What Is The Best DE Razor?

IMG_20150215_085607Of course it is not possible to provide an answer to what the best double edge razor is.  There are simple too many factors to consider when trying to come to that conclusion; the blade that you are using, your skin type, your type of facial hair, the shave soap you are using, and I’m sure there are some that I am not thinking of at the moment.  But not wanting to let you down, I can make suggestions based on the razors that I have used, that I consider the ‘best’.

I’m going to separate the razors into three categories based on cost, low-end, mid-range, and mid to high end. I haven’t had the pleasure of test driving a razor that I would consider ‘high’ end, at least when it comes to cost – I’m thinking of the Seki Edge Feather AS-D2  – I just haven’t been able to find the strength to part with that much cash just yet so I am not able to suggest a razor in that category.

Low-End

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The choice for my low end razor will have to be RazoRock Mirrored Pole. You can read the full review here. The RazoRock twist to open design will give you a sense of what you are looking for in a razor. The price doesn’t really require a second thought.

Mid-Range

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My mid-range choice is an absolute no brainer – the Edwin Jagger 89lbl – I would probably say that is my ‘best’ razor, regardless of category. It offers a nice balance between quality and performance. You can read the full review here. (It’s worth pointing out the the entire Edwin Jagger 8x line offer the same design with, each with a different finish.  Check this out for me information.)

Mid-High Range

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This was a bit of a difficult choice but I decided to go with a more recent acquisition – the Merkur 43C – a very weighty razor that has a long, substantial handle that provides a very comfortable shave. Not to mention that it looks great. Of course it will cost you a few more dollars than some other options, but if you have some don’t hesitate to use them on this. Full review can be read here.

I could have broken down the above by type of razor (TTO, 2 – piece design, 3 – piece design), but went with the above because I think when it comes to the question of “what the best de razor is?” I assume people are thinking overall not by type.

Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum After Shave

IMG_20150202_082415I love the Clubman line, probably more for the classic nostalgic feeling all of their products somehow manage to create, than for the quality of their products – which is equally effective. When my bottle of Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum arrived in the mail I was excited by the label which has a somewhat different look to my other bottles from Clubman – the ship sailing off, the crescent moon, and the confirmation that the Bay Rum you are about to experience truly is “As refreshing as an island breeze.” Who doesn’t want to experience this? The fact that it comes in a plastic bottle is slightly disappointing, otherwise the packaging is great.  Then I opened the bottle and was equally excited by the bay rum scent that seemed to have a slightly different than I expected. It was looking like it was going to be another enjoyable month of shaving until…

I used the after shave for the first time. I was a bit concerned, perhaps disappointed is a better way to put it, when I was greeted with an intense burning all over my face after applying the after shave for the first time. So much so that I had to wipe the after shave off my face with a wet cloth. Just to be clear, I expect some burning when using an alcohol based after shave, but I didn’t expect the “Flammable” warning on the back of the bottle to be referring to my face.

IMG_20150202_083738After a couple of days of not using the Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum I decided to give it another go. After all, I could have just had a really bad shaving session the first time around. I have never had as much doubt and hesitation before applying any product to my face as I did with my second application of this after shave. Using a little less liquid than the first time I splashed it on expecting the worse, but happily, the only burning I experienced is what one would expect to feel from an after shave. So what happen the first time around? Not sure really, but my guess is a bad shaving session and I definitely used too much the first time.

Having got over the trauma of my first application, I was able to focus on performance and scent. If you have used any other Clubman products you can expect the same experience. It doesn’t leave your face feeling dry – an impressive feat for an alcohol based product. Of course it does a great job in repairing all your nicks and leaving your face feeling refreshed.

The Bay Rum’s fresh scent wakes you up and provides a great start to the day. As I mentioned earlier it has a different take on the bay rum – there is a complexity of scent that compliment each other nicely.  Initially there is a woodsy scent that is quickly overtaken with a spiciness dominated by cinnamon and cloves. If you concentrate long enough you might notice some vanilla, a hint of pepper, maybe even some nutmeg. No reason why someone would want to be surrounded by this all day.

Of course there are more natural bay rum aftershave products out there that will probably be kinder to your skin. So if you are not too concerned about the chemicals*, the Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum aftershave provides a great experience at a great price.

*A side note – funny perhaps. When I was researching some of the chemicals in the bay rum I came across this quote about the Benzyl Benzoate: “Benzyl benzoate is irritant to the skin.”  Maybe it’s best to not research what you find in some products.

Elvado Fragrance Free Classic Shaving Soap

IMG_20150118_080053Ratings:

Value: 9
Cushion: 8
Slickness: 9
Scent Pleasantness: 10 (or a zero depending how you look at it)
Scent Strength (balance): 10 (see above)
Moisturising: 9

 

 

How does one describe in great detail a product that doesn’t smell like anything? There are literally no words other than ‘nothing’ that I can use to elaborate on Elvado’s Fragrance Free Classic Shaving Soap – it truly is fragrance free. I feel like I’m stuck in that Seinfeld episode when they are pitching their sitcom idea to the NBC executives. Nevertheless here is my attempt to describe nothing to you.

I often come across ‘fragrance’ free products that are not actually free of any scent, but I can’t say the same about this offering from Elvado. When I first opened the tub I wasn’t paying attention to what I actually opened, and after a couple of futile attempts of picking up a scent I took a look at the label and realized then that my ability to smell was in fact still working properly.

IMG_20150118_080621I have been using Elvado shaving product for a few weeks now (reviews here – with a review on the aftershave to follow in a couple of days), the consistency in formula, and as a result quality, made for an excellent shaving experience regardless of the soap I was using. Happily the same can be said about their Fragrance Free offering. The lather was easy to develop, it didn’t irritate or dry out my skin, and of course provided an excellent surface for my blade to work on with a nice balance between cushion and slickness.

This is one of the shorter reviews that I have written in a while, but perhaps, at least like in the case of the scent in the Elvado Fragrance Free Classic Shaving Soap, less is more. If you are looking for a true scent free shaving soap this would be one of, if not my top recommendation. One last thing to consider is that Elvado’s offerings are certified vegan products and free from animal testing.

Click here for more information on Elvado and their products.

Tools in images:
Merker 37C
Vie-Long Horse Hair Brush

Fatip Grande Safety Razor Review

IMG_20150102_160340We got off on the wrong foot the Fatip Grande and I, and we had a real tough time getting things back on track. The first couple of shaves resulted in more cuts and nicks that I am accustomed to (which is usually zero – but I provide some leeway for new razors), but I chalked it up to being unfamiliar with the razor. Then there was the dreaded night of the party. Company was coming over and I was running out of time, I ran upstairs for a quick shave, naturally grabbed my newest razor and shaved a little too quickly and with not enough focus, leaving my face a burning nightmare for the rest of the evening. But I refused to give up on the razor – after all I loved the way it feels, the way it looks, even the price point is attractive. There had to be a way for me to salvage this razor experience.

IMG_20150102_160538I discovered, as with all razors really, is that less force/pressure is key for a comfortable and successful shave. It just seemed that I required even less pressure with the Fatip Grande than with any of my other razors. The culprit more than likely is that I am working with an open comb razor instead of one with a safety bar – which can be found on all of my other razors (I did own another open comb razor but I gave it to my dad soon after receiving it). Once I learned to ease up, the experience improved, but unfortunately the damage was done, four of five weeks later, I still pick up the razor with a sense of hesitation based on my first few experiences. A fault of mine surely – I should be able to let it go – but I am unable. I will definitely keep the razor, I do like it, I hope to have more confidence with it the more I use it.

Balance 3/5:

I have to give it a 3 for balance simply because the handle is so light. Nearly all of the weight is in the cutting head of the razor, which I guess could be one of the factors contributing to my longer than usual learning curve with this razor. That is not to say that the razor is unusable, rather that it may take some getting use to.

IMG_20150102_160423Grip ~ Handle 4/5:

The handle has a great, classic looking design. the ribs that run along the handle provides a great grip. The nub at the bottom of the handle also a nice touch aesthetically and functionally – I am able to rest my little finger on there for some added control. Not a 5/5 simply because it is a bit too light (see above).

Blade Exposure: Semi/Aggressive

The nature of the open comb will make the razor somewhat more aggressive than one with a safety bar – but I can’t say that the Fatip Grande is an aggressive razor. After my first few experiences I would have definitely said super aggressive, but that was more me than the razor.

Price: 4/5

Nothing wrong with the price of the Fatip Grande, it’s what one would expect for a razor of this build, on par with other razors like the Edwin Jagger 89lbl or the Parker 89R. I’m not sure if it would make for a great starter razor, but perhaps a good place to start with your first open comb.

Just for the record, the Fatip Grande I own is the nickel version, it is also available in chrome, gunmetal black, and gold