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  #1  
Old 01-17-2011, 11:21 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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The best double edged razor blades

After having read some commenters (Zsofia, notably) praise old style double edged safety razor (like these: http://images.knifecenter.com/knifec...ages/cc022.jpg ) I bought one and have been quite satisfied with it.

I found ebay to be a great place to buy blades. However, I'm having problems deciding which brand of blade to buy. I've heard that Feather is pretty good but what about Dorco, Blue Bird, Gillette, Topaz and all the others? I'm looking for a blade brand that stays sharp but cuts my hair, not my skin.

If it's pertinent, I should note that I shave not just my face but also my head.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 01-17-2011 at 11:23 AM..
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:02 PM
Turble Turble is offline
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I've been using Merkur blades for a couple of years ... haven't had to unwrap the styptic pencil yet.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:04 PM
Caffeine.addict Caffeine.addict is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
After having read some commenters (Zsofia, notably) praise old style double edged safety razor (like these: http://images.knifecenter.com/knifec...ages/cc022.jpg ) I bought one and have been quite satisfied with it.

I found ebay to be a great place to buy blades. However, I'm having problems deciding which brand of blade to buy. I've heard that Feather is pretty good but what about Dorco, Blue Bird, Gillette, Topaz and all the others? I'm looking for a blade brand that stays sharp but cuts my hair, not my skin.

If it's pertinent, I should note that I shave not just my face but also my head.
I use Derby blades. They sell them in 100 blades packs as well.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2011, 09:11 PM
bump bump is offline
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A lot of it is dependent on what you use them in- different razors have different angles, and blades don't perform the same.

I'm a fan of Astra and Feather, followed by Derbys in my Gillette Fatboy, and a fan of the red box Personnas and Astras in my Merkur 33c, but not Derbys in that one.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2011, 05:37 PM
St. Urho St. Urho is offline
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I personally like the Feathers, but the Gilletes weren't bad either.

West Coast Shaving sells a few different sample packs. I got one of those then ordered more of my favorite blade.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2011, 04:05 AM
Double Foolscap Double Foolscap is offline
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I use Feathers. I have pretty thick beard growth, and shave three times a week. A blade lasts three shaves comfortably.
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2011, 11:45 AM
geneb geneb is offline
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I use Derby Extra. I have also used Merkur and they are infinity better, but too expensive for me.

I tend to buy mine on Amazon.. Good prices there.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2011, 12:34 PM
Floater Floater is offline
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For what it's worth, I saw a consumer program on TV the other week and they brought up the question of what razor is best. One expert (a barber) claimed that nothing beats a safety razor with double edged blades. The new-fangled double-, triple-, quadruple- and whathaveyou blade razors are nothing in comparison, according to him.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2011, 03:25 PM
geneb geneb is offline
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Originally Posted by Floater View Post
For what it's worth, I saw a consumer program on TV the other week and they brought up the question of what razor is best. One expert (a barber) claimed that nothing beats a safety razor with double edged blades. The new-fangled double-, triple-, quadruple- and whathaveyou blade razors are nothing in comparison, according to him.
I fully agree with him. What is it now, $2.50 per disposable cartridge? I'd pay that, then I'd get one use out of it before it starts shredding my skin, giving me all kinds of razor burn and in-grown hairs, not to mention a bloody face.

At the time I didn't realize there was another option, but I sure am glad I switched. Now I pay a dime per blade and get a better shave than I have ever had before. The foam/gel in a can shaving creams don't hold a candle to a good shaving soap either.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2011, 03:43 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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Originally Posted by geneb View Post
I fully agree with him. What is it now, $2.50 per disposable cartridge? I'd pay that, then I'd get one use out of it before it starts shredding my skin, giving me all kinds of razor burn and in-grown hairs, not to mention a bloody face.

At the time I didn't realize there was another option, but I sure am glad I switched. Now I pay a dime per blade and get a better shave than I have ever had before. The foam/gel in a can shaving creams don't hold a candle to a good shaving soap either.
What shaving soap do you recommend?
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:09 PM
geneb geneb is offline
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I use Col. Conk's Bay Rum. It's not top of the line, but it's still a sight better than canned foam or gel. (Especially gel.. I hate that stuff. My razor can barely reach my skin.) One cake will last you a few months, depending on how heavy you use it. I have a heavy beard and shave three times a week and it lasts me 3 months. (Though I do only shave my neck)

Taylor of Old Bond Street is also a great one, but it's a bit too pricey for me.


ETA: I noticed you mentioned you shave your face and head, so you'd probably get about a month, maybe a month and a half out of the Col. Conk's. It would also depend on how heavy you apply it.

Last edited by geneb; 01-19-2011 at 06:12 PM..
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2011, 07:12 PM
Turble Turble is offline
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Kiss My Face Moisture Shave is popular on the shaving forums. Not expensive and comes in lots of scents. It's a health food store item; I buy it at a local grocery store that has a big natural food section.

If you don't mind spending a bit, try Tabac Shaving Soap. It works out to not be so expensive after all because it lasts a long time. I hate the little glass bowl they sell it in; recommend buying just the soap and using a mug. I think the best way to describe the smell is -- it smells like a man smelled when you were a little kid.

And thanks to geneb -- I've added that sandalwood stuff to my wish list.

Last edited by Turble; 01-19-2011 at 07:14 PM..
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2011, 10:47 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Slightly off topic: http://wulffmorgenthaler.com/2011/01/20/gillette
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:14 PM
Caffeine.addict Caffeine.addict is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
What shaving soap do you recommend?
I use Proraso shaving soap and I'm pleased with it. It creates a pretty good foam for me.
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  #15  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:19 PM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Gillette double edge blades produced in Russia are easily available around here. They are very satisfactory and inexpensive.
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2011, 01:07 PM
Johnny Angel Johnny Angel is offline
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I use the Derby Extra. They were well approved of by the frequenters of The Straight Razor Place, and were inexpensive from eBay. I have not tried other brands, since these have been plenty good enough and I rarely have to order a new box anyway, even now that my wife uses them to shave her legs as well.
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  #17  
Old 01-20-2011, 01:53 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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The boyfriend likes Feather, but he's tried all of them. I think he gets them on Amazon these days.
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  #18  
Old 01-20-2011, 04:22 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
What shaving soap do you recommend?
Use shaving oil instead. I generally use Cromwell & Caruthers, but I have never tried a shaving oil that didn't beat the pants off any soap or cream.

(Generally, I use Derby or Lord blades. I find Feathers bite a bit.)
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  #19  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:00 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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I bought blades this morning. My usual Gillette Mach 3. I like them. They're comfortable and they give me a good shave.

But the price is just plain highway robbery. I'm sick of paying through the nose for blades. I'm going to have to look into this safety razor thing...
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  #20  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:35 PM
Turble Turble is offline
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It's not just the lower cost -- it's a better shave.
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  #21  
Old 01-21-2011, 09:18 AM
geneb geneb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turble View Post
It's not just the lower cost -- it's a better shave.
The price is what initially got me into using a safety razor. Can't beat $0.10 a blade, as opposed to $2.50. But, after I tried it, I found that the shave was far superior as well. The initial investment is fairly high (Less than $35.00 for a brand new Merkur handle), but I'll never need to get another razor handle barring any accidents and I'd spend more than that in Mach 3 cartridges in about half a year.
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  #22  
Old 01-21-2011, 10:12 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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By the way, call your local antique store - those safety razors haven't changed in forever, and you can get lovely handles for eight or ten bucks. Plus sometimes they come in little vintage cases or with cute old blade packaging and stuff. Very hip.
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  #23  
Old 01-23-2011, 01:06 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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Making lather with shaving soap

I ordered shaving oil and saw some shaving soap at the drugstore which I bought.

I tried the shaving soap but getting it lather has been difficult. I ended up looking like a female Japanese news anchor.

Do I get it to lather in the soap's bowl? Watching it on youtube and getting instructions from Google hasn't worked. Please use short, easy to understand words and type slowly.

The shaving's great though, looking forward to comparing it to oil shaving.
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2011, 01:14 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Are you using a brush?
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  #25  
Old 01-23-2011, 01:19 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
Are you using a brush?
Yes. I tried getting it to lather in a mug. I only seemed to lather sufficiently when I tried lathering in the soap's container. I've always seen people getting lather from a container other than the soap's container so I must be doing something wrong.

I tried getting soap in the mug with the brush and then adding water. I tried starting with water and then adding soap with the brush. Didn't work properly.
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  #26  
Old 01-23-2011, 01:28 PM
bump bump is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
I ordered shaving oil and saw some shaving soap at the drugstore which I bought.

I tried the shaving soap but getting it lather has been difficult. I ended up looking like a female Japanese news anchor.

Do I get it to lather in the soap's bowl? Watching it on youtube and getting instructions from Google hasn't worked. Please use short, easy to understand words and type slowly.

The shaving's great though, looking forward to comparing it to oil shaving.
Check out this guy's videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/mantic59

Also, there are some forums out there dedicated to "wet shaving" as they call this sort of thing- Badger and Blade is my favorite (just google it for the URL), but there are several others.


However... the short course in lathering a soap is this:

1. Put some water on your soap ahead of time. Let it soak in. Pour off excess. There should be a layer of hydrated soap on top.

2. Soak your brush in warm water.

3. Get your brush mostly dry- shake off as much as you can.

4. Swirl/rub the brush onto the soap until you get a pretty good amount of that hydrated soap layer in your brush's bristles- they should start to stick together.

5. Take the brush and soap, and go to your lathering bowl (I use a cheapo fruit bowl from Target), and add a little bit of water to the bowl, and start trying to lather it up. Keep adding water in like 1-2 tsp increments until you end up with a decent lather.

Last edited by bump; 01-23-2011 at 01:31 PM..
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2011, 04:08 PM
Turble Turble is offline
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And keep in mind that different soaps take different amounts of time to reach that whipped cream texture. I used super cheapo Colgate and/or Williams shaving soap from the grocery store for years ... only switched because my grocery store stopped carrying it. I was surprised at how quickly the Tabac soap makes a good lather.
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  #28  
Old 01-23-2011, 04:25 PM
Wheeljack Wheeljack is offline
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I was all about the shaving soap until it started mildewing. How do y'all keep that from happening?
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  #29  
Old 01-23-2011, 04:31 PM
ReticulatingSplines ReticulatingSplines is offline
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Seconded on the sample pack. Just try them all and see which one you like best. They all differ based on your style and the razor you have. I like the Feathers in my SuperSpeed, but put them in the Merkur and I'll end up in the emergency room.
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  #30  
Old 01-24-2011, 09:23 AM
geneb geneb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
1. Put some water on your soap ahead of time. Let it soak in. Pour off excess. There should be a layer of hydrated soap on top.

2. Soak your brush in warm water.

3. Get your brush mostly dry- shake off as much as you can.

4. Swirl/rub the brush onto the soap until you get a pretty good amount of that hydrated soap layer in your brush's bristles- they should start to stick together.

5. Take the brush and soap, and go to your lathering bowl (I use a cheapo fruit bowl from Target), and add a little bit of water to the bowl, and start trying to lather it up. Keep adding water in like 1-2 tsp increments until you end up with a decent lather.
This is technically how you're supposed to do it. Personally, though, I just get my brush wet (not too wet or you end up with soapy water and not too dry or you end up with a very thin lather) and rub it against the soap in my bowl until I have some later on the brush (takes about 10 or 15 circular motions around the soap) then apply it to my face. It's quick and works for me.


Quote:
I was all about the shaving soap until it started mildewing. How do y'all keep that from happening?
Never had it happen before. Of course I live in a place so dry that a cup of water left out overnight is gone by morning. I guess you could try keeping your soap in the freezer when you're not using it. I have no idea how/if that would affect the soap, though.

Last edited by geneb; 01-24-2011 at 09:24 AM..
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  #31  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:48 AM
bump bump is offline
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Originally Posted by geneb View Post
This is technically how you're supposed to do it. Personally, though, I just get my brush wet (not too wet or you end up with soapy water and not too dry or you end up with a very thin lather) and rub it against the soap in my bowl until I have some later on the brush (takes about 10 or 15 circular motions around the soap) then apply it to my face. It's quick and works for me.
Yeah, that's definitely the long way I described. For creams it's easier- you either do exactly what you do with soap, except skip the pre-wetting step (step 1), and if it's in a tube, replace Step 4 with "Squeeze a dollop of cream directly into the lathering bowl"

I haven't ever been able to get the face-lathering down with as much consistency as the bowl style, so I don't do it as often. Truth be told, 5 days a week, I use something from a can- Nivea for Men, Proraso foam, Mach 3 gel, etc... it's just faster, and gives an acceptable enough shave for work.

Weekends are more of the long way though.
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