Hi All,
      I'm in my late 40's and finally got sick of paying the prices the disposable companies are charging (not to mention most stores in my area are now locking up all razors and it's a pain in the @ss to actually buy them now) and decided to dive into the world of double-edged safety razors. So I got myself a couple of double edge safety razors to try out, a Van Der Hagen traditional that they had n stock at a local retail store, and a BAILI Long Handled one online, as well as a bunch of Astra Platinum Double Edge blades as in most searches for the best blades  they came out on or near the top.  From what I've read, a good shave with a safety razor should be the closest shave possible, however after shaving with these for a couple of weeks now, I feel MUCH more stubble when running my hand "against the grain", than I ever do when I shave with a disposable, and even the electric i toyed with seems to do better.  

Can someone please give a double-edge safety razor newbie some tips/pointers to help?

Thank inadvance!

Lipripper660 likes this post

St. Louis, MO
I have a few videos. They are short and sweet. I hope they help.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Freddy and Lipripper660 like this post
Shave Sharp, Look Sharp

Idaho Falls, Idaho
Great idea. Watch Dominicks vids and know that a double edge excellence won't happen overnight. Give it time. Watch your angles, meaning keep your razor at the correct angle to cut. Light pressure. And think of doing more than one pass meaning lather, shave, rinse repeat. 1st pass with the grain to reduce your beard. 2nd pass across grain. 3rd pass against the grain. Remember you are using a single edge with no pivot. You'll pick it up quickly and get shaves every bit as close as you got before.

dominicr and Freddy like this post
Hello TCL,

How many blades were you using on your cartridge razor? If it is 3 and up I doubt you will ever get a closer shave from a DE, Shavette, or Straight as you would get from a multi-blade cartridge razor. The whole point of multi-blade is to cut the skin as close as possible which can cause irritation due to ingrown hairs. I have never experience an ingrown hair ever since switching to traditional wetshaving. I will say that an DE can get comparatively close but smoother and with less irritation and in some cases at a cost savings; not a cost shaving for me at least but it is a hobby.

I am slightly concerned that it is performing worse then an electric razor as that has always been the worst option to me in terms of closeness. Might I ask what DE are you using?

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
Those Astra blades are definitely good.  The advice Lipripper660 gave is excellent.  Also, dominicr’s videos are, indeed, short and sweet and are a fine jumping off point.  If you feel you want a more in depth tutorial, there are any number of videos on the internet.

Of course, you may always come back and ask any questions as your shaving habits grow and change.

Welcome to DFS. Happy2
Thank you all for the help, Dominicr's video's helped a lot, my shave angle definitely looks like the culprit.

ScientificShaves , I had been using the Gillette 5+1 blade ones... Which makes me a bit sad from your reply.. Sad

dominicr likes this post

Central Maine
A great safety razor shave doesn't happen overnight. It's the culmination of lather, the right tool that you get along with, the right blade, and the way your whiskers grow. Will it ever be as close a shave as a cartridge shave? I never found it to be, but a safety razor shave just cuts off the hairs and doesn't pull them to cut them below the skin line. That can and does cause problems for many people. But a BBS is easily achievable once you get everything dialed in for your face. It's not going to happen overnight. It does happen quicker if you employ scientific method when you test things. If you test things chaotically you may never actually find what works best for you.

For now stay with what you have and work on making the best lather you possibly can. Got that nailed? When you start to better nail down the basic shave (you know where you are) start to test blades. No matter what others write, they just don't have your face and can't "speak" for you. It's been years since I tested blades, but I know that I tested well over 30 brands and got just a handful that made the final cut (no pun intended). I could tell you what they are but we're back to the "your face" thing. But they are (or at least were at the time) generally acknowledged to be well above average for most everyone who also tried them. After finding those blades I bought a stockpile. FWIW, Astras did not make the final list. Some of the tested blades I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they couldn't be used to scrape stickers off of a window; they were that bad and notorious for that among the masses of shavers.

But back to the right tool... A double edge razor isn't the only razor available. Lots of us far prefer a single edge safety razor. Do NOT confuse this with a straight razor which isn't a safety razor. The blades used are far more rigid and don't flex the same way a double edge blade does. Many of us find that they give a much more comfortable shave. But these razors are another subject entirely and they should be asked about in the proper section. I'm not going to divert your thread. I just thought you should know about them.

ScientificShaves likes this post
(10-13-2019, 03:39 AM)tc1072 Wrote: Thank you all for the help, Dominicr's video's helped a lot, my shave angle definitely looks like the culprit.

ScientificShaves , I had been using the Gillette 5+1 blade ones... Which makes me a bit sad from your reply.. Sad

No need to be sad my friend. Whilst a DE will never cut as close as a multi-blade cartridge it is pretty much a negligible difference; somewhat. What I mean by that is that it might perform 3-4% worse but when we are talking about hours worth of a DFS or BBS shave the difference is small; minus you not having to worry about ingrown as much. If you read a lot of forum post you will find many members can get 8-17 hours + hours of a smooth face shave. I for one had had a 13 hour one from yesterday and am only now starting to feel some stubble.

The biggest difference between the two platform for me is the journey and experience. With cartridge it is somewhat effortless but with DE's you will embark on a journey where you learn more about yourself. Does you face like more efficient, higher gap, and more aggressive razors? Do you like more mild razors? Do you like the sound of blade chatter? Do you prefer to have something with more blade feel? Do you prefer heavier razors or lighter? Long or shorter handle length. And that is just for razors we haven't even gotten to brushes or soaps yet. This for me is the joy of DE shaving e.g. the journey.

One you are close to completing the foundation of your shaving journey you now can enjoy the experience more often. Meaning you now have a shave completely customize to you. You will have your own favorite brushes, and razors, soap scents, and also your own shaving technique.

I, fore-one, have my own technique I call Xtreme-Efficiency whilst Dragonsbeard has one called "Skin stretch short stroke".

New Zealand
(This post was last modified: 10-14-2019, 07:26 AM by DiggaDog.)
Just to add more confusion (hey, I'm good at that!)...I wouldn't rate either of your razors as 'aggressive'.
They are OK, and pretty good value but maybe you need 'something' that cuts a tad closer?
This now begins your journey down the rabbit hole of DE shaving.
Something that cuts closer? Maybe an adjustable? A nice FatBoy would do the job. Maybe a Karve or Timeless?
A Razorock GC would be OK, and not too dear.
I just go for what I call a WMS (Working Man's Shave!).
Lather up, one pass, a wee bit of buffing around the chin, rinse off, and out the door. None of the WTG, ATG, etc. I'm there to shave not give a demonstration (yeah, OK, burn me as a heretic). But, after 50+ years of wet shaving I do what works for me.
I notice no mention of your soap. This can help or hinder your progress towards that nice smooth shave.
If the razor can't 'glide' properly then it's not as effective.
So, what soap do you use? Please don't say it's spray goop from a can.
Your blades are fine, but maybe try a Kai or a Gillette Yellow, GSB, Nacet, etc? Feathers are Kai's evil twin...sharp and sharp. But in the right razor are great.
I use them in my Timeless OC, and Piccolo all the time. Very nice and smooth shavers.
Anyway, welcome to our rabbit hole. You are in good company here.

ScientificShaves likes this post
There are a lot of things to try that could improve your shave, but I would suggest only changing one variable at a time. The razors you have are fairly mild from what I've read, so they're probably pretty angle specific. I only shave 2 passes, with the grain, and I feel like my shaves are as close or closer than I was getting with cartridge razors and I don't get in grown hairs anymore. Along with the other advice you've been given, you might want to check your blade alignment to make sure both sides of the blade are equally exposed.

ScientificShaves likes this post

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