My Safety Razor Doesn't Shave Me Clean Anymore!

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Papa Tom, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Papa Tom

    Papa Tom New Member

    I have replaced the blades repeatedly, and even tried new, more expensive ones (Van der Hagen, instead of classic Wilkinson Sword, which always gave me skin like a baby's behind). However, every daily shave lately has ended with me grabbing one of my wife's disposables to finish the job, and what a job they do!

    Please don't suggest that I upgrade to some $75 handle and blades that cost as much as the rip-off cartridges from Gillette and others. Part of the beauty of safety razor shaving, for me, has always been achieving a "Wow! That's smooth!" shave for a few pennies a day. Unless you can convince me that handles costing more than the $20 I paid are more than just hype, I do not plan on upgrading the one I have (which I actually did recently by trading in my flea market-brand handle - the one with the guy from Pawn Stars on the package - for a $21 Van der Hagen, the only "brand name" razor handle the stores around here seem to sell. I ended up taking the Van der Hagen right back to the store.

    Also, suggestions about technique, unless specific to handles that have aged a bit, won't do me any good, as I have been getting clean shaves with the same exact handle, blades, and techniques for about 3-4 years now.

    Can somebody tell me what might be going on?
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  2. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Check the blade exposure on the head. See if it is even or too far inward to make skin contact, check the door alignment so on and so forth. They may shave well but there is a reason why they are cheap and why they don't last as long as something a little more solid made. You can try to repair it though it really isn't worth it. If you like the VDH or Pawn Stars razor go buy a a Weishi instead since they are Weishi 9306-x clones to begin with except the Weishi brand stuff is made with better materials and even cheaper than both on amazon. If you want a cheaper replacement option than that go buy a dollar tree $1 special.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  3. wristwatchb

    wristwatchb wristwatch "danger" b

    Tom, welcome to The Shave Den!

    Assuming something hasn't physically changed with your razor, you shouldn't need to buy more stuff to get a great shave. Drop in on the 30 Day Rule / Focus group. Pick a razor (the one you have), brand of blade, shaving soap or cream, and brush if you use one. Stick with this set up for a month. Post the results from your daily shaves, and the good folks there will help you figure out what's going on. If you were consistently getting great shaves with your DE razor and now you're not, something has apparently changed. We're glad to help, and we're glad you're here! :happy088:
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    Bird Lives, AGHisBBS and PLAla like this.
  4. stingraysrock

    stingraysrock PIF'd away his custom title

    If you have aged a bit in the last 3-4 years, or have gained or lost weight, your issue may be that your skin has changed. Try stretching your skin with your off-hand, or puffing your cheeks/lip where possible.
    Bird Lives, AGHisBBS and PLANofMAN like this.
  5. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I don't know if I can convince you that other razors will work better, but you should be able to pick up a flare tip superspeed from eBay for under $20. They are quite a bit more sturdy and well made than your current razor and have the added benefit of being the original design that yours (and by extension, the van der Hagen) razor is based off of.

    As for your blades, I find the Wilkinson Sword blades to be middle of the road. Average sharpness, smoothness, and longevity. The Van der Hagen blades are, as you discovered, a significant downgrade. That's my opinion, but it is widely shared by members here.

    Also my opinion, but again, widely shared, Astra Superior Platinum blades are a good all around choice for your type of razor. Most people find them sharper, equally as smooth, and lasts just as long as the Wilkinson Sword blades. They are about $10-13 on Amazon for a 100 pack.
    Good advice. ^^^
    Jack19, Bird Lives, BigMike and 4 others like this.
  6. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    Jrdelgado likes this.
  7. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    My guess is your razor is no longer in alignment as it use to be. I also agree your skin ages and might need a technique improvement due to that. If you like the TTO style I also agree with @PLANofMAN that you might pick up a Gillette Superspeed. It is the original the clones are made from but a much better razor. May last longer.

    For the record I rarely agree with this many people at once...
  8. rbilly

    rbilly Well-Known Member

    Has your razor been cleaned lately? There could be build up. Vdh blades dont work for me, a goid cheap blade i like is derby premium or dorco prime. I find i have to work harder to get a close shave when the weather is normal.
  9. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    High their, @Papa Tom , I am late to the show, but it seems like you have plenty of good advice to work through.

  10. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    Well I'm new here but it would be helpful if you could give the make and model of your razor or type if known. Some razors have issues that are unique to that model and someone might be able to help. You could post some pics of it also to help those who would know of these things.
    gorgo2 and Juno like this.
  11. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    Picture of your razor ... we're working blind. I suspect your razors out of wack. I suggest a simple tech from Italian Barber You could pick up a Tech and TTO for less than $15.
    gorgo2 and AGHisBBS like this.
  12. Dansco

    Dansco Well-Known Member


    It's probably the VDH blades. Not a well reviewed blade on the forums. If there is such a thing as an inferior blade, this is probably it.
    gorgo2 and PLANofMAN like this.
  13. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    By "Handle", I am assuming you mean "New DE Razor". You should be able to continue to get great shaves with the razor you are currently using. I am unfamiliar with the VDH blades, but purchasing a blade sampler wouldn't break the bank and let you perhaps find a blade you prefer. As others have said, something has changed, and you simply cannot discount technique as the something. The 30 day focus is a great suggestion.
    Welcome to TSD @Papa Tom
    gorgo2 likes this.
  14. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    Are there really any DE blades "that cost as much as the rip-off cartridges from Gillette and others"?

    I mean top quality blades like Feathers, GSBs, Astras, etc., cost around 20 cents or less per blade if you buy them in 50 or 100 packs. Get them from Amazon or eBay.

    I think spending $10 on a blade sampler (30 blades) would be an excellent idea. Stay away from retail store blades. There isn't much demand for DE blades anymore and certainly the grocery and drug stores in my area only carry junk.

    What kind of soaps are you using?
    gorgo2, AGHisBBS and rbilly like this.
  15. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Really? Local Winn Dixie here has blades made in Isreal. Guess we are lucky. I buy the Dollar store Dorcos though. They work just as good.
    gorgo2 likes this.
  16. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    Yo Pa Pa Tom, are in the right place to ge to the bottom of this....
    Personaly....I think it's time you checked out an SE razor...They can be the most inexpensive really GREAT shaving razors on the planet! But thats just my opinion...

    Z-2 and gorgo2 like this.
  17. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

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  18. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    This type of post is always intriguing:

    Old hand at DE shaving but it is now awful.

    Don't suggest that I try another razor.

    Don't suggest that I try a different blade.

    Don't ask me about technique (which covers pretty much everything else) because it's fine.

    Oh, and a cart solved my problem, with italics even, in the very first paragraph.


    Not sure what you want people to suggest. Not sure you really want them to suggest anything at all.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  19. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    OP has been MIA since posting thread .... kind of hard to help if there's no communication and we'd really like to help. :(
    AGHisBBS, gorgo2 and kfbrady like this.
  20. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

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