Progressive Shaving

Time to review my newest razor,

A couple post’s back I revealed my latest new razor perches.  It is the Merkur Progress, long handle.  This was due to my curiosity on how new adjustables stacked up against the classic Gilettes.  I have now been using it for a couple of weeks and I am back to report on said razor.

This razor for starters is much much heavier than others I have used.  By far heavier than any older Gillette adjustable I have used.  I am not saying this as a negative, rather as an improvement over the Gillettes.  Having shaved with the Fatboy, Slim and Super Slim I have always missed a solid feel to them.  You have to use slight pressure with the Gillettes, not so with the Merkur.  The weight takes all the work out of shaving, just let it sit against your face and glide away.

Another difference is that it seems to be smoother in the adjustment range.  It is labeled 1 to 5, but does not click at each number.  This I can see might bug some, but for me I like having a razor that can has a very fine adjustment range.  I do not however like the plasit knob on the bottom of the razor that you use to adjust the gap.  The Gillettes use a metal handle all the way down to the bottom, I wish Merkur had done the same.  I will say though, the Merkur is a more handsome razor.

As for the shave, it is really good.  I have it set on 1 and with the weight I just move it along my face.  I do three passes WTG, XTG and ATG.  Gets my face baby smooth each shave.  The head is shaped a bit larger and more rounded than the Gillettes so it is harder is some of those close quarters areas, such as under the nose.  Over all this is a very good razor.

For the money I would recommend this razor.  Seeing that most good Gillette adjustables go for about the same price on the auction sites.  Give it some time and this razor could become my favorite thus far.

Till then, I’m keeping things progressive.

The Shaver

BG

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Gifts from a Shaver Friend

I had a box show up in the mail the other day,

It was from a shaving friend no less.  A little back story is in order.  I have a friend, lets just call him DLB, that I have met in my shaving adventures in a forum.  Since our first meeting we have stayed in touch and kept tabs on each others shaving adventures.  One day he emailed me saying he had a couple spare razors, aftershave and shave oil.  He wanted to know if I would like to have them, I think I nearly broke my fingers trying to type so fast, YES!  I was so excited, my first person, a friend thru shaving no less, to send me some gear to try out.  With much gratitude I emailed back saying I would love to try out what every he had to send my way.

A couple of days ago the packaged had arrived.  He had told me before what he was sending me, I was still surprised to what was in the box.  He shoved a lot in there for being so small a parcel.  It was like the never-ending trick you see on tv, it just kept coming out of the box.  After unpacking it all I was even more grateful.  So much to try out, and smelled good as well.  The bottles leaked out a tiny bit.

With out further delay, this is what was included.  Two bakelite Gillette razors, some Preferred Stock Cologne and after shave, and two bottles of King of Shaves Shaving oil.  I havent used any of it yet, but am excited to do so.  The razors look awesome in particular.  DLB told me that they were from 1951 and 1938-1945.  One of the two was a military issue razor no less.  So cool to take part not only in a great shave, but history as well.  Thanks again DLB, it is much appreciated.

Here is the pictures of what he sent me:

First the razors the copper one is the one from 1951, the silver one is the one from 1938-1945 and is a military issue one.

Here is the oil and cologne.

I cant wait to put it all to good use.  Cheers!

The Shaver,

BG

A New New Adjustable

I took the plunge,

I bought something I thought I would not do for a long time.  I got a new adjustable DE.  I have been so happy with the old Gillette’s that I figured, who in the world would ever pay for a new one with old ones so cheap.  Well I think I know why.  While the Gillette’s  are great shavers, they just dont have the weight behind them that I like.  Not to mention there looks arent the best, more utilitarian looking than something you would display.

What to do what to do, buy a new razor of course.  I went on Em’s place, my favorite shave joint at the moment, and picked up a Merkur Progressive Long Handle.  I just couldnt wait to give it a try.  Gillette got the adjustable design down pretty good, lets see how the Germans improved upon it.  I must say they did a good job.  Not only is it an excellent shaver, but looks and feels good in the hand.  I would also have no problem displaying this as it is very nice to look at.

For the shave, it is smooth and glides like a dream.  The added benefit of this razor is its weight.  With the Gillette’s you have to apply some minor pressure because they are just so light.  With the Merkur no pressure is needed, especially since you can dial in the exact blade gap you want.  I think the merker is probably more adjustable as well, seems to be able to select more in between the numbers.

I will give it one down fall compared to Gillette’s.  It is not as easy to replace the blade.  With the Gillette’s the head swings open like part doors, with the Merkur you have to remove the head to insert the blade. This just makes it slightly more cumbersome to change the blade, with the possibility of cutting you self.  Really, it’s not big deal though.

For a visual description, here she it;

I look forward to many more mornings shaving with this razor.  The Gillette’s will just have to take a back seat in my over night bag for now.

The Shaver,

BG

Catastrophe of Brush Proportions

I have some sad news to report,

My Simpson brush has broken.  Yes I know, its hard to hold back my tearing eyes as I write to you now.  It was hard to believe it myself.  One an up note, gave me an excuse to get a new brush, yay tears of joy.  In having such a good transaction last time, I went back to Em’s place to look for a brush.  What do you know, she had another brush on sale.  It was the same badger brush, wood handle, that I got for my buddy for his birthday.  The difference is this one is a dark wood.  For what I paid, who cares what color it is, can’t beat the price for a nice brush.  Thanks again Em, you rock.  The brush is great to boot, very soft on the face, but firm and builds a good lather.

For a pictorial representational part of this posting, here is the broken Simpson;

Now for the New Brush;

I have been in contact with the Simpson brush company and they have offered to replace my brush free of charge.  I hear they were a good brush company, but that is great considering the brush is 8 months old without a receipt.  Even though my Simpson broke, I would by one again with that kind of service.  Brush on!

The Shaver,

BG

More Nivea Stuff

Well I have found more,

Nivea that is, a couple new things arrived on the shelf of the local drug store.  I was supposed to be getting just a styptic pencil and some candy for ladybug.  What can I say, I just cant help myself.  This shaving stuff has gotten into my blood, directly and indirectly.

As for what it is I found, and subsequently purchased, was another balm and a face wash.  The thing that got me on the face was, one my face has been breaking out, and two, it had pre-shave printed on the label.  Marketing will get you every time.  Now understandably this product has been out for a while, but the nice little pre-shave label got my attention.  Here is a pick,

I must say that it did seem to help with cleaning up my face.  I hope if nothing else it will help during those transition times when my face, no matter what I do, goes on strike.  It has little beads in it that seemed to get deep into my face to scrub out all the gook and crud, definitely felt good at any rate.  Hears hoping that it will help out.

As for the after shave, im not sure how long it has been out, but I havent ever seen it before on the self or the web site.  On their site they have something called the same, Cool Kick, but not the same as what I bought that also said it was, Cool Kick Arctic blast.  Might be the same but who knows.  It defiantly has a cooling effect, which is nice.  Dont know how it would react to a bad razor burn tought.  I liked it, seemed thinner than the other balms Nivea makes.  Smells good to, here is a pick.

There you have it, yet some more products to use and put up on the shelf.  I swear I will need my own bathroom if this keeps going at this rate.  The ladybug might have to cut me off for a while so I can save some money instead of spending it all on razors and shaving equipment.

Have a cool kick of a day,

The Shaver

BG

Just in, more shave stuff

Just got some more stuff in the mail,

Nothing to exciting, but I was wanting to try out some cheap gear.  Some stuff I needed, most I didnt.  I ordered four different items, blades, brow razor, and a huge styptic pencil.  I haven’t put any of it to use, so stay tuned for further review of the new stuff.  This order came from one of my quickly becoming favorite shave stores, West Coast Shaving.  They have some of the best prices I can find and ship supper fast.  With out further delay here is a group picture of the shave gear.

Lets start like we read the English language, left to right.  Never knew you were going to get a lesson on reading did you?  That little guy over on the left is the Merkur Moustache and Brow trimmer.  Seeing how I dont have a stache, that only leaves my gangly unibrow.  It will help to keep things trimmed and separated.  Speaking of separating things, I think I will put it to use in the morning.  The head is larger on one side and tapers down on the other for fine tuning those extra hairy situations.  The head looks like a goofy triangle, here is a close up.

Here is a shot of the little guy that will be serving a big job in my shave den.

On to the next item, or shall I say items.  I have for a bit now been wanting to try out different razors.  I didnt want to try the bad with the good, so I ordered just the good.  This was called the choice pack over at West Coast Shaving.  It came with Crystal, Feather, Durby, Astra and Personna blades.  I have only used the Durby blades at this point, so I dont think I will use them up till I have tried the rest.  Here is a close up of the blades.

Finally the one needed item that started this who shopping expedition.  The big ol’ styptic pencil, well not really.  Styptic pencils are just for travel for the most part, or just for touch up areas where you are bleeding.  This guy is more of an after shave, witch is what I was using the pencil more and more for.  But with the small size of the pencil, it gets used up fairly quick like.  I had seen this before but didnt realize that it could be used for an after shave till recently.  What this is actually made out of is natural crystals, Alum.  It stops the burning, helps to heal up your face and stops the bleeding.  This guy has its own web site if you want to see it, http://www.razorock.com .  Again I got this from West Coast Shaving, and the best price there as well.  Here is a pick of the beast.

There you have it for now.  Once I get using these products I will be reviewing them as I go in my shaving post’s.  Just keep checking in from time to time.  Happy Shaving.

The Shaver

BG

Something New and Something Old, DE shave 24 & 25

This is a sudo comparison of new v.s. old razors,

Although these particular razors are in separate classes of their own, I will try my best to keep things similar.  For a brief back story on my old razor purchase, well I got one.  I have been cruising eBay lately in search of an older razor.  My first search started for an early Gillette style razor, the 3 piece style.  Found a couple, but they are so outrageously priced on eBay I gave up and will just still with antique stores.  Just need to go when there open.  At any rate I did pick up a Gillette razor eventual, a mid 60’s butterfly style.  The only reason I wanted this one is because it’s the adjustable kind.  Im not a fan of the butterfly DE Gilletes, just dont like the way the head looks.  But since it wasnt being bid up into insane land I put my bid in the hat.  I eventually did win, and for about $25 shipped.  I figure for a vintage Gillette adjustable I didn’t do to bad.  For any other that would be too much, aside from getting a great deal on a new style razor.

It took me a couple of days to put it into service since it was not clean when I got it.  It wasnt like it was lying around in some dirt and tarnished over the years, but it still had soap scum on it.  Not wanting to pick up some wierd disease I scrubbed it and then gave it a vinegar bath to kill of the germs, ladybug gave me the vinegar idea.  Needless to say it turned out great, even a little shinier than I thought it would.  Had some sort of green gunk on it and the scrubbing took care of that too.  Here is a picture of it next to my EJ,

You can see the basic design hasn’t changed much over the years, it’s still a DE.  But there are some differences between them.  The EJ is a heavier razor and I appreciate that when it comes to shaving.  I feel I had to use a bit of pressure with the Gillette so that it would slice the whiskers correctly.  But again this is an adjustable so I just dialed it in and out till I found the right setting and then I was happy.  Still had to use some pressure, but was happy non-the less.  The biggest difference in the shave is the passes I think, I had to do more passes with the Gillette than I did the EJ, but again I still was figuring out the setting I needed.

For the rest of the razor I really liked.  I am not a fan of the looks of the butterfly type Gillettes, or others for that matter, but I can see its function over the form.  You just twist the bottom part of the handle and the top of the head splits open and you take out the old blade and plop in a new one, the closest thing to a cartridge razor you can get with out using one.  Here is a pic of it open,

That part is very nice, as for the adjusting part, still not 100% sold on that.  I can see the usefulness, but in all reality I think most fixed head razors like my EJ are at the right gap any way.  How does the adjusting work?  Just under the head is a dial with numbers, 1-9.  One being the smallest setting, 9 being the largest.  What it is adjusting is the gap between the blade and the bar, opening or closing the gap.

I eventually settled on setting of 4 and called it good.  It did give a good shave, and actually it was pretty comfortable.  No burn or pulling with it, might take into account the fact that you can customize you shave a bit with this razor too.  Since Im not completely head over heals for this razor, I will use it for travel.  Ultimately that was my goal any way, one for home and one for travel.  Plus the Gillette is cheaper so if something happens to it I wont be as mad as if I lost my EJ.  So there you have it, the comparisons of the two razors.  As for the shaving well I guess I can get into that as well.

The 24th shave was nice since I was using my EJ again, not the slant.  My face was recovering from the prior slant shave so I did have some small irritation to deal with.  All in all it was a nice shave, kind of rushed since I was late for work, but good non the less.  Mapping out my face has helped out tremendously with getting a closer shave.  I highly recommend running your hand over your face after your first pass with the razor to see where you need to touch up on your second if not third round.  Also seems to make things more comfortable when you know the grains, not just passing over and over an area without doing any good.

For the 25th, the initial Gillette shave, it went ok.  It was a learning experience so I am sure the next one will be much better, but I wont find out till my next over night at work.  It seems like the head is shaped a bit differently so I used some steeper angles when shaving and it did just fine.  Also finding the sweet spot for the gap helped out as well.  I liked the shave it gave me and felt a bit nostalgic using it being it is the oldest razor I have ever used.  That made it a bit fun.  The results were smooth and not irritation as well.  If I run across one for cheap in a shop some where I would pick one up again.  Just for kicks if nothing else.

Till next time, cant wait till the next DE shave.

BG