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
, and eBay
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.
Last edited by Rob on Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:10 pm, edited 32 times in total.