Finances & Money

Get a closer shave by “wet shaving”

I’ve read a few articles about “wet shaving“, which is basically the old school method of shaving your face. You can use either your standard cartridge razor (Gillette, Schick, etc.) 0r a vintage “double-edged” razor (that uses actual razor blades). The shaving process is much more detailed and lengthy, but you get the closest shave you’ll ever get by doing it, and that’s what has made me interested.

Here’s a great video about wet shaving in 10 minutes with a double-edged razor. Also note that in Part 3 down below, you can get a close shave with a cartridge razor, but you really need to be careful when going against the grain as these razors weren’t angled or sized for that purpose.

Note: To watch the video below from RSS or email, please click through to my main site.

While you might not be able to tell the difference between the before and after, your wife or girlfriend definitely will! Personally, I have a 5 o’clock shadow at 9am, even when using the Gilette Fusion razor, which has 5 blades. My facial hair is just too thick and dark, and I’m looking for better ways to get a clean, close shave.

Here’s a whole video series he posted about wet shaving:

Introduction to Traditional Wetshaving, Part 1: Concepts

Introduction to Traditional Wetshaving, Part 2: Lathering

Introduction to Traditional Wetshaving, Part 3: Shaving

I’ll let you all know if I try it out, but the initial startup costs (and selection) are a bit daunting, as is the amount of water I’ll use versus my current shaving method (Gillette gel lotion and Fusion razor). But I’m always up for a good challenge.

Let me know if YOU wet shave, and how it works. Also, let me know what products you recommend!

About the author

Clever Dude


  • The first time I used a double-edge razor, I was very pleased with the results. It was not just smooth…it was supersmooth! I used Gilette Mach3 before that, but I can recommend using a DE razor.

    Maybe it has some startup costs. The razor itself is maybe expensive (I have a heavy duty Merkur), but remember, these razors last a life time. So if you calculate the price per year, it is not that expensive anymore.

    Second, the razorblades cost only a fraction compared to the Gilette blades and if you buy them in large quantities, you can get it even cheaper. And for me personally, it is much less waste, compared with Gilette with all the plastic packaging and such.

    Then the shaving cream, I use the Prorazo tube, very cheap, very fresh. One tube costs me 7 euro’s (10 dollars) and I have enough for one year then. (Heavy beard, but I skip 1 every day, so if you shave daily, that’s 20 dollars a year.)

    Give it a try, maybe try with a cheaper razor first, just to get used to it. If you like it, you can buy a better quality. Good luck with it!

  • Dooooooo it!

    I’ve been wet shaving for a bit over a year and love it. It usually takes a little longer, but the results are better and I find I get significantly less irritation. Plus, it’s bad ass to say that you shave with a “real” razor.

    In terms of start-up costs, you can get set up with basic gear for less than you might think- a lower-end brush and cream can be had for under $20. You can also still use your Gillette multi-blade razor to start, although the shaving purists will call you a sissy. 🙂 You could also start with a cheaper double edge, like a Weishi- you can get them brand new on on eBay for under $15. Not the greatest razor in the world, but cheap and very forgiving. That’s what I started with, but soon upgraded to a Merkur HD. Try a few different blades until you find one that works best for you- everybody’s face is different, and so is every brand of blade.

    If you haven’t found it already, is a great site with very active forums dedicated to wet shaving. Read around over there to get all kinds of great advice.

    And here’s the standard lawyer disclaimer- YMMV. If you slice your throat open, it’s not my fault. 🙂

  • wet shaver here for a while now (2yrs). Will never go back. I have some straights but mostly stick to my DE’s. Have an old 1939 gillette tech and several gillette TTO’s.

    Mantic’s videos are great, he hangs out on with a lot of others (I’m there too).

    for straights, is the place to be.

    startup costs are not that bad. tweezerman brush on amazon for $15, $10 for excellent high quality cream (proraso or its bath &bodyworks repackage), $15 for 100 blades (derby). you can ask on SMF etc and most often the old folks will give newbies a razor (so free cost)..

    compare that to the cost of fusion blades for a year + canned goop? hmm DE shaving is a winner.

    I even converted my wife to using a DE (she still uses canned goop tho).

  • A friend of mine sent me these vids a while ago. I haven’t made the investment yet, but I’ve started using some of the techniques he demos with my Fusion razor.

    How I wish I had taken my grandfather’s DE razor and brush.

  • I learned about the DEs on I think LazyMan YEARS ago and woah I will never go back. At the time I bought 4 or 5 boxes of blades with 10 in each box, 2 years later I haven’t used them up yet! I am an every other day shaver but still. Even when I have to buy more blades the box with 10 blades costs half the cost of 3 mach blades.

  • If you do pick up a DE, let me know I can send you several different DE blade brands for you to try.

    I may even have a spare DE razor (flare tip gillette twist to open), fully sanitised of course.

    • Thanks to all you guys for your tips! And special thanks to Stu for offering up all that free swag. It’s definitely going to speed up my adoption of the DE razor method, especially since I’m on my last fusion blade!

  • I’ve wet shaved forever, but I use King of Shaves oil instead of the foam. I have a heavy beard, so an electric razor doesn’t do a good job. I do have a goatee, so I don’t have to shave my entire face.

  • I’ve been wet shaving for about 10 years now… never thought I would back in my teens. Seems the more difficult option for a lot of people but I find my skin doesn’t agree with electric razors so I always wet shave now. Plus – really does make you feel fresher I think. Anyone agree?

  • It is great we all agree that wet shaving is the best when it comes to removing unwanted hairs.
    Wet shaving has transformed a dreaded routine into a ritual I look forward to every day.

  • I am a wet shaver and I have never been happier. I use a Merkur razor and it neither give me razor burns nor nicks. I happen to use a synthetic brush before but now I am using a badger shaving brush. I am in Canada so I get my stuffs at http://fendrihan.coim.

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