I started shaving a long time before I got into traditional wetshaving. But even back then, when my razor of choice1 was a Gillette Sensor, I realized very quickly that canned goo was bad. So I did what any self-respecting 18 year old did… I wandered into a Body-Shop and bought a tub of their Maca Root shaving cream and a brush.2
Compared to Gillette’s canned goo, it was night and day. It made shaving tolerable, but not great. So over the next few years I shaved when I had to, dabbled a bit in electric shavers,3 tried growing a beard a few times, and generally managed. But whenever I was using the Sensor, I made sure to have some of the Maca Root shaving cream around.
As I wrote verbosely about a few weeks ago, everyone has a Holy Grail razor. A razor you want. A razor you idolize. A razor which, as I said at the time, most of us would be willing to kill for. For me, that razor would be the Schick Magazine Repeating Razor. And while any Magazine Repeater would do, I’ve always had my eyes on a Schick B2. I had, in fact, just purchased a Schick B2 when I wrote about Holy Grail razor. And it arrived a little while later, looking every bit as nice as I had hoped.
Now; there is a danger to lusting after a Holy Grail razor, and then finding it.
There is the danger of it not being as nice as you though.
Not having as smoothly as you had hoped for.
Not being as, how to put, mechanically interesting as you had hoped for.
In short, does the razor you been wanting for so long deliver or is it in fact a let down.
So now that I’ve used the Schick B2 for two weeks, it is time to ask those questions you may wish you never have to ask about something you have lusted after for a long while. Is the Schick B2 as nice as I though it would be? Is it shaving as smoothly as I had reasons to think? Is it as mechanically interesting as the patent would imply?
Some people have a single razor. Some have a small handful. Me? I got eighteen in my regular rotation, one at work, two different ones in my GoBags, one for other travels, plus half a dozen or so in storage that I for one reason or other can’t or don’t want to let go.
And even so, I am not sure I got enough razors. So when is enough enough?
There are a couple of vintage razors I would love to get my hands on. A Schick Automatic, for starters, a Bessegg, as well as one or two 30’s Gillette one piece razors. An early Gillette New wouldn’t be amiss either. Not because any of the razors I own is unsatisfactory, but because I would like to have them.
In the same vein, and for the same reasons, there is one or two current razors I would enjoy owning as well – the adjustable Tatara Muramasa springs to mind, due to the unique way it adjusts.
And while I do have almost thirty razors and wishes to add to the collection / rotation, I only have seven brushes in my rotation. Plus a brush at work, two travel brushes, and a home made brush I trot out on occasion. And I have no desire to get any more. Perhaps I might replace one or two, but not add to the pile.
So why is it that I have enough brushes, but not enough razors? When is enough enough?
Part of it is, I think, simply because I find razors inherently more interesting. By changing such things as the thickness of the cap, the blade angle, the blade exposure, the centre of balance, and a myriad other variables… the entire feel of the shave changes.
As an example, consider the Gillette Old Types I own. One is from a 1918 Khaki Kit, the other is an early 20’s flea market find. The former has a thicker cap, the later a longer handle. They are both good shavers, but despite being similar, they are different enough to notice the differences. And different enough to appreciate the differences too.
A second example is my Schicks. While my E2 and G4 are very similar, there is enough difference in their level of aggressiveness that I cannot treat them the same and expect identical shaves.
And either of those are vastly different from my EverReady, either of my GEMs, the Phillips Phillite, my Tatara, my fifties Gillette‘s, my Evolution, and so on and so forth. There is just so much to grab my interest about various razors, without even getting into some of the weird ones that got patented over the years.
Brushes? Brushes, to me at least, simply don’t hold the same amount of interest. Some are softer and holds water better. Others have a pleasant scritch and don’t take as long to load. And some are just plain awful (I’m looking at you, cheap supermarket brush with a nylon knot). And that is more or less it. I worked out that I prefer boar and horse – and I’m going to leave it at that.
So when is enough enough? I think enough is enough when the curiosity and desire to own more have been sated. With brushes, I reached that spot some years ago – I was gifted a reasonable good badger, and found that it wasn’t as life changing as I had believed. But when it comes to razors, there is still more to discover, more to learn, more curiosity to sate. I may never reach the point where enough is enough as far as razors are concerned.
As a side note I don’t think any of the above applies to lathers, aftershaves, and other consumables. The correct number of these is n+1, where n is the number you currently own. Even so, I have gotten picky about the +1 that I buy these days, since I am a bit tight on space.
A few years ago I posted aboutShaving Buddy, an Android and iOS app that lets you keep track of your shaving gear statistics. Since I posted about it last, it has gained one major and several minor updates. It is a much more capable app now than it was in 2015, which is why I keep using it.
Having used it for more than a few shaves, I now have quite a bit of shaving gear statistics. Which I’m sure can tell us something about my shaving habits.
A little while ago I wrote about a rather honest Schick advertisement. If you recall, it was the one where they admitted to losing money on the free razor. Which, as pointed out by a user on Reddit, is a very good illustration of the Razor and Blades economic model. However, and more importantly today, the advertisement also featured a competitors razor… leaving the question as to which would give the more solid shaves.
Now, I personally own neither a Schick Krona nor a Gillette Knack. But Kurt, also known as Solid Shaves, do. And he posted a rather nice comparison of the two on his YouTube channel this weekend.
As the sharp eyed reader probably have noticed, Gifts&Care were selling a solidarity advent calendar this year to raise money and awareness for the ongoing volcanic eruption at La Palma.
Luckily – and none too soon – that the La Palma volcano eruption was declared over on the 25th December 2021. There is still a need to support the people of La Palma – while no lives have been lost as far as I know, more than thirteen hundred houses have been destroyed in addition to churches, schools, clinics and other infrastructure have been destroyed and needs rebuilding.
Since the start of the month I’ve shared the daily prices and surprises in the calendar I gotten with you. And now it is time to look at the whole pile all at once!
Aftershave: Epsilon for Men Mediterranean After Shave
Additional Care: Alum Block
The Epsilon shave gel smells nice. Okay cushion for a non-lathering shaving agent. No slip at all though, resulting in more than a few tiny skin breaks. Nothing big enough to be a weeper, but more than noticeable enough when putting alcohol based aftershave on.
Shaving with things I gotten in the Solidarity Advent Calendar. The Proraso preshave cream reminds me of the Prep cream, which isn’t bad. The Mühle aftershave balm felt pretty nice too. Not impressed by the Mühle shaving cream though; no slip, no cushion, and hard to rinse of my vintage Schick.
A little while ago I picked up a Wilkinson Shaving Soap on clearance from Connaught Shaving. While I didn’t have high hopes for it, the hopes I had were somewhat dashed while shaving. I’ll go ahead and give an as honest review as I can regardless.