My gear

Updated 2017-06-07
If a "normal" person needs to shave, he'll pick up an electric razor or whatever wunderbar new system one of the big names sells at inflated prices. If a geek like me needs a shave, he might end up with a new hobby and an array of kit. Off course you don't need nowhere near as much gear as I have to make shaving enjoyable again; on my ToD to Sudan (12 months in Africa) I brought my Parker 22R, a Body Shop Synthetic brush and the tube of Proraso cream - but I find that having to make a couple of choices in the morning adds to the enjoyment. And compared to some people out there my combined kit is definitely on the small side...

Razors:

  • A handfull of BiC Sensitive SE disposable razors - liked by wetshavers I trust, picked up on a whim, good for those times when I need to bring a razor in my carry on luggage
  • A Cadet TP-01 long handled open comb - an Indian made razor that gives a good shave
  • A Cadet TTO-11 Twist To Open Open Comb - my third Cadet, a lovely if aggressive shaver, and my first open comb that is also a TTO.
  • A Cadet TTO-13 Twist To Open - Indian made and quite aggressive
  • A vintage Ever-Ready1914 in near mint condition - inherited from a family friend, and a nice if difficult razor for me to master
  • A GEM 1912 SE - part of a two razor PIF, my second SE and the first that didn't rip my face apart
  • A GEM Micromatic Clug Pruf - the other half of a two razor PIF, my third SE and a nice shave once I worked out the angle
  • A vintage Gillette "Khaki" Old Type from 1918 - an old soldier that has gone back to the war, good kit for work and travel
  • A vintage Gillette 1958 TV Special Superspeed butterfly - a very nice razor indeed, with a D1 date code (ie.: first quarter of '58)
  • A vintage Gillette Slim - adjustable twist to open, date code M4 (ie.: last quarter of '67).
  • A Merkur 25C long handled open comb - same head as my travel razor, and bought so I can keep my 985CL in the GoBag as it should be
  • A Merkur 39C slant bar - a fairly aggressive razor, and not one for those just starting out
  • A Merkur 45C Bakelite - a very lightweight razor, smooth with a mild blade
  • A Merkur 985CL open comb travel razor - sits somewhere between the 22R and 39C, and usually in my GoBag. I sometimes takes it out and uses it at home though...
  • A NOS German Bakelite Slant - probably manufactured by Merkur, and a mild and efficient shaver
  • A Parker 22R butterfly razor - a good first razor, and a rather good one at that
  • A Phillips Philite three piece razor - generously PIFed from a fellow shaver
  • A Racer razor from Egypt -  a remarkable decent razor for the price
  • A NOS Schick "Lady Eversharp" Injector - left in the back room of a shop for decades before it found it's way to me, and my first injector
  • A TGR razor - part of a cheap shaveset
  • A Wilkinson Sword Classic - performs much better than the price tag suggests

Blades:

  • A wide selection of blades; Feather Hi-Stainless, Trent, Zorrik Super, Merkur Super, Willikins Sword, Gillette 7 o'clock, Astra Superior, Lord Platinum, Shark Super Chrome, Racer, Personna Platinum, Derby Extra, Persona Super, and still more... finding a favourite is hard, since most give a great shave.

Brushes:

  • Two Body Shop Synthetic brushes - a decent enough brush and a good one for travelling; it dries quickly - I got one as a backup and one at work
  • An Omega #10048 Boar Bristle (box branded as Prosaro) - came with my starter kit and is pretty okay; handle is a bit on the big side for me, but I use it now and then
  • An Omega #50014 Boar Bristle Travel Brush - lovely brush where the storage tube doubles as the handle
  • A Semogue "The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition" mixed boar-badger brush - a great brush for face and bowl
  • A TGR brush - part of a cheap shaveset and probably boar, but sheds like there is no tomorrow
  • A Turkish No6 'horse hair' brush -"now, more quality, and aesthetics"
  • A Turkish No7 'horse hair' brush - same knot as the old No6 but with a different handle
  • A Vie-Long #12705B natural white pure horse - swell brush, just like my other horses
  • A Vie-Long #13051M unbleached pure horse - great for face lathering if you like a stiff brush
  • A Vie-Long #14033 mixed horse-badger brush - a wonderful brush all around
  • A Wilkinson Sword Badger - a 6.25€ souvenir from a trip abroad, and my first pure badger

Soaps, croaps and creames:

  • An Arko shaving stick - some people online swears to it, and others swears at it. I rather like it myself, once the strong scent had worn off a bit
  • A tube of Aubrey Organics North Wood shave "cream" - for use without a brush. Not too impressed with the glide, okayish for travelling. Backup for the stick in my GoBag
  • BEA shaving stick - similar tube to my LEA, and also a souvenir
  • A tin of Brutalt Bra Barbersåpe TSN SE "Norwegian Wood" - smells like freshly cut spruce, or a well stocked woodshed
  • A tub of Col. Conk Bay Rum shaving soap - my first bay rum, the scent is subtle and good, but it reminds me of something I can't quite put my finger on
  • A tub of Crabtree and Evelyn Sandalwood soap - smells great and works great
  • A tube of Dalan d'Men Energic cream - a bit less mentholy than the Proraso cream, more mentholy than the Arko, nice lather
  • A Derby shave stick - softer than Arko, less soft than GzD, good lather
  • A tub of Dr Selby Lavender Luxury Shaving Cream - a tree times concentrated gift from a fellow shaver
  • A GzD shave stick - very soft stick that lathers as good as the Arko, but smells less
  • A tub of Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Acadian Spice Shaving Soap - Seifenglatt Exclusive that smells niiice
  • A LEA shave stick - solid plastic tube protects it as it sits in my GoBag, don't like hard water
  • Mike's Natural Soap in tins; Lemongrass & Eucalyptus, Hungarian Lavender, Pine & Cedarwood, and Peppermint & Rosemary. 
  • Mike's Natural Soap Orange, Cedarwood & Black Pepper shavestick
  • A refill puck of Mitchel's Wool Fat Shaving Soap - generously PIFed from a fellow shaver
  • A tube of Nivea Shave Cream - a solid performer, generously PIFed from a fellow shaver
  • A jar of Prairie Creations KISS cream w/ tea tree oil - best for bowl lathering, picky about water
  • A puck of Prairie Creations Walter shave soap - re-imagining of the classic Williams
  • A tube of Proraso Eucalyptus & Menthol Cream - part of my starter kit and my sole cream while in Sudan; I like both the scent and the soft glide it has
  • A tub of Proraso Eucalyptus & Menthol Soap - pretty much the same as the cream, but as a soap
  • A tube of brushless Rise Shave Gel - generously PIFed from a fellow shaver
  • A very generous sample of a Wet Shaving Products pre-production soap

Post shave treatment:

  • An alum block - an antiseptic and astringent, it's used to clean and seal any minor nicks. Stings a fair bit if you got a larger nick, and tastes really weird if you get it on your lips
  • A small alum stick in a push up tube - great for shaving on the Go, so in the GoBag it lives
  • A tube of BodyShop Maca Root Energetic Face Protection - with SPF 15 and a pleasant smell, it's good for both the high summer and the depth of winter
  • A tube of BullDog Oil Control Moisturiser - helps with my greasy mug in summer
  • A tiny tube of LEA after-shave balsam - a freebie from Gifts And Care, going in the GoBag
  • A bottle of Myrsol After Shave Formula K - nice astringent with menthol for a cooling sensation
  • A bottle of Myrsol Agua Balsamico - very herby, reminds me of roasted lamb
  • A bottle of Myrsol Agua De Limón - very lemony indeed
  • A bottle of Nivea Sensitive Cooling After Shave Balm - mild, non-alcoholic and with a hint of menthol
  • A bottle of Krampert's Finest 80 Below - made with a passion and menthol; lots of menthol
  • A flask of Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Aftershave - created and manufactured by a fellow shaver, and a very nice aftershave indeed
  • A small bottle of Krampert's Finest Prototype Menthol - PIFed from the same generous fellow shaver as above; a nice cooling and healing aftershave
  • A bottle of Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave - PIFed from a fellow shaver after he learned I had used up my first bottle

Beard grooming stuff:

  • A jar of Big Red Beard Balm - all the benefits of beard oil, but also tames and shapes the beard
  • A tin of Big Red Moustache Wax - keeps the 'stache in line, just the thing for the refined gentleman
  • Big Red No7 Beard Comb - because beards needs combing too
  • A tin of BullDog Original Beard Balm - because I like the other products in the series
  • A small jar of Scotch Porter Beard Balm - a new arrival, claims to make beards soft and shiny
  • A small bottle of Wet Shaving Products Matterhorn Beard Oil - lives in my GoBag

Lathering bowls:

  • A Turkish copper bowl from Turkey - shiny when new, just the right size
  • A ceramic cereal bowl from IKEA - for big brushes
  • A hand thrown ceramic one-piece scuttle from an Israeli potter called Yoresh -  looks great and works great
  • A Turkish acacia wood bow, which now sits on my desk - to pretty to use
  • A folding plastic cup for my GoBag - because space is a premium in there

Other related and semi-related things:

  • A tube of BullDog Oil Control Face Wash - since even the manliest face looks better when clean
  • A bottle of BullDog Original Beard Shampoo - beard hairs are different than head hairs, and it help that it don't taste nearly as foul as my regular shampoo
  • Taramundi knife - handmade by Spanish Artisan Pedro Bermudez - a very nice every day carry knife.

PIFed, used up or otherwise disposed items:

  • A tube of Arko Cool Mint shaving cream - nice and cool on warm mornings, not the hardest menthol punch, ran dry while abroad
  • A sample of Aubrey Men's Stock North Woods Aftershave - good scent, but nothing more, used up
  • A bottle of Big Red Beard Oil - helps with dry skin and brittle hairs, bottle wringed dry.
  • A tube of Derby Lavender cream - more than passable lather, tube squeezed dry after four years of service
  • A Feather Popular razor - remarkable mild, but requires a fairly light touch; PIFed away to a newbie DE shaver
  • A tub of Maca Root shave cream from Body Shop - procured before I started with classic DE shaving, and a pretty decent shaving cream. Contains a fair bit of nasty chemicals though... It started to smell funny at the end - less than a ¼ left - and got ditched
  • A tub of Mama Bear's Awakening - did what it said on the lid, used up on Menthol Mondays
  • A tub of Mama Bear's Brazilian Coffee - smells like coffee, lathers well, and PIFed away on my favourite shave forum, because you should give away things you yourself would like to receive
  • A sample of Martin de Candre Soap - a solid performer, generously PIFed from a fellow shaver, used up
  • Several samples of tallow, lanolin and kokum butter shaving soaps from Mike's Natural Soaps turned into "Mike's Mixed" and used up - lesson learned? Keep your samples in air tight boxes...
  • A tub of Orange Essential Oil Shave Soap - smells good, generously PIFed from a fellow shaver, used up
  • A bottle of Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave - a pleasant smell in my opinion, used up un six and a half year
  • A tub of RazoRock XXX Shave Cream - lovely croak generously PIFed from a fellow shaver, used up
  • Sample of TFS Bergamotto Neroli Soap - a solid performer, generously PIFed from a fellow shaver, used up
  • A small bottle of Thayers Original Witch Hazel with aloe vera and without alcohol - good for those days I didn't want an aftershave, used up
  • A old style Turkish No6 'horse hair' brush - wonderfully stiff and can make good to great lather out of anything, PIFed away to a newbie DE shave
  • Yuma razor from Turkey - cheap and cheerful, and deserved the good reviews it got online, but after five years the surface was a mess of oxidation... so I retired it
    • The handle of the Yuma can be mated with the head of the 25C or the 985CL to create the Franken-nought-four - a Merkur 1904 look-a-like
    • The head of the Yuma can be mated with the handle of the 985CL to create the Travel Yuma, or the handle of the 25C to create a Long Handled Yuma