de shaving novice advice please

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  • de shaving novice advice please
  • neilnevill
    Member

    okay i’ve upped my STW quotient and bought a merkur futur, 2nd hand on ebay.  also ordered a selection of blades/sample pack.  I’ve watched a coupe of youtube vids…simples.  I hope.

    i’ve been used to a mach 3, shaving in the shower, just hand lathering some normal bar soap and using that, no mirror needed.  Am i going to need a few practices in front of the mirror?  might be wise.  do i have any chance of a decent shave with my normal hand lather of bar soap?

    think i’ll need a second de for home, first one will be at work (shave in shower after cycle commute),  should i try a differnt de, go for another futur, or how about the chinese clone futurs (£9 seems darn cheap but some of the chinese clone stuff is half decent these days….sort of)

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Boy1 bought a Futur clone after using my Merkur. It’s very slightly “tougher” around the edges compared to the Merkur. But it shaved just as well. It’s the best £9 razor I’ve ever used.

    Try as many different blades as you can, but from experience you won’t go far wrong with an Astra Platinum. Until you get used to the DE shaving technique then keep it dialled back to a 1 or 2 setting, the least aggressive.

    I use Feather blades and rarely set mine Futur any higher than a 3. Any higher than that and I’m likely to lose a lip or nose.

    The DE shaving technique is pretty straightforward, but the best results are from concentrating on the prep. Lots of moisture in your facial hair, maybe a pre-shave oil, shaving cream would work without a brush, just work it to a lather with your fingers. The more prep the better, don’t just wipe the shaving cream on, scrub it round and round to build some foam.

    You can get shower proof mirrors that don’t steam up.

    Welcome me to the best shave you will have without paying an antique Italian barber for the pleasure.

    sharkbait
    Member

    For a second razor you could look at a 60’s Gillette rocket or superspeed.

    I have the latter and haven’t used my Futur in a couple of years as the old ones just shave so well!

    Premier Icon jsync
    Subscriber

    Hot water on the face to open the pores and soften the hairs.  Good quality lather – not too wet or thick.  Use the weight of the razor and definitely do not push hard.  Rinse with hot water then cold – this cleans all the dirty soap out of the pores then closes them to reduce the chance of infection.

    The thing to remember is that you are reducing the hair not removing it – you can always have another pass so don’t try too hard!

    neilnevill
    Member

    my mix of blades are:

    10 x Supermax Stainless
    10 x Persona Plantinum
    5 x Astra Superior Platinum (green)
    1 x Shark Super
    1 x Feather

    small/travel shower mirror might be a good idea.  might get a badger bristle brush for at home too…but work shave is a quick maintenance scrape, hoping not to faff much there…currently its bar of soap, lather in hands, rub on stubble, scratch and scrape with the mach 3, i hope it will be similar with the de.

    neilnevill
    Member

    watching a rocket hd on ebay, currently at £14.50, I read they go for £16 ish.  I paid just over £30 for the futur which felt fair.  hmm decisions.  I like the idea of using the same razor, also see the benefit in trying a second.

    neilnevill
    Member

    BBS, I found a review that said the futur clone is super aggressive, even after the guy ground the tabs/stops to get it to wind closer to the blade he reckoned it was ~2 increments more aggressive than the german original.  sort of sounds like its not really usable on more than 1 or 2 settings which kind of removes the adjustability.  Have you/your lad found that?

    sbob
    Member

    Second hand razor?

    Would you like to borrow my tooth brush?

    No-one’s mentioned it yet but – styptic pencil.

    *edit* especially if you go for the feather blades. Astra platinum work well for me.

    I’ve got a 2nd hand Futur and also use Astra Platinum (although the latest batch of blades seem different, first blade and I needed plenty of styptic pencil!)

    Mine is seized on setting 3, must try and sort it out.  I’ve been using mine several years with a short break in the middle where I tried razors from Harrys and Cornerstone but I started getting the old ingrowing hairs so went back to DE.

    I wouldn’t ever try and use it in the shower or without a mirror, I think it would be a bloodbath 🙂  I used to use a soap stick and brush, but I found I get less nicks using a decent shave cream, bodyshop do a good one that comes in a round tub, but at the moment I’ve got Bulldog sensitive cream (stubby toothpaste tube style) and King of shaves 2in1 cream and moisturiser seems almost as good.

    If I was shaving at work I’d use the 2in1 (you shave, wash, and then put a bit more 2in1 on as moisturiser which is less faff) but I’d also want a butterfly style DE razor where it closes up over the blade.  I rarely put the Futur in a washbag as grabbing the wrong end instead of your toothbrush would result in lots of claret!

    Sbob…whats wrong with a second hand one?  There must be lots of people who have two shaves and cut themselves raw and decide its not for them…its not as if you are sharing the same blades!  Its still a perfect razor and its all metal so not like it can’t be cleaned 🙂

    mooman
    Member

    Nivea shave gel works best here. I tried the shave soap & brush .. it was a faff. I never liked the alum block either.

    i got the Futur & Chinese clone … both great, but just too big to get under nose etc. I have used both on most aggressive setting without issue .. I like to feel the blade; safe enough after a few goes, and a mirror helps.

    I got a couple Rocket HDs off eBay .. I have seen some go for less than £20 posted, and others closer to £40. It all depends who’s bidding I guess.

    the HDs are similar to my Red tips .. I find the standard super speeds & Rockets very smooth; the HDs and Red tips just feel better because you can feel a bit of blade; but neither are overly aggressive.

    My fave DE is a New SC .. it took awhile to get used to it; often got razor burn .. but now it’s perfect; can feel the blade but no nicks – and head is great for under the nose area etc

    ps. Astra blades for me. Feathers may be supposedly sharper – both sharp enough to me! But Astra stay sharper for longer – Feathers lose edge quickly.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Regarding blades – I got a mixed pack of 10 & ended up finding the Wilkinson Sword & Gillette silver blue blades gave me the best combo of shaving ability, comfort & longevity.
    I initially tried Astra Platinum & found them fine, but after going back to them once I’d tried a few others, I realised that the ones mentioned above suited my face better.

    I prefer a shaving cream to a soap, as it seems to stay on the skin a bit better & so you can get away with 2 or 3 passes; with soap, I find one pass & there’s nothing left to lubricate your skin for another pass.

    I don’t always, but generally rub an alum block over my face afterwards & then stick some Nivea aftershave balm stuff on. I’m sure there’s better out there, but this does the job at a reasonable price.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Astra’s here, and I can get baby bottom smooth. But…. If you want smooth do it incrementally, first pass to get down to work acceptable (being fair haired one pass is enough to make me look shaved) two passes gets you to a level where you have to search for any slight roughness and a third pass leaves you as smooth as…,

    Also as said, a hot as you can stand flannel over the beard for 30s before starting to soften hair and open pores

    petec
    Member

    i’m using Bolzano blades  -100 for £13. Reviews range between ‘marvellous’ and ‘hell on earth’, but for me they’re very good. It’s very subjective though

    And just got a new stainless razor from Shave Lounge. Now out of stock, but my word it’s lovely. Much better than the older one I was using (a Ti Baby Smooth)

    And I always shave after a shower (the fabled “Triple S”); never really have any issues.

    lesshaste
    Member

    Just started out on de shaving, probably used it about 10 or 15 times so far. Best shave I’ve had. I bought the qshave futur clone and use it on setting 4. I don’t know if this is aggressive or not?. Astra green blades. I wouldn’t use it without a mirror. It does need more concentration and is a different technique to mach 3 etc. I’m just lathering up normal soap, but have to reapply for each pass, usually twice.

    I bought another for work, but have a bit more trouble there because we’re chatting before work, men and multitasking eh? Still, I think they are great value for £8, even come with 5 blades although I’ve yet to try them.

    What I would like is some kind of washable plastic case to keep them in/away from fingers. Anyone using anything?

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    OP

    The clone razor is, if anything, slightly less aggressive than my Merkur. I can’t use either wound out to 6. Both are fiercely aggressive. I did strip both down, cleaned, “sterilised” with Milton’s tablets, and then reassembled with some Vaseline on the threads and moving parts. I redo mine about once every 3 months, but TBH it really didn’t need it last time

    As with all DE shaving it’s the combination of razor and blade, and everyone is different. What works for me might not necessarily work for you. Sharks for me felt like rusty barbed wire. Gillette 7 o’clocks were super sharp but dulled very quickly.

    If your shave at work is only a quick tidy up, then a non-adjustable razor would probably suffice. Keep the Futur for home, along with a good brush, soap or cream, etc. Porrasso shave cream in the tube works well enough rubbed in with fingers and will give you a nicer shave than random soap.

    Have a look on YouTube for GeoFatBoy shaving videos. He does a Futur v clone review and is genuinely surprised at how good the clone is.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Oh crikey. Here we go again…

    Opposite bookend to the hot flannel – I keep another flannel in the icebox. I time it’s extraction for in between the final soap on the brush and it’s application. After final rinse and before the post-shave balm goes on, the cold flannel has lost enough stiffness to be applied on the face for a shockingly invigorating wake-up call.

    My products:

    Merkur 23c

    Wilkinson Sword DE blades

    Bluebeards Revenge badger hair brush

    Bluebeards shaving oil

    Wilkinson Sword shaving soap

    Bluebeards post-shave balm

    Happy trails, OP.

    I wouldn’t ever try and use it in the shower or without a mirror, I think it would be a bloodbath

    In my 50’s so have been shaving for 40+ years and wouldn’t shave without a mirror.

    Anyway, Merkur Futur (original) on 3 at home, Gillette Superspeed (which according to the date stamp is the same age as me) when away and Bluebeards Revenge shavette for more than a few days growth.  Love them all, prefer the handling of the Futur but think a slightly better shave from the Gillette and the shavette is just an interesting way to shave.

    Blades are Derby, Feather and Gillette.  All fine, but Feathers probably best.  No prep other than hot water and soap, sometimes Arko other times Mitchell’s Wool Fat (ok but when done will replace with something else).  Preferred aftershave is Proraso Green, lovely cut grass smell, doesn’t last but feels very refreshing when applied. Post shave rub with alum block once a week or so (local shave shop says not to use daily as skin will dry out)

    Take it easy, rest the razor on your skin, don’t apply pressure

    FWIW, I’m lucky enough to have this shop locally

    https://www.thegentlemansgroomroom.com/

    I’ve also bought the qshave futur clone and use it on setting 3.  A great shave, however I used a feather blade for the first time this morning and got a nice nick in the neck to show for it!  I also bought a leather cover with chrome poppers off ebay for travel purposes; great design and works well – Spanish company “residualrazors”.

    neilnevill
    Member

    Thanks for the tips and suggestions

    I suspect i’ll get one of these soon

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ultimate-Travel-Shaving-Make-Up-Mirror-Fog-Free-Shave-Well-in-the-Shower/121940519057

    and will get one of these

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Portable-Cowhide-Safety-Razor-Leather-Case-Classic-Double-Edge-Shaving-Pouch/302268944445

    Will also get a styptic pencil, I’ve not heard of those before but sound essential!

    I tend to use moisturise after every shave, vaseline intensive care does it for me and is cheap

    my blades arrived today so over the next few weeks I’ll be trying them out to see what i like, I’ll try some of the other suggestions too, thanks for those.

    I’m looking forward to shaving tomorrow!

    ali69er
    Member

    Real men use the Merkur R41. Damn that thing is aggresssive. I have cut parts of my face no razor had ever drawn blood from.

    I normal use the 34c with a Gillette yellow. Lovely combo.

    neilnevill
    Member

    forgot to bid on the gillette rocket hd and it went for £16.  pff.  I’ve put a cheeky bid on a couple more futurs.  suspect i’ll not get them and will go for a clone. like the look of some of the vintage gillettes though too

    benman
    Member

    If you fancy something a bit different to your Futur, I highly recommend the Fatip Piccolo. Open comb, great close shave, but not quite as aggressive as an R41. Cheap as chips

    mooman
    Member

    I have seen the occasional Rocket HD go for less than £20 posted – not in last week or so though – paid just over £30 for mine .. I feel cheated!

    As for the Merkur41 cutting. I would suggest reviewing your technique – if your new to DE maybe angle & pressure needs tweaking.

    *did you mean Muhle 41?

    i read they can take some practicing if you new to DE shaving; the Merkur 41 is typically mild as most Merkurs.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Blimey this has got really complicated in the 40-odd years since I gave up shaving.

    scuttler
    Member

    ?

    (been shaving for 30 years)

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Blimey this has got really complicated in the 40-odd years since I gave up shaving.

    Agreed. (Apart from me not giving up shaving!)

    My grandfather gave me a DE razor when I was in my 20s, I think. I buy blades from supermarkets, buy new handles, shaving soap or gel as needed. Never needed to spend hours with hot towels, never bought or needed styptic pencils, rarely cut myself, and never, ever felt the need to try out different types of blades. I might, one day, buy an expensive razor. But that would just be for the sake of having an expensive thing. 😀

    But…. I’ve got a fairly easy face to shave, I guess. I use DE razors simply because they are dead cheap and don’t over-complicate it.

    mooman
    Member

    … so now imagine if you hadnt been given that DE razor in your 20s by your fantastic grandfather.

    Youd likely be trying to find the ideal razor head to compliment all those new handles you buy. I guess you were just lucky to find the perfect DE all those years ago … no doubt your grandfather did all the hard work finding it for you.

    I tried the Feather blades just to see if there was an improvement on the Astra Platinums; there wasnt.

    I tried the Arko and badger hair brush for lathering; it was much easier and better foam using Nivea gel.

    I tried the alum block … but cos I never cut myself. it was just faster and easier to use Nivea aftershave balm afterwards.

    Holyzeus
    Member

    OP, send me a PM

    I have lots of stuff I don’t use I can send you

    Premier Icon pedlad
    Subscriber

    Interesting that someone mentioned stripping down cleaning and a bit of grease (true STW) my Merkur Futur has recently been a bit dodgy on one side, even with different blades.  Wonder if the adjuster has seized on one side? How do you get into it?

    neilnevill
    Member

    Just unscrew, eventually the head shoots off because it’s sprung.  Pick it up, clean it, grease the thread, screw back on.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Youd likely be trying to find the ideal razor head to compliment all those new handles you buy. I guess you were just lucky to find the perfect DE all those years ago … no doubt your grandfather did all the hard work finding it for you.

    Sorry mooman, my grandfather just gave me some stuff he had lying around. He wasn’t trying to induct me into the secrets of DE shaving. And I haven’t bought loads of handles – I have bought exactly one cheapish razor because I lost the original one. Maybe I was lucky. 🤣

    mooman
    Member

    Apology accepted.

    I guess how people go through their DE shaving routine is similar to how others go through their coffee making routine.

    Some select exotic beans for their £1000 coffee machines; warm their cream or milk accordingly .. and select a particular sugar to sweeten it. Where as others will just have a spoonful of instant coffee, splash of milk and enjoy it exactly the same.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Your coffee analogy is what I was thinking. And that wasn’t an apology, I was just being polite. 😂

    mooman
    Member

    Very confusing idlejon; first you state you have bought new handles (handles being plural) for your safety razor .. then say you only bought one.

    then you apologise – and later say it’s isnt an apology .. just politeness.

    Do you actually have a DE safety razor now?

    chewkw
    Member

    I think the last count my DE safety razor blades stock can last me until I am 120 yrs old …

    As for DE safety razor I think I have at least 16, mostly Gillette from the 40s to 70s, that I can hand it down to next generations …  Favourite is Gillette tech barber pole.

    Best DE safety razor so far is Iridium, plenty of fake ones so watch out, which I think has ceased production but Astra (green and blue) and Personna (blue) are very good for me.  Gillette blue, yellow and green are fine too but I think most are catered for SE Asia whiskers.   Wilkinson not good for me as it is dull but may be good for blue beard.  Turkish brand, can’t remember which now, also dull rather fast.  Greek brand Big is low quality for me and only last a few shaves.

    Feather cuts me to pieces as they are too sharp and one wrong move I get nicks.

    😀

    Premier Icon angeldust
    Subscriber

    Wow.  This thread deserves as much scorn as any Hi-Fi thread 😜

    rene59
    Member

    All this fuss about grooming products and drawing out a quick shave into a multi staged time consuming event is indictive of how emasculated men have become and are trying too hard to find a bit of socially acceptable manliness in their lifes.

    See also men who refer to their sheds as man caves.

    It’s a bit sad.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Wow.  This thread deserves as much scorn as any Hi-Fi thread

    Why’s that, then?

    All this fuss about grooming products and drawing out a quick shave into a multi staged time consuming event is indictive of how emasculated men have become

    Don’t be a dick. 😂

    Premier Icon angeldust
    Subscriber

    HULK SMASH!

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