Thinking about getting back into DE

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by slybrewguy, Jan 3, 2019.

    I've had a long history with shaving problems, like most people who come here. I joined her a few years ago and have had the opportunity to learn and try so many things, for which I'm very greatful. To make a very long story short, I stopped using DEs in place of a Gillette Guard then stopped using that in place of a Braun series 9 (very condensed version of that tale)... this was all due to continuous bumps and ingrown hairs. No matter what I did (prep, blade, razor, etc) I always got ingrown hairs and it continued after almost 4 years of regular practice with DE. I'm now at a point in life again where I have a few minutes to shave each day and I have interest in picking up DEs again. If it still doesn't work out then I'll stick with the Braun, it gives very satisfactory results with little to no irritation... It's just boring.

    So, after that long winded intro, I need some razor advice. I know YMMV so I'm more looking for experiences/opinions on this:

    In my DE trials I went through easily 30+ razors in 4 years. I consistently found the best results with either the merkur 37c or the paa prismatic. I know they are very different razors but if anyone here has experience with both, may I ask your thoughts and which you prefer?

    I may just buy both and a few blades, try them for a month, and BST whichever (or both) I don't stick with at a low price.

    And no, I don't want to just have both sitting around. I'm a minimalist in my belongings and hobbies so I won't keep more then 1 razor around.

    If time tells me anything like the past has then I fully expect to he the proud new owner of a merkur slant haha. For a long time it was the only razor I used at all but the prismatic was up there for me and it's now been so long I don't remember.
  1. Dragonsbeard

    Dragonsbeard Contributor

    You might want to think outside the box and try a couple of different brands. The Razorock Gamechanger may be one option to think about. There are 2 baseplates you can get for it and it’s reasonably priced and it’s a nicely efficient and smooth razor. Maybe an Adjustable might be good for you since you have had an ingrown hairs and you can dial it in to whatever settings suit your face and beard. The Rockwell 6c is also a smooth shaving Adjustable but no dial but rather numbered baseplates that start out mild and progressively get more efficient. A sharp blade, no pressure, skin stretch and no ATG and you should not have any problems with irritation or ingrown hairs.
    There are more expensive razor options out there that may even suit you better but I thought I’d keep the price below $75. I can also think of a couple of SE razors.
    Just my two cents
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  2. Too many choices, but consider the following:

    Progress or Futur, if you want to try an adjustable.

    Bullet-tip GEM, if you want to try an SE.
  3. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    The best razors I have used recently are the Karve and Timeless. Unfortunately, they are on the expensive side. The Karve with a C plate has given me the smoothest shaves I have ever had. The Timeless with the .68 SB matches the Karve. If you don't like them there is a ready market for them.
  4. I remember the Gillette Guards worked well for you in the past as far as little to no irritation, are they no option for you now?
  5. emwolf

    emwolf Contributor

    Between the 37C and the Prismatic I prefer the 37C. My prismatic developed Zamak rot along one guard, so that might tip the scale a bit. There are a lot of great razors out there. I'm having a hard time topping the Gillette Aristocrat Junior. That is currently my favorite razor.
  6. Does it matter on the type of D.E. razor vintage or new TTO, 3 piece, slant or adjustable? I ask because I have favourites in all those categories that provide low to no blade chatter and make for great shaves.

    TTO - Aristocrat Jr. England.
    3 piece - Any RFB. I have a #77. Some reading here.
    Slant - same as you 37c.
    Adjustable - Slim on lower settings <5.
  7. Your plan to buy both the Merkur 37c and the PAA Prismatic and sell the one you like least is a sound plan. Take some time to make the decision prior to the sale. You may wish to try various blades prior to the final decision.

  8. Try a mild razor with a sharp blade. Game Changer 68, pre-war Tech and Fendrihan Mark II with a Kai blade or Gillette Yellow.

    Do only 2 passes, WTG and XTG to avoid irritation and ingrowns.

    If you have hard water, lathering can be an issue. The Body Shop cream is slick whatever your water quality is.

    Try showering before the shave or a hot water towel.

    If you do all of these, you should be good to go. I have a coworker that tried everything, including DE but ultimately had to use chemicals.
  9. Only thing I can add to that is it shouldn't matter if you use hot or cold water as long as you keep your skin sufficiently hydrated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2019
  10. To avoid ingrown hairs I would consider an efficient razor with a heavy or well controlled blade and only make two passes: WTG and XTG.

    I would suggest an SE, or a DE slant. SE blades are thicker and can be more efficient - less likely to tug. Similarly slants are less likely to tug.

    Razorock and Above the Tie both produce nice SEs. Above the Tie offer these in both aluminium and stainless.
  11. Pepin

    Pepin Ambassador

    There is/was a pif box of razors.

    Try to join in then you can try different razors to see what works for you.
  12. REV579

    REV579 Contributor

    It sounds like you have a plan in place, but @Pepin's feedback doesn't sound bad. I would add that even the post-war Tech is a solid, yet mild shaver that could be skin safe. 30 razors in 4+ years suggests you've given them a serious look. A second round might not be a horrible idea though.
  13. Maybe you just need one of the new synthetic brushes and a puck of MWF to make everything good.

    Good luck to you, sir!
  14. I would choose the Futur, as parts of your problems indicate that you have a too harsh shave and damage your skin! That often leads to ingrown hair and irritations.
    Try the Merkur Futur, as you can adjust the setting of your blade gap. In combination with the right blade (in my opinion, you should go with a Voskhod or something a little less sharp) and a little bit of practice, you will get the perfect shave! And not a bit boring!

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  15. Wow, I ask for help before work then come home to a whole slew of responses. The B&B family is always awesome and I appreciate everyone's help. I also apologize for any early (or possible future) spelling errors, my phone's auto correct really has a mind of it's own. I'll try to respond directly to as many people as I can below.

    The Gillette Guard did work for me in the past but it was temporary. What I actually found is that the irritation was slowly moving to a different area, which happens anytime I use a straight bar razor vs a slant (I was coming off the 37c at the time). I also found the guard blades to be a bit harsh for my skin when used exclusively.

    I owned two prismatics in the past and found both to be inconsistent when compared to eachother and also remember fiddling with the blade. The 37c could almost be loaded with my eyes closed and have no fear of wonky blade exposure. I dropped my first 37c several times in the showrr and it never developed even a dent, my second prismatic dented from being dropped on cardboard lol.

    Slants. If I were a rapper my name would be MC Slants All Day. However... The prismatic is the only non-slant DE razor I ever kept around and the only one that could stand up to my 37c. The only reason the 37c won out is I remember it being more consistent shave wise for me.

    Whew, fortunately I don't have to use Chemicals. I'm ok with the Braun if I have to be, I get no ingrowns and only very sporadic "electric rash" if I'm a bit heavy handed.

    I remember reading an article talking about hydration being more important then temperature (to an extent of course).

    I've played with a few SEs and found the blade to feel a bit "choppy" so slants won out for me in that match.

    I'll keep any eye out, thanks!

    I'll agree with that, during those 4 years I revisited many razors and blades with different results as my experience and technique grew. I have learned 1 very important by using foil shavers: to stop shooting for perfect 100% BBS. I think this new mentality will help DE shaving be more successful this time for me.

    I'll have to give that one a try, it's one I never gave a chance to. I love merkur razors and of course would prefer to support a company I like and buy the real deal but do you have any opinion on the futur clone (just to save me a few dollars)? Danke!
  16. ajkel64

    ajkel64 Ambassador

    You have had many great suggestions to help you out. I would favour either an adjustable or a milder razor with a sharp blade. You can/will have a lot of fun trying out which ever road you choose to go down. Lust keep us informed of your progress. Please.
  17. I’d actually choose a Rockwell 6C/6S. I’m sure one of the milder plates, with a sharp blade, will give you a satisfying shave, but mild enough to avoid ingrowns.

    I recently had a flare-up of in-grown hairs (after my skin was damaged from harsh winds), and switched from my usual razors to the 6S on plate 3. The shave wasn’t quite as “BBS” as usual, but it was much smoother than I get with my Braun Series 5 shaver. The 6S didn’t irritate the ingrowns, and they cleared up very quickly.
  18. I got irritation when I used razors that were too mild. Everyone's different so I'm not suggesting this would be true for you. Just food for thought. I have tough whiskers and so a mild razor required too many passes and too much pressure. I find a great shave comes when I have to apply close to zero pressure. All adjustment comes in the form of blade angle (plus choice of razor and blade).

    If you want to try a Futur, I'll lend you mine. It's well used (not much to look at) and the stop has worn away so you can run it with any blade gap you want (until the threads end and the assembly falls apart).
  19. There is loads of Merkur Clones, QShavecand whatnot... i know the QShave, it is a good razor, no doubt about it, but it’s either aluminium or hollowed out. It feels good, but it’s not as heavy as the original made of stainless. Mechanics work fine and the finish is good as well. My only problem with clones: it’s not the original...
    But you can easily go with one! Lots of people I know use one and they are all as happy as I am with the Merkur. (Some people say the Progress is even better, but never owned it so I can’t tell...)

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