Safety Razor = My Best Shave

Posted on September 28, 2015 by quashnsa

After many years of shaving with a Gillette Fusion razor, a multi-blade system, I decided to move to the old-school approach that worked for my dad. Dad had a Safety Razor and double-edge blades. I have had a straight razor shave, and it was fantastically smooth; however, I am not confident that I would take my time and shave slowly. My only option after removing the straight razor idea was to use a safety razor.

barber poleMerkur Long Handle Safety Razor

My shaving equipment:

Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream
Escali 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush
Colonel Conk Model 111 Santa Fe Shave Cup
Slate Shave Razor and Shaving Brush Stand

I have tried two different double-edge blades (Personna Blades and Merkur Blades) with the Merkur Safety Razon. I have found them to be of equal quality for my shave; however, the price of the Personna blades is much less. There are many other blades that I will try over time, check below for a list.

For shave soap, dad always used Barbasol shave cream for his daily shaves. I have chosen to go with the more traditional hard soap with a badger hair brush and soap bowl. It was tricky at first, but once I experimented with the amount of water and my method for whipping (including a smooshing/pounding motion to add extra air), it became very easy to make nice foam from the bowl.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood has a fantastic scent. It stays on my face after a quick rinse with water and a towel dry. The soap is very soft cream.
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood

Escali 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush is excellent. I had never used a brush to apply lathered soap to my face, but it applies the soap I whipped in the bowl very nicely. It started out a bit prickly on my face, but it is softening over time/use.
Escali Badger Hair Brush

Colonel Conk Model 111 Santa Fe Shave Cup with Soap comes with a soap (it varies with shipment). I received the Almond soap. The bowl is fairly large and makes for a nice whipping surface.
Col. Conk Santa Fe Bowl

The Slate Shave Razor and Shaving Brush Stand works very well with my Merkur Razor and Escali Brush. The Escali brush hangs down from the handle very nicely to dry. And, the long handle of the Merkur razor fits well without overhang.
Slate Shave Razor and Shave Brush Stand

Smolder Aftershave - By The Blades Grim is one of two aftershave scents that are wife-magnets. I like the scent, it fades into the background quickly.
Smolder Aftershave - By The Blades Grim

Cinder Aftershave - By The Blades Grim just replaced (14 NOV 2015) Smolder as my wife's favorite scent. This one fade too quickly to be an all-day aftershave.
Cinder Aftershave

I have also used another soaps. These are great soaps that help me keep the "newness" to shaving. I have found that for a single pass (quick shave), using the brush to whip the foam on hard soaps, Colonel Conk or Proraso, without using a cup works well. If I am giving myself a close shave (3-pass shave), I whip any of the soaps in the bowl. The bowl-whipping method leaves whipped soap in the bowl to reapply between passes.

Colonel Ichabod Conk Almond Shave Soap is a smooth soap that makes a lighter foam, but it protects well during the shave. Leave the brush a bit dry when gathering soap from the container to begin foaming in the cup. When foam formation begins, add water by drops to the desired firmness.
Col. Conk's Almond Shave Soap

Proraso Shaving Soap, Eucalyptus & Menthol is very nice and cooling on my face. The brush should be dry when gathering soap from the container. Add water by drops when foam formation begins in the cup.
Proraso Shave Soap

The Art of Shaving 2.5-ounce Shaving Cream Sandalwood Essential Oil Brush or Brushless has a great smell and works as both a rub-on by hand, or adding to a bowl and whipping up the foam. Squeeze an almond size pearl into the cup. Leave the brush a bit wet to start whipping the soap.
Art of Shaving Sandalwood

Hardness of material (hardest to softest)

[hard puck] Col. Conk's → Proraso → Taylor of Old Bond Street → Art of Shaving Shaving Cream Tube [tooth paste]

Find these other fine products at Amazon

The Blades Grim Gold Luxury Shaving Soap - "Smolder" I love the aftershave scent this will be the next soap I buy

Colonel Conk's, Santa Fe Cedar another manly scent this will be the replacement soap when I run out of the Almond by Col. Conk

WSP Shaving Soap 4.4 Oz in Tin (Mahogany) mahogany sounds like a manly scent

Truefitt & Hill 1805 Shave Cream Jar sounds like an interesting scent I may give this one a try in the future

Arko Shaving Soap In Bowl very basic and inexpensive soap probably not going to buy this one


Col. Ichabod Conk High Desert Breeze Aftershave

WSP Rustic Aftershave Tonic & Cologne Splash (Gaelic Tweed)

Proraso Aftershave Lotion, Refresh

Bay Rum Aftershave Splash for Men - Oldschool Manly Scent

Kona Jack All Natural Aftershave Balm, Eucalyptus. Ultra-healing

Best After-shave Balm, Sandalwood Scent, Premium Aftershave Lotion

Double-edge Razors (cost per 100 blades unless noted)
7a.m. Platinum $0.14/blade
ASCO Super Stainless $0.13/blade
ASTRA Superior Platinum (Russia) $0.11/blade
ASTRA Superior Stainless (Russia) $0.11/blade
BIC Chrome Platinum (Greece) $0.19/blade quality stainless steel, they are triple honed, polymeric and chrome platinum covered, and teflon treated
BIGBEN Super Stainless $0.18/blade
CROWN Super Stainless $0.14/blade
DERBY Extra (Turkey) $0.09/blade
Dorco ST300 Platinum $0.09/blade @ 200 count
Dorco ST301 Platinum $0.07/blade @ 1000 count
Feather Hi-Stainless (Japan) $0.24/blade
Feather Hi-Stainless Platinum (Japan) $0.27/blade
Gillette 7 O'clock Super Platinum (Russia) $0.18/blade @ 84 count
Gillette 7 O'clock Super Stainless (Russia) $0.14/blade
Gillette GOAL (Indonesia) $0.09/blade
Gillette Rubie Platinum Plus
Gillette Silver Blue (Russia) $0.20/blade
Ladas Super Stainless (Russia)
LORD Platinum Class $0.12/blade
LORD Super Chrome $0.15/blade
LORD Super Stainless $0.12/blade
Merkur Super (Germany) $0.74/blade
NACET Stainless (Russia) $0.18/blade
Personna $0.13/blade
Rapira Platinum Lux (Russia) $0.18/blade
Shark Super Chrome $0.11/blade
Shark Super Stainless $0.09/blade
SUPER-MAX Platinum (India) $0.12/blade
SUPER-MAX Super Stainless (India) $0.09/blade
TREET Platinum (Pakistan) $0.13/blade
TRIG Silver Edge Stainless (Pakistan) $/blade
Voskhod Teflon Coated $0.19/blade
Wilkinson Sword Classic (Germany) $0.18/blade
Zurrik Super Platinum (India) $/blade

Double-edge Razor Variety Packs
Double Edge Safety Razor Blade Variety Pack - 100 Blades
100 Feather Derby Nacet Asco Supermax Big Ben Lord Blade Sample
Small Razor Blade Sampler 25
Best Safety Razor Blade Sampler Pack (This is the one I want to try)
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