#11
(This post was last modified: 12-07-2016, 02:00 PM by SCShaver.)
I personally would always recommend a mild shaver to a beginner. Starting there worked for me, so I would go based on my own personal use case. I started with a Merkur 23C and was able to handle that, moved to a Merkur 34HD and began experimenting from there. It would seem that recommending something that would give a new user less trouble would be the best way to bring them into wetshaving, but thats just my opinion. You hand them something like an R41 and they cheese-grate themselves and they might just go back to carts.

To the OP, you had the patience to keep trying other razors and step up your aggression. Many new shavers might not exactly have that type of patience you know? If I'd have started with something very aggressive with lots of blade feel, I might have thought that this particular discipline was not my taste. Since I began with something mild, I found it very easy to tame and then my exploration began.
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#12

Sophisticated Stooge
Corpus Christi, TX
Yeah, I totally get that. When learning something new, I'm of the mindset to try and master the most difficult method first as, for me at least, it trains you to have the best technique. To me the light came on when I was able to tame that R41. Once that fell into place, I was now shaving with a better technique and the results, even with milder razors, were far better.
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#13
I agree with others that a mild razor for beginners is best. As the learning curve and skill increase, shavers will seek out more aggressive razors. Then one day they will look at their collection of aggressive razors, and ask the same question you did. As you look back, its hard to justify starting with the razor you hold today, without the years of knowledge about them and skill acquired when your journey began.
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#14

Soap Soap Soap
Ames, Iowa
(This post was last modified: 12-27-2016, 04:11 AM by Viking.)
I started, like many others, with mild superspeeds and techs, and quickly moved to "aggressive razors" and thought as an experienced wetshaver that that is what should have been using. Within the last year or so, I've come back to milder razors and don't think I'll ever go back to aggressive. I get much better shaves with milder razors. Could be that my training with aggressive ones helped me transition back to mild, but I just think my face works best with milder razors.
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#15
(12-08-2016, 07:02 PM)Viking Wrote: I started, like many others, with mild superspeeds and techs, and quickly moved to "aggressive razors" and thought as an experienced wets wetshaver that that is what I should be using. Within the last year or so, I've come back to milder razors and don't think I'll ever go back to aggressive. I get much better shaves with milder razors. Could be that my training with aggressive ones helped me transition back to mild, but I just think my face works best with milder razors.

I’ve gone through the same loop.  With a little technique the mild razors can give a great shave and I’m far less likely to hack up my face, which I value more than getting a 10% closer shave.
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#16

Sophisticated Stooge
Corpus Christi, TX
(12-08-2016, 07:43 PM)Chris Benenati Wrote:
(12-08-2016, 07:02 PM)Viking Wrote: I started, like many others, with mild superspeeds and techs, and quickly moved to "aggressive razors" and thought as an experienced wets wetshaver that that is what I should be using. Within the last year or so, I've come back to milder razors and don't think I'll ever go back to aggressive. I get much better shaves with milder razors. Could be that my training with aggressive ones helped me transition back to mild, but I just think my face works best with milder razors.

I’ve gone through the same loop.  With a little technique the mild razors can give a great shave and I’m far less likely to hack up my face, which I value more than getting a 10% closer shave.

I guess face/hair type play into the equation as well. I have yet to find a mild razor that is as effective or efficient to my fast growing thick beard as the more aggressive razors. The only exception to that are single edge razors as the mild and aggressive ones both work well for me, but that might be due to the thicker blades.
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#17
A newbie with an R41 could get discouraged quite quickly. I also think it's not the best of ideas. The OP found that he couldn't get the shaves he excepted from the R89, moved on to the R41 and found his perfect match in it, but it should be noted that he had acquired and perfected his technique with a moderately aggressive razor like the 89 (I wouldn't call the R89 "mild", I don't consider it so).

I also bought this razor as my first razor. In my case, it was an Edwin Jagger. I used it for over eight months and got really good results out of it. I still use it quite often and get BBS shaves if I so want. Difference is, I probably need more touch ups with it than I need with my Merkur Slant or Parker 26C OC. I consider it a very capable razor, however, YMMV.
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#18

Sophisticated Stooge
Corpus Christi, TX
I totally get the discouragement argument when talking about being turned off to aggressive razors at the outset for beginners. When I got into this hobby, I had 3 expectations 1) I would save money (HA!) 2) There would be a major learning curve in learning a whole new skill-set (i.e. I was totally expecting nicks and cuts) and, most importantly, 3) I was going to have a comparable or better shave than with cartridge razors. When I started with a milder razor, I could never meet that last expectation and to me that was a huge discouragement - even greater than the nicks and cuts that come from learning this hobby. Was I wasting my time as I was not even achieving a cartridge level shave much less a better one? When I started using a more aggressive razor, that's when I finally met that last expectation. I suffered my share of nicks and cuts, but that aggressive R41 showed me, with consistent BBS shaves, that I was doing the right thing in moving into the world of wet shaving.
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#19
(This post was last modified: 12-23-2016, 11:35 PM by Tbone.)
(12-07-2016, 04:44 AM)celestino Wrote: Personally, I would still suggest a milder razor such as the EJ/Muhle DE89 or Merkur 34C as many newbies won't necessarily find them mild compared to what they were using.

(12-07-2016, 05:16 AM)Standard Wrote: The best way to discourage a new shaver is numerous nicks/cuts and skin rash.
Perhaps the most important difference between a safety razor and a cartridge razor Is that safety razors require very little pressure. It stands to reason that an aggressive razor would only exacerbate this characteristic. I therefore think aggressive models are a poor choice for a first razor. It is easier to move from a too-mild razor to an aggressive one than the other way around. Shaves with tugging and that are not close are annoying, shaves that are painful and draw blood can be deal killers.
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#20

Merchant
Nashville, TN
I like the idea of starting with a mild razor and then going to more aggressive. I would have quit wet shaving if I started with an aggressive razor. I started with a OneBlade and a Merkur 38HD. Great razors for getting started. I don't use the OneBlade that much now, but still use the Merkur. I then moved to the aggressive Muhle, I believe it is the R41. I get better shaves and was forced to improve my skill. I now have my first straight, which is taking my skill to a higher level.
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