October 1, 2020

Shaving

This page began when I needed a pace to keep track of the information and links that my buddy Doug was giving me when he wncouraged me to spend money on fancy shaving gear.

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.

The shaver itself

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.

Blades

I have been entirely happy with "Derby" double edged blades. A quick search shows that I can buy them on Amazon, and get 100 blades for about $10. I can shave for almost a month on one blade, so this is at least an 8 year supply.
They look like this:

(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.

And, did you know? You can actually resharpen double edge blades! Not that you should, but you can. You need a little U-shaped thing like a snowboard half-pipe that is lined with fine abrasive. This is not widely promoted because selling disposable shaving gear is a racket. I don't resharpen my double edge blades - not at 10 cents each anyway, but it is worth pondering how we have been swindled all these years. The shaving gear companies realized they weren't gonna be making any real money selling blades at 10 cents each, and got busy thinking of ways to use advertising to suck that money out of our pockets.

Brush and soap

This is another whole aspect of the shaving business. Using aerosol shaving foam that spews out of a can is just more of this business of being duped by the shaving products companies. Not only that, but you are destroying the ozone layer and wasting resources when you could be working up lather (not working up a lather) with a brush in a cup instead.

Making your own brush(es)

Do you have a wordworking lathe handy? If so, you can start turning handles and then figure out where to get the fibers to mount in them. It turns out what you want are called "shave knots" or "shaving brush knots".
Here are a couple of places to get them: All this thanks to "awa54" on the Spyderco Forums. When I asked where he got the bristles, he answered:
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 / tom@mmto.org