#1
A good time to be a wetshaver

One of the great things about being a wetshaver these days is the sheer variety of razors, soaps, creams, brushes and other shaving equipment that is made available to us.

Just focusing on razors: you can now get razor heads and handles made by various manufacturers that suit pretty much any shaver. You want light, there are aluminium and even 3-D printed razors available. You want heavy, you can get razors made of SS with bronze handles that weigh a ton. You want a slant, someone makes it. You want an aggressive shaver, yep that's available too.

As the manufacturer designed it

I was one of Cooncatbob's first customers many years ago, and I had him make me several custom handles - from his standard Bull Mastiff to some very long and heavy handles. He used to caution me against making the handle too heavy, because of the effect on balance, and I didn't listen to him at the time. However, I found that he was right. Messing with the weight and balance too much resulted in a razor that wasn't much fun for me to use. Those were the handles and razors that I sold or traded away.

What I found was that for me, deviating from the razor as the manufacturer designed it really didn't improve the shave for the most part. In fact, it sometimes resulted in a shave that was not as enjoyable as it was when I just used the razor as designed.

Basically, I came to the conclusion that balance was important, and most razors were designed to have pretty decent balance.

An issue of weight

Another thing I noticed over the years was that I preferred lighter razors. Regardless of the aggressiveness of the head, a lighter razor seemed to work better for me. Over time, I decided this must be because of the control they gave me.

This was the case whether I was using straights (like the two in the pic below) or DE razors.

Take these straights:

[Image: IMG_20160424_1121127.jpg]

The one on the top is a Greaves 8/8" full wedge chopper - weighing in at 4 oz. Almost all that weight is in the blade, of course. It is a fine shaver, but the weight makes it unwieldy, and I use it about once a year. The second razor is a 5/8" Sta-Sharp full hollow. It weighs in at about 1.5 oz. This is a more nimble shaver and is better balanced with the scales. It is a pleasure to use, and I use it about once a week (I have a huge razor rotation).

The balance and maneuverability of the Sta-Sharp just makes it a much better razor to shave with for me. I found out years ago that a well-sharpened smaller blade can give as good or a better shave than a heavier blade, and the lighter blades made the mechanics of the shave easier.

Similarly, I have had (and still have) a pretty large collection of DE razors, but I find myself drawn to the lighter ones.

[Image: IMG_20160424_1120090.jpg]

In the pic above, the gold razor is a Merkur Futur knockoff - made of brass. It weighs in at 6 oz, and is pretty aggressive. I don't find it nearly as much fun to use as the other two in that pic.

The middle one is a bakelite British razor that weighs 1 oz and the third one is the Standard razor that weighs about 2 oz. Their head are different, with the bakelite one being the mildest, but I can still get a great shave with it - as good as one of my go-to DE razors, the 2014 Muhle R41.

Balance and maneuverability

So, what I've found over about a decade of wetshaving and collecting razors is that balance and maneuverability of the razor is what really determines how pleasant I find a shave. Of course, if the razor is too aggressive it will be uncomfortable, and if it is too mild, it will be frustrating, but most razors will shave reasonably well if you take the time to learn how to use them properly. Within the range of aggressiveness that works for me, I tend to be drawn to the better balanced and lighter ones.

Of course, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, people have different tastes, and it's great that we can all find a sweet-spot that works for us. And it's likely that some manufacturer is making a razor that will fit in that sweet-spot.

Freddy, Viseguy, WindsorCitrus and 2 others like this post
- Yohann
#2
Great post, Yohann! I hope you are doing well. Happy

Personally, I prefer a little bit of weight to my DEs, but nothing excessive.

Freddy, LegalEagle1 and hrfdez like this post
Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
#3
(04-24-2016, 08:19 PM)celestino Wrote: Great post, Yohann! I hope you are doing well.  Happy

Personally, I prefer a little bit of weight to my DEs, but nothing excessive.

Celestino - I'm doing well, thanks. How are you?

I also like and use slightly heavier razors too. As I mentioned, my go-to razor is the 2014 R41, but I've found that too heavy doesn't work for me.
- Yohann
#4
yohannrjm Great post, extremely well written and very interesting.

I tend to enjoy medium to heavy weight DE/SE razors with short handles for manoeuvrability. When it comes to straights 5/8 or 6/8 is what I like best. I have had a couple of beasts but soon got rid as I couldn't manipulate them how I wanted to around my face.
Oli AKA Windsor Citrus
Surrey, UK.
#5

Chazz Reinhold HOF
yohannrjm nice thread. I'm incline to use heavier razors, mostly because I have a natural light touch.
#6
(04-24-2016, 08:37 PM)WindsorCitrus Wrote: ........
I tend to enjoy medium to heavy weight DE/SE razors with short handles for manoeuvrability. ........

(04-24-2016, 09:23 PM)hrfdez Wrote: yohannrjm nice thread.  I'm incline to use heavier razors, mostly because I have a natural light touch.

I expected to be in the minority regarding my preference for lighter DE razors. This was something that I settled into gradually - I was initially all about heavy razors.

Given how much of a personal thing shaving is, this is not surprising. I'm just glad that we're not as limited with regards to choice when compared to even a decade ago. It now seems that a new razor brand is launched almost every month. Big Grin

WindsorCitrus likes this post
- Yohann
#7
If you enjoy light razors, you should seriously consider the new Fine slant. An amazing little shaver - very smooth and efficient and only $30.
#8

Member
Austin, TX
yohannrjm - great post. As several others, I like heavier razors as a rule and most often pair them with their "stock" handles.

However, one that really shines with an aftermarket, IMHO is the R41/DE89 head with a heavier SS handle. Improves significantly the efficiency from my experience.

Another light option, if you have not tried it, is the Seygus aluminum razor. Very lightweight shaver!
Kevin
#9
(04-25-2016, 05:59 PM)shmuel Wrote: If you enjoy light razors, you should seriously consider the new Fine slant. An amazing little shaver - very smooth and efficient and only $30.

Yes, I have been thinking of buying one of those. They seem interesting, and they get good reviews.
- Yohann
#10

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
Hi Yohann.  What a great thread.  I always use a razor as it was designed, from head to handle.  For some reason, I have never been interested in altering a razor, though some handles I have seen posted here are stunning.

As to weight, I have everything from very light to heavier and it just comes down to what I am in the mood for.  For the closeness of the shave, blade aside, I find the shape of the head has more to do with that than the weight.  For example, my Merkur Bakelite and my Gillette Fatboy have higher and more rounded heads and don't give me quite as close a shave as my Gillette Super Adjustable, Gillette NEW, (short or long comb), or my Schick Adjustable Injector, all of which have less rounded or flatter heads.  The weight isn't quite as much of a concern for me.

As you stated, so much comes down to personal taste and the choices today are terrific.

kwsher likes this post


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