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Thread: DE Razors

  1. #1
    Master
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    DE Razors

    So a colleague brought me one in about a month ago and I was sceptical about using it as shaving is a need for me rather than enjoyment.
    Anyway I've found that I actually quite like using it so on that note I'd quite like to buy myself some decent stuff, everything from a new handle, blades, soap, brush etc.
    Don't mind spending a bit of money either.

    I know this has been talked to death on here over the years but what the heck, haven't saw a recent thread so thought I'd start the ball rolling again.

    I should add I know nothing about this hobby, if I can call it that.

    Many thanks folks.

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  2. #2
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    Prepare to fall down another rabbit hole..... itís easy to spend a fortune on this stuff.

    Soaps wise London Oatcake get a good name although Iíve never tried them. Stirling Soaps are good and last for ages. Proraso is the G-Shock of the shaving world - everyone has them and secretly loves them. I currently have 2 Stirling Soaps, a a Phoenix and Beau and a Scottish Fine Soaps open and in regular rotation.

    Razors and blades are very subjective and everyone reacts differently to them. Edwin Jagger DE89 and the Mule R89 are very good starting points and quite mild - good for refining your technique. I recently managed to pick up a Gillette Slim Adjustable for next to nothing (which is rare) and itís fantastic.

    With regards blades, start with a sample pack and go from there, they are so cheap that you can afford to try lots of them. Some of the ones in my collection are Derby Usta, Feather, Voskhod, Gillette Nacet.

    Not sure if itís the done thing to plug other forums but I follow the UK Wet Shaving Society on Facebook and theyíre a good bunch with lots of good product ideas.

    I donít know if that helps or hinders but it definitely is a hobby and quite a fun one at that. If shaving is a necessity then you might as well enjoy it I reckon.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Drop me your address in a PM can send you a variety of blades to try. I love the whole clean shaven feel from a DE but look like a man child without stubble so have given up!

    Matt

  4. #4
    I don't see a great benefit in reprising old threads. I think it is better just to add to the existing ones. I like to see that the old winter boot thread has just resurfaced.

    I refer you to all those previous answers :)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Drop me your address in a PM can send you a variety of blades to try. I love the whole clean shaven feel from a DE but look like a man child without stubble so have given up!

    Matt
    Very kind of you matt.

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  6. #6
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    Definitely some things to look into there.

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  7. #7
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    I have a few DE razors, but while I do enjoy using them - I find that they don't actually work as well as typical twin-blade cartridge razors, even disposables.

  8. #8
    I do laugh (ironically) when I remember back to starting DE shaving, when the advice to newbies was; "make the switch and save money over cartridges." Bollox. This hobby has cost me hundreds! :) Although still less than watches.

    If you're starting out I would recommend the following purchases:

    Razor: The Edwin Jagger or Mulhe R89s are essentially the same mild razor. I prefer the other usual starting recommendation, the Merkur 34C. Either is good but I had better, easier shaves with the Merkur.

    Blades: As mentioned above, get a sample pack. Connaught Shaving are excellent for these as is eBay seller de-razorblades-uk. Mild, smooth blades I recommend are Voskhod, Israeli Crystals and Gillette Blue.

    Brush: Synthetic brushes are easier to care for and kinder to animals. I would recommend the Simpson's Trafalgar T3 which is about £20 and brilliant.

    Pre-shave: a contentious subject. Some use it and others say you should prepare properly and it's therefore not needed. I like Proraso's Green pre shave which is mentholated.

    Soaps: The world is your oyster. Creams are easier to apply and last ages. Taylors of Old Bond Street (TOBS) have a wide range of excellent scents, a personal favourite is Grapefruit, which smells like the fruit and is not artificial or too sweet, like some can be. Moving on to proper soaps, I would recommend Stirling Soaps which again have a massive range of scents. These require more work to lather but are in my view better for slickness.

    Post shave: Stirling Soaps have plenty of balms and aftershaves which match their soaps, as do other producers. Nivea, LEA, or Humphreys tonics are all excellent. I'd suggest an alum block which can heal and disinfect small nicks and cuts. It may sting a little after a shave but that tells you if you have over shaved one area or another. You can also go straight to the aftershave if you like a burrrrnnnnn!

    YouTube: There are some excellent YouTube channels from which to learn. They can verge towards uncritical advertising but that's the nature of YouTube. Some that spring to mind are; Kevy Shaves, KenSurfs, Friendship Shaving, GeoFatBoy and PaulHFilms.

    My key bit of advice though, is map your face's hair growth. This will let you know how to plan your shaves and individual passes, first with the growth, then across, finally against.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by dkpw; 25th September 2020 at 15:38.

  9. #9
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    I changed over to DE about 13 years ago. I'd dabbled with it before, but bought my first proper razor, a Merkur Progress, at that point. I've found it to be very cost effective. But I've only had three razors and maybe 5 brushes in that time. My shaving bowl is even older, about 16 years I think. I vary between high end and low end soaps. I don't use a pre shave. I've mainly used witch hazel after shaving, but have dabbled with a few other things. My current set up is.

    Replitech Razor (bought from dkpw. thank you).
    A Harry's of London synthetic brush. It was a gift, works well, but I refer bristle.
    My old shaving bowl.
    Derby Blades.
    Cella Almond Shaving cream. Lovely stuff.
    Extro Bergamotto di Calabria aftershave.

    My suggestion is start simple and cheap and see if you enjoy the experience and that it gives you a good shave. Technique (see youtube), and lots of time help.

  10. #10
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    Like watches, it can be very addictive. The best place to go is here.
    https://www.theshavingroom.co.uk/community/index.php

  11. #11
    I've been DE shaving for nearly 10 year now. I usually get my supplies from https://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/ who have a good range of everything you need. My favourite shaving cream right now is Extro Cosemi and Musgo Real but if your only starting off you won't go far wrong with Proraso. Oh and get a alum block !

  12. #12
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Just grow a beard and trim with scissors, and allocate the savings towards watches. Similarly with haircuts. You know it makes sense. [That said, it will still take me decades to offset the imminent PP price rise... ]

  13. #13
    Master
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    Tried loads of gear.

    Best i found were :

    Polsilver iridium blades or Super iridium ( Neither are made anymore but i still have a huge stash of them luckily to last the rest of my days )
    very low number of cuts with these and quite sharp and long lasting.

    Simpsons Chubby best badger brush.

    Castle Forbes cream ( but i use all sorts of soaps and creams because i bought them to try and they last forever lol )

    Razor : Merkur Progress Adjustable ( used on number 3 / 3.5 )

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    My key bit of advice though, is map your face's hair growth. This will let you know how to plan your shaves and individual passes, first with the growth, then across, finally against.
    This!!

    Probably the most important and useful piece anyone will give when talking about shaving!

  15. #15
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Doesn't it take considerably longer to shave with a DE? It looks like it does.

  16. #16
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    Thanks everyone for all the advice and tips.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Doesn't it take considerably longer to shave with a DE? It looks like it does.
    Depends really mate. I don't go in for all the pre shave and post shave stuff. Nore have I been doing the 3 pass technique. Not yet anyway. Want my face to get used to it. For now it not really taking me any longer.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper-sam View Post
    Depends really mate. I don't go in for all the pre shave and post shave stuff. Nore have I been doing the 3 pass technique. Not yet anyway. Want my face to get used to it. For now it not really taking me any longer.

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    I'm scared to investigate because the last thing I need is another bloody 'hobby'

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    I'm scared to investigate because the last thing I need is another bloody 'hobby'
    I was the same. Was using Harry's for about 4 years. Only as said above a colleague brought me one in he wasn't wanting anymore. Gave me 2 packets of blades and a brush.
    So for the last fortnight or whatever I've just been using saving gel. My first attempt I cut myself to bits but each shave after that hasn't been too bad. With the last couple no cuts at all. Just need to give it a chance.

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  20. #20
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    I rediscovered DE shaving after a gap of 40 years - and suddenly shaving became a pleasure rather than a pain.

    I find the English Shaving Company covers most bases.

  21. #21
    Master smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    DE user for 15 years. Started with a Merkur Futur, the bought some Vintage Gillette fatboys (rarely used them) then a Feather ASD2. On my second badger brush from Simpson. Tend to use Geo F Trumper rose shave cream and their Coral Skin Food for post shave (itís alright but Iím sure there is better). Blades have been Feather for last few years, before that I used Israeliís.

    Moved to straights for a few years and that is a real rabbit hole. Razors, strops, hones etc. Shaving with a straight is a real experience but you need to have the time to maintain and use them.

    A DE will last you a lifetime

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper-sam View Post
    Depends really mate. I don't go in for all the pre shave and post shave stuff. Nore have I been doing the 3 pass technique. Not yet anyway. Want my face to get used to it. For now it not really taking me any longer.
    I still don't after DE shaving for years. Just two passes is good enough for me. Post shave is a splash of something and a styptic pencil on a bad day.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by gerrudd View Post
    I changed over to DE about 13 years ago. I'd dabbled with it before, but bought my first proper razor, a Merkur Progress, at that point. I've found it to be very cost effective. But I've only had three razors and maybe 5 brushes in that time. My shaving bowl is even older, about 16 years I think. I vary between high end and low end soaps. I don't use a pre shave. I've mainly used witch hazel after shaving, but have dabbled with a few other things. My current set up is.

    Replitech Razor (bought from dkpw. thank you).
    A Harry's of London synthetic brush. It was a gift, works well, but I refer bristle.
    My old shaving bowl.
    Derby Blades.
    Cella Almond Shaving cream. Lovely stuff.
    Extro Bergamotto di Calabria aftershave.

    My suggestion is start simple and cheap and see if you enjoy the experience and that it gives you a good shave. Technique (see youtube), and lots of time help.
    TYVM glad you're still enjoying the JFK. :)

    Since we last spoke, I splashed out on a 1955 gold Gillette Tech. It's so nice I've still not had the heart to use it yet.

    All the best.

    EDIT: Some shots of the 1955 Tech.





    Last edited by dkpw; 25th September 2020 at 21:33.

  24. #24
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    My current razors are a Murker 34C and Murker Vision 2000 used with Astra Platinum blades. Brush is a Proraso pure bristle brush, which is superb for lathering. Soap is the Arko shave sticks which I lather direct on face without a bowl.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/PRORASO-Pur...1142144&sr=8-1

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arko-Shavin...s%2C191&sr=8-5

    I've gone through a lot of fancy soaps and creams and realize they are no better than the Arko soaps for a good shave.(my opinion)

  25. #25
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    Funnily enough I started using a DE razor, around the time I started getting into watches.

    Iíve bought one razor (Edwin Jagger Chatsworth Barley), I was gifted a matching badger hair brush, found blades I like (feather) and after trying a few soaps, decided I prefer cream. While I like the ceremony of it, I donít really invest the time to do anything beyond a single pass without pre- or post- shave before I go to work, and I donít shave on weekends!

    Never got sucked into the rabbit hole but Iíve enjoyed trying different soaps and creams as each run out and suspect I will continue to experiment with that but canít see myself buying multiple razors, brushes, scents etc.


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  26. #26
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    ...I splashed out on a 1955 gold Gillette Tech. It's so nice I've still not had the heart to use it yet.
    Ooh, that's marvellous. I feel another 'investment' coming on.
    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    TYVM glad you're still enjoying the JFK. :)

    Since we last spoke, I splashed out on a 1955 gold Gillette Tech. It's so nice I've still not had the heart to use it yet.
    Oh wow that is very nice, enjoy.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    My current razors are a Murker 34C and Murker Vision 2000 used with Astra Platinum blades. Brush is a Proraso pure bristle brush, which is superb for lathering. Soap is the Arko shave sticks which I lather direct on face without a bowl.

    I've gone through a lot of fancy soaps and creams and realize they are no better than the Arko soaps for a good shave.(my opinion)
    You can't beat a 34C in my opinion, they provide a great shave and it does raise the question why I've bought loads of other razors when this was my second!

    Arko sticks, well... they are a bit marmite. Sometimes I like the smell, at other times they smell a little lavatorial. However they are excellent at producing a great lather. If you like shave sticks, and they are handy in the shower, I can recommend the LEA shave stick which has a nice clean scent and also lathers well.

  29. #29
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Well I decided to give DE shaving a go. So rather than trawling through all the great advice that has no doubt been posted in previous threads (far too easy) I just went for it. 3 weeks later and the Bluebeards Revenge, Shark and 7 O'clock have failed to dampen my spirit. First couple of times were a bit scary and cutty, but I can shave without any blood now!

    So I think it would be nice to have an adjustable razor as a bit of an upgrade perhaps. So do I leap in at the £200 level or are there decent ones to be had lower down the price range. I'm guessing the next one probably won't be the last one!
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  30. #30
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Well I decided to give DE shaving a go. So rather than trawling through all the great advice that has no doubt been posted in previous threads (far too easy) I just went for it. 3 weeks later and the Bluebeards Revenge, Shark and 7 O'clock have failed to dampen my spirit. First couple of times were a bit scary and cutty, but I can shave without any blood now!

    So I think it would be nice to have an adjustable razor as a bit of an upgrade perhaps. So do I leap in at the £200 level or are there decent ones to be had lower down the price range. I'm guessing the next one probably won't be the last one!
    I bought this recently and it's fantastic. Easy blade change and the best razor I've used
    Beautifully balanced and manouverable.
    https://www.gents.co.uk/merkur-futur...d-satin-finish

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I bought this recently and it's fantastic. Easy blade change and the best razor I've used
    Beautifully balanced and manouverable.
    https://www.gents.co.uk/merkur-futur...d-satin-finish
    I tried one of the cheap chinese versions of the futura from the alibaba site about £8 - OK I suppose, but a good weight and a pleasure to use.

    What does that Arko soap smell like ? I have never used it.

    B

  32. #32
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    .
    What does that Arko soap smell like ? I have never used it.B
    Nothing special, but it's a very good soap to lather up.

  33. #33
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I bought this recently and it's fantastic. Easy blade change and the best razor I've used
    Beautifully balanced and manouverable.
    https://www.gents.co.uk/merkur-futur...d-satin-finish
    Thatís interesting thanks. I did look at those so might be a possible option.
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  34. #34
    OOK if you're after an adjustable razor, there are two options I would like to suggest.

    First is a base plate swapper, namely the Rockwell 6S. This provides different levels of aggression by giving you three plates, each with two options, which you swap out to get your desired level of efficiency. For example base plate 2 is mild, whereas baseplate 5 is aggressive. Expect to pay about £80 for this one.

    If you'd rather have an integral adjustable, where you turn a dial to adjust the razor's aggression, I'd strongly recommend going for a vintage Gillette Fatboy or Slim Adjustable. You can find these on Etsy or eBay for about £80 to £100 pounds. It's been my experience that these provide the best value for money and ease of shaving. Modern integral adjustables can be overly aggressive.

  35. #35
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    OOK if you're after an adjustable razor, there are two options I would like to suggest.

    First is a base plate swapper, namely the Rockwell 6S. This provides different levels of aggression by giving you three plates, each with two options, which you swap out to get your desired level of efficiency. For example base plate 2 is mild, whereas baseplate 5 is aggressive. Expect to pay about £80 for this one.

    If you'd rather have an integral adjustable, where you turn a dial to adjust the razor's aggression, I'd strongly recommend going for a vintage Gillette Fatboy or Slim Adjustable. You can find these on Etsy or eBay for about £80 to £100 pounds. It's been my experience that these provide the best value for money and ease of shaving. Modern integral adjustables can be overly aggressive.
    Thanks that sounds like some good advice. I'll have a look at those. I did see one where you changed the plates but it seemed like something I'd get fed up with doing.
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  36. #36
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    I have a Wilkinson Sword which was Dads, a Gillette Slim Adjustable, a Merkur Futur and a Merkur Slant
    The slant gets the most use with Feather blades


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  37. #37
    I favour the Merkur Slant with the short handle over the Future, always found the head a bit to bulky under the nose. I would also say to try and get one of TTO (twist to open) Gillettes as mentioned above, great razors. I used to collect them about 20 years ago and have or have had most of the models from the 50s and 60s.

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    Last edited by mijyou; 10th April 2021 at 03:48.

  38. #38
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    have a look for Tabac soap and mitchells woolfat soap ...both top performers of hard soap

    merkur progress is a nice small adjustable ....although mine is put to one side in favour of the rockwell 6s and of course the supply single edge razor another great razor

  39. #39
    Two options for me. First is a Merkur futur clone which i find a little clumsy but is adjustable or secondly a vintage Gillette which gives a really comfortable shave. Always used Polsilver but they are becoming a bit rare now. Recently decided to search for an alternative and settled on Nacet which are very good.
    Brush wise I've also recently changed to one of the Simpsons synthetic brushes which is a revelation. Used with Truefitt and hill no10 it produces a prodigious amount of foam and hasn't lost a single hair yet that I've noticed.

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  40. #40
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    Might as well comment on my own thread
    So roughly 7 months now of using the Rex Ambassador and have no plans for buying another razor. Yes it's expensive but my view on it is buy once and buy right, unless of course you're wanting a collection (which I don't).
    The Rex is adjustable too which is handy for me as I need to go mild on the bottom part of my neck, a second changes the setting rather than having to faff about with plates.
    The Rex is over 200 quid new but I expect it to out live me, and I'm 43 coming.
    That's my advice for a razor, good luck with whatever you choose. Oh and I've a discount code for Executive Shaving which will save you 10% on it

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Nothing special, but it's a very good soap to lather up.
    Thanks Rod - I've been using Taylor's sandalwood of late but it's coming to the end so I may give the Arko a try !!

    B

  42. #42
    Master smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    I used a Futur for several years before moving to a fixed blade razor, Feather ASD2. Futur was good but a little bulky and I rarely adjusted it. Canít fault the ASD2 and havenít considered another razor in the 4 years Iíve been using it. It truly is a razor for life.

    Would also echo the comments on trying an old twist to open Gillette or Fat Boy. Great razors and nice to shave with something that is 50-60 years old.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Thanks Rod - I've been using Taylor's sandalwood of late but it's coming to the end so I may give the Arko a try !!

    B
    Also try adding a tiny bit of shaving oil too. It makes for a very smooth shave.
    I used Arko this morning!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper-sam View Post
    Might as well comment on my own thread
    So roughly 7 months now of using the Rex Ambassador and have no plans for buying another razor. Yes it's expensive but my view on it is buy once and buy right, unless of course you're wanting a collection (which I don't).
    The Rex is adjustable too which is handy for me as I need to go mild on the bottom part of my neck, a second changes the setting rather than having to faff about with plates.
    The Rex is over 200 quid new but I expect it to out live me, and I'm 43 coming.
    That's my advice for a razor, good luck with whatever you choose. Oh and I've a discount code for Executive Shaving which will save you 10% on it

    Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk
    I think youíve had all the comments and recommendations because of the wording of the original post. EnJoY The Rex
    Some of the comments on blades, brushes and soaps, croaps and oils are still valid as a novice.


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  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    What does that Arko soap smell like ? I have never used it.

    B
    Also consider Palmolive Shave Stick (I've used it for years).

  46. #46
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    I use a Futur but rarely adjust it, can get a decent shave with it set on 1 but it does get closer as you turn it up. It takes some serious concentration to use on 6!

    Does anyone here have an open comb? R41 sounds good but not sure if it would be too aggressive.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cman View Post
    Also consider Palmolive Shave Stick (I've used it for years).
    I've used both Arko and Palmolive shave sticks, but only for travel. I thought they were about equal but I could fit a Palmolive inside a brown plastic pill bottle, so preferred the convenience. For home shaving I prefer other soaps.

  48. #48
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    It was this forum that got me DE shaving years and years ago
    For travel when weíre allowed again Iíve sworn by tabac sticks for years

    Razor for me is a feather asd1 the original which I must have had around 12 years now, Iíve got a futur which was great my first DE but I never used it after buying the feather and a fatboy which I probably used once and not for me.

    Brushes Iíve had a few over the years all badger Iíll have to try a synthetic next time after some on here saying theyíre good

    Shaving creams Iíve had loads Taylorís of old Bond Street being a firm favourite and also proasso white

    Blades feather have always suited me well but I still buy sample packs occasionally and work through them all

    Alum bloc and then whichever balm is to hand afterwards

  49. #49

    Hello

    All,

    Connaught shaving have some excellent deals on soap / creams at the moment, Cella / Vitos / Lea!

    Best,

    Ben

  50. #50
    Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Kent UK
    Posts
    1,240
    Quote Originally Posted by burnside View Post
    All,

    Connaught shaving have some excellent deals on soap / creams at the moment, Cella / Vitos / Lea!

    Best,

    Ben
    Thanks, just picked up some Cella soap at a great price.

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