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Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

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Cheap shaving tools guide for a newbie.

Postby Rob » Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:09 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.
Last edited by Rob on Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:10 pm, edited 32 times in total.
Rob
 

Postby CMur12 » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:01 pm

Rob, this is outstanding - a most valuable guide! I would like to see this stickied.

With this contribution, we can form a triumvirate of resources for the new wet-shaver: Mark/Mantic's videos, Michael/Leisureguy's blog, and Rob/Rob_TN's Cheap Shaving Tools for the Newbie! :D

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Postby Rob » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:05 pm

Thanks! I forgot to add Mantic's videos in there. I will correct that error momentarily.
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Postby verde » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:05 pm

CMur12 wrote:Rob, this is outstanding - a most valuable guide! I would like to see this stickied.


Ditto! Great stuff. Thanks
-Mike

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to the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas."
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Postby nodaktim » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:07 pm

CMur12 wrote:Rob, this is outstanding - a most valuable guide! I would like to see this stickied.

With this contribution, we can form a triumvirate of resources for the new wet-shaver: Mark/Mantic's videos, Michael/Leisureguy's blog, and Rob/Rob_TN's Cheap Shaving Tools for the Newbie! :D

- Murray


I concur. This is a very excellent post for a newbie to read. I also think this should become a sticky thread for easy access for those new to the forum. Great job Rob. =D>
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Postby Leisureguy » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:12 pm

A total of $35.25 if you pick the cheapest in each category --- and that includes the $12.25 for the blade samples. --- I.e., a complete shaving kit for the cost of ten disposal Fusion cartridges.

Very good work, Rob!
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Postby Rob » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:24 pm

Thanks, fellows! From experience I've found that buying the most expensive gear (Ex. Merkur Futur, Silvertip brush, Truefitt & Hill, Taylors, Geo F Trumper, Art of Shaving) is truly unnecessary to dip one's toes into the world of DE shaving. I always let out a groan inside when I see a newbie arriving to the forum having trouble with his $150+ shiny new 4-piece shaving kit. It's just not necessary to spend that amount of money.

Also, those 4-piece kits may be what keeps some guys away from DE shaving. I know I'd drop a brick in my pants if I saw those prices and thought, "I need that to get into DE shaving? Ummm, no way."

By going cheap in the beginning you can evaluate DE shaving and see if it's for you or not. If it isn't for you, then you haven't spent much at all and most likely you can sell your unwanted tools on this very forum to recoup some of your money.
Rob
 

Postby Trumperman » Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:28 pm

Rob,

Your post gets my Sticky of the year vote! This is a very resourceful guide for anyone getting into wet shaving.

Bravo! My compliments to the Chef!

Bill
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Postby jrgroucho » Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:43 pm

Very well done Rob. I too, would like to see this as a Sticky. Glad to see Lumene ASB didn't make the list. (No need tormenting anyone :wink: .)

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Postby Rob » Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:33 pm

Gwolly. :) Thanks guys!

Sniff, sniff. :( I had to refrain from listing the Lumene because it's no longer available at CVS. Truly a loss.
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Postby GregCavi » Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:44 pm

Stunning suggestions! Thanks!

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Postby DavidB » Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:03 pm

Bravo, Rob! Thanks for posting.

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Postby jslfl » Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:15 pm

All I can say is:

=D>
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Postby Kalypso » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:25 pm

Good guide Rob! (And, as a UT grad & someone Knoxville born & bred, you didn't have to even mention UT or Vanderbilt playing Florida recently)!
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Postby Rob » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:03 pm

Well Doug, I'm not a sports person at all. Not even in the slightest. So the fact that UT was playing against Florida recently is news to me! ;)
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Postby fallingwickets » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:32 am

Very well done Rob.

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Postby ZiggyDeath » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:50 am

i was wondering why aqua velva didnt make the list of aftershaves? it's dirt cheap and can be found in many pharmacies or walmarts

but most importantly the stuff kills razor burn and irritation dead in it's tracks, granted the absolutely horrible burning sensation, seems like it's a good candidate for a starter set: the bonus to the horrible burn is that it's a good indicator to how badly your screwed up and this imho is very important and gauging shaving technique and blade choice
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Postby Rob » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:01 pm

ZiggyDeath wrote:i was wondering why aqua velva didnt make the list of aftershaves? it's dirt cheap and can be found in many pharmacies or walmarts

but most importantly the stuff kills razor burn and irritation dead in it's tracks, granted the absolutely horrible burning sensation, seems like it's a good candidate for a starter set: the bonus to the horrible burn is that it's a good indicator to how badly your screwed up and this imho is very important and gauging shaving technique and blade choice


Fair enough, but I did put a disclaimer at the end of my list: "This is not to be a be-all, end-all list of cheap products, but it is a great representation of quality products that anyone can obtain quite easily."

If I were to include each and every cheap, good product, then the list would become way too bloated to be an easy-to-follow guide. In fairness, I did add Aqua Velva.
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Postby ZiggyDeath » Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:41 pm

Rob_TN wrote:Fair enough, but I did put a disclaimer at the end of my list: "This is not to be a be-all, end-all list of cheap products, but it is a great representation of quality products that anyone can obtain quite easily."

If I were to include each and every cheap, good product, then the list would become way too bloated to be an easy-to-follow guide. In fairness, I did add Aqua Velva.


of course i know

the thing is, this list lacks an alum block which helps with razor burn and irritation, without that alum block it falls solely on the AS to perform the duties

figured that Aqua Velva would have a good candidate due to it's amazing performance, price and general availability

at least that's my reasoning, which for all intents and purposes may be flawed :oops:
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Postby Johnnie » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:18 pm

Thanks Rob. I've been wanting to do something like this for a while but haven't found the time. I think new wet shavers will find this invaluable.

Consider it stickied!


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