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Author Topic: Anyone still use a safety razor?  (Read 1854 times)
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Louis Cypher
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« on: February 17, 2010, 05:10:23 AM »

I'm sick of razor burn. I'm also sick of shelling out 25 bucks for freakin blades. I want to go a little old school, pick up a nice saftey razor and some good cream. Any recommendations for both?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 03:38:56 PM by Louis Cypher » Logged

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Daehawk
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 07:52:44 AM »

A what?

Ok looked it up. My grandfather used one. I am the proud owner of my father-n-law's safety razor. I have never used it. I wonder how bad it would hurt / bleed me? Hmm...will buy some razors soon and test this. Make myself into a man. If that fails I will test a straight razor.

On that note my old barber shop always used a straight razor. Last time I was there they used a cheap plastic disposable..a used one....*shiver* wth.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 07:55:43 AM by Daehawk » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 07:59:49 AM »

wow, nothing about those things looks safe  eek
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wonderpug
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 03:37:01 PM »

I can't remember who, but someone here or at OO swears by safety razors and has an hour ritual with them every morning involving distilled Norwegian space lather and a $5,000 brush made from the finest virgin nun rabbit eyelash hair. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 03:38:43 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on February 17, 2010, 03:37:01 PM

I can't remember who, but someone here or at OO swears by safety razors and has an hour ritual with them every morning involving distilled Norwegian space lather and a $5,000 brush made from the finest virgin nun rabbit eyelash hair. 

sounds like Pete.
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leo8877
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 03:39:49 PM »

I think only murderers use safety razors!
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Louis Cypher
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 03:40:12 PM »

Look at this one

http://www.baxterofcalifornia.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=114

 thumbsup
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 03:50:27 PM »

The biggest problems with safety razors are buying new blades and disposal.  You have to make sure that when you buy the blades, it comes with a disposal case (often the same as the regular case).

I have a brush (virgin baby nun eyelash hair) and a stand and all.  I did some research before buying it years ago, and most of the sites/articles I read actually prefer the Mach 3 over a safety razor (or even a straight razor, though that's mostly because you have to constantly sharpen the thing).  They're popular enough that you can buy a really nice Mach 3 razor to go with your brush.

It also seems like the blades are hard enough to come buy (I don't think a lot of drug stores carry them because they are so dangerous), that they may be more expensive now and there may be shipping involved.

If you're worried about razor burn, I have to ask: Are you shaving against the grain?  A lot of people do, and you're really not supposed to.  The problem with "shaving down" is that it doesn't feel like you're getting the hair, but it does result in a smoother shave with less irritation.  Also, your face will get used to it.
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Louis Cypher
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 03:54:37 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 17, 2010, 03:50:27 PM

Are you shaving against the grain?  A lot of people do, and you're really not supposed to.  The problem with "shaving down" is that it doesn't feel like you're getting the hair, but it does result in a smoother shave with less irritation.  Also, your face will get used to it.
No I learned that trick years ago, I just have super sensitive skin.
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 04:01:10 PM »

I think it was Ike.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 04:07:36 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 17, 2010, 04:01:10 PM

I think it was Ike.

now that I think about it I bet it was Betty White.  I hear she likes to mow the fairway.
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 04:12:05 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on February 17, 2010, 04:07:36 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 17, 2010, 04:01:10 PM

I think it was Ike.

now that I think about it I bet it was Betty White.  I hear she likes to mow the fairway.

I heard the same about Conan.
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McNutt
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 04:13:44 PM »

Did someone say safety razor?

Merkur makes great safety razors.  The Futur and Vision are a little big and bulky (and expensive) for my tastes, but it's hard to go wrong with their Classic or Heavy Duty.  Outstanding razors

Blades - I really like the Israeli Personnas.  They don't give me many nicks and are so much cheaper than Gillette cartridges.

Creams - For starters, Proraso makes a great cream at a really good price.  Nice cooling effect.  Taylor of Old Bond St. makes some nicely-scented creams that aren't too expensive.  Trumpers are a little more expensive, but are pretty good.  You might want to try a good shaving soap too.  These have thinner, but slicker lathers that I prefer over creams.  Tabac is a great soap, but I buy most of my soaps from small operations such as Saint Charles Shave or Mama Bear Shaving.  Great soaps at a good price.

Brush - This is where you'll spend your money.  Good brushes don't come cheap and it might take buying a few to figure out what kind of brush you like.  For example, I have a Simpson Persian Jar that is my everyday brush.  It's really firm and gives a nice scrub.  I have a very large Rooney that is extremely soft and is great for whipping up a lather in a bowl and "painting" it on your face.  Neither brush was cheap (~$150), but since they don't go bad it's not something you'll have to replace this decade.  I can give you more advice on brushes if you like.

Bottom line is that in order to do it right you'll have to spend some money upfront.  The good news is that the blades are dirt cheap, give you just as smooth a shave, and, in my case, leave the face with less razor burn.  I can easily shave against the grain with no irritation, which is something I couldn't do with canned foam cream and a Mach 3.  The other good news is that it will turn shaving from something you hate into something you look forward to each day.   
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Harkonis
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2010, 04:37:47 PM »

I use this:  http://www.amazon.com/Merkur-180-Chrome-Long-Handled-Razor/dp/B000NL0T1G

simple, effective and the blades are dirt cheap
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 04:40:05 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 17, 2010, 03:50:27 PM

The biggest problems with safety razors are buying new blades and disposal.  You have to make sure that when you buy the blades, it comes with a disposal case (often the same as the regular case).

I thought you just used apples at Halloween for disposal.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2010, 04:42:45 PM »

Something tells me it was McNutt I was thinking of.
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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2010, 04:49:00 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on February 17, 2010, 04:42:45 PM

Something tells me it was McNutt I was thinking of.

I think you're right.

Also, I find that video on the Mama Bear site to be rather disturbing.
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joeyjazz
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2010, 06:22:54 PM »

I use a Merkur Heavy Classic, but don't have a brush or get fancy with the shave cream/oil (I usually get this but am just as happy using creams/gels from the store).  I buy replacement blades online through classic shaving and they also have a cheap disposal container to put used blades in.  

I have a 5 bladed cartridge razor that I need for when I travel for work since I don't check bags and they don't want me to bring a razor blade on the plane for some reason.  I don't mind it but the cost of the cartridges for it sucks.

Edit: Looks like Pacific Shaving offer a cream now, I'll have to check that out!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 06:46:24 PM by joeyjazz » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2010, 10:27:00 PM »

I've been thinking about an old-fashioned cutthroat myself. Supposedly the best shave you can get. For obvious reasons, I'm a little nervous. The stopgap has been getting 16 blades at CostCo for 40 bucks.
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McNutt
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2010, 10:35:52 PM »

It takes a little getting used to, but it's nothing to be nervous about.  Once you get used to it you'll be whipping the razor around your face as fast as you do with a cartridge razor. 

I can't stress this part enough though; if you want to get into old school shaving you won't be saving any money.  Everybody I know that has gone down this route has not regretted it, but has ended up spending lots of money on indulgences.  Once you try a good brush/cream using canned foam will no longer be acceptable.  Now if you don't care about that stuff, then safety razors are definitely the way to save money.  $10 will get you enough blades to last a few years, and you will get a great shave too.  The Merkurs will easily last you a lifetime.  I have 60-year-old Gillette safety razors that I still use. 
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Daehawk
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« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2010, 11:12:46 PM »

The thing with a safety razor is I dont know how tight to tighten them once the blade is in.
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2010, 12:14:13 AM »

Just tighten it until it stops twisting.  Don't try to break it and you'll have it at the correct tightnissitude.
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2010, 02:19:52 AM »

Here's our old threads from OO.  McNutt and I are 4 years into our habit.  I bought WAAAAAAY too much fucking product back then.  It's still overflowing out of the sink cabinet 4 years later.

http://octopusoverlords.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=26789

http://octopusoverlords.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=27046

My first DE shave (it's fun to look back):

http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5400
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 02:26:06 AM by Greggy_D » Logged
MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2010, 03:54:37 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on February 17, 2010, 03:37:01 PM

I can't remember who, but someone here or at OO swears by safety razors and has an hour ritual with them every morning involving distilled Norwegian space lather and a $5,000 brush made from the finest virgin nun rabbit eyelash hair. 

I'm somewhat curious what 'distilled Norwegian space lather' would be but it sounds cool.  icon_wink
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Mookee
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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2010, 05:09:44 AM »

I've been using a DE for 4 - 5 years or so. No brush. No fancy creams or lathers. It's a huge money saver and just plain better than fucking Gillette (note: no hate towards McNutt and the power shavers if you really want to get into it; I just don't care that much). You can get the blades easily and it's like $2 for 10 of 'em.

Seriously, if you're using a Gillette Fusion / Mach 9 billion and spending I don't even know how much per cartridge, you're doing it wrong.
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Wargus
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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2010, 05:30:58 AM »

I've thought about these, however have to shave my head regularly too so went with a headblade.  Thinking of using a safety razor on my head scares the piss out of me (heck, it took a month before I wasn't planing the skin of my head with the headblade)!  Also, I've been interested in going with a nice brush & good shave cream for my head, any reason that wouldn't work?
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2010, 11:00:24 AM »

I use a Merkur Futur and Taylor of Old Bond (when I have it) or gilette-in-a-can (when I don't). No brush. Also no razor burn, no crazily priced carts. I get my 10 packs of DEs at the local walmart for $1.73, less than a tenth of the price of Mach 3 carts. I'd be surprised if DEs are going anywhere; too many uses (paint scrapers for one).
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2010, 01:57:36 PM »

Quote from: Wargus on February 18, 2010, 05:30:58 AM

I've been interested in going with a nice brush & good shave cream for my head, any reason that wouldn't work?

It should work well.  Scent won't be as important since it's not your face, so just concentrate on something that works well.  I'd start out with creams from either Proraso, Musgo Real, or Tabac.  Proraso will have a cooling effect that I like and Musgo Real and Tabac give fantastic shaves.
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2010, 03:06:38 PM »

Quote from: Mookee on February 18, 2010, 05:09:44 AM

I've been using a DE for 4 - 5 years or so. No brush. No fancy creams or lathers. It's a huge money saver and just plain better than fucking Gillette (note: no hate towards McNutt and the power shavers if you really want to get into it; I just don't care that much). You can get the blades easily and it's like $2 for 10 of 'em.

Yup, I save a ton of money going essentially the same route.  I do spend a little bit more on the Feather brand blades, but in the big picture it barely adds up to much of anything compared to what I could be spending.
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Louis Cypher
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« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2010, 03:49:10 PM »

Greggy and McNutt, what do you guys think about this razor?

http://www.muehle-shaving.com/shop/classic/razors/1/safety_razor/77/8/R_106

EDIT: looks like you have to copy/paste the link

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McNutt
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« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2010, 04:32:25 PM »

The head of the razor is very similar to my Merkur's.  Nice three-piece design.  I have two concerns about this razor:

1. The smooth handle looks good, but it might not provide a great grip.  I've had a Future with a polished handle and I never felt secure with my grip.  I prefer textured handles, but that's just a personal preference.
2. The price.  You're paying for the look and not the functionality of the razor.  It won't perform any better than a Merkur Classic or Heavy Duty (sometimes called Hefty Classic), but that's okay if you realize you're paying for the look and that's what you want. 

Here's is my favorite razor:


It's a Merkur 1904 and it only costs $24.  The three-piece razors all have basically the same head, so the extra money is going towards the handle.  I prefer a smaller, light handle with a textured grip and this one is perfect.  I also have a very large handled Merkur (38C I think) and it shaves just as well because the head is the same.  I just prefer the 1904.  After you pick a head layout, it's all about handle preference.

Hope that helps.
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2010, 01:20:43 AM »

I concur with McNutt.

Or you may go the Ebay route and pick up a 1940's decade Gillette Super Speed or Gillette Adjustable.  The Merkur HD (mentioned above) is also very nice.

I haven't talked about this topic in a while.  I'm getting flashbacks.
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Zero
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« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2010, 01:28:44 AM »

alright...been reading this thread and I'm interested.  I'm thinking of going with the Merkur brand...but I travel, so can this be carried on?  Will it get taken by the TSA?
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2010, 01:37:19 AM »

I probably wouldn't take any razor in carry-on, but certainly not a DE.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2010, 01:43:03 AM »

Quote from: Zero on February 19, 2010, 01:28:44 AM

alright...been reading this thread and I'm interested.  I'm thinking of going with the Merkur brand...but I travel, so can this be carried on?  Will it get taken by the TSA?

you can take the shaver itself, but not with any blades in it.  You also would not be able to bring refills.  You can buy them in most cities though and they are cheap so it's still an option to take the empty razor and buy refills at your destination.  Just make sure to empty the blade out before returning home or risk confiscation.
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McNutt
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« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2010, 03:16:05 AM »

Unfortunately any blades would have to be checked in.  For this reason if I'm flying and only taking a carry on bag I have to bring a <groan> disposable razor.  That sucks. 
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2010, 10:21:26 PM »

Quote from: McNutt on February 19, 2010, 03:16:05 AM

Unfortunately any blades would have to be checked in.  For this reason if I'm flying and only taking a carry on bag I have to bring a <groan> disposable razor.  That sucks. 

I do the same.  Disposables when I carry-on.
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« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2010, 06:23:08 PM »

Damn, again with the lateness. I'll sum up the "for me" stuff, even though it's mostly a repeat.

Merkur Heavy Classic - I do like the looks of that 1904, McNutt, may have to get that.

Vulfix 2234 Super Badger Hair - I would say this brush at a minimum.  There is a real difference in quality. Must be that Isle of Man British thing.

Taylor's of Old Bond Street (almost any "flavor", and as noted in one of those linked posts, I didn't like the Almond) also their a pretty good price, too. Proraso is good and sometimes on clearance - bought a metric tonne of them at Target for next to nothing. Geo. F. Trumper has great stuff, but expensive, I wouldn't start here, but don't deprive yourself of at least trying it if you can afford it.

I also use an alum block. Although cool, you'll get a few interesting looks from people at the gym, it's not really necessary.

After awhile, if you enjoy it, you will accumulate boxes of shaving gadgetry, I know I have.

Kitchen sink advice -
Avoid straight razors unless you're willing to put the time, effort and money into it. While it can be rewarding and fun, you can cut arteries (and ruin perfectly good moustaches) with those things.
Pinaud/Clubman are, in my opinion, not really that bad. They're just cheap.
There are quite a few good shaving supply stores online. My go to shop is Classic Shaving.
Finally, grow a handlebar moustache (yes, Firefox, that's an acceptable spelling) and join a club, like here or here.

JoeMoustache (Belhazamar)
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Daehawk
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« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2010, 05:42:48 AM »

I can't find my fatherNlaw's razor right now. I found one old one but its locked up. I did find what blades he used....



I'll need to find that other razor though. think it is from the 1950s. Same as my grandfather's.

I can say it looks a LOT like this 1950's Gillette model....

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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2010, 06:07:53 PM »

I knew it was only a matter of time before you showed up, Joe.

I agree that you should skip the straight razor.  It involves a lot of work and the shave can be a little dangerous.  I'm used to shaving against the grain and when I tried to do that with a straight razor I almost didn't make it.  Thank God my wife noticed the blood slipping under the bathroom door and called 911. 

Joe, did you know that Vulfix bought out Simpson?  I've owned several Simpson brushes and all have had a very "Simpson" feel to them with really dense knots and firm bristles.  Unfortunately three of those brushes were shedders and had to be returned.  Supposedly Simpson had one bad year where a lot of their brushes were inferior, but they fixed that.  My favorite brush is a Simpson from the post-shed era.  After Vulfix bought them there was a noticeable difference in the shape of Simpson brushes.  I haven't tried one since, but I wonder how they fare.


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