Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Odds 'N Ends Tuesday

Recently I've been using two-pass shaves: with grain and against grain. Because I shave daily, my results have been essentially the same as with three-pass shaves -- that is, with a fussy second pass the two-pass shaves are about as close as three pass shaves.

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All the anticipation of ordering the two new Chinese razors, the RiMei and the JunJie, has gotten me off balance with expectation. I'm really hoping that the RiMei razor is as high quality as the example photos provided by Shawn would suggest. An inexpensive razor with a low blade angle and a slight negative blade exposure that is, at the same time, well made and of adequate materials -- well, that is the holy grail of razors.

I think I'm set up for disappointment simply by my expectations.

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I don't know if I'm ordering blades that are all about the same -- each being coated and sharp -- but most of the blades that I've been trying seem to be similar. About the only blade that I've found inadequate is the Derby Extra, which I thought might not be quite sharp enough. The Polsilver might have been a bit too sharp for me. All the rest have been in an acceptable range. There is some perceivable variation, but not enough to be terribly important.

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My latest shave-soap formulation, 11P1, hasn't changed for a while. I think it is world class. However, because of the superfatting -- both the amount and the fats used, which make the soap very skin friendly, not drying, the soap has lost some of the stiffness to the lather that was present in earlier formulations. The soap likes a lot of water and when properly lathered, makes a slick, wet, creamy lather that brushes on the face in a rather shallow layer.

When I lather this shave soap, I get my brush wet (obviously), then whisk a generous amount of the soft soap onto the brush from my storage cup. I then add water to my five-inch-diameter lathering bowl and vigorously whip the brush back and forth in it (not in the customary circular swirls). I get excellent results, but I wonder if the average person will be put off by the "softness", the lack of stiffness to the lather.

If you have thoughts on any of these odds 'n ends, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy shaving!


  1. Blades are probably the most subjective out all the traditional wet shaving gear. I love the Derby Extra blades. There are a lot of variables but maybe try one the many brand sampler packs out there to find the one that works best with your razor/skin combination. Best blades (for me) are Treet Platinum.

  2. Hey, Mo! I get your point. I would phrase it differently, though: skin and hair and tolerances for different blades (combined with razor selection) vary the most, often making blade choice very personal. Take Derby Extra blades: beloved by many, I find them not quite sharp enough to comfortably shave my beard no matter which of my dozen razors I use. I, myself, have tried many blades, though I have chosen my samples carefully. In the same way that I would not go to a clothing store and try pants with a 40-inch waist (because my waist is 32 inches), I tend to avoid blades with a reputation for being "forgiving" (that is, not extremely sharp) because my beard is moderately tough, and I tend to avoid uncoated blades because my skin needs a blade coated for smoothness and low irritation despite being sharp. Thanks for your input!