What are we looking for?

Discussion in 'General Shaving' started by Grishnak, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Grishnak

    Grishnak Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    I am a returnee to traditional DE shaving, thanks to an accidental set of circumstances and a video by Brian (The Executive Shave Co. Glasgow) and then this forum.
    Until reading posts on this forum, I never realised all DE blades were far from the same, let alone razors, soaps etc.

    I am currently testing blades for compatibility with my skin, technique and equipment and have given six brands a thorough trial, with a further six waiting in the wings at the moment and an intention of ordering further trial packs.
    From these trials, two blades I tried right at the beginning (Voskhod and Personna) give me close comfortable shaves with no irritation or nicks/weepers, yet I am still searching.

    It’s good to have a few options in case blades become unavailable or difficult to source at any time, but I am not sure this is why I am searching. I feel I am looking for “the one” that beats these options and then I will search for better than that, but is there better than close and comfortable, reasonably carefree shaving?

    Is this what carries over to Razors and Brushes?

    I have a 1985 Gillette Black Beauty that tames every blade in relation to my Rocca, yet I find myself wondering if I could have landed on my perfect razor at first purchase, 18 years of age.....I hope not, as there is such eye candy out there.
    Similar is my brush situation. I have a best badger brush from the Traditionsl Shave Co. In Leeds.
    It sheds a hair every shave, though I do not scrub it, feels reasonably soft, makes reasonable lather and only cost £30, so should give a few years service.

    What has “caused” your collections, is it a never ending search for better?
     
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  2. Tzimisce

    Tzimisce Veteran

    Location:
    Greece
    In one line, when a need becomes a luxury, the best is the enemy of the good.
     
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  3. halvor

    halvor Esquire

    Location:
    Norway
    I like to use a wave surfing metaphor, chasing the perfect wave. You know there can always come another wave, bigger and better, as one’s skills also become better. Perfection is illusory, the next is always the best. Add capitalism and men’s tendency toward gadget and equipment freaking, and you have our hoarding explained. At the same time, like surfing, you can choose to simply chase the perfect wave (or shave as it were) on the one board you got. One doesn’t need more than one, strictly speaking.

    Then again, some of us want the latest, the fads, the shiniest, the most expensive, just because. Some razors are better than others, admittedly, but the difference in use is marginal or perhaps in some cases even inverse to price. Splurge $1000 on a BBS-1 razor on ebay and your mind will want to find it better than your other gear, though, cognitive dissonance and all.

    Forum activity doesn’t exactly quench acquisition disorders. On the other hand, it’s not until one spends money one doesn’t have or should have spent on other things, that it becomes a problem.

    Edit: I generalised above in response to your more personal question, but it covers my view anyway. And I keep chasing that perfect shave, in some cases by perfecting technique by getting to know a razor, and in some cases the magpie or shortcut taker gets the better of me and I jump on the ‘THIS razor will give the perfect shaves’ bandwagon. Brushes, well, it’s the same thing, perfect balance between backbone, size and tips, plus a beautiful handle: *bling*
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  4. R181

    R181 Grumpy old man

    It's the difference between shaving as a job to get over with and shaving as a hobby. Nobody needs to spent on shaving gear what people on shaving forums do to get an excellent daily shave. That would not be much fun though.

    Bob
     
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  5. Grishnak

    Grishnak Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    I’m sticking with my gear for the foreseeable, rather than introduce other variables to my blade search and technique improvement.
    However I find myself wondering about silvertip and synthetic brushes and I find my eye drawn to smaller producers of wonderfully engineered, polished razors, on the strength of aesthetics alone and the legendary razors of yesteryear.....................the prognosis is not good...................maybe I should build a custom bathroom cabinet.
     
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  6. Nishy

    Nishy Forum GOD! Staff Member

    When wanting definite answers we require definite numerical results within a controlled environment. It is nearly impossible to control all variables when shaving, let alone relating another's ( for example, skin) to your own.

    So basically we consider other's opinions with our own, find similarities and differences. The term YMMV is pivotal, resulting in loose synopsis.

    On the other hand were cutting stubble, some don't wish to make a simple task 'complicated' thus it's pretty much key word bingo. I like, I dislike, aggressive, mild, etc. Again it's all relating to the individual, rarely under strict control.
     
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  7. Grishnak

    Grishnak Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    I think this has been qualified for me by the discussions on the Blackland Dart alone, with equal votes for more agressive / less aggressive than the Blackbird.

    The only way to find out is try it yourself.

    I am still curious what I am looking for though.
    If this question has no answer, the search can never end.
     
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  8. Nishy

    Nishy Forum GOD! Staff Member

    Your best bet is to understand what type of shave you prefer, then to go for a razor with a large database of users. To average opinion. Usually these are the golden oldies such as EJ89, Merkur, Parker etc
    Saying this the black beauty you own has been a favourite amongst quite a few. An adjustable razor can often provide good insight too.
     
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  9. Grishnak

    Grishnak Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    I would be curious to see what number on the B.B. equates to say an EJ89. I shave on a #6, but I feel the Rocca is off the 1-9 scale on the high end.
    Thanks @Nishy, great advice.
     
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  10. Holyzeus

    Holyzeus Quack Quack

    I’m going to tip that vote then by saying more aggressive :laugh:
     
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  11. Grishnak

    Grishnak Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    Bugger!
     
  12. Steve Bowles

    Steve Bowles Forum GOD!

    At what point do you resign yourself to the fact that the variables of shaving (razor build, blade exposure, blade angle, distance between bottom and top plates, blade choice, soap and cream choice, etc.) are finite, and sooner or later you will have empirically tested all permutations of these variables. You cannot get a better shave than an excellent one, and you've probably realized the perfect combination long ago. Just saying. :)
     
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  13. DamianJ

    DamianJ Forum GOD!

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I think there is a trend with certain hobbies that equipment etc makes the end result better.

    I know people who spend £1000's on guitars and amplifiers to become a better player, when all they may need to do is practice more and play more.

    I used to go shooting and again people would spend money in an effort to improve.

    Shaving is maybe similar to a certain extent in that a "better" razor or soap may be seen to give better results. Some of it is simply collecting, some of it is identifying what works for you and what you like.
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Forum Sod

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I no longer buy to achieve a better, closer, more comfortable shave. I got all that a few years back. I buy because I want to and can. I like nice things and I am getting on a little, have no mortgage, kids gone so have the money for a few little nice things before I shuffle off. Hey! I may as well enjoy life a little.
     
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  15. missingskin

    missingskin Guru

    Location:
    Down South
    I suffer from something called Magpieism, it quite a common ailment of people on shaving forums. I feel the need to buy and use.......then sell shiny new things (mainly razors). I sometimes think I am getting better but then get sucked back in.......:confused::meh:
    But has my shaving improved since this ailment struck me, well yes of course. But mainly due the hours of practice shaving that has been done trying out all these nice shiny things.
    But don't panic, it don't hurt.........much.
     
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