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What Exactly is a Smooth Shave?

A Smooth Shave is like pornography: We all know what it is when we see it, but agreeing on a definition is something else entirely.

I have a beard made up of stick straight, thick gray hair, and very dry skin. In my mind I need an efficient razor to cut my difficult beard but a non-aggressive razor to protect my skin. For me a smooth shave is one that cuts my beard efficiently but without aggression. That is to say, an easy shave without blood letting.

Here is how I apply these terms to razors that I have used. This evaluation applies to my tough beard and my desert dry skin. I am certain that everyone's experience is different which is one of the things that makes this blood sport so much fun. The Scale is 1 to 10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest

1. EJ89 - 4+ Efficient/3+ Aggressive
2. IKON Slant - 8+ Efficient/6+ Aggressive
3. Gillette New LC - 7+Efficient/5+Aggressive
4. IKON OC - 7+ Efficient/4+ Aggressive
5. ATT M2 - 8+ Efficient/4+ Aggressive
6. ATT M1 - 7+ Efficient*/2+ Aggressive

Using this combination of Efficient/Aggressive, the ATT M1 is the smoothest shaver that I have tried thus far, and I use it as my daily shaver with either a Polsilver SI or Perma-Sharp Super.

(*I want to add that the M1 is the perfect daily shaver for me but it is not aggressive enough for a multi-day growth of beard. It is less efficient on day 2 and inefficient on day 3. I use an OC for a heavier beard.)

Does this definition of a "Smooth Shave" make sense? How would you rate your razors?

Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts.

Jim Morrison
I asked a similar question.

After giving it some thought, I'm leaning towards the idea that all good razors can be rated somewhere on the aggressiveness spectrum. Then, the question is, what will be most effective for your face?
The answer to the second question may change from day to day.
I do think there are some razors that are not well engineered that might be slightly rougher than another razor with a similar aggressiveness rating, but such razors are not popular and are outliers (if I am correct about this one spectrum thing).

FWIW, I look for razors that are aggressive, but still comfortable for me. That is what smoothness means to me.
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