Sensitive skin on me; I have had very bad experiences with most true disposables, and mostly better ones with any of the reloadable (cartridge-enclosed) blade varieties.
The best disposables I've found are the Gillettes that CostCo has carried for a few years (though I've only had to buy them a few -- CostCo has big packs ;)). The few times I've decided to try a conspicuously cheaper look-alike variety, I have paid in nicks. Not quite *death* by a thousand cuts, but I'd rather keep my toilet paper for its intended use.
However, most important (for travel purposes, esp) has been a switch to shaving oil. Tiny container lasts forever (months), and I like the smell. I have not yet tried using plain olive oil, though it *might* work just fine. If I get into shaving as a hobby one day, I *might* be tempted to drag along the equipment while traveling, but I'm not sure I'd want to give up the weight / space savings. For me, a few of the better disposables and shave oil takes up maybe 2 ounces, and little room.
Well, I got back to the UK on Thursday evening and at about 10 p.m. I ordered a Merkur Futur plus a supply of blades from www.mankind.co.uk with there 'standard' postage service (which was free). In the morning I got an email saying it had been dispatched and the following morning to that it arrived. Excellent service, worthy of mention on this site I think!
I used the razor with a Merkur blade just set to no.1 (yes I know I'm a coward!), and with a little care got an excellent shave taking off three days growth.
I've been watching a few youtube videos on the subject and I think a better shaving brush, some experimentation with creams/soaps and a shaving bowl/scuttle might be in order. Any recommendations folks? I'd be particularly keen to learn more about Mav's scuttle or even see a picture.
A question. How many shaves might one expect from a blade? I know its not a science, but what do people find? My 3 blade wilkinson's sword disposables used to last one shave at most! Sometimes, if I had a few day's growth, it would be blunt and useless before I was finished ... and this was the best I could find.
How many shaves from one blade is a hard question to answer. It depends on your beard and the sensitivity of your skin, but I think that most people get 3 to 7 shaves on one blade in a DE razor. I change my blade every Monday, which for me is 5-6 shaves because I often don't shave on Friday or Saturday.
Thanks mep. When my disposable gets blunt, I know it because it starts to rip my face to bits. I'm kind of nervous of these DE blades because they are very sharp and scarily exposed, so I feel like if I get it wrong I might just cut off something vital! I generally only shave when I have a client meeting or something important. That means between say 2 and 5 times a week. However, at the moment I can't wait to shave!
Originally Posted by mep
Oh and a styptic pencil. I've never used one before, but I'm seriously impressed. The only downside is that when I used it on my top lip and it dripped in to my mouth - not nice! Anyone any thoughts on styptic pencil vs alum block?
I use both, I have an old style plain block of alum that works really well. Seems overall that the alum block stings a bit less on the nicks than the pencil does.
Originally Posted by Fat Crip
Other good sources of info are badgerandblade.com
Other places i've had good luck with product wise is classicshaving.com and leesrazors.com
And I want to +1 the West Coast Shaving recommendation, they shipped me the wrong item and got the correct one out to me a few days later and let me keep the wrong product as a "free sample" great people.
Thanks for that. I've found a couple of really good places here in the UK, www.mankind.co.uk in particular. I'll order an alum block with my next order - I've got an urge for a decent badger brush. I have three brushes, but they are all bristle, and not really very nice. I fancy a decent silvertip!
Originally Posted by jcaramis
I usually get about 2 weeks on a DE blade, shaving every alternate day and not on weekends. I've found that I can get an additional 1-3 shaves if I flip the blade around halfway through it's life.
Originally Posted by mep
So it seems a better shave, with blades costing less than half the price, that last five times as long! The cost of a £30 razor will be repaid in weeks!
However, I just bought a shaving scuttle. It arrive today and works brilliantly ... I had to stop myself performing a 4th pass with lovely warm lather! So that's another £35 to 'recover'.
I've been using a DE razor for years, and here is my go to kit:
Merkur Futur Razor - great weight and balance
Moss Scuttle - the original retro scuttle and -- IMHO opinion -- the very best
Shavemac Brush - had a few brushes, this was the best
Feather Blades - very sharp, but perfect and smooth
Tobac Shaving Soap - just great lather and scent. That said, I'm really enjoying a new shave soap from Em's Place, Bay Rum. After years of Tobac, Em's Bay Rum may well become my default.
I can't imagine going back to a cartridge razor. BTW, I usually get 5-7 shaves per blade (two passes each shave).
Oh dear, no wonder I've not bought another bag for over a month! I just ordered two more different Merkur razors, two brush stands, a wooden soap dish, some shaving cream and an alum block. This on top of a new Kent badger brush, an excellent scuttle (how did I live without it?) and a Merkur Futur razor last month. All I need now is another brush for my other house ... oh and and another scuttle, and another alum block and, and, and ........
This i as addictive as bags and shoes! At least my wife won't think I'm turning gay for buying razors ... I hope!
If you use a plastic safety razor and have sensitive skin like me, then use shaving oil instead of shaving cream.
Works great and leaves your skin smooth. You could also try olive oil, may almost be the same thing. I bought some at a local store but I can't remember which one at the moment, either grocery store or the local megamart. Pretty sure it was near the top shelf and hard to find.
At home, I started using Proraso Shaving Cream. It's from Italy and a small nickel size will lather beautifully with a badger brush and give you enough for two "coats." It's now my favorite shaving cream/soap.
On the road, I stick with Somerset's Shaving Oil Heavy Beard formula:
Order 10 GBP pounds worth of oil and they offer free shipping worldwide. I stock up as the stuff lasts forever.
[QUOTE=Frank II;24576]At home, I started using Proraso Shaving Cream. It's from Italy and a small nickel size will lather beautifully with a badger brush and give you enough for two "coats." It's now my favorite shaving cream/soap.
I use Proraso too...love the stuff.
FYI, you can buy it from Bath & Body works stores too.
I just got a bunch of shaving supplies today based on the testimonials in this thread. Going to try it out when I get home from work (I started trying to build up lather with a badger brush during lunch, I didn't get super far though...)
Using the Proraso Shaving Soap and a Merkur 180 safety razor.