Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shaving Gear I Own But Don't Favor

As a companion posting to last Sunday's, this article discusses my shaving tools that I generally don't use.  Of course, just because I don't use certain gear doesn't mean it's necessarily inferior; it just doesn't work as well on my face.


Weishi 9306-F / Dorco Prime: These visually-indistinguishable TTO razors are made of brass (to a large extent, at least), are chrome plated, and have nice knurling for a firm grip. They are just slightly too mild for me because I like very close shaves. If I were slightly less picky, these would be fine as every-day shavers for me.

Merkur 37C Slant Bar: With the in-built slant of the edge combined with the varying blade angle, exposure, and span along the blade, this shaves closely but is a bit harsh on my skin. I may return to this from time to time to re-evaluate, but for now is stored in the closet.

Shave Factory TTO:  With its smooth, slightly-fluted handle (which is slippery when wet -- eesh!), this TTO razor is also a bit aggressive and harsh for me. I gave it away to a relative, and don't care if I ever get it back.

Maggard MR3B:  Nice fat handle that has a black anodized accent, this razor has a shave character that is too aggressive for me to appreciate. It also doesn't self center the blade, which is a characteristic I just can't abide. It lives in my closet -- even the handle, which I have come to think is unnecessary. These days I just use the stock Merkur Classic handle on all my three-piece razors in the regular rotation.

Gillette Slim Adjustable TTO:  My dad's only DE razor that I have known, I keep it for that reason. (Some day I may sell it.) It's not a bad razor; it just isn't right enough for my face to replace my regulars.

Wilkinson Sword Classic:  This two-piece razor made of plastic with a metal rod in the handle is of mild character -- maybe just a touch too mild -- and, like the Gillette Slim, isn't a bad instrument but doesn't offer enough benefit to justify regular use.

Several Cheap Chinese Trash-or-Treasure Razors:  One of these silver-toned razors -- all of which I've metal-smithed to correct and customize their shave performance -- is in my gym bag for those rare times when I don't shave in the morning, which I virtually always do. (The last morning shave I missed was in September of 2014, when I was hospitalized for appendicitis.) Generally speaking, they're not good enough to use regularly, but are good enough to use in a pinch.

Weishi 2003-M:  This all-aluminum TTO design was oh for two from the factory in terms of holding the blade straight and providing a comfortable shave. I tossed one in the trash and metal-worked the other, which offers a slightly more aggressive shave character than its 9306 cousin. It doesn't give me the most comfortable shave, and I haven't considered using it  for a long time. I don't even know if Weishi still makes this one.


Omega Syntex synthetic:  Holds lots of water, never sheds a bristle. However, the bristles are a bit harsh on skin. Performs OK, but I just like my Van Der Hagen boar more.

Tweezerman Badger:  Soft, and face friendly, it doesn't offer a lot of backbone, and sheds the occasional bristle. No serious complaints about this one either; but still prefer the uber-inexpensive VDH boar brush.

Happy shaving!

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