I just posted an intro in the Intro and Shave Clinic section so I thought I'd share my initial thoughts on my new razor. It's the Merkur 38HD and is a lot heavier than I thought it would be. I've used a Gillette Mach 3 for years and the 38HD seems at least twice as heavy as what I'm used to.
And to show how little I know about this type of shaving, I was not aware that the razor blades were so bendable. I was thinking the blade would sort of be like the ones I buy for my Stanley utility knife. But this one is very flexible. I also didn't know that as you screwed down the top onto the blade that the blade bent to conform to the razor. It makes sense because the triple blades on my Mach 3 are very bendy too. Just a quick question: do I need to be concerned with over tightening the screw on the barber pole? I'd hate to strip it but yet I want to ensure the blade stays secure.
My wife commented that she could have given me one of her old makeup brushes to use after she saw the brush. Does the quality (and cost) of the brush really play into the closeness of the shave? Considering that high quality paint brushes are much more expensive than lesser-quality ones, I'm going to guess that there is some advantage to a higher quality brush but not all that much. The brush doesn't seem to be a make or break deal.
And now about the soap. I'll admit I haven't done any research into soap. I have the Col. Conk soap, with Bayrum written on the top lid. Is this a good soap? If I had to guess, I'd say the soap has more to do with the closeness of the shave than the brush does. But feel free to correct me if you disagree. Exactly how do I use it? Take a small dallop and put it into the mug and add hot water to lather it up? Or is it better to wet the brush and then stir the brush into the soap?
If those are questions that are asked many times, feel free to point me in the direction of the posts. I'll read around some more too. I'm just giving my initial impressions right now and will do the research later. Now I want to go have a quick shave!