I’ve been a happy and proud wet shaver (as we say in the biz2) for a few years now and would definitely encourage you to ditch the overpriced cartridges in your five-blade monstrosity for a razor that your granddad would recognize. But how?
At Classic Shaving3, of course. I’ve bought lots of shaving gear from these guys, both for myself and as gifts, the selection is amazing, service prompt, pricing right and shipping free (if you order $100 worth of stuff).
For starters, I recommend a razor like the Merkur “Long Classic”, which will feel a little more natural if you’re coming from something like a Mach 3. Merkur also makes blades, which are nice, but I like Feather blades from Japan myself — they have a reputation for being incredibly sharp and last a good long time.
You’re gonna want a brush and badger is the only way to go. You can spend some serious cash on a brush, as much as $200, but I haven’t had much reason to complain with the $30 one I’ve been using for years. Take your pick. Even if you decide to stick with your Mach 4 Turbo whatever, using a brush and a high quality soap will dramatically improve the quality of your shave over that aerosolized goop they try to sell you.
Mugs and bowls come in all shapes and sizes, I currently use a pewter one that’s pretty shallow that I really don’t love. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t picked a nice wooden or plated one with a handle, just lazy I guess.
Then there’s the soap. This is going to be a matter of personal preference. I recommend something with a subtle, masculine smell — I like sandalwood myself. A cake of soap will last you months and set you back all of $5. I like to switch it up with a variety of shaving soaps and creams, like Cremo-Cream, Musgo Real or Sharps, all of which work just fine with that badger brush.
Make sure you finish with a lotion, something with a little scent is fine — just enough to share with that special someone, not the entire block. This gel aftershave from Sharps is nice, these days I go with something a little fancier.
A few other things you might not have thought of: an alum block and/or a styptic powder is great for sealing small nicks and cuts. A stand will keep your brush dry and help it last. Your handsome mug deserves its own towel.
The upfront cost on all of this kit is definitely going to be more than another $30 for another 12-pack of jet propulsion blades but your shave will be better and you’ll be shaving like men were meant to shave.
No one actually calls themselves a “wet shaver”, much like how no one says “in the biz”. ↩
The folks at Classic Shaving don’t know me, have never paid me a cent and don’t even have affiliate links. I just like what they do and I’m happy to offer this unsolicited endorsement. ↩