A Self Review

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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aih
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A Self Review

Post by aih » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:57 pm

Well, posting in SOTD makes one self
-conscious. It does me anyway.

So, I would tell a newbie that there are 3+ things to remember when starting to shave with a blade: Prep. Angle. And Touch. Plus Practice.

To explain myself, Prep, of course, and at least in my mind, is really about softening whiskers with water, and using some kind of lubricant, such as soap lather. And in my mind that is all there is to it. Soften those whiskers and provide a lubricant between blade and skin. Whatever works for you.

Angle. Really a simple matter. You want that blade oriented against your skin to cut whiskers. The trick is first finding it and holding it. The key: Short strokes.

Touch. Really a Zen thing. Imagine the blade just touching your skin. Not not touching your skin, and not pressing into you skin, but just touching your skin. See it. Do it.

And of course, practice. One day at a time. Until you are doing it without thinking about it

Though some days you will still wonder, is this blade done, or is it me. Did I start thinking about work and lose the angle on my jaw line? Well, who cares. Tomorrow is another day. We'll see.
- Ira

CMur12
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Re: A Self Review

Post by CMur12 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:28 pm

That all jibes with my experience, Ira. Good post.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

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ShadowsDad
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Re: A Self Review

Post by ShadowsDad » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:19 am

Yup. I call "touch" pressure. The blade needs contact (obviously) but if the skin is deformed inwards it's too much pressure. Deformed in the direction of travel is to be expected.
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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aih
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Re: A Self Review

Post by aih » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:07 am

Yeah, I think in terms of pressure as well. And I always say no pressure. When I write or say it I'm always emphasizing just touching the razor to your skin, and it ends up I'm talking in terms of touch.

This self-reflection has got me thinking of blades. Part of me doesn't want to throw away a blade that is still good, and the other part of me is asking myself, How do I know? And do I want to keep pushing a blade until it is obvious, and that observation is either in the middle of a shave or at the end of a really bad one?

I must have 20 years of blades at the rate of one blade a week. Perhaps more than 20 years if I keep traveling at the pace I'm traveling now. If I use a blade until it is done I might end up leaving my son 19 years worth of blades.
- Ira

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ShadowsDad
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Re: A Self Review

Post by ShadowsDad » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:38 am

I've never found pushing a DE blade to do more than it can safely do to be a good thing. As you wrote you just don't know when it's had enough. I'll add that when a DE blade is used when it's getting dull it will bite. Now a SE blade can be pushed and I've never had one bite, it just stops working efficiently. Until that point they also continue to give comfortable shaves. I've been known to get over 30 shaves from a SE blade. I put a tally mark on the wrapper after each shave to keep track.
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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aih
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Re: A Self Review

Post by aih » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:41 pm

I've been using a blade for about a week and then loading a new blade, usually on a Sun-Sat or Mon-Sun interval. Traveling messes with that system, but in general my method was around 7 shaves on a blade and then new blade. That has worked for me with all the blade brands I've used so far.

It's getting back on a forum and talking about it that has got me overthinking it. There really isn't a reason right now to penny-pinch on blades. Plus thinking too hard takes away from the pleasure of it.
- Ira

brothers
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Re: A Self Review

Post by brothers » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:17 pm

The Feather Pro single edge that I'm currently using just hit shave #20 today and the results were as good as ever. Still going strong.
Gary

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aih
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Re: A Self Review

Post by aih » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:29 pm

I ordered DE Kai blades, the two that are on West Coast Shaving right now. As I said in conversation on another thread, I haven't tried that brand yet. Also ordered DE Feather blades, which I have used and like. Maybe for the cost of Feathers I might do two weeks. But life is short, and I'm overthinking as it is.

I also order other blades I haven't used. I will probably go against my other method of using up a pack before opening another. I will have to try all of these blades and will post over time in the SOTD thread.
- Ira

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aih
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Re: A Self Review

Post by aih » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:43 am

Correction: It is two types of Rapira, not two Kai.
- Ira

Gareth
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Re: A Self Review

Post by Gareth » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:40 am

Interesting first post Ira and I couldn’t agree more with the advice you give. Learning to shave with a DE (and a straight too, I’m sure) IS quite a zen-like process. It takes patience and experience for sure.

I particularly agree with your ‘short strokes’ advice, and that’s something I don’t think we always mention enough, as usually we focus on angle and pressure. Whenever I get a little complacent and my neck irritation begins to come back, I find the quickest solution is to focus on taking short strokes again. A DE just can’t be used like the razors on the Mach 3 ads!

Gareth

brothers
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Re: A Self Review

Post by brothers » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:39 pm

Likewise!
Gary

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aih
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Re: A Self Review

Post by aih » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:28 am

Gareth wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:40 am
Interesting first post Ira and I couldn’t agree more with the advice you give. Learning to shave with a DE (and a straight too, I’m sure) IS quite a zen-like process. It takes patience and experience for sure.

I particularly agree with your ‘short strokes’ advice, and that’s something I don’t think we always mention enough, as usually we focus on angle and pressure. Whenever I get a little complacent and my neck irritation begins to come back, I find the quickest solution is to focus on taking short strokes again. A DE just can’t be used like the razors on the Mach 3 ads!

Gareth
brothers wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:39 pm
Likewise!
Thanks. I find myself questioning myself and the tools even though I know what to do and have been doing it a while now.

I received the Kai blades and was able to do two shaves with one before going on travel again. I like it very much. Maybe as much as I like Feather blades. They are at least near-great, maybe great in my book.

On the subject of knowing when a blade is finished or not, I believe what I'm observing in my case is the shave is less clean and less close long before other signs of blade degradation such as roughness or pulling become noticeable. This is really noticeable to me by feel at the end of the day and not so much right after the shave. In an exagerated sense, it is like the five o'clock shadow appearing at three o'clock.

I think my method of using a blade for a week is probably correct for me on average. I've given up on the idea of trying to be even more economical and keep using a blade until I'm sure it is worn out.
- Ira

Gareth
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Re: A Self Review

Post by Gareth » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:55 am

Ira, I use a blade 4 or 5 times then toss them. No point in my opinion taking it too far and risking a sub-par shave with the associated irritation. They’re cheap enough after all.

Gareth

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