This is a quick overview of my Top 5 DE Razors as of 2015-05-31 .
- 1920 Gillette Single Ring
- German Field Officer Fasan Slant
- Gillette Fatboy E2 Date Code
- 1940’s Gillette Aristocrat
- Pre WWII Merkur White Slant
Helping people learn about wet shaving, coffee, fountain pens, technology & many other cool things.
This is a quick overview of my Top 5 DE Razors as of 2015-05-31 .
For all those that are interested, here is my razor collection in list form. I will eventually create some content for each of these razors. I will link to the content from here.
Check out my Top 5 DE Razors as of 2015-05-31.
Sold / Traded / Pif’ed
Many years ago, I decided that I no longer wanted to get screwed over on the soaring cost of razor blades. I started Googling things like ‘safety razors’, reading blogs, how-to’s and watching reviews. With each search on Google, I continued to put the pieces of the wetshaving puzzle together. Finally, after a few weeks, I had a decent understanding of the process and subculture that is wetshaving. If you are looking to ‘save money’ on shaving (lol!), and start enjoying the shaving experience please continue reading, I will be breaking this up into parts, as to make this all a bit more digestible…
After all that research, I knew my first step was to commit to stop buying Fusion’s/Mach’s. Instead I started investing in DE/SE (double edge and single edge) Safety Razors. Rather than spending $4+ per cartridge, I started picking up some old school DE/SE as well as straight razors (amazingly for as little as $5 each, as an aside I recently picked up three razors for .50 cents each!). And well, if you know me, you know I like to collect things… so after awhile, I had a nice little vintage razor collection.
The cool thing about old school wetshaving is that – it’s sort of like baking. Yup, baking. There are all these really cool ingredients, and when put together artfully, the end result can be outstanding. Mix the proportions up together and the experience can be, ‘meh’.
So, what else does on need to get into wetshaving you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple really.
You will need some combination of the above to wetshave. Note that some of those items can be considered optional. For example: you could face / hand lather in lieu of using a shaving brush and bowl. In all honesty, this could be pretty inexpensive, assuming you are not a hoarder/collector like me.
I am sure you get the idea; back to the analogy…
Different blades work better in certain razors, certain soaps/creams work better with specific blades. Experimenting, is in my opinion, the single best aspect of wetshaving. The plethora of options available, open you up to so many different experiences.
Throughout the years, I talked to various friends, convincing them to give wetshaving a try. Often times, I would gift them a razor, some blades and a soap/cream to get them up and running. That being said, my razor collection has grown and shrunk as I gave away, bought, traded or sold razors. At my high point, I had 20+ DE razors, which in my opinion is a decent collection. Currently, my shaving den (think wetshaving storage area), is pretty well equipped, I have enough soaps, blades, after shaves and razors to survive the shaving apocalypse… yup, apocalypse… trust me, it’s coming and you best be prepared. 😉
Case in point, I have not bought any razor blades in about three years, and I have enough to probably get me through another five years or so. I can probably say the same about soaps/creams and aftershaves. Yep, I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to shaving accoutrement. 🙂
Stay tuned for Part II….
This weekend I made the family go to flea market about 30m away from our home. My original intent was to find a old school vintage Barbers Hone. Something nice that I could use to keep up my straight razors. I was hoping for anything decent really. Panama, Swaty, Escher, Shatner, Dubl Duck, Shumate etc… sadly, I didn’t find a single one.
I DID find some straight razors. Specifically, I found three from Sheffield England. Two Wade & Butcher straights and one Joseph Rodgers & Sons… I haggled with the guy and was able to get them for $10 a piece. I knew they were not in the best of shape but I figured what the heck, they might turn out nice as restores.
Top: Joseph & Rodgers Middle: Wage & Butcher Spike Bottom: Wade & Butcher Barbers Notch
Here are some closeups of the razors…
Joseph Rodgers & Sons…
Wade & Butcher Spike…
Wade & Butcher Barbers Notch…
Restoring Two Wade and Butcher Straight Razors from the early 1800s
So, here is my first restore. Admittedly I have never done this before. Nor was I ever planning to do one.
They were pretty beat up but for $10 a pop I figured I could use them for something. In the car ride back home I was really growing fond of the two old W&B’s specially the barbers notch. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to clean them up. Im on a tight budget at the moment so I didn’t want to have to pay a lot to get them in nice working order. My thought was to de pin them and then clean the steel up as best I could.
So, I de pinned the two W&B’s and started to go to town with the limited supplies I had. I started whacking away at it with 100 grit. And I got the barbers notch to this point…
That took about a little less than an hour to do. Then sadly, I made a BIG STUPID mistake… I broke the tip off the Barbers Notch!
Which really pissed me off… I felt horrible. I mean that razor is probably at least 180 years old! So, this morning I decided to grind down the Barbers notch… I figured WTF? I already buggered it up… Here is what I was able to do with the damaged point.
Yesterday morning I went to the home depot and to the auto parts store and picked up some more sand paper… 120/150/220/320/400/600/1000/1500/2000
Now I must confess / warn you I didn’t take a whole lot of time. I think I spent a total of five hours. During that time I broke out the dremel and mandrel grinder. Went over most of the razors knocking out all the rust and as much pitting as I could. I also took off a lot of patina and such.
Then I proceeded with the grits. One thing I did was on each grit I used Flitz metal polish as a slurry – so to speak. I just added a few drops to the sand paper and went at it. I think this really helped cut faster.
So here is where I stand right now. I did the barbers notch all the way to 2k and the spike to 320 or 400 I dont honestly remember.
Considering this should have taken a week (to do properly) I am still pretty impressed with the outcome. I know I really should have spent more time on the different grits, but I really didnt want to make this a long drawn out ordeal – remember I wasn’t planning on even doing this. Nor have I ever done it before.
Next up, I am going to attempt to salvage the scales. One of the Wade & Butchers scales is cracked at the pivot pin. I will try and fix it though. It would be nice to have the original scales with the razors. The Joseph Rodgers & Sons scales might even be real tortoise shell. Im going to test them this week and see if they are real or not.
So, considering the rush job… how did I do? Any comments would be appreciated.
So, you bought the razor and some razor blade sample packs, now what? Well, this is where most of the fun begins… Soaps, Creams and After Shaves!
We are not talking Edge Gel, Barbisol cream we are talking nice stuff. Nothing that get squirted out of a pressurized can – thank you very much.
Soaps and Creams can become costly, but they don’t have to. Here are some of the creams and soaps I recommend.
a. Proraso (AKA C.O. Bigelow at Bath & Body Works) This cream is fantastic, its the one I use most often. Its made with eucalyptus & menthol and leaves you with a cool crisp feeling once you are done shaving. Best of all a tube of it is about $10.
b. The Body Shop Shaving Cream (Link) this costs about $16 and gives a great shave. Easy to get, since there seems to be a store in every mall.
I only have a few, many people other there collect After Shaves. But here are the ones I love, most of them are classics and have been around a long time.
Part 3 coming soon…
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