Should You Use a Slant Bar Razor?

Merkur 39C

Merkur 39C Slant Bar Razor

A slant bar razor is a type of non-adjustable razor, meaning it has a fixed blade angle and exposure. What makes the slant bar unique is the slant of the blade, which slices through hair rather than chopping. A typical DE razor has a straight edge, which cuts bluntly across hair, pushing stubble over rather than going in for a clean cut. This causes stubble that feels a bit rougher after you’ve shaved.

A slant bar does not push stubble over but rather quickly slices, reducing resistance and leading to softer stubble. Think about the guillotine versus the Scottish Maiden – slicing versus blunt force.

Because the slant bar slices so cleanly through hair while maintaining a good gap between the razor and the skin, it’s a wonderful tool if you have thick, wiry hair and sensitive skin. When the blade does not push against stubble, the stubble does not push against skin, which means less irritation and a smoother shave.

It also works well for a neck shave, where alternating grain patterns, shifting contours, and delicate skin can get the best of even the most seasoned wet shaver.

Slant bar guard (Image via Badger and Blade)

Slant bar guard (Image via Badger and Blade)

The slant bar should be your second DE razor

The fact that a slant bar razor cuts so effortlessly makes it a liability if you press too hard. If you’re switching over from a cartridge razor and are used to putting pressure on the razor, translating this method to a slant bar razor will result in bloodshed.

Since keeping the right amount of pressure on the bar is so important, we recommend trying a slant razor after you’ve mastered your technique on your current safety razor. You should be getting consistently smooth, irritation-free shaves. Once you hit that point, you’re ready for the new level of closeness that a slant bar can offer.

Tips for using a slant razor

Blade sampler packs are your friends

You may consider yourself a Feather guy through and through, but once you make the transition to slant, it’s time to do some blade exploration (which should be done with any new razor). See our blog post on how to find the right DE blade for you for a step-by-step process. And be open to the fact that the blade that ends up working well on your slant bar razor may be terrible in your original DE razor, and vice versa.

Emphasis on (almost) no pressure

You handle a slant bar razor the same way as a normal DE razor, but with even less pressure (and of course at the correct blade angle). The slant bar will do the slicing for you – you don’t need to help it along with extra pressure.

t-wild

Thomas Wild’s patent

History

There were various versions before the twisted head we know today came to be. In 1916, the first recognized patent was filed by Thomas Wild of Britan (although there is still debate about who filed a patent first – Wild or Merkur).

Wild’s patent drawing shows an open comb design with a torqued head. You’ll find that same head on the Merkur 37C as well as slant bar razors by Above the Tie and Maggard.

Shop slant bar razors at RoyalShave.

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Top 5 #SOTD Instagram Accounts to Follow

Today’s blog is a continuation of our Top 5 Instagram series. While we started with a Top 5 list devoted to wet shaving Instagram handles, we realized soon after that: 1. There are many different niches in the wet shaving world, and 2. There are even more beautifully curated Instagram accounts deserving of being shared with our readers.

The following 5 accounts are the best we’ve come across for Shave of the Day posts – known as #SOTD in the Instagram shaving community. These posts consist of a layout of whatever the gentleman is using that day for a shave. Other than acting as eye candy, #SOTD posts give insight into how well products work and which products are a standby for that particular shaver (and are therefore good bets). They’re also a platform for discovering new shaving brands.

Below, our roundup of the top 5 #SOTD Instagram accounts you should be following now.

The Shaving Edge (@theshavingedge)

the-shaving-edge

The Shaving Edge started off as an online store, and then became a blog. So the guys who run it have extensive expertise about products as well as personal experience with the minutiae of wet shaving – razor burn, nicks, etc.

On The Shaving Edge Instagram, you’ll find beautifully set up Shave of the Days, along with tips and links to reviews of new shaving tools and products on the blog.

Tony Shaves (@tonyshaves)

tony-shaves

Tony Shaves is one of our favorite Instagram accounts to follow because he not only shares photos of his shave setups, but he also doles out helpful tips with every post (and the vacation photos depicting his #SOTDs in awe-inspiring settings don’t hurt either). For photos with new products, he’ll give a quick, honest review of whether they’re worth your time.

While Tony lives in Amsterdam, nearly all the products he includes in his posts are available in the states. For more in-depth reviews, check out his blog at bartonio.com.

Gabe Shaves Australia (@gabeshavesaustralia)

gabe-shaves-australia

If you’re short on time or not much of a blog reader, Gabe Shaves is your guy. Gabe, who’s based in Australia, does full product reviews on each post. So you’ll get your lovely lather shot as well as a review of the soap he used to create the lather. And if you’re a gentleman who is keen to know specs, Gabe consistently mentions every single item featured in the photo – from the specific Omega brush to the DE blade in his razor (he loves Feather blades).

This account is also useful if you like to discover up-and-coming shaving brands. Companies from all over the world send Gabe products that he shares with his followers.

The Razor Guy (@therazorguy)

the-razor-guy

The Razor Guy is unlike any of the Instagrammers we’ve mentioned so far. The man who runs this Instagram is interested in the historical and cultural roots of wet shaving. Devoted to razors crafted by longtime straight razor artisan Maestro Livi in Italy, The Straight Razor Guy details his trips to admire and purchase razors made by the esteemed craftsman. His unique purchases mean his #SOTDs include signature pieces, like a Maestro Livi Carbolnox Snake razor featuring a snake tail, or a straight razor with abalone scales.

Desiring to share his love of pogonotomy with the rest of the world, The Razor Guy also has a fascinating, instructive Youtube channel. Of note are his behind-the-scenes videos into the art of making a straight razor, and his wet shaving school series.

Honemeister (@honemeister)

honemeister

Honemeister’s Instagram posts are the definition of shaving as art. This wet shaver is a skilled photographer, and his #SOTD shots are almost sculptural in arrangement. Furthering the sculptural element are his handmade shaving brushes, which he crafts from briar wood.

Give Honemeister’s account a follow for inspiration on how to set up your own fancy #SOTD.

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History of Wet Shaving: Geo. F. Trumper

geo-f-trumper-shop

Instagram: @ourkidthebarber

A Victorian Age Gem

Geo. F. Trumper began as a barber and perfumer in London during the Victorian era of the late 19th century, when the gentleman ruled supreme. Mr. George Trumper founded his shop in 1875 at 9 Curzon Street, where it is still located today.  Catering to the quintessential English gentleman, the company sold wares consisting of cufflinks, walking sticks, perfumes, and razors – all things which can be found when visiting the store to this day.

One of Geo. F. Trumper’s specialties from the beginning was perfumes, which were commissioned by and named after the nobility. Today, Geo. F. Trumper continues to fabricate perfumes, some even still named after those original noblemen (such as their famous Wellington).  

Tradition, without a doubt, runs deep within the going ons at Geo. F. Trumper. The family-run business can be traced back to George Trumper.  Their lime-based aftershaves are still wrapped in pink paper, an homage to the British war effort during the second world war.  (During this time, all other colors had been required by the military to be used in the war effort.)

The interior of the store also remains as it was when founded.  You’ll find the same mahogany display cubicle and glass cabinets installed during the shop’s opening in 1875.  And you can get yourself a classic shave in a private velvet-curtained room, where during the Victorian era, men of all classes would go for a regal shave.

Geo. F. Trumper later opened their second location, dubbed The St. James Shop,on Duke of York Street in London.

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Keeping Tradition Alive

Though Geo. F. Trumper is strongly committed to tradition, the company has not failed to stay relevant to the current age.  Maintaining their signature level of luxury and style, Geo. F. Trumper has made the move to selling online, bringing their long-held traditions to the rest of the world.  

Their shops offer the best of what any gentleman could desire and remain one of the few of their kind to still offer professional barber services, including hair cutting, hair tinting, mustache and beard trimming, shaving, and manicure and pedicure services. All these services are performed on location and in the privacy of a curtained cubicle. When in London, a visit to Geo. F. Trumper is a must for any true gentleman.

Find out more about Geo. F. Trumper on their website, and shop Geo. F. Trumper at RoyalShave.

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Why You Should Finish Your Shave with an Oil Pass

Brooklyn Grooming

Instagram: @brooklyngrooming

We are avid fans of Michael Ham, the author of Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving, and one of the methods he advocates for finishing up your shave is the polishing pass. The idea is that once you’re done with your last pass (ATG), there’s one more step you can throw in to get rid of every last trace of stubble.

The polishing pass can be done with water, but you’ll get better, smoother results using shave oil or pre-shave oil. Keep in mind not to do the polishing pass over any irritated areas, and most certainly not over razor bumps.

How to do the oil pass:

During your shave, let your shave oil sit in warm water so it’s nice and pleasant when you apply it later.

After your shave, coat your wet beard area with a thin layer of shave oil (like Brooklyn Grooming Commando Shaving Oil). Using your non-dominant hand, feel your face for remaining stubble. Begin a process called blade buffing: do short ATG strokes with light pressure, without lifting the blade as you move it back and forth.

Repeat this process anywhere you feel rough spots.

When you’re finished, simply rinse your face and dry as usual, following up with an aftershave to seal in the moisture for a nice post-shave conditioner.

A note on the types of oil you can use:

Any shave oil or pre-shave oil will do for a polishing pass. While marketed for use before a shave, pre-shave oils can be used post-shave. They also tend to be lightweight and contain fatty acids that protect your skin’s lipid barrier.

If your pores clog easily or you are prone to acne, look for non-comedogenic oils like argan oil, shea butter, sunflower oil, and castor oil.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, if your skin is dry or sensitive you may want to consider mineral oil, which is an odorless, ultra-effective moisturizer that doesn’t cause allergic reactions . Johnson’s Baby Oil is a good choice for a gentle oil to use during the oil pass.

Product recommendations:

Oil-Pass-product-picks

SHOP: 1. Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Oil, 2. Jack Black Epic Moisture MP10 Nourishing Oil, 3. St. James of London Pre-Shave Oil, 4. The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil, 5. Brooklyn Grooming Commando Classic Shave Oil

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