Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday Summary

"Using a DE razor is like using toilet paper: you can't always rely on one swipe to get the job done." -- Grandad

Hardware in the Cabinet: 

Currently, in keeping with my efforts to simplify everything in my life, I have further pared down my at-my-fingertips shaving gear. My current razor heads in my bathroom cabinet are two: the c.1948 Gillette Tech in original gold tone and the chrome Rimei RM2003 -- two razor heads that shave very similarly. I now have a single razor handle, which is the c. 1948 gold-tone Gillette ball-end. All the other hardware is stored in a shoe box in a bedroom closet. Eventually I'll get much of it out of the house and into others' hands.

I have enjoyed shaving with the stubby 1965 nickel-plated steel travel ball-end handle, but have decided it's just cabinet clutter. So I've stored it in the original zippered Gillette travel case along with the vintage Gillette blade and the nickel-plated 1965 Tech head (Zamak top cap and stamped-metal baseplate). If I take a trip, the only handle I'll pack is the stubby '65, and will pair that with a single razor head, which one will depend on my whim as I'm packing.

From the Alpha to the....

Omega Syntex is back to my every-day brush. Since I've gone to storing used lather right in the brush over night and face lathering in the morning, I've successfully used my Van Der Hagen boar brush for this purpose, but found that because I've eliminated pre-shave soaking of the brush, the synthetic bristles of the Omega make the shave routine the most simple. 

With dried soap in the brush, I gently roll its knot in my wet palm to moisten the wispy dried lather so it doesn't float away, then I run a small amount of cool water right from the tap into the knot. As I build lather right on my face (no bowl), I'll repeat the running of tap water into the bristles a few times until I get the lather wet enough to be right.

I never tried my Tweezerman badger brush for this non-soaking, no-bowl process because it has so little backbone, I think it's exclusively a bowl-lathering brush.

Smellin' it Up

I haven't yet simplified shaving soap or after-shave options. I'm still using four different balm options:
  • Gillette (blue bottle)
  • Gillette for sensitive skin (white bottle)
  • Neutrogena for sensitive skin
  • Nivea for sensitive skin
I'm also using Aqua Velva lotions mixed with Aveeno unscented moisturizer:
  • Ice Blue
  • Musk
As far as shave soaps, my own unpretentious Grandad's soap is my go-to base, but occasionally I'll add some Palmolive or Arko to the mix just for variety -- and I've got to eventually use this stuff up. And for the record -- as I've previously mentioned -- I think the Palmolive stick smells nice and lathers well, but doesn't give the best protection in my humble opinion. The Arko is a terrific value and I like the stuff, but some object to the scent, which can be a bit harsh if you're not expecting it.

Just for a bit of olfactory enjoyment, I also will sometimes add a drop or two of after-shave lotion (not balm) to the bristles of my shave brush as I make lather.


I was temped to write a book-end article, similar to the one with which I started this blog so many months ago, which might serve as a capstone, a closing of the curtain on my on-line DE ruminations. I'm not quite done with the blog, however -- despite that I'm often inclined to simply enjoy my morning shaves and be done with discussing them.

About those Blades....

I have gotten to the point that I don't much care about the blade that I'm using. I think my insouciance comes from the effective-but-somewhat-mild nature of the Tech-type razor heads on which I've settled -- as well as my frequent two-pass rather than three-pass shaves. Of course, I can only speak for myself (due to that varying-mileage thing :-D ) but I still think that if one gives them a chance, the Tech razors and modern imitations are a great design. If you want the Tech experience without a lot of time, trouble, and expense of shopping on that auction web site, find the Rimei RM2003 razor on and spend the US$4 to give it a try. The real post-WWII Techs have pretty much the same shaving character as this razor. The pre-war Techs are slightly more aggressive in nature.

Today will be the second use of a Dorco ST-301 blade, which opened a few neck weepers yesterday due to my cavalier usage of a new blade. I did, however, get a close shave in two passes, and if I were more careful, probably could have avoided the weepers. Yesterday was a very busy day for me, and I simply didn't remember that after the previous shave I had put in a new blade. I always have to be careful for the first few shaves with a new blade no matter what razor I'm using.

I'm still rotating through my cache of both large-inventory and sample-pack blades. I look forward to the time when all the usable sample blades are gone (I actually only consider the Derby Extras to be unusable without corking and stropping), and I can simplify even that rotation exclusively to the blades I've got in quantity, which are as follows:
  • Personna red label (made in Israel)
  • Personna Super (the so-called lab blue, made in the U.S.A.)
  • Astra Superior Platinum
  • SuperMax Titanium
  • Lord Platinum Class
  • Dorco ST-301


That's all I've got for now. I need to freshen my cup of coffee and start thinking about breakfast.

Happy shaving!


  1. The world need more shaving bloggers, not fewer! Please tell me this isn't your disgusted reaction to my magnum opus, "The Missing DE Instruction Sheet." I was actually thinking of promoting my meticulously edited "disquisition" posts to Pages, and start over with posts of more humble scope.

    Then, we need to get you out into the flea markets with that soap. Trade ya some razors?

  2. Due to the underwhelming response to my soap-sample offers (few clients, zero feedback), I've got the soap-making endeavor shifted firmly into neutral. I have enough soap in inventory to keep me in lather for quite a while, so I'm setting that aside for the foreseeable future.

    1. I totally understand, sitting on last year's soap inventory. Although I started with high hopes, registered as a tax entity, I have come to terms with being a mere hobbyist. Big disconnect between internet hype and real-world interest in DE shaving.