NEW DE SHAVERS - What to buy to get started...

Fed up with paying exorbitant prices for cartridge based shaving "systems"?

Welcome to the wonderful world of traditional wet shaving where you can spend just as much except this time you will do so willingly. You've probably read somewhere about an alternative shaving nirvana and want to get there quickly after years of terrible shaves and painful skin. Hopefully this thread will help get you started by choosing the right products that are mainly available in the UK high street and online.

Before putting blade to skin you are strongly advised to study the guides either in this section or the online video tutorials by the likes of mantic59 and geofatboy. Don't expect great shaves straight away, like any skill it requires some time and practice to master every facet of a really good wet shave as well as undoing old habits. Some may take a few weeks or a few months to achieve the results they desire but for many it requires an undoing of ones perception of an acceptable shave and that being permanently "baby bottom smooth" is really for babies bottoms and advertising whereas achieving consistently comfortable shaves and better skin condition is actually far more important and achievable.

We all have different beards and skin to understand so bear that in mind when reading forum responses. Ask anything you need to and good luck, we all started out on the same journey like we hope you are about to.


For less than a fiver you can purchase one of these on most UK High streets, either will get you started.

For a longer term investment and a much larger step up in quality you should consider a metal D.E razor, there are plenty to choose but here are some favourites for starters and experienced shavers alike.

Edwin Jagger 89 or 89L
Mekur 33 or 34c

If you like the idea of a vintage razor , the B/S/T is the first place to search but do ask for advice about suitability.


For less than a fiver a Wilkinson Sword (WS) synthetic brush will do a job available at Tesco & possibly ASDA

For an animal hair free alternative the Body Shop synthetic is available for £6.

For just over a tenner, the Vulfix 404 mixed hair brush is an all round favourite and a nice step up in quality, available from Diamond Edge Ltd directly or through Amazon UK.

Simpson, Rooney and Jagger are probably the UK's most renowned brush makers, good value can also be found from bespoke brush makers.
For more information just ask in the brushes section.


Palmolive shave stick (50p) and cream (£1.80). Not glamorous but cheap and highly effective, a stalwart in any UK wet shavers armoury.

Boots soap stick - £1.50

Ingrams - The English Proraso? - approx £2.00 from high street outlets like Superdrug.

The Real shaving Company cream. (£4) TK MAXX, Poundland, Asda and other outlets.

Body Shop Macca Root (£8/200ml, £4/125ml) - Check if you like the scent or get a sample.
There is usually a 3 for 2 type offer available.


These are rebranded Israeli Personnas (IP's) a decent performing blade and easily available from Boots, Tesco and Asda.

Otherwise get one of the many blade sample packs available from Connaught

POST SHAVE - the better you shave the less you'll need.

There is no one better post shave product than any other, you'll just need to discover what works for you.

Crucial - rinse thoroughly with warm or cool water to remove soap residue.

Witch hazel - a good all round cleanser, toner and natural astringent, available online and most UK high street chemists. Thayer's who produce "flavoured" witch hazel products is a popular brand amongst wet shavers.

Alum - An anti-bacterial blood coagulant, found cheaply in ethnic supermarkets and pricier everywhere else.

Aftershave balm (ASB) or Aftershave (AS) - Despite claims to the contrary alcohol can be your friend, experiment.
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Re: NEW DE SHAVERS - What to buy to get you going...

Great post antdad,
Currently using the Boots DE razor until i get my EJ89L for xmas.
Bought a couple of soaps from Nannys.
A 2211 NF brush
Just received a blade sample pack from Connaught and an alum block.
I use the BS Maca ASB.
I also have the Wilkinson Sword Brush.
Re: NEW DE SHAVERS - What to buy to get you going...

This should be sticky'd

Might be worth mentioning some slightly "rarer" stuff: vintage Gillette's (three-piece and TTO) from the Bay and fellow collectors; Tabac soap and any of the "English" creams (Trumper, Taylor etc).

Balms, alum and smellies too.

But as a "get going for the price of a few packs of razor cartridges" it's very impressive.

Good work Tony
Re: NEW DE SHAVERS - What to buy to get you going...

Yes good idea, I'll add some budget/starter post shave items.

It's just a simple post that members can point to when a new member/shaver is looking for some basic guidance as to what to buy. We've all got our preferences but I've tried to be objective.

Vintage TTO's can be a minefield for a starter so I just left them out. Luxury creams and smellies? I think they will get there on their own accord if they want to.
Re: NEW DE SHAVERS - What to buy to get you going...

Thank you for this thread ;)

You replied in my 'welcome' post and this is a handy guide to someone in my position who is looking and trying to sort through all the 'ins and outs' and the large number of posts on this forum :!:

joe mcclaine

Re: NEW DE SHAVERS - What to buy to get you going...

Great post and a reminder to some 'old hands' that you don't really need to look much further than those things for happy shaving ever after.
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