The first thing to learn is that all this multiblade close shave marketing jive is exactly that: marketing jive. You will get the best shave ever with a good old straight razor (only I am not brave enough).
The next best thing is a simple (and cheap) double edged blade.
To hold the blade, you want something that looks more or less like this:
You don't believe me? You can throw your money away if you want to - no skin off of my face. The more intelligent and less gullible among you should try it and see! My gadget is an "Edwin Jagger", which has been working fine for years and will probably last longer than I will. Muhle is another fine razor (said to be made in the same factory as the Edwin Jagger). I may go wild and buy an Ikon razor though someday, perhaps the Bulldog. Why I need two when I just stated that I have one which will last me the rest of my life is a question to be pondered. Either I am a sucker for shiny things (like a packrat), or I am a consumer zombie.
(As a side note, observe in the above image that both blades have little cute water droplets in exactly the same place and the same size. Either some cosmic alignment is at work, or there is some incredible coincidence going on.
Doug says his favorite blades are Timor (German stainless steel, made in Solingen). However, instead of getting 10 blades for $1.00, you have to spend maybe $5.00. Is it worth it? Go crazy and find out for yourself - be a big spender -- like Doug.
The knots I used in these are all from Maggard's. I really like their 2-band "basic" bulb knot and the fan shaped UHD, isn't bad either, just more expensive and with less backbone... I have also used knots from The Golden Nib, with excellent results.
I'm a face latherer and enjoy small (18mm-22mm knot base) brushes that can scrub a bit, if you like a softer brush, then silvertip or "best" may suit you better, that or loft the knot taller, mine are set pretty deep to maximize firmness.
Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!
Tom's Shaving Info / email@example.com