I was struck by a post this morning from another site. A member had recently bought an unnamed modern DE razor, and talked about how it was a good shaver, and it's various pros and cons. Fair enough... But this member already owns a Wolfman, his very top razor of choice. Even before buying the other razor, he never seriously expected it to top the Wolfman in any category. And indeed, he was right... To him, the other razor didn't beat the Wolfman.

That's what struck me... Why would anybody here buy a razor that they are already fairly certain isn't going beat their current setup? And even after they know the lesser razor isn't going to be their daily driver, they're still satisfied with the purchase.

A lot of guys are like that here. Often rotating in a razor they know isn't going to give them as good a shave as their favorite razor.

Why ever shave with anything less than what's going to give you the best result?

I mean, I can see wanting to test other razors you can return or sell without loss if you don't like it. And I understand pass arounds. But I don't understand buying a razor you intend to keep that you don't really believe will beat your current setup, and I understand even less how someone would want to keep a razor they know is inferior in their rotation. Cause in the end, it's all about the result, and the most pleasant and convenient road to that result... Or is it?

Maybe someone can explain...
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Austin, TX
Thought provoking post Len. I have a number of razors, several that I feel approach the pinnacle of efficiency and quality/craftsmanship.

Even so, I still purchase razors. Typically for a limited number of reasons.

1. I am and always have been curious by nature and enjoy testing things, myself included. Experiential, I simply like having the opportunity to try different things and don't have constraints preventing me from doing it.

2. I enjoy and feel it important in the [re] growth of wet shaving to support fledgling merchants. Easiest way I can do that is to purchase and if I believe it to be a good product, spread the word. I think you know what I mean here Wink

3. Razors are just plain cool. They are hunks of metal that in some way have been bent to our purpose. They hold extremely sharp and potentially dangerous blades. What's not to like? I said it before, the only thing missing in the holy trifecta of awesomeness is a flame and if a razor comes out that shoots a white hot blaze from the handle- I am in!

One razor would get the job done but several gives me the variety I enjoy and something different to try on a weekly basis.
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(This post was last modified: 02-12-2016, 04:06 PM by brucered.)
I have no explanation. New wet shavers usually go overboard, that's all I can think of.

Unless I truly believe a product will be better or on par (and say a different scent or a unique brush handle), I don't bother with it.
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Good question, and I find myself asking it a lot. I never intended this to be a hobby, merely a way to stop 20 years of razor burn on my neck. That goal accomplished, I find myself sometimes wanting to try other things despite having found the set up that works for me. I tried several razors before settling on the "hammer" as my daily driver. However, I just bought a "oneblade" because I want to see what all of the hype is about. I don't expect that it will be better for me than the "hammer," but I'm hoping that I'm wrong. I did pay 180 for it, so I don't feel that I'll really lose any money if I decide that it won't replace the "hammer."

Life has a melody.
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San Francisco
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2016, 04:32 PM by onethinline. Edit Reason: typo )
I tend to agree that new wet shavers (well, those given to making this a hobby) tend to go overboard. I know I have. Now that I have my Wolfman and have discovered how well injectors (and maybe SE in general) treat me, I'm paring down my DE collection. It just feels like too much.

However, like kwsher said, much of it was driven by curiosity. What's this razor like? Many people talk about that one, maybe I should try that. It wasn't until I had first-hand experience with a range of designs that I could hone (hah!) in on what worked best for me. Now when someone talks about a DE razor I haven't used, they can compare it to one I am familiar with, and I get the idea without needing to try it.

Plus, I wouldn't feel so great about my Wolfman if I didn't have time with those other razors as a basis of comparison. So, finding that "best" can take a little experience.

There's another factor which is important though, and that's just variety of experience. This is very true of shave soaps, which once you get to the best performers, it's really splitting hairs (hah again!) as to which is absolutely the best. Each has its own scent and feel on the skin, and it's great to have a variety so each morning is special. I think a bit of this applies to razors. As you know Len I'm now excitedly awaiting my OneBlade, and there's a good chance I'll have a great experience with it. Possibly better than all my other razors, we'll see. But I suspect I'll keep my new Mongoose, and I know I'll keep my Wolfman and NEW SC. Why? Variety! There's satisfaction in getting a great shave from a razor that takes a bit more care and attention, and I know at times I'll want that. (In fact, that right there is another reason people have multiple razors: mastering the technique of one can be its own reward.)
David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
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Super Moderator
Great post - why do we keep looking when we already have the best? Keeps divorce lawyers in business. I think kwsher is correct but there is more. I think the spirit of discovery, trial and error or whatever you want to call it is part of the human makeup. Try new things, maybe it will be better and if not then it will confirm that you already have better. Why does anyone have more than one car, one pair of shoes , one gun, one guitar? Partly because they can and mostly because they enjoy having the things.

On the subject of newcomers buying razors I think its fine if a person new to wet shaving decides to save time and just buy the "best" razor right off the bat, say a Wolfman. Now who am I to take issue with how somebody wants to spend their money? I will say this, however, if I had started out wet shaving and the Wolfman was my first razor there is a good chance I would still be shaving with cartridges today. Seriously, the Wolfman or an ATT or any number of aggressive ikons are just not the tools for a novice with underdeveloped technique to learn on. I'm only speaking from my own experience - I first started several years back with a Merkur razor that many reviewers on the vendor's site said was a good starter razor. It wasn't - I persevered for a week of nicks, burns, weepers and wounds and then gave up. For a year I used soap and brush and the mach 3. Then my 18 year old son started using the DE razor I had discarded and I felt shamed into trying again so I did research and found a consensus that the EJ DE89 was a good novice razor. I bought one and tried again this time with more success. I used that razor exclusively for a couple of years while I learned technique and I bought one for my son too. Its the razor that I recommend to anyone considering the conversion. Its just a good, forgiving yet efficient razor. When I first abandoned the DE razor I was only walking away from $35. If I'd paid $200+ for a Wolfman it would have been harder to swallow. Who knows, maybe I'd have stuck to it longer because of the money and eventually figured it out but I'll say this, I'm a moderately experienced wet shaver and when I use the Wolfman razor, I have to pay very close attention. I mean I'm obviously paying close attention when I'm putting blade to face. Its like driving an older 911 Turbo - pay attention or pay the price vs a mazda miata (RR Black Mamba) which is a nice cruise on a sunny afternoon.

I enjoy the various razors that I have, but I think I'm probably done buying any more. Unless of course something really cool comes along. Smile
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That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2016, 05:41 PM by BadDad.)
As a relatively new shaver, I am driven to experiment. My experience has proven one thing consistently...you never know until you try it, and that has been the reason for all of my purchases thus far...to try them.

With that said, my favorite razor, the one that provides the most reliably close and comfortable shave, is my most often reached for razor. The rest I keep because they each provide a different shave experience. The feel of the shave, be it physical or emotional, is different with each razor that I own.

With that said, my razor acquisition disorder has definitely slowed down over the last month. My curiosity is no longer piqued about every fancy new razor. I would like a Rockwell, simply because I hear wonderful things about it, the price is affordable for what is essentially 6 razors, and it could be the next generations "vintage". Aside from that, there are very few that really get me excited to try them. I would try them in a pass around, but I'm in no real hurry to add to my modest razor collection.

I guess for me, the reason I keep the razors that are not my favorites is simple...Variety is the Spice of Life, and each razor provides a unique shave experience...

The only razor I am really keen on getting at this point is a T3 vintage Gillette, because that is my birth quarter. Otherwise...I'm very relaxed about future acquisitions...
-Chris~Head Shaver~
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Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
This was a great post and I can't really add to what has already been stated. All of the responses were spot on, in my opinion.
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Greenville, SC USA
All good points made above by all of you. Allow a non razor analogy that might be apt.

Being a bit of a wine snob, I would often fantasize about having the wherewithal to have the very finest expensive wine on the table all the time. I soon realized, however, that people of great means, to whom price is no object, will drink the more ordinary bottlings most of the time reserving the "big bottles" for big occasions. Only by drinking the lesser wines can the nuances of the finest bottles be properly appreciated. Or, as my pappy used to say, "Son, you have to know what bad is to appreciate the good"!
Does Mean I Must Buy High End Shaving Gear?
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Very interesting read! I agree with many of the comments here and have nothing to add, except that I typically find price often (often, mind you) correlates to quality. Right now I own an ATT slant system and I am very happy with it, however I'd like to add the Wolfman (in titanium) to my rotation because I see it as a comparable product that lingers at the high end of the market. I have no desire for quantity. Only quality. YMMV of course.
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