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Straight Razor vs DE razor

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Jabal-Tariq, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Jabal-Tariq

    Jabal-Tariq Active Member

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    For those who have used both, which gives the better shave for you?
     
  2. Satorialist

    Satorialist Senior member

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    In seeking the closest, smoothest shave possible; I occasionally use a DE razor (a Merkur).

    There's a learning curve. Among other considerations (quality of DE razor blade, type of razor head), the blade must be held at the correct angle (30 degrees for most Merkur's) consistently across every contour of your face. If done correctly the results can be outstanding. But doing it correctly also requires you to slow down, can't rush a shave with a DE razor.

    ...have yet to master it.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    They both give excellent results when used properly. A straight features a steeper learning curve and a LOT more maintenance, though. FWIW, I've been using the straight since 2006 or so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  4. CodPiece

    CodPiece Senior member

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    (to Thomas) Have you really? I've wanted to learn straightedge but the learning curve seems daunting. Did you go from DE to straight? Where do the benefits come in?
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I think I used DE for about a month or two, and then jumped to straight. It took a few days for my hand to stop shaking, I think it was a couple of weeks before I started switching hands, and I cut myself every day for the first month. Sharpening it was pretty easy for me, though - I had experience with knives and carpentry tools so I had everything I needed to get a keen edge.

    Benefits: I haven't needed to buy a razor or replacement blades - and can't foresee that need coming up again, ever. After that, there aren't really any tangible benefits. My skin was never bad, I don't have an especially thick or wiry beard, it certainly isn't a time-saver (though I am efficient with it). It was just one of those skills I wanted to master.

    FWIW, I can't take the razors anywhere and certainly can't leave them lying about.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. CodPiece

    CodPiece Senior member

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    An extremely important insight for anyone with curious kids (moi). Thanks!
     
  7. plei89

    plei89 Senior member

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    Thomas,

    Any recommendations for straight razor brands? I know for DEs, people recommend merkur but I'm thinking of going with a straight razor.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    Well, I'm not up-to-date on the market, but what I knew was that as for new makes, among major manufacturers there's Dovo and Thiers-Issard and that's about it. As I've heard, T-I's build quality has gotten much better in the past 3-4 years - or, when they introduced the Silverwing model.

    There are a number of boutique / low-run makers: Bill Ellis, Mastro Livi, Tim Zowada, Heribert Wacker. Opinions vary but they're generally shades of enthusiastic. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.

    As for older/vintage razors - if it's in good condition, it's probably a great shaver. You can get restored razors from Billy's Blades and the associated fora (SRP, et al) or go the ebay route. Brands almost don't matter at that point - some of the best shavers I've gotten are names I'd never before heard of.

    Remember, for a long time straight razors were pretty much the only thing you shaved with, so quality had to be good no matter who made them.
     
  9. clarksdb

    clarksdb Senior member

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    I've been DE shaving for a year now. I use a Muhle R41 (most aggressive razor on the market) and Feather blades (sharpest blades on the market). Great shave. I switch the blade after every shave. Don't care as they are $0.20 each. Provides me with a smooth shave every time. 3 passes: WTG, XTG, ATG.
     
  10. Wooster

    Wooster New Member

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  11. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Assuming a DE means a safety razor then the things last forever. I stole mine from my father almost forty years ago . It's just harder today finding blades.
     
  12. Goldy

    Goldy Well-Known Member

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  13. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    What does that prove? You can go online and find parts for a 63 Studebaker. Doesn't mean it's not harder to find parts today.
     
  14. zatarregaza

    zatarregaza Senior member

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    Unlike Studebaker parts they're not limited as far as production goes (or out of production altogether) and there are lots of different manufacturers out there. Its hard to find them at a brick and mortar store, but can be found rather easily on quite a few online sites.
     
  15. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It depends on how your beard grows, but for me I don't like straight razors because they cut too close. When I get a perfectly smooth shave I get ingrown hairs like a mofo. I use a DE and only shave with and across the grain.
     
  16. ellsbebc

    ellsbebc Senior member

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    I am looking to initiate myself with DE safety razors; opting for EJ over Merkur. It will be paired with a entry level badger hair brush. I still have a couple remaining questions. If it impacts suggestions, I opt for a clean shave daily.

    Is it optimal to purchase a blade sampler to find which blade I prefer? (i.e. http://www.amazon.com/Double-Safety...5&sr=8-2&keywords=safety+razor+blades+sampler)

    Any suggested creams/soaps? From what I've read, it appears SE is often paired with soap and DE with cream.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  17. Steve Brandt

    Steve Brandt Member

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    Not sure which EJ you were looking at but I got a cheaper(Parker I think) DE earlier last year along with a few Straights and though I had some good success with the straights it takes a lot longer to shave and I still havent practiced with the Straight enough to get a better shave then my new Merkur DE( http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Merkur-Progress-Adjustable-Safety-Razor-w-Case_p_54.html )
    The Progress is really nice because it allows you to change the aggressiveness of the blade, my face is sensitive so I can leave it at 1-3 and come away with a nickless face and little to no razor burn :) So not trying to push you away from the EJ but check the Merkur Progress out :)

    Sample packs are definitely the way to go since each persons face will agree with different blades, I would check this pack out http://www.royalshave.com/p/409-025-00/sample-pack-double-edge-razor-blades.html Since the one you inquired about didnt have the Derby blades which are very popular especially for sensitive skinned fellows(or ladies) if i remember correctly.

    Creams vs Soaps? I actually used a body polish and had MUCH better results, there is a company that is based out of the economic development center that has body products and I traded one of the employees some of my photographs for a bunch of the polish haha. It can be found here http://www.trilliumorganics.com/Sea_Salt_Scrubs_s/1864.htm And if you are interested I would love to send a small sample container for a very small price :) Basically its oil(which is the shave barrier), salt(which is good for cleansing nicks since its a natural astringent) and some other stuff that is good for the skin.

    As for brushes I would check out http://whippeddog.com/products/find/brushes-knots since you can get some MUCH nicer brushes for a steal of a price :)

    @ the OP's question

    DE gives me a better shave but I think that it is because I am not that skilled yet with a Straight blade... When I get a good shave with my straight it is VERY nice, but that doesnt happen as often as it does with the DE so I tend to go with the DE :)


    @ anyone interested in starting Straight Blade shaving, if you are interested in starting up I have a couple razors I wouldnt mine selling so if you want to get into it for a decent rate $65ish for a razor, I wouldnt mind parting with them :)

    anyway this is my first post! Keep it clean and nick free guys!
     
  18. clarksdb

    clarksdb Senior member

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    Get Mike's Natural Soap, my favorite is the bay rum. Yes get a blade sampler.
     
  19. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    This is what I have learned: 1. Go with an aggressive razor, don't waste your time with the mild ones. Yes, you may cut yourself more, but you'll learn quickly and you'll be able to get a better shave in the long run. It also means that if you have sensitive skin you'll only need to do one pass, rather than multiple passes with a milder razor. 2. Likewise, go with a sharp blade. Feather is a good choice. Astra are slightly milder but also quite smooth. Get one of these two and don't worry about a sampler pack. 3. Soaps are better than creams. The important thing about lather is getting the blade to glide, and soaps are far better at this than creams. Moreover, the soaps that contain tallow and glycerine are the best for this. Triple Milled vegetable soaps are overrated. If you want a cheap soap that is very easy to lather, get a Speick shaving stick, wet it, rub it directly on your face against the grain, and use a wet brush to lather.
     
  20. Louys

    Louys Senior member

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    Aug 17, 2012
    If you do want to try a tube instead of a bar I'm personally a fan off proraso.
     

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