Father’s Day is coming soon. Maybe it’s time to suggest a few grooming gifts that may be in the traditional vein but a little bit out of the “classic” choices?
It’s easy enough to take the “safe” way and get a highly-rated safety razor, shave cream, shave soap, brush, etc. for dad. But how about considering getting him something special and perhaps just a little unusual, but still in the old-school wet shaving niche? And something he may actually use.
[Note: Amazon, Geni.us, Oneblade, Supply, Smallflower, and West Coast Shaving links are affiliate.]
There are a lot of classic razors, these days mostly three piece razors that use double edge blades. Here are a few ideas that stray from that idea just a bit.
Double Edge Razor
It’s no secret that I like fully adjustable razors. One of my earliest double edge razors was a Merkur Progress–and “back in the day” it (and the Merkur Futur) was about all that was available for an adjustable razor. Now there are many more choices in adjustable razors.
An adjustable double edge razor I would consider quite “gift-worthy” is the Rex Ambassador. The Rex Supply Ambassador adjustable razor is available in two different handle lengths and several different materials including stainless steel, gold, and rhodium. Click/tap here to read my full review of the Ambassador.
Something even more “off the beaten trail” in this style is the new Rex Konsul adjustable slant razor.
Single Edge Razor
Anyone who has read Sharpologist for any length of time knows that I’m a huge fan of OneBlade. If dad is a cartridge razor user and you want him to “break into” old school shaving, or if you want to try a razor that may not be as “fussy” or time-consuming as a three piece safety razor, try a OneBlade razor. I think they’re the best of both worlds: a single edge blade similar to an old-school razor, but on a pivoting head like a modern cartridge razor. When I pair it with a good shave cream I get a wonderfully close, comfortable, and consistent (by virtue of the pivot) shave.
I prefer the top-of-the-line Genesis model, as I find it the least mild of the line (all OneBlade razors are pretty mild) but there are OneBlade razors at different price points: Core, Hybrid, and Genesis).
Another single edge razor that may be good to try as a friendly transition from cartridge razor to traditional safety razor is the Supply SE. The Supply SE features a razor head designed to reduce the chances of getting a nick or cut by 75% and though there is no pivot it provides a nice “middle of the road” and drama-free shave experience.
The Supply SE uses single edge “Injector” format blades. The “Injector” blades come in a magazine that is inserted to the razor, making blade changing a largely hands-off experience. While “Injector” blade choices and availability may not be as plentiful as double edge blades, there are several different manufacturers making these blades so you’re not locked into one blade source. Click/tap here to read my full review of the Supply SE razor.
On the other hand, for a more “advanced” shaving experience, Supply offers their Supply PRO razor. This razor is definitely not for the newcomer (IMHO). Unlike the Supply SE (or the OneBlade) the Supply PRO is fully adjustable and does not feature design elements that make it appropriate for a new or transitional shaver. This razor is for someone who knows what they are doing.
And for the dad who really wants a challenge, there is the straight razor (not the “barber straight” with replaceable blades, I’m talking about the classic, solid blade razor that must be maintained periodically). Here a gift-giver must be really careful: there are a lot of “junk” straight razors out there, particularly at the lower price points. If you are looking for a good, reliable straight razor it’s probably a good idea to budget about US $150–and that’s just for the razor itself, no strop or other accessories.
A while back I wrote about how to select a straight razor for the beginner. Distilling that article into a set of specifications for a straight razor, it comes down to:
- Blade size: 5/8 or 6/8
- Blade point: rounded
- Blade metallurgy: carbon steel
- Blade grind: full hollow
- “Shave ready”
from one of these brands:
- Ralf Aust
- Thiers Issard
Some reliable models that fall into these specifications include:
Boker King Cutter (from West Coast Shaving)
Dovo Cellidor (from Cut Throat Club)
Dovo Ebony Prima (from Cut Throat Club)
Dovo Classic Straight (from New England Shaving)
Thiers-Issard 275 Dandy (from Smallflower)
What if you would like to give a full shaving set instead of just a razor. Sure, you could put everything together yourself “a la carte” but there are some reliable kits available, too!
Safety Razor Kits
The OneBlade razors mentioned earlier are available in a kit form with some excellent products (for example click/tap here to check out my review of their excellent “Black Tie” shave cream).
Straight Razor Kits
Cut Throat Club offers a fine kit to go with the Dovo Cellidor razor mentioned earlier. More info on this kit coming soon!
Related Post: Wet Shaving Starter Kits
If a razor is too difficult to shop for, or if dad doesn’t want something like that, maybe it’s time to consider a shaving accessory he doesn’t have or needs an upgrade to.
If you’re shopping for a shaving aficionado they probably have multiple versions of everything they use. How about a stand that can hold several items?
Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements offers a stand that holds up to four brushes for example:
And Smallflower offers a Triton Chicago brush stand in stainless steel:
(West Coast Shaving also offers this stand.)
Smallflower also offers a matching stand for up to four razors:
And West Coast Shaving offers a multi-stand that can accommodate razors and brushes:
By the way, toothbrush holders can make great razor stands too!
A common shaving/grooming kit is the ubiquitous “Dopp kit.” But traditional Dopp kits are often a single container with nothing to separate products, so you just have to rummage around inside to find something (like an unguarded razor…ouch!).
Instead consider a hanging or rolling “wet pack” that can store products in different pockets inside the pack:
Finally have you considered an elegant or unusual shaving scuttle, mug, or bowl? The classic designs are fairly common so how about something a little less ordinary?
Odds And Ends
Something new on the market that I’ve been playing with is the Barber Mask:
While this might look like a novelty item at first glance, it’s actually worked very well for my shave prep activities. It’s almost like a barber’s towel over my face, but instead of having to lay down or use my hands to hold a hot, wet towel to my face. This lets me do other things (like bowl lathering) while I’m waiting for my prep to complete. More on the Barber Mask coming soon!
With Father’s Day approaching now is the time to get something a little out of the ordinary for dad’s shaving needs!