10-30-2013, 10:33 AM
#1
  • srgjazz
  • Senior Member
  • Santa Monica
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Today I got the smoothest shave yet with the R41 from Connaught. I am positive it is the so called 2013 version. My first few shaves were with a SS Bulldog handle and a Med Prep. Got good results but with some tugging on the WTG pass. Today I used the stock handle and a Gillette Silver Blue and had no tugging. I start with the razor flush on my face and then drop the handle until it starts to cut. Some call that a shallow angle while others call it steep. I guess it is all relative to where zero is. I shaved right after the shower and face lathered MdC with a Simpson Classic.
One thing that I have learned is that I really do not care for SS handles that much. Yes they are grippy but I have no issues with the stock handles on this and other razors.
Interested in hearing how others are experiencing the R41

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 10-30-2013, 03:58 PM
#2
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I got my R41 last week. It's quickly become my go2. The silver blues did not do it for me, I got a much better shave with a feather. Glad you're liking your R41! Happy shaving..

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 10-30-2013, 05:21 PM
#3
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Glad to hear you are getting great shaves out of the 2013' R41. I think Muhle nailed it by extending the top plate on the 2013' to a more realistic size.

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 10-30-2013, 05:45 PM
#4
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+1. The 2011 version although a fine shaver is just too much blade exposure for me. The 2013 is crazy wicked aggressive still, but smooth enough to enjoy.

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 10-30-2013, 07:02 PM
#5
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Congratulations on the success with R41!
Personally, I tried both the 2011 and 2013 versions and found them to be almost similar with the 2013 being a bit 'less aggressive', but still very uncomfortable shaver. Blush
Enjoy the razor!

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 10-30-2013, 10:08 PM
#6
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I love mine. Couldn't be happier with its result.

Almost BBS in 2 passes, without ATG.

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 10-31-2013, 06:35 AM
#7
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This razor is so much better (for me) than the 2011 R41.

My issue with that razor (the 2011 model) was that it had such a large blade exposure, which allowed the blade to flex when dealing with my very thick facial hair. I was able to use it, but I never liked it.

This one is different. The slightly larger blade coverage makes the head so much more comfortable to use. It is still efficient, but now the aggressiveness seems to be tamed.

My shave today was all that I could ask for - comfortable, easy, and a pleasure. It was close too.

I'd say that this razor is not much more aggressive than a New Improved or some other razors (like the Mariner), but it hits the sweet spot of efficiency and comfort.

I still needed a 3+ pass shave to get my face completely smooth (just as with the 2011 R41), but unlike the 2011 model, they were all comfortable passes.

-------------

That brings up a point about aggressiveness: After a certain point, a razor doesn't get more efficient with an increase in aggressiveness. It just gets more uncomfortable to use, and will nick at the slightest provocation. That was where the 2011 R41 failed for me - there were razors that were every bit as efficient as it, but a lot more comfortable to use. That's why I passed it on.

This version just seems that teensy bit better engineered, so it doesn't lose efficiency, but gains a lot in comfort.

A big thumbs-up from me! Biggrin

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 10-31-2013, 08:19 AM
#8
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I bought my R41 a few weeks ago. I've shaved with it three times. It is the most aggressive razor I have, for now I'm happy with it but it irritates me a little.

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 10-31-2013, 08:42 AM
#9
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(10-31-2013, 08:19 AM)Inhaki Wrote: I bought my R41 a few weeks ago. I've shaved with it three times. It is the most aggressive razor I have, for now I'm happy with it but it irritates me a little.

With the right soap match for you the r41 will be gentler on the skin than a mild razor. The r41 reveals the quality of your soaps and creams. Especially the 2011.

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 10-31-2013, 08:58 AM
#10
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(10-31-2013, 08:42 AM)Aimsport Wrote:
(10-31-2013, 08:19 AM)Inhaki Wrote: I bought my R41 a few weeks ago. I've shaved with it three times. It is the most aggressive razor I have, for now I'm happy with it but it irritates me a little.

With the right soap match for you the r41 will be gentler on the skin than a mild razor. The r41 reveals the quality of your soaps and creams. Especially the 2011.

I would challenge this (to some extent). If you change the 'will' to 'could', then I would agree with your statements.

The 2011 R41 just doesn't work for some people, regardless of technique or prep. YMMV applies to this hobby (shaving) more than most.

Of course, other razors are similar. I could say that if you cannot get as good a shave from a mild razor as you can from an R41, then your technique is faulty. I could be right, and I could be wrong in that statement. YMMV, as usual. Biggrin

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 10-31-2013, 09:22 AM
#11
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This is really the only DE that interests me, I hope to buy one soon. From the threads I've been reading I think I will go with the 2013 model.

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 10-31-2013, 10:30 AM
#12
  • srgjazz
  • Senior Member
  • Santa Monica
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I agree that for me this razor exposes any flaws in product or technique. I can get a close shave with my Fat Handle Tech, it just takes more passes and loads of buffing.
Today's shave with the R41 required 3 passes but almost no buffing. I have a coarse beard with the area on my upper lip like wire.

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 10-31-2013, 02:55 PM
#13
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(10-31-2013, 08:58 AM)yohannrjm Wrote:
(10-31-2013, 08:42 AM)Aimsport Wrote:
(10-31-2013, 08:19 AM)Inhaki Wrote: I bought my R41 a few weeks ago. I've shaved with it three times. It is the most aggressive razor I have, for now I'm happy with it but it irritates me a little.

With the right soap match for you the r41 will be gentler on the skin than a mild razor. The r41 reveals the quality of your soaps and creams. Especially the 2011.

I would challenge this (to some extent). If you change the 'will' to 'could', then I would agree with your statements.

The 2011 R41 just doesn't work for some people, regardless of technique or prep. YMMV applies to this hobby (shaving) more than most.

Of course, other razors are similar. I could say that if you cannot get as good a shave from a mild razor as you can from an R41, then your technique is faulty. I could be right, and I could be wrong in that statement. YMMV, as usual. Biggrin

I wrote "could" and changed it to "will". LOL. I'm sticking with "will". Biggrin

YMMV is misunderstood. The reality is many have prematurely given up on the r41 2011. Only some of those took the opportunity to try again with great success. It's not always a YMMV thing; it's often a learning curve thing. I'm trying to help people up the steep r41 learning curve. Bailing prematurely with the excuse of a misplaced YMMV is an undesirable outcome. Yes, the r41 shave is THAT good it's worth mastering the steep learning curve.

That being said, the high r41 fail rate is certainly understandable because the r41 2011 (and to a lesser extent 2013) is a paradigm shifting beast.

The r41 2011 leapfrogs over the whole mild-razor gradual reduction approach. It positions the blade firmly at the base of the hair with the skin rolling under the blade more like a straight than a DE. I believe the very best professional barber straight razor shaves last longer than DE shaves for the same reasons that an r41 2011 DE BBS lasts longer than typical DE BBS. It's a blade skin angle thing. Some even refer to the r41 as a straight with a handle.

The r41 is my daily razor. In the many hundreds of shaves I have learned that I could draw a line through my soap and cream collection. Soaps below the line would result in irritating shaves. Soaps above deliver totally calm skin. As I gained experience, that line included more and more of my soaps. What changed? My technique got better and better. But that does not change the r41 2011 learning curve reality that, especially when starting out, the soap matters a great deal. In fact, it's make or break.

For the r41 the top tallow soap is Mike's Natural, the top vegan soap is Napa Soap Ocean Blend, and cream is KMF Key Lime moisture shave.

As for blade, I can now put any non-defective blade into the r41 and get a solid shave. That wasn't always true. Starting out the smoother milder blades helped a great deal. The top blade for me is a Dorco, which is just an average blade, if that, in almost any other razor I own. Why? Because an infinitely sharp blade put into an r41 2011 would leave a rectangular bloody path on a face. The skin rolls under the blade more like it does with a straight. This affects blade choice... smooth and moderately sharp being better than sharp but not smooth.

What has success with the r41 2011 given me... besides the agony of people who have never used an r41 telling me I'm full of it..Confused...
1. BBS shaves are no longer elusive. They are guaranteed.
2. Face is calmer than it has ever been... totally calm.
3. BBSs lasts longer than I ever dreamed possible.
4. In a rush an r41 now outperforms a cartridge in speed (sub 2min) and closeness.

While I have found myself a fixture in almost every r41 thread trying to help people understand this beast, I am encouraged that more and more people are speaking up and sharing their success in mastering the r41. Maybe someday soon you'll see an r41 thread without Aimsport putting my 2 cents in. Don't old your breath. Biggrin

Peace.

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 10-31-2013, 03:23 PM
#14
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My experience is similar to Aimsport. With the right blade and software my R41 delivers the best shave but I had a steep learning curve and paid in blood to figure it out. Now I rarely draw blood with it. For me QCS creams or Mike's are the matching software.

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 10-31-2013, 04:06 PM
#15
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Aimsport -

Well, we'll have to disagree on this point........which is perfectly fine, of course. Biggrin Can't agree on everything.

I do agree with you on the point that many people give up on razors before really giving themselves a chance to learn the proper techniques to use with those razors. I've found myself doing it on a few occasions, so I usually give myself plenty of time (and several breaks) before I give up on a razor. I certainly spent enough time with the R41.

I can't speak for other people, but my experience with the 2011 R41 was meh!. It took a while, but I was able to get good, close shaves with it. But then, I can get good, close shaves with pretty much any razor (with one or two notable exceptions). Some are worth the effort, and others are not.

Since the 2011 R41 took the same amount of passes as several other DE razors, it was not worth keeping. To me the questions were simple:

1) Can I get as good a shave with other razors? - Yes.

2) Is it any more work to do so with other razors? - No

3) Are the other razors more forgiving of imperfect skin or a lapse in concentration? - Yes.

4) Do I want to keep this in the rotation, given that it's no better a shaver than other razors? - No.

----------

As an aside, I use very aggressive SE razors (like the Henckels Rapide with a disposable SE blade), and I usually use straights (including the Feather AC razors). They're all better shavers than the R41 and are more comfortable to use.

I traced my problems with the R41 down to the blade exposure. To me the head cap was not wide enough and it allowed the thin DE blades to flex too much. This was pretty much guaranteed to happen on certain areas of my face - the hair follicle density and the thickness of the hairs in those areas of my face just make it a bad idea to have a flexible blade - it's just not conducive to comfort. Most razors take care of that by arcing the blade enough or not allowing a lot of visible blade, if they hold them flatter. The 2011 R41 did not do either of those things.

Of course, this was my own experience. I just couldn't see the point of retaining a razor that didn't match my requirements. This has happened a few times - most recently with the iKon slant, which was not efficient enough for me to keep.

I'm not saying that the 2011 R41 will not work for anyone. I just don't think it will work for everyone.

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 10-31-2013, 04:15 PM
#16
  • srgjazz
  • Senior Member
  • Santa Monica
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Aimsport I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the time and passion you give to this subject. I have about a half a dozen shaves so far on the 2013 R41. So far I find that a Silver Blue works better than a Med Prep which supports your point on blades. Only used MdC for soap. I am getting some KMF Lime tomorrow based on your recommendation.
Thanks again for your input.

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 10-31-2013, 04:31 PM
#17
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Yohann, fair enough.

You clearly read my posts thoroughly and I yours. We just disagree on a few points. Being a fan of wetshaving including SE shaving, we probably have more in common than this little exchange might imply.

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 10-31-2013, 07:08 PM
#18
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Well, I think you both make valid points and that you're both correct. Each in his own way.

I always suggest to folks that unless they need the $ for future acquisitions that they hold onto failed razors if they are too aggressive. As technique matures one might grow into a razor. THBS, if a razor doesn't work there's absolutely nothing wrong with moving on. At some point one knows if the reazor will work or not.

Different strokes for different folks. To give shave meaning to a saying of 40 years ago.

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 11-01-2013, 02:48 AM
#19
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Brian -

Yep, that's what I do (return to some razors that didn't work for me). For the most part, I'll keep a razor and return to it a few days or weeks later, if it didn't work out at first - sometimes, I'd do this several times.

I usually finally evaluate the razor at the point at which I can get a good shave from it - one that's close enough, comfortable enough, and without unfortunate incidents. At that point I ask myself if I like the shave, and also if I'd prefer to use other razors instead. If the answer to the first is 'no' and the second it 'yes', the razor can be passed on to someone who will appreciate it more.

On several occasions this has backfired. I've been curious about the razor again at some point, and had to buy it again. I bought three Pils razors over time, returned to the Feather AS-D1 a few times, and so on with a few razors. In almost all cases, my initial experience was confirmed.

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 11-01-2013, 06:01 AM
#20
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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"What has success with the r41 2011 given me... besides the agony of people who have never used an r41 telling me I'm full of it"

Those folks aren't all wrong.Biggrin

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