We all get here eventually

Wayne

Forum Sod
I have followed Chris, now at I am CDB on Youtube since I started traditional shaving. He owned virtually everything worth owning, Razors,Brushes, Blades, Soaps, everything, regardless of cost and he told me just how great a Wolfman was, Timeless Are, Blackland, etc.
He has gone through some life changes and has got to that point in his shaving where most of us eventually get to. Watch this and tell me. Is this the truth of it or is it just a knee jerk because he has been there done it and bought the T shirt?
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuZfXhk0xvM
 

Burgundy

Forum GOD!
He’s right. Good stuff is good stuff. New stuff is neither better nor worse. I’ve likened the hype to The Emperor’s New Clothes before but - to be fair - the forums wouldn’t be as interesting without it.

If I were a newb looking at gear, I’d see what people liked five years ago and see whether it’s still around today. Chances are you’ll end up with fabulous yet inexpensive razors and soaps. The only part of the scene that has progressed in recent times is the quality of synthetic brushes.

Myself? Having been balls deep in £thousands of steel and titanium and £thousands more of badger brushes, I’ve ended up with one brush, a few razors, one postshave and an armful of soaps that will in time become a handful of treasures. It’s a happy place but makes my posts really fecking boring to read!
 

Missoni

Fellow Traveller
I have followed Chris, now at I am CDB on Youtube since I started traditional shaving. He owned virtually everything worth owning, Razors,Brushes, Blades, Soaps, everything, regardless of cost and he told me just how great a Wolfman was, Timeless Are, Blackland, etc.
He has gone through some life changes and has got to that point in his shaving where most of us eventually get to. Watch this and tell me. Is this the truth of it or is it just a knee jerk because he has been there done it and bought the T shirt?
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuZfXhk0xvM
...good to see him back; even though he probably fuelled over consumption in many a wet shaver, it is admirable that he lets his viewers know when he sees things through a different optic...I suspect most know that it is rather odd to purchase so many soaps, brushes and razors - but many travelled this road anyway...we live in times where the norm in this part of the world is to over consume the impact of which we better understand...those times are now effectively coming to an end for economic, environmental and political reasons...the times they are changing :)...good video...
 

RandySp

Legendary Member
I have followed Chris, now at I am CDB on Youtube since I started traditional shaving. He owned virtually everything worth owning, Razors,Brushes, Blades, Soaps, everything, regardless of cost and he told me just how great a Wolfman was, Timeless Are, Blackland, etc.
He has gone through some life changes and has got to that point in his shaving where most of us eventually get to. Watch this and tell me. Is this the truth of it or is it just a knee jerk because he has been there done it and bought the T shirt?
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuZfXhk0xvM
Imagine him to end up with a Wilkinson blue bowl and the matching boar brush...
 

sɐǝɹpu∀

riverrun
It took him three years to figure it out. Not too bad. I only did slightly better.
I haven't bought new soaps for years. No new blades and I have firmly settled on one brush now.
If it was merely about getting the best shave, I'd probably use a Gillette Fusion. It's hard to beat, but boring.
If it was about saving money, I'd buy a Gillette Tech and 100 DE blades for a tenner total - not Derby blades though - they are crap. I have to disagree with him there.
With proper technique and prep, one can shave with anything - even with a cart and canned goo.
But what's the point? I love the feel of a brush on my face and face-lathering enough lather for four passes is all the prep I need.
And I will continue buying weird and wonderful vintage SE razors. They are cheap and make me smile.
There is no point in saying all that because it will take three years or so until you figure it out yourself.
Once you've figured it out, nobody will listen to you. They're all too busy buying new stuff.
 

Batch300

Extraordinarily Uncomplicated
Timeline for shavers, hobbyists, collectors, etc
Day1: Newbie, read all the forums, buy what everyone likes, admit to needing to learn. Limit on spending set.
Year 1: 98% expert. Buy the latest and greatest hoping to reach 100% Money no object
Year 2: 50% expert. Begin to understand subtle differences & develop favorites, admit to wanting to learn more. Purchases down.
Year 3: 75% expert. Happy with current equipment/collection. Will buy more but very selective. Impulse buying near zero.

Refreshing to see a shaving video tell viewers to stop buying every new item. He did seem to emphasize his current favorite products were cheap and did a good job. I would have emphasized the reasons why I liked my favorite products.
 

Wayne

Forum Sod
Whilst I agree with the sentiments expressed I am not going down the same path. I enjoy buying things, always have. This is all I do now, hobby wise, I know shaving isn't a hobby but buying and collecting interesting gear is the hobby part. I enjoy it too much but I am not buying things to improve my shaves, they aren't going to get any better.
 

Nishy

Forum GOD!
Staff member
Wow.
I appreciate his honesty, but he is claiming that he was wrong about all/majority of his reviews in the past? That is years of work, time and effort for himself and his audience, labelled as wrong?

I actually agree on some points where it is hard for one to detect slight changes in a formulation, also that the incremental increase in price may not be value for money, with regards to a new formulation. This is old news. Perhaps it shouldn't take 3 years to understand. No accountability? If you make yourself a reviewer it's your job to call out small changes good or bad, but it must be correct. Final prerogative is with the buyer but their purchase may be based on your opinion. You have as long as you like to come to a rounded conclusion, get it right surely, or at least not incorrect for three years? IMO. Alarm bells were ringing in my head some time back, when every new product was the 'best'.
 

Wayne

Forum Sod
Wow.
I appreciate his honesty, but he is claiming that he was wrong about all/majority of his reviews in the past? That is years of work, time and effort for himself and his audience, labelled as wrong?

I actually agree on some points where it is hard for one to detect slight changes in a formulation, also that the incremental increase in price may not be value for money, with regards to a new formulation. This is old news. Perhaps it shouldn't take 3 years to understand. No accountability? If you make yourself a reviewer it's your job to call out small changes good or bad, but it must be correct. Final prerogative is with the buyer but their purchase may be based on your opinion. You have as long as you like to come to a rounded conclusion, get it right surely, or at least not incorrect for three years? IMO. Alarm bells were ringing in my head some time back, when every new product was the 'best'.
I totally agree Nishy. To have a full on 360 degree turn around is a little strange. Going from Wolfman's to Harry's and claiming no difference in the shave quality is a big statement. We all know Carts aren't that bad and they can give great shaves, we also know getting into the shaving game to save money isn't going to happen.
I think he has shot himself in the foot as a reviewer of shaving gear from now on. He'll find it very difficult to go back to traditional shaving products because he has already stated there is no difference in shave quality between anything else he is going to review and cheap everyday products.
 

pjgh

Forum GOD!
I'd say practically all products that make it to market are within a degree or so of each other - we stretch that marginal difference as if it were a chasm!

There is point in trying out all sorts of things. Back when I was into car detailing, trying, testing and writing similar reviews for tens of thousands of pounds of products in an arena that was very similar, there was a chap whose name eludes me now but he said ... "find something you like and use it a lot".

I think there is great merit in the Highlander approach - find that single set of products you like and use them a lot. Use them as your baseline - is the next great thing truly better than your go-to?

The other thing is, we like variety. We like variety, even of the same thing - I fool myself into thinking I can feel the difference between half a dozen 1912s, but it's likely more down to the aesthetic effect the case and the handle have on me. When you're really into something there is something sublime in the minutiae that can deliver real satisfaction. All in the mind? Very likely, but the mind is a powerful tool.
 

Steve Bowles

Forum GOD!
I've got way too many soaps (it's Wayne's fault), and I'll never get through them. But if I'm honest, Haslinger is the only soap I'm going to replace.
 
I fool myself into thinking I can feel the difference between half a dozen 1912s....
I've gone past half a dozen 1912s...

In my bored moments I put bids on at least 8 ridiculously cheap 1912s on eBay and ended up winning them all. They are just about as sought after as the bubonic plague. I think shavers are put off by the shape, which looks like a piece of furniture rather than a typical DE. I put heavier handles on them and there's no obviously better razor out there, as we know.
 

chris.hale

Forum DOG!
Staff member
I completely agree with Chris on this one, there is a point where a thing is good and above that point the returns diminish. The Gillette Tech for example, for me it's an excellent razor that I always get a great shave with. I've recently bought a Feather AS-D2, I love it, but is it demonstrably a better razor than the Tech? No. The shaves are very similar and as the Tech dates from around 1940 you can't even argue longevity as a point in favour of the Feather.

So what is the point of the Feather and why did I buy it? It's pretty. Very pretty. It's beautifully made, the packaging is not over the top but it's presented very nicely. You can feel the quality of manufacture that's gone into it and it's a really really nice thing to own, but that's where the money's going. The same can be said of any high-end razor / brush / soap, they're going to be very good and they're nice to own but most of what you're paying for is the owning of a nice thing. That's fine as long as you're aware of it, but if I'd bought the Feather expecting it to be a night and day difference in actual shave quality from a Tech that I paid one tenth of the price for I'd be very disappointed.

I do not regret any of my expensive shaving items but they were all bought with my eyes open.

In terms of how I feel about Chris' reviews going forward, I'm still interested. If he reviews a piece of stainless exotica and tells me that it's smooth and efficient and gave him a great shave I still appreciate his view because he's probably right and he's honest enough to say when something isn't good, but I'm not going to buy it thinking it's going to be leaps and bounds better than what I have already because it won't be.
 
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