In November of 2013 I bought my first double-edge (DE) safety razor.
Unlike cartridge razors, which are intended to only use one of a couple blade types designed by whichever company made the handle, DE razors accept blades that might come from any of dozens of manufacturers. Some of those blades are new, some have been around for decades, and different blades will give you a different shaving experience.
I grew up shaving with a Mach 3, and so this was a whole new world to me. I’d never had to worry about what type of blade I was getting, what the differences were, or finding the right combination of blade and razor to fit my face. The handle went into the cartridge, and that was it. Cuts were virtually non-existent, and I almost never even bothered with shaving creme, much less aftershave or any other shave treatments. Shaving was because I had to (either for work, school, or some other reason), that was it.
At the recommendation of a friend who was already into DE shaving, after a month or so of figuring things out I picked up a razor blade sampler pack. Since there are so many type of blades out there, sampler packs allow you to try just a few blades of a collection of brands so you can figure out what works best for you. For a newcomer like me this was ideal, as I had almost no idea what brands even existed, much less which ones were good.
So for $15 I got a pack that included 46 blades from eight different brands, and last week I began my attempt to work my way through them. With each blade lasting a week (they could be pushed to last longer without much problem, but a week seems like a good standard to go by), it’ll take me months to complete.
In addition to documenting my shaving adventure, I’ll also include posts from time to time on various other aspects of my introduction to a new way of shaving: how I selected my razor, switching to homemade lather rather than shaving creme, what type of materials I’m using (shave soap, lather, brush, etc), and whatever else.
I’m figuring this out as I go, so we’ll see what happens along the way.
My starting tools:
Edwin Jagger De89L razor:
Col. Conk shaving soap and badger hair brush:
And razor sampler pack, purchased from bullgooseshaving.com–
Let the journey begin!