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The Quest for the Holy Grail of Shaving.

I realized this morning that we are all on the quest for the holy grail of shaving, that is why we are here.

I think I found it this morning, but just like everyone, you never can say for sure so we just keep searching.
My experience is very limited compared to most on here, but I will share my story anyway to get another thread started.

With my best shaving razor an Edwin Jagger DE89BL, I have found that it likes Derby Extra blades for their smooth, forgiving, and long lasting performance. Unlike others experience with Personna, those blades are too sharp for my face and in the EJ they always leave weeps and nicks. The EJ/Derby combination is a very good shave.

I recently purchased a SE Twig made by Leaf. I really like the design ergonomics of this razor, the operation of changing out blades, and its quality. I have tried a variety of blades in it, some SE specific, and some DE blades that I broke in half, all of them have performed equally well, can't say I can really tell any difference. Today, I decided to break in half one of those DE Personna blue blades and see how it would perform. Well boy was I in for a surprise! The smoothest, closest, no nick, no weep, no burn shave I have ever had. It was nirvana, I have found my holy grail of shaving, and I used Proraso green which is about as average a shave soap as you can get. Wait until I break out my Taylor of Old Bond Street, it can only get better.

As always, YMMV, and while I have probably found my holy grail, our search will continue, so many products to try and so many more whiskers to conquer.

What is your holy grail shave combination?
I've only been DE shaving for a couple of months, and so far I have found out the importance of technique and pre-shave prep. This morning I used the EJ DE89 razor with a Derby Extra blade. Pre-shave was Proraso white pre-shave cream, and I used Proraso white soap. The result was a very fine and high-quality shave without nicks or irritation.

I am not experienced enough to have tried any blades that I don't like. I have tried all of these:

Dorco ST-300
Astra SP
Tiger Platinum
Shark Super Platinum
Derby Extra

...and a couple of others. All of these blades have worked pretty well for me. When I have had irritation, it is generally on my lower neck and probably due in large part to poor technique or poor pre-shave prep (or some combination of both).

At this point I am having fun experimenting and am very impressed with the quality of my shaves I'm getting with a fairly modest investment of time and resources!
My grail razor is a moving target, I find after trying many different razors over time my technique and blade feel are automatic and I seem to adjust and get stellar results with almost any razor I have tried at least 3> times.
I do have my favorite razors that are cheap and some stainless steel mid range priced and they just crank out great stellar shaves. From my experiences if you enjoy a razor with a particular blade just stick with it until you get bored and move on to the next challenging razor.
Good razor, blade and soap will make most folks very happy if you shave regular IMO.
My search is not for a grail, a thing, or even an experience (the perfect shave), I'm just enjoying learning about the tools and picking up, or refining, skills. All in pursuit of more simplicity and self-sufficiency. The side effect has been more mindful, pleasurable shaves. And the fine fellowship of this community. Perhaps the latter is the real Grail?


Girls call me Makaluod
I don't have the courage to shave with a "safety" razor so I moved directly from carts to straight razors. When searching for a shaving holy grail, I am looking for a razor that is challenging to shave with yet still gives a close comfortable shave.

So far, my holy grails are:

Gold Dollar W5
(about USD 15)

Custom made S.A. Colling
(about USD 150)
I have other SR's that shave equally well or even a little better but they don't require the same high level of concentration.

It all depends on what you are looking for in your shaving experience.
I am a daily shaver for perspective.

I have found my go to razor several times. It is currently a Blackland Blackbird SB. Prior to that it was a Blackland Tradere SB and prior to that a Timeless Titanium 0.68.

The Blackbird had been feared by me but with the Black Friday sale and the return policy, I gave it a shot. It shaves faster and more efficiently than any other razor I have used. The much talked about blade feel is not at all bothersome to my face and probably makes my technique better.

All of that being said, many of my razors are quite good. My vintage razors come out on special days when I honor those no longer with us with my best approximation or birth quarter of their birthday. For my father, I use a ball end old type from the late 1920s; for my mother, either a ball end New LC or a Canadian Goodwill 164 from the early 1930s; and an A4 birth quarter Red Tip for my late wife.

All can give a good shave and while there can be preferences, there are numerous good choices. For my last trip, I used the Timeless Titanium and for my current trip, I’m using an ATT Atlas M1 with feather blades. The ATT with the feather is shaving better than I ever remembered.

Soaps and brushes are a discussion for another day.
My search is not for a grail, a thing, or even an experience (the perfect shave), I'm just enjoying learning about the tools and picking up, or refining, skills. All in pursuit of more simplicity and self-sufficiency. The side effect has been more mindful, pleasurable shaves. And the fine fellowship of this community. Perhaps the latter is the real Grail?
Exactly, its a never ending process for those of us that just like a nice clean shave, trying new techniques or products, and some good conversation.
I'm not really striving for some ideal shave or equipment. I'm mainly enjoying exploring and improving my skills. The pleasure comes from experimentation and discovery. I like the physical process, using good tools. The tools don't have to be something expensive and perfect, just good and well-suited to the task. I kind of enjoy the vintage and historical stuff, also.
I found the best razor for me: the Executive Shaving Co. Claymore Evolution. The brushes and soaps are a work in progress. I'm still experimenting with the AC blades to see which one will work the best..... or the top 2.
I suppose in one way, we’re searching for the best shave possible - because that shows the products we’re using are good and our technique is correct. But for most of us I think it’s more about enjoying the products and process.

I had come to hate buying razors, it felt like paying tax, and I was searching for cheaper cartridges when I came across this forum. Within a month of finding the forum, I had spent more money on shaving items than I would’ve spent in a decade on cartridges. I realised that the problem wasn’t that razors were too expensive, the problem was spending money on something I didn’t enjoy.
Face it.

It's not about finding the Grail. It's about the journey. It's a yellow brick road
made of new pre-shaves and scented soaps you haven't tried yet.
Shiny razors and blades as far as the eye can see, and fountains of afterhaves of every
smell and color. Enjoy the journey.

Was I typing out loud?
For me, I was on the search for perfecting my technique to get a better shave when I first started DE shaving. And truth be told, improving my technique, is what stopped me from getting nicks and weepers, and in turn, I no longer have to fear the reaper.

After that, I discovered that Feather blades while sharp, didn't last long on my course whiskers, due to terrible edge retention. Someone recommended Bic blades to me, and after trying them, I have loved them ever since. The first shave is always a bit rough with Bic due to rough blade coating, but after the first shave, they smoothen out.

I typically get about 3-shaves with a Feather blade, and 5-shaves with a Bic blade. And when you consider a 100 pack of Feather blades will cost you roughly 35 dollars, and a 100 pack of Bic blades will cost you 15 dollars, its clear who is the winner winner of your chicken dinner.

Another improvement I made, was to stop trying to whip up a lather within the Tabac soap puk bowl. I thought somehow, if I bought the full ceramic bowl of Tabac, that it would be all the bowl I need, and how wrong I was. Once I got my Captains Choice Cobalt lather bowl, life got easier.

Then I was on the hunt for a better brush, cause my first pure badger brush is just bad. Not that soft, absolutely 0 backbone, loft too high, overall terrible. After a month long wait for a brush coming to me from a little oh slow row boat from China, I finally got my new Maseto brush.

Maseto Avatar 30 knot 56 loft, silver tipped badger. Far far better brush. Extra density, many more hairs! Very soft hairs, good knot, good loft, and an awesome handle, all one really needs.

Then, I wanted to up my lather treatment, I was tired of applying cold lather to my face, so I got myself the Captains Choice Starry Night scuttle. And that provides me a very nice and warm lather that feels amazing. By the time I am done applying it with my brush, I feel like I just got a face massage, no joke!

And that brings us to today, right now, I don't feel like trying out different razor blades. There might be some better, but don't feel the need right now. These days now, I am just on the hunt for more aftershaves and soaps, thats really the jist of it these days.
My Holy Grail razor is the Henson AL13 aggressive (+++).
Second would be the Henson Ti22 aggressive.
Before Henson, it was the Razorock Lupo Aluminum and Razorock Lupo Stainless Steel .72 razors.
Before those, it was the Razorock Game Changer .68/.84.
As time goes by, and you try new things, your Holy Grail razor may change!
If I were born in the 1930's and started shaving in the 1940's, my Holy Grail razor would have been the Gillette Tech!
I tried and sold the ones I thought were mine grails / exits razors etc
in the end I always went back to mine ATT’s / R89 / Merkur 34 …
But I have no regrets
Wet shaving is a trip
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