New to wet shaving advice please

#1
Hi,

I have always used Gillette Mach 3 before but am wanting to do proper traditional wet shaving instead. I am wondering where I can quickly get all the supplies I need to get me started. I work near Covent Garden and I note there is a Murdock nearby, is this a good place to get everything I need?

Thanks.
 
#3
If you can wait a little I'd buy off AliExpress and my hot tips would be these:

Yintal razor, solid brass handle, efficient - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Raz...lgo_pvid=f8afb63f-b0ef-4318-a71c-5cf774e17938

Yaqi 26mm synthetic brush - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/26M...lgo_pvid=cf6ac705-b7a4-4f9a-8d86-5ed4c5e8334e

I have both the above and can thoroughly recommend them. For razor blades I'd probably go for Personna Platinum "Red" (though in a blue box) but plenty of other views and possibles here. Start with 50.

You will get many recommendations for mass market soaps and creams like Proraso, Tabac, Cella, Arko etc. because they're cheap and thought to be "good for beginners". I would ignore all of these mediocre products and get one really good starter soap/cream. The cheapest decent one I'd recommend is Gentlemans Face Care Club Bergamot and Neroli. Very easy to lather and a good scent. It's soft, so pick up a little with your finger and smear it on either cheek and then face lather. The Yaqi synthetic brushes are as good as it gets for lathering. Ignore badger, boar etc etc. not only for environmental reasons but because they are no better and require pre-soaking, drying etc. which synthetics don't.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Luxury-B...h=item3b1d0de9f9:g:ckcAAOSwOuBblWJ0:rk:1:pf:0

I'd also recommend Mitchell's Wool Fat (MWF) in a puck for which you'll need a tin. MWF is a top tier soap, one of the very best.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mitchell...h=item3d607e477d:g:BM4AAOSwkRJa1MLa:rk:8:pf:0

It's always useful to have some tins ready, since pucks are an economical way to buy top tier artisan soaps.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-x-250ml-Aluminium-Tin-Silver-Round-Containers-with-EPE-Lined-Screw-Lid/232622974288?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

If you literally can't wait, I'd agree with Drew's suggestion of the Merkur 34C and a synthetic brush, which to me says Yaqi. I have a couple of 24mm Yaqis which are fine but the 26mm is even nicer. You pretty much can't go wrong with Yaqi synthetics. Not so keen on Taylors, so would prefer alternatives as above. You have plenty of time later to read threads about top tier soaps. If you want a taster of the really top soaps, look at Eufros, e.g. Gea, Zanzibar, Fougere or Ylang Ylang. Email Manuel at magafe_es@yahoo.es
 
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#4
If you can wait a little I'd buy off AliExpress and my hot tips would be these:

Yintal razor, solid brass handle, efficient - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Raz...lgo_pvid=f8afb63f-b0ef-4318-a71c-5cf774e17938

Yaqi 26mm synthetic brush - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/26M...lgo_pvid=cf6ac705-b7a4-4f9a-8d86-5ed4c5e8334e

I have both the above and can thoroughly recommend them. For razor blades I'd probably go for Personna Platinum "Red" (though in a blue box) but plenty of other views and possibles here. Start with 50.

You will get many recommendations for mass market soaps and creams like Proraso, Tabac, Cella, Arko etc. because they're cheap and thought to be "good for beginners". I would ignore all of these mediocre products and get one really good starter soap/cream. The cheapest decent one I'd recommend is Gentlemans Face Care Club Bergamot and Neroli. Very easy to lather and a good scent. It's soft, so pick up a little with your finger and smear it on either cheek and then face lather. The Yaqi synthetic brushes are as good as it gets for lathering. Ignore badger, boar etc etc. not only for environmental reasons but because they are no better and require pre-soaking, drying etc. which synthetics don't.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Luxury-B...h=item3b1d0de9f9:g:ckcAAOSwOuBblWJ0:rk:1:pf:0

I'd also recommend Mitchell's Wool Fat (MWF) in a puck for which you'll need a tin. MWF is a top tier soap, one of the very best.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mitchell...h=item3d607e477d:g:BM4AAOSwkRJa1MLa:rk:8:pf:0

It's always useful to have some tins ready, since pucks are an economical way to buy top tier artisan soaps.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-x-250ml-Aluminium-Tin-Silver-Round-Containers-with-EPE-Lined-Screw-Lid/232622974288?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

If you literally can't wait, I'd agree with Drew's suggestion of the Merkur 34C and a synthetic brush, which to me says Yaqi. I have a couple of 24mm Yaqis which are fine but the 26mm is even nicer. You pretty much can't go wrong with Yaqi synthetics. Not so keen on Taylors, so would prefer alternatives as above. You have plenty of time later to read threads about top tier soaps. If you want a taster of the really top soaps, look at Eufros, e.g. Gea, Zanzibar, Fougere or Ylang Ylang. Email Manuel at magafe_es@yahoo.es
Great detailed post above, but fairly subjective.

Many of the comments made here are the commentors biases, and not necessarily agreed by all.

"Ignore badger, boar etc etc. not only for environmental reasons but because they are no better and require pre-soaking, drying etc. which synthetics don't" Is mostly true, although most kit, especially when it comes to brushes, is extremely subjective. Personally I like badger brushes. I don't mind having to soak them, although I'd admit that my tuxedo synthetic is easier, but I don't get the same enjoyment from using a synth as a badger. Boars I can take or leave, where many love. My first brush was an £8 omega boar (10049) from Amazon and I still use it, and it really is excellent quality too. Some people pay more than £200 For a brush. I never have.

People's views on "top tier soaps" are also all over the place. My personal opinion is that you don't get as good creams as hard soaps. Great creams can replicate the cushion of a good soap, but generally have nowhere near the same slickness. I haven't tried them all mind ;)

Some people say MWF and D R Harris are awful to lather. I've never had a problem.
Some say only artisan soaps are the way to go, but of all the soaps I've owned, the only ones which have been sold onwards are artisan. Maybe as they keep a little value, but also because I wasn't fussed. But then my favourite soap is by Stirling, USA made, and artisan. Not the cheapest but very good quality. I'd never pay £30-40 for a soap, no matter how amazing or which artisan. The £10-20 range will get you something nice.

For razors, personally vintage is the way to go. They tend to be cheaper than modern DE razors and do the same job. Don't waste your time buying damaged or fixer-uppers from eBay though - get something nice. Pay a little more if necessary. Or as others have mentioned, Merkur, Muhle and Edwin Jagged will do you a modern one for less than £40 which will give a great shave, and Yaqi are even cheaper.

Pretty much all the stuff you buy will work, so just get something not too expensive and give it a go. Learning better technique will make more difference anyway.
 
#5
There's a great shop in the Picadilly Arcade. Pick up a cheapish badger brush and Merkur razor and some blades and some Prorasso soap.

Saves faffing about waiting for the postman.

Job jobbed.

While you're down that way have a look round Trumpers, Taylor Of Old Bond St, Truefitt & Hill and D R Harris. You can sniff everything they stock.

You might even find something in one of those instead.

Sent from my F5321 using Tapatalk
 
#7
Great detailed post above, but fairly subjective. Many of the comments made here are the commentors biases, and not necessarily agreed by all.
ALL the posts on this thread will be subjective and will contain the commentator's biases. User satisfaction is a totally subjective thing - there are no absolutes. It's misleading to think any one post is more or less subjective than all the others, however you can get a better idea by comparing a number of different posts on the same topic to see if a consensus appears. Here's a review of 70 soaps which I largely agree with and gives you a reasonably reliable reference for what a top tier soap is. Subjective of course but supported for the most part by a lot of other threads and posts about soap makers. I'd say it's a worthwhile read. USA centric but does cover soap makers available in Europe.

https://theshaveden.com/forums/threads/reviews-of-70-soaps.57343/

As for brushes, you'll have to make up your own mind whether badgers are still needed at a time when synthetics like Yaqi have never been so good and maintenance free. As Dansco points out, there's always a case to be made for a Gillette classic like the Tech or the Slim/Fatboy/Super Adjustable. And equally for more recent adjustables like the Merkur Progress or "systems" like the Rockwell 6C with a number of different top plates giving you different degrees of efficiency. As for blades you'll never get a consensus though this is a good read

https://www.refinedshave.com/razor-blade-sharpness-summary/
 
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#10
@Drew71 - Merkur 34 and the 38 are basically the same razor and provide both provide the same result. Is that correct? The only difference is the handle size? Tks


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I prefer the shorter handle on the 34c as I find it easier to manoeuvre around my face. Some people prefer the longer handle and extra weight of the 38. Either one is an excellent choice tho. Just depends what you prefer. I still occasionally use mine and get excellent shaves with it. This all comes with practice and technique. Just remember whatever you choose to let the weight of the razor do the work and don't use any pressure.
 
#11
ALL the posts on this thread will be subjective and will contain the commentator's biases. User satisfaction is a totally subjective thing - there are no absolutes. It's misleading to think any one post is more or less subjective than all the others, however you can get a better idea by comparing a number of different posts on the same topic to see if a consensus appears. Here's a review of 70 soaps which I largely agree with and gives you a reasonably reliable reference for what a top tier soap is. Subjective of course but supported for the most part by a lot of other threads and posts about soap makers. I'd say it's a worthwhile read. USA centric but does cover soap makers available in Europe.

https://theshaveden.com/forums/threads/reviews-of-70-soaps.57343/

As for brushes, you'll have to make up your own mind whether badgers are still needed at a time when synthetics like Yaqi have never been so good and maintenance free. As Dansco points out, there's always a case to be made for a Gillette classic like the Tech or the Slim/Fatboy/Super Adjustable. And equally for more recent adjustables like the Merkur Progress or "systems" like the Rockwell 6C with a number of different top plates giving you different degrees of efficiency. As for blades you'll never get a consensus though this is a good read

https://www.refinedshave.com/razor-blade-sharpness-summary/
So true mate! There's about a million opinions just on this forum to peruse!!

And the blades comment is spot on - everyone seems to like different stuff. I don't think there's that much difference between most of them
 
#13
Once you’ve bought the basics and shaved for a bit, put your name down for the newbie box. It’s a selection of soaps, razors, blades etc. with the only cost being £6 courier charge, to get the box to the next participant.

Link in my signature or it can be found within the welcome section of the forum.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
#14
If you're in a rush and on a budget:
Wilkinson Classic razor for a fiver from Boots
Synthetic shaving brush from Body Shop for £8 (or less if you can find a coupon online)
Palmolive shave-stick for 49p from Asda or 50p elsewhere or some shaving cream - plenty available.

Or go to Jermyn Street and shop in style and with a bigger wallet.
Sound advice. Keep it cheap to start with - see how you go!
 
#18
Astra sp's, voskhod, gillette rubies, polsilver if you can get them, gillette nacet, gillette silver blue all great blades and should find something you like in that mix. Feather, personna reds maybe worth a look too. As everyone will tell you something different. Blades are very subjective.
 
#19
I think that the EJ89 is a nicer razor than the Merkur but you’ll not go wrong with either. As others have said get a sample pack of blades as they’re very subjective.

Personally I’d recommend a synthetic brush, IMO you have to spend quite a bit to get a good badger but you can get a great synth for under £20. Palmolive soap is excellent and cheap as chips.
 
#20
I genuinely don't think there's that much difference between Maseto brushes off eBay and Simpson "Manchurian" hair. There's even less between Maseto Silvertip and Shavemac D01 3 band. I have both, the latter acquired recently, and I can't tell the difference

You'll get a great Maseto for £35-45.not much more than a similar size Yaqi synth.
 
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