People often ask me what kind of a shave do I like? This is really easy to answer. While I'm shaving, I like the shave to have plenty of cushion which gives good protection from nicks and cuts. I also like the shave to have that impossibly slick feeling as I go along with the shave. If the shave is extremely slick, that means the razor's blade will not be tugging or pulling and the hairs get sliced off cleanly. The slickness and cushion also prevent razor burn which I can't stand to have. The best shave I ever had was with my Weishi DE or double edge safety razor. The first thing I did that day was shower and I washed out my beard that day with a hydrating and moisturizing shampoo. Next I added Proraso's Pre & Post Shave Cream green formula and rubbed it in the opposite direction of beard growth which made my beard stand up for a close shave. Little did I know that it would be an epic shave. The product that I used was Gillette Fusion's Pro-Glide Sensitive Shave gel and I treated it like you would a tube of shaving cream. That shave was the best. The post shave will also tell you a story. For me, I like the post shave to impossibly slick and extremely close. It also has to have that "Baby Smooth" feeling as well which usually means practically no stubble. That is my favorite type of shave that I'd like to get often.
Today I decided to try Gillette's new Flexball razor and their menthol based shave foam:
One of the very first products I ordered was Men-U shave cream. The product was terrible. It says cream on the website and container, but it's not a shaving cream. It's a lotion that doesn't lather to good. In fact it doesn't create any lather. It had some slickness to it, but practically had no cushioning ability and you need that in a shaving product. Another problem was the fact that I paid $16.75 for a 3.3 ounce bottle. That's $5.08 per ounce so the price point is way too high. I don't intend to purchase this stuff or anything else that says "Men-U" on the container. So please do not waste your money.
These blades are my personal favorite DE or double edge blades to use in all of my safety razors. The price point is a bit on the high side at $4.50 for a package of 10 blades which is $.45 cents per blade over at West Coast Shaving Supplies, but some places charge as much as $8.50 for a pack which is not nessecary so please shop around. West Coast Shaving seems to have the cheapest price point for these blades at $4.50 for 10 blades. One blade is good for 8 shaves before having to replace it which is awesome. The package itself also has a used blade storage comparment which makes disposal alot easier. These blades are made of stainless steel so you won't have to worry about rust. These paticular blades are excessively sharp which is really good for my medium beard and if you have a really coarse beard, then these will definately be your first choice. The post shave will be a little rough until you get to the 3rd shave if you have sensitive skin like I do. The first shave you'll have to take alot longer due to the extreme sharpness of these blades so please use caution. After the 3rd shave is completed, you'll notice that the post shave gets much smoother as you go along. The 8th use of these blade are still very good but the post shave starts to fall off a bit, but not much. The 9th shave pretty much told me that these baldes had reached their limit. They started to pull and tug really bad on my trouble spots and started to leave some stubble behind and the smoothness of the post shave was just about gone. For me, one 10 pack of these blades are good for 80 shaves. Now for those that have light beards, one 10 pack of thse blades could be good for 100 shaves (2 extra shaves per blade) at the most. Now for those that have heavier beards, you will probably not get more than 6 shaves per blade and only one shave will be needed to break in the blade for comfort. The smoothness will also start to fall off at around the 5th shave. I will be looking at getting these in bulk here pretty soon, but not just yet.
These gave me a really solid shave and the post shave was really good. They're not as sharp as Feather DE or double edge blades, but they more than make up for it in smoothness. I have not used these in a while and I've not used them in my Edwin Jagger DE89 safety razor either. I did use these in my Weishi and they were great. If they're that good in a mild safety razor, then I'm in for a real treat using these in my Edwin Jagger DE89 because it has a much superior design that's geared towards shaving compared to the Weishi. These blades did not tug or pull on any of my trouble spots which was really nice. They didn't struggle to slice through the hair like the Derby blades did and the shave quality didn't fall off till about the 4th shave which was really nice. The post shave was very good. No left over stubble at all which was extremely nice. The price point is $2.25 for 5 blades which puts the cost at $.45 cents per blade so they're a little on the high side considering you don't get but 6 shaves before having to grab another blade. If I can't get my "go to" DE or double edge blades, then these are my next best choice. I might want to buy these in bulk later on, but right now I can't just yet.
This was my first DE or double edge blade purchase over at Westcoast Shaving Supplies. The first shave was ok but the post shave was not quite there for me. These blades also have a high price point at $3.13 per blade. These only come in a 100 pack and the package will set you back $32.00 bucks. The closeness was alot better than most blades due to the fact that these are often used in hospitals to prepare the skin for surgery so they'll need to be close. The post shave wasn't good for me. There was no slickness at all and my trouble spots gave this blade a really hard time. These blade don't last at all. You'll be doing good to get 2 multi pass shaves out of each blade. I definately won't be purchasing these blades again. Personna has another blade that's similar to this called Lab Blue which is made by another company here in the united states. My supplier mentions that these lab blue blades share the same characteristics as the medical prep blades I just reviewed earlier in this post. So that tells me not to waste my money on the Personna Lab Blue DE or double edge blades because they won't work for me.
These are the blades that came with my Edwin Jagger DE89 safety razor. The first use which I like to call the "break in" shave, the blade did a pretty decent job. It had trouble with the first pass but I also had 3 day's worth of beard growth. As I went along, the shave got a little better. The final pass was pretty good, but it had left quite a bit of stubble and I needed to perform an extra pass to clean up what was left. I have a beard that has a medium level of coarseness and it grows in all different directions along with sensitive skin. The post shave did not feel to good. This blade also had a lot of problems getting my trouble spots with the first shave. So I waited for 2 days before shaving again with the same blade. Once again I got the same results and the blade struggled through out the entire shave. Even short stubble proved to be difficult for this paticular DE blade. After this shave, I waited 2 days and tried again. The blade was virtually useless. It pulled and tugged even worse than it did before and I didn't even finish the first pass with this blade. So I tossed it and installed a new Feather DE blade and finished the shave with that. In my opinion the Derby brand of DE or double edge blades, would be good for those with soft hair that doesn't grow in all different directions and sensitive skin. The most shave you'll get from these blades is 3 or 4 at best. The price point of these blades are low at $1.75 dollars for 5 blades and if you decide to buy these blades in bulk, the costs are $20 bucks for 100 DE or double edge blades over at Westcoast Shaving Supplies. I won't be purchasing these blades because they are not sharp enough for my medium level beard and they snagged really bad in my trouble spots.
After determining that the Feather AC shavette system wasn't for me, I ordered an Edwin Jagger DE89 saftey razor. The first impression you get is the handsome black box packaging that the razor comes in. It's extremely nice and classy. This is a 3 piece razor with a preset angle which means you just load the double edge or DE blade, shave and go. The handle is very light weight while the head of the razor is a little on the heavy side which is a good thing. This means that all of the razor's weight is focused towards the head which is where you'll need it while you shave. The handle has a pretty good grip to it but there are other razor out there that have more grip than this one does. The finish is emaculent. There's no rough edges scratches or nicks in the razor and the chrome is beyond belief. If you ever had to send a part out to get chromed, you'll only wish that it comes back this good. The shaves and post shave qualities are alot better compared to what I was using in the past. I'll definately be looking getting a couple more of these razors for christmas gifts this coming holiday season. The price point is really good considering the quality of the razor you'll be getting. It has an average price point of $40 bucks. Most safety razors that have this kind of quality and finish would usually go for at least double that.
I have not tried them just yet, but there's a few safety razors that I intend to try. The first one is a Merkur 37C. It holds the blade in a "twisted or scewed" fasion which creates a guillotine affect for a much closer and smoother shave. Another razor that I want to try is a Merkur 25C open comb razor with a long handle. It holds the blade normally, but there's no safety bar for protection like you'd get with a normal safety razor. This will be your most aggressive type of safety razor that you can get on today's market due to the amount of blade exposure. The other razor I'm itching to try is the Merkur Futur which is an ajustable razor. I'll be going for the polished chrome version because from what I've read at about the matte chromed version, the finish tends to wear off after so many uses which is very disheartening considering that it's a fairly expensive razor. The price point of the Merkur Futur is around $90 bucks give or take a little, while the 37C is around $50 bucks. The 25C has an average price point at $40 bucks which is not too bad at all. Another thing I've noticed is that the chrome finish used my Merkur Safety Razors over in Germany, gets alot of mixed reviews and is often compared with Edwin Jagger's quality. Edwin Jagger is an excellent chrome plating artist considering that they do the chrome for Rolls Royce which says alot about the quality. I'm going to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. If Mekur's chrome finish is often compared to Edwin Jagger's chrome plating, then it must be extremely good. So my wish list over at Westcoast Shaving supplies tends to get a bit longer as I go to try out new shaving products.
Shortly after ordering my Weishi online and getting word that it had shipped, I saw a commercial for this safety razor featuring Rick Harrison off of the hit tv show Pawn Stars. This razor sold out rather quickly and stayed that way for at least 2 months before I could get a look at it which was fine because I was enjoying the quality shaves I was getting with my Weishi at that time. One day I found this safety razor in a local shop and I got quite a shock after getting a real close look at it. It's the exact same razor as the all stainless steel Weishi 9306 G model ! The only difference is the travel case is black and lined with red velvette. It also comes with a little chromed wire stand for storage on your sink and 2 packs of 5 Dorco DE or double edged blades. The price point is $20 bucks and this razor can be found in the "AS Seen on TV section at most retailers. In my opinion, Rick Harrison endorsing this razor will bring alot of people into the wet/classic shaving world. Wether or not he truly uses it like he claims is a completely different story. I think he does use a safety razor, but not the one he endorses because there are much better safety razors out there compared to this one. It still gives good shaves for those that have extremely sensitive skin and for beginners like I said in my review of the Weishi. The price point is about the same because you do get more with this safety razor in the form of a wire stand and 2 packs of Dorco 5 DE blade packs. The only bad part about this situation and razor is that most people will only try it and keep using it until it falls apart. When this does happen, they'll say screw it and go back to shaving with cartridges. You might see roughly around 4 out of 10 people look for a better safety razor and stick with it. This is the bad side of wet/traditonal shaving. Celebrities like Rick Harrison and Conan "O" Brien are basically in it for the money and nothing else. They just don't have the passion for it.
Back in April after using my Weishi for about a month, I decided to purchase an all stainless steel Parker Barber Shavette. It's all stainless steel construction is a plus. That means you won't have to worry about it rusting over time with use. This shavette uses a DE or Double Edge blade split in half which means you'll get to sample the various DE or Double Edge blades that are out there which is a really good thing. The price point is extremely low at around $15 to $20 bucks. Most of your quality straight razors and shavettes are 3 times higher than that if not more. Remember you get what you pay for when it comes wet/traditional shaving tools. The finish on this shavette leaves alot to be desired. Some of the edges and corners of this shavette could've and should've been cleaned up a little better than it was before being sent out. The blade is hard to load. To load the blade, you must unfold the shavette. Take the actual blade holder and twist it until you can split the entire arm to expose the blade compartment and then you load the DE blade which was split in half onto the tabs and twist the main arm back into place and the blade is secure and ready to be used. Loading the blade on this shavette takes a little while and is not as easy as some other shavettes such as the Dovo shavette where you simply slide the blade holder out and unfold it. Install the blade onto the tabs and fold it back and reinsert the blade holder back into the shavette. Due to nerve problems, I can't use a folding straight razor or shavette. All in all I'd give it around 3 stars for performance mainly because it takes longer than most other shavettes and traditional straight razors and the price point is low and much more affordable than most shavettes as well as other straight razors that are on the market. As far as the finish and functionality goes, I'd give it 2 stars because it's really hard to load the blade and the finish is terrible. Seeing what I got and experienced, I would NOT buy this razor again.
Back in March, I purchased the all stainless steel Weishi 9306 G model safety razor. I got some really good shaves with this razor. The first thing you'll notice is that it comes in its own blue travel case which is nice. Inside the travel case, you'll find a mirror inside the lid and a small brush for cleaning out the safety razor which I recomend doing after each use. My travel case was damaged during shipping and I had to use the hot glue gun to install the mirror back into its frame and then back into the lid. The little brush was also missing when I opened my razor which is fine I usually do rinse it on a regular basis through out the entire shave which I also recomend doing. It came with 1 Dorco DE or Double Edge blade which I tossed. Dorco blades get alot of mixed reviews at various shaving supply stores and they make Dollar General's brand of DE or Double Edge blades which you can get 10 blades for around $2.25 which is a really good price point. There's some drawbacks to the Weishi. The first is that there's no aggressive angle to the head of the razor which is great for those that are just starting out with a safety razor, sensitive skin, or have just returned to safety razors and their technique is a little rusty. The Weishi also doesn't have much blade exposure compared to others that are on the market. That means you'll get a mild shave which can be both good and bad for some people. Those with sensitive skin and mild beards will like it while those that have the same skin type but coarse beards may not like this razor. Another drawback is that this safety razor has no weight behind it which can easily be fixed by using an ultra sharp DE blade such as Feather,Gillette 7' O clock, or Gillette Sharp Edge DE blades. The finish of the Weishi is pretty good. It's a replica of an early 1960's Gillette Speed Glide. The all stainless steel construction means that it will not rust which is a really good thing. It's a TTO or "Twist To Open" type of safety razor which is much faster and easier to load razor than most. The last drawback is the buuterfly doors where thwe blade is loaded. They're a little on the weak side around the hinge areas. I retired mine from use because of this. I want the razor to last and not fall apart so I keep it in storage. The price point of this razor is extremely low. At less than $20 bucks, this is pretty much a steal. After using it for a few months, I'd give it 3 stars and recomend it to beginners and those that have extremely sensitive skin. I also must say Buyer Beware because it does have poor construction where it clearly could've been alot better.
About 2 months ago, I purchased a Feather AC (AC is short for Artist Club) non-folding japanese style razor. It's a shavette which works like a straight razor, but it uses an injector style replacable blade system. That takes all of the maintence out of the equation for those that are on the go and want a classic or traditional wet shave that you can get at alot of barber shops across the country. The razor itself is kindly on the expensive side of things and usually starts at around $100 bucks or more. The version I purchased can be used like a safety razor on certain areas of the face such as the cheeks, along the jaw line and chin areas. The blade holder of the razor is solid stainless steel while the previous models were a mixture of brass and stainless steel. The current model also has a rolled edge which relieves pressure along the blade which allows a much more comfortable and milder shave compared to the previous model's pointed version of the blade holder. The handle has a gel like resin which is extremely easier to grip even with wet hands compared to hard plastic type resin that you'd get on the folding version and previous models. Feather's shavettes or straight razors all use the same blades and only those blades. For me, the folding version was ruled out because I have alot of old injuries and some nerve problems and can't use the proper techniques need to acheive a close and smooth shave. Unfortunately, my skin is too sensitive and can't handle the post shave of a Feather straight razor or shavette. Now the only drawbacks to this shaving system is the fact that you can only use Feather's injector style blades and none of them are budget friendly either. You only have 4 to choose from and they're extremely sharp. Some say that they're too sharp. I find this to be true for some people especially those that have extremely sensitive skin. Another prblem is the price of this razor. The model I chose sold for $120.00 bucks at westcoast shaving supplies. That's more than all 3 of my other razors. So if you do have the funds availible, you can try the Feather AC or DX systems if you wish to try a straight razor type of shave but with the ease of a safety razor. I would NOT purchase this item again mainly because it has too high of a price point.
Thank goodness for Westcoast Shaving Supplies for posting up the ingredients list for Tabac shaving soaps and creams. When you have sensitive skin, you have to look at the ingredients listed on the packages and containers of shaving products. Westcoast Shaving Supplies are one of my all time favorite suppliers. They often place the ingredients list underneath most of their products which is a very good thing for those of us that have sensitive skin because it lets us know wether or not we can use that product without having a really bad reaction. Tabac shaving products have a really strong reputation. The first thing I noticed was that Tabac has alot and I do mean an excessive amount of perfumes listed in the igredients list. One of the things that I've learned the hard way over the years was to avoid any and all products that have alot of or excessive amounts of perfumes, fragrances, fragrance oils, and alcohol. Some sensitive skin products can't be used because they one or more of these ingredients. Another thing that came up alot in the reviews about Tabac's shaving products was the scent. While some say they tolerate it due to its performance, others avoid Tabac because of it. That's a red flag to me. They say Tabac's scent won't run people off but in my humble opinion, if people are already avoiding it because of the scent then my guess is that it can run people out of the room. It's a really contradicting situation with Tabac's shaving products. They say it peforms really good but unfortunately, I won't get that chance to try it out. Another problem that I seen with Tabac's products was that they intend to dry out really fast and can take an excessive amount of water through out the shave. While hydration is one of the keys to a good shave, this is not good for Tabac's products in terms of post shave quality. If their stuff dries out quickly, then you'll be forced to rush your shave which can damage and irritate your skin quite severely. It ruins the zen like experience of the shave. The biggest thing that also went against Tabac's shaving products was the price point. The jar of Tabac shave cream costs start at $20 bucks. If you just get the refill soap, then it lowers it to $18 bucks. That is not cheap at all. In fact that is 1/3 higher than Taylor of Old Bond Street's shaving products and you still don't get anywhere near what you'd get from Taylor of Old Bond Street either. So for me, I have ruled out Tabac's shaving products. Sorry Tabac, but you need to reformulate your shaving products.
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