Shave stick

What is your opinion on fine shaving creams and hard soaps? Do you like Trumpers, Coates, Taylors, Truefitt & Hill? Post your reviews and opinions here!

How do you use a shave stick?

Poll ended at Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:26 pm

Never used one
Enjoy using it as a shave stick
Use as a shave stick but don't like it
Try to use it like a soap puck: mash it into tub, cut pieces off, etc.
Other (just in case)
Total votes: 91

User avatar
GA Russell
Posts: 3070
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:15 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Post by GA Russell »

Am I the only one who dislikes the way the Valobra stick is packaged? With just a little foil on the end, and most of the stick exposed?

I would prefer it a lot more if it were fully wrapped in foil like the Arko.
Rapira Swedish Supersteel
Lijun badger
Gillette 1948-1950 Super Speed
Posts: 617
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:41 am
Location: Beaverton, OR

Post by Timpac »

I like the shave sticks for headshaving in the shower. Convenient, as I can leave 'em in the there and don't need a mug or bowl or anything, and I can lather well enough just massaging it with a hand. No, that doesn't work as well on the face, but works great for headshaving. Plus, the convenience for travel is awesome and I can use it on the face as well in those situations. Works out nicely.
User avatar
Posts: 5051
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:02 pm

Post by drumana »

hicabi wrote:
drumana wrote:My only experience with a shave stick is Valobra. I enjoyed using it as a shave stick but wound up milling it into a wooden bowl anyways. Tis a good soap that Valobra, wether you use it as a stick or not...
If you like Valobra, but not necessarily enjoy the stick form, you may give AOS Lavender a try. They are very similar, and you might enjoy the scent more.
hicabi - Yeah, I have the Art of Shaving Lemon, Sandalwood, and Lavender shave soaps. I favor the Sandalwood for the scent, although they are all good and all perform excellent for me.
User avatar
Posts: 1225
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:25 pm
Location: Utah

Post by Teiste »

I prefer shavesticks over bowl soaps.Shavesticks are easy to use,less messy,easy to carry,most of them are cheap and theyre wonderful!what else can you ask for?

Post by Leisureguy »

+1 (just wanted to do it :) )
User avatar
Shaving Paparazzo
Posts: 10472
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 5:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Post by rustyblade »

I used to laugh in the face of the shave stick, but now I have seen the light and am converted. Shave sticks are a great way to get a great deal of soap onto your face very quickly which is great for those that are lather challenged (bad water).
Posts: 315
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:39 pm
Location: CA

Post by JimT »

If I could select one shave soap that I would prefer using over all else (including most shave creams) it would be face lathering with a Tabac shave stick. It is a shame that this product is not available across the USA.

The Riehle Axiom - "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions"
User avatar
Posts: 3102
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:07 am
Location: Great State of Georgia, USA

Post by Shave4Fun »

The only stick I have used is ARKO. The wrapper is not so great so I put it in a medicine bottle and drilled a small hole in the cap. The ARKO stick is great for rubbing on your wet face and brush lathering.

I've been a wet shaver for 52 years!
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:54 am
Location: Montreal

Post by woofer »

My only shave stick is from Tryphon, and I like it. Very portable when I travel or go camping: about the size of a brush, in a plastic case like the ones they use for some deodorants. I can rub the soap directly on my face, or work a foam by rubbing the brush on it.
User avatar
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:40 pm

Post by lanolite »

I've always had such good results using them as intended I've never been tempted to do anything else.

It's interesting that despite all the talk on forums about mashing/milling/grating shave sticks, a fairly small percentage actually do it, and a slight but absolute majority likes to use them as sticks.

Like all internet polls the result is unscientific, but color me surprised.

Post by Leisureguy »

That's exactly why I did the poll. I was convinced that many shavers actually enjoy using a shaving stick as a stick---mainly because I do, of course. :) I'm gratified by the results and hope that they might convince some new users to give a shave stick a go. As a shave stick.
User avatar
Posts: 632
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Post by iancevans »

I want to like shave stick as shave sticks...seems very convenient. But when I try to drag them across my mug, hardly any soap comes off and, rather than gliding, they pull my skin and skip a lot. When I finally do get enough soap off to start lathering, my skin is irritated (either by too much concentrated soap directly on it or by all the tugging). Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Perhaps I'll order a QED stick...I imagine a glycerin stick is easier than the tallowate ones I've tried.

Of course, there's still the problem of the brush hitting my face without any sort of lather yet in the bristles--that too can be rough on my skin.

"Anything less than the best is a felony"
--Vanilla Ice
User avatar
M'Learned Friend
Posts: 11829
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:13 am
Location: memphis, tennessee

Post by Sam »

I use a QED shave stick for blade buffing. I would like to try the Tabac stick for regular lathering and taking on vacation. Did not like the Arko shave stick I used.

Post by Leisureguy »

Ian, you don't need to press hard with the stick. Wet your beard, and then rub the stick against the grain all over your beard. That should remove enough soap for a good lather. Then wet the brush and brush lightly but vigorously. I start with my chin---tough beard there means a lot of soap rubbed off---and almost immediately I get some lather. The brush, with that bit of lather already building, then is used to brush (lightly and vigorously) over all my beard. Sometimes I add a driblet of water to the center of the brush partway through.
Hodari D.
Posts: 752
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:06 pm

Post by Hodari D. »

I voted for number 3. I find them to work but I just don't like the feeling of rubbing it against my face. I prefer a cake of soap or, lately, I've preferred using shaving creams.

Posts: 20740
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Post by brothers »

It works best for me if I splash a lot of water onto my face so I can wet my beard area thoroughly, then I hold the stick under the running water for a second, then rub the stick around on my wet face, and if it starts to tug or feel the least bit dry, I hold it under the faucet some more. I like to load a lot of soap onto the whiskers.

Having both the soap and the face good and wet results in the successful transfer of an ample supply of soap to where I need it to be, in order to get the job done.

Then as you say, I take the soaked and gently shaken badger brush, (sorry Zack, I don't have a boar brush any more) and start working it, not roughly enough to irritate the face, but just side to side, up and down, back and forth, bulding the lather on the face, and in the brush. I always get plenty of lather this way.

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
User avatar
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:40 pm

Post by lanolite »

Yes, you get everything wet...face, brush, and even the top of the stick if you like, though I don't find it necessary.

Then it's all slick like a bath soap; there's no reason for it to skip.
User avatar
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Eastern Massachusetts

Post by GregPQ »

Leisureguy wrote:It always struck me as odd that shave stick packaging in general is so lame---I'm talking about the commercial brands now, not the artisans (who usually use quite good packaging). There are exceptions---D.R. Harris...
My experience is limited to QED (almost the whole range) and a splurge for the D R Harris almond shave stick. The Harris is an excellent soap, but the packaging in my example was so cheesy, especially given the price.

It is not as thick and squat as the QEDs, resembling a chapstick somewhat. And the threads are stripped, so the cap has never screwed on properly.

Maybe I got a bad specimen: I'd always heard the Harris shavestick touted as the gold standard, and it was supposed to be a bit of a treat. If Charles can get this right, why can't D R Harris?

/*rant mode OFF*/
Fiat lux, et facta est lux. Que la lumière soit, et la lumière fut. Let there be light, and there was light.

Post by Leisureguy »

I have a couple of D.R. Harris shave sticks. No problem with either one. It's true that they are of smaller diameter than QED's, but OTOH they are triple-milled soap and not glycerin, so I suspect the lifetime of each is about the same.
User avatar
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:27 am
Location: Buffalo, NY

Post by Batmang »

I have used the Arko and the Irisch Moos sticks. I agree with Michael in regards to the packaging however, and I am wondering what I will do when the Arko foil falls apart. The IM stick, however, is very convenient, but I suspect contributes to the price. I like the results I get with both; the Arko is a great value IMHO.

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.----Yogi Berra
Post Reply