03-02-2014, 05:17 PM
#1
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Off and on for the past two weeks I have been using a razor that is making the rounds on a large internet auction site that does not need to be mentioned. In fact there are at least three variants of this razor. I will address them in this review as a series, even though this is a test of only one of the razors, while the additional two variants which are on order. Now if you are a one blade purist, this is more than likely not the razor you seek. For those who can use two bladed razors or for the rest who are curious read on.

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According to the seller here is the details of the series of razors:

Quote:"Saiver" is a classic 3-piece safety razor. It can be used with 2 blades at once: you have to cut one blade in half with scissors, install both parts on top, then press them with metal plate, and then put second blade and tighten everything with install of a base plate and a handle. Of course you can use it normally, with just one blade, as a regular DE razor. The razor fixates blade firmly, without any wobbling.

The materials are: ABS plastic, stainless steel and aluminum.

Saiver is the name of a small lake inthe Mary El Republic. The razor is produced in Yoshkar-Ola, by "Kontakt" factory.

You can read more of the location of the factory at the following links.

Republic / Location:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topi...09/Mari-El

Factory Photo:
http://www.alltravels.com/russia/mariy-e...o-34766940

Now to the razor. The cost of the razor is around $15 - $17 with shipping, but like many things that could be subject to change in the future. The razor comes in a cardboard backed plastic container with more than enough room for the razor. The packaging writing and instructions are in Russian only. The seller is technically incorrect on it being a classic three piece razor, unless only one blade is used. If the twin configuration is used, it is truly a four piece razor (including the steel shim). This variant has a guard bar on both sides of the base plate (double guard bar). One of the other variants has a guard bar on one side and an open comb on the other. An additional variant comes with the double guard bar base in a travel version. The version finds the aluminum handle coming in three pieces which screw together to form a single handle. In this demonstration of assembly the twin blade configuration will be used. The first image shows the parts of the razor and the blades in a prepared state and each of the images that will follow by step by step visual to the completed razor.

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You may ask, what if the top blade is placed intact into the razor cap. Well, I tried that and what happens is the top blade bends down and comes in contact with the shim which negates it from being applied to the skin. In essence the razor reverts back to a single blade configuration using the bottom blade only. So with the understanding that for the twin blade system the top blade must be split, we move on to the handling of the razor.

The aluminum handle is light and efficient and reminds me of the British made Gillette Tech handles. The Saiver as tested weighs 1 ounce ( 28.35g) where as the Schick Krona, considered a light weight razor) weighs 2 ounces (56.7g) This is a clean looking handle and has only light grazing for gripping. Even though the grazing is not deep, I did not have any issues with the razor slipping in my hand while shaving.

What does this four piece razor configuration not do? In the twin blade configuration you are not multiplying aggressiveness. The level of aggressiveness to me is no greater than an EJ89/R89 razor even when using the twin blade configuration.

What does this four piece razor configuration do? Like the twin bladed cartridge systems, the passes have a multiplier effect. So one pass of this razor will either equal two passes with a standard Double Edge razor, or come very close to it. So a two pass shave becomes close to, or equal, to a four pass shave. The shim has ridges that allows it to provide the space of three Double Edge blades between the two blades. The top blade (halved) allows for the geometry of the head and cap to be maintained by allowing the size to be narrowed due to the slight overlap of two separate pieces.

How does the razor feel in use? It feels like a British Aluminum Tech in the hand but you can sense the two blades in action. Even with the slightly added height of the head, the difference from other standard Double Edge razors is minimal. It is easy to maneuver and I was not hampered in any way around the ears when shaving the head. Now the first trial was with the very smooth but less sharp Big Ben blades. I got three days worth of shaves from it before the razor began to tug. With two face passes I could tell that my shave lasted about a hour or two longer than using my EJ89 with two face passes using the same blade. On the head I normally make one pass and this razor really made a difference because the two blades tended to pick up more on that one pass. So rather than being aggressive it is efficient. This razor reminds me of a Trac II that is more aggressive in cutting, or the discontinued Personna Double Cartridge razors produced in the 1970s, that resembled a Double Edge head but used a slide on cartridge with twin blades on each side. I have used that razor also, and this is much more efficient because the blades are more substantial and sharp.

What are the draw backs of the razor? If used in a standard three piece single blade configuration there are no major drawbacks from a design standpoint. Weight and balance is light and neutral, so that may be off-putting to some users, but that is a preference issue and not a design issue. The four piece twin blade configuration is where the word needful comes in. This razor configuration is obviously higher maintenance in the loading of blades than a single blade Double Edge razor. The cutting of one blade and the need to ensure that each half of the separated blade is parallel to the guard bar. This was accomplished when the head was tight enough to allow the four tabs on cap to rest inside the base plate notches but not fully tight. At that point a toothpick was used at the extreme exposed corners of the blade halves to move them into a parallel position. The handle and cap were then fully screwed together and the toothpick was gently used at the corners of the blade halves again to check that the blades would not shift. Each time that the razor is used it is advisable to check to make sure the handle and cap are secure and the blades are correctly in place to prevent any issues with an overexposed blade. It will also have the same issues with a multiblade cartridge when it comes to blade wear and tugging. I noticed that when the blades were dull it was a very noticeable effect.

Currently, I am testing with a the Rapira Swedish Supersteel blade which is sharper than the Big Ben blades. On the first shave, the shave was even more efficient with the length of time that the hair is less noticeable is longer. As I continue to test this razor I will make known the results. As stated earlier I am expecting receive the other two configurations in a few weeks, so when they come in I will examine them to see if there are any significant changes between the variants and discuss as required.

Conclusion: This is a very efficient razor and can have a high value for those who want to reduce passes to save time, but the time spent in setting up the razor may offset some of the time saved shaving. The shaves are excellent and it is not an overly aggressive razor even though the concept seems at the first glance to be aggressive. I do not know whether this razor will become a regular in the rotation, but it is a nice change of pace or maybe a razor to have at the ready in case a quicker shave is required.

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 03-02-2014, 05:21 PM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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You are a brave man.

Thank you for sharing this very interesting review ... an enjoyable read, with great pics too!

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 03-02-2014, 06:20 PM
#3
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One thing I did not bring up when I wrote this centers around the fact it is coming out of Russia (a wet shaving haven). The design emphasis may be on how to effectively cut thick beards without increasing the overall aggressiveness of the razor. This may be the reason why this line of razors exists.

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 03-02-2014, 08:22 PM
#4
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You, indeed, are a brave man, Gary!
Thanks for the review and best of luck! Smile

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 03-03-2014, 08:13 AM
#5
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Day 2 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 2 went excellently as did Day 1. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. The razor worked exactly as it should with no issues whatsoever. The level of aggression was about at a setting 5 on a Gillette Slim but was truly more efficient. All in all a great shave.

[Image: 12906384624_f88385a257_h.jpg]

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 03-03-2014, 10:03 AM
#6
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Well written, great photos and good timing Gary as I was just coming over to write my own review. If you don't mind (we can separate this post into a new thread if you do) I would like to add my two cents on my experience with this razor.

My razor is the open comb/ safety bar combination head. The top cap, shim and handle are identical to yours, but the base plate is a bit different.

Seller's photo:
[Image: 2221zkg.jpg]

Loading the Voskhod blades for the first time was a bit of a challenge and it took three attempts to get the split blade to align properly. Once I got the blades installed correctly and the handle tightened down they passed the back of the fingernail test to make sure there was no wiggle room. It was at this point that I looked at the blade exposure and got a little concerned.

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For the first shave I took it very easy and slow, concerned that the open comb side was going to take its fair share of skin layers off my face. I used the open comb for the left side of my shave and the safety bar for the right. After the first pass I was in shock that the razor was pretty smooth, yet effectively and audibly mowing down the whiskers. I proceeded with my apprehensive approach and ended up doing four passes, resulting in an irritation free DFS. Not as close as I like, but not bad considering how cautious I was.

This morning's shave, 2nd attempt, I approached the shave with confidence and the motivation to get ready for work in a timely fashion. I used a bit of pressure and breezed through a three-pass shave. The results were better, still irritation-free and near BBS (a little stubble is faintly detectible in my usual trouble spots along the jawline and above the lip). I do think the open comb is a little more efficient than the safety bar side at this point, but both are remarkably smooth and efficient.

After only two shaves I can say that the razor is quite impressive. I'm not sure what benefit the two blade system offers, but at least it seems well designed in actual use. If I can manage to get these same results in a two-pass shave then I can easily call this a smart buy, but for the time being I will call it a functional novelty.

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 03-03-2014, 11:00 AM
#7
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(03-03-2014, 10:03 AM)blzrfn Wrote: Well written, great photos and good timing Gary as I was just coming over to write my own review. If you don't mind (we can separate this post into a new thread if you do) I would like to add my two cents on my experience with this razor.

My razor is the open comb/ safety bar combination head. The top cap, shim and handle are identical to yours, but the base plate is a bit different.

Seller's photo:
[Image: 2221zkg.jpg]

Loading the Voskhod blades for the first time was a bit of a challenge and it took three attempts to get the split blade to align properly. Once I got the blades installed correctly and the handle tightened down they passed the back of the fingernail test to make sure there was no wiggle room. It was at this point that I looked at the blade exposure and got a little concerned.

[Image: Kv0ZNcV.jpg]
[Image: 4ir9ZzH.jpg]
[Image: vw8Z5FE.jpg]

For the first shave I took it very easy and slow, concerned that the open comb side was going to take its fair share of skin layers off my face. I used the open comb for the left side of my shave and the safety bar for the right. After the first pass I was in shock that the razor was pretty smooth, yet effectively and audibly mowing down the whiskers. I proceeded with my apprehensive approach and ended up doing four passes, resulting in an irritation free DFS. Not as close as I like, but not bad considering how cautious I was.

This morning's shave, 2nd attempt, I approached the shave with confidence and the motivation to get ready for work in a timely fashion. I used a bit of pressure and breezed through a three-pass shave. The results were better, still irritation-free and near BBS (a little stubble is faintly detectible in my usual trouble spots along the jawline and above the lip). I do think the open comb is a little more efficient than the safety bar side at this point, but both are remarkably smooth and efficient.

After only two shaves I can say that the razor is quite impressive. I'm not sure what benefit the two blade system offers, but at least it seems well designed in actual use. If I can manage to get these same results in a two-pass shave then I can easily call this a smart buy, but for the time being I will call it a functional novelty.

Dave,

Excellent! I am glad to see this because I have the single sided open comb on order as well as the travel set. I think that this blade is to the primary audience not a novelty as we view it here. From using it a week I really see how the double guard bar twin blade system can work for someone with a moderately thick to very course beard that has sensitive skin. Instead of attacking the problem with a more aggressive blade contact, you simply use a second blade to gain the added cutting efficiency. My shaves have lasted longer than with an equivalent one blade system but not quite as long as with a Barbasol or a Mühle R41 2013. The difference is so far I can shave daily with the SAIVER where as I have to alternate the Barbasol or a Mühle R41 2013 with a milder razor to prevent too much skin issues.

It seems to me from your writing that the open comb will be a bit more aggressive than the guard bar in the twin blade configuration. I will be interested in testing one when mine comes in to see where the differences lie.

I look forward to more from your observations. I plan on just keeping all my updates on this thread to make it easy to find. Feel free to keep yours here as well.

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 03-04-2014, 08:26 AM
#8
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Well my third consecutive shave with this razor has resulted in an even closer, yet still irritation-free result. I focused this morning on proper blade angle to ensure that both blades were doing their job. After the first prass (mostly with the grain) the results were similar to any other effective razor in my aresenal). After the second pass (mostly across the grain) the results were already at DFS level and this would be perfectly acceptable to me when in a hurry). The final two passes (ATG and touch-up) were to see if I could hit the BBS mark and it is darn close, but there is some barely detectable stubble still around my outer jawline and above my outer-upper lip. It's not as close as I can get with some of my favorite razors, but it is as smooth and efficient as you could possibly want.

The clear advantage with the two blades is a closer shave in fewer passes, however it is not, at least with these blades and my current technique, capable of giving me that long-lasting BBS shave that I crave. I am going to take a break from this OC/SB combo razor to test another (Shavecraft 101) with the same brand blade to see how they stack up against each other. Obviously the Shavecraft sells for four times as much (for a "defective" unit) but will it deliver four times the performance? We shall see.

As of right now, I would recommend this razor to those that enjoy this hobby for the variety and appreciate trying new things. Since it is such a smooth razor the only risks involved are loading the blades and apparently there are some manufacturing tolerances that may make getting the top split blade aligned easily (though it doesn't appear that Gary nor I suffered this).

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 03-04-2014, 08:48 AM
#9
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You'll find the Shavecraft 101 to be very mild and extremely smooth. If you get the angle correct and use a little pressure in places as needed, you'll get a great shave from it.

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 03-04-2014, 04:25 PM
#10
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(03-04-2014, 08:26 AM)blzrfn Wrote: Well my third consecutive shave with this razor has resulted in an even closer, yet still irritation-free result. I focused this morning on proper blade angle to ensure that both blades were doing their job. After the first prass (mostly with the grain) the results were similar to any other effective razor in my aresenal). After the second pass (mostly across the grain) the results were already at DFS level and this would be perfectly acceptable to me when in a hurry). The final two passes (ATG and touch-up) were to see if I could hit the BBS mark and it is darn close, but there is some barely detectable stubble still around my outer jawline and above my outer-upper lip. It's not as close as I can get with some of my favorite razors, but it is as smooth and efficient as you could possibly want.

The clear advantage with the two blades is a closer shave in fewer passes, however it is not, at least with these blades and my current technique, capable of giving me that long-lasting BBS shave that I crave. I am going to take a break from this OC/SB combo razor to test another (Shavecraft 101) with the same brand blade to see how they stack up against each other. Obviously the Shavecraft sells for four times as much (for a "defective" unit) but will it deliver four times the performance? We shall see.

As of right now, I would recommend this razor to those that enjoy this hobby for the variety and appreciate trying new things. Since it is such a smooth razor the only risks involved are loading the blades and apparently there are some manufacturing tolerances that may make getting the top split blade aligned easily (though it doesn't appear that Gary nor I suffered this).

Dave, we will be interested in the Shavecraft review as well. Well done pointing out what is going on with the open comb versus the guard bar on this one.





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Day 3 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 3 went excellently as did the prior days. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. The razor worked exactly as it should with no issues whatsoever. The level of aggression was about at a setting 5 on a Gillette Slim but was truly more efficient. I shaved at 5 AM and after 12 hours the shave is better than my Slim or EJ89 after 10 hours. The shave is just about as long lasting as when I use the R41, but with far less skin sensitivity issues. All in all another great shave.

The life span test has become the major issue for this razor, where with other razors not so much. For example I ran the Big Ben blade first which is my testing blade because it is mild but very smooth. That protects me if the razor is very aggressive (i.e. R41 or Barbasol) on the first try. Once I know how the razor behaves, then I will try other blades. Now the other things the Big Ben blades display is how mild a razor is, or are there weaknesses in the razors geometry (angle sensitive). Now for this razor the Big Ben blades ran 3 shaves before slightly tugging. There were no angle sensitivity issues. Now I could have gone one more shave with that set of blades, but I knew that some blades would be absolutely no good with this razor because I would be changing it every three days if I used it on a regular basis. The Rapira Swedish are much sharper and in many aggressive razors require more diligence for me. I am interested in how long these blades will last. Day 4 awaits.

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 03-05-2014, 04:39 PM
#11
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Day 4 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 4 went excellently as did the prior days. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. The razor worked exactly as it should with no issues whatsoever. I shaved at 5 AM and after 12 hours the shave is better than my Slim or EJ89 after 10 hours. All in all another great shave. So far so good on blade life but there is more testing needed.

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 03-06-2014, 06:00 PM
#12
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Day 5 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 5 went excellently as did the prior days. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. All in all another great shave.

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 03-07-2014, 10:55 AM
#13
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Decided to use the Saiver again for this morning's shave. This is the fourth shave with the Voskhod blades, which in a normal DE razor would be past its prime. The shave was three passes and resulted in near-BBS. The shaving angle is very intuitive because of the shape of the cap and I am experiencing much less irritation and better results than when using my Shavecraft 101. Cool little razor!

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 03-07-2014, 05:59 PM
#14
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[Image: 12980862685_42a9b8251d_h.jpg]

Day 6 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 6 no change in results and so far no degradation of the blades. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. All in all another great shave.

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 03-07-2014, 06:54 PM
#15
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Wow, Gary! That would make it 12 days with the same blade if you are shaving your head and face! What a blade! Biggrin

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 03-07-2014, 07:01 PM
#16
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(03-07-2014, 06:54 PM)celestino Wrote: Wow, Gary! That would make it 12 days with the same blade if you are shaving your head and face! What a blade! Biggrin

Blade X2! I have deliberately avoided looking at my old test data to prevent any bias from creeping into this test. I want to see how long these two blades hold up before tugging occurs. Since I head shave daily it will be good to see how it compares to the original one blade tested in the Slim with both face and head shaving (which is almost daily for me anyway).

(03-07-2014, 10:55 AM)blzrfn Wrote: Decided to use the Saiver again for this morning's shave. This is the fourth shave with the Voskhod blades, which in a normal DE razor would be past its prime. The shave was three passes and resulted in near-BBS. The shaving angle is very intuitive because of the shape of the cap and I am experiencing much less irritation and better results than when using my Shavecraft 101. Cool little razor!

Four out of Voskhod blades is pretty good. I thought this razor was going to be just another gimmick, but boy was I surprised. It is turning out to be a very nice little razor. No frills in the looks department, but hidden performance. We will see as this progresses as to how user friendly it will be overall.

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 03-08-2014, 08:11 AM
#17
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Day 7 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 7 no change in results and so far no degradation of the blades. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. All in all another great shave.

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It is hard for me to tell the difference between today's shave and the shave for day 2. I look forward to tomorrow's shave.

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 03-09-2014, 12:58 PM
#18
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Day 8 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 8 no change in results and so far no degradation of the blades. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. All in all another great shave.

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 03-10-2014, 07:19 AM
#19
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Shave #5 with the OC/SB Saiver razor was uneventful and another near-BBS resulted. I skipped my initial WTG pass this morning since the real BBS shave due to yesterday's use of the Streamline left me with very little to shave this morning. I did change up the testing this morning and used the open comb for the right side of my face and the safety bar for the left and I have concluded that the safety bar side is just a tad more efficient, but neither are capable of getting as close as some of my more efficient razors (such as the aforementioned Streamline). Still, I think you would have to try really hard to damage your face with this razor (loading the blades may be another concern) as it just gently and effectively cuts through the whiskers. I do feel like it is almost too easy and would like to try some sharper blades to see if indeed this razor is capable of a true-BBS shave.

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 03-10-2014, 03:16 PM
#20
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[Image: 13047831845_5d4a80cae5_h.jpg]

Day 9 with the Rapira Supersteel Blades in the Twin Configuration.

Day 9 no change in results and so far no degradation of the blades. A two pass BBS on the face and a two pass BBS on the head. All in all another great shave.

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