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The DE Buyers Guide....

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Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Excellent post, Joel. Until about a year ago, if someone had told me that I would someday consider the mundane routine of shaving to be a hobby of mine, I would have thought of them as daft.
I came to this hobby by way of kitchen knives. I have some pretty good ones, and after some time have developed a pretty decent ability to put an edge on one. Boy, do I have a lot of stones! Honing a razor, I have found, is a different animal altogether. I've had some reasonable success with some NOS straights, and am developing a love for Thiers-Issard.
Still, my earliest memories of shaving are watching my dad with his old Gillette DE, so I had to get one. I bought the much maligned Feather DE, and although it is just about entirely plastic, I kind of like it. I wanted to but a better one, so my natural inclination was to spring for the Merkur Vision- I'm the type of guy that usually finds that the "best" isn't nearly good enough. So it was so nice to read your comments regarding these devices. I will take your advice and get a non-adjustible Merkur, either an HD or a long handled.
Of course, I'll be needing a better strop, and a better brush, and oh god do all those lovely soaps, creams, and a/s's beckon! No sweat: with audio equipment, cameras, wine, motorcycles, tropical fish, and knives as my main hobbies, shaving- with all of its attendant gear- will have a hard time breaking into my top six most expensive pursuits.

Thanks for all the great info. Hope to be sticking around here for a while.
 
I think that a very underrated and oft forgotten Merkur is the very slightly more aggressive than HD, 1904. That thing gives fabulous shaves, especially if you're looking to go one step beyond an HD in "aggressiveness". The 1904 is the least expensive DE Merkur makes and is often overlooked in favor of the other razors in the line. And while I'm on the subject of underrated razors in the Merkur lineup the Vision is no slouch. It can be tamed to train newbies but can also open up to shave like a straight. I find it ironic that 2 of Merkur's most overlooked razors are their most and least expensive models. Just my 2 cents worth.:confused:

Tom
 
What would you guys recommend for a DE newbie to try? I shave predominately with a straight, but on occasion I will use an ancient Schick Injector if I'm in a rush to get out the door. I have a couple of old Gillette DE's that I ended up with somehow, both adjustables, and picked up a SuperSpeed last weekend at an antique shop for $5. I gather that Gillette isn't really a match for Merkur? Aggressive isn't a problem for me, and actually preferred, but bear in mind I have no experience with a DE. I'm thinking slant bar or vision...thoughts appreciated...

Jeff
 
Jeff,

I have Gillette adjustables, non-adjustables and a Merkur HD Classic and now a Progress. For a newbie who plans to use the razor, I like the HD or the Progress. I think the head design makes getting technique and angle perfected a bit easier. I'm looking for an HD for my son to use now. He has a Gillette, but I'd like to add some variety for him.

Randy
 
Ah to hell with that Randy. I ordered a slant bar and some feathers! :w00t: I shaved with the superspeed and a drug store blade and it went beautifully. Took 3 passes to get "str8 smooth" though, and it tugged a bit on the first pass. No irritation, nicks or burn though, I'm happy to report. It took me about the same amount of time with this DE as it does with a str8. I can't make a good judgement on just one shave, but I don't think the DE will replace my str8s. I like the idea of experimenting though, and if I can build up a little speed with this thing, then I might travel with one. One thing, it was definitely easier going against the grain under my chin. Str8s always give me a little difficulty there. Tough call between this and the injector though for touch-ups or hurry days...more to follow later..
 
Jeff,

I would never want the DE to replace my straights...I enjoy them too much, but my shave is quicker with the DE. Most of the time I now shave at night to have time to use the straights...I don't need any more scars!:biggrin: I'm looking at add the Slant as I understand it is as close to a straight shave as you can get with a DE...just don't think I'll load a Feather on the first run. I had an email from Charles at QED, and he does stock the Slant for $33.00, but it is not currently listed on his website.

Randy
 
I have some CVS blades, some ancient Gillettes that came with that $5 superspeed but I'll probably tuck those away, the feathers on the way, and I ordered one pack of merkurs with the slant and feathers from Ray's place. Just in case. I've read so many stories about how sharp the feathers are, I figured I needed a backup plan!

Jeff
 
Jeff, I'd be interested in your reaction to the slant/feather combination in comparidon to a str8. I find it to be every bit as good in terms of closeness.

I still need to make an adjustment whenever I switch between str8s and DEs (I use Feathers on all of them). I find the str8s require pressure and pull a little bit. For that reason I can't use them against the grain in the mustache area. If I switch to a str8 after using DEs a while, the shave always feels a little rougher. If I go from using str8s for a while to DEs, I find I use too much pressure and sometimes I nick myself. The adjustment is quick, but there is one.
 
I'll definitely post my thoughts and experiences. I'm predominately a str8 user, although I have played with an old injector from time to time, and I have used my new (old) superspeed a few times. I'm anxious to try the slant, I must admit.

Jeff

Joe Lerch said:
Jeff, I'd be interested in your reaction to the slant/feather combination to a str8. I find it to be every bit as good in terms of closeness.

I still need to make an adjustment whenever I switch between str8s and DEs (I use Feathers on all of them). I find the str8s require pressure and pull a little bit. For that reason I can't use them against the grain in the mustache area. If I switch to a str8 after using DEs a while, the shave always feels a little rougher. If I go from using str8s for a while to DEs, I find I use too much pressure and sometimes I nick myself. The adjustment is quick, but there is one.
 
My slant came in this afternoon, but, as luck would have it, I got a better-than-usual, really REALLY close str8 shave today before work. I probably won't have enough to shave tomorrow. I'll try the slant on my next shave for sure.

Jeff
 
threeputt said:
My slant came in this afternoon, but, as luck would have it, I got a better-than-usual, really REALLY close str8 shave today before work. I probably won't have enough to shave tomorrow. I'll try the slant on my next shave for sure.

Jeff

Jeff,

If you don't like the Slant, you can always send it to me! Oh, and include that old "bottle" that you have! :001_tt2:

Randy
 
OK so I didn't really need to shave this afternoon before work, but decided to give the slant bar a try anyway. Maybe I should have waited a day! Put in a feather blade, and the shave was very smooth and effortless. I'll say this much, the first pass, N-S, is the closest first pass I've had with any razor, ever. I probably should have stopped there. I couldn't stand it though, and did an against the grain pass. It went fine everywhere except my neck directly above the adams apple. I stretched the skin like I do with a str8, and ended up with a little razor rash. Nothing that cold water didn't put a quick stop to, but still it's a little sensitive down there even now ~ 6 hours later. No blood ran, but it got that red spotty look, if that makes sense. These blades are indeed sharp, and that slant is indeed aggressive! With one shave, I haven't made up my mind yet. It is a very small razor, not much to hang on to, but I think I could get used to it. It is fast for sure, and a good single pass with this combo is a very good shave in itself, but I may have stretched my skin too tight for the S-N pass on my neck. Thoughts?
 
threeputt said:
It is fast for sure, and a good single pass with this combo is a very good shave in itself, but I may have stretched my skin too tight for the S-N pass on my neck. Thoughts?

All razors require a bit of an "introduction" if you will. It depends on the lather you've got, whether it is a soap or a cream, how "loose" the skin is on your neck, etc etc. It is really hard to gve specific advice in regards to DE's, however - with a light touch, and good lubrication, you can never do HARM by not pulling the skin as tight as you normally would. I'd say experiement (albeit carefully) and make sure to take it slow and easy as you get used to the slant-beast. If I may - I recommend you start off using the slant with Merkur blades, as it will give you a much more user friendly introduction to your new pal.

:thumbup1:
 
Hello-I have the merkur razors. The DE slant bar is hard to manage without cutting one's face, but does give a close shave. In regards to the adjustables. I prefer the Progress to Future and Vision because it's easier to handle and less expensive. The Future scrapes my face too much and the handle slipped in my wet hand nicking my throat. The Vision comes apart for cleaning like a gun, but be careful on reassembling it, because if not done properly it can missalign. They are are expensive, but can sometimes be purchased cheaper on Ebay or Corrado's Cutlery in SKokie Il, and 2-3yrs ago there was a sale on merkur razors at the Nashville Knifeshop.
I like merkur interchangable with adapters that accomodate Trac ll, Sensor, Protector(no longer manufatured by Schick, but sometimes you can find the blades at Big Lots),and Atra. A bit of warning the Protector adapters tend to pop off and are thin, though Classic Shaving sells repalcements. But in the long run for economy sake purchase some Gillette adjustables on Ebay. Once in a while one can get them cheap, plus they have a 1-9 setting as opposed to the Merkur 1-6.
 
J,

Great review- i wished i had seen it on my return to wetshaving. In fact, I am someone who started off with the merkur hd and after 3 weeks ,moved 2 the vision. the main reason I changed is that I do change the settings when shaving my cheeks, neck, and 'goat' area.

also, the hd would cramp my hand( holding it tightly because of its small size); however, now when i shave, i do the first pass with the vision and the 2nd pass with the hd. since the hd isn't being used as the main shaver, it doesn't cramp my hand now(or my technique has improved:wink: ) and my face ends up BBS.

now if i could only find a review for large brushes.........


marty
 
htownmmm said:
J,

...SNIP...
now if i could only find a review for large brushes.........


marty
Hi Marty,
We are going through a cycle here at B&B where suddenly all the young lads are going from the sublime (BIG KNOT Brushes) to the ridiculous (diminutive knot Brushes)..
I have some pix and some words for several 26mm, 28mm, and larger brushes. What are you looking to do? UPsize, UPgrade, or both? What are you using now?
 
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