06-24-2015, 11:24 PM
#1
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I finally pulled the trigger on the beast, R41 and received it yesterday. I was thinking about buying it for a very long time, but never believed that it is for me. Considering the thin and sensitive skin I have I was absolutely sure that it would destroy my face. 


The shocking surprise it was that I didn't find it simply aggressive, instead I found it both mild and aggressive in the same time. I know it sounds strange, so please let me explain what I felt about it.
First, let me tell you why I find it harsh and aggressive. The blade is being held very well by the cap of the razor, so pretty much 0 blade flex is available there. The natural angle at least the way I am assuming it, is making the blade scrape the skin very aggressively, feeling like it wants to bite everything. The more I turn the handle so that the angle between face and blade gets smaller, it becomes less aggressive, but it won't cut hair deeply enough. This leads to my second problem, and that is the fact that I cannot find any way to really get a close shave, and the final result was not bbs. In the goatee area where I am usually needing a lot of touch-ups it was very efficient, but on the sides of the goatee where I have extremely dense hair growth and the patterns that come from nose and ears meet, I was unable to get a close enough shave.

Now  the thing is that I am a Merkur Futur user, and I came to appreciate the fact that the blade is so exposed and allows me to dig it deep into the skin, while letting a lot of skin be rolled into the blade gap, while gently pulling the skin with the safety bar. This creates a "wave" of skin which besides the fact that forces the hairs out for closer cut, is also making the skin stand in such a way that the angle of cutting is absolutely amazing. Can you believe me that with this method I shaved 1.5 years with setting  6.5 and those were the most comfortable shaves of my life? Obviously all ended when kids dropped my futur on the floor and it took me half an year of face murder and soap allergy tests before I figured out that was something wrong with my futur. However, I bought a new one and for some reason I find it a bit different, which leads me to the conclusion that I cannot stay with one razor, so I am out in the wild searching for another razor.

Here is a list of what I tried so far and how they felt:
- Muehle R89 - too small gap, no blade flex=harsh with pulling skin, too much pressure needed to get a close shave, making the edges of the cap do damage on my skin.
- Ikon Shavecraft 101 - pretty comfortable shave, but not as close as I would like. However, if I would find something similar but a bit more aggressive I think I could have a winner.
- Feather Popular - too small blade gap, no rolling happens, and the sides of the cap, together with the cap itself, is creating a scraping effect on my skin which is uncomfortable.
- Wilkinson Sword supermarket plastic razor - no matter how shocked I was to actually get a comfortable and efficient shave with such a mild razor, it won't change the fact that is not a lasting razor.. blade flexing might help with comfort. One small discomfort is from the plastic safety bar, which is not very pleasant on the skin.
- Gillette Tech - those are just not possible to use as they don't provide closeness and the cap sides just get into the skin and create damage (the corners of the cap, not the blade itself)
- Gillette Flare Tip - This one gave me a very nice feeling, however, the blade flexes too much up to the point where when I go against the grain on the sides of my goatee blade gets simply bend. However, the way the blade is exposed, the fact that cap doesn't cause damage when gliding across the skin, and the fact that the safety bar itself is smooth enough to not scrape skin, is making it a really nice shaver. 
- Merkur 15c - it is so mild that I cannot get a close shave at all, probably the worst shaver of the lot, after gillette tech.
- Futur gave me the closest shave of all, so close that I get 12 hours of BBS from it. Problem with my skin is that the hair is visible and I get 5 o clock shadow before the hairs come out, so I am still bbs at that moment..

Are there other razors that can actually give a comfortable but close shave? With R41 I get the feeling that the blade is pretty much blocked in the aggressive angle, and the moment you want to lower the angle to achieve less aggression, hairs are no longer being forced out for a close shave. At least that is how it feels. In my opinion should be something about allowing the razor to pull out the hairs while attacking them in a comfortable angle. 

I am not sure how much sense is this making, but I am sure that if there are other people out there that have experiences similar to mine might just give me a bit of advice about what razor to try.
Also this is the first shave with R41 and personna lab wax paper version, so I need to give it a few more tries.

Thank You,
Dan

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 06-25-2015, 12:18 AM
#2
  • vitduck
  • Junior Member
  • South Korea
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Hi Dan,

Thanks for shaving your experiences.
I have a more or less similar problem with R41. The movement of the razor across my face is not smooth at all.
It feels like shaving with a shavette instead of the safety razor, i.e. a bit more pressure and I cut myself. It actually happens many times.

As far as budget razors go, I can share some of my experiences:
1. Maggard razors:
- stainless steel handle, good grip, various interesting designs.
- more aggressive than R89, and Merkur 34c. Good audible feed back
- blade alignment issue. The v2 has some improvement, but I still struggle to replace the blade.

2. Matador toro mastiff:
- not stainless steel handle ( I think ).
- huge blade gap yet smooth.
- minor blade alignment issue. 7 of 10 times there is no need for adjustment.

3. Parker 26c:
- can not switch the handle. May be I am unlucky here.
- open comb design but rather smooth.

4. Fatip:
- rather picky about switching handle.
- classic open comb design. As aggressive as R41, but surprisingly smooth.
- annoying blade alignment issue. Without this issue, it would have been my favorite razor.

Other members may give you better suggestions. Good luck!

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 06-25-2015, 01:37 AM
#3
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I have the current version of the Muhle R41 and can see what you are getting at. My suggestion would be to try a Merkur slant. They are not terribly expensive and have a very nice balance of aggressiveness vs smoothness for a close comfortable shave.

Bob

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 06-25-2015, 09:40 AM
#4
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Try taking your future apart, flipping the spring around , and putting the little bar on the spring in opposite of how you took it out. For me and my futur it changes the razor a lot depending on how those are put in.

As far as the r41 I would keep at it, my experiences are opposite of yours ,I hate the merkur futur and even with it on 6 or 6.5 it doesn't feel as aggressive to me, its aggressive and will cut you easy turned up. Try an IKON shavecraft tech would he the next suggestion. I do not believe anyone who has tried this razor will tell you its not an aggressive shaver. It feel similiar  to the future shave but people are saying its more aggressive than the 11 r41. I know its more aggressive than the 13 r41

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 06-25-2015, 11:06 AM
#5
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(06-25-2015, 09:40 AM)Otis375 Wrote: Try taking your future apart, flipping the spring around , and putting the little bar on the spring in opposite of how you took it out. For me and my futur it changes the razor a lot depending on how those are put in.

As far as the r41 I would keep at it, my experiences are opposite of yours ,I hate the merkur futur and even with it on 6 or 6.5 it doesn't feel as aggressive to me, its aggressive and will cut you easy turned up. Try an IKON shavecraft tech would he the next suggestion. I do not believe anyone who has tried this razor will tell you its not an aggressive shaver. It feel similiar  to the future shave but people are saying its more aggressive than the 11 r41. I know its more aggressive than the 13 r41

I know what you mean about the inside mechanism not being put correctly as it makes the razor way more aggressive. I get bitten obviously with that setting. It doesn't have this problem, the problem is real, it has a bend thread that makes the gaps unequal. Due to this I cannot go over setting 3.0 at this point on that futur, and is far from comfortable. Technically cannot be used if I can't get another inside mechanism. Obviously, merkur refused to offer me the chance to pay for one without buying the whole razor again. I can understand that after 1.5 years of usage, though it doesn't make me happy..

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 06-25-2015, 04:38 PM
#6
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(06-25-2015, 11:06 AM)cerbul13 Wrote:
(06-25-2015, 09:40 AM)Otis375 Wrote: Try taking your future apart, flipping the spring around , and putting the little bar on the spring in opposite of how you took it out. For me and my futur it changes the razor a lot depending on how those are put in.

As far as the r41 I would keep at it, my experiences are opposite of yours ,I hate the merkur futur and even with it on 6 or 6.5 it doesn't feel as aggressive to me, its aggressive and will cut you easy turned up. Try an IKON shavecraft tech would he the next suggestion. I do not believe anyone who has tried this razor will tell you its not an aggressive shaver. It feel similiar  to the future shave but people are saying its more aggressive than the 11 r41. I know its more aggressive than the 13 r41

I know what you mean about the inside mechanism not being put correctly as it makes the razor way more aggressive. I get bitten obviously with that setting. It doesn't have this problem, the problem is real, it has a bend thread that makes the gaps unequal. Due to this I cannot go over setting 3.0 at this point on that futur, and is far from comfortable. Technically cannot be used if I can't get another inside mechanism. Obviously, merkur refused to offer me the chance to pay for one without buying the whole razor again. I can understand that after 1.5 years of usage, though it doesn't make me happy..
U tried emailing merkur? I've heard of them sending out replacement springs and bars. Mine had the same problem as yours,but minenwas fixed when I took it apart and out it back together differently, from what I've read thats pretty common with the futur. There is a lady that a lot of people deal with I would try to get her email and get in contact with her as thas one expensive paper weight. If I can assist you with the razor let me know

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 06-25-2015, 05:00 PM
#7
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Look into a ATT H2 and ATT S2. Both are open comb and are the most aggressive of their offering.

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 06-26-2015, 06:27 PM
#8
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I second the motion to try an ATT H2, for me at its best with a heavy, long handle. Darned close to shaving perfection!

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 06-26-2015, 07:29 PM
#9
  • e-dub
  • Senior Member
  • right brain: bna. left brain: dtw.
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I find the h2 nearly as effective as the r41 but WORLDS more comfortable.

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 06-26-2015, 07:36 PM
#10
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(06-26-2015, 07:29 PM)e-dub Wrote: I find the h2 nearly as effective as the r41 but WORLDS more comfortable.

Agree 100%

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 06-26-2015, 08:06 PM
#11
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If you only shaved with it once and used a Personna blade I would try a different blade. I know I notice a huge difference between the different blades, and some blades worked better with my new heavy MR8 handle that didn't work well at all with my stock EJ handle. I would definitely try a Feather blade too. 

I actually have an R41 on the way and can't wait to try it. I will do my usual of testing it with different blades until I find one that works. Right now I am having the smoothest shaves with Astra blades, but prior to purchasing the MR8 I had to use a Feather to get as close of a shave.

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 07-02-2015, 07:53 PM
#12
  • KRpdx
  • Member
  • Portland, OR
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(06-26-2015, 07:36 PM)jagardn Wrote:
(06-26-2015, 07:29 PM)e-dub Wrote: I find the h2 nearly as effective as the r41 but WORLDS more comfortable.

Agree 100%
Don't want to hijack the thread, but if you could indulge me a little detour -- how does the H2 compare with NEW LC or SC?

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 07-02-2015, 08:56 PM
#13
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OP I'm not surprised you find it both "mild and aggressive." It has very little blade exposure-- most of it's aggression comes from the blade gap and the large 45 degree angle that scrapes hair off. 

Another razor that is both "mild and aggressive" is the single edge, Ever Ready 1924. It has 5mm of blade exposure which no double edge razor could ever achieve safely due to blade flex, and a large blade to comb gap. Despite its hyper aggression it is still very comfortable to use because of the lack of blade flex, and the auditory and tactile feedback that only an SE (or a straight razor) could give.

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 07-03-2015, 08:03 PM
#14
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I enjoy aggressive razors too. My 2013 R41 is a favorite, and the FaTip is another beast that is great fun to tame. The ShaveCraft Tech was mentioned as being aggressive but I haven't tried one. My iKon standard bar all stainless is a fine razor -- aggressive and smooth!

I like slants a lot also -- a Merkur 39C is hard to beat.
Euro

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 07-03-2015, 08:28 PM
#15
  • e-dub
  • Senior Member
  • right brain: bna. left brain: dtw.
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(07-02-2015, 08:56 PM)fram773 Wrote: OP I'm not surprised you find it both "mild and aggressive." It has very little blade exposure-- most of it's aggression comes from the blade gap and the large 45 degree angle that scrapes hair off. 

Another razor that is both "mild and aggressive" is the single edge, Ever Ready 1924. It has 5mm of blade exposure which no double edge razor could ever achieve safely due to blade flex, and a large blade to comb gap. Despite its hyper aggression it is still very comfortable to use because of the lack of blade flex, and the auditory and tactile feedback that only an SE (or a straight razor) could give.

interesting. when i had one, the way it put a lot of edge on your skin is what got me. i tried to use it to shave my head one time and it was pretty scary.

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 07-04-2015, 04:51 PM
#16
  • sgtd
  • Junior Member
  • Emerald Coast
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The 2013 R41 is my daily driver. I foolishly got rid of my 2011; I still miss that razor. The '13 isn't too shabby though.

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 07-05-2015, 07:16 AM
#17
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The only blade that I get consistently good results with in an R41 (2013) are Personna Reds. I've also tried Lab Blues, Astra SPs and a Treet Classic. The combination of an R41 and a Red for me yields a very smooth but effective shave without feeling overly aggressive. I had this razor in my den for a year and thought about selling it many times before finally having some success with the Red.

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 07-26-2015, 12:14 PM
#18
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Alright, I guess I have some good news and bad news..
I really have to apologize that pretty much most of what I described about the feeling of this razor on my face was due to the fact that I had a defective razor. It just felt way too different one side compared to the other, so it had to be something about it. I guess the head was was way too curved as the sides of the razor were too loose, which forced the blade to stay curved. With DE blades that is a big problem, and the result was that I felt like it was the most harsh thing that I ever saw in my life. 

However, the second part of the good news is that I have a keeper, since the razor I received in exchange is really a totally different animal, and I could say that out of every razor out there that I tried is the only razor that can give a decently close shave if I don't push at all.

But there is a bad part to this as well.. First, I guess I am cursed to seek for a 2011 R41 which is not very comfortable to do. Second, I am now in search for a razor that can give a closer shave then this, and that could come close to Merkur Futur. Cause no offence, R41 is not even close when it comes to compare how close of a shave you can get with Futur on 6.5.

So somebody advice me what razor to buy to get a properly close shave please.

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 07-26-2015, 05:58 PM
#19
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(07-26-2015, 12:14 PM)cerbul13 Wrote: First, I guess I am cursed to seek for a 2011 R41 which is not very comfortable to do. Second, I am now in search for a razor that can give a closer shave then this, and that could come close to Merkur Futur. Cause no offence, R41 is not even close when it comes to compare how close of a shave you can get with Futur on 6.5.

So somebody advice me what razor to buy to get a properly close shave please.

Instead of chasing a 2011, Google aimsport R41 Spitfire Cap.

I actually prefer my Progress to my Futur or my R41.  I overclock it and shave with it at 6.5 (1.5 second time around).

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 07-26-2015, 07:35 PM
#20
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(07-26-2015, 12:14 PM)cerbul13 Wrote: Alright, I guess I have some good news and bad news..
I really have to apologize that pretty much most of what I described about the feeling of this razor on my face was due to the fact that I had a defective razor. It just felt way too different one side compared to the other, so it had to be something about it. I guess the head was was way too curved as the sides of the razor were too loose, which forced the blade to stay curved. With DE blades that is a big problem, and the result was that I felt like it was the most harsh thing that I ever saw in my life. 

However, the second part of the good news is that I have a keeper, since the razor I received in exchange is really a totally different animal, and I could say that out of every razor out there that I tried is the only razor that can give a decently close shave if I don't push at all.

But there is a bad part to this as well.. First, I guess I am cursed to seek for a 2011 R41 which is not very comfortable to do. Second, I am now in search for a razor that can give a closer shave then this, and that could come close to Merkur Futur. Cause no offence, R41 is not even close when it comes to compare how close of a shave you can get with Futur on 6.5.

So somebody advice me what razor to buy to get a properly close shave please.

I really enjoy my R41 now that I know to use forgiving blades. However, I do not get the BBS from it like I do my EJ DE89 with a custom 5 oz handle. With that said, I don't mind because I only do 2 passes with the R41 and it still leaves me smooth. As a matter of fact, I was in a Subway the other day that I frequent and the man making my sandwich asked me what I use for shaving because I have a very clean shaved face. That was with my R41. But when I use my EJ I do 3 passes and a cleanup and if I take my time on the cleanup I get a perfect BBS every time. It is ridiculous how smooth my face feels after.

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