Quantcast

Wet shave rabbit hole. Oh, what the hell.....

Help Support Brothers of Briar:

Puff Daddy

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
2
I was purposely avoiding this for a long time. I mean, how many things can a guy get into? Who has the time and money for so many vices..... Errr, hobbies. OK, so I really don't have too many of those any more, and there's the ongoing cost of a cheap shave I'm paying for that is so not worth the money... :suspect: 

What happened was, I went into walmart once again to grab some shitty disposable razors and cream and they're just stupid expensive, just keeps going up. The shave cream does nothing for your face, the razors are rough, don't shave well, and are almost $10 for 3. Enough already. I'm sitting here rubbing my roughed up face looking at my email and there's a deal from west coast shaving for Tabac shave soap. That was all it took, I'm going in. Looked around, they have a badger brush for just over $20. Sold.

I'll use up the disposable razors for now, throw away the canned shave cream once the Tabac and the badger brush get here, but I'm at a loss as to a DE razor and blades. The Muhle R89 looks nice. Was thinking the Merkur 34c but I noticed talk of issues with blade alignment. Suggestions welcome. I guess a sampler of different blades sounds like the best start.

If I'm a good boy, maybe Santa will bring me a nice stand for the razor and brush, and a bowl for lathering :santa:
 

Ocelot55

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,946
Reaction score
0
Merkur is a solid brand. Parker don't look too bad either, but I have no experience there.

The two razors I use are old Gillettes. I got them at the thrift store for about a dollar each. After a little elbow grease they shined up like new and work like champs. I didn't know what blades to get at first, so I bought a sampler pack that had about 7 different brands. That's been about 1 1/2 years ago and I'm still working through them.

The thing about wet shaving is that you can spend as little or as much as you'd like. I just placed an order with West Coast Shaving for a complete package of the Taylor of Old Bond Street. The hard soaps last forever. I have to replace them about every nine months.

As I recall, puros_bran is the man you want to talk to on this stuff. I'm sure he has tons of good advice.
 

Puff Daddy

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
2
Yeah, I'd like to keep it simple, inexpensive (not cheap, cheap means won't last) and practical. As I started reading up on a few things over at Badger and Blade I got to thinking, this is no different than pipes. If I were to start all over with pipes and just buy a few simple pipes to manage a couple of good tobaccos, I'd buy a few Made in Denmark Stanwells, some SG MVF and Stokkebye Pressed Burley, and I'd be set for life. Looking for that kind of wisdom regarding a simple shave kit.

The brush I got is This one
 

Jers

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
I use a Merkur 34C - and I've no hesitation in recommending it. Good weight and not too aggressive but will give a good clean shave every time for me. I also use a couple of vintage Gillette adjustable safety razors - the Merkur gives just as good a shave as them. I don't think you would be disappointed if you buy a 34C.

Fraternally

Jers
 

Puff Daddy

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
2
Good to hear your opinionon the Merkur, Jers. That's actually the first one I looked at that struck me as "Right". Solid, simple, affordable. There's some talk about production quality issues and blades not lining up, but that could be an anomally. The Muhle has a good rep but it's almost twice as much money.

The Gillette Tech is another I was thinking about. Something my dad would have used (1928-1975, Korean war vet. I still remember things he had like that old razor, and army habits he hung onto, like how he handled his clothes). Can be found on Ebay pretty cheap. I may just buy one of those, may never need anything else.
 

Jers

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
Yep - unlike pipes you can use the same razor every day. Good luck with the purchase PD.

Fraternally

Jers
 

PozzSka

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2013
Messages
802
Reaction score
0
Another wetshaver here. At the moment I have a beard but still keep the neck trimmed.

I've shaved with everything from $1 1930 something DE razors to $300 straight razors. I prefer straights if I'm shaving my whole face everyday, but if I had to pick a DE to use for the rest of my life it would be a Merkur Progress (it's the adjustable one). If I had to pick a vintage gilette, it would be either a 1950's super speed or a black handled super speed. Slight edge to the black handled.

Then get a huge sampler of blades and work your way through it.

As for brushes, my favorites are by Morris&Forndran out of London. FWIW.

At the $20 price range... My choice for a brush would be a boar from Semogue. For a badger hair your least expensive sweet spot is making your own ($20 knot and $20 handle. = $80 brush) or about $60. Kinda like briars. You're better off with a $10 cob than a $10 briar.

I think I have some handles sitting around if you want to make one of your own. Shoot me a PM and I'll hook you up with a handle and all you have to do is glue a knot into it.
 

Puff Daddy

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
2
Thanks for the offer Pozz, but I already grabbed This brush. I also nabbed an old Gillette Tech (1950's) and a sampler of blades (Feathers, Astra, Gillette 7oclock and Derby). Altogether I spent less than I'd spend for a years worth of throw aways.

I should probably get some styptic pencils :lol: 
 

flytyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
626
Reaction score
0
I have three Merkur's and have no complaints. My favorite is the model 1904 , well built and inexpensive.
 

monbla256

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
8,704
Reaction score
0
Been shavin' wit a brush -n-soap since I started when I was 16. My father bought me a red badger brush, a Gillette DE razor and a hard rubber mug and a Dopp kit to put it all in when I was drafted and went to basic. Lost the mug but still have the rest and still using 'em every day. When my father died I got his shaving mug which was his grandfathers up in Canada and that's what I use now. I like Wilkenson blades and Williams soap. When you can, spring for a Badger brush, they lather much better than the Boar bristle brushes . Been shaving this way for 51 years and it's THE ONLY way IMHO  :twisted:  Welcome to the club :cheers:
 

Puff Daddy

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
2
The brush I got is a badger brush.

http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Simpson-Special-1-Pure-Badger-Shaving-Brush-S1_p_555.html

The razor is a Gillette Tech from the 50's (date code E2 = 1959).

Have some Tabac Shave Soap, a blade sampler and some Proraso Red cream coming too.

Need a lathering bowl, a brush and razor stand, an alum bar, and some sort of non alchohol based aftershave to round things off but I'm not buying any of that until after Christmas ( the wife will ask me what the kids can get me a week before Christmas comes).

Ok, so it may take 2 years to break even on the initial investment. :lol: 
That is, if I don't decide I need a Weber and/or an Ikon Slant. :shock:
 

monbla256

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
8,704
Reaction score
0
I like the Wilkenson blades as they are readily available at my local Ekards Drugstore  as is the Williams shaving soap. It lathers nice and both are not priced out in the stratosphere as I've seen some of these items at many of the shaving stuff e-tailers I've looked at. I try and work by the KISS principle  :twisted:
 

puros_bran

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
10,992
Reaction score
0
If purchasing Muhle you WILL NOT beat Connaught Shaving dot com.
Do the currency conversion on your Visa. You still come out way ahead.
The only DE I still have is the R89. Love it. I second a Semogue Boar. I have that Simpson Special. Good brush, kinda firm and scritchy. And I use Tabak when I straight razor my head, effin love the smell.
 

Puff Daddy

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
2
Well I think I'm all set. I got the Simpson brush and the Tabac soap first, came from West Coast Shave. Immediately handed the jar of Tabac soap to the wife and told her to wrap it, to me from the girls for Christmas (it thrills them to give me stuff. They'll ooh and ahh over it as I open it. "What did we get you?!"). Then came a tube of Proraso red ($8 including shipping!). Started using the brush and cream right away, shaving with the el cheapo Walmart disposable razors while I waited for a 1959 Gillette Tech to show up. That showed up today, blade assortment showed up a couple of days ago. Total damage to the wallet was really minimal, less than I'd pay for a years worth of Walmart Schlick super blade thingamarazors.

I just had my first shave with the old Tech razor, loaded with a Gillette 7 oclock blade. Love it! I admit to being slightly concerned about using a blade, I remember playing with my dads razor when I was a kid and feeling the sting of a poorly handled razor, but it went very well. Cheeks, chin, everything but the lower neck (typical problem area for me) was better than the Walmart specials on the first pass. Second pass was uber smoothness, and just a little irritation and remaining stubble on the lower neck region. I stopped there. No point in pushing my luck on the first go round.

The only necessary thing I don't have is after shave. I thought I'd find something decent at a pharmacy but never did, just more crap. I ordered a bottle of Pinaud Clubman Special Reserve and it won't be here until the end of the week, so I used the Gold Bond moisturizing lotion we have in the house. It'll do fine for now.

 

DrumsAndBeer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
6,598
Reaction score
3
I have been slowly upgrading my shaving equipment. I am still after a good safety razor and a decent bristle brush, but I recently discovered the wonders of Proraso. Wonderful stuff. I am on my way I tell you.

My wife hates facial hair so I got so make shaving enjoyable, right?
 

Puff Daddy

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
6,898
Reaction score
2
Well, after a couple weeks of this, and given that I am still learning, I can give the following impressions/opinions.

Proraso shave cream rocks! I got a few small samples of artisinal soaps from a couple of vendors reccomended on the shave forums, and though they are wonderfully smelly and slick and lathery, Proraso wins for ease and simplicity and cost, and it is at least as good as the soaps. Their products are inexpensive and they just work. I'm all-in with the Proraso holy trinity. I start with the pre shave balm (white), then face lather with the Simpson Special Badger brush right over it after giving the preshave balm a minute to sink into the skin. I have the Proraso Red cream and love the toned down sandalwood scent, but I also grabbed a tube of the CO Bigelow green cream from Bath and Body Works. It is Proraso green, says so right on the tube (made for us by Proraso, Italy). The green is a mentholated cream, very cooling. I prefer the red though. I finish with the Proraso white aftershave balm. It is very soothing, makes my skin feel very comfortable. These three products (white preshave, red cream, white aftershave balm) are all that would be necessary. I could shave the rest of my life with just these, from a practical standpoint, and never need another product. Of course, wanting to try other things and have fun with the hobby will inevitably lead to a shelf of other goodies, but the above three Proraso products would be a perfect place for anyone to start.

If there's one drawback to my Proraso holy trinity, it's the very subtle scent left at the end. The scent dissipates quickly and doesn't last on your face very long. If you like the green menthol bomb that won't be an issue, as they make the aftershave in the green bomb as well and it hangs around a while. The white is a tea tree/oatmeal for sensitive skin formula with little scent and though it is great on the skin, it fades fast in the smell department. Unfortunately they don't make the red sandalwood aftershave balm or I'd be all over that. Love the sandalwood scent. But, the lack of post shave smellification is quickly remedied with a small splash of Pinaud Clubman Special Reserve.

So what's working for me at the two week point is:

1959 Gillette Tech
Personna Lab Blue blade
Simpson Special Badger
Proraso white preshave balm
Proraso red cream
Rub with Osma alum block (bought on a whim, it works great!)
Proraso white aftershave balm
Small hit of Pinaud Clubman Special Reserve

I figure, not counting the cost of the razor and brush which should last for decades, a years supply of the above list of products is roughly $70. A years worth of those 4 blade plastic crappy disposable razors and canned foam is well over $100. I have a lot more fun, and it costs me less. :cheers:
 

DrumsAndBeer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
6,598
Reaction score
3
I find the Proraso Red cream in the tube has a bit more staying power as far as scent goes. It's quite nice. I agree the green scent dissipates quickly.

For an after shave balm I really like Pru' de Provence. It's one of the only after shave products I can use. Typically I allergic to most scented products.
 

Jers

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
1,121
Reaction score
0
Good news PB!:cheers: :cheers: 

That fact that you have retained both earlobes, nostrils and lips is a WIN! :lol: I can't quite work up the drive to go with a straight razor yet - presently my hands tend to shake too much to make it a sensible option.

After reading your experiences I'm definitely going to try the Prorasso red.

I have aftershave but prefer using an alumn block to close any nicks and prevent any irritation on my neck. They are cheap and seem to last forever.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Osma-Bloc-Soothes-Shaving-Irritation/dp/B004NEHR28/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384978652&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=Alumn+block

Fraternally

Jers
 
Top