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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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

Back to the Slant

Welcome back,

This is a retro theme tonight.  If you remember, a while back I was trying out a razor known as a Slant.  It has a special shaped head that tapers from a small gap to a larger gap to expose more blade as you shave.  To see an example do a search for Slant and a few pics should show up in prior posts.  The reason for a repost on this razor is I got a great shave from it tonight.  Previously I had lost faith in it as my face was a war zone every time I used it.

So now with a few months of experience under my belt I set off with middling hopes for tonight’s shave.  I choose to shave at night tonight so my face could have some recovery time before work in the morning just in case.  Case not needed though.  I slapped a feather blade in the slant and headed of with cautious ambitions.  I used what I have been preaching and hearing over and over again, let the weight of the razor do the work.  This being a hefty razor, it had a lot of weight to throw around.  I must say that the first swipe was a shaving epiphany.  Its like the past eight or nine months of shaving wet style culminated into tonight’s shave.  It being the day after the 4th, fireworks were still going off.  This time in the bathroom between the razor and my face.  It was a glorious celebration with man and razor.  I loved it so much, I continued with the rest of my face.  Would have been weird just leaving a patch out and then going to bed anyway.

After I did the initial wtg I dared to venture farther and do atg.  I skipped xtg just because I forgot, but no worry I didnt need it.  Agt was no blood bath either.  I mean I had a minor bleed in a couple of spots, but the styptic pencil took care of that.  I have no irritation and no gaping wounds.  My have the tides turned on my not so beloved slant.  I think it is now a keeper and it is coming off the market from hence forth.  I was trying to sell it just because I didnt like it.  I am glad I didn’t yet, this is defiantly a keeper now.  It just took a few months of bulking up on my shaving muscles and skills.  I must say this razor now has a special place in my shaving heart.

I think I am going to take another piece of advice that guys over on the forum having been telling me, “Keep it as a sunday shaver.”  This being that I should only shave with it once a week or for special occasions.  This baby soft face just cant take the ever changing blade gaps every day of the week.  I will reserve the rest of the shaves for my Super Slim, but Sundays are now a holy Slant shave.  Take my and the forum guys advice; first dont get one of these till you got a little time under your belt, second save this for a once a week or special occasion shaver.

Till next time, Cant wait till the next Slant DE shave,

BG

A tale of two razors, DE shave 31 & 32

Well maybe not quite a tale,

Makes for a nice short posting at any rate.  So as you might guess I used two different DE razors for these shaves.  This was due to the simple fact that I was at home for one and at work for another.  Nothing overly dramatic, just shavematic.  Like my rhyming skills, I think they have improved myself.

On to the shaves, numero 31.  This shave was a mid day shave, not that that changes much.  Just means that I had a little more growth than in the morning.  This didnt slow the old EJ down, I sliced with ease as it cut thru those extra grown whiskers.  It was yet again another fantastic shave.  I attribute these shaves to a lot of advice from the forums, and a lot of practice every day.  The forums are a great tool for getting tips and information from lather to angles of cutting to what the best after shaves are.  If you have just started out or thinking about it, defiantly head over to one of the forums listed on the right hand column of this page, its worth the trip.  As for practice, just putting to use the skills I have attained and the advice I have been given.  Took some time, but after mapping my face and paying attention to the angle at which I shave, my mornings have improved greatly.  So there you have it, another great shave with the EJ, love this guy.

As for shave 32, well it was a work shave.  I dont have the best shaving area at work.  For one I sleep in the same room with other guys, so that puts a damper on going from the shower straight to the sink.  Have to dry off and get dressed first, at least partly at any rate.  After that I only have cold water in the sink, needs to get fixed.  So that alone makes for some obstacles, but nothing this shaver cant handle.  I used my old Gillette slim adjustable for this shave.  Set at 4 I went a shaving like crazy, well not to crazy.  Got a decent shave, but since I didnt have much growth due to the mid day shave before I just did one pass and called it good.  Still got a good shave even as I type now.

Not much else to report, just a couple of good shaves.  Tune in next time as I will be using a different blade and a new old razor I picked up.  I was able to get it for free, it came with a mirror set up that I liked, but just didnt have room for.  So I had to sell my cool mirror, but was able to keep the razor.  Good deal I guess in the end.  The razor is another Gillette slim adjustable, not any different from my other one.  So stay tuned as I use it and a different blade manufacturer for my next shave.

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

Smooth Sailing, DE shave 30

Another milestone in the shaving world,

Today the Shaver has hit the big 30.  30 DE shaves to date, well I would call it 30.1.  I used the brow DE as well, counts for .1 of a shave.  Things are looking up for my shaving skills as of late, im knocking on my wood desk as I type.  I am really happy with these past couple shaves.  As you can tell, shave 29 was quite a joyous occasion in my shaving world.  Shave number 30 is continuing that trend of shavetasticness.

Today held two shaves but not in the same way as most.  I did use two razors, but only in certain areas.  You can probably guess which ones and where by what I recently purchased.  Thats right, the brow razor and my EJ.  So much shaving going round that I might have taken off more than I wanted if not careful, thankfully all is in tact.  As for the brow razor, I like it, does the job.  All trimmed and proper now.  I didnt even used soap, just a dab of water and off went the hairs between the eyes.  If you have an extra hairy brow, such as myself, I recommend you add this razor to your collection.

Now for the big shave, my face.  It was just like the last shave, apparently I found my sweet spot with the razor.  The angles and pressure and soap and everything just seemed in tune once again.  The lather is great lately too, lots of soap and just a little water makes for a perfect mix, and I mean a little water, just a few drops.  But I like it on the thicker side as well.

There was zero irritation and only a couple small bleeders, always seems to be there on my neck no matter what.  Nothing that the new Shave Rock couldn’t handle.  That was anther highly recommended buy, if not just an alum block as well.  It was so much nicer having a bigger alum block to just rub on my face instead of a small pencil like object just meant for touch ups.  It helped a lot with any redness and any bleeding.  Love this thing.

So things are looking sharper and smoother for my future, I hope this is a trend that will last a life time.  I know there will be ups and downs, but for now im loving this up.

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

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