Can't get smooth shave or stop blades tugging on beard

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by JeffH, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. JeffH

    JeffH New Member

    After 2 years of DE blade shaving, I have not found a solution to the blade tugging on my beard. I use good shave soaps that lather and seem to protect well. Have tired many blades. Feathers give me the best results, but even they do not cut through my whiskers "like through butter". Everything else feel like more dragging than smooth cutting. I do clean and hydrate well in the shower before shaving. I have not found any pre-shave oil or other product to do anything. I am now using a Muehl R41 after earlier using a mild Edwin Jagger. I usually get no cuts and burn and have a fairly nice close shave after only 2+ passes (1st pass NS, 2nd+ EW) But I just continue to feel something is not right. That constant tugging just won't quit - at least for the 1st pass. Any experienced suggestions are much appreciated.
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  2. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Ride through cap. It sounds to me like your angle of attack may be to steep.
  3. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Welcome to TSD, BTW.
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  4. JeffH

    JeffH New Member

    I will focus on my blade angle for a few shaves and see if I can get closer to that smooth shave I think is possible. Much appreciated. And great to be in The Shave Den!
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  5. RetLEO-07

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

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  6. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Welcome. Sounds like straight up technique issues. Your doing more scraping then cutting. Do you use long or short strokes? All the tools in the world will not fix technique issues.
  7. JeffH

    JeffH New Member

    Interesting that when I read up on "riding the cap", instead of starting with the razor handle parallel to the countertop and slowly lowering the handle when I begin a stroke until blade contacts skin, I have always done the opposite. I had started with the handle pointed down and then tilted up as I started the stroke until the blade engages. Not sure I understand the difference, but this may indeed be the issue. Will practice this technique for a couple shaves and get back. Thanks all for the help.
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  8. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus

    Riding the cap allows you to find the minimum effective attack angle. This means that you were likely shaving on the bar at a high angle without knowing it. High angles cause the blade to catch more than slice. Hopefully this is a simple ad easy technique fix. Good luck!
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  9. JeffH

    JeffH New Member

    Shaved this morning. 2 days growth. Concentrated on a getting a minimum angle while just rolling off the cap. Definitely smoother than my earlier approach of riding the safety bar, at least on my cheeks and neck. However, hard to maintain this angle on my chin and especially my upper lip where my nose gets in the way with the razor head flatter on my skin. Will keep practicing.
  10. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    Congrats on the improvement. Things take time to change. While I agree that it is most likely your angle of attack with the razor, you might try adding a little more water to your lather to thin it out so it has the sheen like mayo. I was happy with my shaves and then one day when I was running late for work I accidentally dropped the brush in the sink. I didn't have time to start over and just went with it. I got a fantastic shave with the slicker lather. I am not saying that is the problem, but a small change may work for you as well. Enjoy your shaves.
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  11. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Congrats on the improvement. If you keep working at it, the chin gets better. Skin stretching on you chin will help out, too.

    Under my nose, I shave with the razor turned sideways and starting from the middle go out on each side. Then when I do a second pass, I go from the outside towards the middle on each side. This has been the easiest way for me to get a smooth shave there.
  12. Stu929

    Stu929 Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear working with the angle helped! I started like you and while I wasn't getting a ton of pulling/tugging I was wearing out blades every 2 or 3 shaves. As I have adjusted the angle I not have blades that got 8-10 shaves before needing to be replaced and I'm still learning as well.

    I made the mistake of having my lather too dry and was also encouraged to add water and wow what a difference it made as the razor went from skipping here and there to gliding. Some of the better soaps ( I use Stirling, Katies Bubbles seems similar) seem to be very thirsty and when you hit the butter zone they get very slick!

    Good luck!
  13. RichMack

    RichMack Well-Known Member

    Give it a month of really practicing angle and technique. You will see huge difference in your shave. I became a shave addict after learning better technique. Now I am almost exclusively straight razors as I love the challenge as well as the ceremony itself.
  14. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    I'm an ATG shaver, for the upper lip, it's easier to shave up instead of down, as long as the beard is well hydrated. As for the chin go slowly and your hand will gain memory of the angle. my son got into the habit of moving his head around the chin area instead of the razor, how he does it is mind blowing but it works for him. But for the rest of us I would think that hand memory works

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