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Idaho Falls, Idaho
(This post was last modified: 12-24-2016, 01:00 AM by Lipripper660.)
I would be in the camp of mild razors first but then, I dont have a wire brush for a beard. It never ceases to amaze me how different hardware and software combos work for different faces, beards, and styles. I started with mild, went aggressive, and am back to mild with only an occasional foray into the R41 when I'm feeling naughty. I started my clan on mild and most have stayed there.

Amazing topic! Thank you OP.
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Sophisticated Stooge
Corpus Christi, TX
(12-24-2016, 12:59 AM)Lipripper660 Wrote: I dont have a wire brush for a beard.

My beard can take rust off bumpers...

Philadelphia, PA
I'd probably have someone start with a more mild razor as well, although I wouldn't hesitate to recommend trying a more mild SE razor like the featherweight with its stiffer SE blade.
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
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For many newbies, the idea of even shaving with a DE blade can be a bit intimidating. I'd start a new shaver with a very standard solid, mid razor, as Celestino suggested, like the EJ89 or the Merkur 34C.

Once there is some proficiency in lathering, pressure, passes, trying different blades, etc., only then would I progress them to a more aggressive razor.

I agree with the OP that the level of proficiency and technique accelerates rapidly as one learns to master an aggressive razor, especially with a very sharp blade like a Feather.

But I'm afraid that would be too much to handle for someone just staring out, and might discourage them. Especially for hemophobics (like me), the sight of blood after a shave might cause a beginner trying an aggressive razor with a sharp blade to go back to a cartridge!

And, as Brian pointed out, once the aggressive razors with a sharp blade are mastered to the point of getting a very close and comfortable shave with no irritation, it changes the experience when going back to a milder razor.

The nearly infinite variables is what makes this pursuit so interesting!
All the best,

Michael P
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My first razor was an EJ DE89. I used it for less than a week. Then I got a Slim. Started on 5 and almost immediately cranked it up to 8. It's really not rocket science. No matter what the first shave or two is going to be bad. You might as well get used to avoiding bad habits. No better way than a razor that hurts you when you exhibit them.
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Soap Soap Soap
Ames, Iowa
(This post was last modified: 12-27-2016, 04:19 AM by Viking.)
Another thing I was thinking is that with the adjustable razors, I'm not sure how the most aggressive setting compares to something like an Ikon Tech or R41 (which are the two most aggressive razors I've ever used). For example, when I first got a Slim, I set it to 9 pretty quickly. Then, I acquired a Fat Boy after a while and tried it at 9, didn't like it, and when I set it at 7, it's been by far the most consistent shaver for me - I can almost always count on a solid shave with that (actually not even sure why I try other razors...). My Fat Boy set at 7 still feels very mild to me. And now I like the Slim at a lower setting also.

However, even when comparing a Slim or Fat Boy set at '9', I still don't think that's anywhere as aggressive as an R41 or Ikon Tech. It's all relative I guess.

Portland, OR area
The novelty of aggressive razors wore off when I tried straights. It just required too much effort and time when all I really wanted was a great shave without any drama. Now all I think about is getting to work on time, so I use my trusty DE89 and I'm done in 5 minutes. My beard doesn't require anything more aggressive anyway.
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San Francisco
I agree with an early poster on this thread that aggressive razors, as is usually meant, are overrated, as it typically means a bigger blade gap and wider "effective" angle, which is different from an optimum angle. The idea is to remove as much hair but as little skin as possible, but at too steep an angle, more skin is being sloughed off (and often nicked) than necessary, leading to weepers and razor burn. I suspect some guys have more forgiving skin, whereas I have a delightful (ugh) combination of thick whiskers and "thin" skin that is particularly prone to burns and nicks. These big-gap aggressive razors have never been worth the trouble to me. What I've found is that the optimum angle and blade exposure avoids the skin trauma, while a very sharp, rigid blade takes care of mowing through wiry whiskers, no problem. So supposedly "mild" razors like the OneBlade, Feather AS-D2, or later Schick injectors do very well for me and my thick tough whiskers.

Maybe "aggressive" is indeed the right word for many of this big-gapped beasts, since they're prone to bite and chow down on a layer of skin. We should add "effective" or "efficient" to our regular shaving vocabulary to describe razors that are both mild (skin-friendly) but still do their job — cutting whiskers — well.
David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
There's no "one size fits all" here. I don't see how a beginner could go wrong by starting out with a mild razor and going more aggressive later, if he feels the need. For myself, I started out with a EJ DE87, but quickly moved on to more aggressive razors (OT, OCMM, R41). My beard isn't especially thick, but it grows in all directions so that an aggressive razor gets me to DFS/BBS in fewer strokes. The most important thing early on is to keep the experience positive, enjoy the learning curve, and avoid getting discouraged. The same applies to the process of acquiring any new skill, I think.
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Northern NJ
When I first started with DE I picked up a DE89. Couldn't stand it. It took way too many passes to accomplish what my Fusion could do in a single pass. I eventually sold the razor and didn't go back to DE for a couple of years. I wish I started with a nice med aggressive razor that was efficient from the get go and that would also teach me immediately about light pressure. Oh well live and learn
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