08-12-2014, 08:35 AM
#1
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Word on the street was that a new straight razor artisan was coming to market. Mike Brandonisio has been selling the work of others for a while and has decided to get into making his own. He's selling some prototypes of their first razor the Uno, at a heavily discounted price to get feedback on the razor.

[Image: VDTdUkH.jpg]

This is my Uno in bone from a SOTD pic this week. Mike had asked for true feedback, both good and bad. For this review I will gloss over the bad as they are all cosmetic and won't be an issue in the final product. But what negatives I can say revolve around an uneven polish to the blade itself, there are grind and buff marks on the toe and heel of both sides of the blade. The other nit-pick I have is that while it is nice to see polished bone, Mike should be aware that bone has pockets in it from dried blood vessels which act as a wick. Using a black polish invariably leads to black in the bone. I think a cream or tan / medium brown polish compound would look better when absorbed. It would at least look natural.

Now on to the good. The edge was sharp as can be, yet very smooth. A BBS shave everywhere but my adam's apple which is never quite perfect. The blade is exceptionally well balanced, and just a joy to use. The barber's notch is well done, and the tang while not a style I care for, is still easy on the fingers to use. I would prefer jimps or a thumb notch, or at a minimum some curvature, but the tang as is serves its purpose well. Mike assures me jimps and other tang features are coming. The spacer is made out of Paduk wood, and compliments the look very nicely with its redish orange color.

I am hoping Mike joins us here as a vendor, he's been great to talk with and very interested in all feedback one can provide. Normal price on the Uno when out of the prototype stage will be $280 which seems very fair considering the average prices of modern straights, and the prototypes are $175. I believe I have the last set of bone scales. Biggrin

Below are a pair of non-SOTD pics, you can see the buff marks and black on the scales from the polish. Again, Mike has been wonderful to work with, and I am very much looking forward to seeing him in our community with a number of new razor types.

[Image: FwK2fHh.jpg]
[Image: 7fZxiwj.jpg]

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 08-12-2014, 08:57 AM
#2
  • u2u
  • Senior Member
  • GTA
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Nice review on the new product. Looks like Mike is off to a better start than another new maker who has prototypes making the circuit. Fully agree with you on the tang and jimps but as he develops his product you are left with one of a few unique pieces at a good price. Even Thiers Issard and Boker use that black polish on their bone scales. One TI I recently purchased looked horrid on receipt but was fine after a few shaves. Enjoy your new blade.

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 08-12-2014, 01:14 PM
#3
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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That's a lovely razor!

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 08-12-2014, 01:38 PM
#4
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(08-12-2014, 01:14 PM)SRNewb Wrote: That's a lovely razor!

Indeed, it's an absolute joy to use.

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 08-12-2014, 02:36 PM
#5
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Nice review Doug, matches my experience as well. Mike is all about feedback and eager to incorporate ideas from these into his finished product. I see this being a winner with some promotion and getting the word out. I especially like the heft that only a wide blade has.

I will share that a few years ago I had him put new walnut scales on a W&B wedge but the coating ended up being flawed. It was the first work I had him do and it occurred to me then that I guess I was about to find out if he stood behind his work. Well he had me back on my heels with his level of service. Mike was all over it putting a new set of scales on my razor with a finish that to this day is spotless.

He has since done work for me a few times and each time he has been a pleasure to work with. Highly recommended. Thumbup

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 08-12-2014, 05:45 PM
#6
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Hello guys Im Tony, Mikes brother, I have been very much enjoying reading all the feedback
Thank you! Cheers

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 08-12-2014, 05:55 PM
#7
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Welcome Tony. Mike has been great, he has gobbled up suggestions or negative feedback. I am looking forward to a number of different Brandonisio models in my den.

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 08-12-2014, 06:17 PM
#8
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The feedback is all relative to creating a better product. Mike and I have been using straights for many years and this is a passion for us and this far has been a lot of fun.

What are some thoughts on a smiling blade, Mike and I were considering on our next edition to have a slight smile on our next straight razor any thoughts anyone??

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 08-12-2014, 06:34 PM
#9
  • mbrando
  • Member
  • Bolingbrook, IL USA
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Hello Tony,
Fancy seeing you here. Smile

It's been really great getting comments and feedback from the community. After all, its supposed to be a product that you'd want to use/buy.

Jimps are definitely in on the final for the uno. I think they will be a feature on most blades we release.

Doug, Thank you for posting your experience with the new Uno.

- Mike

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 08-17-2014, 03:08 PM
#10
  • mbrando
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  • Bolingbrook, IL USA
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Hello,

Thank you everyone for your input and feedback on the Brandonisio and Bro. Uno straight razor. I have a few developments. We are offering the 7/8 Brandonisio and Bro. Uno straight razor in a few interesting exotic woods like Katalox, Gabon, Ebony, Black Palm, Kowa to name a few.

And we have our first Jimped version of the 7/8 Brandonisio and Bro. Uno straight razor.

[Image: P1010641.jpg]

[Image: P1010652.jpg]

Keep an eye open for developments. We hope to stock more of the Uno with Jimps soon.

Sincerely,
Mike

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 08-17-2014, 04:47 PM
#11
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Just great. Now I want a second UNO.

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 08-17-2014, 11:58 PM
#12
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Nice review Doug, I'm pleased to see he hasn't moved to far away from the looks and dimensions of the vintage and traditional razors, one of my pet hates whenever I see custom razors they seem to think the more bizarrely dressed up they are the more special they are far from it, It's a case of you can't reinvent the wheel so respect the past masters and their work, PS I'm thinking the blade steel is 01 am I right?

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 08-18-2014, 04:41 AM
#13
  • mbrando
  • Member
  • Bolingbrook, IL USA
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(08-17-2014, 11:58 PM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Nice review Doug, I'm pleased to see he hasn't moved to far away from the looks and dimensions of the vintage and traditional razors, one of my pet hates whenever I see custom razors they seem to think the more bizarrely dressed up they are the more special they are far from it, It's a case of you can't reinvent the wheel so respect the past masters and their work, PS I'm thinking the blade steel is 01 am I right?

Hello,
I could not agree with you more. The entire premise, for us, in developing new straight razors was to bring back classic vintage designs and style in a new manufacture blade.

The blade steel is 1095 high carbon steel.

Quote:Just great. Now I want a second UNO.

Sorry Doug, it was bound to happen.Smile

- Mike

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 08-19-2014, 05:47 AM
#14
  • mbrando
  • Member
  • Bolingbrook, IL USA
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Hello,
Since we are trying to work the bugs out of the developmental version of the Uno, I've been experimenting with different Jimp patterns and have come to like the 40LPI line pattern.

We have decided that we will offer the current inventory of Uno straight razors with "optional" jimps as seen below.

[Image: 40lpi-jimps.JPG]

The production version will be double wide like below.

[Image: 40lpi-jimps-double-wide.JPG]

I think that works well.

Also as an FYI, If you'd like the Uno you have now Jimped, send it or bring and I'll add Jimps for you. No additional cost, only shipping if yo choose to ship.

- Mike

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 08-19-2014, 06:42 AM
#15
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Very nice Mike I'm a jimping fan in fact the custom I have coming from Michael Waterhouse has double jimping, by the way what grind is the razor going to be?

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 08-19-2014, 06:53 AM
#16
  • mbrando
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  • Bolingbrook, IL USA
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(08-19-2014, 06:42 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Very nice Mike I'm a jimping fan in fact the custom I have coming from Michael Waterhouse has double jimping, by the way what grind is the razor going to be?

Hello,
It is a half hollow grind. The 40lpi jimps do make for a sure grip. I'm debating on if we should offer it as an add-on service like honing for customers razors.

- Mike

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 08-19-2014, 12:20 PM
#17
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(08-19-2014, 06:53 AM)mbrando Wrote:
(08-19-2014, 06:42 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Very nice Mike I'm a jimping fan in fact the custom I have coming from Michael Waterhouse has double jimping, by the way what grind is the razor going to be?

Hello,
It is a half hollow grind. The 40lpi jimps do make for a sure grip. I'm debating on if we should offer it as an add-on service like honing for customers razors.

- Mike

I must say great choice of grind an half hollow would be my preference, I very much look forward to seeing your finished razor. PS I also think 7/8 is a great size.

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 08-21-2014, 11:50 AM
#18
  • schnebbs
  • relapsed brush addict
  • chicago
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okay... i'm still new-ish to the straight razor shaving scene (still using a dovo shavette) and i've been looking to upgrade to an actual blade. most of my previous reading had me looking for 5 or 6/8, so will a 7/8 be a bit "too much" for me?

the uno is hitting all the things i've been looking for in a razor... right point, right grind and jimps. i'm also in chicago, so bonus points for local craftmanship. (i was actually so excited by the uno that i joined here just to learn more about it!)

any input from some more seasoned faces would be greatly appreciated.

cheers!

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 08-21-2014, 11:56 AM
#19
  • mbrando
  • Member
  • Bolingbrook, IL USA
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Hello,

If you are in Chicago, PM me and you can come out to the office and see the razor for yourself before you buy it.

- Mike

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 08-21-2014, 02:09 PM
#20
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(08-21-2014, 11:50 AM)schnebbs Wrote: okay... i'm still new-ish to the straight razor shaving scene (still using a dovo shavette) and i've been looking to upgrade to an actual blade. most of my previous reading had me looking for 5 or 6/8, so will a 7/8 be a bit "too much" for me?

While I agree that a 5/8 to 6/8 is ideal for a first straight, I must say I own a few 7/8 razors and this is by far the easiest to wield IMO. Very well balanced. You will find it will take you a bit longer to learn the under the nose "scoop" but I personally think most people would be fine.

It's certainly a heck of a deal. BTW, get the jimps.

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