1 year in, still don't know what kind of razors I like. Help?

Discussion in 'General Shaving' started by sev-8, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. sev-8

    sev-8 Guru

    1 year in and 15 razors bought - I've actually used 11 of them - I've realised that I still haven't worked out what I actually like. Wanted to see if I'm the only confused one or if someone can help give me some direction? Is there any pattern than I can use to buy better in the future or things I should try with what I have?

    The razors that I don't like generally irritate my neck, but I do the same number and type of passes with all of them. After getting some good shaves with a Fatip Piccolo OC, am wondering if everything comes down to finding the right angle no matter how aggressive the razor.

    What works:
    • Rockwell 6S/6C R4 - Not as foolproof as R3, but intuitive and love the weight and feel
    • Fatip Piccolo OC - Read a comment on TSR to ride the comb and it's surprisingly good, better than SB, but seems to blunt the blade quicker than riding the cap
    • EJ DE89 - First razor, effortless shave but feels super light now
    • Schick Krona - Not used a lot and is perhaps too mild, but still good shaves
    What doesn't work:
    • Fatip Piccolo SB - have tried shallow and steep angles which all irritate my neck, but above the jawline is great and like the scalloped safety bar
    • Gillette AluTech - Second razor, tried with different blades and angles with no joy, always ended up with cuts on my neck
    • Gillette Fat Handled Tech - Makes me wonder how people can think this is a mild razor, felt like scraping my skin
    • Gillette Flare Tip Rocket - Same again on my neck, just felt really raw after a shave
    Still unsure:
    • Gillette Slim - Tried it on 4 for a couple of weeks, was so so
    • Gillette Superspeed - Best of the vintage Gillettes, just a bit of burn
    Up next:
    • Ever Ready 1912
    • Gillette Flair Tip Superspeed
    • Gillette Ball End Tech
    • Gillette Slim Twist
  2. MntnMan62

    MntnMan62 Über Member

    New Jersey
    Don't feel like you are razor illiterate. You aren't. It took me about 3 years to really find the razor I truly love. I have 30. Some are duplicates of models I have but I must have used at least 20 to 23 different razors. They all shave somewhat differently. It takes time. I see your list is light on open comb razors other than the Fatip Piccolo. I suggest you try some those. Gillette Old Type, Single Ring, NEW (both long and short comb), New Improved. And your comment about blunting the blade faster with the Piccolo OC should not deter you at all. Blades are cheap. Really cheap. So what if you only get 2 to 3 uses from a blade? That's what most of us get. And believe it or not your technique will continue to improve which will possibly cause you to reconsider razors you previously shunned. But that is a different matter. The idea is to find what works for you now. Try some open comes. Similar to the Fatip is the Schone Open Comb. Made of brass. Nice and smooth. And made by Fatip for Schone. Some people have said the different number of teeth makes for a smoother shave. I love it and it's cheap. I've not tried the Piccolo so can't comment on the comparison. You have a lot of work ahead of you so get cracking.
    Paper Plane and sev-8 like this.
  3. sev-8

    sev-8 Guru

    I almost didn't try the OC base plate for the Piccolo, just because of its reputation. Equally, haven't opened the pack of Feather blades that came with my DE89.

    Glad I did try the OC now and yes, that gives me a whole new world to explore. Hadn't heard of the Schone before, so will see where to get one in the UK. A NEW was on my list of razors to try, so will try and find a good one.

    I guess in another couple of years I might have worked it out. Fingers crossed
  4. R181

    R181 Grumpy old man

    Yes, it basically boils down to finding/maintaining the right angle for a particular razor, they are not built all the same, and using little to no pressure.

    Instead of quickly acquiring lots of different razors looking for the magic bullet, concentrate on learning to get the most out of a particular razor. That would mean working on your technique regarding finding the angle that suits the razor and using the least amount of pressure you can. Your technique has to suit the razor in use.

    Number Six, Grishnak and 2hot 2trot like this.
  5. 2hot 2trot

    2hot 2trot Forum GOD!

    I totally agree what has already been said and I think using 11 razors in the space of only 12 months has not given you chance to really appreciate what truly works for you.
    Another important point is to trial as many blades as possible with each razor.

    I see you have a 1912 up next. May I say in my opinion these are awesome razors with loads of audible feedback. I would recommend you start with a Gem blade.
    Blackmass and Grishnak like this.
  6. JonnyBGood

    JonnyBGood Veteran

    Hone your technique

    Go back a few decades - one razor one blade one brush one soap - make it work
    JayGee, Grishnak, R181 and 1 other person like this.
  7. sev-8

    sev-8 Guru

    Wasn't clear at the start, but I've primarily used 3 razors during that time not switching between all 11, I've used the DE89, 6C then 6S for 60% to 70% of the last year. The others I've tried for a couple of weeks at a time trying with a few different blades, but generally the irritation made me go back to the preferred 3. Started using the Fatip recently, around 3 weeks ago.
    DamianJ and 2hot 2trot like this.
  8. Farabeuf

    Farabeuf Über Member

    I’d recommend keeping to one soap/cream and blade when comparing different pieces of hardware. It’s hard to compare razors when one is not using exactly the same setup and circumstances.

    When I started out I was extremely conservative and used very mild razors with mixed results. I’ve found along the way that my beard is actually quite coarse and an efficient razor is better. And the more I take my time, the better. 2 passes only. A third one will bring irritation, no matter the razor or software.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Petronius likes this.
  9. les24preludes

    les24preludes Über Member

    I'm flooded with razors. Managed to sell off a Progress, Timeless OC .95, NEW LC, ATT SE1, PAL Injectomatic, and others advertised.

    I've worked out which I'm keeping for sure:
    - R41
    - MMOC
    - 1912 (x6)

    These I like using from time to time, but are non-essential:
    - Fatip OC
    - Gillette Old Type
    - MMCP
    - Gillette Slim

    These are used for spare parts, heads, top caps, handles etc since they fit together:
    - Yintal Bronze x 3
    - Yaqi Matte Black x 2
    - Old Type clones e.g. Souplex
    - Yaqi Beast

    These need a new home:
    2 x Gillette Tech

    In addition I have loads of handles, titanium, SS, copper etc. I could cut the collection down to three razors, and I'll certainly sell some more - a Rotbart RFB and 1924 on BST/ebay for starters. But I have to say that after using this collection I have a very good idea of which I like to shave with and why. I was pretty clueless at first but over time a lot of things became clear. Mostly thanks to reading a lot of posts on forums like this, and the rest through experimenting. I think you get there in the end.
  10. Stonec0ld

    Stonec0ld Über Member

    I have about 9 razors and I tend to use just 1 for a week at a time. Each razor needs a slightly different technique and I find it takes a day or so to dial in and get a really good shave but by the end of the week I'm getting an awesome shave from each.
    R181 likes this.
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Forum Sod

    There is nothing wrong with experimenting with razors, I have had my own journey through shaving but I have always used the ones I like and sold on the ones I don't. For me the biggest leap forward was finding the blades I like rather than the razors. The blade shaves you, the razor holds the blade. Find your blade and the rest is easy. As for the EJ89 buy a nice stainless handle for it and enjoy it, it's one of the best razor designs ever made.
    MrK1, DamianJ, Hectorsgaf and 2 others like this.
  12. Nishy

    Nishy Forum GOD! Staff Member

    Sounds very similar to my experience. A pattern definitely develops if it doesn't already exist. For example I prefer rounded shorter teeth on my OC razors. I also have preferences in terms of weight, handle diameter and length, which help in choosing the tool(s) before purchase.

    The advice given above is very good. Personally I like to approach from a different angle. I would always suggest opting for razors with high reputation as well as tight tolerances. This way you can place other razor(s) impressions around a strong source. With respect to the above and your preferences mentioned above I would be looking at trying the Wolfman 0.74mm OC, Muhle R41, PILS and Tatara SB.
    2hot 2trot likes this.
  13. Stonec0ld

    Stonec0ld Über Member

    The point about blades is a very good one. I've had razors transform in my opinion due to the blade.
    Wayne and 2hot 2trot like this.
  14. sev-8

    sev-8 Guru

    There are very few blades that I hate using (Shark Stainless & Voshkods), I like Polsilvers, Astra SPs and Nacets, most of the others are middle of the road. That's not to say that I've found my best blades, I still have lots to try out, particularly trying to find non-Gillette made blades just in case...

    I have a few soaps, but don't switch often. Normally stick with one for at least a week unless I'm trying out some samples
    2hot 2trot likes this.
  15. sev-8

    sev-8 Guru

    That's what I'm hoping, but even if I exclude the Krona, I don't see a pattern yet which is why I'm unsure what to do next and thought I should ask for advice.

    A month ago, I probably would have thought there was no way I'd try an R41. Having used the Fatip, not so sure I'd rule it out now.
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