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For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

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For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby mantic » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:07 am

I would like to ask the wet shavers who have been in the niche' a while what NON ARTISAN products they think represent a "best value" (great deal, best bang for the buck, punch above their weight, etc.) in old school wet shaving. I want to specifically exclude artisan products to make it more of a challenge (and because artisan products tend to come-and-go). For example, I think the Dorco PL602 razor works really well for a $6 DE. The Van Der Hagen "Luxury" soap performs competitively with other glycerin soaps and goes for $4. Proraso is often cited as working just as well as more expensive shave creams. Some of the Omega shave brushes compete well with brushes costing much more. So...what are the best deals out there?
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby ShadowsDad » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:20 am

Understand, my information might be dated. But at one time...

When bought in bulk, ARKO stick. It's not fancy, but it works great and it's extremely inexpensive.

In Almond Croaps, 3P in the kilo block.

Omega Boar brushes.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby owenm » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:10 pm

mantic wrote:I would like to ask the wet shavers who have been in the niche' a while what NON ARTISAN products they think represent a "best value" (great deal, best bang for the buck, punch above their weight, etc.) in old school wet shaving.... So...what are the best deals out there?

A Palmolive stick at ca. 50p each gets me about 3 months of excellent shaves. I love Erasmic cream too, but I haven't bought one of their sticks in a while, I hear they have gone downhill.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby CMur12 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:02 pm

Hi Mark -

I can't say that it's the cheapest, but my favorite non-artisan soap - and one that I feel is worth paying for - is Valobra hard soap, in the Shave Stick or in a cake. I also like Cella, which is an especially good value when purchased in a kilo brick.

Best value in a shave brush would be the Semogue 1305 or 830. The bristle in most boar brushes reminds me of straw, but these two Semogues have a special grade of bristle that is a cut above the rest. With my current lathering technique, these two brushes work more effectively for me than any others.

As far as a razor goes, I think it's worth the money to buy a Merkur Progress, which covers everything from mild to aggressive - and does it effectively, to avoid buying multiple razors with fixed heads until one finds the one that's right.

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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Nitrox » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:32 pm

For a razor, I'd have to go with the Muhle R89. It's not too aggressive and not too mild. It's the razor I keep going back to.
Taylor's creams can't be beat for the price, plus there's lots of variety in their scents.
Some of the top notch hard soaps come in refills, which are a lot cheaper than buying them in a bowl. Soaps such as Harris may seem a little more expensive, but in the long run will last you a very long time and give you outstanding performance. For brushes, there are a lot of good synthetic brushes that are very cheap in price but perform fairly well. Brushes such as the 'fake' Plissons synthetics are a good example.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Squire » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:48 pm

Nitrox wrote: . . . .Taylor's creams can't be beat for the price, plus there's lots of variety in their scents.
Some of the top notch hard soaps come in refills, which are a lot cheaper than buying them in a bowl. Soaps such as Harris may seem a little more expensive, but in the long run will last you a very long time and give you outstanding performance. . . .


My thoughts as well. If we do the math the cost per shave is so small the bit extra for Taylor or Harris advances them to the top of my lineup.

For bang for the buck prize though I'll go with Arko shave soap and Real Shaving Co. shave cream.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Rufus » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:41 am

Shaving creams (I rarely use soap): TOBS, Body Shop Maca Root and Real Shaving Co.

Aftershave: the AV line

Badger Brushes: New Forest, Simpson Colonel best, shavemac Finest and TGN 2-band finest

Boar brush: Omega B&B Essential Boar.

Horse brush: yuk

Synthetic brush: Muhle silvertip fibre

Razors (I rarely use a DE or SE): Mach3 and Sensor.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Gene » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:25 am

That's an easy one for me:

Razor: EJ DE89L. Love it - my daily go-to at home. $40.00

Brush: Tweezarman badger brush. Mine is several years old now. It is what I use when I am on the road, like today. It looks pretty beat up but still performs nicely. I bought it at Target for about $12.00.

Soap: Cella. What can I say - VERY affordable, same formula for over a century, great performance. $9.00 or so depending on where you shop.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby mantic » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:55 am

CMur12 wrote:As far as a razor goes, I think it's worth the money to buy a Merkur Progress, which covers everything from mild to aggressive - and does it effectively, to avoid buying multiple razors with fixed heads until one finds the one that's right.

Interesting, I hadn't thought about it in that way before. And with less expensive new adjustables on the horizon from Parker and Rockwell, the "value" might even get better.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby mantic » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:57 am

Gene wrote:Brush: Tweezarman badger brush. Mine is several years old now. It is what I use when I am on the road, like today. It looks pretty beat up but still performs nicely. I bought it at Target for about $12.00.

Tweezerman dropped their original badger brush for a new model that is built better but also much more expensive. :(
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Gene » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:19 pm

... From the Atlanta airport, headed back to Austin ...

Interesting Mark, i should check it out.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby brothers » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:38 pm

The following sticky is 9 years old, and contains obsolete links and price quotes, but former SMF member Rob went to a lot of trouble preparing it. Therefore, I respectfully submit this remarkable post for consideration.

Rob wrote:Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.
Post by Rob » Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:09 pm

I’ve written this little guide for anyone who is interested in shaving with a safety razor. This is a very low-cost, easy-to-follow guide that will allow you to jump into the DE (double-edge) world without emptying your wallet.

Let’s start with the razor. If you want to buy new, there’s great options out there for you. In no particular order:
1. Merkur Heavy Duty (AKA Hefty Classic), brand new - around $30 and is available at many online retailers
2. Weishi, brand new - $18 available at Cotton Blossom Crafts, Click here for a review
3. Feather Portable DE, 3-piece, brand new - $6.50 from Pauldog, Click here for a review (the exposed blade gap on this razor is larger than the other 3 razors I've listed, so be careful)
4. Parker Safety Razor, brand new - around $20 on eBay and other shave gear sites
5. Gillette Tech USED/VINTAGE - around $15, 3-piece, a very gentle razor (my personal favorite and daily shaver)...find it on eBay or in the Selling/Trading forum sometimes

You’ll need some blades to go with that razor. You will buy a blade sampler pack from West Coast Shaving and/or Razor and Brush. This is not a recommendation, it’s a requirement. You’ll never be able to accurately evaluate the shave from a safety razor until you find the right blade for your face.

You can go to Dollar General and buy double-edge blades for $1, too. But I cannot be held responsible for their level of quality. (Which may be good, or may be bad. I really have no idea.)


You’ll need a brush. Here's a couple of true bargains that don’t skimp on quality.
1. Omega Syntex - $9 available at Old Dominion Soap Company, item SB-7 (synthetic nylon bristles)
2. Omega Boar Hair - $10 available at Old Dominion Soap Company, item SB-4
3. Tweezerman Badger Hair - $10 available at BeautyRose
4. Omega Pure Badger Hair - $32 and up, available at Amazon

Two other brushes, which are more expensive, but are superb even if you don’t continue to shave with a safety razor:
1. EJ Best Badger - $35 available at Crabtree & Evelyn, maybe also be available at C&E retail stores
2. Savile Row SR-204 - $44 available at QED USA (out of stock, I sent email to QED requesting info if brush will come back)


Now let’s move to shaving creams and soaps.
1. Proraso shaving cream in the tube – $10 available at many online retailers (and available as C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Cream with Eucalyptus Oil at your local Bath & Body Works store, same product-different packaging as Proraso---also available at QED as Omega Eucalyptus shaving soap and cream, $7)
2. William’s Mug Shaving Soap - $2 at Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, grocery stores…etc., online as well
3. Van Der Hagen Shaving Soap - $2 at some brick & mortar retailers, online as well


Now let’s pamper that freshly shaved face with some quality (and yes, cheapo) aftershaves.
1. Nivea Aftershave - $6 available at virtually any brick & mortar retailer
2. Afta - $3 available at Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens
3. Pinaud Clubman - $5 at CVS and Walgreens and some grocery stores (feel the burn!)
4. Aqua Velva - $5 at most brick & mortar retailers (feel the burn!)
5. Lumene Aftershave - $9 available only at CVS

While you’re at Walgreens, Wal-Mart, CVS, or wherever, pick up a styptic pencil. It’ll be with the shaving gear. It will help you seal up those inevitable nicks and cuts. ;) No more than $2.

Another item that can help seal up nicks and cuts is an alum block. I have seen these for sale at local Indian shops (as in, from India). No more than $6. Also widely available online.


Something to think about, but not required, is a pre-shave beard treatment. These products can help soften the hairs to provide an easier shave.
1. Hair conditioner – yep, regular ol’ hair conditioner…any cheapo moisturizing brand is fine, don't buy the volumizing kind
2. Proraso Pre/Post Crema - $12 at many online retailers, works even better than hair conditioner


A shaving oil is not required but has proven to be useful for many people. I sometimes use shaving oil underneath my lather on my final pass. Others use it for the entire shave. They’re sometimes labeled ‘Pre-Shave Oil’ and are widely available at many online and brick & mortar retailers.
1. Shave Secret - $5 (I think) at Wal-Mart, available online as well
2. Pacific Shaving Oil - $6.95 available at Pacific Shaving Company


Once you’ve purchased all your gear and are ready to give it a go, swing by Leisureguy’s blog and read his excellent guide to the gourmet shaving experience. He covers all topics with finesse and confidence from decades of experience. Bookmark it. That’s not a recommendation, it’s a requirement. Also, Mantic has created an extremely valuable video series dedicated to wetshaving. There you can learn the proper ways of creating lather and shaving techniques and much, much more. Watch all the videos.

Excellent book resource for beginning wetshaving: Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving - $12 available at Lulu, Amazon, and eBay (sometimes).

This should be enough to get you started in the world of shaving with a safety razor. If you decide safety razors are your kind of thing, be sure to visit Leisureguy’s blog for great shaving tools recommendations. And, as always, this forum is available for your browsing, questions, and input. Join us! Please utilize the forum's search function often for your questions. Often times your question has been asked and answered—many times. ;)


This is not to be a be-all, end-all list of cheap products, but it is a great representation of low cost, quality products that anyone can obtain quite easily. You can easily start shaving with a safety razor without spending $150 or more on an unnecessary 4-piece shaving kit.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby jww » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:40 pm

+1 on the Palmolive classic stick at 50p. The cream sells pretty cheaply as well. I always get a supply of both when I travel to the UK.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Nitrox » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:57 pm

I forgot to mention aftershaves. :oops:
One can get decent aftershave lotions at 'dollar' stores for about a buck and change depending on which one you go to.
I have 2 of them and one resembles Aqua Velva and the other resembles Mennen Skin Bracer.
Same type of bottles and colour, and a nice lasting scent that is not too irritating.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Ouchmychin » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:19 pm

For the best cheap brush I have ever used, I recommend the Razorock Monster. At $10 +shipping for a great synthetic, it can't be beat. I shop ebay for bargain priced products too. I really fell for the Gillette Guard disposables. Be careful of blades there though. There are many fakes.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby oldjoe » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:04 pm

Argo shaving stick; Razorock synthetic shaving brush; Italian Barber Tech II razor($5.99 at the moment); Black Beauty razor blades! Cheap and work great!
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby GA Russell » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:39 am

1) razor - My first razor was a Weishi, and although I moved on I always thought it was a good value.

2) soap - Cella. I think a strong argument can be made for the Arko stick, but Cella is so much better and not expensive.

3) blade - Remember when the Rapira was dumped on the market? Was it four years ago? What a deal! I have no idea what they go for today. Anybody know?
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby Janus » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:03 am

Floid aftershaves. Good stuff and very affordable, at least this side of the pond. Cella colognes, lavender in particular, would also get my vote, if only they fixed the leaking caps.
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby mantic » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:08 am

Janus wrote:...Cella colognes, lavender in particular, would also get my vote, if only they fixed the leaking caps.

Huh. Didn't kow Cella made colognes. :oops:
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Re: For the Old Timers: Best Value* Wet Shaving Products?

Postby brothers » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:28 pm

mantic wrote:
Janus wrote:...Cella colognes, lavender in particular, would also get my vote, if only they fixed the leaking caps.

Huh. Didn't kow Cella made colognes. :oops:


Marc, This from Basenotes: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/369403 ... a-Classica
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