Hey men. I am new to the sub. I am from charleston south carolina and I have been safety shaving for 3 weeks. I really like the idea of this community, and hope this movement continues to grow and flourish!

I have been looking through videos and things to get a better shave around my chin and jaw line. I definitely will be practicing, but i was wondering if it may just be these van der hagen blades. I bought an amazon variety pack of blades to find which one i like best, but i am nervouse about using the super sharp ones until i can stop knicking myself already.

Is there a step in prep that helps the shave get closer? Not sold on shave oil yet.

And off topic. But with the better environmental side of safety shaving, are there other things you might do to limit the enviro impact around the house that areny captain obvious?

Thanks for your time!

I bite my lower lip by rolling it in to make to jaw skin tighter to get a good shave along my jaw. Hope it helps.

Also welcome down the rabbit hole!

Here, this will save you some time! Scroll to the end for the lathering video!

Shaving Tutorial for New Wetshavers Please have a look at this tutorial series I created for people who are learning how to shave with a safety razor. The series covers the entire shave end to end, including setup & prep, building a lather, how to find the right angle, tips on how to get a close comfortable shave, and post-shave clean-up. The tutorial tries to answer as many of the most frequently asked questions new wetshavers generally have.

Here are the links to the individual segments, followed by a link to the series playlist. Hope you enjoy and find them useful!

Watch them all in order: Wetshaving Tutorial - How to shave with a safety razor

Bonus track! How to lather a shaving soap

I watched all of them. They were great! I picked up a few tricks and wont be doing against the grain for awhile. Thank you!

You are very welcome!

There is no magic to the against the grain pass, it is just so easy for it to go wrong in those first few shaves. After a couple weeks you will see just how much easier it all is, and that against the grain pass will feel natural and comfortable.

Good luck!

This stuff is good. I often recommend this series.

And... u/Cadinsor is a fellow Carolinian!

My son recently moved to Cackalacky.

Quality boy! I've always thought so.


Lot's of good, honest advice from the other members...

Elaborate pre-shave rituals and products mostly a waste of time - anything other than a hot shower before a shave seems a waste of either time or money in my experience. Human hair absorbs water, so hydrating it before a shave does make it a bit softer. That said, if you are having issues with irritation, as opposed to just nicks and cuts, you might try "cold shaving" (I think there is an article about it on the Sharpologist blog).

Poor lather quality can definitely be the source of nicks and cuts but, more often than not for new wet shavers, I think angle and pressure are more serious issues. Especially if one is coming over from cartridge razors where more pressure (within reason) usually equals a closer shave and the angle is pretty much fixed, one is likely to be using too much pressure even when it seems to them that they're using a light touch; similarly, the angle one holds the razor is likely to be too steep (handle too close to the face).... "Technique over Tools" as u/sgrdddy said.

Don't be afraid to try blades from your sampler pack from amazon. Most all of the popular modern DE blades fall within a fairly small window of performance and are capable of giving good shaves... and of biting you. Mostly when we have heated debates about blades on these forums we are arguing over minutiae which, until your technique improves a bit, will be lost on you. Try out the blades that you have and if one feels better than another, stick with that brand for at least a month and focus on technique.

Welcome again and happy shaving!

Oh, and hi, from a fellow Carolinian. There are a few of us here. I grew up in the Upstate, and am now in the Raleigh Metro area. Charleston is awesome.

And congrats on the excellent username.

I'll also note that there are pretty much no hard and fast rules for shaving. Most people want 1) a close shave, and 2) a comfortable shave. So anything you do to get that is just fine. You may develop a routine that works great for you... that doesn't resemble anyone else's. But just like so many skills, it's usually best to follow conventional wisdom's advice for a while, before going out on your own.

And... throw your pin down on our Shaver's Map and be the first one to mark up SC!

Done! Wow i got some clearance.

"Technique over Tools"

As a beginner, this can serve you well. I didn't know this when I started out, so when something didn't seem to work, I'd switch to another blade or start a hunt for another razor. What a waste of time.

Just like these guys are saying, just work on your pressure (keep it super light), razor angle (differs per razor, and user to some extent), and direction (need to know your growth direction for this).


  • I don't do any preshave except a splash of cool water. Not even a shower. Still get great shaves.
  • /u/assistantpigkeeper 's first paragraph is pretty much what I would have said. Find a blade from a sampler that works for you and stick with it for a while as your technique improves. Then keep exploring the sampler.
  • I don't actually like the greek yogurt consistency for my lathers. For most soaps, that's too thick for me. Doesn't bond with the face as well. But these guys have been at it longer than me, so I say try it both ways and see where you like your own lather. Besides, as you try for the "perfect" lather, you'll likely miss by one way or the other, and you might end up finding it where you didn't think it was.
  • /u/MalthusTheShaver and I agree on so many things about shaving. His advice comes from an experienced and excellent place. However, some prefer cool water rinses between passes (especially if you have inflammation of any kind), and some shavers actually don't rinse at all, but just re-lather for the next pass. Haven't tried that yet. So your between pass rinsing may be something you can discover for yourself as well.


  • Tell us your razor and soap, so we can make sure you don't have junk.
  • The VDH soap is actually decent. Something many of us might not like to admit.

I have been using the viking crusader, a viking black stallion brush, the viking chairman bowl, and taylor of old bond street. With a nivea sensetive after balm. Van der hagen blades since my assorted blade pack hadnt come yet. Going to try a new blade on saturday. The persona platinum chrome.

Thanks for the kind words, sir!

A cold water splash can also work well - I've done it myself, especially in the summer. Warm water is better for getting the soap off, cold better for soothing. No reason not to try both!

Welcome! This December will be two years of wet shaving for me (wow, time flies), but I'll try to answer a few of your questions based on my own experience. For most things wet shaving, the "your mileage may vary" adage holds true - what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.

I have been looking through videos and things to get a better shave around my chin and jaw line. I definitely will be practicing, but i was wondering if it may just be these van der hagen blades. I bought an amazon variety pack of blades to find which one i like best, but i am nervouse about using the super sharp ones until i can stop knicking myself already.

I can't speak specifically about chin and jaw line because I shave my neck, cheeks, and below my lower lip, leaving the rest of my facial hair intact and trimming it with a beard trimmer + 2mm guard. With that being said, I had slight challenges in those areas in the 4 or 5 times I've gone fully clean shaven with a safety razor. What I've learned is that continuing to hone your technique develops a muscle memory of sorts, and all of a sudden you're navigating your face with full knowledge of the grain, how much pressure you need to use, where you need to buff or make shorter strokes, etc. Give it time.

I do recommend the TryABlade sampler pack vs. the VDH blades, as others have recommended. Technique will be far, far more important than blades. In my experience, I was terrified of certain blades that carried a reputation (7 O'clock SharpEdge, Feathers, etc.) and when I finally bucked up the courage to try them, I thought "what's the big deal?". If you have bad technique, you'll hack yourself up regardless of razor + blade pairing. If you have good technique, you can get a passable shave with just about anything, even if you notice a bit more bite or sharpness from one blade vs. another.

Is there a step in prep that helps the shave get closer? Not sold on shave oil yet.

Good lather + technique. I went through every pre-shave routine in the book. None of them ever really harmed my shaves, but it was spending needless money and time on something that did nothing to enhance my shaves. A good, warm shower will soften the whiskers. A nice, slick lather will allow you to glide over your skin without irritation. Good technique with a capable razor and fresh enough blade will reduce the beard, and you'll be set.

You're already getting tons of advice, so I'll just say welcome to the sub!

Aim for yogurt style lather on the face, with no dripping. Drip trails = too much water, thick dry cream = too little water.

Remember to keep lubricating face with hot water between each pass.

Be sure to have your facial and neck hair mapped, so you know what directions are with, across, and against the grain. You may want to avoid against the grain for a while until you are sure your technique is good.

Razor choice probably matters more than blade at this point, and technique matters most of all. What razor are you using?

Welcome to the circus!

I have the viking crusader. I had no idea to splash water in between passes. Great advice!

I have the Crusader also - it's.. not ideal. The blade feel is different on each side, partially deliberate as they scalloped one side and straight barred the other, and partially due to hit and miss QC as the exposure is a bit different from one side to the other. The continuously variable gap is also a poor concept, as unmarked, and so hard to duplicate settings that are not at one extreme or the other. The very long handle and heavy weight are also not my thing, but are more subjective.

An adjustable is hard to learn with, especially one with no set positions marked. The Crusader at minimum gap is too mild and at max gap is too harsh.

Much as I hate to suggest new hardware to a newcomer, a Maggard MR5 handle and V3 head for $23 plus shipping might be a good investment as it will offer the same mid-aggressive shave day in and out.

Other Amazon friendly options are the Merkur 34C or Jagger DE89, though those are about $10 more in base price. Again, you get an efficient mid tier shave in terms of aggression, and the same blade gap with every shave.

You can continue to work with the Crusader if you don't want to make another hardware investment, but unless you can figure out how to use the exact same gap from day to day, it will be a guessing game as to why a given shave went well or badly.

Get blade sampler. I don't use any pre shave, just take a nice shower before hand and make sure I scrub them whiskers good. Also, make sure your lather is good, I'm talking like Greek yogurt looking too. Watch some of u/dendj55 & u/cadinsor for their videos, its good stuff.

First, getting your technique down will help a lot. That being said, better blades may help, but better is subjective. Tryablade.com has sample packs available. I'd stick with one blade type until you feel you have technique down, then try a new blade for several shaves with improved technique until you have narrowed it down to what works for you. As for closer, more pressure is NOT the answer. Improved angle and technique is.

are there other things you might do to limit the enviro impact around the house that areny captain obvious?

If you leave chargers plugged in, all of your chargers (phone, computer, etc...) should be plugged into a power strip that gets shut off unless a charger is in use. As chargers are transformers, they are always drawing current, even if they're not charging something.

For a closer shave technique will be your best friend, adding extra things like oils, pre-shave, etc is often pointless and a waste of money.

I'd say that you can get better equipment than the VdH stuff and you'll notice a better shave. Look at Try A Blade and get a sampler pack. If your razor is a cheap VdH maybe look at upgrading that, you don't have to spend a ton just better quality than that, check Maggard's for starter DE's.