Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Soft brush, hard soap, great lather

with 3 comments

The HJM is a synthetic brush (made by Mühle): extraordinarily soft, wonderful, and effective. Again this morning I encountered the idea that it’s difficult to get a good lather from a soap if the brush is very soft, which notion is (in my experience) totally false: I can get an immediate fine lather from any of my soaps—Klar Seifen this morning, Mitchell’s Wool Fat (said to be finicky), or any other—instantly and easily with the softest of brushes. Any difficulties in lathering soap are due not to the brush but to the water (too hard) or to the soap (not a good shaving soap). The brush works.

And the feel of the HJM is totally wonderful. Considering that this brush costs but $25 shipped (from or, it is becoming my standard beginner recommendation, along with the similarly priced silvertip badger from Klar Seifen is a fine soap, and I got a fine lather, immediately.

Yesterday I used the Merkur 37G slant, and today the Merkur Bakelite slant so I could do a side-by-side comparison. It turns out to be easy: the Bakelite slant is easily superior. It simply shaves better and more easily, the light weight a definite plus. And once more I have a BBS result without taking any special pains: a simple, 3-pass shave, producing a perfectly smooth face. Terrific razor. The blade was a newish Astra Superior Platinum, and that of course may make some difference in the smoothness of the shave—but not in the razor handling and feel.

A splash of Klar Seifen Klassik aftersahve, a favorite, and I’m ready for the day. I have pepper sauce plans.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 October 2012 at 7:23 am

Posted in Shaving

3 Responses

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  1. I’ve had four shaves now with the Bakelite slant, and each has been delightful. There doesn’t seem to be much of a learning curve, either. Just prep, lather up and go.

    I’d like to differentiate the shaving experience from the results of the shave. I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to call a razor “aggressive” or “mild,” partly because the terms are rarely defined and may mean different things by each person who uses them. (I think we’re in agreement there.To me it seems more helpful to talk about how a razor feels to shave with, and then how closely it shaves.)

    So — the experience of shaving with the Bakelite slant has been a pleasure, without exception. I’ve been using a Gillete 7 O’clock Black blade in the razor, and lathering with La Toja and a dab of Cremo. (I think Cremo adds some slickness to the lather, although that’s not the way the maker intends it to be used. I found it at a drugstore on a free-after-rebate deal, so trying it was an easy decision to make.)

    This is a very light razor. The absence of weight in the hand was something I thought I would worry about during the shave — I have enjoyed using a weighty razor — but in fact I forgot about it almost immediately, and I don’t think it made any difference.

    No nicks, no roughness during the shave, no redness, scratchiness, or pain afterward … very pleasurable shaves.

    And the results have been consistently BBS with three passes (WTG / XTG / ATG), and DFS but not quite BBS with two. (I’ve alternated three-pass and two-pass shaves to compare.)

    This is my first slant razor, so I can’t say how it compares with other slants, but it’s a wonderful razor: a pleasure to shave with, and leaves my face very, very smooth.

    On a side note, your comments about the HJM reminded me that after I decided my inexpensive Tweezerman badger brush was too scratchy for my taste, I began using another inexpensive brush — a synthetic from EcoTools that is sold as a make-up brush. I think it’s wonderful and worth checking out. If you do, I’d be interested to see what you think.

    This is the one I’ve tried and like (; I believe this one (actually, two; it’s sold as a twofer) is the same knot in a shorter handle. ( I haven’t tried it yet though.

    — Josh

    Josh in CA

    30 October 2012 at 10:33 am

  2. Ordered the razor. Didn’t realize it was NOS. Can’t wait.


    31 October 2012 at 1:20 pm

  3. It’s amazing. It may take a shave or two to “click”, but it’s a wonderful razor.


    31 October 2012 at 1:26 pm

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