Chocolate Bourbon & The 209:

This morning's shave was great. Unfortunately I made 1 too many passes and got a slight touch of razor burn but it will clear up in about an hour or so. I'm also on the last leg of this soap and aftershave. And I've already posted in the G+ communities. So this will be for the remaining groups that I am a member of and my own Face Book page from now on:

Final Thoughts on New Gillette Blade:

After this morning's shave, I have determined how long a pack of the new Gillette Platinum Plus DE blades that I got the other night at a local Kmart. In the Edwin Jagger DE 89, I can get a grand total of 27 multi pass shaves out of this pack of blades. 9 blades per pack X 3 shaves per blade = 27 and that's if I stretched it to one extra shave per blade. So lets do some more math here. $4.29 per pack of blades divided by 27 = .158 or $.16 cents per shave with these blades. As always your mileage may vary and it will also depend on the razor you are using as well. This DE 89 specific calculations. That's still not bad for these blades and the shave quality of these blades are good but not great. They can be a shade sharper and slightly smoother than what they are now. I think of them as a downgraded version of a Gillette Silver Blue:

Now I will be trying them next in the Doc for performance purposes only. Mainly because I've already formed my opinion about these blades:

And with the slant, the doc, and other open comb styled razors out there, the number of shaves you get out of a pack of blades will be 18 multi pass shaves because those types of razors are blade eaters. The doc is a blade eater and I usually get just 1 less shave than I normally get in the DE 89. So let's do some more math here. $4.29 per pack of blades divided by 18 shaves = .238 or $.24 cents per shave in the blade eater type of razors. So they're still cheaper than Feather and Bolzano blades that some suppliers charge which changes if you get them from Amazon like I do.

Latha Limon & The DE 89:

This morning's shave was great. I needed a Barrister & Mann fix so I grabbed my Latha Limon which has a scent of lemons, orange and rose which is incredible. I don't have any lemon based aftershave splashes or balms, so I paired it with my Aqua Velva classic ice blue aftershave. The Edwin Jagger DE 89 did well with these Gillette Platinum Plus blades:

In terms of post shave feel, it's not quite as good as it was yesterday but more than socially acceptable. 3 shaves at the most is all I'll be getting out of these blades. So this wraps up trying new blades. I'm pretty much set on Astra green packaged blades being my go to DE blade. Now I will try these blades in the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's double open comb razor to see how they perform in that razor which is mild and comfortable to use.

Gillette Platinum Blade Evaluation:

After I showered this morning, I went into my shave using the Edwin Jagger DE 89 and the new Gillette Platinum Plus DE blades that I got at Kmart last night and I must say that these were much better than I initially thought they were going to be. So this is a really good razor and blade combo and in my humble opinion it would be great for beginners whom are just starting out with this specific razor. During the 1st pass which was from north to south, the blade didn't tug or pull and I could feel the blade in this razor but it was really smooth and comfortable and it also didn't have any trouble going through my barbed wire stubble. So the glide was great. After I finished the 1st pass and felt how much of my beard was left, I could definitely tell that these were not quite as sharp as the Gillette Silver Blues are but they were much more comfortable and smoother than the Gillette Silver Blue DE blades are:

The 2nd pass which was from south to north is what really told the story about these DE blades. About 98% of my beard was gone and the 2nd pass was even more comfortable than the 1st pass was. There was still no problems with glide and unlike the Gillette Silver Blue DE blades on the 1st multi pass shave, I had no weepers in my neck or moustache areas either. That normally occurs on the 1st shave only with the Gillette Silver Blue DE blades. And there was no razor burn either which also tends to happen with my sensitive skin after the 2nd pass. I could have stopped right there, but I decided to go ahead and do a 3rd pass which was from the nose towards the ear on my cheeks, the bottom of my chin, and moustache area while my neck area got a north to south type of pass. The end results was a squeaky clean ice rink type of post shave feel with no touch ups there was also no sting from the alum block and I had no weepers or razor burn either. Now I did get some sting from my aftershave splash but not much though. This was the last blade I wanted to try and in a previous blog post, there were some blades that I have tried that I did not mention and most of the ones I did try in various other razors besides the Edwin Jagger DE 89 which has been the common element to all of the blades I have tried. These are still not as good as the Astra Superior Platinum (green packaging) in the DE 89 because unlike these Gillette Platinum blades, I couldn't feel the blade and only 2 passes were needed so those are my final blade choice.

Jack Frost & The DE 89:

This morning's shave was great if not perfect. SteamBath Factory's Jack Frost was perfect for a hot day like today and the warm sugar, vanilla and mint scent is very delicious smelling And the RazoRock Plissoft synthetic brush does really well at lathering creams and soft soaps. And to add to the chill factor, I paired this soap with Aqua Velva classic ice blue aftershave:

In terms of post shave, I have a squeaky clean ice rink type of post shave. These blades performed really well in the Edwin Jagger DE 89. I'll do a more detailed blog post later about the razor and blade combo which was really good. It took 3 full passes but it was great.

Blade vs. Vintage Comparison:

As many of you know, I bought some brand new DE blades tonight at a Kmart store tonight. I got to thinking about the look that was on the blades when I first opened them up and I went and pulled a couple of Vintage DE blades out of storage. One was a 1970's Schick Platinum Plus and the other just happened to be a 1970's Gillette Super which you see below on the right :

The one on the left is in Portugese while the vintage is in english and the vintage has solid arrows, but the main logo is really close to being the same. I also noticed that both blades are thinner than a piece of paper compared to what I've been using. Once I flipped the blades over to the other side, the differences continue as you see below:

Both are pretty close but I can just about guarantee you that the Vintage Gillette DE blades will come out on top if I had a NOS pack of them. The Vintage Gillette was my late grandfather's blades which happened to be in the razor that my grandmother gave me. There was also a vintage Schick DE blade in the other razor which can be seen below on the right :

It's a crying shame that Gillette, Schick and a few others got greedy and stopped producing these blades and other products. They still could have kept producing the DE blades along with the cartridges at the same time for those who kept their DE safety razors. But we all know what happened there and what all has happened since then.

New Toy for Oil My Stones:

Since I am still planning on using oil stones to hone some razors with, I've been on the prowl as of late looking for something to use to apply oil to my oil stones with. I just happen to get lucky yet again at Kmart with this 3/4's of a pint oil can for only $5 dollars which is awesome:

This came about due to what you see directly below. While I love the 3 in One oil, the bottle it comes in is flat out junk. The ONLY way I can get the oil to come out of the bottle that it comes in is to fully extend the application wand and when you are there trying to hone a straight razor, it's awkward as awkward can be and it gets on my nerves to no end:

This little blue mini oil can will be much easier to use compared to the bottle that it comes in. Now as my next stone purchase goes, I've still not decided which one to get just yet and my budget is kindly dictating what I can buy next.

Astra Green = 4 Shaves:

Well ladies and gentlemen, I have decided to call it quits with the longevity test on the Astra green DE blades. The fact that they went past my usual 3 shaves tells me that I need to get some more of these blades. I could have gone 1 more shave if I wanted to, but I really think that my point has been made. Astra Superior Platinum (green packaging) are excellent blades:

No tugging or pulling and you can't feel them in the Edwin Jagger DE 89 and they have a very nice and smooth post shave feel to them as well. Plus at only $13 dollars for 100 blades on Amazon, they won't hurt the old bank account.

Gillette DE Blades Are Back:

One of my own personal habits since I started wet shaving over 2 years ago is going down the shaving isles in major supermarkets and retailers. And today I got a pleasant surprise in the local K-Mart store. Gillette has brought back their DE blades. Yes that's what I said. They now offer these blades in K-Mart. Instead of the usual flex ball and multi bladed cartridges, it's very nice if not shocking to see these DE blades hanging up in a national retailer. That's something I thought I'd never see again without having to go online to order them :

These are made in Brazil and the P&G logos are all over the packaging:

Then there's the Old King Gillette slogan on top of the back of the package:

You get 9 blades total and there's 3 packs of blades with 3 blades per pack :

I am pleasantly surprised to find these in K-Mart. And what shocked me more was the price. These cost me $4.29 plus tax (I bought some other stuff so it's NOT an exact price so please bare with me) for 9 blades. $4.29 divided by 9 = $.476 which puts it at $.48 cents per blade. That's not bad at all considering that their cartridges costs nearly 6 times that. This is a good thing that Gillette or P&G has clearly taken notice of the wet shaving hobby and how much of an impact all of the products available between both the artisan and mainstream soap and cream makers along with the modern, custom, and vintage hardware that's available. Maybe now we'll see a hard soap puck or even better than that, a modern version of a classic Gillette DE razor will return.

Pumpkin 3.14 & The 66:

This morning's shave was excellent. You can't go wrong with Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's products. This is their fall seasonal soap which is a Pumpkin Pie scent. The soap has the hearty version of a pumpkin pie while the Autumn Factory aftershave splash has a sweeter version and you also get other elements of fall as it dries down. This aftershave splash lasts 24 hours ladies and gentlemen and this is not the only one does last that long either:

In terms of post shave, that little honing session that I did yesterday made a huge difference because I have a squeaky clean post shave at the moment. There was no tugging or pulling at all which is a good thing and it was almost effortless. I believe that Dr. Matt Robins' coticule and ILR technique seems to be the best edge for my skin and is the fastest and easiest honing method you can do. And the edge is past being comfortable.

A Quick Honing Session:

After this morning's shave, I decided to do a quick honing session on my Gold Dollar 66. I've just heard from Jay Dee and he seems to like one of the razors and has said that it was much better than it was when he sent them to me. So as soon as I get another water stone, I'll announce my honing service in a separate blog post with all of the necessary information:

Now I did NOT kill the edge but I did 100 round trips under low running water followed by 5 stropping strokes on the stone itself and then I ended up doing 50 more round trips after that. I normally keep going until it feels sticky and it struggles to go across the water stone:

Next up I did 10 round trips on the nylon webbing of my strop:

Then I went back to the water stone again and kept going until it felt sticky and wouldn't hardly go across the stone. This time around it took just 50 round trips :

Next up I did my entire stropping routine which consists of 10 round trips on the nylon webbing, 20 round trips on the scrub leather and then I did 60 round trips on the smooth leather:

Not shown was the Soft Arkansas oil stone which I did only 5 stropping strokes to help give the edge a little extra smoothness and then I went back to the smooth leather side of my strop and did 20 more round trips to finish of the razor. I did the very same thing to my 209 which has a Japanese natural stone edge earlier this past week and it more than helped in terms of waking up that edge. So tomorrow's shave will determine whether or not that it worked which I am more than confident that it not only worked but will be a really nice edge.

Gusto & The 66:

This morning's shave was great. Good old Soap Commander always delivers top shelf performance. I went with their Gusto which was last year's summer scent and it's a raspberry pink lemonade scent which still makes me thirsty every time I use it. Since I didn't get the matching aftershave balm, I paired it with their scentless integrity aftershave balm:

The post shave feel I have is really good and I did get a squeaky clean type of post shave from the Gold Dollar 66, but the edge is a little tired and can use a touch up. So I will probably be using Dr. Matt's running water technique here in a little while.

11235 & The Doc:

Today's shave was great. I was craving Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's this morning and I went with their 11235 scented soap which is a cologne/perfume type scent and I was told this pairs perfectly with 4711 aftershave. But since I don't have that aftershave, I paired it with Aqua Velva classic ice blue instead and this was the 3rd shave on this Astra DE blade:

Since I used PAA's the doc, I really don't have to tell people what kind of post shave I have because it was made specifically to obtain a squeaky clean post shave every time you use it. But I can tell you that during the shave this Astra Green DE blade was really comfortable and it had zero tugging or pulling which is still very impressive considering that was the 3rd shave on this specific blade and I usually get one less shave in the doc than I do in the DE 89.

RazoRock Classic & The DE 89:

This morning's shave was simply marvelous. I was craving RazoRock pretty bad so I grabbed the last one in my shave cave which is their classic scented soap. The scent is a very nice cherry almond scent. And I decided to pair it with the Triple X scented aftershave balm which is a citrus based cologne scented balm. And the RazoRock Plissoft synthetic brush is doing extremely well and has since become my "go to" brush:

The post shave feel I have is a squeaky clean type of post shave which is somewhat shocking considering that this was the 4th multi pass shave on this blade. I was expecting some tugging and pulling but was surprised that I did NOT get any of that and my beard is tough. 2 shaves at the most is all I've ever gotten out of Feather DE blades which says a lot. Now here I am on the 5th shave with this specific blade. No other DE blade has made it this far in terms of removing my beard.

Retiring 2 Razors Today:

It's now time to retire the Gold Monkey Jinhou (Triple 6) and the Gold Dollar 208 straight razors. I could re hone the Gold Monkey Triple 6 if I wanted to especially after the shave I got from it this morning which is now going to force me to use a DE for a couple of days. But after shaving with 2 new razors that were almost effortless to use, I decided to stick with them for a while. Another thing that I noticed was that these razors are now smaller than a 5/8's razor from where I've honed them so many times which is too small for my liking. I prefer 6/8's and larger mainly because my beard is tough and that extra weight behind also makes for a much easier shave:

So I have killed the edge on both of these razors and have put them into my cold storage with my left over soap tins and what not. They have served me well over the past 2 years.

Le Petit Chypre & The Jinhou:

This morning's shave was not good at all. Barrister & Mann's shave soap kept me from getting cut all to pieces this morning and the incredible Le Petit Chypre which is a warm and woodsy type of scent more than made up for it along with the RazoRock Plissoft synthetic brush and I paired the soap with the matching aftershave:

I managed to finish off the shave but the edge on this razor was awful. There will be another blog post coming about this razor along with my 208. But this specific razor wanted to pull the hair out and grab into my skin and I got several weepers around my chin and moustache area. I got a ton of sting today from my RazoRock alum block.

Astra Wins Hands Down:

It's looking like I will be buying some more DE blades here pretty soon, wow. 3 multi pass shaves later and this blade is still going strong and I have a barbed wire type of beard that grows extremely fast to boot. I have yet to see a single DE blade go past 3 shaves since my beard started getting tougher over the past year which is impressive. I can NOT say the same thing about Feather, Gillette Silver Blues or Perma-Sharps. In fact they're pretty much shot after the 2nd shave:

The sad part is that I just bought a 100 pack of Feather DE blades and have only finished off the first pack of them out of the carton. But that's OK because I know someone who can use them.

Latha Limon & The DE 89:

This morning's shave was perfect. Barrister & Mann's Latha Limon never ceases to amaze me with its performance and post shave feel. The scent is Lemon, Orange and Rose and the lemon really pops once it's been bloomed while the other notes balance out the scent. And for an equally refreshing post shave feel, I paired it with Aqua Velva's classic ice blue aftershave. This was also the 3rd shave on this Astra blade and there was still no tugging or pulling of any kind either and normally I would be switching the blade out right about now, but I did NOT need to do so just yet:

In terms of post shave feel, I have an ice rink type of post shave after 3 passes. I got no sting from both the alum block and my aftershave and there's not one bit of my beard left either. Those are the kind of shaves you want on a regular basis.

Volcano & The 209:

This morning's shave was simply fabulous. And it's Tiki Bar Tuesday so I went with their Volcano scented soap. The scent is freshly sliced semi sweet tropical fruit. And I decided to go full tilt with their "walk the plank" aftershave balm which also has an amazing scent of coconut, salt water with a little hint of rum which gives it a tiny bit of sweetness:

In terms of post shave feel I have a squeaky clean type post shave after 2 full passes and a neck touch up. That little touch up I performed last night more than helped in terms of waking up and edge. It's now almost too sharp to use. Key word is almost. With my beard getting tougher each and every year, I need an ultra sharp edge that will not struggle to go through my barbed wire type of beard but I also don't need it to be too harsh because it can cause my sensitive skin to flare up if I'm not carefull about it.

A Quick Touch Up:

After yesterday morning's shave, I decided to do a quick touch up on the Gold Dollar 209 using Dr. Matt's ILR technique. I did NOT kill the edge before performing this technique which was already in decent shape which says a lot considering that my beard is ultra tough. If I can only get 3 shaves out of a Feather DE blade which is one if not the sharpest blades you can get, that should tell you how tough my beard is. Barbed wire comes to mind and the Jnat edge that Anthony Esposito put on this razor has held up longer than any DE blade I have used. So a quick touch up was all that was needed followed by a full stropping routine should be more than enough:

Today's shave later on will tell me how I did.

Jay Dee's Razors Honed:

Earlier today, my friend Jay Dee's razors arrived in the mail. So after a quick visit to Walmart, I went home and got started on honing his razors:

Under the loupe, these razors were really rough. So I ended up using my friend, Anthony Esposito's honing method instead of a different one on each razor. The edges looked like they had some small chips and it also looked uneven all the way across:

Next I did the tap and wobble test which is where you lay the razor flat on a surface and tap the opposite corners of the razors. If it does not move you are good to go. If it does move, then you will have to do rolling "X" strokes to make sure you get the entire edge of the razor. Both razors passed the "tap and wobble" test :

Next up to make them look good and disinfect the razors, they got bath in Barbicide which does an amazing job at not only cleaning up a razor, but it polishes them up very nice:

A 10 minute soak is all that's needed to clean both of these straight razors:

Here's what they looked like after they've been soaked and rinsed:

Next to make sure that there's no water left in both the scales and around the pins, I used my air duster for electronics to dry the razors internally and I then wiped them down with a microfiber cloth. I also use the air duster twice to make sure they are indeed dry:

Here's what they look like after they've been wiped down with the microfiber towel:

The bevel basically needed to be reset on both razors after doing a couple of sessions to remove the small nicks and chips I saw under the loupe. So they got a little extra time on my Naniwa Professional (New Chosera) 600 grit stone. I also stropped both razors on the stone to ensure that they would have no issues in glide and to make sure that they're comfortable to use:

Next I hit the nylon webbing of my strop. I did 10 round trips and proceeded to the next stone which was a pure joy to use:

Jay Dee is in for a treat because I broke out the Soft Arkansas oil stone which does an amazing job at polishing the edge up and to make sure that the edges of both razors got a little extra polish to them. I performed 100 round trips followed by my usual 40/40, 20/20, 10/10, 5/5 seconds worth of half circles and then I did 10 round trips to clean it up a bit.I also stropped both razors on the stone to give both razors some extra polish:

This Soft Arkansas oil stone was amazing. The more I used it on both razors, the smoother and easier it became. Once you feel zero resistance you are finished with this fabulous oil stone and it cuts a little faster than a 2K stone but NOT as fast as a 1K stone. So I would put it somewhere around 1,500 grit give or take a little. And it left a very nice polished edge too. I also stropped on this stone as well for 10 round trips :

Next I hit the nylon webbing of my strop again:

Now to make sure that this razor would have a smooth and comfortable edge I went ahead and did my usual routine that I stated above which was 40/40, 20/20, 10/10, 5/5, followed by 10 round trips to clean up the edge and I also stropped on the stone as well for 10 round trips on the 4K side of my Norton water stone :

Next I went back to the nylon webbing of my strop:

Next up I did 3 sessions on the 8K side of my Norton with 10 stropping strokes between each session and I cleaned the stone off between each session as well. So 3 rounds of 40/40, 20/20, 10/10, 5/5, followed by 10 round trips to clean up the edge :

Now time for the full stropping routine which put a very nice polished edge on both razors. My stropping routine involves 10 round trips on the nylon webbing, 20 round trips on the scrub leather and 40 round trips on the smooth leather. Both razors look extremely good under the loupe:

Now they're all ready to be wrapped up and sent back out which will be tomorrow:

Once I get feedback from Jay Dee, I will determine what I need to do and start honing razors for others. I may need to change my technique and/or stones. I won't know until he shaves with them.

C.a.D. & The 209:

This morning's shave was good and very refreshing. I was craving Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's this morning but didn't quite know what I wanted so I grabbed my mixed soap container which favors C.a.D. The scent on C.a.D. is a late 70's/early 80's "canned foam" barbershop scent which was still around when I started shaving and fondly remember. The RazoRock Plissoft is doing great. I've not lost any more hairs out of it and the logo is still intact:

In terms of post shave feel, this morning's shave was OK but could be better. My beard has gotten so tough that I've already significantly dulled the edge on my Gold Dollar 209 so please don't be surprised to see me hit the stones today. And either today or tomorrow, a friend's razors should be here that he wants me to re hone for him. After I send them back to him and he gives me feed back, I'll start honing for other people. My fee will be $15 dollars per razor once I get started and I'll be ordering a brand new water stone once I get paid again. I'm going for a Shapton 12K grit water stone off Amazon which should deliver a nice but smooth keen edge.

Fortitude & The 430:

Today's shave felt extremely good. Today I went with something that I hadn't used in a while and that would be Soap Commander's...