Need Shaving Advice, Please

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2015 12:59 AM GMT
    I grew my beard & mustache back a few months ago, but I'm not happy with how multi-blade cartridge razors shape and edge it. The results are far too imprecise & ragged.

    So I'm looking at returning to the heavy, single-blade metal safety razors I first used 50 years ago. But times, and brands, have changed.

    I'm kinda leaning to a German Mühle, their R89. The model number describes the handle's length, thickness & weight, and the angle (aggressiveness) of the blade.

    Does anyone have any experience with modern safety razors? I'm learning they may be experiencing a renaissance in the US, and their blades are actually CHEAPER to buy than the common cartridge blades, for a savings. At present I've got so little facial "real estate" to shave my cost should be even lower.

    Thanks for any advice you may have. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 06, 2015 3:50 AM GMT
    Here's the model I'm considering, or something like it:

    HR_401-103-00_muhle-r89-safety-razor_340
    HR_401-103-00_muhle-r89-safety-razor_2_3
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    Jan 06, 2015 4:31 AM GMT
    Chrome? How tacky. Surely they must have one that's gold plated.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Jan 06, 2015 5:08 AM GMT
    Can't help because I'm happy with the Fusion Pro-glide power but I did hear an interview with the ceo of Gillette saying that people think the blades are going dull long before they are-- that the issue is usually hard water sediment build up that wouldn't happen if guys dried the blade after each use. I gave it a try not expecting it to work but it does. Blades are lasting maybe three times longer. That's a major savings. Those things are expensive. So whatever you get, give that a try.
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    Jan 06, 2015 6:17 AM GMT
    ^^^ i love those… The Barcelona Lounge.. very iconic design. icon_smile.gif
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jan 06, 2015 8:05 PM GMT
    Art Deco, I would trust that the major manufacturers of razors that have been at it for a while probably know what they are doing. Go with a recognized band and have done with it.

    for the most part, I use a beard trimmer (buzzer) and then touch up with a razor as needed. Too fine a line makes a beard look overly fussy. You can get pretty close with a trimmer.
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    Jan 06, 2015 9:24 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    Chrome? How tacky. Surely they must have one that's gold plated.

    They do have gold razors - and don't call me Shirley.

    They have all kinds of looks & materials, but I won't make a big investment until I've tested the technology. I gave my husband a razor last Christmas with a handle of natural horn, for something close to $400. Plus a badger shaving brush of matching horn, a stand, and a teakwood shaving mug.

    But he's got the multi-blade cartridge type, not a safety, so I can't borrow it to see whether I'll like that kind. That's OK, this inexpensive one can become my travel razor if I'm satisfied.
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    Jan 06, 2015 9:33 PM GMT
    I haven't even seen one of those in decades. Do they even stock the blades in stores any more?
    I can't even keep track of the names of all the different multi-cartridge gadgets any more. But since Gillette seems to issue the handles to all US males, I can usually find something in my drawer to fit whatever pack I happen to grab at Costco.

    Sure, the next new cartridge is going to cost $400 a pack, but I hear it's gonna have fricken laser beams!


    (Or at least disco lights.)

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    Jan 06, 2015 10:27 PM GMT




    http://www.theonion.com/articles/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades,11056/
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    Jan 06, 2015 10:44 PM GMT
    OK, I had to go count. The free samples of disposable "hydro" razors that I got this summer have five blades and two moisturizer strips - just like the Onion article. icon_lol.gif Plus some fold-down thingy I have no idea what it's supposed to do.

    They were pretty handy for travel and use on the boat, because you can get by without any shaving cream. Don't have any idea how much they cost. I got three free ones, which lasted this blonde boy all summer.
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    Jan 06, 2015 11:40 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidI haven't even seen one of those in decades. Do they even stock the blades in stores any more?

    Blades for safety razors are indeed stocked in some stores. But not in most US drug stores, corner stores or supermarkets. I know a few specialty stores that have them not far from me.

    Better is online, where 100 blades will cost $20-40. And that's top quality, platinum-coated stainless steel. I figure with the small amount of shaving I'll be doing to shape the beard each blade should last at least a week. That amounts to roughly a 2-year supply. icon_eek.gif
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    Jan 06, 2015 11:53 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidOK, I had to go count. The free samples of disposable "hydro" razors that I got this summer have five blades and two moisturizer strips - just like the Onion article. icon_lol.gif Plus some fold-down thingy I have no idea what it's supposed to do.

    They were pretty handy for travel and use on the boat, because you can get by without any shaving cream. Don't have any idea how much they cost. I got three free ones, which lasted this blonde boy all summer.

    For blade lubrication I bought some Neutrogena Shave Cream today, in a tube for men, right in the supermarket. It's non-foaming, you just wet your face and spread it on with your fingertips.

    That's perfect for the shaping I want to do, since it's difficult to see the beard outline under a layer of foam. The squeeze tube will also be good for travel, no hard metal can or need to bring a shaving brush & mug. Though as a teenager I always used a brush & mug at home, a habit I lost in the Army as being impractical for duffle bag living.

    And to be honest when in hotels I've used the complimentary stuff they provide, from shampoo to conditioner, body wash and even skin lotion, when I was still shaving my entire face with a blade. If you use gentle pressure almost anything that helps the blade glide can work in a pinch, even bar soap.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jan 07, 2015 12:48 AM GMT
    Odd you should say that about hotel supplies. My dad always shaved himself very cleanly and looked great. When he was in the Marines in the Pacific in WWII, he learned to shave with a safety razor and bar soap. Never used anything else.
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    Jan 07, 2015 1:44 AM GMT
    Destinharbor saidCan't help because I'm happy with the Fusion Pro-glide power but I did hear an interview with the ceo of Gillette saying that people think the blades are going dull long before they are-- that the issue is usually hard water sediment build up that wouldn't happen if guys dried the blade after each use. I gave it a try not expecting it to work but it does. Blades are lasting maybe three times longer. That's a major savings. Those things are expensive. So whatever you get, give that a try.

    This is what I got my husband last Christmas. They stay out on his sink at all times, exactly as I photographed them here, rather than stored in a cabinet or drawer, so that both the razor and the brush can dry. Because I agree with you: water is bad for the blades, shortens the life of the glide strip, and damages the badger hair brush.

    IMG_0772_zpsbd3c9785.jpg
  • HPgeek934

    Posts: 970

    Jan 07, 2015 3:27 AM GMT
    I used to use this exact razor but ended up giving up on it after 6 months. It ended up costing me more in razors because the single blade wore down quickly, and that coupled with the fact that I have sensitive skin, I was constantly breaking out, and worse, cutting myself. And when you cut yourself with this blade, it's no joke. There is a "safety" on it, but that doesn't make it safe. I ended up going with the dollar shave club, and choosing their top of the line razor with a new cartridge each week and I never looked back. It's way cheaper and the shave is much much better.
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    Jan 07, 2015 4:53 AM GMT
    HPgeek934 saidI used to use this exact razor but ended up giving up on it after 6 months. It ended up costing me more in razors because the single blade wore down quickly, and that coupled with the fact that I have sensitive skin, I was constantly breaking out, and worse, cutting myself. And when you cut yourself with this blade, it's no joke.

    That's why I'm only initially investing a modest amount, in case this method doesn't work out for me. Safety razors used to chew my face up, too, when I first began shaving around 1961. I think I initially was using one of my father's really old ones, before I got my own.

    And with Gillette "Blue Blades" that were truly horrible, made of fairly cheap metal that dulled almost immediately and really tore my young face up. That all changed when a company introduced their Wilkinson "Sword" blades, the first of the widely marketed stainless steel razor blades. That competition caused Gillette to eventually retire their inferior Blue Blades and go all stainless themselves.

    I had to use a styptic pencil to stop the lesser cuts, and plaster small pieces of tissue paper on the larger. And that's how I'd walk or pedal my bike to school each morning, it being years before I'd be old enough to drive. And having to remember to go straight to the boys room to remove the tissue, and dab a little water to remove the white styptic residue. So, yeah, I have an idea what this might entail.

    But blades are better now, and I plan to get a safety razor that has a less "aggressive" blade angle for smoothness. Back as a kid it was more like "one size fits all", we didn't have much choice. Plus my beard has gotten a lot softer today, my first whiskers were like a scrub brush, and yanking a dull Blue Blade through them would just rip the skin.

    So I hope my experience in 2015 will be a lot more humane. We'll see...
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    Jan 07, 2015 8:17 AM GMT
    icon_lol.gifI hadn't thought of those Wilkinson (swish swish) commercials in ages !

    Edit: wow, there are all kinds of new ones on YouTube. Are they just not marketing them in the US these days or do I just not watch commercials?
  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    Jan 07, 2015 12:26 PM GMT
    There's a product called "Shave Secret" for under $4 in Walmart and other stores you should try. It's amazing. The instructions say to put 5 drops in your palm, rub your hands together then run it on your face. Just put 3 drops on the blade of your razor and skip getting it on your hands.
    esq-shave-secret-010412-lg.jpg

    Friends have bought it from Amazon. I buy them 5 at a time in Walmart when I'm getting low. A bottle lasts me over 2 months using a Gillette Mach 3 razor. With the Shave Secret I get over 2 weeks with one blade head.
  • vj2004t

    Posts: 203

    Jan 07, 2015 3:33 PM GMT
    I found a barber that is real good in shapeing beard, mouse. and gotee. Find one to do the first shape and cut and occasionally as needed and periodically. The other time you can trim and shave. I have found this works best to keep it in shape otherwise the lines get off and sloppy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2015 3:48 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidicon_lol.gifI hadn't thought of those Wilkinson (swish swish) commercials in ages !

    Edit: wow, there are all kinds of new ones on YouTube. Are they just not marketing them in the US these days or do I just not watch commercials?

    That's what I was saying above. It seems the safety razor didn't go away in other parts of the world, and may be enjoying a resurgence in the US. Which I knew nothing about until I explored ways to better trim my new beard than with these multi-blade cartridge razors.

    The main problem for me with a cartridge is the width, which can't trim my mustache under my nose. The hair grows right up into my nostrils, a Groucho Marx mustache, and I want to bring the top down and narrow the whole thing.

    I know there's a cartridge that has an extra trimming blade on one side, but at more expense, and not every store stocks those, either. But my old safety razor would work nicely, when I first had a mustache years ago, that Army regulations made me keep very trim.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 07, 2015 3:53 PM GMT
    vj2004t saidI found a barber that is real good in shapeing beard, mouse. and gotee. Find one to do the first shape and cut and occasionally as needed and periodically. The other time you can trim and shave. I have found this works best to keep it in shape otherwise the lines get off and sloppy.

    Yep, I do that, too. But I only visit the barber every 3 weeks or so. Fortunately I'm pretty good at keeping the lines straight, and most importantly, symmetrical on both sides of my face. Being right-handed, I gotta avoid bringing one side of the beard down lower than the other.

    But I still have trouble shaping my mouse. How do you get it to stay still? icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 07, 2015 4:10 PM GMT
    bobbobbob saidThere's a product called "Shave Secret" for under $4 in Walmart and other stores you should try. It's amazing. The instructions say to put 5 drops in your palm, rub your hands together then run it on your face. Just put 3 drops on the blade of your razor and skip getting it on your hands.
    esq-shave-secret-010412-lg.jpg

    Friends have bought it from Amazon. I buy them 5 at a time in Walmart when I'm getting low. A bottle lasts me over 2 months using a Gillette Mach 3 razor. With the Shave Secret I get over 2 weeks with one blade head.

    As Arte Johnson used to say on the old "Laugh-In" TV comedy show: "Vehr-ree interesting!"

    laugh3.jpg

    This is the same effect I'm hoping to get with the Neutrogena I mentioned above. Especially since I'm only shaping the edges, where there isn't too much heavy hair, and I wanna be able to see what I'm doing, don't want foamy suds. Plus the Neutrogena claims to have skin moisturizers.

    But I'll look for this stuff in stores here. $4 is about what the Neutrogena costs. I'll try them both and compare. This little plastic bottle would sure be much smaller to pack when I'm traveling. Thanks! icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 07, 2015 9:31 PM GMT
    OK, made a decision to order a German Mühle safety razor online. Just an inexpensive basic R89 model to see if I like it. I'll report the results back here in about a week.

    I'm also getting it with a head cover, so I can throw it loose into my shaving kit when I travel, no need for an expensive custom case. I'm such a miser. icon_redface.gif

    Thanks for all the good advice, guys! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 08, 2015 5:52 AM GMT
    Just buy German. I did, and I love my razor. I imagine I'll have it until I die.
  • 007chuck

    Posts: 3

    Jan 08, 2015 9:58 PM GMT
    I started using a double edge safety razor when my cottage industry started making and selling them in the fall. I think I get a better shave than with one of those multiple blade disposable razors.

    Check out our site at http://lonehomecrafts.com/. We make our razors handles and badger bristle brushes out of exotic woods from around the world. Prices are much better than what you find at Art of Shaving.

    Chuck