07-11-2015, 10:16 PM
#1
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After commenting this week about how well I like my new R41, I used it again this evening and it was probably my worst shave with a DE ever. I decided to try a Feather blade this time thinking a sharper blade would be more efficient, and let's just say that was not the brightest idea I've had. I cut myself at least 7 or 8 times and literally had to put 5 pieces of toilet paper on my face after using alum block, Fine aftershave, and Soap Commander AS balm. The shave was going smooth at first, however it was not cutting as well as Astra stainless or platinum blades. Still, I made it through the first pass with only a minor nick on my adams apple which I went over on accident due to the ridiculous amount of lather on my neck (first time using B&M and it was wonderful lather). On my second and final pass is where everything went to heck. I did my usual against the grain pass on my neck area and across the grain on my face like I had been with the Astra, and with pretty good success. With the Feather I didn't even notice that I cut myself until it was too late. As with every shave since using the R41 (about 5 shaves total) I only cut myself on the right side of my face, and being left handed I attribute that to technique usually. 

I guess I am not ready for the R41 yet, so maybe I will stop using it for a while until I have experience with some other slightly aggressive razors. I am thinking about buying the Phoenix Name Taker or Symmetry Open Comb since the reviews talk like they perform close to a R41 in aggressiveness but much more forgiving. If anyone has any experience with them I would appreciate hearing from you. For now I am going back to my EJ 89 so I can enjoy cut free BBS shaves every time like I had been prior to the R41. The EJ takes 3 passes and a clean up and I literally get a BBS every single time unless I rush.

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 07-11-2015, 10:28 PM
#2
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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R41 is a brilliant razor, but in my opinion, it pairs horribly with Feather blades. I know there are some who swear by this setup, but in my experience, those blades are just too sharp for that razor. I've been wet shaving for a while, and that setup still just produces blood every time I try it. (I keep thinking maybe some level of skill on my part will make it work.)

Try it with some Personna Lab Blues or Aastra Platinum blades. That setup works incredibly well for my super-beard. Those blades are sharp, but not so much so that you slice off a layer of skin without feeling it.

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 07-11-2015, 10:35 PM
#3
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I would highly recommend the PolSilver super iridium a..great blade. Sharp and very smooth

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 07-11-2015, 10:51 PM
#4
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(07-11-2015, 10:28 PM)chamm Wrote: R41 is a brilliant razor, but in my opinion, it pairs horribly with Feather blades. I know there are some who swear by this setup, but in my experience, those blades are just too sharp for that razor. I've been wet shaving for a while, and that setup still just produces blood every time I try it. (I keep thinking maybe some level of skill on my part will make it work.)

Try it with some Personna Lab Blues or Aastra Platinum blades. That setup works incredibly well for my super-beard. Those blades are sharp, but not so much so that you slice off a layer of skin without feeling it.

I have been using it will Astra Platinum and with fairly good success. I was getting 1 to 2 nicks per shave, but really just opened the same ones back up because they didn't heal all the way. I have been wanting to try the Personna Lab Blues and will definitely be doing so now. Thank you. Maybe I can still pull it off with the R41.

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 07-11-2015, 10:53 PM
#5
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(07-11-2015, 10:35 PM)Nevada Red Wrote: I would highly recommend the PolSilver super iridium a..great blade.  Sharp and very smooth

I will add that one to my cart now too, along with the Personna Lab Blues. I was also thinking of trying Kai. And what do you all think about Gillette Silver Blues with the R41? I had a 5 pack of them and liked them a lot with my EJ but ran out before I got the R41.

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 07-11-2015, 11:15 PM
#6
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(07-11-2015, 10:53 PM)Hobbyist Wrote:
(07-11-2015, 10:35 PM)Nevada Red Wrote: I would highly recommend the PolSilver super iridium a..great blade.  Sharp and very smooth

I will add that one to my cart now too, along with the Personna Lab Blues. I was also thinking of trying Kai. And what do you all think about Gillette Silver Blues with the R41? I had a 5 pack of them and liked them a lot with my EJ but ran out before I got the R41.

I've tried the Gillettes but didn't like them.  I also use the Kai blades with great success, ninja sharp but way smoother than the Feathers..!! I think you'll really like the PolSilvers

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 07-11-2015, 11:19 PM
#7
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This is why Muhle R41 is called unforgiving. Take it easy, R41 is a very efficient razor, however, it does not pair well with Feather blades, which are unforgiving themselves. Try a mild, forgiving blade such as Derby. In addition, pay more attention to using pre-shave such as Musgo Real soap or similar, high glycerin soaps. YMMV, but using these soaps helps, at least for me.

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 07-11-2015, 11:45 PM
#8
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(07-11-2015, 11:19 PM)a-strong Wrote: This is why Muhle R41 is called unforgiving. Take it easy, R41 is a very efficient razor, however, it does not pair well with Feather blades, which are unforgiving themselves. Try a mild, forgiving blade such as Derby. In addition, pay more attention to using pre-shave such as Musgo Real soap or similar, high glycerin soaps. YMMV, but using these soaps helps, at least for me.

I am ordering a pre-shave tomorrow, Mickey Lee Soapworks shave butter. As for soaps, I rotate between Catie's Bubbles, Soapy Bathman (Tallow and Lanolin), and Barrister and Mann. I think I will be fine with some better blades like you all have pointed out. Using Astras I was doing okay, just a couple minor nicks, but the Feather destroyed my face. I have so many cuts on my neck right now that I will have to wait a few days to shave.

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 07-12-2015, 02:14 AM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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When I shave, SR or DE, I use no prep as I found it makes no difference for me, ymmv. I have shaved with my Muhle R41 and a feather blade. I have to agree that combination is just unforgiving of your technique being off even just a bit. Some days whose technique isn't? So really I think most problems with blood letting using a Muhle R41 are just down to technique.

Put the same feather blade in my Merkur Slant and I can shave in a more relaxed manner. The slant, for me, will shave right up there with the Muhle R41 for closeness and longevity of shave. It is, over all, a far more pleasant experience with less risk of a blood letting should I have a slightly off day. Might be worth looking into a Merkur Slant as an alternative.

Bob

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 07-12-2015, 08:32 AM
#10
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I gotta agree that the Feather blade is not the best match-up for the R41... its a double dose of aggression that can really bite you if your technique is not absolutely perfect.

The Astra SP seems to work much better on my R41.

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 07-12-2015, 09:30 AM
#11
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(07-12-2015, 02:14 AM)BobH Wrote: When I shave, SR or DE, I use no prep as I found it makes no difference for me, ymmv. I have shaved with my Muhle R41 and a feather blade. I have to agree that combination is just unforgiving of your technique being off even just a bit. Some days whose technique isn't? So really I think most problems with blood letting using a Muhle R41 are just down to technique.

Put the same feather blade in my Merkur Slant and I can shave in a more relaxed manner. The slant, for me, will shave right up there with the Muhle R41 for closeness and longevity of shave. It is, over all, a far more pleasant experience with less risk of a blood letting should I have a slightly off day. Might be worth looking into a Merkur Slant as an alternative.

Bob

Glad you mentioned the slant because that is what I was deciding between when I purchased the R41. I may order that as my next razor and rotate between the R41, Slant, and EJ. Thanks.

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 07-12-2015, 09:31 AM
#12
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(07-12-2015, 08:32 AM)Stubble Daddy Wrote: I gotta agree that the Feather blade is not the best match-up for the R41... its a double dose of aggression that can really bite you if your technique is not absolutely perfect.

The Astra SP seems to work much better on my R41.

I do think my technique on my right side of my face is sometimes off, because I keep changing the way I approach that side. With the EJ it never mattered though, now it obviously does.

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 07-13-2015, 09:04 AM
#13
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My fav 3 for the R41 are Personna R.I., GSB & Voskhod. Very efficient and smooth with no burn.

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 07-13-2015, 11:16 AM
#14
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I find the R41 to be one of the most versatile razors when it comes to accepting a variety of blades. I can even use Derbys and get a nice shave. I have those blades.

I used a Kai blade in my 2011 R41 over the weekend to mow down 4 days growth and went against the grain first pass. It was so smooth and close. Had a couple nicks on my second pass that stopped before the shave finished. I have never used a Feather in my R41 but can use the Astra Green, Personna Reds, Crystals, Rapira Sweedish Supersteel, and many others.

The angle took me a bit to dial in and I let the bottom edge of the base plate slowly scratch the skin to get an idea if I need an adjustment and lower my handle. The pressure should be light with relatively short strokes.

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 07-14-2015, 01:47 PM
#15
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I also suggest giving Voskhod a try along with personna lab blues. The PAA Symmetry is a very aggressive/harsh razor as well, I was not able to use it as a daily shaver and ended up selling it.

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