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Why going more efficient might be the answer (and how I learnt to love the Karve CB)

I’ve had a recent revelation that I thought might interest my fellow brothers (and sisters if there are any!) in the noble art. I’ve been wet shaving since 2019 when my girlfriend got me the venerable Rockwell 6s for Christmas and down the rabbit hole I went. I shave every day sometimes skipping a day and found myself in a weird place with the Rockwell. I either stuck with the 3 plate and could only get a close enough shave by spending about 45 minutes in the bathroom doing 96 passes or I would use the 4 (again three passes) which would feel great for smoothness but start to irritate my skin with daily use.

So, the inevitable period of experimentation began, and I tried a bunch of razors in the mid- high end tier looking for the answer including the brass Karve with the B and C plates. In short it was a disaster. The razor started to patina remarkably quickly (my water perhaps) and by a few weeks of use looked like it had been salvaged among the ruins of the Titanic which I did not dig. Worse than this though was how it shaved, I could tell it was more efficient but a probable flaw in my technique led to a bunch of irritation on my neck with both the B and C plate and I was frustrated. And yes before you ask, I tried a bunch of blades, experimented with angle and using no pressure etc. etc.

So I stuck with the Rockwell mainly, although I did have a flirt with the Merkur Progress for a while which I find a great little shaver but it bit me every now and again and plus it feels a little ‘cheap’ to me and as I was willing to try all these nice expensive razors, I couldn’t help feel like I was missing something. Recently, an online UK seller started doing the Karve razors and I felt it hard to believe that it could have been as bad (for me!) as I remembered so I ordered the daily shave kit in stainless steel (B,C and D plates) and decided to give it another try.

It was the same story! Far less comfortable than the Rockwell after three passes, irritated the heck out of my neck and I got no closer a shave. I went to that place that many of us go… a low ebb. I had spent a girlfriend leavingly large amount of money for apparently no reason and started to regard men with beards with a dark envy. The Karve was all set to go to the great digital market place in the sky before I was struck, 24hrs later (and face still decidedly tender) with a counter intuitive idea. Let’s try the D-plate! In went a fresh Voskhod

It was an aha moment of epic proportions which I share in the hope it might inspire others in a similar situation. By going more efficient (I dislike the term ‘aggressive’ – I save that for razors that feel like they are trying to hurt me!), I got the closeness I wanted in two passes – I didn’t need to go against the grain at all. I stopped doing a classic 3-passer and just focused on what I actually needed to do to get rid of the stubble on my face.

I had assumed the irritation I had been getting meant I should be going milder when in fact the opposite was the case. WTG and XTG with the D plate got me all the DFS I needed for a day in the office with no irritation whatsoever. The cause of my irritation was doing too many strokes to try and clear stubble with a milder razor. The penny had dropped.

So gents, don’t assume you should be going milder just because you’re getting irritation. Try getting the job done with a more efficient razor in fewer strokes/passes. The Mrs waiting outside the bathroom with her legs crossed will thank you for it as I’m now done in about half the time! I’m sure the experienced among you will be rolling your eyes at the obviousness of this but it’s these little revelations that make our shaving journey all the more enjoyable and I can finally join in with praising the Karve as its design means the efficiency is amazingly comfortable for a daily shave on the bigger gaps and I can now see why they can go all the way up to G plates. I’m not quite ready for that, although I am tempted to try the E – maybe I can get it down to one pass! Any more recommendations for efficient but comfortable razors?
 

never-stop-learning

Demoted To Moderator
I’ve had a recent revelation that I thought might interest my fellow brothers (and sisters if there are any!) in the noble art. I’ve been wet shaving since 2019 when my girlfriend got me the venerable Rockwell 6s for Christmas and down the rabbit hole I went. I shave every day sometimes skipping a day and found myself in a weird place with the Rockwell. I either stuck with the 3 plate and could only get a close enough shave by spending about 45 minutes in the bathroom doing 96 passes or I would use the 4 (again three passes) which would feel great for smoothness but start to irritate my skin with daily use.

So, the inevitable period of experimentation began, and I tried a bunch of razors in the mid- high end tier looking for the answer including the brass Karve with the B and C plates. In short it was a disaster. The razor started to patina remarkably quickly (my water perhaps) and by a few weeks of use looked like it had been salvaged among the ruins of the Titanic which I did not dig. Worse than this though was how it shaved, I could tell it was more efficient but a probable flaw in my technique led to a bunch of irritation on my neck with both the B and C plate and I was frustrated. And yes before you ask, I tried a bunch of blades, experimented with angle and using no pressure etc. etc.

So I stuck with the Rockwell mainly, although I did have a flirt with the Merkur Progress for a while which I find a great little shaver but it bit me every now and again and plus it feels a little ‘cheap’ to me and as I was willing to try all these nice expensive razors, I couldn’t help feel like I was missing something. Recently, an online UK seller started doing the Karve razors and I felt it hard to believe that it could have been as bad (for me!) as I remembered so I ordered the daily shave kit in stainless steel (B,C and D plates) and decided to give it another try.

It was the same story! Far less comfortable than the Rockwell after three passes, irritated the heck out of my neck and I got no closer a shave. I went to that place that many of us go… a low ebb. I had spent a girlfriend leavingly large amount of money for apparently no reason and started to regard men with beards with a dark envy. The Karve was all set to go to the great digital market place in the sky before I was struck, 24hrs later (and face still decidedly tender) with a counter intuitive idea. Let’s try the D-plate! In went a fresh Voskhod

It was an aha moment of epic proportions which I share in the hope it might inspire others in a similar situation. By going more efficient (I dislike the term ‘aggressive’ – I save that for razors that feel like they are trying to hurt me!), I got the closeness I wanted in two passes – I didn’t need to go against the grain at all. I stopped doing a classic 3-passer and just focused on what I actually needed to do to get rid of the stubble on my face.

I had assumed the irritation I had been getting meant I should be going milder when in fact the opposite was the case. WTG and XTG with the D plate got me all the DFS I needed for a day in the office with no irritation whatsoever. The cause of my irritation was doing too many strokes to try and clear stubble with a milder razor. The penny had dropped.

So gents, don’t assume you should be going milder just because you’re getting irritation. Try getting the job done with a more efficient razor in fewer strokes/passes. The Mrs waiting outside the bathroom with her legs crossed will thank you for it as I’m now done in about half the time! I’m sure the experienced among you will be rolling your eyes at the obviousness of this but it’s these little revelations that make our shaving journey all the more enjoyable and I can finally join in with praising the Karve as its design means the efficiency is amazingly comfortable for a daily shave on the bigger gaps and I can now see why they can go all the way up to G plates. I’m not quite ready for that, although I am tempted to try the E – maybe I can get it down to one pass! Any more recommendations for efficient but comfortable razors?
Aggressive is bad. Aggressive razors have a propensity to jump up and bite.

My personal equation is:

efficient + smooth = effective

I look for a razor that is "efficient enough" while still providing a smooth shave. These are the most effective razors on my face.

My favorite Karve is the Brass SB-G. :)
 
The Karve was all set to go to the great digital market place in the sky before I was struck, 24hrs later (and face still decidedly tender) with a counter intuitive idea. Let’s try the D-plate! In went a fresh Voskhod

It was an aha moment of epic proportions which I share in the hope it might inspire others in a similar situation.
Don't discount the effect of the Voskhod here. I had a similar aha experience. Using it in a mild razor (34C) it irritated me and wouldn't get close and only lasted two shaves. Putting a Voshkhod in a Gillette NEW, and then a Gillette Old Type, gave me the best shaves I've had and lasted four shaves each, the longest I go with any blade. It's just a very forgiving blade in those razors.
 
The D plate hit the sweet spot for me too!

If you are looking for recommendations and do not mind an aluminum razor, the Timeless ALSB45 and the Above The Tie SB90 are both wonderfully efficient, relatively inexpensive (especially from Scratch & Dent sales), and have a bit more blade feel than the Karve D. I enjoy them as much as the Karve.
 
I’ve had a recent revelation that I thought might interest my fellow brothers (and sisters if there are any!) in the noble art. I’ve been wet shaving since 2019 when my girlfriend got me the venerable Rockwell 6s for Christmas and down the rabbit hole I went. I shave every day sometimes skipping a day and found myself in a weird place with the Rockwell. I either stuck with the 3 plate and could only get a close enough shave by spending about 45 minutes in the bathroom doing 96 passes or I would use the 4 (again three passes) which would feel great for smoothness but start to irritate my skin with daily use.

So, the inevitable period of experimentation began, and I tried a bunch of razors in the mid- high end tier looking for the answer including the brass Karve with the B and C plates. In short it was a disaster. The razor started to patina remarkably quickly (my water perhaps) and by a few weeks of use looked like it had been salvaged among the ruins of the Titanic which I did not dig. Worse than this though was how it shaved, I could tell it was more efficient but a probable flaw in my technique led to a bunch of irritation on my neck with both the B and C plate and I was frustrated. And yes before you ask, I tried a bunch of blades, experimented with angle and using no pressure etc. etc.

So I stuck with the Rockwell mainly, although I did have a flirt with the Merkur Progress for a while which I find a great little shaver but it bit me every now and again and plus it feels a little ‘cheap’ to me and as I was willing to try all these nice expensive razors, I couldn’t help feel like I was missing something. Recently, an online UK seller started doing the Karve razors and I felt it hard to believe that it could have been as bad (for me!) as I remembered so I ordered the daily shave kit in stainless steel (B,C and D plates) and decided to give it another try.

It was the same story! Far less comfortable than the Rockwell after three passes, irritated the heck out of my neck and I got no closer a shave. I went to that place that many of us go… a low ebb. I had spent a girlfriend leavingly large amount of money for apparently no reason and started to regard men with beards with a dark envy. The Karve was all set to go to the great digital market place in the sky before I was struck, 24hrs later (and face still decidedly tender) with a counter intuitive idea. Let’s try the D-plate! In went a fresh Voskhod

It was an aha moment of epic proportions which I share in the hope it might inspire others in a similar situation. By going more efficient (I dislike the term ‘aggressive’ – I save that for razors that feel like they are trying to hurt me!), I got the closeness I wanted in two passes – I didn’t need to go against the grain at all. I stopped doing a classic 3-passer and just focused on what I actually needed to do to get rid of the stubble on my face.

I had assumed the irritation I had been getting meant I should be going milder when in fact the opposite was the case. WTG and XTG with the D plate got me all the DFS I needed for a day in the office with no irritation whatsoever. The cause of my irritation was doing too many strokes to try and clear stubble with a milder razor. The penny had dropped.

So gents, don’t assume you should be going milder just because you’re getting irritation. Try getting the job done with a more efficient razor in fewer strokes/passes. The Mrs waiting outside the bathroom with her legs crossed will thank you for it as I’m now done in about half the time! I’m sure the experienced among you will be rolling your eyes at the obviousness of this but it’s these little revelations that make our shaving journey all the more enjoyable and I can finally join in with praising the Karve as its design means the efficiency is amazingly comfortable for a daily shave on the bigger gaps and I can now see why they can go all the way up to G plates. I’m not quite ready for that, although Any more recommendations for efficient but comfortable razors?
Any more recommendations for efficient but comfortable razors?
I am tempted to try the E – maybe I can get it down to one pass!

That’s exactly how I felt when I started reducing passes. Next reduction after passes Strokes. Next reduction after strokes, Shaves.

If you chase efficiencies beyond BBS shaves. Pre and post routines may become critical. You will be removing larger amounts of skin with your shaves. Single pass shaves with reduced strokes now move into reduced shaves. If you like shaving more often. Highest efficiencies will lessen your shave frequency. The razor you have can take you there. I would recommend OC plate before another razor.
 
.....Let’s try the D-plate! In went a fresh Voskhod

It was an aha moment of epic proportions which I share in the hope it might inspire others in a similar situation. By going more efficient (I dislike the term ‘aggressive’ – I save that for razors that feel like they are trying to hurt me!), I got the closeness I wanted in two passes – I didn’t need to go against the grain at all. I stopped doing a classic 3-passer and just focused on what I actually needed to do to get rid of the stubble on my face.

I had assumed the irritation I had been getting meant I should be going milder when in fact the opposite was the case. WTG and XTG with the D plate got me all the DFS I needed for a day in the office with no irritation whatsoever. The cause of my irritation was doing too many strokes to try and clear stubble with a milder razor. The penny had dropped.

So gents, don’t assume you should be going milder just because you’re getting irritation. Try getting the job done with a more efficient razor in fewer strokes/passes....
That is an interesting view you have and using a more aggressive razor can give a closer shave. However the razor is just a tool and have you really got the best of the B and C plates? The other important variable is the user as the razor is just a tool and has that tool been used effectively becomes an important question.
I am doubtful that given the very lttle increase in gap and blade exposure on the D plate, the C plate could not still give you a good shave in two passes without irritation but with a little adjustment in technique.
This thread makes interesting reading as it seems to be the same theme; I get more nicks, bumps and irritation with mild razors than aggressive razors - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/i-get-more-nicks-bumps-and-irritation-with-mild-razors-than-aggressive-razors.621339/
The other interesting point you mention is that the Progress can bite, well it can but it is an adjustable razor and can be tuned to a setting from mild to aggressive by the user. Therefore the issue is not the razor but the how it is being used.
Going back to the thread title, good technique will get the best efficiency out of a razor in conjunction with correct blade angle. Aggressive razors sometimes hide poor technique and may not be the answer.
Razor blades are also another variable that should be a consideration. I find the GSB blade much better than the Voskhod and is a great combination with the Merkur Progress. Perhaps you can try that combination.
 
I'm thinking about maybe getting into safety razor shaving one day. A couple things I've learned in my research is.

(1) Use very light pressure

(2) Keep razor at a 30 degree angle

(3) It might be best to use a heavy weight razor, that way you can allow the weight of the razor do the work.

I've also learned that pretreatment of the face is important. A nice hot wash should wash away harmful bacteria, and promote soft hair follicle.

Never let your face get dry as you shave, reapply soap and needed. Then follow up with a good aftershave balm. Again, I'm not safety razor shaving yet, this is just some stuff I've learned.
 
That is an interesting view you have and using a more aggressive razor can give a closer shave. However the razor is just a tool and have you really got the best of the B and C plates? The other important variable is the user as the razor is just a tool and has that tool been used effectively becomes an important question.
I am doubtful that given the very lttle increase in gap and blade exposure on the D plate, the C plate could not still give you a good shave in two passes without irritation but with a little adjustment in technique.
This thread makes interesting reading as it seems to be the same theme; I get more nicks, bumps and irritation with mild razors than aggressive razors - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/i-get-more-nicks-bumps-and-irritation-with-mild-razors-than-aggressive-razors.621339/
The other interesting point you mention is that the Progress can bite, well it can but it is an adjustable razor and can be tuned to a setting from mild to aggressive by the user. Therefore the issue is not the razor but the how it is being used.
Going back to the thread title, good technique will get the best efficiency out of a razor in conjunction with correct blade angle. Aggressive razors sometimes hide poor technique and may not be the answer.
Razor blades are also another variable that should be a consideration. I find the GSB blade much better than the Voskhod and is a great combination with the Merkur Progress. Perhaps you can try that combination.
That is an interesting view you have and using a more aggressive razor can give a closer shave. However the razor is just a tool and have you really got the best of the B and C plates? The other important variable is the user as the razor is just a tool and has that tool been used effectively becomes an important question.

I’m not sure what you mean by the razor is ‘just a tool’. At the level I understand it, I would disagree with this. Razors have a romance and aesthetic appeal, or at least everyone seems to behave as though they do, which is why we spend a fortune and have such fun with them! But I can understand it as a ‘craftsmen’s chisel’ as opposed to a hammer for bashing in nails. But to further the analogy, there are different sized nuts so you need different sized spanners! I’m sure we’ve all had to persevere with a screwdriver that wasn’t quite the right fit for the slot. Using this razor/blade combo felt like the perfect screwdriver for the job - I could just feel it and you know as well as I do that you don’t need to be told whether or not you just had a good shave – It’s an amazing feeling.

I was careful to use the term efficient rather than aggressive, I think my stubble lies quite flat on my neck and mild razors just don’t seem to do the job without going over the same area multiple times leading to irritation. It’s as though the angle I need to get them is much harder to find on a milder razor. So in a way you are correct, the right angle IS there but why make life more difficult for yourself if a more efficient plate does the job easier and doesn’t cause irritation. I think with any razor that has ‘adjustability’, whether it’s a dial or plate, we are looking for the sweet spot and I was simply stating that, for me, this was counterintuitively to be found higher rather than lower in the efficiency scale. If it was all a matter of technique, why bother having more efficient plates (apart from sometimes needing to shave in 5 minutes flat!)? Surely a great deal depends on the skin and stubble of the individual user. Could be that a change in technique will yield better results on milder plate but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort if I’m satisfied with the results from the D plate. I will keep experimenting though.

I am doubtful that given the very lttle increase in gap and blade exposure on the D plate, the C plate could not still give you a good shave in two passes without irritation but with a little adjustment in technique.

Possibly, there’s more experimentation to be done for sure but again if I’m getting satisfactory effortless results on the D plate, I’m not sure why I would bother changing. I suspect you have an ulterior motive to steer me towards milder razors 😊 You’re also assuming there’s some adjustment to ‘technique’ needed. I’m not claiming perfect technique by any means, but I have experimented extensively with angle and pressure enough to know that my technique isn’t ‘bad’ and the issue may be more to do with the coarseness and angle of the stubble on my neck as well as the inherent difficulty in shaving the neck area anyway. Besides, surely maximal results from minimal effort is a hallmark of good technique (as long as you have the right tool for the job!)?

This thread makes interesting reading as it seems to be the same theme; I get more nicks, bumps and irritation with mild razors than aggressive razors - I get more nicks, bumps and irritation with mild razors than aggressive razors - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/i-get-more-nicks-bumps-and-irritation-with-mild-razors-than-aggressive-razors.621339/

Thank you I’ll check it out!

The other interesting point you mention is that the Progress can bite, well it can but it is an adjustable razor and can be tuned to a setting from mild to aggressive by the user. Therefore the issue is not the razor but the how it is being used.

I absolutely love the Progress and I was a bit flippant saying it can bite (though it has got me good a couple of times). A better way of saying it is that the Karve feels very stable and safe to me at the higher levels of efficiency and the Progress makes me a little more nervous above 3 or so. I love the Progress dialled down though, one of my favourite razors for sure.

Going back to the thread title, good technique will get the best efficiency out of a razor in conjunction with correct blade angle. Aggressive razors sometimes hide poor technique and may not be the answer.

This is true but what if the ‘best efficiency’ is still not efficient enough for you? I tried like heck to get a good enough shave on the 1 plate of the Rockwell and I just couldn’t. I think efficient razors can encourage better technique by upping the stakes, giving you direct feedback of blade contact and punishing you for mistakes! But I get your point. Milder razors can give great shaves, I’m not saying they can’t, but I’ve found persisting with milder settings frustrating for my particular face and believe me I’ve experimented with blades, angle, lack of pressure etc to the point of getting annoyed. Getting a great two pass shave on a more efficient plate has been a big confidence booster and gives me a benchmark to maybe try dialling down the efficiency again. I think my post was born mainly out of the joyful realisation that I CAN do this and that sometimes the counter-intuitive answer is the one to try! Make no mistake though, the journey isn’t over, and I will take your feedback on board and bear it in mind for the future. Thanks for the thought-provoking response.

Razor blades are also another variable that should be a consideration. I find the GSB blade much better than the Voskhod and is a great combination with the Merkur Progress. Perhaps you can try that combination.

I think I’ve tried this combo, but I’ll be sure to give it another go! I find the Gillete Silver Blue (if that’s the blade you mean) to be an outstanding blade in several razors for me.
 
I am tempted to try the E – maybe I can get it down to one pass!

That’s exactly how I felt when I started reducing passes. Next reduction after passes Strokes. Next reduction after strokes, Shaves.

If you chase efficiencies beyond BBS shaves. Pre and post routines may become critical. You will be removing larger amounts of skin with your shaves. Single pass shaves with reduced strokes now move into reduced shaves. If you like shaving more often. Highest efficiencies will lessen your shave frequency. The razor you have can take you there. I would recommend OC plate before another razor.
Thanks for this response. Realising I didn't have to go against the grain was a big eye opener for me. My stubble grows back quite quick so I do generally like to shave every day. I'm yet to try an open comb karve plate so I will add one to my basket!
 
Don't discount the effect of the Voskhod here. I had a similar aha experience. Using it in a mild razor (34C) it irritated me and wouldn't get close and only lasted two shaves. Putting a Voshkhod in a Gillette NEW, and then a Gillette Old Type, gave me the best shaves I've had and lasted four shaves each, the longest I go with any blade. It's just a very forgiving blade in those razors.
Very interesting, thank you. I've also found the Voskhod can be picky about which razor it wants to behave in but it seems a great for for the Karve on a D plate.
 
I'm thinking about maybe getting into safety razor shaving one day. A couple things I've learned in my research is.

(1) Use very light pressure

(2) Keep razor at a 30 degree angle

(3) It might be best to use a heavy weight razor, that way you can allow the weight of the razor do the work.

I've also learned that pretreatment of the face is important. A nice hot wash should wash away harmful bacteria, and promote soft hair follicle.

Never let your face get dry as you shave, reapply soap and needed. Then follow up with a good aftershave balm. Again, I'm not safety razor shaving yet, this is just some stuff I've learned.
Thanks for your response, all good tips I can expand a little based on my experience:

(1) Pressure is a KEY issue. You need so litttle pressure it's remarkeable, none in fact. Just think in terms of 'contact', just lightly wipe away the lather and let the stubble take care of itself.
(2) Angle can vary considerably from razor to razor so this is only a very rough guide. Also varying angle slightly (cap or bar riding) can be a helpful technique to dial the razor in when you have more experience.
(3) I do tend to prefer stainless steel razors on the whole so this might have something to do with it. But you shouldn't need to use pressure even with a lighter razor.

On terms of prep I always shower before I shave and give my face a good scrub and you're definitely right you need to not let your face dry out during the shave but between rinsing between passes and re-lathering I haven't really found this to be an issue. Some cheap shave soaps can have a 'drying' effect though which I don't like. Some people like to shave with cold water interestingly enough but i only try this when the weather is warm!
 
Don't discount the effect of the Voskhod here. I had a similar aha experience. Using it in a mild razor (34C) it irritated me and wouldn't get close and only lasted two shaves. Putting a Voshkhod in a Gillette NEW, and then a Gillette Old Type, gave me the best shaves I've had and lasted four shaves each, the longest I go with any blade. It's just a very forgiving blade in those razors.
Agree on Voskhod- I get magical results when paired with a RFB NEW or Goodwill #160
 
I started 2 or 3 years before you @prajnagatu and had a similar revelation. I got my worst shaves with the milder razors and seemingly milder blades. I moved into the more efficient razors and started using mostly Nacets, Wilky Lights and Brazilian Gillette Platinums. I found my shaving Nirvana. I still own over 40 razors but now reach almost exclusively for:

1) ATT SE2;
2) Timeless Ti .95;
3) Rocnel Sailor 22 dialed way up;
4) CG Level 3;
5) Karve F and G plate (SB);
6) 17-4;
7) Wolf WR2 1.55 and WR1-.86

It seems counterintuitive, but these razors allow me to relax and get a more comfortable and effortless shave. The ATT SE2 can bite you, but it is an efficiency monster and, properly used, provides the closest shaves I’ve ever experienced.

YMMV, but I really to relate to your journey because it parallels my own.

Happy shaves my friend,

Rusty
 
I’m not quite ready for that, although I am tempted to try the E – maybe I can get it down to one pass! Any more recommendations for efficient but comfortable razors?
It seems like your enjoying blade feel at the moment and it can be rewarding when your technique is mastered.
What I do not understand is some folks think gap will change every thing. (been there done that)
All I would do is buy a few tucks of Kai SS blades wider blades and that will tell you right away if you want to spend more money on a base plate. Kai blades work well in mild razors I have found, they are wider by 9/1000 of a inch or 4.5/1000 per side for more blade exposure or blade feel. Kai SS DE blade are sharp & smooth with excellent longevity and are superior to shimming a razor IMO. YY KAI SS DE Blade Kai .871inch wide Astra SP .862 wide-2.jpg
Another way to see if a larger gap base plate would work for you is just place a couple of blade shims on top of the base plate you have and try a shave.
That is all the manufactures are doing with the base plates is varying different heights where the blade sits, other parameters of the base plate are constant or don't change. If you fancy that height you could order that plate possibly or use a Kai SS blade.
Another way of having a little fun shaving & is discovering what razor or plate you like.
 
I tried a few different razors, and the ones that work for me are the 60's adjustable Gillettes. I ahve my birthday one, a gold aristocrat, and a 1969. also, I use the Gillette 7 0clock or platinum blades.
 
I've had a very similar experience. I started out with a Rockwell 6C on plate 4 (first pass) then plate 2 (2nd and 3rd pass). At some point I tried more aggressive plates and found that they forced me to have a lighter touch, leading to better shaves.

About 6 months ago I bought a Karve CB with B plates. I get wonderful 3-pass shaves from this, then just 2 weeks ago I bought a safety bar D plate. I tried it twice then switched back to the B plates so I can finish trying all the blades I bought (2 more to go!).

This thread has inspired me to try reducing passes with the more aggressive (efficient?) plate. I expect the choice of blade will make a big difference as well. What works with a B plate might not with a D plate.
 
Congrats!

It took me 3yrs to figure out a more efficient razor was the best for my face. I too struggled with the Rockwell 6S and other milder razors. The ATT S1/S2 and SE1 were revelations. I bought a Karve CB recently and really enjoy the D and F plates. I think an E plate might be in my future. I primarily use Kai or Persona blades.
 

JCarr

More Deep Thoughts than Jack Handy
First off, OP, great post! I really think you're on to something. Looking back at my own shave journey, I can see that, over time, I left mild razors behind and kept getting more and more aggressive razors. I had the same issue that was described...took way too many passes to get a decent result which ended up bringing its own problems. I'm now at the point where I use a DSCosmetic Z.0, a stainless steel Muhle R41 knockoff, which is a very aggressive razor and getting a very close shave every time. I've gotten progressively more and more aggressive razors...and the only way I can describe the transition is...I just got used to it. The end result from them was far better and the proper technique just came over time with repeated use.

My two favorite razors right now are a Wolfman SS SB .74 and the aforementioned DSCosmetic Z.0. Both of these razors provide a very close and comfortable shave with a BBS end result. The only way I can describe the transition is...over time, you realize that mild razors are more problematic than aggressive razors and you gradually get used to what a razor requires of you to use it well and achieve the desired result.
 
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