Greetings from an 'old noobie' here in South Wales (the one in the UK, not the 'New' Australian one.
When I say 'old newbie', I mean that I started DE shaving back in around 1976. I was about 14 at the time when my grandfather gave me one of his razors. I found shaving with it really easy...probably due to the fact I was probably just sporting 'optimistic' bum-fluff and wasn't giving the razor a decent challenge (I'm laughing now...but not as much as my grandad probably did at the time!). Well, having 'grown-up' with it, I continued to use the DE without encountering any shaving problems for many years...until I started using disposables....
I can't remember exactly at what point I went for the convenient/lazy/trendy option, but in retrospect, I can remember that I've ALWAYS had problems with the damn things! I could never get past a max of about three 'strokes' (not 'passes') without having to clear the blade(s) with an old toothbrush! I've never had a strong or thick beard growth, so how people cope with these 5-blade monstrosities available now is a mystery to me.
A few weeks ago, I was chatting to a friend who mentioned that he wanted to go back to DE shaving. I thought 'that seems like a good idea', (probably with the subconscious thought of toothbrushes and twin-blade junk tucked firmly in my mind) so promptly went out and coughed up the princely sum of £4.75 for an 'own-brand' DE razor from the local chemists. I'm not sure if it was the razor, the included blade, or just a lack of technique, but yours truly ended up with a face vaguely reminiscent of a baboon's butt! That said, I DID enjoy the experience (until it started stinging a few hours later), and the bits that were shaved well WERE shaved well. The following day I popped a WS blade in and gave that a try... A great improvement (especially considering the blade was about 25 years old....found in a box in the bathroom!).
Convinced I was going down the right path, I put the word out that I was looking for an old DE, and within a few days someone offered me a 1968 Gillette Slim Twist. A bit of polishing, a dab of glue for the split handle and it was good to go. Things just keep getting better!
Having read the reviews, I ordered a load of Derby blades (complete with a free Arko soap) and they arrived today. Result!! I've just had the best shave in over 25 years! My badger brush should be arriving later this week.
Yep, it's SOOOO good to be back!!!
Currently using: Gillette Slim Twist
Wilko £.55p brush (which, if you soak it in near-boiling water for a few minutes before first use
WILL give you a very good 3-pass shave).
Erasmic and Arko shaving sticks (the Arko is good but the Erasmic is awesome).