Best Electric Shaver / Beard Trimmer / Groomer / Balder / Self Haircutting System
More for beard trimming and haircutting. For a closer shave, see the Non-Electric Razor Systems below.
The Best – Buy Once and Never Again – For Complete Shaving: Andis T-Outliner with T-Blade $52 [Amazon] Used by professional barbers. The T-blade means it’ll be a flat square blade so you can make lines better, go around ears easily, get into small spaces, line up mustaches and beards. Great for a skin close shaved face or head (going for the bald look). Similar is the Andis Professional Outliner II. But takes some more practice than T-Outliner because it doesn’t have the T-blade. Those two are the best, however, secondarily, is the Oster 76 (this one is great like the Andis) $121 worth the extra money over cheaper Osters, ie lasts much longer and better than the Oster Professional 76023-510 Fast Feed (not as precise)
For trimming, Add Guards: ie for the Andis T-Outliner: [Amazon] This grants you the perfect length for an ever-present groomed scruff look (similar in effect to a dashing 5 o’clock shadow but more of the perfect 2-week beard).
Those options above are better than the old Wahls, Wahl Lithium Ion, Wahl Groomsman, Wahl Professional Detailer, Norelco, Remington MB-70, Conair GMT900, Gillette Fusion Trimmer, Babyliss Forfex, Philips Norelco (they break often), Panasonic, Braun, Philips Norelco Head Groom, Wahl 5 Star, Andis Master is heavy
Best Non-Electric Razor / Shaver / Shaving System
Why not make shaving a joy? Although these setups are a little pricey, they are great quality and will save in the long run (ie $.27 per double edge razor blade or $0 sharpening a straight razor vs $4 for a Gillette Fusion razor cartridge).
Either choose the Double Edge Razor System or Straight Razor System. More highly recommended is the Double Edge Razor, as the Straight Razor is a bit more time-consuming and tedious.
[For Everyone] Double Edge Safety Razor (DE Razor) System
Best DE Razor
Edwin Jagger DE89 38L $28 [Amazon – Chrome Lined] (Other styles available)
OR For Possibly Closer Shave: (Adjustable) Merkur Progress 500 $51 [Amazon]
Substitute: Merkur [Amazon – 180 (LHC, 23c) or Amazon – 178 (HD, 34c)] (HD better than Merkur 1904)
[For Fanatics] Straight Razor System
Best Straight Razors
Best Value Straight Razor: Dovo various models $120-$130 (some recommended styles are: Imitation Tortoise or Ebony “Silver Steel”) [VintageBlades] or [SRD]
Best High End Straight Razor: Thiers Issard Le Grelot Straight Razor and honing from Classic Shaving ~$280 [ClassicShaving]
Note: Make sure you spend the $20 for the website to hone your straight razor for you, it’s nice to have it already prepped. The Dovos are easier to hone than the Thiers Issard
Best Strop and Hone
The Filly strop from Rup Razor $22 [RupRazor]. For later honing your blade yourself, you also need a barber’s hone (this one is synthetic) Naniwa 12k $73 [StraightRazorDesigns, RoyalShave]. For honing the stone/hone, required is a diamond DMT
Substitute for barber’s hone: Chinese 12k $40, cheaper than Naniwa 12k, but the Naniwa leaves a better edge, is easier to use, easier to lap, faster. Chinese 12k are hard as heck and will consume all but an extra extra coarse DMT plate if a lot of work is needed. If you add the price of a monster DMT (diamond) the Chinese hones are less of a bargain. With a Naniwa it can be lapped flat with running water and 3M wet dry paper and then touched up for each razor with a smaller less aggressive DMT.
DO NOT get: A shavette (straight razor with replaceable blades ie the Parker SR1, Jatai Feather Club SS)
Accessories for Non-Electric Razor Shaving
A quality shaving brush and cream will help you achieve amazing lather for the least nicks and smoothest shave experience.
Best Shaving Brush
Fur Quality from Lowest to Highest (a general guide but some prefer Boar): Boar –> Pure Badger –> Best Badger –> Silvertip Badger
Best Value: (used by professional Italian barbers) Omega Professional Boar Brush (ie Omega 10290) $10 [Amazon, qedUSA]
Best Value High End: Savile Row 3824 (Silvertip Badger Brush) $130 One of the best in value and quality, will last forever, doesn’t lose hair and super soft from [qedUSA]
Best Shaving Creams – these last a long time
Best Value Options: Proraso Red / Sandalwood shaving cream $10 (Sandalwood is a classic shave fragrance) [Amazon]
Proraso Green / Menthol for that special feeling [Amazon]
Taylor of Old Bond Street Eton College (fresh spring scent) [Amazon]
Taylor of Old Bond Street Mr. Taylor (classic shave scent) [Amazon]
Secondary Options: Musgo Real [Amazon], Cella soap $10 [Amazon]
Optional Shaving Extras
In order to soothe your skin and bring back moisture, recommended is a Aftershave Moisturizing Balm ie (Corn Huskers Lotion $7 [Amazon]) rather than the well-known astringent / toner aftershaves (ie the classic old-school aftershave Clubman Aftershave $6 [Amazon] and Alcohol-Free Thayers Witch Hazel $8 [Amazon]).
For skin healing, a Styptic pencil can be used for spot treatment on serious nicks $4 [Amazon], or to treat whole beard for razor burn and minor nicks, an Alum Block works, ie Tulumba Barber Alum $13 [Amazon], OR Bloc Osma Alum Block $9 [Amazon]
For lathering and storing your shave equipment, a Shaving Bowl tends to be unnecessary as face-lathering is more convenient and preferred (less time, softens the beard). Examples of bowls:
Simple Bowl: Corelle (unbreakable) 6 oz Ramekin Bowl $12 (set of 6) [Amazon]
– OR –
Lather Bowl: $18 from Dirty Bird Pottery. A lather bowl has indented patterns inside to rub the shaving brush on and build a better shaving cream lather. A Brush Scuttle $32 is unnecessary, essentially to keep the lathered brush warm in between shaves, you have hot water in an outer layer bowl to keep inner bowl warm.
Also, a Brush Stand / Razor Stand can be used so the brush and razor dry upside down without growing mold / bacteria. You could make the Do-It-Yourself, or just place it the shaving bowl
Avoid: Art of Shaving brand (overpriced), pre-shave oil that “helps to soften hair” (unnecessary, just shave after showering)
Shaving Youtube Guides: mantic59, most notably being The Great Shave – Mantic59 Live Shave Demonstration
Miscellaneous Hygiene Products
Absolutely necessary misc. hygiene products include Tweezers (ie Seki Edge Stainless Steel Slant Tip Tweezers $15 [Amazon]) and Nail Clippers (ie Seki Edge Stainless Steel Fingernail Clipper $15 [Amazon]). While to most, nose and eyebrow hairs can be plucked with the tweezers, some may prefer a trimmer, and it especially helps with ear hairs! IE the Nose / Ear / Facial Hair Trimmer Panasonic ER-GN30-K Nose, Ear & Facial Hair Trimmer Wet/Dry Vortex $13 [Amazon] which has slightly better form factor than the slightly more expensive $18 Panasonic ER430K Vacuum