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Idaho Falls, Idaho
I just got back from a ten-day road trip ( for work) where I decided to pack in my shave kit only readily available products. I had a merkur 34C , probable Dorco blades from the dollar store, and a VanDerhagen brush and soap. I had forgotten just how great and enjoyable a shave a guy can get with really inexpensive products. Made me stop and wonder if by focusing on newer, bigger, faster, I was running past what was really important; cleaning up and looking business appropriate.

When I'm not working I enjoy fishing and can conclude that it seems human nature to look down ones nose at sportsmen who "don't do it right". My fly fishing brethren know how easy it seems to feel far superior with our thousand dollar rod, Simms waders, Costa glasses, and watching that heathen bait fisherman.

I think I've been guilty of that in my shave gear. There are a bunch of inexpensive products that don't enjoy any sort of prestige yet quietly get the job done. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy too much my fancy creams and lotions to chuck them all and become a dollar-store shaver but I'm going to slow down and recognize that the plethora of hardware and software I own, although very enjoyable, are totally unnecessary in the goal of personal male maintenance.

Have any of you had such an epiphany?

sinistral, Aurelian28, clint64 and 11 others like this post
In a word, yes.

BadDad, Freddy and Lipripper660 like this post
Unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes...
Yes! In many, many "hobbyist" areas of my life.

In my experience, the elitist attitude exists everywhere that people are passionate about something. For me personally, I've experienced it in the worlds of woodturning, wetshaving, guitars, video games, books (for crying out loud) - everywhere. It's like being a freshman vs. a senior in high school.

Everyone is new at something once - it's almost always more beneficial for communities as a whole to try to be welcoming to noobs. How many times have you seen a brand new wetshaver, brimming with excitement, post their "I just bought all this stuff! (From Amazon)" thread only to see tons of replies along the lines of "Okay, but you should've bought all of *these* things, your stuff is crap." Regardless of whether or not their new gear sucks, well, my first gear sucked, too.

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I went through a period where I kept buying more and more expensive items to see how they shaved, and quickly came to the conclusion that a $20 straight will shave as well as a $1000 Zowada custom (I had one), as long as it was well taken care of and honed well. Similarly, I love the Standard razor, and prefer it to the Pils, Darwin, and other really expensive razors I've used. My most consistent shaves are provided by a cheap GEM Damaskeene. With soaps too, I find that I like a decent soap like Arko or a Palmolive cream. Pair that with a Semogue 2000 and I'm happy. I've had several very expensive brushes, and they were good, but the Semogue just works so well that I frequently reach for it over some much more expensive brushes.

Like you, I enjoy the fancy stuff occasionally, but I know that even the cheaper things will provide as good a shave.

Marko, BadDad, sinistral and 5 others like this post
- Yohann

San Francisco
Some of my best shaves recently have been with Palmolive shaving cream and my beloved (inexpensive) Schick I-2 injector, probably using either my Maggard synthetic brush or my Semogue boar, both of which are very humbly priced, indeed.

Freddy, Lipripper660, Marko and 1 others like this post
David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2016, 06:18 PM by BadDad.)
I went off on a rather long rant about this very subject in my last SOTD video. I'm sick and tired of seeing of seeing guys out there telling people to throw their "crap gear" in the trash. It annoys me to no end when a new shaver is made to feel inferior for using Williams soap and a Gold Dollar straight. I get quite passionate and vocal about it when I see it.

My favorite DE is a Maggards V3 on an MR22 handle. Less than $20, and gives me a BBS everytime, in 3 passes with no touchups.

My favorite straight is a vintage antique store find that I paid $26 for. Allegheny Instrument Corporation. I can find very little about razors made by this company, but it performs flawlessly for me...every single time...

I have never paid more than $15 for 4oz of soap, and my most expensive brush was $20.

The key is...all of the gear in my den performs flawlessly for me.

There is nothing wrong with buying yourself top-quality gear. By all means, treat yourself to some of the finer things in life.

Just don't be insulting and demeaning to those with less expensive gear. It all works, and the fact that we all share the same hobby should be enough to allow us mutual respect...

willc, Michael P, wyze0ne and 9 others like this post
-Chris~Head Shaver~
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2016, 06:47 PM by celestino.)
I haven't gotten there yet, but I do really enjoy the feel of nice 2-Band shaving brushes, more than other ones, so that might illustrate some sort of elitism. Big Grin

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Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
(05-29-2016, 06:18 PM)celestino Wrote: I haven't gotten there yet, but I do really enjoy the feel of nice 2-Band shaving brushes, more than other ones, so that might illustrate some sort of elitism.  Big Grin

No, it doesn't, Celestino.  What it shows is that it works for you and in our long forum association, going back to early TSN days, I have never seen you put anyone down because you thought they used an inferior product.

I watched Chris's (BadDad) last video and, yup, was he ever ticked off at the elitists, and rightfully so.  However, where Chris shines is in his not only saying what he thinks about those elitists but also in doing something about it by disproving the theory that straight razor shaving is difficult or that maintaining a straight must be done by a "professional".  He did this by making three videos (all available here at DFS) demonstrating how to maintain a straight, from honing to stropping, to products needed to do those things.  In other words, instead of mouthing off, he clearly demonstrated what he was talking about.

Many of us here encourage our newbies.  For example, we may constantly say how blades are a very individual thing, when a newbie asks.  Invariably what I see from most of the folks here are suggestions for particular blades without suggesting that anything else is worse, suggestions for getting sample packs and where to go for them, and lots and lots of encouragement.  In the end, what the newbie ends up with is a bunch of excellent information from many different sources.  

I know that when I started out I looked for inexpensive gear, in case I did not want to pursue the hobby of wet shaving.  Like the original poster here, I have discovered that price isn't always everything.  If it works and the person is happy with the setup, whether it's an $8.00 razor purchased off of eBay or a $300.00 specialized razor, then that is all that matters and no one should be put down for that.  

That, in my opinion, should always be at the heart of what wet shaving is about on a site like ours.

Blade4vor, Marko, Lipripper660 and 5 others like this post
Just used this last night. Nothing wrong with low budget shaving gear.

[Image: 15%2B-%2B1]

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(This post was last modified: 05-29-2016, 08:56 PM by CHSeifert.)
I wish I always would behave like a proper Gentleman should, especially to all the new wet shavers.

Sometimes I either forget, that it's a rookie I'm debating with or giving advice to, or I simply don't check his post count before I come up with a less than gentle reply.

I feel though, that I'm always being honest in my replies, but I know that I may well come off sometimes sounding a little bit too on the elitist side of things with all my fragrances, soaps, creams and high end badger brushes, that I mention in numerious posts, when ever I can get the hance to do so.

For that I'm sorry - but I will probably never change. That's just part of me.
On the other hand, some of the guys that are rookies will - if they still are here - later on perhaps start to appreciate my posts for what they are, and forget my frequent mention of my collection of this and that.

I wish I always could behave like the perfect gentleman, that Celestin for instance is. As Freddy says, I have never encountered a more nice and friendly Gentleman than Celestino.
On that other old forum, where my account now is closed B&B, Marco also helped me out, when I was a rookie, and gave me solid fantastic advice.

Marco is also a perfect Gentleman - not quite on the same G-level as Celestino, but very close to. I still miss debating with him on B&B, since I have never seen him on other forums, so have never had the chance to talk to him since my B&B days stopped in 2013.

You also have a guy like Freddy, that also always seems willing to help guys with their questions. I like Freddy, because he also seems to express a bit of his honest feelings, when he really dislikes something. You then hear what he truly thinks about the subject.

Then we have a guy like Ben on TSN - also a true Gentleman, always helpfull and full of good information about his passionate shaving products. I also like, that once you stump on his feelings, you will see, that he has a limit, and we all have.

BadDad, Marko, EFDan and 4 others like this post
Cheers, Claus from Denmark

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