10-22-2013, 02:34 PM
#1
  • Westaway
  • Junior Member
  • Lawrenceville, GA
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I've chosen to place this thread in the Safety Razor section instead of blades because I need to fine tune my razor and not choose a one size fits all blade. I have had Dorco recommended to me for this most AGGRESSIVE razor. I've ordered a 100 Ct pack of Dorco ST 300 Platinums from Amazon. In stock I have a decent supply already of Derby Extra, Astra SP, Wilkinson Sword and about three Feather Blades. My other razors are Merkur 34C, Muhle R41 (2009, the OC head made by Merkur), Muhle CC R89 and a FaTip Picolo in Nickel. Feel free to match up different blades with different razors if it isn't one size fits all. I have had times when a shave didn't seem up to par and I have generally blamed quality control on the blade. I haven't until today begun to think that perhaps the blade/razor matchup is more important for an optimum result.

I want the best experience from my brushes, soaps/creams and razors...... and have an open mind except when my own experience has taught me a certain choice. Thanks in advance for any helpful input. The question on the thread centers around the R41 but not everyone owns this particular razor. Many have tried it and because it bites when used like some other razors they are used to..... they've shelved it or sold it, perhaps prematurely. Huh

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 10-22-2013, 03:29 PM
#2
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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I don't have an R41, but I do have a Gillette Tuckaway with the New-Improved head. It's also an aggressive OC head. It bites mercilessly if you don't pay attention.

I like DORCO blades in mine, but Astra SP work well for me too.
I love the Astra SP blades in my Gillette NEW long-comb, but that is a much milder razor.

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 10-22-2013, 03:35 PM
#3
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I had already gotten rid of my other blades by the time I first tried both the 2011 and 2013 R41 so I've only tried (and do enjoy) Personna Labs. Upper middle class sharpness, very smooth for me, 7 day longevity, made in the USA, simple packaging and no wax.

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 10-22-2013, 06:12 PM
#4
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For me and my 2011 R-41 I had to use feathers. They pulled way less. I would personally get the 2013. Much more comfortable and still just as efficient.

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 10-22-2013, 07:07 PM
#5
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vintage Wilkinson Swords & Super Iridiums worked the best for me in it. Nonetheless, I still found it too uncomfortable to use as a daily shaver after three separate tries with it! Blush
Good luck.

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 10-22-2013, 07:46 PM
#6
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I always suggest the sharpest smoothest blades. Med Preps, SI, any 7 O'clock from St Petersburg (yellow & black are definitely good), Supermax super plat', they all work for me.

The reason I suggest these sharp blades is because you don't want it to tug at all. The sharp blades cut with less pulling.

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 10-22-2013, 09:19 PM
#7
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An R41 2011 is my daily razor. Your best blade depends on the angle you use.

If you shave the r41 2011 with a steep angle, they way I do, then a thick ultra smooth blade that isn't very sharp is best. The steep angle gives an absolutely consistent path for the the skin over a very exposed blade. That blade needs to be sharp enough to bite into the hair at the point of contact but ultra-smooth and dull enough to ride over the skin. Further, given the path of the skin, the blade needs to be stiff to keep it from flexing. It helps if the blade is cheaper, because with a steep angle you will dull it faster. Finally, the cut has to have a tiny bit of tug so that your second (and likely finishing) pass will cut the hair that was slightly tugged up. The Dorco is spot on on all these criteria. (Yes, the blade that is nearly useless to so many in milder razors is, I believe, a great choice in the 2011 R41.)

As for prep, the firm bite of the blade against the base of the hair is a key goal, so an overly long prep which softens the skin making it vulnerable works against you, not for you. (I speak heresy, I know.) Given the massive blade exposure of the R41, a smooth edged blade presented in this steep angle will cut un-prepped hair effortlessly.

The second way of using a 2011 is with a shallow angle. With a shallow angle there are several likely ways for the skin to bunch up ahead of the blade... which nearly guarantees bloodshed. This, I believe, is the main reason people quit the r41. To do shallow angle best I have found super smooth and very sharp blades are key. So Super Iridiums, Perma Sharps, Med Preps, Lab Preps, Feathers are all good choices. I find that longer prep to soften the beard helps keep the skin from getting tugged when using a shallow angle. The BBS is just as close as a steep angle BBS, initially, but does not last nearly as long as with a steep angle shave.

As far a software... you can do everything right but if your lather lets you down you're toast with the r41.

So, you think I'm nuts... advocating less prep, duller blade, steep angle. Please know this... my skin feels better this way than a three+ plus pass with a DE89L.

As always YMMV.

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 05-05-2014, 04:52 PM
#8
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Though I have no experience with the R41, I have used Dorco ST300s to effectively tame more aggressive razors.

Question for Aimsport:
I read of steep and shallow blade angles, but I always read it and never see it. By "steep" do you mean angled more towards the dome of the razor or towards the safety bar? Thanks.

- Murray

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 05-05-2014, 06:31 PM
#9
  • Westaway
  • Junior Member
  • Lawrenceville, GA
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(05-05-2014, 04:52 PM)CMur12 Wrote: Though I have no experience with the R41, I have used Dorco ST300s to effectively tame more aggressive razors.

Question for Aimsport:
I read of steep and shallow blade angles, but I always read it and never see it. By "steep" do you mean angled more towards the dome of the razor or towards the safety bar? Thanks.

- Murray

With a steep angle, generally the handle is parallel to your face. As you lift the handle away from the face and gradually begin pointing the end of the handle away from the plane of the face, the angle is becoming shallower as the handle rises..... if the handle were a gun barrel, steep is shooting directly down into the floor and shallow is going to be shooting at the wall.
Aimsport may have a more scientific way of putting it.

I am a real fan of the R41 but lately I have begun having a stronger appreciation for my FaTip Picolo. A couple of weeks ago I realized that I had not changed blades in the FaTip for almost a week. I had been loading Feathers into my razors of late and immediately thought..."how neat that I'm getting this many shaves out of a Feather. No wonder they cost more." I decided to load a new Feather into the FaTip and when I unscrewed the handle I found that I had gotten five or six comfortable shaves out of a lowly Dorco Blade. It just goes to show that we sometimes need to revisit our prejudices.

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 05-05-2014, 06:45 PM
#10
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Thanks for the explanation, Westaway. I had imagined "steep" relative to the other end of the razor.

- Murray

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