Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hump Day Revelations

Grandad's Shave Soap

I have a fairly large batch of Grandad's Shave Soap, my personal recipe for an all-natural, plant-based, unscented shave soap for those who may be sensitive to fragrance and other additives.

At one time I did offer samples for a modest price, and though a few took me up on the sample offer -- and even a few wanted to order a puck, it was a commercial failure.

Yet recently I've been shaving with Grandad's Soap, and I find it to be an excellent option. It makes rich lather that lubricates well.

The reasons for it's commercial failure include the following:
  • No fragrance
  • Samples were too small and awkwardly packaged
  • Normal-sized quantities were not made available (and probably would have been priced too low!)
Ah well, live and learn. 

Gillette Slim

I had to change razors in the middle of this morning's shave. After with-grain and then cross-grain passes (and using a light touch, with the razor on its mildest setting), I removed the blade from my Gillette Slim and put it into my Parker Variant, which was also set on its mildest adjustment.

Making my final pass against grain with the Variant was a much more comfortable experience. It has motivated me to remove the Slim once again from my small selection of at-hand razors.

I'm done with the Slim. If it works for you, more power to you. It's just not my cup of tea.

Happy shaving!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Best Razor for Sensitive, Easily-Nicked Beards?

I made a careless mistake last week as part of my adjustable-razor comparison. I had a blade with a single shave on it -- meaning it was relatively new and very sharp.

My error was to set that day's adjustable razor choice to a too-aggressive setting for my with-grain first pass. The result was many weepers and a one or two minor cuts. Then for several days after that, despite my reverting to very mild adjustable settings and using care with my shaving technique, I kept re-opening the wounds.

Remembering that discretion is the better part of valor, I retreated to my most mild-shaving razor for the next two days, which gave my skin an opportunity to recover. And yet I still got a close shave.

Just below is the razor, and further below I'll give the several compelling reasons why many men should have this razor on hand.

The Best Mild Razor is.......

The Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements' (PAA) Original Double-Open-Comb Razor (DOC)!!!

Here is my PAA DOC -- in my opinion the best mild razor available. It has a uniform nickel finish, though the lighting in this image gives the illusion that the head has a chrome look, which it does not.

Reason #1: Well, It's Not Likely to Bite

When you need or prefer a DE razor that isn't going to shave skin along with whiskers, this razor is one of several available in the market. However, the PAA DOC has advantages that the other mild razors lack. Read on.

Reason #2: The DOC Gives a Comfortable Shave

Unlike some other razors that have a non-aggressive nature but have a shaving geometry that still irritates my skin such as the Weishi 9306 family of razors, the DOC offers a shave-head geometry that provides optimal shave comfort. 

Reason #3: The DOC Offers a Close Shave Using Buffing Technique

The open-comb design of the DOC's top cap leaves lather behind if you keep the razor on your skin for the return, non-cutting stroke. This means that the combination of its non-aggressive geometry, its comfortable character, and the residual lather left when using reciprocating strokes allows for a close shave despite its relative safety.

I often use reciprocating strokes (a.k.a. buffing) for all passes in a three-pass shave when using this instrument.

Here is a stock photo of the DOC showing its uniform plating. Don't confuse its coating with chrome, however. In real life, this razor has the characteristic slightly-golden hue that accompanies its nickel plating. 

Reason #4: The DOC is Adjustable?

That's right, it's adjustable. If you want a more aggressive "setting" for the DOC, you can loosen the handle 1/8th, 1/4, or whatever of a turn from snug, and its shave character becomes progressively more aggressive. Try doing that with a one-piece razor like the Weishi 9306. (You can't.)

Reason #5: It's Reasonably Priced

Not much more to be said on this point. The razor isn't terribly expensive and offers good value for its unique and useful design.


This razor is an indispensable member of my small, at-hand stable of razors. I use this with all first-use blades (and beyond as necessary). I use it when I've abused my skin and need a respite from more aggressive options. 

If you ever thought you might benefit on occasion from a milder razor but were reluctant to invest in a limited specialty razor, this one is not limited. I recommend giving this razor a closer look (click HERE for the PAA website).

Happy shaving!