Newbie on Board

New to the world of wet-shaving? Grab a desk and be seated! Welcome to SMFU: A place to learn and compare notes about the ABC's of wet shaving. From brushes to creams, razors and more...We've got it all!
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Da1e
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Newbie on Board

Post by Da1e » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:26 am

Hello Everyone,

I have never used a DE razor but am going to start soon. Just got interested in the past couple of weeks, so am doing my research before I make any purchases. I think I will start with a 'middle of the range' setup. I have learned long ago to buy once, cry once instead of going on the cheap and not being happy and spending a little more and still not being happy and eventually buying what you should have started out with. I am thinking I can get started in the $200 range. (Let me know if I am way off here) I am still researching online shops for selection (no local shops here). I would like to purchase as much as possible from one vendor rather than 6 different shops. I have been reading the forums here and watching a ton of videos. There is a ton of knowledge here and it has been very helpful.

Thank you for all of your input.
Dale

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fallingwickets
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by fallingwickets » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:20 am

welcome to smf. $200 will get you more than started :D and most of the vendors are very knowledgeable and very helpful.

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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jww
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by jww » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:59 pm

Welcome to SMF .... of course $200 is fine until acquisition disorder (AD) sets in .... beware and set your financial expenditure goals accordingly. And don't forget to allow for purchasing some Mitchell's Woolfat soap... :D
Wendell

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brothers
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by brothers » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:00 pm

Yes, MWF is a must-have! After that, you've got a clean slate and a lot of shopping to do! Welcome to our midst, Dale. It's good to have you here.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic & badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by ShadowsDad » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:00 pm

Welcome Da1e!

$200 is a fine start, but don't confuse spending with a better shave. It can be done for much less. Personally I have 2 modern razors and the rest are vintage. None are expensive and the technology hasn't changed for the past 110 years at least. The old razors shave every bit as good as todays razors and are far less expensive in many cases. OK, there's the cool factor too. It neat to shave with a razor that's 110 years old.

:D Once the ADs set in, $200 is just a down payment.

If you need help we're here.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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Da1e
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by Da1e » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:16 pm

Thanks for the welcome everyone. I know how I am whenever I start any new hobby and that is I always want more stuff :). Don't we all? I am thinking 50 o 60 for a razor and about the same for a brush and then you've got to have a bunch of extra goodies...right? :) I mean you just can't live without buying more stuff.

Hunting/shooting/reloading and cigars are some of my other big hobbies, so my wife already knows how it works. :D
Dale

CMur12
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by CMur12 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:37 pm

Welcome, Dale. I agree that for $200 you can get a very good setup.

Things to consider for a razor are how sensitive you skin is and how aggressive a razor you want.
(The Edwin Jagger/Muhle razors are very good middle-of-the-road razors and they are an excellent value.)

If you want a brush for face-lathering, you will want a shorter-lofted, stiffer brush. For bowl lathering, a more flexible brush that isn't too dense has advantages. A good face-lathering brush will also work lathering in a bowl, however.

While I think it's good to start with one type of blade and stick with it while you develop your technique, you will probably want to get a sampler pack of blades at some point. Amazingly, they differ greatly from each other in their shaving characteristics and what one guy loves the next guy hates. YMMV applies to blades, razors, brushes, and everything else around here.

Good luck and stick with us -

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

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jww
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by jww » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:20 am

ShadowsDad wrote:Welcome Da1e!

$200 is a fine start, but don't confuse spending with a better shave. It can be done for much less. Personally I have 2 modern razors and the rest are vintage. None are expensive and the technology hasn't changed for the past 110 years at least. The old razors shave every bit as good as todays razors and are far less expensive in many cases. OK, there's the cool factor too. It neat to shave with a razor that's 110 years old.

:D Once the ADs set in, $200 is just a down payment.

If you need help we're here.
+1 -- especially the bit about vintage razors. I only have one new razor -- an Edwin Jagger Chatsworth. Everything else is vintage for me --- 3 adjustables, two or three techs, and a superspeed. My RAD (razor acquisition disorder) came quickly and was short-lived. Think of the $200 as a investment that you will continue to build on over time ..... :D
Wendell

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Jbbmad2
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by Jbbmad2 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:40 am

+2 welcome aboard sir!
Bruce
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SRD
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by SRD » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:23 am

Welcome to the gang.
Dave

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Da1e
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by Da1e » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:06 pm

Thanks for all of the tips. For my first I am looking at a Merkur 38HD or an Edwin Jagger 89. After looking at the Chatsworth, I do like the looks of them. I don't know enough about vintage yet to even begin looking at those. I still need to learn so much more.
Dale

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by ShadowsDad » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:27 pm

Da1e wrote:Thanks for the welcome everyone. I know how I am whenever I start any new hobby and that is I always want more stuff :). Don't we all? I am thinking 50 o 60 for a razor and about the same for a brush and then you've got to have a bunch of extra goodies...right? :) I mean you just can't live without buying more stuff.

Hunting/shooting/reloading and cigars are some of my other big hobbies, so my wife already knows how it works. :D
I don't even know you and I like you already!

You might consider a vintage Gillette Slim. They're not expensive and will allow you to play with a more aggressive razor (you dial it in) after you learn the basics. But the basics come first. Just like hunting/shooting/reloading. Just ask for one with a wtb on the b/s/t. Someone has one they'd part with, I have no doubt since they're so common. Just sanitize it and you're in business, but if it hasn't been used in a while everything on it is dead. It's been awhile since I've bought one, but I think you could get a user grade quite reasonably.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by Thalay Sagar » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:47 pm

Dale, welcome to SMF. You've got some great advice there and seem to be headed in the right direction. Get a solid razor (personally I would go with a new razor just because you know how its been used- I've bought one or two vintage duds over the years- although I've also gotten some true winners), some middle of the road blades (until your technique is set), a solid brush from Simpson, Vulfix or a Kent BK 4 (although check out the BST forum) and then a nice English cream and a soap. That should get you set for life (if you can avoid the AD's) for under your dollar limit. Definitely also check out Mantic's videos.
Best,
Chris

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― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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Da1e
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by Da1e » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:59 pm

ShadowsDad...Got to have your priorities in order :)

I think I am already getting a case of the AD's. Looks like I need to add another 0 to the end of my budget :shock:
Dale

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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by brothers » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:04 pm

Now you're catching on. :D Actually, just keep your eye on the $200, and don't pay too close attention to the actual running total, just keep telling yourself it's only 200. The actual figure shouldn't be watched too closely, or none of us would be having as much fun. Just let that part of it take care of itself.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic & badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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jww
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by jww » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:00 pm

Thalay Sagar wrote:... a solid brush from Simpson, Vulfix or a Kent BK 4 ...
The Duke 2 in best badger is as good a brush as you will find anywhere --- although I admit to desperately wanting a BK4 for many years ----- so far I have resisted the assimilation. :wink:
...(although check out the BST forum) and then a nice English cream and a soap. That should get you set for life (if you can avoid the AD's) for under your dollar limit ...
One can never have enough English soaps ..... that's my queue to put in my obligatory plug for MWF. :lol:
... Definitely also check out Mantic's videos.
+1 \:D/
Wendell

Resident Wool Fat Evangelist & anglophile. Have you hugged a sheep today?

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Da1e
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by Da1e » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:44 pm

Once again thanks for all of the help. I have been watching Mantic's videos and they have been tremendously helpful.

Anyone have any thoughts on the Edwin Brushes?
Dale

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by ShadowsDad » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:08 pm

Can't help with the Edwin Jagger brushes. But there is a world of brushes out there, not just badger. There are boars which are phenominal for not much $ and the new synthetics are superb as well, and agin less $ than badger generally.

Bear in mind I face lather exclusively, so what I write is based on that.

The latest TGN sythetics are extremely soft but with backbone, the latest Muhle synthetics and the Frank Shaving (FS) Pur-Techs are superb. All are synthetic and less $ than comparable badgers. Some compare to badgers and others are different, but they are fantastic brushes. Just don't pre-wet them as you would a natural fiber brush.

Omega, Vulfix, and Semogue Boars are uniformly excellent quality knots; and boar, despite the low price, is simply fantastic. Omega has a number of quite inexpensive brushes where the knot isn't shortchanged, but the handle is hollow and inexpensive. But for the price, < $10, consider it a throw away and not reknottable in 20 years when it wears out. In 20 years who cares? Buy 2 for less than $20 and have them for life. Boars, used right and after wetted are just as soft as high quality badger with no scritch after break in.

I have 3 badgers that I bought new, one that I made, and the rest were purchased used from a b/s/t. The used brushes I saved $ on compared to new and they're just as good as new, plus the sellers could answer questions as to scritch, hair loss, etc. . The brush I assembled is every bit as high quality as the bought brushes but for far less expense. My "bought new" brushes are all Simpsons Best and that quality hair is fine. If you have any requirements contact the seller and see if they'll hand pick one for you. If they won't, go elsewhere. I know Phil at Bullgoose will handpick a brush if you tell him what you want.

There are many ways to go to get a really fantastic brush, or many brushes.

The first thing I'd do is to decide if you want to face lather, bowl lather, or both. That could help narrow down the options. Generally brushes for FL are smaller, and bowl latherers use larger brushes. Generally. My latest FS Pur-Tech is a huge brush, but because of the way synthetic works (huge backbone, no splay, yet soft) it's a fine FL brush. A similar brush in Badger I never would have purchased because it would be far too large on the face and I simply wouldn't have paid the price.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

CMur12
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by CMur12 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:02 am

Brian, I'm not sure what you mean by larger brushes for lathering in a bowl. (At least that is counter to my practice.) I like a taller, more flexible loft than face-latherers tend to want, if you mean that. I use smaller brushes because they are easier to manage in the bowl and because, with additional lather in the bowl, the brush doesn't need to hold as much lather as a brush for face-lathering does.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

brothers
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Re: Newbie on Board

Post by brothers » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:57 am

Dale, just try to keep it simple. My very first brush was a badger brush, and it opened up an entire world for me, as I had been (happily) using up can after can of whatever the grocery store or corner drug store had on the shelf. I didn't know what was going in the shaving world on the www until my daughter told me two things: 1. Go to Bath and Body Works and buy a tube of COBigelow Shaving Cream in the shiny green tube, which I did. and 2. she told me to look up a website called Shave My Face, which I also did, and then it all exploded. Regarding the brush, you can buy it quite reasonably on the internet and it is called the Tweezerman. As with a lot of stuff, there's an unspoken prejudice against it because it doesn't carry the right "name", blah, blah, blah, but it is a badger brush and it works as a starter brush until you can separate the wheat from the chaff. Take your time, be conservative and don't jump on every bandwagon that comes along. Please yourself, and make that first $200 count. I haven't said it before, but as a fellow Oklahoman, I'm really pleased you're here. I wish you all the best, and I do look forward to having you here for the long haul.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic & badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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