Thursday, July 24, 2014


Is shaving cream a racket?

If it is, I've gone whole hog the other way, into hipster British shave preparations and fine badger fur shave brushes.  Ima Geo F Trumper Limes man.  More expensive than Colgate foam, but it smells so GOOD.  Sixteen bob a jar.

But I've always been a wet shave man.  Never was happy with an electric razor.  Military school frowned on them anyway.  You couldn't get a close enough shave.  I remember when Dad switched to a Trac II cartridge, so that's where I went.  When Dad did go to 2 blades instead of the safety razor he had a lot fewer little bits of bloody Kleenex dabs on his face. 

But nowadays, the quality of the blades doesn't seem as good, and they only come with that slime strip that I loathe.

So, what to do, if I couldn't find the cartridges I wanted?  Switch to those 6 bladed jobbers that cost $12 a week?  No, I stepped back.  To the safety razor!  And good blades that are yet very cheap.  This is 2 years worth of blades.  One fifth the cost.

The trick to fewer cuts is to get a decent blade holder that works for you.  I bet that was Dad's issue.  A crappy holder.

But I was always intrigued with stories of my blind grandfather, shaving in his personal darkness with a straight razor in front of a mirror he couldn't even see.  So, for one year, every Saturday or Sunday...  I finally worked up the nerve to use one of these.

Surprisingly, my trepidation was unfounded.  I only shave with the grain, and don't have the skill to get as close a shave as with a safety razor, but it feels good.  And I like mastering a new skill.

And yes it is pretentious and hipster.  Not stopping me.


Wyowanderer said...

Nah, it's not hipster at all. Just because smelly people co opt great things doesn't make it theirs.
Wet shaving is still the manly way to shave. I use an assortment of blades, and an old Gillette Fatboy that was my father's. I've also bought a few DE razors at garage sales and antique shops and passed them around. Next step is the straight razor.

Wolfman said...

Hipster or not, wielding a sharp blade in close proximity to your face and several high-flow veins and arteries is a mark of worthiness. I keep considering trying it, but I generally decide to eschew shaving instead.

TheAxe said...

When my straight razor is sharp it does a great job. Keeping it sharp enough is a pain though.

Charles Lee Scudder said...

I just recently switched from cartridges to a safety razor. Even the highest end fusion or mach3 can't compete with a safety razor in comfort price or closeness.

Arthur said...

$40 for two years of blades? Ouch.

Luckily my face likes the ultra cheap crap

Cheap enough to stock up on too in case the Lord factory in Egypt gets blowed up or burned down.

For soap I stick to Mama Bear's. Made in my home state to boot.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

What Arthur said - I get 2 years of blades for about $15 (depending on year-to-year price fluctuations), and I find that the Derby blades are perfectly fine for my face.

Also, $40 for 100 Feather blades? That's pretty high, even if you're trying to support a small business.

@ TheAxe: I use a variation of the "Scary Sharp" system. I got a linoleum printer's block, a glue stick, and some abrasive film from the local craft store. The glue stick makes the linoleum block tacky enough to hold the abrasive film, but allows me to peel it off to change between fine/coarse films as needed. I can get a shave-ready edge pretty quickly, and have used it to take a new razor from the retailer's version of "shave-ready" to truly shave-ready. I use it to sharpen my pocketknives, too.

Firehand said...

Spent about a year shaving with Grandpa's straight razor; once you get the hang of it, no problem at all.