First-class tools are necessary at the very outset. No matter how skillfully one may handle inferior tools, they will invariably produce poor results.Maybe not that ancient; it's the opening lines of Shaving Made Easy, a book originally published in 1904 and now available for free at Project Gutenberg. It's linked from my sidebar, since I consider it a valuable resource for wetshavers new and old.
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.