Thursday, 5 April 2012
Your first DE razor
My first DE razor - bought as part of a "beginners kit" - was a Parker R22, a fairly aggressive razor but controllable enough to be a good introduction to old fashioned wetshaving. There is a lot of talk online about Parker having QA issues, so while my Parker is near perfect this isn't necessarily true for all Parkers out there. It's also a Twist To Open - also known as a butterfly - which makes it easier to change blades, but harder to keep clean.
The Feather Popular has gotten consistently good reviews and is considered a mild razor. It is also quite cheap, so if you're not sure if wetshaving is for you this could be a good choice for a first DE razor. Like my Parker 22R it's a Twist To Open.
The Wilkinson Sword Classic has many of the same qualities as the Feather Popular and can be easier to get hold of in some parts of the world. If online reviews are to be trusted, it is somewhat more aggressive but still plenty mild enough for a beginner.
Checking your fathers or grandfathers shaving kit might yield treasures - many people out there uses razors older than themselves every day... a decent DE razors simply wont wear out. Just be sure to clean it well and properly before using - I would suggest disassembling any finds, clean them with alcohol and a toothbrush before giving it a dip in an ultrasonic bath.
There are plenty of razors out there that will be a perfect first razor, catering to any wallet. I would however suggest staying with known brands for the first razor - if nothing else than for peace of mind and the relative ease it'll be to find reviews online.
A word of caution: Do NOT get a slant-bar as your first razor. They are quite aggressive, and require a fair bit of skill to use properly.