The public domain book “Shaving made Easy” have a short chapter on selecting your shaving outfit. This is the original text and my annotations and comments:
First-class tools are necessary at the very outset. No matter how skillfully one may handle inferior tools, they will invariably produce poor results.
Probably as many failures have resulted from the use of poor razors, strops, or soap as from the lack of knowledge how to use them. In order that the best possible results may be attained, good tools and skill in using them should go hand in hand.
When I was young I was told repeatedly that good tools are half the work, and that holds true when it comes to tools for shaving as well. A poor razor or a bad lather will not give a good shave, no matter how well the tools are wielded. On the other hand, not even the best razor, the fanciest brush or the most exquisite shave soap will yield the desired result if not used with the necessary skill. Good tools and the skills to use them should still go hand in hand.
The shaving outfit should consist of one or two good razors, a first-class strop, a mirror, a cup, a brush, a cake of shaving soap, and a bottle of either bay rum, witch hazel, or some other good face lotion. These constitute what may be considered the necessary articles, and to these may be added a number of others, such as a good hone, magnesia or talcum powder, astringent or styptic pencils, antiseptic lotions, etc. which, while not absolutely requisite, will nevertheless add much to the convenience, comfort and luxury of the shave.
The shaving outfit recommended in 1905 would serve just as well today, although since the modern shaver is more likely to use a safety razor or even cartridge razor instead of a straight razor, I would recommend investing in a single good razor instead of two – at least until the desire to buy more raises its head. Using a safety razor also means that the modern razor will not have to worry about buying a strop and hone. The money saved can be invested in a second brush, or a small selection of soaps and post-shave products.