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What Causes Tugging?

I've never used an R41, and OP says blade selection isn't an issue, but I get a lot more tugging with milder blades-Lord or "Viking blades" mild, whatever those are in reality.
 

Esox

I didnt know
But why do some razors pull like that when the same blade in another razor doesn't pull at all?

Among my razors, the one that does the most tugging is my R41. It is bearable, and it is only on the first, with the grain, pass. And it gives me close shaves without cuts or irritation.

Rigidity, or lack there of.

As we shave, all blades will vibrate. Some more, some less, but they will all have a harmonic frequency, even if incredibly minute. Finding the amount of rigidity you need varies from user to user. Some prefer more, some less, some find someplace in between the most comfortable.

An easy way to test it is to try both a Gillette New SC and a LC. The SC offers a great amount of rigidity, the LC about half the rigidity. The same can be said for the Techs, the post war having more rigidity than pre war. Another way would be, for example, to add a shim to your R41 and try it again. I'll bet its a smoother and more secure feeling shave.

Your R41, like mine, lacks the amount of rigidity I need. Not all R41's are created equally though. Mine is below.

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There are some members of this forum that cannot do that with their R41. I put that off to casting differences and think that if one was to take critical measurements of 10 random samples of R41's, they'd find differences.

My R41, even as out of whack as it is, is still capable of a very good shave.

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I only use Feather blades in it and only have for a single shave per blade. I need to shave slowly and carefully, but it will give me the same finish as my Grande, a perfect 12 hour BBS. The difference being, using my Grande takes me ~3 minutes. Using my R41 takes 15 minutes.
 
I've never used an R41, and OP says blade selection isn't an issue, but I get a lot more tugging with milder blades-Lord or "Viking blades" mild, whatever those are in reality.
I wasn't entirely clear - my problem with the R41 pulling isn't due to blade selection or poor prep, but either of those factors certainly could cause pulling.
 
Everyone is right on the various aspects that cause tugging. Prep--Wet, warm lubricated whiskers are best; A sharp fresh blade; proper alignment with the blade held rigid or tight.

After all, if you want to experience real tugging, tape an old dull blade to a stick and shave a five day growth dry, no water or soap or anything 😉
 
Wouldn't have thought that the difference could be so staggering!

I usually try Feather, Nacet and the Gillette Super Platinum or blades with similar characteristics on each razor. For the R41 I am mostly going with heavily coated blades useful for cushioning.
 
If your beard growth is parallel to your skin it might help to stretch your skin, and ride the cap a litte for the first pass. If the angle of attack relative to the hair is off, you will experience tugging. A flexible head design only exaggerate this more. The GS model clamps the blade a little better, but the difference is small.
Some blades are also more flexible then others. It might help to use a more rigid blade, like a Wizamet or something. A Nacet blade in this razor is to flexible for me. It works grate in my Tatara though.
 
Like others have said, it could literally be from anything from prep to the razor and/or blade you're using. One of the most important things to learn in DE/SE shaving is to find the best possible blades that work for you and the same goes for your prep. Yeah, sure some blades work a bit better in some razors than others, but the the general rule of thumb is that a blade will either work for you or not.

After that, it all comes down to whatever you like the results from your current razor or not and if you just want to find something much better or just keep buying more and more razors until you find the ''best'' possible razor for you, which rarely happens and it's going to cost you a lot.
 

Esox

I didnt know
For the R41 I am mostly going with heavily coated blades useful for cushioning.

The first blade I use in any new razor is a Derby Extra. The first use of my R41 with a Derby Extra, it skipped on the first stroke WTG on my cheek. It just doesnt have enough blade support for me but, to counteract that, using a fresh Feather and shaving much slower helps. It can give me a very good shave and I understand the draw to the R41 but it just doesnt suit me or the way I shave, my Grande does.

The issue of tugging can be difficult to pin down but the best way I know to go about it is a process of elimination. Find what causes the tugging; A lack of blade support allowing the blade to flex, poor blade choice, a lack of prep, whatever it may be and then eliminate that weakness.

A 'Fixed Four' for a month straight can teach a lot. Thats how I learned why Feather blades caused me irritation. The soap I was using (Tabac) was lacking and wasnt making my skin supple enough so I'd have irritation.

This blade I havent really liked, until tonight.

Start N-S. Smooth, so smooth, and the slickness was surprising. No issues and a nice, close, supremely comfortable first pass.

S-N more of the same, with buffing ATG under and up my chin, both cheeks and sides of my mouth. This slickness was very telling while I was buffing.

ATG and more buffing, but not a lot needed really. More of the same. Wonderful scent, incredible slickness.

One light clean up at a downwards 45° over my swirls and done.

I have that "I dont feel like I've shaved" feeling. My skin has no warmth or redness. Its cool and supple and feels like I've had a good rub of CC balm, but I didnt even rinse my face. Just a quick wipe with a damp hand towel.

I dont know whether it was this razor that took the harshness out of these blades for me or the soap, but I felt none at all.

My first use of PdP 63 showed me I needed to find soaps that better suited my skin. I've since found several and Feather blades in my Grande are now a top choice.

As it turns out, it was the soap that made the difference. Since my discovery of that, all new to me soaps get 'The Feather Test.' If the shave is harsh, they fail.

Wickham 1912, CRS, SV, Vitos Extra Extra, Cella Bio all pass. Arko does not. Proraso does not. Southern Witchcrafts does not. Stirling and Phoenix & Beau both pass but I need a thicker lather to mask the harshness but that can sacrifice blade feel.

When I want the absolute best shave I can have with a DE, it comes from my Grande and a fresh Feather with any of my top soaps/creams.

To tugging and blade coatings however I will mention that with a Gillette Yellow in my Grande through shaves 1-6, starting directly ATG first pass at 48 hours growth, the only thing I feel is the cap on my skin. I dont feel the blade at all and no tugging whatsoever. Not even the slightest bit. If I didnt feel the cap sliding over the lather I'd feel nothing at all. I believe that whatever coatings Gillette Yellow blades have on them perfectly match my hairs composition and slice through without sticking at all.
 
Beard hair when dry has a tensile strength similar to that of copper wire of similar diameter> if you have every tried cutting copper wire with diagonal cutters, you know how difficult that can be, especially with larger diameter wire. Thus, the thicker/coarser your hairs are, the tougher they will be.

Fortunately, when hair absorbs water, the tensile strength is reduced substantially, making them easier to cut. Unfortunately, the oils that coat the hair make absorption of water difficult. It is like the oil that protects duck feathers so they can swim. Thus, the first thing you have to do is remove the oil. I find that that is most easily done using a shampoo in the shower, but it can be done using soap and water or shaving lather. Once the oil has been removed, application of water will allow the beard hairs to become hydrated. This make cutting those hairs significantly easier.

You would likely find it difficult to cut a rope with a butter knife. Thus, the sharper your razor blade, the more easily your beard hairs will be severed. Why then don't all shavers use the very sharpest blades? There is often a tradeoff between sharpness and smoothness. A rough blade can feel just as uncomfortable on your skin as one that is not sharp enough and tugs. Thus, each shaver need to determine which blades work best in their razors.

I have a coarse beard and sensitive skin, so I want blades that are both sharp and smooth. There are a few blades that can accomplish that feat, but most will emphasize one over the other. I have a Muhle R41 and I can use it; but I do not enjoy using it. If I equip it with a blade sharp enough to cut my beard hairs, it will tend to be too aggressive for my sensitive skin. I do better with a super sharp blade in a less aggressive razor. However, that is my experience. Yours might very well differ.
 
I have a coarse beard and sensitive skin, so I want blades that are both sharp and smooth. There are a few blades that can accomplish that feat, but most will emphasize one over the other.
What blades accomplish that for you? I also have sensitive skin and course beard. I'm having a hard time finding the perfect blade for me. Seems that every time I fall in love with sample pack of blades, I buy the 100 pack, and then I start disliking them. I have no idea why.
 
I have found that if I shave less frequently than 24 hours between shaves, I will experience some degree of tugging. It is more or less noticeable with different blades. I think it might be that shorter whiskers don't bend as easily as long whiskers so short whiskers cut more easily while longer whiskers tend to bend and the blade doesn't cut them as straight as it will with short whiskers. It is just a theory.
 
The R41 is potentially susceptible to blade flex and or chatter which can lead to tugging especially if the blade doesn't slice easily through your whiskers. If you look closely at the R41 with a blade inserted you will see a sizable distance between the edge of the top cap and the blade edge. This can allow some blade flex which exacerbates tugging. A razor that clamps the blade much closer to the blade edge will not allow as much blade flex and will tend to tug less or not at all. The other suggestions in this thread can also help to reduce tugging. Personally I have used my R41 for over 10 years and have gotten some great shaves but I have found it to be occasionally susceptible to blade chatter and tugging as well.
This. Effectively, it's a fundamentally flawed razor design, in my opinion.
 
What blades accomplish that for you? I also have sensitive skin and course beard. I'm having a hard time finding the perfect blade for me. Seems that every time I fall in love with sample pack of blades, I buy the 100 pack, and then I start disliking them. I have no idea why.
+1. I have bought 200 Tigers on a whim because I thought after one shave I had found the perfect blade. Ever since buying that second truck of a 100 I am sensing I should have gone for the Dorco Titan instead.

Guido
 
What blades accomplish that for you? I also have sensitive skin and course beard. I'm having a hard time finding the perfect blade for me. Seems that every time I fall in love with sample pack of blades, I buy the 100 pack, and then I start disliking them. I have no idea why.

Some blades that work well for me are BIC Chrome Platinum, Gillette Nacets, Permasharp Super, 7 O'Clock Super Platinum (black), and Persona Platinum (formerly Israeli reds now made in Germany). Some less well known blades that also work for me are Dorco Prime Platinum STP301, Supermax Blue Diamond, Lord Platinum, and Durablade Sharp Titanium. However, not every blade works in every razor.

I have a Muhle R41 razor, but rarely use it as the design of the razor does not work well with the super sharp blades I like. I like razors that tightly clamp the blade as close to the edge as possible. That minimizes blade chatter. Neither the R41 nor the R89 do that. One moderately priced razor that clamps the blade well is the Parker Semi-slant. Although more expensive, the Karve Chris Bradley razors also clamp close to the edge.

Surprisingly, one razor that works well for me is the inexpensive Van der Hagen long handled twist to open (Superspeed clone), made by Weishi. It is a very mild razor, but equipped with a super sharp blade it works quite well.

As I noted in my earlier post, for those with coarse beards, beard preparation is critical. For those with sensitive skin, using a high quality shaving soap or cream and producing a properly hydrated lather is very important. Do not try to get by with something from your local pharmacy.
 
I have found that using a straight, the main causes for tugging are a dull blade or too tentative when shaving or using the wrong angle.

Extrapolating to DE, a "dull" blade might be caused by the coating, blade damage or just a bad blade. As many have said, once the coating wears away, that problem no longer exists. For a damaged (including well used), or a bad blade, toss and try again.

Taking confident shaving strokes will lead to a less tuggy shave. Many people tend to go slower when trying a new razor/blade set up due to excess caution. Understandable, but could contribute to tugging.

Angle of the blade against the skin is a personal thing. For some a shallow angle is best while others prefer a steep angle. The key is consistency irrespective of your preference.

Just my €0.02.
 
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