Total Newb....pondering the switch from electric to DE

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by NPK, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. NPK


    Hello, first post so be gentle.
    I am mid 40s, used electric Braun foil since the beginning...never even a single other type of razor or cartridge type.I have a full beard but I wouldn't consider it thick. I have what I deem to be super sensitive skin especially on my neck and only need to shave 3x a week. My mustache hairs go right up into the corners by my nose other than that I have a scar on my chin. I am curious about DE shaving and have done some looking but have to admit it is quite daunting and I am respectful of getting cut. I do have steady hands and am patient to a degree but consider shaving to be a task that is not my favorite.

    I am willing to pay for quality and durability and want the razor I buy to last but at a price point. I am in no means the "display what you got" type. I dont want the razors finish to flake off and want the machining to be decent. I dont really what something that will look like a lost relic after 1 year of use. So the knockoffs of poor quality I am not really interested

    I think" I prefer a mild but efficient cut, and also closed comb....but what do I know.
    I have read about the Feather Popular, but am concerned about the durability with the plastic and I did read the finish can come off and the bars bending on other random reviews. Also I dont know if the TTO will fit and get the hairs under my nose corners.

    I have read that Mekur 34C and EJ DE89 are also mild and have a smaller head profile but I guess it all depends on the blade so again...I know nothing. I do see there are some solid quality razors out there like a solid stainless steel Razorock but I know nothing else.

    I will probably only buy 1 razor so I want to get it and use it for years. I dont really care about getting more aggressive razors over time or being a collector. I see some suggest a Gillette Superspeed or older vintage one for decent quality but I live in Canada and we get overcharged for shipping for stuff that is on fleabay and there isn't much of a market for used DE razors up here so it is a path I am leery to go down.

    Anyway, if I need to enter more details ask away and am looking for serious suggestions so please chime in.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2019
  2. Hello and welcome. You will get a variety of responses to your question, but I think every one will agree you can get a vastly better shave with a DE safety razor than with an electric. To answer your question, I used to think a Merkur 34C was an excellent choice for someone starting out like you, but now that Merkur is making the threaded post and not just the cap of zamak rather than brass, I'm no longer confident of its durability, as that is the first place chrome plating tends to wear off. I saw NOS original caps with the threaded posts on sale on ebay for $15, but who wants to bother with that. IMO the Rockwell 6S is the way to go. Start with plate R3.
  3. I agree the 6s is the easiest and about the best shaver I have. My favorite is it set to level 4 currently. If you watch the bst or the bay' you can find them for a good deal.
  4. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    Welcome to B&B.

    I am one of those individuals who believes that technique trumps the equipment you start with. You can start off with a modern razor or a vintage such as a Gillette tech. Take a look at the BST forum for some razors.

    For a good starting off point look at the information at this thread. The information there will direct you to where you can get answers to most of your shaving questions. Plus, it’s always a good idea to read the wikis and stickies. And, don’t forget; if you have any questions just ask. :smile:
  5. While 6S is great choice for beginners you should be aware that it is a heavy razor. If you don't have a problem with it definitely go for it. If you want something lighter go for 6C instead.
    If you don't mind used razors you should definitely consider Vintage Gillette adjustable such as Fatboy, Slim and Super Adjustable Black Beauty. I have sensitive skin and definitely can also recommend Razorock GC68
  6. Welcome to the forums. Personally, I recommend planning on getting at least two razors. One fairly inexpensive one to start, then a better quality one once you know you want to continue using a DE razor. There are some excellent razors that can be well over $100 and up, such as the 6S, but I personally wouldn't want to make the investment until I had a bit of experience with DE razors.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
  7. It's Hedley

    It's Hedley Contributor

    I was where you are less than a year ago. Congratulations on making a great move from the Braun (which I still have and will use in a pinch). DE shaving has brought immense joy and satisfaction to my daily routine. I suspect you will find the same once you find what works for you. You have also landed on an amazing forum with a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people. Enjoy the ride!
  8. I switched to safety razor shaving about 8 months ago and have never looked back. The 34 c is a popular razor among rookies and experienced users.

    Now for brushes, if i was doing it again i would buy one good badger, one boar and one synthetic. I like them all!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2019
  9. Excellent points here, thanks to @ackvil for that great link. Just to clarify my post, the OP did say he was looking for something that will last, and after a number of years of my own experience and reading many comments here, I'm convinced that chrome-plated zamak threaded posts are a potential problem (yes, I know many of you have vintage examples that are still going strong). And as for vintage, most of the Gillettes and some of the other vintage brands are inexpensive and plentiful, and usually well-made nickel-plated brass and so still usable, but one does have to pay some attention to condition. A corroded example might be perfectly usable after a bit of cleanup -- or not.
  10. You can’t go wrong with a Rockwell 6S and a blade sampler.

    You can even get great results using canned foam with a DE.

    If you don’t want to spend $100 on a razor, the Razorock mj90 is $30.
  11. NPK


    I just looked at the Razorock mj90 and it checks a lot of the boxes...solid build...good finish...although not sure about the black finish on the head...I'd prefer plain....but I have no idea if its mild or not.

    So what gives...why isn't Razorock getting more airtime?
  12. Oh. I forgot to mention that vintage razors can be nice and I have many as collection. The first couple of vintage gillettes i bought i didn't know anything about and got ripped off. They also did not work very well due to damage. I am very happy i had a new merkur futur in order to have a good tool to learn how to de shave. Not an old junky, piece that i bought afterwards because i wasnt a student of vintage prices, conditions, etc. I was guilty of only wanting to try.

    A merkur 34c or a razorock sloc to me are beautiful starters due to price and performance
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2019
  13. I am a huge RazoRock fan. I haven’t tried that particular razor, but it’s a higher quality copy of the EJ DE89, which is a good, mild razor—often recommended for beginners. The MJ-90 is also competitively priced. Looks like a solid choice to me.
  14. Rockwell 6s and call it a day.
  15. 34c and a GSB. Never fails.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
  16. I'll give razorock tons of love. You can spend $16 on a SLOC then get a blade sampler pack and I think you'd be happy for a long time. But don't expect anything to give you a one pass smooth shave. I went into this thinking it was going to be similar to cartridge shaving in terms of efficiency. I've tried lots of DE razors and they all require two or three passes to get a decently smooth shave. I didn't think open comb would be for me but the SLOC is double open comb and what I keep going back to. It's my benchmark razor.
    The thing with this hobby is that it's harder to find what works for your face, each person has different tastes. I wouldn't start expensive and would easily recommend starting with a Razorock and figure out what works for you. The other option is to buy something like the SLOC then also purchase the mission and old type heads in the same purchase to try three different types of shavers for about $40 shipped. Add in a blade sampler and you're at about and about the same price as the EJ DE89 or Merkur 34c.
  17. NPK


    Self lubricating open it.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  18. It's the Razorock SLOC. It's a double open comb razor that looks like it wants to rip your face off but is very smooth and hardly has a chance of cutting you.
  19. If you’re not sure it’s for you, I would likely go for the Rockwell (Canadian company) 6c over the 6s. The 6c is chrome plated cast metal, the 6s is solid stainless (more durable, but also more expensive).

    Either of those come with multiple plates that allow you to change the “mildness” of your razor to suit your liking, which allows you to grow into the razor. To be honest, you won’t go wrong with either one.

    Buy a sampler of multiple blades, you’ll want to try a few different ones to find one you like.

    Go for a synthetic brush, they’re quite good and relatively inexpensive.

    As for soap, you’ll be able to find many that suit whatever scent you wish. Proraso is a good middle-of-the-road soap, and is available at shoppers.
  20. A Gillette Slim or Super Adjustable (aka "Black Beauty") is a safe bet, and there's a couple from Canadian sellers now on eBay.
    Avoid paying extra for the original case, just get the razor.
    As mentioned before, it looks really scary, but is not.
    The slots on the cap make it easier to drag lather back over the spot you just did when "blade buffing". A conventional open comb will do that too.
    Also, open combs are great for really long growth (like a full beard), since the hairs are passing between the teeth when they hit the blade edge, not being bent over before it. No need to pre-trim with clippers or scissors.

    PS. That handle shown is the "Barber Pole" option. It's a nice handle that can go on almost any head for a three-piece razor.

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