Shavette razor, three shaves in

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by JBSharp, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. JBSharp

    JBSharp Well-Known Member

    Not a true straight razor post, but...
    For Christmas my wife's grandmother gave me this inexpensive Magic shavette. She knows about my vintage Gillettes and had earlier given me her husband's 40's style Super Speed and was trying to locate a straight that had belonged to his father. This gift was a nice surprise.
    Magic shavette.jpg
    I normally use a DE; I want the straight-razor experience but I'm honestly not interested in the maintenance involved in a true straight. I know these aren't really intended for full-face shaving, but I'd wanted to try one out.

    My first shave went well enough on the right side of my face. When I went to the left side, I decided to continue with my dominant right hand instead of trying my left. That awkward position, along with the over-confidence born of a whole half-face of successful shaving, got me a couple of small cuts high on my cheek and low at the jaw.

    Second shave went pretty well. I manned up and used my left hand for my left side, and came through with some lightly irritated spots. Third shave I had worked up the (cautious) confidence to make a second pass XTG for the first time. Again, just some minor irritation/abrasions in a couple of spots, but nothing that required treatment after my cold rinse and witch hazel. I look forward to working on it.
     
  2. feeltheburn

    feeltheburn Well-Known Member

    I have one of those Magic shavettes and it does a decent job for me. It will teach you what "no pressure" means. I've found I can use blades in it that might feel a bit dull in a DE and they work better in the shavette as long as they're smooth. Good luck with it.
     
  3. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Moderator
    Congratulations on taking the plunge and surviving!;)

    I imagine most of the discomfort (irritation) you're experiencing will diminish as your technique improves with practice and you develop the right 'touch' with the blade. As your confidence grows, the whole process will become second-nature and your resulting shaves will keep getting better.

    Those who have used both a shavette and a standard straight razor often claim that the two types feel entirely different and require differing techniques in their use. Because of these differences, folks here often have recommended going straight to straight razors if that is one's interest as the shavettes are not a natural transition between DE and SRs.
    The shavette option is appealing, as you noted above, in that it doesn't require the same level of maintenance or care a typical SR has.
     
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  4. JBSharp

    JBSharp Well-Known Member

    Fourth shave was rougher, but I attribute that to various types of "user error": poor face prep (lightly washing instead of taking a shower), moving too quickly, and the bane of all adventurers, overconfidence. @feeltheburn, you're definitely right about "no pressure" but I love that. Those are my favorite DE shaves, as well, when you get the prep, the razor, the blade, and the angle just right, and it feels like you just have to touch the razor to your face.

    @HolyRollah, I'm right there with you. I knew going in that the shavette and the straight are different beasts. I may make the leap one day, aware that I'm not so much changing gears as changing vehicles.
     
  5. Mr. Oldschool

    Mr. Oldschool Johnny Dangerously

    Honestly, not to be contradictory, but with the shavettes vs. straights, YMMV. I find the techniques I use translate well between the two types. My "shavette" is a Class 1/2DE holder that looks almost exactly like your Magic, and it does give good shaves given patience and low pressure. It isn't as nice as my better straights, but it's better than my ones I'm still trying to hone better.
     
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  6. Naftas

    Naftas New Member

    I have this kind of chinese shavette branded Slicke or something like that and I must say I am very satisfied with it. Blade loading is easy, the shavette is large and has quite a heft. In some shops in Croatia with this kind of equipment it costs 10-15$ and I bought mine on ebay for 2 or 3$. So take care when you see something you like. It is probably rebranded chinese stuff that could be found much cheaper. Only shavette that's immune to this is unbeatable Vanta!
     
    JBSharp likes this.
  7. txskimo

    txskimo Well-Known Member

    I just barrowed my dads shavette he hasn't used in who knows how long. I'm pretty anxious for tomorrow but nervous as well. How long would you say it took you to feel a decent amount of confidence in using it?
     
  8. JBSharp

    JBSharp Well-Known Member

    Man, I'm sorry, I just fell off the face of the earth for a while. (Not a shaving accident, I assure you!) Honestly, after the first shave I felt great. I had given a great deal of thought and attention to technique, took my time, and had a great shave. My problem, like I said, was the overconfidence I had going into my next shaves. I now have more respect for the blade than confidence in my own skills; you have to have a firm hand but you're very thoughtful about what you're doing.

    How did your shaves go?
     
    txskimo likes this.
  9. GeneralKinetics

    GeneralKinetics Well-Known Member

    Nice. I just got back into using my Parker. I've found that they're 100% Technique as well. You literally cannot use any pressure(like a DE), and your prep and lather has to be top notch(as slick as possible). I think it's a very interesting way to go. I'm willing to bet that it still builds "general" SR technique, like stretching your skin and how to transition from your cheek down your jawline to your neck and vice versa. I like it.
     
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  10. txskimo

    txskimo Well-Known Member

    To be honest I didn't care for it but I need to try again. The razor just felt way to light and I'm starting to think I prefer weight in a razor because I've had the same problems with de razors.
     
  11. Gigmaster

    Gigmaster Active Member

    I have several straight razors, as well as Fromm and Parker Shavettes. I have to say, I prefer the shavettes to the straight razors. I've been using both for over 35 years.

    As to your irritation, get a sampler pack of different blades. There are big differences between the brands, and some work best for some people, and others work better for others. I personally like Feathers, and Derbys the best. Others swear by Astras and Gillette 5 O'Clocks. A few even prefer Sharks. You'll find the one that's right for you.
     
  12. GeneralKinetics

    GeneralKinetics Well-Known Member

    Light DE razors feel like a shavette too. You're just more on the edge and have less margin of error.
     
  13. Gigmaster

    Gigmaster Active Member

    Using a shavette, you need to keep in mind that there is no guard, or head to hold the blade at a particular angle. This puts you in complete control, for better, or worse. You have to be more deliberate, but to me, that's part of the attraction. It's just you, and the blade......
     

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