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what is a good solid 1st DE razor for a beginer?

And yet another vote for the Lord LP1822 aka L6. A cheap but great intruduction in what a DE is about. The Mühle/EJ 89 series are good too, better finished but also more expensive and for the shave not really better though there is the a YMMV involved here. A third choice would be the Merkur 23C/33C or 1904 but they definitely have more quality issues than the Mühles and EJ's and in a way even the humble Lord beats them for quality in my book.
My first razor was an Edwin Jagger E89l.

I wish I had started with a Tech.

First razor of choice for recommendation from me is Schick Krona, Gillette Tech, or Super Speed.

If you want to jump into the shallow end head first you can buy a Muehle R41 2011- but you might give up after two days.

The first three weeks your skin needs to adapt and your technique needs to develop. After a couple months you can spread out and start trying variety.

To start do everything the same over and over and if you do make a change. only change one thing at a time. Don't change blade brands and your preparation technique on the same day.

You need to relearn muscle memory and habits. Your arm, wrist, and hands are used to how you used to shave.
Making the change takes time. It won't occur overnight.

Use extra product and a light touch.

Never go over any area without relathering. Always take your time.

For a beginners razor a Super Speed is a good middle of the road option.

Best of luck and 'shave yourself!'

Quoted for truth. I'm not even into my second week of DE shaving and I find I MUST concentrate on correct technique. Shaving with my Merkur HD like it was my Fusion is NOT a good thing!
Greetings and welcome to what will become a very pleasant obsession. Kudos to the above post by bakerbarber, reposted by Moondancer. Consistent presentation of the cutting surface to the skin is critical to a good shave. With this thought in mind, my first DE Razor was the adjustable Merkur Futur.


I just fell in love with the look and the ease of blade replacement - pop it off, swap blades, pop in on - I found the most comfortable shaves at the more closed end of the adjustment, meaning 1-3 on the dial. I had tried the wide open 6+ to get great results BBS (Baby's Butt Smooth) shaves were common and I found greatest comfort using HydroLast bar soap - My skin just loves that stuff! My next razor was and continues to be the Merkur SLANT Razor. Like the Futur, I get BBS shaves with no irritation but I find that I don't have to pay any attention to get the job done. I mean that since I began using the Slant, it takes me far less time to shave and I don't spend any time in concentrating on my method to get the job done. For this reason I suggest your first razor be the Slant. You will very quickly be shaving like a pro. No pressure. No weepers. No kidding.

Here's one to look at


Blessings on you and have Happy Thanksgiving!
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I look at it this way:

If you want to go old school/vintage, get a Gillette Tech, Gillette Superspeed, or a Schick Krona.

If you want a nice, new razor, get an Edwin Jagger with any handle you like. This will set you back around $40. Edwin Jagger has introduced some new razors lately, and I've had the chance to handle them at a local vendor. They are extremely well balanced, and the fit and finish is outstanding.

If you are flush with cash, get a Feather AS.

If you are not flush with cash and need a budget option, get the Lord L6.

All of these razors are fairly "mild" shavers, in that you are less likely to do any damage to your face. You will get a nice, close shave with all of these at a fairly shallow learning curve. And I think these razors do a good job with most any blade.

All of this being said, my technique was only mediocre until I started shaving with a Merkur Futur.
My first was the Merkur Slant. Great razor and don't let the aggressive tag scare you away. It's an easy razor to use just be careful at first and find out what you can and cannot get away with. Although there is a lot to be said for using an adjustable razor. With an adjustable you can mess around with settings and find out if you or you face in particular like aggressive or not and then buy another razor, if you like, that is rated as such. Happy shaving!
Hey Morgan,

You're eyes are probably glazed over by now from reading all of these recommendations. It's a dizzying amount of information all for the simple purpose of removing whiskers from your face.

I'm into the wet-shaving world by 23 shaves. I've already had 6 or so different razor types through my hands. I haven't actually used all 6, but I bought some here and there and resold most of them off. I decided that I was NOT going to ever go back to using a cartridge razor for my daily shaves, so I decided that this new way of shaving was going to be an investment in my personal care.

I would strongly suggest to:

1. Get a "Everything" sampler pack from West Coast Shaving: http://www.westcoastshaving.com/DE-Blade-Sampler-Pack-Everything_p_292.html

2. Pick any razor that commonly comes up for beginners: Edwin Jagger DE89 (chrome, lined or barley versions), Muhle R89, 1940s-50s Gillette Super Speed, 1940s-50s Gillette Tech or NEW, Gillette Slim adjustable... just pick one randomly and start shaving with it. Most of these can be had for $35 or less. It might not be your last razor, since the majority of the razors everyone beats the drum about on here, can be had for $50 or less, so feel free to try different razor handles AFTER you get your technique down. Whatever you don't like, you can resell if you don't like having stuff collect dust that you don't or won't use anymore.

3. Use Feather blades first! They are super sharp, they have a fearsome following and are often considered the benchmark blade for performance. If you start with this blade, it's bi-polar shaving or slicing personality will force you to focus on what you're doing and accelerate your learning of proper technique. You don't want to get cut right? Well, focus on what you're doing and you'll get progressively better results. Go through and use 4-5 of these blades before switching to another blade brand, then use 4-5 of those. This will enable you to develop your technique, observe differences between blade brands (how sharp they are, how rough or smooth they are on your skin, how long they tend to last (this will vary with your technique and the type of razor you're using)), and eventually you'll find several that are your favorites. The remainder of blades that don't do it for you, you can sell off or donate. Remember, you bought 130-ish blades for less than $40.... try doing that with cartridges!

4. Excellent prep is the key to a problem-free shave. You want to do whatever you can to get your skin hydrated, the hairs softened and provide a slick, cushioned surface (your skin) for the razor to operate on. You'll need to figure out what combination or components of shower, facial scrubs, hot or cold water, pre-shave treatments (oils, etc.) and creams or soaps ultimate work best for you. For starters, shower, scrub your face good in hot to warm water, use a inexpensive locally available shave cream (CE Bigelow from Bath & Bodyworks is workable), and use a decent boar or badger brush (Tweezerman, VDH, Omega - doesn't matter the brand at this point, just get one for less than $20 and use it...you might develop a brush preference later, but just get what's locally available or pick a cheap brush off the classifieds from one of these brands and get to shaving).

A quality lather is the most massive contributor to whether or not you're going to have an easy shave or a hellish one. Learn up and watch videos on how to make a great lather (youtube: manic59 and/or geofatboy). Look up the shave cream/soap you bought in the reviews on this site and read how other people are using it to achieve good results.

5. Apply little to NO pressure with the razor. You want the weight of the razor to do the work. Your hands are going to just guide the razor around your face. Pay attention to this and relent from pressing the razor into your face. It is not a cartridge razor and more pressure don't mean better shaving. Quite the opposite.

6. Rinse REALLY good when you're done shaving. You want to rinse you're face really well. For the sake of being thorough, I tend to do a cold water rinse for 20-30 seconds on my whole face. Then you can apply your after shave balm.

7. Shave every day if your face allows. To get good at this, you need to practice. You're going to be re-learning a lot of things. Blade angle, listening to the razor tell you when it is and isn't cutting anything, or when it's scraping your skin. Feeling when the lather needs more water or more product or more brush swirling....

It's a lot of stuff happening at the same time. Your first shave might very well suck and you might think we're all a bunch of retards for trying to shave like old men and ladies, but there is a reason why people shave this way. It's because when you got it down, the results are outright better than ANY cartridge razor could possibly produce and at a fraction of the cost for consumables (pennies per blade vs. $2+ per cartridge).

Good luck and do not give up!
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I'd 'pull-the-trigger' :2guns: on either (I own both), the Mekur's 23C or 38C. Both are moderately priced, 2 piece (38C), &
3 piece (23C), heavy (38C - 4oz), & light (23C - 2.1oz), both are long handled (38C - 3½in & 23C -3¾in). and great for those who have 'bear claws'
for hands.

In my opinion...both are fairly mild and very smooth (I use Shark Super Chrome blades), straight bar/closed combed razors which is perfect for normal and medium beards and/or for beginners & persons with sensitive skin. :thumbsup:

"Merkur; Solingen quality, Time-tested Tradition with Modern Design".

Merkur 23C (Classic..3 piece unit w/ free shipping from Superior Shave.

Merkur 23C Reveiw & Posted Comments.

Merkur 38C (Barber Pole..2 piece unit w/ free shipping from Superior Shave.

Also check out these 38C Reveiws;

Merkur "Barber Pole" 38C.

Merkur 38C.

Lastly, this is the link for the ShaveWiki for Mild & Agressive Razors.

Christopher :straight: "A razor can't be sharpened on a piece of velvet." Author Unknown
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I would recommend a Gillette Slim. I see them in antique shops in good condition for around $10. Good luck with your choice.
Well, if your decision isn't difficult enough yet, I will add another option. When I first started, I didn't know about this site so I ordered my first DE based pretty much on the way it looked. I started with a Merkur 1904. It has a shorter handle but it's nice and heavy and a fairly mild shaver. I think the website said it was a good beginners razor. The fact that it is so heavy really helps me to ensure I don't use any pressure when shaving. I have been really happy with it and I recommend it often.
Merkur HD - my first razor and after 2 years, still the one I go back to for the ultimate shave. I would NOT recommend a newbie start with an ultra mild razor like a Tech or Super Speed..... start middle of the range in razor sharpness and then depending on your facial hair type you can go from there in either direction if need be.
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