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View Full Version : Which aspect of shaving does "YMMV" effect the most?



Teddyboy
12-24-2011, 10:47 AM
I'm curious which aspect of shaving BBers think vary the most according to personal preferences.

For me, it's the razor blades. It's not easy for me to hear how one blade can be great for Joe but cuts up Al. But hey, that's just me.

There is no "all of the above" choice because I want responders to opine about which they feel is most important variable. It is clear that all of the above have a dramatic effect on shave quality, but I prefer to have more specific responses.

doug1066
12-24-2011, 10:55 AM
I believe that it is blades. While some have problems with certain soaps or creams, the blades seem to be the one variable in which there is little consensus. Many love Feathers, I like them in my Tech but find them no better and actually worse than an Astra SP or a Red IP in my other DEs.

ChicagoMoose
12-24-2011, 11:02 AM
I think its technique. Two people can have the same razor, blades, soap, etc. and have drastically different results.

barneykiller
12-24-2011, 11:58 AM
Razor blades for sure

kingfisher
12-24-2011, 12:00 PM
I couldn't vote because there'e no place for "All of the Above."

TallyShave
12-24-2011, 12:04 PM
No all of the above? I realize the question is "most" but I think it really affects them all. It still baffles me how many people don't accept the concept though.

MeanGene
12-24-2011, 12:08 PM
I'd say out of the choices, razor blades are the one variable that has the most varied results. I've tried more than my fair share of different brands and for me, it always comes down to the Feather being best for my beard.

OldSaw
12-24-2011, 12:45 PM
Lathering products are most likely to react differently with different water and different skin types. While YMMV may affect preference in the blade category, most of us could muddle through with a blade that we don't prefer, but a bad reaction to a certain lathering product is definitely a deal breaker.

mdw15
12-24-2011, 12:55 PM
Blades, and right behind blades, razors.

mhdena
12-24-2011, 01:32 PM
All of the above.

noahpictures
12-24-2011, 01:36 PM
Blades.

Sledgehammer39
12-24-2011, 02:02 PM
Razor Blades!

N2theBreech
12-24-2011, 02:03 PM
Blades. I only have one razor, and with my beard it appears as though I'm confined to the few blades at the sharp end of the blade continuum. A more agressive razor might make it easier to use a wider range.

cb91710
12-24-2011, 02:32 PM
I couldn't vote because there'e no place for "All of the Above."
+1

Of that list, I'd say that probably the least important would be the brush.
The razor and blade are both dependent on technique.
The soap or cream perhaps less so, but there are still variations...
Too much or not enough water?
Not enough brush loading?
Not enough time spent lathering?
Hardness of water?

Go West Young Man
12-24-2011, 02:36 PM
I'm curious which aspect of shaving BBers think vary the most according to personal preferences.

For me, it's the razor blades. It's not easy for me to hear how one blade can be great for Joe but cuts up Al. But hey, that's just me.
.


There's a set of electron microscope pictures of various blade edges on another board out there that shows just different every blade brand really is.
It's actually amazing how different every edge is up close.

BTJR99
12-24-2011, 02:49 PM
I would also go with all of the above.

OldSaw
12-24-2011, 09:12 PM
I have a hard time believing these results. There's so much debate that goes on about MWF, Williams, and other lathering products. Is there a weekly blade bashing thread with Top Gumby writing cute little ditties? I don't think so, but there is the endless Williams debate threads.

santamariasteve
12-24-2011, 11:19 PM
Blades, their comfort and their durability, is the biggest variable in wet shaving.

bkfist
12-25-2011, 05:54 AM
I'm reading the OP's question as talking about the YMMV principle, I read that as the "one person loves it, another person hates it", NOT "Which item can affect your shave the most"...

Although I do think the blade can affect the shave more than most other items, I think blades see much more common ground that what the responses indicate. There are exceptions, Derby, for example, but often when blade choices come into question it is more based on price than actual performance. It seems like those who report to like the more controversial blades are looking for the best "value". When the low-priced/less (generally) loved blades get discussed in a positive light it's often more of a "These blades are very good for me, and they are CHEAP" not that the blade is the best they have ever used.

I see soap as being a far more YMMV item. Among just a few variable in the soaps are the local water supply of the person using the soap, the scent, the slickness, the cushion density, the stability of the lather (or lack of it when talking Williams), the person's expectations of how the soap should perform, what kind of brush they are using, are they face lathering or bowl lathering, loading from the puck, or applying directly to the face "shave stick style", certain ingredients that some want to avoid (SLS, parabens), ease of loading, not to mention the same type of people as in the blade example who factor *cost* into the equation when evaluating how good or bad something is... each of these drastically affects the individual's perception of the performance of the soap (or cream).

I have a water softener, so my water is always perfectly soft. The soaps that I get wonderful results from, might be really meh for someone in a hard water area. On the converse of this, a soap that someone else who has terribly hard water just LOVES, will still lather at least as well for me as it does for them, but the ones that do NOT lather well for them in the hard water will (often) lather BETTER than their favorite soap for me.

If we were talking "what affects the shave the most" I would vote blades, but since we are talking what epitomizes YMMV, I've got to vote for soaps/creams.

ackvil
12-25-2011, 05:54 AM
Blades, their comfort and their durability, is the biggest variable in wet shaving.

+1. Just ask a question about Feather and you will see. :wink:

michiganlover
12-25-2011, 06:01 AM
For me, it would have to be shaving cream/ shaving soap.

I am continuously baffled as to how anyone can like, (and willing use) Modern Williams. In my hands, it is absolute garbage, that has ZERO usage for shaving. The fact that some people actually like it (and willing use it given the 100's of other superior choices) is truly mind baffling.

I can use just about any well constructed brush, just about any well constructed razor, and just about any blade of decent quality.

CWX
12-25-2011, 06:55 AM
I'm going with blades. Not only does each blade react differently for each person, I find they are dramatically affected by the razor you use them with and the technique of the shaver.

OldSaw
12-25-2011, 09:42 AM
For me, it would have to be shaving cream/ shaving soap.

I am continuously baffled as to how anyone can like, (and willing use) Modern Williams. In my hands, it is absolute garbage, that has ZERO usage for shaving. The fact that some people actually like it (and willing use it given the 100's of other superior choices) is truly mind baffling.

I can use just about any well constructed brush, just about any well constructed razor, and just about any blade of decent quality.

I'll bet if the same question and same poll were taken 4-5 years ago the results would be more in line with this way of thinking. The Williams thing is just one example, but a good one as it is somewhat extreme. Perhaps I am simply out of touch, but most of my YMMV discussions over the years have been lather product related.

talibeard
12-25-2011, 02:46 PM
Though I think YMMV applies almost as much for soaps/creams I have to go for blades. Maybe there is less debate about blades (compared to certain soaps) because we accept the YMMV-principle more concerning blades. Usually statements on blades are followed by the polite YMMV-phrase while the soap debates tend to be a little harsher (Williams comes to mind, yes, but some others can stirr up things as well). It is probably as hard to believe I get a perfect and stable Williams lather as it is for me to believe it doesn't work at all for some others.

But what boggles my mind most is when somebody lists 3 great blades that I like as well but comes up with my all times fav blade and calls it the worst he encountered. It is very hard to see the coherence in some peoples lists because it is packed with blades in all my categories; from totally useless to great all in a row.

shaverjoe
12-25-2011, 02:55 PM
+1 for blades​

OldSaw
12-25-2011, 05:27 PM
Though I think YMMV applies almost as much for soaps/creams I have to go for blades. Maybe there is less debate about blades (compared to certain soaps) because we accept the YMMV-principle more concerning blades. Usually statements on blades are followed by the polite YMMV-phrase while the soap debates tend to be a little harsher (Williams comes to mind, yes, but some others can stirr up things as well). It is probably as hard to believe I get a perfect and stable Williams lather as it is for me to believe it doesn't work at all for some others.

But what boggles my mind most is when somebody lists 3 great blades that I like as well but comes up with my all times fav blade and calls it the worst he encountered. It is very hard to see the coherence in some peoples lists because it is packed with blades in all my categories; from totally useless to great all in a row.

This is probably where I am out of touch then. I have locked in on two(2) blades, Feather and Red IP, and rarely engage in blade specific conversations. I see no value in tinkering with this so I buy my blades in hundred packs and don't give it much thought.

Lathering products, on the other hand, have kept my attention continually since joining B&B. On the two hour drive to my parents house today my wife asked how I liked the shave soap that our youngest bought me for Christmas and we got talking about all the soaps and creams I have used since joining B&B. Neither one of us can think of one that I bought twice and I still have many others to try out yet.

So perhaps I'm an anomaly or maybe the lather scouts are too busy in the cream and soap forums to weigh in.

Crixus
12-25-2011, 05:50 PM
This will be seen as a blasphemous statement on here: 98% of the problems/likes/dislikes with blades stems DIRECTLY from the relatively recent explosion of blade samplers and worldwide internet ordering. Do you think Joe Dimaggio was trying out 35 different DE blades? Or Patton? I think not.

Of the YMMV categories listed in the poll, put me strong down for creams and soaps. The ability and/or inability to get good performance out of various products is a major factor--but I think our individual sense of smell is an even stronger dividing line. Just look at a few of the usual suspects that get either kissed or flogged based on scent alone: Tabac; rose anything; TOBS Avocado; patchouli; DR Harris Marlborough, etc...

cb91710
12-25-2011, 06:36 PM
This will be seen as a blasphemous statement on here: 98% of the problems/likes/dislikes with blades stems DIRECTLY from the relatively recent explosion of blade samplers and worldwide internet ordering. Do you think Joe Dimaggio was trying out 35 different DE blades? Or Patton? I think not.
There was also a different standard for "good shave" in those days.

We've been striving for the BBS with an irritation-free ATG pass, and many of us have been able to do that consistently with multiblade carts. When I use the M3 or Fusion, I run 100% ATG... The only time I start with a WTG pass is when I've mowing a 3+ day's growth, and that's only because of the excessive clogging of the cart if I start out ATG.
So what we really want is to feel no stubble when we rub our hands ATG... 50+ years ago, a "good shave" was one that left no visible stubble on a fair-haired man.
My father was an electric shaver and was always happy with that. When on vacation, he'd use an injector... strictly WTG, and his "freshly shaven" look matched the electric.

I've never been happy with my results from either an electric, or from a pure WTG pass. Both of those leave me with my normal 24-hour growth from an ATG BBS.

So IMHO, the "YMMV" issue and epidemic of irritation and "bad shaves" comes from a couple of sources... bad technique developed through years of pivoting-head cart shaving, and expectations that exceed the skill level of the relative novice

I prefer my straights. Been using them for a couple of months now, and just a couple of nights ago, did my first straight headshave.
The Fusion still gives me a closer, more BBS than the straights... but the difference is, 12 hours later, the straight shave is then better than the Fusion shave.
Can't really explain it, if it's closer at 5 minutes, it should be closer at 5+ hours, but it's not.


For me anyways.

YMMV :wink:

dpmtherrien
12-25-2011, 08:45 PM
Of the choices given I'd say blades the most, but really just about anything shave related could apply. :001_tongu :wink2:

Bigsurprise
12-25-2011, 10:58 PM
I think YMMV applies the most to technique. Imo everything else is trivial(not counting allergic reactions to products).

kg0mz
12-26-2011, 09:24 AM
Probably all of the above, but it seems to me that razors trump all else in terms or YMMV. YMMV.

stiletto
12-26-2011, 09:35 AM
This will be seen as a blasphemous statement on here: 98% of the problems/likes/dislikes with blades stems DIRECTLY from the relatively recent explosion of blade samplers and worldwide internet ordering. Do you think Joe Dimaggio was trying out 35 different DE blades? Or Patton? I think not.

I don't think it's the sampler packs. Rather, it's the internet which now makes it easy for us crazies to find and encourage one another. I'm sure Joe Dimaggio would have tried 35 blades if his teammates were routinely debating the merits of Gillette over derby.


BTW: I voted for brushes. People seem to be all over the place in terms of what there like best. One guy will be all into 18-20mm, another 28-30mm. Granted, this will not affect the shave as much as other factors, but it is a HUGE difference in terms of experience.

Crixus
12-26-2011, 11:57 AM
I don't think it's the sampler packs. Rather, it's the internet which now makes it easy for us crazies to find and encourage one another. I'm sure Joe Dimaggio would have tried 35 blades if his teammates were routinely debating the merits of Gillette over derby.
No doubt! :laugh:


I mentioned the blade samplers and ease of ordering 35-40 different blades fueling the YMMV "dilemma" because without those these discussions on our various blade trials and tribulations wouldn't exist. If there were only two or three different blades easily accessible to us, the debates with our fellow shavers would be much different than what we read in the forums today. You'd go to the corner drug and pick up your pack of Gillettes or Personnas and you'd learn to make it work for you.

Go West Young Man
12-26-2011, 11:25 PM
Maybe not Joe Dimaggio, but Joe Blow in Paducah shaved with whatever he could buy locally. One, maybe 2 passes, strictly North-South/South-North, put toilet paper over the dozen or so cuts he got every day, and had 5 o'clock shadow so heavy he had to shave again before going out to dinner.

We just have different expectations around here.

Useless shaver
12-27-2011, 05:17 AM
I voted razor blades. It's amazing how huge the differences can be between shavers relating to blades.

.... also about Feather!!!:lol:

gstyle
12-27-2011, 05:44 AM
For me its the blades by a long way.

None of the other options have given me such a YMMV moment.

KeithS
12-27-2011, 06:48 AM
"YMMV " says it all. For me, it's soap/ cream Uberlather.

takeshi
12-27-2011, 07:26 AM
I couldn't vote because there'e no place for "All of the Above."+1. I don't think any one can be singled out. Just looking at the amount of discussion on each topic shows how they're all heavily affected (not effected) by YMMV.

bhorsoft
12-27-2011, 07:38 AM
I'm at the stage now where I can get a good shave with about anything, but I find the soap/cream the biggest variable in my shaving comfort. A good soap gives me a nice glide and cushion, but a poor soap is just washing my face.