Why I Wet Shave...

and why you should too!

Shaving Book Review Part Two

Shaving Book Review Part 2: Things Start to Look Up

Last week I wrote up a review of a few shaving books that are available.  This was done on a whim, but garnered enough feedback to continue.  The first shaving book review was broken down into three categories:

  1. The Good = Good content, well written, not overly skewed by personal opinion.  Good formatting, grammar, and spelling.   If a book has decent content and is presented in a easily readable format.
  2. The Bad = Poor content and/or poorly written.  Poor formatting, grammar, and spelling.  Not worth the price and also possibly heavily skewed by authors opinions.
  3. The Complete Wastes Of Your Money = Meets one of two criteria.  Either so badly written it doesn’t even qualify for The Bad category or is a reprint of material you can obtain for free.

While these are probably not the most nuanced of categories, I will keep using them for the rest of the review.  Without further ado, lets continue the bloodbath!

Check out the rest of the reviews here:

PART ONE:   Shaving Book Reviews:  The Good, The Bad, and The Complete Wastes Of Your Money

PART THREE: Shaving Book Review Part 3: Nearing the Finish Line


The Good

“Straight Razor Shaving”

Written by Larry Andreassen of WhippedDog.com.  Whipped Dog has been a resource for new and budget minded wet shavers for quite some time.  This is a free download available off of his site.  Link to download page is here.

PROS:  This is a FREE 18 page download detailing the basics of wet shaving and a bit about honing straight razors.

CONS:  The book is more applicable to straight razor shavers and advertises his shop a bit.

CONCLUSION:  It is more informative than most of the paid books available and it’s FREE.  Makes The Good list.


 SPARE THE FACE: Safety Razor Shaving, Acne And Skin Irritations

Written by Bruce Lubers.  Nice, if short, read on shaving with sensitive skin.  Advocates using a safety razor, brush, and soap as well as performing a one pass shave for those with sensitive skin.

PROS:  Well written little book that covers a particular aspect of shaving very well.

CONS:  Like most of the books reviewed, very short.  Does not go over causes of sensitive skin or what can cause flare ups.  No mention of straight razors given

CONCLUSION:  What this little book covers, it covers pretty well.  I would recommend it for The Good list.


 The Complete Beginners Guide To Shaving Brushes by Mens Shaving: Shave Great. Feel Amazing.

Written by Robert Gillespie of Men’s Shaving and The Perfect Shave.  This is an ebook that is available on the Amazons Kindle reader or App.

PROS:  This is a well written and formatted book that covers Mr. Gillespies experiences with shaving brushes.  This ebook has incorporated some pertinent videos into the e-book format which I feel is a nice touch.  There is also a nice list of resources for big name brushes (Simpson, Rooney, Vulfix, Kent, EJ, AoS).

CONS:  As with anything there are going to be a few things I don’t like or agree with.  This book states that you should only use a badger hair brush and that badger hair is the only brush that retains water when wet.  While badger hair may have the greatest capillary action, to say that it is the only one that retains water is incorrect.

Bases upon the preference towards badger hair knots there is no information on boar, horse, or synthetics.

The statement is also made that hard soaps are unhygienic.  It is clearly stated that it is a personal opinion.  However, this just strikes me as wrong.

Conclusion:  Well written report about Mr. Gillespies take on shaving brushes.  I don’t agree with all of his statements but he is upfront about these being his opinions.  I would really of liked to see more information on brush cleaning, differences in handle designs, and of course something other than badger knots.  Despite this, I would recommend this to someone new to wet shaving and in my opinion it barely makes The Good list due to it being a good resource on one aspect of shaving.

The Bad


 OLD SCHOOL SHAVING: Safety Razors, Straight Razors, Shaving Soaps, Shaving Brushes, Alum Blocs, Etc.

Written by Mike Albid and available in paperback and ebook edition on the Kindle platform.

PROS:  The book reads like someone who is talking about wet shaving to one of their buddies.  Based off of the book the author seems to be a straight razor enthusiast and gives sound (if very brief) advice.

CONS:   Very short book, almost a “booklet.”  Spelling and grammar is fine but, formatting (at least in the ebook format) isn’t that great.  Kind of a conversational rambling about wet shaving.  I would complain about the lack of chapters and headings, but it’s so short it doesn’t matter much.

CONCLUSION:  With the exception of writing off shavettes, the author seems to touch upon every aspect of wet shaving.  Unfortunately that is about the extent of the information offered.  A very short book with very little structure.  For the lack of information and lack of formatting this book gets assigned to “The Bad” list.  Save your money and look elsewhere.


 SAFETY RAZOR SHAVING: The Ins And Outs, Dos and Don’ts

This book was authored by Sam Shaver.  This book is an ebook available from amazon on the Kindle.

PROS:  Pretty obvious that this was written by an honest to goodness wet shaver and not a ghost writer or something similar.  Spelling and grammar are fine, format is a bunch of run on paragraphs, but still readable.  What information that is given is good, if basic.

CONS:  Like a lot of other ebooks, this almost qualifies as a booklet vice a book.  It’s about a 5 minute read.

CONCLUSION:  Short book with really basic information suitable for the very new wet shaver.  Due to the very short length of the book and the extremely basic information this is getting stuck into The Bad category.


 Shave Like A Man: How To Save Money On Shaving Products And Get The Best Shave Of Your Life.

By Leon Cutajar.  This is a book about shaving, not wet shaving per se.  As such it gives equal measure to cartridges and electric shavers.

Pros:  Good formatting and writing.

Cons:  Does not go in depth in any subject area.  Very short, almost a pamphlet instead of “book”

Conclusion:  Its not bad information per se, it just reminds me more of a few recycled Wikipedia articles than anything useful. Makes The Bad list.


The Complete Waste of Your Money Shaving Book


 Reducing Razor Burn: Shaving Sensitive Skin

Written by Andy Vartanan. This is an ebook that is available on the Amazon Kindle.

PROS:  Spelling is correct and for the length of the book the formatting isn’t bad.

CONS:  Very very very short.  Quite a few topics are touched on, but no depth at all.

CONCLUSION:  Hmm, this book is just bad.  Options to prevent razor burn are; grow a beard, use a single edge blade, use shave soap, drink more water, get more sleep, eat healthier foods.  Save your money, this book goes into the The Complete Waste of Money

Once again I hope this was of some help.  I felt a little better about this weeks lot of books.  I think I have one more book review post left to go.  If there is a book you want reviewed let me know.

Before I wrap up, I wanted to ask you a favor.  If you liked this article and found it helpful please like, share, or comment below to help spread the word.  Have a great day and a smooth shave!







Shaving Book Reviews:  The Good, The Bad, and The Complete Wastes Of Your Money


Shaving Book Review Part Three: Nearing the Finish Line


  1. I like your review style: short and to the point and honest.

    I’ll draw you attention to The Art of the Straight-Razor Shave (.PDF), by Chris Moss. Obviously, the focus is straight-razor shaving. It’s also available as a printed book from Lulu.com.

    • I have read his PDF. It’s on my list for the next review post. Dr. Moss is a very knowledgeable individual and seems to enjoy sharing his knowledge with others. I had not realized he was offering a hardcover copy as well. I will make sure and include that as well.

    • As far as the review style, for better or worse I have always been a little more upfront and blunt about subjects. For the most part it has served me well, but it makes the distance from foot to mouth a little shorter at times as well 🙂

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