or nicks with my Slant...even with shaky hands. So that tells me it's not the beast some would make it into.

I am thoroughly convinced that the number one secret to a successful, irritation free Slant shave is the NO Pressure thing. I try to remember that a Slant already has the "slicing [whiskers] advantage" built into it that normal DE's do not. Therefore it takes even less pressure than a normal DE, e.g. Merkur HD or Classic. Just my opinion, for what it's worth; I'm certainly far from being an expert in this area. :confused:
Some time ago I experimented with the \|. This long mono/dialogue details the many things I learned about this good tool and how the combination of blade and razor can be varied to make a real and exciting difference.:ihih:
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