Many of us wet shavers got into the hobby to save money. Many of us have failed miserably to save money. Reason being is that there are so many different things to acquire. From straight razors to safety razors to brushes to soaps and aftershave, there are so many different things to collect and try. What is your AD?I have to admit that when I first started wet shaving I did it to try something new and hopefully save some money as well. I started with a Wilkinson Sword brush and soap from Wal-Mart and a shavette my father gave me around Christmas time and a 5 pack of DE blades. A month later I ordered a safety razor, a pre-shave soap, and 15 different DE blades. I was all set for at least a month or two. After a couple of shaves I was absolutely in love with my Edwin Jagger DE89L razor, and I still am till this day. However around that time I found a little forum call Badger & Blade. This was my downfall in saving money. While I learned so much about technique and lathering I also learned about online stores and the plethora of different products I HAD TO try.
My one saving grace was that I do live in a small rural town in Nova Scotia, so I don’t have access to stores that carry any wet shaving gear. However there was one antique shop I figured I would give a try. It’s a call and let the guy know you are coming kind of place as it isn’t a busy spot. The nice gentleman let me in and I asked if he had any shaving stuff. “Of course” he said as he led me to a glass case down two halls and into another massive room. He showed me a case and brought out 4 safety razors. What he brought out were 2 Gillette Black Beauty adjustables, a gold Gillette Fat-Handled Tech, and a Gillette Slim adjustable. Even with my limited knowledge I knew what these were and also knew they were somewhat pricey on eBay. However I paid about $17 for the four razors…these were probably the 4 cheapest items in the entire store. I was super happy and this was the beginning of my Razor Acquisition Disorder(RAD).
Fast forward to today and close to 50 razors later, many sold and traded, I am quite content with the razors I have. Of course, I’m always on the lookout for certain razors and good deals. Yet my focus has turned more to soaps and shaving brushes. Honestly I could try a new soap everyday and be quite happy. I trade lots of soaps in order to try as many as I can in the hopes of finding my favorite soap. I have a few that I absolutely love and will keep, but there are so many I have yet to try. Brushes seem to be the thing I love most at the moment. Whether its badger or boar or the ever so polarizing synthetics…..I seem to like them all. I really like the uniqueness of the handles and the ability to get custom brushes made at a really decent price point. My Custom Wolf Whiskers ‘WHALER’ would be my top brush at the moment because it was 100% customized to me. Yes my Oscar11 is amazing as is my Zenshave LE, but there is something special about emailing and talking back and forth about a 100% custom brush that I love. My most recent brush is a 21mm Muhle STF V2 synthetic I got in the mail yesterday. I have been talking lately about how I am not loving my Plisson very much anymore and I want to try the other big name in synthetics.
Both are super soft. Both have very similar handles with the Plisson being slightly more bulbous which I think suits larger hands while the slimmer Muhle suits smaller hands….hence why I like the feel of the Muhle. The Muhle’s handle also feels a bit sturdier and seems that it could take a short drop better than the Plisson which can dent quite easily if not careful. Esthetically I like the looks of the Muhle knot far better than the Plisson, but that is just personal preference. The knot of the Plisson seems denser, however the Muhle knot has far more backbone. The backbone is where I feel the Muhle beats the Plisson hands down. For me all the other areas are personal preference and could sway either way with people. But the backbone advantage cannot be questioned. now I only used the Muhle for the first time this morning so i am sure I will revisit it the Plisson vs. Muhle battle down the road again. Onto The SHAVE!!
Brush : Muhle STF V2
Soap : Strop Shoppe 1887
Toner : Thayer’s Rose
Aftershave : Queen Charlotte Soaps Iced Key Lime Aftershave Balm
A comfortable straight shave that left my face feeling very nourished. The tallow and Lanolin in the 1887 I am sure helps improve post shave feel and the QCS balm is just fantastic stuff. The balm is very highly mentholated so it really woke me up with morning……especially when I went outside to well below freezing temperatures.The soap was wonderful and the scent is really coming out now and its very enjoyable. the Muhle performed very well. It has much better face feel than the Plisson, but still not the feel of a natural fibre brush. It was able to whip up lather with ease, which is typical of synthetics. The handle worked great for my small hands as well. I can definitely see this brush unseating my Plisson as my go to synth and travel brush. A wonderful shave with some wonderful products.
Now to conclude my post about our AD’s…..Do you have one? Which is it? It seems that most of us have that one thing that we cannot get enough of……..WHATS YOURS? Id love to hear.