Why I Wet Shave...

and why you should too!

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Range Leather Kickstarter

Travellr Razor Case Review

I was contacted by Kyle Koster of Range Leather to see if I would be interested in reviewing a custom leather safety razor case that he is currently launching on Kickstarter.  Naturally I said YES 🙂  You can check out the Kickstarter campaign here:  Travellr – Travel Bag & Razor Case and store site at the link above.  At the time of this writing the Kickstarter had already reached its initial goal.

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The Clean Shave Co Razor

The Clean Shave Co: Razor and Brush Review

I few weeks back Joe from The Clean Shave Co reached out to me to get my opinion on the safety razor and badger hair brush that he offers.  Joe had only recently popped up on my radar and I was curious as to what kind of products he was offering.  I gladly accepted and offered to write up a short review of my experience.  To be honest, I had no idea what kind of product Joe was selling and decided to wait and see the products first hand without doing any research so I could form an unbiased opinion.  **Full Disclaimer:  I did not pay for this product, and received it in exchange for my opinion of the product.**

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A short time later I received a package from Joe.  The brush and razor arrived in one of those “book wrap” type packages and was well packed.  Upon opening everything was in great shape and there was no damage to the contents.  Upon opening the brush and razor boxes it became apparent that while the razor and brush are well made, they were targeted toward newer wet shavers who were willing to pay for a quality item, but didn’t want to blow the budget on a new hobby.  This was right up my alley as my blog is focused on people new to the hobby.  Lets get to the review!

Razor

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The Clean Shave (TCS) razor is a classic three piece safety razor designed to accept double edge safety razor blades.  The head is what would be considered a variant of the Edwin Jagger design.  This is a tried and true design that performs well for this razor.  The razor has a nice heft and weighs in at 106 grams (the handle weighs in at 70 grams ) on my kitchen scale.  The handle has a knurled pattern that helps with grip while not being overly aggressive.  Included was a 5 pack of the Gillette 7 O’clock DE blades.

I decided to use the included DE blades when trying out the razor.  I performed my first shave with the TCS razor with two days of beard growth to see how it could handle itself.  I performed a full three pass shave and I have to say that things went rather well.  I had one weeper from a pimple that got mowed down, but besides that everything went very well.  I performed my post shave ritual with my alum block and had no stinging sensation at all.  I used the TSC razor daily for the rest of the week and came to find it to be a nice and mild razor that shaves very well.

Brush

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The TCS brush is comprised of a black resin handle with a badger hair knot.  The brush weighs in at 70 grams.  I didn’t have anything handy to measure with, so I don’t have any dimensions for handle and loft height. The handle is solid and well finished with no casting lines or imperfections.  The knot itself is, according to the packaging, made of “best badger” grade badger hair.  “Best Badger” grade is a mid to low grade of badger hair found in low and mid price point brushes.  I was a little hesitant about the brush due to the hit or miss nature of lower end brushes but was pleasantly surprised by how well it performed.  Over the course of a week I found the brush performed well as a bowl latherer and had enough backbone to be a decent face lathering brush as well.  The badger hair is fairly soft, though I did experience a few mild pokes while face lathering, but nothing that would be considered a detriment at this price point.  I did not have any issues with badger hair falling out of the brush knot, though this could change with extended use.

Summary

In summary, the razor and brush are great beginners items.  These are well made and if someone didn’t buy anything else would serve them well for many years.  These are not for the experienced wet shaver looking to expand thier collection, but wouldn’t be a bad starter set for a friend or family member.  The razor and brush are being sold on the main vendor website  and on Amazon.com.

 

Have a great day and a smooth shave!

Matt

DIY Episode #1: Basic Safety Razor Cleaning

We are trying something a little different and kicking off a DIY series for wet shaving gear.  This week’s episode is all about how to clean up a vintage safety razor with household items.

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DIY Episode #2: Simple Straight Razor Cleanup

DIY Episode #2: Simple Straight Razor Cleanup

We are trying something a little different and kicking off a DIY series for wet shaving gear.  This week’s episode is all about how to clean up a vintage straight razor with household items.

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Shined Blackbird razor

Following up with Shane Swartzlander of Blackland Razors

Awhile back I had the opportunity to interview the owner of Blackland Razors, Shane Swartzlander, which had an active kickstarter (see Kickstarter here ) campaign going to produce the Blackbird Safety Razor. If you like, you can check out the past interview.  In the interest of full disclosure, I backed his successful Kickstarter campaign and have been very pleased with the razor.

I wanted to touch base with Shane and and see how things had gone on his end, if he would of done something different, what users are saying, plans for the future…. generally pump him for all of the information I could 🙂

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Bunny Razor

Potential New Razor; The Bunny Injector

I would like to introduce you all to Tom White.  Tom is the man behind a possible new injector razor he designed and machined in his spare time.  Thinking to share his tinkering with some forum friends he seems to have inadvertently started a small movement to try and produce his new razor.  I asked Tom if he would be willing to share a few words on his new injector model and he kindly agreed.

1) On the off chance that readers don’t know who you are, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you fit into the wet shaving community?

My name is Tom White. I am 53 years old. I am married and have 2 kids. A girl and boy. Actually they are adults now. I live in the same city I grew up in.

I have been a Machinist for 36 years now. Never really wanted to do anything else. I love making stuff.

As for hobbies I only have a couple. My favorite one for the past 10 years has been making telescopes and going out to schools and Libraries. We show people the stars. I have ground and polished 6 so far. They are all reflector type telescopes. Also, a few years ago I started flying dual line and glider kites.

My newest hobby is shaving and collecting razors.

2) Can you tell the readers anything about your struggles when starting wet shaving or anything you struggle with now?

I need to clarify my wet shaving here. 3 years ago my wife bought me a Futur razor and AoS soaps and balms for my birthday.  I used this setup for my shave exclusively until September of this past year. That is when I found The Shave Den Forum. I lurked around there for a week or so. Then I had a few questions so I joined.

I have always had trouble getting a nice clean shave under my jaw.  Sure enough I soon had tons of very useful advice. I was able to get far better results with my DE’s, but still not to what I wanted.  In mid November I purchased my first injector, a Schick E2.

My first shave with that and I was sold on injectors. It was the first shave that I did not have to struggle getting my jaw.  It is still the only place that gives me trouble but a bit less as the months go by.

bunny razor injector comparison

Bunny V1 compared to standard injectors

3) What is your current go to shave set up?

My current setup consists of obviously; Razor – My Bunny V3 or (B-V3) as most people are not to keen on Bunny for a name for a manly piece of equipment.

Brush – I am partial to Boar. I have a WhippedDog 24mm set in a handle of my own making.

Soap – I rotate between MWF and Tabac. I love the slickness of these. The smell is great too.

After Shave – I prefer the cheap stuff. VIBR, Aqua Velva and Brut. I have good stuff for when I want to make the wife happy.

4) How has the wet shaving hobby changed since you started?

As I have only been at it for 6 months. Not much has changed in the hobby. For me personally. I started off getting old Gillettes. I prefer the open combs. They are smoother shavers for me.

Once I found the injectors and SE’s I was sold on them.

5) When did you start thinking about creating your own razor?

As stated earlier I tried my first injector in mid November. I promptly bought several other models. Repeaters B and C’s. I found them to be great shaves. Also had a M that when dialed up gave me a nice shave. By mid December I was thinking about trying to make one.

I started asking some questions on the Forum trying to get useful intel. I decided I would just incorporate the best features of my stand out razors. After all it was just for me. So I thought. By January 1 of this year I made the first post of my injector.

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6) What features were you looking to incorporate?

When I first decided to make the Bunny I only had a couple of things I wanted. First was an open comb. The second was a design that was easy to machine. To have as few parts as possible. I ended up with 5 components total.

As I was designing the first version V1 I realized that my comb design was easily adaptable to be adjustable. Talking with Billyfergie, he told me that moving the comb forward and back was an efficient way to make it adjustable. So I made a slight change in the head design to allow the comb adjustment.

I tried to figure out a simple way to make a true adjustable.  I soon realized that I would have to make many more components to achieve that.  So I settled on the interchangeable combs.

I am sure there will be more refinements to come. I am waiting to get feedback from the pass-arounds.  Then I can evaluate the true relevant changes that need to be made. As everybody has their own ideas for aesthetics, that is less important than making a really good shaver.

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7) What do you feel makes the Bunny Razor stand out / makes it unique?

To me it is simply my creation. I wanted to see if I could make an injector that would actually shave and not maim me. I posted the progress thinking it would make for some interesting reading nothing more. To my amazement people were actually interested in trying it.

8) What is the story behind the name Bunny razor?  Is it permanent?

This is a silly story. There was a Repeater type C on Ebay. It had Bunny Kelman engraved on it. I won it so the name stuck with the repeater club.  That is it.

9) What are the technical specifications of the Bunny?

Material used is 6061 Aluminum for the body and comb. Full hard spring Bronze for the springs. Stainless steel thumb screw.

Razor overall length is 109 mm

Weight is 61 grams

Razor will take the standard single blade and also the twin injector blades.

Bunny Razor - One Piece in process machining

10) Would you like to give anyone in particular a shoutout or a honorable mention?

First and foremost there are 3 that stand out. I will list alphabetically by TSD names.

  • Billyfergie – for agreeing to be the first to test my razor. He is the SE and injector guru. His opinion and feedback was incredible.
  • Darkbulb – For being the driving force in getting me to to make a few to pass around.
  • Karl G – For being so incredibly supportive. He gave me great input for the B-V3. Also for  his keen input for the possible direction to take.

The entire TSD Forum members. They all have had nothing but positive suggestions and input. The razor is really a family creation in my opinion.  Thanks guys.

11) For someone new to this community, how do they get the most out of it?

That is an easy one. Do not be shy. Ask tons of questions. You will get very sound advise The people here will soon be your family.

12)  Has anything surprised you about producing a product, or the response of the wet shaving community?

Yes, I am blown away by the positive responses from people. The willingness to try the razor and give feedback good or bad.

As for the razor. I am stunned as to how fast this all came together. I had my first razor done in 2 weeks. Right out of the box it did what I was hoping it would do. It was a smooth and efficient shave.

13)  Where do you hope to see the Bunny Razor, and yourself, in 5 years from now?

This is a hard question. As it is in its infancy still. There is no telling what if anything will become of it. In the perfect situation I would love to be able to be making a few hundred a year. Injector users are a very small subgroup of shavers. There really is not a large market for them as I see it. It would be more of a cool hobby being able to make them. Not a new career.

As for me, maybe I will have thought of something else to try and make in the shaving world. I really don’t know. I kind of take things as they come and enjoy that.

14) What are some of the challenges you foresee in the near future as far as producing the Bunny Razor?

First there is the issue of seeing if I am legally allowed to be making these. As there are several designs of razors that I took inspiration from. The obvious can I afford to even produce them. That is a huge leap for me and my family. I need to think of them first.

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15) Where can we go if we want to keep up to date on developments of the Bunny?

I am posting on 2 Fora (Forums) your choice.

The Shave Den under SE and injector. There are several threads now following the pass arounds. There are razors in the following. UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, and two in the US. One in the Western and one back East.  You can also follow it on The Shaving Room This is a UK based Forum. They are the main group for the UK and European pass around.

Darkbulb started an Instagram and Twitter account for it also. There is also a great timeline on the shave blog Be Shaved.

 

Well, I know my interest is peaked and I am on the North America West Coast pass around list.  Can’t wait to give it a go!  If you have any questions about the razor, head over to Communities page and find The Shave Den forum.  Some good folks who will steer you the right way.

As always, if you found this to be helpful or interesting please pass it along.

Until next time, Have a great day and a smooth shave!

Matt

shaving brush exfoliation

A shaving brush doesn’t exfoliate your skin; A rebuttal

One thing that is constant in the wet shaving world is that not everyone is going to agree on the “how” or the “why” of various aspects of our obsession hobby.  To be honest, it can be both refreshing and/or aggravating depending on the topic.  One such topic that bothers me, is the statement that the use of a shaving brush does NOT exfoliate your skin.  Instead of brooding or writing a terse comment on someone else’s blog, forum post, or Facebook group, I thought I would present my reasoning in an article of my own.  Because if you have a blog, why not use it 🙂

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alum block

Shaving alum: what it is, why you should use it

Shaving alum is a common ingredient used in post shaving routines and for shaving nicks and weepers.  Today we are going to go over what alum is, what it’s good for, and clear up some confusion regarding it’s use.

When wet shavers start to talk about alum most think of an alum block and some version of a styptic pencil.  I thought the same thing, and found out I was only partially correct as I was researching this article.  Alum blocks ARE made from alum, but it appears that modern day shaving styptics are no longer exclusively formulated with an alum component.

Read on to find out more.

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TSP icon

Basics of Shaving: The “Three Pass Shave”

An important concept in wet shaving is reducing your hair follicle length with what is referred to as “multiple pass reduction”.  This is commonly referred to as a “ Three Pass Shave ”.  This consists of reducing your beard using multiple passes of the razor from different angles of attack.  Shaving with multiple passes helps the user achieve a closer shave without irritating the skin. 

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cleaning razor with toothbrush

Down & Dirty Razor Restoration

In today’s world of wet-shaving, there’s a tremendous value and quality in choosing to use a vintage made razor for your daily use. Companies like Gillette, Gem, Schick and many others produced extremely well made double edge and single edge razors for decades before today’s resurgence and popularity in traditional shaving methods.

However, safely using and restoring a 50+ year old razor can mean hours of research online and conflicting opinions and techniques. And more often than not, you’ll be left confused and unwilling to even take the plunge and try a classic shaver.

Worry not, restoring and using a vintage razor can be carried out with household products you may already have. In today’s article, we’ll break down the do’s and don’ts of razor restoration that will leave your prized shaver sparkling and ready for daily usage.

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