I've been using an electric razor with cartridge razors as my backups but I'm tired of razor burn, not-so-close shaves, and having to buy new razors. I'd like to try switching to a safety razor. I'm a college student currently without very much money, so I'd like to get one fairly cheap. What are some good models? Can I get a good one for thirty bucks or less?
Actual razors themselves can be dirt-cheap. You can find scores of them at flea-markets if you look long enough. $30.00 for a second-hand razor seems entirely possible. But be sure that you CLEAN the razor THOROUGHLY before you use it.
You bet! Check Amazon for "safety razor" and you'll find a bunch with great reviews that are around $30 and under. And welcome to the club - in time, you're going to absolutely love it!
Even if you don't find one that cheap, know that a quality razor will last you forever. See the AoM blog post (here) on how buying quality will save money over time.
I actually just bought one this weekend for $60. I know it will last, and I can buy blades for $.25. Not too shabby! Did my first shave yesterday and it was great.
Spend the money and buy a good razor. I use and Edwin Jaggar DE89. You can pick them up for less than $40 bucks online.
Where you save your money is with the blades. I use Feather blades from Japan. You can buy a package of 100 on Amazon for $30 bucks. If you shave daily and change your blade every other day, You'll only spend $60 a year on blades and that's MUCH less than you're spending on that electric razor.
Also, get some Proraso shaving soap in a tube (also from amazon). A shaving mug and a good boar hair brush. (Around $50-100) Believe me. This is money well spent. I use Barbasol Menthol for days when I don't have time to mix up a lather.
There are lots of videos on Youtube that will demonstrate the technique of lathering and shaving. Look up "Wet shave".
You are making a good decision. Good luck!
There are a few OK razors for under $30: the Lord L6 and the ReMei are under $15 and will do for a start. For $15-$30 there's the Wilkinson Sword, the Feather Popular, and the Weishi. You can find all those razors on Amazon. But $30-40 will get you a substantially better razor. Some of the Edwin Jagger and Parker brands have some decent razors: the EJ DE89"x" (where "x" is a handle type) and the Parker 92R are stand-outs.
Or you could try finding a vintage razor, maybe from an older relative? Gillette SuperSpeeds are still out there in bathroom drawers!
As Garrett mentioned you'll want to get yourself a good shaving cream, preferably one that's applied with a shaving brush (though there are some decent "brushless" products as well.
In any event, if you're changing from electric to wet there *will* be an adjustment period where your face will be telling you "WTF?" Hang in there, it'll get better.
I have some videos that may help make the transition easier: http://www.youtube.com/user/mantic59
To Mantic, "Some" translates as a few dozen. You're in good hands, Hyrum. The Shaving Guru has found your thread.
I hear you bud. I'm in the military and having to shave everyday and have it look neat is a pain both in the pocket book and on my face so I made the same switch you did about a year ago to this Razor and these Razor blades. Its nice because the blades are double sided, so you get four shaves per blade. So the fact that it is a 100 count, you get 400 shaves (more than a years worth) for $10.
The biggest thing is not just to wash your face bu SCRUB you face before you shave with hot water and a wash cloth and whatever face soap you use. It'll soften your whiskers and dig out the ones that might get ingrown.
Wow, Eric, thanks for the tip on the blades - that's the best price I've seen - good brand, too.
Is a vintage Superspeed a good razor? How does it compare to more expensive models?
Most vintage razors from major manufacturers (Merkur, Gilette, etc) are highly regarded. I doubt you could go wrong with any one of them. The important thing is how well it works and how much attention you give to cleaning the razor after you've bought it.
Welcome! I just started DE shaving a few weeks ago. Like you, I came from an electric. I picked up a 1960 Gillette Fatboy from ebay for about $35. A good razor that you can "work your way up" on. I'd really recommend checking out badgerandblade.com. There is a ton of info there and a forum for buying/selling. A lot of good razors in your price range are available there. As far as blades, there are many to choose from. I started with Astra SP blades, which are very nice, and fairly forgiving for the n00b. I just started using Feather blades a few days ago. They are probably the sharpest blades available, and not very forgiving, but they will help you get the technique down, as mistakes will become quickly apparent.
When you start, give yourself plenty of time. It look me about 30 minutes to shave starting off. I'm down to about 20 minutes now. TAKE YOUR TIME! If you rush, you will have a bad experience. Don't use pressure. The weight of the razor is all you need. Lastly, prep is the most important part. If you don't prep your whiskers well, you won't have a good shave. Best of luck to you! Welcome to the club!
Shahan's right - a vintage Gillette is cheap as chips - the reason they have no value is that they were mass produced, but, the engineering was perfect. If you truly want a new one, then I had a chrome Merkur, bought at a barber supply shop, that gave a fantastic shave. (But alas, the edges corroded after a few months of misuse - ?! a Gillette wouldn't have done that.)
I found this place online for reasonably-priced razors - http://www.classicshaving.com/Safety_Razors.html
and for $30, you can get 120 double-edged blades, at about half the cost you'd pay retail. They're Personna, the brand barbers buy.