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Questions, questions

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“well im brand new to what i like to call “real shaving”. thankfully someone
mentioned your videos on one of the forums, so i checked them out. thanks a
bunch for doing those videos they are very informative and extremely well
thought out and organized. im transitioning from a shick tracer disposable
cartridge razor to a DE safety razor. i currently have a vintage gillette TTO
adjustable and a cheap surrey boars brush and i use merkur platinum blades. ive
only shaved once with my safety razor and the shave was extremely close and
comfortable. i was very surprised i didnt slice myself to pieces (especially
since i have 2 small moles). my goal is to find a good razor,brush and blades
and then stick with them. i dont plan on getting too obsessive about collecting
the razors and brushes. so knowing that i hope you can answer several

-why is it double bladed? does that mean i should only use one side per shave session?
-since i only shave an average of twice a week how often should i change blades?
-i currently have that basic surrey boars brush and the hair just pours off of it. so id like to try a decent badger brush (between $30-50) that the hair wont pour off of…so what would you recommend?
-as i said ive only shaved once. i used the merkur blades and they seemed to work very good. if i want to find a good blade and then just stick with it, what blade
would you recommend?

-i think i may have just scored on an antique gillette safety razor, its an adjustable (tto) and it has a patent code of H-1 on the bottom. so any chance you could tell me what model it is and about when it was made?”

I don’t honestly know why blades are double-sided. I always assumed it was to give you double the life of a blade vs. a single-sided blade. Or maybe it was just easier to manufactur that way. In any case you can alternate sides at your whim. Speaking for myself, I shave a section of my face with one side, flip it over, then shave another section of my face. That way I only have to rinse half as often.
Blade life is one of those often asked questions (in fact I recently made a video on it). Unfortunately, the answer is “it depends.” Basically, change the blade when you start getting lots of tugging or nicks or you notice its just not cutting as well as it should.
There are a number of good, inexpensive badger brushes out there. Check the “standard” badger brushes at (I have her “Havanna” brush and its very good, and about $40), some of the Vulfix brushes at, Crabtree & Evelyn’s “Best Badger Brush” at $35, or the Edwin Jagger brush at
If you’re getting good results with the Merkur blades I’d say wait till you’re a little more comfortable with your technique then try a blade sampler pack from westcoastshaving or razorandbrush to see if something else works better.
The H1 razor is from 1962.
The numbers on blades are a quality-control marker from the manufacturer and meaningless to the shaver.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

1 thought on “Questions, questions”

  1. I believe that double edged razors are double edged for marketing purposes. Early advertisements boasted the number of edges that you received and not the number of blades.

    I’m not recalling my razor history right now but I believe that the Star razor (first safety razor) used a single edged blade. Two edges to a blade was a big deal.

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