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

I am already second guessing myself..... should I comment on this thread or not?... I guess since I'm typing, I've made that decision.

I'm so glad I started out with a Single Edge AC razor. I didn't buy tons of DE blades that committed me to experimenting with only DE razors to find the right fit. The Above the Tie SE razor has been mentioned twice in passing. There are only a handful of AC razors around at the moment. With all of them, you can choose a particular blade to make them more or less efficient. There are only 8 or 9 such choices so finding the right couple of blades that work for your individual needs is pretty simple.

So, with a bit of hesitation because it's painfully obvious I'm a one trick pony, i would suggest... if you are continuing to struggle... can't quite find a razor that works well for you, you might consider trying one of the AC blade razors out there. If money is an issue, there is even a $70 option.

Off the top of my head, I can think of 4 or 5 SE AC razors that repeatedly show up on B&B: the Blackland Vector in SS and Ti; the Executive Shaving Co./Alpha Shaving Claymore Evolution; the Above the Tie SE1 and SE2 and the RazoRock Hawk V3 (three configurations). I might be missing one or two, I'm not sure. Oh... the General 2... not currently available new.

Something to consider..... or not. <eg> :devil: evil grin.
 
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.
Do you really find the Voskhod that different than a Gillette Silver Blue? They are equal to me in smoothness and sharpness. Only difference is I find more duds in Voshkod than GSB.
 
I agree. Think about what you're doing with a "mild" razor. You're basically rubbing the safety bar/comb across your face instead of the actual blade. By going more efficient/aggressive, I've reduced the number of passes needed to achieve my goal. Also, fewer passes, less irritation.
 
Do you really find the Voskhod that different than a Gillette Silver Blue? They are equal to me in smoothness and sharpness. Only difference is I find more duds in Voshkod than GSB.
This question is one of the reasons I like Voskhod: the two can be mentioned in the same breath even though GSBs cost nearly three times Voskhod.

I actually don't know much about GSBs, because they don't meet the criteria I use for a blade to get into my rotation: I must get at least three good shaves out of it and it must cost no more than ~$14 per 100 (on razorbladesclub). If I came across some GSBs and found they gave me seven good shaves per blade, I'd revise my position. But I get four good shaves from a Voskhod, so I'm currently looking for other diamonds in the rough instead of starting with the top-tier (but expensive) blades.
 
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 recently bought the Timeless ALSB45 from scratch and dent. It is a terrific razor and a bargain at the price. (FYI, I also have the Timeless SS68 and the Ti95).
 
I recently bought the Timeless ALSB45 from scratch and dent. It is a terrific razor and a bargain at the price. (FYI, I also have the Timeless SS68 and the Ti95).
It is indeed a great value. As I am in no financial position to try the 68 and 95, I would love to know how the aluminum 45 compares in feel and performance. The Al has a smaller blade gap, but feels like a much more "aggressive" razor (I am guessing due to greater blade exposure).
 
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?
I also prefer more efficient plates with my Karve razor. I prefer milder razors in general, but for this razor I use the OC F plate and SB G plate.
If I use a DE I will probably use an adjustable razor. On my lower neck I use a larger gap and lower gaps for the rest. The best way for me to get these difficult areas on my lower neck is to use a steeper angle, and avoid buffing.
I have a little mixed feelings about my karve razors. Maybe the Overlander is a better option for me. I just need to wait for the stainless to be released.
 
It is indeed a great value. As I am in no financial position to try the 68 and 95, I would love to know how the aluminum 45 compares in feel and performance. The Al has a smaller blade gap, but feels like a much more "aggressive" razor (I am guessing due to greater blade exposure).
You are correct. It is somewhere between the two others. That works well for me. I actually bought it as a travel razor because I didn’t want to risk losing one of my other razors to the TSA. I have been “practicing” with it in preparation for an upcoming trip. It seems to work well with a GSB blade. I tend to rotate blades but the GSBs will be going with me on checked luggage.
 
You are correct. It is somewhere between the two others. That works well for me. I actually bought it as a travel razor because I didn’t want to risk losing one of my other razors to the TSA. I have been “practicing” with it in preparation for an upcoming trip. It seems to work well with a GSB blade. I tend to rotate blades but the GSBs will be going with me on checked luggage.

When it comes to traveling, I think everybody knows by now, you have to NOT have a blade in the razor, in order to pass TSA inspection. Another thing that helps, is NOT to bring your super fancy heavy weight expensive razor with you. Instead, bring a cheap plastic DE razor, and keep it in your carry bag, like in a dop pack, not in your big luggage case. Then once you arrive at wherever you are supposed to arrive to, pickup a pack of blades for your razor. Just don't forget to remove any said blades in the razor before going back through an airport, for the return trip home.

I've heard that the TSA has posted a list on the government website or whatever that lists all the cans, and the can nots. I am so glad that I don't travel, I wouldn't be able to deal with the stress of it all. I feel for people who are forced to travel as part of their job description, because they have to deal with it daily, weekly, monthly!
 
When it comes to traveling, I think everybody knows by now, you have to NOT have a blade in the razor, in order to pass TSA inspection. Another thing that helps, is NOT to bring your super fancy heavy weight expensive razor with you. Instead, bring a cheap plastic DE razor, and keep it in your carry bag, like in a dop pack, not in your big luggage case. Then once you arrive at wherever you are supposed to arrive to, pickup a pack of blades for your razor. Just don't forget to remove any said blades in the razor before going back through an airport, for the return trip home.

I've heard that the TSA has posted a list on the government website or whatever that lists all the cans, and the can nots. I am so glad that I don't travel, I wouldn't be able to deal with the stress of it all. I feel for people who are forced to travel as part of their job description, because they have to deal with it daily, weekly, monthly!
I understand all of that quite well. I am not taking a cheap plastic razor with me. I am packing the blades in checked luggage. If they go missing, then I will buy some new blades when I land at my destination. I will disassemble the ALSB and hope for the best. No big expensive razors will be harmed in this process. DE razors are on the “can” list. Of course, TSA agents can be a problem at times. I am hoping that the very lightweight ALSB will not attract much attention. Thanks for the reminders.
 
This question is one of the reasons I like Voskhod: the two can be mentioned in the same breath even though GSBs cost nearly three times Voskhod.

I actually don't know much about GSBs, because they don't meet the criteria I use for a blade to get into my rotation: I must get at least three good shaves out of it and it must cost no more than ~$14 per 100 (on razorbladesclub). If I came across some GSBs and found they gave me seven good shaves per blade, I'd revise my position. But I get four good shaves from a Voskhod, so I'm currently looking for other diamonds in the rough instead of starting with the top-tier (but expensive) blades.
I would agree accept I had quite a few duds in Voshkods through the years. I used to get them in Jena, Germany 21 years ago for work and I swear, it was a toss up if one or two in a pack would be duds.

That being said, I get the Teflon coating and not feather sharp or derby mild side of it.
 
When it comes to traveling, I think everybody knows by now, you have to NOT have a blade in the razor, in order to pass TSA inspection. Another thing that helps, is NOT to bring your super fancy heavy weight expensive razor with you. Instead, bring a cheap plastic DE razor, and keep it in your carry bag, like in a dop pack, not in your big luggage case. Then once you arrive at wherever you are supposed to arrive to, pickup a pack of blades for your razor. Just don't forget to remove any said blades in the razor before going back through an airport, for the return trip home.

I've heard that the TSA has posted a list on the government website or whatever that lists all the cans, and the can nots. I am so glad that I don't travel, I wouldn't be able to deal with the stress of it all. I feel for people who are forced to travel as part of their job description, because they have to deal with it daily, weekly, monthly!
Here is official statement from the TSA website. The only question is whether the agents have read it! 🙂 I hated traveling for work before I retired. This trip is purely pleasure, hence my desire to enjoy my daily shave while we are gone. Thanks again for your thoughts.

1. Razors - There’s a lot of confusion out there as to what types of razors are OK to pack in your carry-on baggage. So people ask us about this one all the time.

  • Safety Razors: Because the razor blades are so easy to remove, safety razors are not permitted in your carry-on luggage with the blade. They’re fine to pack in your carry-on without the blade. The blades must be stored in your checked luggage. The same applies for straight razors.
  • Disposable Razors: Disposable razors come in two types. The kind that is completely disposable (handle and all), or the kind where you replace them with cartridges. These are permissible in carry-on luggage with the blade and replacement cartridges.
  • Electric Razors: Electric razors are permitted in both checked and carry-on bags.
 
I have only been using DE razors for about 4 months, so my opinion is probably a bit premature, but in my limited experimentation "aggressive" seems to have a positive correlation with "efficient". I have a more aggressive razor, the Col. Conk Major, and it gave me razor burn when I used it the first time early on in my DE razor journey. Now that I have more experience, I really like this razor: It gave me a really nice shave this morning with less effort than with my more "mild" razors. Maybe this is because the Major has more blade exposure and requires a less precise angle? Not sure. But now I am intrigued by those praising "aggressive" razors like the Mühle R41.

I guess I'm saying I think I agree with the OP that if a mild razor is taking to long to get a close shave, maybe a more aggressive razor is a good option.
 
To what setting on the Rex Ambassador would you compare the R41?

Hello there!

I'd say blade aggression level 6, is probably was mostly compares with the Muhle R41. At setting level 6, the Rex is gonna be super efficient, but at the same time, there is a high risk of nicking yourself or causing a weeper, so you'd have to be super careful.

How I typically shave with the Rex Ambassador is, I do level 4 for my WTG passes, off goes the bulk. Then I come back against the grain on the neck and cheeks, at levels 3. I do levels 1 and 2 ATG for the chin and moostash area. Sometimes I will do XTG passes, I feel level 2 with the Rex is more comfortable then 3.

I'd say, reserve setting levels 5 and 6 for those once a week shaves, where you got a lot of whisker bulk to remove.
 
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