Father’s day is a couple weeks away so it’s time to think about enabling dad’s shaving obsession with some nice gifts! I’ve collected some thoughts on some items that may be little out of the realm of the typical kit, something that dad may not get for himself but would appreciate anyway.
If dad is thinking about backing away from a mass-market cartridge razor, the “bog standard” recommendation for a double edge (DE) razor has been a Merkur HD* or an Edwin Jagger DE89.* They’re popular and reliable. If the price is too much for you, consider one of the low-cost “twist to open” (TTO) reproductions such as the Dorco Prime which was recently upgraded to a slightly larger, heftier model (Tailor and Barber has a more thorough review of the Dorco Prime “starter kit” that includes a 20% discount promo code).
But if dad already has a DE (or maybe pines to have something more out of the ordinary) maybe it’s time to upgrade his experience. There are a few ways to do this.
First is an adjustable razor. Dad complaining his razor is too harsh (or too mild)? An adjustable razor will let him tailor his preference. The Merkur Progress* is a personal favorite of mine (also available in a long-handled model* and Bullgoose Shaving has a beautiful artisan re-tooling of the razor as their Eskimo Razor). The Merkur Futur* is another adjustable. An alternative “adjustable” is the Rockwell 6S: not adjustable in the classic sense, rather it has 6 swap-able base plates that can offer different blade gap settings.
Next is a “slant” razor. These razors hold the blade so it approaches hair at an angle instead of straight-on. Some folks say this is a more efficient way of shaving, though many say they are too aggressive. The Merkur 37C* (and it’s long-handled brother, the 39C*) is the most widely available slant, though you can also find them at some artisans like Above The Tie.
How about going full-on luxury? Treat dad to something really special. The Feather AS-D2* is the latest version of the original “luxury” DE razor. Made of Stainless Steel the AS-D2 is heavy and well-balanced. Some say it is “too gentle” but paired with a Feather DE blade it can really sing (in my opinion anyway).
But I think the ultimate luxury razor experience is the OneBlade — the link goes to their Father’s Day special that includes blades, a Vulfix shaving brush, and Castle Forbes shaving products (pre-shave, shaving cream, aftershave balm). I wrote an in-depth review of the OneBlade a while back (a video too) and it’s one heck of a razor. The pivoting head makes the OneBlade perform similarly to a modern cartridge razor but the similarities end there. High-grade Stainless Steel, excellent design and engineering, and a real luxury experience make the OneBlade a stand-out.
It’s hard to beat a shaving brush for it’s purely tactile response when shaving. Yes, it’s a tool, but a tool that can be used to significantly enhance the shaving experience. Want to upgrade dad’s brush to something special? Here are some ways to do it.
The Muehle synthetic bristle brushes have become the standard for brushes using artificial hair. The performance of the latest generation of synthetic bristle approaches that of “silvertip” badger hair, the highest-grade, most luxurious brush knot material. The Muehle “Purist in Silvertip Fibre“* is a good example (but here is their full line of synthetic hair brushes).
A really elegant, high-end brush that even comes in a nice presentation case is the Kent BLK 8* though there are other sizes too.
The classic, high-end luxury shaving brush by reputation has to be the Simpson “Chubby 3,*” though it is definitely not everyone’s idea of the perfect shave brush.
Cream and Soaps
Maybe dad is happy with his hardware, or maybe you’re looking to get him something “different” to use. Here are some very gift-worthy shaving creams and soaps to consider.
DR Harris* is in my opinion the best of the “old school” shaving soap brands that have been around a while. Their tallow-based shaving soaps perform spectacularly (even in “hard” water), are available in a selection of sophisticated scents, and come in a variety of attractive containers. Check out the scent descriptions and bowl options at the link.
Martin de Candre (“MdC”) shaving soap can be difficult to obtain (though Old Town Shaving Company in the US usually has some) and has a reputation that some term as “enigmatic” but others regard MdC as one of the finest “hot process” shaving soaps available today. It comes in a heavy glass jar and while the original version had a single scent, a couple more have been added. It would certainly make an “unusual” gift. [LAST MINUTE EDIT: I’ve read in a couple places that MdC may have just changed their formula and moved to a plastic jar. Shop carefully if you are interested.]
Similarly, Mitchell’s Wool Fat* shaving soap (“MWF”) has a mystique surrounding it that can be difficult to explain. It seems that shavers either rave about MWF or just say “meh” but nothing in between. It comes in a wonderful ceramic bowl.
Finally, Castle Forbes* shaving cream would be for someone who likes their shaving cream scents strong. Like “smack-you-in-da-face” strong.
How about getting dad that little extra something? It could be something as simple as a brush & razor stand* to keep his “shave den” a little more tidy (here* is a fancier version and here* is one capable of storing more than one set). Or maybe he would enjoy keeping his lather warm in a scuttle?*
If dad travels a lot maybe he could use a Dopp kit* or a wash bag to store his shaving goodies in (here is something that kind of combines the Dopp kit and wash bag concepts). Or even a special leather holster just for his DE razor….
I hope these ideas have given you the inspiration to get something special for Father’s Day!
*Affiliate link: Sharpologist gets a small commission for purchases made through the link but it does not effect the price you pay for the item.