New to DE shaving - Can't get a close shave

Hi all, I'm brand new to DE shaving and new to this forum. Just looking for some advice. So I had my second ever shave using a DE razor this morning and to be honest I'm struggling so looking for some hints and tips, do's and don't etc. Other than the shave cream, I bought my kit from Executive Shaving choosing items from their beginners range and my setup is....

Timor Closed Comb Safety Razor
Personna blades
Executive Shaving pre shave oil
Acqua Di Parma shave cream

For reference I have used Gillettes all my life and currently use the Fusion. For all the pluses and minuses with cartridges, I can safely say it gives an excellent very close shave with no nicks or cuts. So why am I changing? Just because it's an itch I have and I want to scratch it! Interested to see what shaving with a DE is like.

So the first problem I am having is that the shave really isn't close. I was under the impression that DE razors could give you a nice close shave but I am not getting it. Don't get me wrong, visibly I look clean shaven but running my hand over my face and I can feel roughness. My approach was 3 passes, first with the grain, second across the grain and third with the grain again. I'm not sure if you can go against the grain with a DE but I have never shaved this way with a cartridge so for now haven't done this. I had read not to apply pressure when shaving with a DE and to let the razor do the work, which is what I have done, but I wonder if I could be applying a little more pressure to get more closeness?

Second problem is that I am getting lots of nicks and cuts. I always expected DE's to be more risky when it comes to nicks and cuts but was surprised at how many I got considering I bought what I thought were fairly forgiving blades. Is this to be expected for a newbie and is it 'practise makes perfect'?

Finally it feels like sometimes the razor is passing over the skin, removing the lather but not taking any hairs with it. This could just be a perception thing but I'm thinking I'm not getting the angle of the head right. Cartridges are naturally angled in a way that you don't have to think about it but I wondering how exact you need to be with the 30 degree angle of blade to skin? Going down my face seems fine but I seem to be struggling going up my neck and across my face. Could blade angle be contributing to both the closeness and the cuts that I'm getting?

I am guessing that for now I need to persevere and over time the technique will get better but interested in any advice you can give!
Hi Paul,

Persevere, I sometimes dont count how many shaves I get out of a blade. Take your time! If you find the the pass isnt doing it (which it may not). With practice you will get better shaves than one of those cartridge razors provide. Remember your only putting 1 blade across your face instead of 5 ...

Try a number of blades in a variety pack and get a decent (not necessarily expensive) brush.

Enjoy it! You'll get there, and eventually never look back.
Haywards Heath
I will echo what many have said. Practice, practice, practice. It took me a long time of trial and error to get the right technique, to get my skin used to the shave etc. You will notice a drastic change overtime. Make sure you do a proper face mapping to fully understand the way your beard grows. There will be many spots (at least that is my case) where it takes some weird directions. Don't think it's the razor's fault. If the head of your Timor is similar to that of the EJ89/Muhle R89 it can give you fantastic shaves and you can achieve a BBS but it won't happen after few attempts. Also try different blades. Once you get more confident, even sharper blades as many (including me) found those to work wonderfully in cc razors.


Hi @Profcool welcome to TSR! Lots of good advice here, for what its worth, I would also recommend looking at the Youtube shaving tutorials my Manic59: Watching those was a game changer for me.

When my brain clicked that DE shaving is stubble reduction, one pass at a time, things also got better. As many have said preperation is also key.

All the best,


Mike Smart

Hi mate welcome to the forum. i’m fairly new myself under a year however i don’t get on with Personna blades. iv actually got a thread on here asking others their opinions and most came back as not liking these blades. Blades are probably the single most important part of your set up. have a few selections and see what your face likes.
also don’t put any pressure on your razor,
hold it at the bottom and let the weight of the head do the work,
always remember it’s very difficult for a lot of people to get a smooth shave, reducing the length on three passes should get you to roughly where you want to be.
you’ll find through time i.e 5-6 shaves your technique will improve,
also if you feel your running the razor across your face and your not taking hair off then you have the razor at the wrong angle, this you will get through time
Hello and welcome.

There's been a lot of good advice already, mainly that surely nobody on their 2nd attempt has refined good enough technique to have nailed it.

However, as you're talking particularly about closeness of shave I think equipment seems a very likely factor. YMMV is very apparent, it may just be that particular razor and blade just isn't a good combination for you.

The reason you're probably nicking and cutting could be down to technique but I'd go one further and say you're likely overcompensating because you can't get it as close as you like i.e. applying more pressure than you should to try to cut closer. This is perfectly rationale. Alas, ultimately you can try everything but this razor/blade may just not be the answer.

My recommendation is to preserve with the same set up for maybe another 5-10 shaves and see if you notice an improvement to the point of being acceptable to you. If not, try a more aggressive blade. If that still doesn't work you could try getting either a more aggressive or better still, an adjustable (rockwell 6c has already been mentioned).

It's worth adding that I'm not much further along my journey than you and have/had a similar issue. I now have much better technique than I did a few months ago but it's still not anywhere near close. I'm now in the process of changing razor and expect that to make a noticeable difference.

Good luck.
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