3pc DE Aggressive Razor Fundamentals - "Riding the cap"

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Bama Samurai, Apr 27, 2016.


How do you like your razor?

  1. Mild and smooth

    64 vote(s)
  2. Aggressive and efficient

    45 vote(s)
  3. With two lumps and a biscuit...

    2 vote(s)
  4. Doesn't matter, Techniques Trump Tools!!!

    51 vote(s)
  1. Ijustmissedthe50s

    Ijustmissedthe50s The Warnee

    A bit of my back story on getting involved in the wonderful world of wet shaving...before I made my final decision on becoming a member of our "club", I read, read, read and reread TSD, and even some other sites that I haven't joined or rarely read anymore. Correct technique for any type of razor, or any tool we might use is essential and just common sense. That, I would suggest, is virtually inarguable.
    With that, I didn't hesitate to make my first safety razor a British made Ever Ready Pat. 1912. I had read many shavers opine about what an "aggressive" razor this is. Still, confident in my basic knowledge of technique, I jumped in with that choice. Since, I have purchased and use a variety of se and de razors. For whatever reason, I also bought a decent shavette (I wear shaped sideburns). All of my razors have been described in all manners of aggressiveness. I confess to, on occasion, doing a full shave with the shavette. I realize that's not necessarily what it's primary use might be, but I, well, wanted to lol. I have never shaved with a straight razor, though both my lovely girlfrend, who also joined in on our shaving styles, will eventually learn to use and care for them.
    I confess to not having participated in the 30 day rule process. I have used a variety of blades in both de and see types.
    I...1) have come to a personal belief that blade brand etc account for MUCH less inconsistency in shave quality than is perceived by many. Yep, I have my favorites, but have definitely achieved fantastic shaves with many blades because my tools, all vintage btw, are so well designed and tested that you'd have to be quite inconsistent in technique not to realize great results.
    2) I have strived to make my technique as consistent as possible. Using techniques widely considered and recommended (riding the cap, no pressure and the 25/30 angle) for every good quality razor type I've used, I have come to a personal belief that razor aggressive is determined by the design of the razor only. Meaning, to me anyway, that adjusting technique based on it's design defeats the purpose of it's unique design in the first place.
    Each razor has a different design characteristics on purpose. Therefore, if one feels like they must adjust technique based on the individual razor, I would suggest that particular razor just isn't the specific design for them. I believe that consistency in technique would determine what razor, if good quality and condition, is right for us individually. It would hopefully be the single most consistent component in the quality shave we desire. Pick the style razor that gives you a great shave, but base that decision on using the same consistent afforementioned technique.
    Thanks for attempting to read my wordy post, but I sincerely believe, and have personally achieved top level shaves using the same technique but a wide variety of hardware components.
    Thanks to all who have taught me about both TSD and our shared experience. I'm still and will always be interested in learning from all of you, and those diagrams and models are fantastic ....Chris. (yeah, there's another one of us Chris's.)
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  2. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Very well thought out, and well written. Glad you are here.
  3. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

  4. Lexicon Devil

    Lexicon Devil the Liberace of shaving

    I read this whole thread and put the techniques into practice. What a difference! You are doing the Lord's work here fellas. This has truly been a game changer. BTW this works equally well with mild razors like the SS and ASD2. Riding the cap with the ASD2 and a sharp blade like a Polsilver has led to some excellent shaves lately for me. Thanks.
  5. Ijustmissedthe50s

    Ijustmissedthe50s The Warnee

    I did the same thing...read and read all over the tsd site before I shaved with my SE and de safety razors (all vintage). I was pretty well prepared for my first shave switching from disposables. Gotta love TSD and all of the guys and gals here! Happy shaving!
  6. Bob Palmer

    Bob Palmer Member

    Good advice as I rarely nick myself on the 1st pass, often I only use oil brefore the 1st pass ..
  7. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I'm going to project that the Double-Lump Biscuit will clinch last place. (What am I doing, it isn't November yet!!!)
  8. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus

    Who goes for the place?
  9. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    Too close to call
    Bama Samurai likes this.
  10. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I forgot I said this, lol.
  11. Steve G

    Steve G Active Member

    The image makes a lot of sense to me. I was using a 30 degree angle in reference to the handle of the razor (red triangle) and not the blade (blue triangle). So my angle was way too agressive.

    Thank you for this thread and particularly that image. I will be "riding the cap" from now on!
    Herm2502, RyX and Bama Samurai like this.
  12. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus

    Very good! Thank you for your kind words and I look forward to good shave reports!
    Steve G and RyX like this.
  13. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Riding the cap helps me tame any aggressive razor. It is just helping to get the most efficient angle.
  14. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Good man. Proceed along the path!
    Steve G and Bama Samurai like this.
  15. Maximumsmoke

    Maximumsmoke Active Member

    Though I'm late (as usual) to this thread, I'll echo the praise of Bama Samurai's neat explanation. Arigato-goziamasu, Bama-san. Trying to get a BBS shave, I do often get more irritation from my super-mild mid-'50's Gillette Tech than my Fatip Grande, etc. The explanation was right on about the cause of the paradox of greater irritation one sometimes experiences with a mild razor being not resisting temptation to press harder to get a close shave. I can get a good shave with just about anything. I have to be awake and pay attention with an aggressive razor, but similarly, I have to pay attention, though in another way it seems, when using a mild razor. The concept of "Riding the Cap" brings it all together. The "way" is the same because of the "why". Thanks.

    RyX and Bama Samurai like this.
  16. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus

    Hi Tony!

    Thank you for the mention and the kind words. Happened to here as you commented, and wanted to drop a line.

    You're so right about milder geometry razors! They test technique in a very different way. Angle is everything and pressure works itself out. Hope you enjoy each and every pass, and happy you joined the discussion on TSD!
  17. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    A bump to the top for this thread.
    Bama Samurai and RyX like this.
  18. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

    Another bump. Riding the cap : working on this has led to shaving being better with all my razors. Alum "test" tells me that I am shaved smooth and I don't get that alum ping which I did on first starting. It teaches you the correct feel for a razor and really is the Tao (do, or way) of shaving. Let all who use a DE heed the words of this thread for they are good :happy096:
    RyX likes this.
  19. T_I

    T_I Active Member

    Thanks for the explanation of the technique. Started using yesterday and since I started shaving (35 years ago), started shaving wet (30 y ago) or DE (2 y ago) hadn't had a shave as smooth as this. Still not perfect, but as with every technique, mastering it takes time. (I'm now thinking that the new razors won't help, but they're already ordered... ;) )
  20. brit

    brit in a box

    riding the cap works for me with all my gillette tto and 3 piece razors. better ,smoother shaves...,to the point where all the blades i use feel quite similar.

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