The Shaving Mug and Brush

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So many of
the "guys" that contribute to this wonderful website have
written to voice their personal preferences about shaving that I
decided that even just an avid reader such as myself could contribute
at least an opinion about shaving.

So:

For the past
30+ years I have been a staunch user of the system of shaving mug
and brush together with a razor.

My razor of
choice for every day use is normally a Gillette Sensor. I like the
"Sensor Excel" blades best.

I think that
like most guys that have a mustache or beard I find that any razor
with more than two blades is a bit difficult to maneuver around
with on my face. And yes, I do remember that old Saturday Night
Live skit years ago where they showed the then fictitious 3-blade
razor "Because You'll Believe Anything" skit. Actually,
I think that they got it about right. At what point does it become
nonsense? 5-blades? 6-blades? 10-blades?

Although I
don't have a beard to work around I do sport what my friends call
a "Wyatt Earp Mustache" that is just too cumbersome for
anything more than two blades.

I also like
the pivoting Atra and non-pivoting Trac 2 systems. The razors that
I have for these twin blades all have nice heavy handles and I can
find replacement blades and even new razors for them very reasonably
priced at Amazon.com.

You can get
50 Persona blades complete with the lubricating strip for both the
Atra and the Trac 2 razors for under $24. Yes, that's less than
50 a blade. Buy something else for a buck and they even pay the
freight. Compare that with the replacement blades for those 5-bladed
Fusion things. They practically give those razors away in order
to get the repeat sales for the blades. What does that tell you?

I do NOT like
the disposable razors. They are just too light for me. Personally
I like to have a shaving instrument with a little weight in my hand
when I'm shaving. Also being a mechanical sort I can appreciate
the fine craftsmanship of some of the better razors.

Speaking of
fine craftsmanship, I also use a double-edge safety razor if I need
to shave a more than one-day-old scruff. Even a two-day beard will
clog any of my twin blades. Again I favor one with some weight to
it (3+ oz.) and a long handle (about 4 inches) although I do admit
that I use the butterfly type for this razor.

The "butterfly"
mechanism means that I can replace the blades by simply twisting
the bottom portion of the razor handle until the blade compartment
opens up. Remove the old blade and drop in a new one, twist the
bottom portion again to close it and you're done — simple.

On what are
called "traditional" double-edge razors you replace the
blade by unscrewing the entire top portion and pulling the pieces
apart.

To the double-edge
safety razor purist it might seem almost sinful to use a butterfly
razor, but I find that it works fine and holds the blade perfectly
snug. Just like it's supposed to.

The important
thing though is that the shave is great with either type and replacement
blades for double-edge razors are even cheaper than the twin blades.
I can get them at Amazon for about 16 each. 100 blades for less
than sixteen bucks! How about that 5-blade aficionados?

As to the lather
I have used a shaving mug for decades — they are one of the best-kept
secrets around. A round soap bar lasts for 6 months and the brush
gives a nice massage to my face. I like a good quality badger brush.

For mugs you
can use just about anything. Even an old coffee mug will do if it's
wide enough. Personally I favor the tall "Old Spice" Grand
Turk mugs that are still readily available on eBay. They are inexpensive,
heavy, and just to my liking.

The best shaving
soap that I have ever found was from a guy that made his own and
was selling it on eBay. It was supposed to be particularly good
for people with sensitive skin. I bought a couple of his sampler
sets of 2.5 oz. bars in an assortment of fragrances and they have
lasted me for years. In fact, I haven't bought a can of Barbasol
or Foamy since the 1970s.

Alas my eBay
home soap maker is no longer selling his shaving soap. When my supply
runs low I guess I'll have to find someone else on one of the Internet
"Homemade Soap" Blogs…

I tried all
of the other suggestions that have been listed here like shaving
in the shower, not using any soap, etc, but this is what works for
me. I shave after I shower and I use my shaving mug, brush and razor.

Hey — it's
a guy thing, and it's a personal guy thing.

So for me the
man's daily ritual is: The shaving mug, the badger brush, and the
twin blade.

August 6, 2010

Steve
"Poots" Candidus [send
him mail
] is an independent manufacturer's representative for
technical industrial products that lives in Spring, Texas with his
beloved basset hounds.

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