08-26-2015, 10:43 AM
#1
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
Let me start off by admitting that I am not the target audience for this system. I am a 37 year-old Caucasian male that has no interest in using one product every day for the rest of my life. I have zero issues with razor bumps or irritation (for the most part) with the current large rotation of products that I own. I am not affiliated with Bevel or any of its investors or subsidiaries and I purchased the gift set (non-subscription) from Bevel as I really wanted to try the razor. While I am not a fan of Pure Badger brushes, pre-shave oil, shaving cream and after shave balm in general, I figured since I shelled out the cash I might as well test them out. I also decided that since there has been a few discussions at the various forums lately about the razor and Bevel system in general I would document my experiences. Today I will share with you my thoughts after a week and a half of constant use.



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The Bevel gift set is presented as a 30 day supply without subscription. The set includes: The Bevel razor, shaving brush, 20 stainless steel razor blades, 60mL shave cream and restoring balm, 30mL priming oil, instructions and a thank you note from Bevel's founder. The boxed set is very well designed and exudes class. From the thick textured cardboard outer box, to the formed plastic inserts nothing feels cheap.


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Since the main purpose of purchasing this kit was to get the razor I thought I would share my opinion on this piece first. The design is very unique with the base plate curving upwards to cover the ends of the blade. The long thin handle has no knurling yet resists slipping even when gripped with wet hands. Although Bevel doesn't go into mentioning where this razor is made or what it is made of they do mention that it is "weighted with brass". The balance of the razor is head-heavy making me assume that the base plate is brass but I doubt the top cap is and am unsure that the handle weighs enough to be brass as well. Aesthetically, the Bevel is one of the most beautiful razors I have owned (and that is no small number in itself). In use the proper angle is easily found (and well explained in the insruction booklet), the shaving experience is very reminiscent of other modern high-quality razors that I enjoy such as Edwin Jagger and Giesen & Forsthoff, that is: very efficient yet mild in feel. The blades included in the kit seem to be of decent quality and have no harshness to them from the onset, easily stretched to five shaves with smooth and moderately sharp edges, however I feel that after three shaves they are past their prime. With 20 blades in this 30 day supply kit there is no need to try and stretch them even that far.


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My favorite aspect of this hobby is shaving brushes, with over 100 in my current collection and another 150 plus that I have sold, I know what I like and have experienced everything from the Tweezerman to vintage Plisson High Mountain White. Bevel has included a shaving brush with their starter kit that is both beautiful and comfortable to hold. Upon the initial inspection the brush gave up dozens of loose hairs just by brushing against my dry hand. The knot measures 23mm at the base but then flares out with a prominent glue bump to 26mm. The loft is set at 50mm, but that same glue bump extends 15mm up the length of the hairs making the effective loft 35mm. I was honestly not expecting much from this brush, but I pressed on by putting it through my normal brush break-in routine. The brush lost several more hairs (I didn't even bother to count) throughout a shampooing and a couple test lathers. These hairs were very short and I'm assuming that most were breaking off at the glue bump because I can't imagine this many short hairs being used in the manufacturing process. While face lathering with this brush there is some moderate scritch and despite the short effective loft it does not feel stiff, in fact it is probably a good comparison to other high-end "pure badger" brushes in face feel. I was only able to tolerate the pure badger knot for two shaves before it was put aside for the remainder of the evaluation. Bevel does mention that they will replace any defective brushes, but I'm not even going to bother as I would rather install a nice 2-band knot in this handle so I have a brush that I would actually enjoy using.


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The software included in the lot include priming oil (pre-shave), shave cream (lather) and restoring balm (ASB). All of these products are developed and made in the USA as indicated on each bottle (which leads me to believe that all the hardware is imported since it is missing this endorsement throughout Bevel's marketing and packaging) and all appear to use what I consider to be high quality ingredients. Although these products are marketed as unscented, each have their own mild scent which are easily traced back to the ingredients list (for instance the restoring balm has a nice mild menthol fragrance). I shaved for seven straight days using all three products exclusively and I have to admit the results were fantastic. For the final three days of the testing I omitted one product in the equation to see if the shaving experience and end result would be effected. The only product that I didn't notice much of a difference in the lack of it's use was the shave cream, however I substituted the Art of Shaving unscented cream in its place which is a pretty good performer in it's own right. On the day where I skipped the priming oil I didn't use any pre-shave and on the day where the restoring balm was left out I used a basic splash (Pinaud Lime Sec).


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The priming oil goes on thick, but the five drops that I settled on as being ideal for my routine seemed to absorb quickly. I don't normally use pre-shave products (other than Noxzema for my pre-shave face wash) but will be doing some more controlled experiments with this and other options going forward as I did notice a different and seemingly better shaving experience when the oil was used.


The shave cream lathers very easily and provides ample protection and adequate slickness. The required amount of shave cream to complete three passes seemed about double, perhaps slightly more even than what I am used to needing with other brands with the majority of the 60mL bottle being used in those ten days, however Bevel recommends two passes at most in their directions with one pass being ideal for those suffering from razor bumps so perhaps this 60 mL could be stretched to last a whole month, but I can't imaging somebody getting 90 days of shaving with just another 40mL unless doing one pass every few days.


The restoring balm is the real star of the system. It also goes on a bit thick and leaves the skin semi-glossy for about an hour while it fully absorbs. At no time does my face feel tacky or oily, as is the case with most every other balm I have ever tried including raw unrefined shea butter (one of the prominent ingredients), instead the skin feels very supple and smooth. Once the balm is completely absorbed the skin has a polished feel to it and any missed stubble sticks out like a sore thumb. If this balm were available separately on the open market it would likely be a top seller and would replace Nivea Sensitive as the sole balm in my den.


Conclusions: The Bevel line of products, brush excluded, offer a very fine line of shaving products that even a well-experienced wet shaver can appreciate. I won't be subscribing to this system, nor can I comment on its claimed benefits to those suffering from razor bumps as I fortunately have never suffered from such. I will be keeping the razor and would recommend that those that appreciate an efficient razor on the mild side of the scale to pursue acquiring one themselves. The brush that I received is pure rubbish except for the handle, though if it weren't a shedder it would make an excellent alternative to those that enjoy a scrubby and scritchy exfoliating experience. The software is good, very good even, but I can't see paying $90 per shipment as there are likely products as good available and I prefer having a rotation of products anyway. However, Bevel has done a great job of putting together a system that gives a fantastic experience and undeniably great results and I wouldn't bother trying to talk somebody out of subscribing if they were looking to switch from electric or cartridge systems. Thanks for reading my efforts of an honest review and I'll be happy to answer any questions about MY experience to the best of my ability.

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 08-26-2015, 10:56 AM
#2
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A review that was a joy to read - thank you for sharing.

The blades looks completely unmarked, is that correct?

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 08-26-2015, 11:06 AM
#3
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
(08-26-2015, 10:56 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: A review that was a joy to read - thank you for sharing.

The blades looks completely unmarked, is that correct?

That is correct, no indication of origin at all.  Thank you for the kind comment, writing skills are not among my strengths.

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 08-26-2015, 11:28 AM
#4
  • Thug
  • Active Member
  • South Africa
User Info
A well documented review with great photos. Thanks for sharing.

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 08-26-2015, 11:34 AM
#5
  • eengler
  • Administrator
  • South Dakota, USA
User Info
Great photos and information. Thanks for posting!

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 08-26-2015, 11:53 AM
#6
User Info
Excellent review. Thank you for sharing.

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 08-26-2015, 01:44 PM
#7
User Info
I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?

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 08-26-2015, 02:48 PM
#8
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
User Info
I bet a DE gives him less or no bumps compard to a multi blade cart...

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 08-26-2015, 04:12 PM
#9
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
User Info
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?

I'm African American and I'd go opposite direction razor wise for your friend. I've found for us we need very sharp and aggressive , something which will really cut our beard and in a way that's clean and close so we avoid the Carts = ingrown hair, razor rash we suffer from. DE wise the R41 2013, Futur and the Ikon Tech are my weapons. From what I gather from the great review ,Bevel seems to pay attention to prep and post shave care to target the problems particular to us and I sure hope they work.

Black men of the older generation will use depilatories or chemical hair remover on their beards, many younger men will simply use electric hair/beard trimmers  to shave with. Its a bid to avoid the problems of shaving and their is a stubbornness in the community to get back to wet shaving  I think because shaving can be such a trial for some black men when it comes to razor rash in particular.

You're a good friend, keep at him and get him to use a DE.

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 08-26-2015, 04:28 PM
#10
User Info
That was an excellent review.

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 08-26-2015, 04:31 PM
#11
User Info
Beautiful razor excellent review.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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 08-26-2015, 06:20 PM
#12
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?
I cannot comment on the effect the razor has on razor bumps or burn, but I own a few Techs and the Bevel is both more efficient and smoother, the same goes for the ASD2 of which I have owned and sold two.

In order of efficiency:
Bevel
Triangular slotted Tech
ASD2
Standard Tech

In order of smoothness:
Bevel
ASD2
Standard Tech
Triangular slotted Tech

These razors are all great performers though with very similar traits.

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 08-26-2015, 09:32 PM
#13
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(08-26-2015, 04:12 PM)Hanzo Wrote:
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?

I'm African American and I'd go opposite direction razor wise for your friend. I've found for us we need very sharp and aggressive , something which will really cut our beard and in a way that's clean and close so we avoid the Carts = ingrown hair, razor rash we suffer from. DE wise the R41 2013, Futur and the Ikon Tech are my weapons. From what I gather from the great review ,Bevel seems to pay attention to prep and post shave care to target the problems particular to us and I sure hope they work.

Black men of the older generation will use depilatories or chemical hair remover on their beards, many younger men will simply use electric hair/beard trimmers  to shave with. Its a bid to avoid the problems of shaving and their is a stubbornness in the community to get back to wet shaving  I think because shaving can be such a trial for some black men when it comes to razor rash in particular.

You're a good friend, keep at him and get him to use a DE.

Yes he uses some sort of powder he said.  His father used to use a blade but i have never seen someone more afraid of ingrown hairs.  I think ive got the best shot trying to get him to buy the bevel.  


(08-26-2015, 06:20 PM)blzrfn Wrote:
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?
I cannot comment on the effect the razor has on razor bumps or burn, but I own a few Techs and the Bevel is both more efficient and smoother, the same goes for the ASD2 of which I have owned and sold two.

In order of efficiency:
Bevel
Triangular slotted Tech
ASD2
Standard Tech

In order of smoothness:
Bevel
ASD2
Standard Tech
Triangular slotted Tech

These razors are all great performers though with very similar traits.

Really interesting.  I was thinking it was just all a marketing gimmick and no good compared to the tech or asd2 but i guess theres more to it.  And it sure looks nice.  Btw Ive heard they offered the owner of the company a lot of money to sell bevel but he is building it up.  Good for him.

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 08-27-2015, 04:44 AM
#14
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
Dave, that was a thorough, well-written and objective review. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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 08-27-2015, 06:27 PM
#15
  • MattCB
  • Junior Member
  • Port Orchard, WA
User Info
An excellent write up.  I had wondered about the Bevel system and am glad to hear it is a quality product.  Thank you for taking the time to write this up.

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 08-27-2015, 07:29 PM
#16
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(08-26-2015, 04:12 PM)Hanzo Wrote:
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?

I'm African American and I'd go opposite direction razor wise for your friend. I've found for us we need very sharp and aggressive , something which will really cut our beard and in a way that's clean and close so we avoid the Carts = ingrown hair, razor rash we suffer from. DE wise the R41 2013, Futur and the Ikon Tech are my weapons. From what I gather from the great review ,Bevel seems to pay attention to prep and post shave care to target the problems particular to us and I sure hope they work.

Black men of the older generation will use depilatories or chemical hair remover on their beards, many younger men will simply use electric hair/beard trimmers  to shave with. Its a bid to avoid the problems of shaving and their is a stubbornness in the community to get back to wet shaving  I think because shaving can be such a trial for some black men when it comes to razor rash in particular.

You're a good friend, keep at him and get him to use a DE.

I'm white so take this fwiw . I have slightly curly hair and very thick coarse stubble. I have sensitive skin razor wise and what I mean is products don't irratate my skin blades on my face do.

I started out and everybody said oh get a mild razor.. Mild razors for me take too many strokes just to look acceptable. If I attempt to go against the grain I draw blood and get irratation. 

I switched to more aggressive razors and it solved my problems,sure they are more harsh for some but for me it limits the time the blade is on my face so I'm gtg.

The only razors I can go against the grain with are a the mildest ones and I still get irratation some.

A friend of mine who is black used to only go to a barber to let the barber trim his beard with clippers he hated a beard but couldn't use a razor because of the bumps. He tried a DE razor and was ok as long as he didn't go against the grain as well. He's moved into straights now but still uses DE razors too. Sorry for the long post

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 08-28-2015, 07:26 AM
#17
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
(08-27-2015, 07:29 PM)Otis375 Wrote:
(08-26-2015, 04:12 PM)Hanzo Wrote:
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?

I'm African American and I'd go opposite direction razor wise for your friend. I've found for us we need very sharp and aggressive , something which will really cut our beard and in a way that's clean and close so we avoid the Carts = ingrown hair, razor rash we suffer from. DE wise the R41 2013, Futur and the Ikon Tech are my weapons. From what I gather from the great review ,Bevel seems to pay attention to prep and post shave care to target the problems particular to us and I sure hope they work.

Black men of the older generation will use depilatories or chemical hair remover on their beards, many younger men will simply use electric hair/beard trimmers  to shave with. Its a bid to avoid the problems of shaving and their is a stubbornness in the community to get back to wet shaving  I think because shaving can be such a trial for some black men when it comes to razor rash in particular.

You're a good friend, keep at him and get him to use a DE.

I'm white so take this fwiw . I have slightly curly hair and very thick coarse stubble. I have sensitive skin razor wise and what I mean is products don't irratate my skin blades on my face do.

I started out and everybody said oh get a mild razor.. Mild razors for me take too many strokes just to look acceptable. If I attempt to go against the grain I draw blood and get irratation. 

I switched to more aggressive razors and it solved my problems,sure they are more harsh for some but for me it limits the time the blade is on my face so I'm gtg.

The only razors I can go against the grain with are a the mildest ones and I still get irratation some.

A friend of mine who is black used to only go to a barber to let the barber trim his beard with clippers he hated a beard but couldn't use a razor because of the bumps. He tried a DE razor and was ok as long as he didn't go against the grain as well. He's moved into straights now but still uses DE razors too. Sorry for the long post

Hi Justin,

I think it is important to distinguish aggressiveness (the feel of the razor) and efficiency (the ability of the razor to provide a close shave).  Most mild razors that I have tried also suffer from a lack of efficiency, which would lead to the problems that you mention.  Worse than that, though, is an aggressive razor that lacks efficiency.  The razors that I seem to enjoy the most are ones that can give me a BBS in three passes without any irritation.  Razors that feel aggressive tend to also be efficient, but that is not always the case. There is nothing worse than having a razor scrape off a couple layers of epidermis and then still having stubble left over.  I have tried the R41 and I'm sure if I really put some effort into it I could achieve an irritation free BBS shave, but there is no way I would recommend it to somebody new to a safety razor.  The Feather ASD2 is a pretty safe recommendation, as is a pre-war Tech, but I think the R41 would make razor bumps the least of a newbie's worries.

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 09-02-2015, 06:15 AM
#18
User Info
Great review and great pictures.  If you are looking for a great aftershave balm that doesn't leave your face tacky or oily, Soap Commander balms are probably the best on the market.  Even Nivea sensitive leaves my face feeling a little oily, but not the Soap Commander balms.  You may also want to try out Stirling post shave balms as well at about half the price.  I usually mix the two together and they work great as a pair.

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 09-02-2015, 03:34 PM
#19
  • tdmsu
  • Banned
  • Metro Detroit
User Info
Great review and excellent photos!  Those pics make me want to own one of these razors!
Have you tried it with a blade that did not come with it?  In other words, are you locked into using a proprietary blade?

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 09-02-2015, 03:51 PM
#20
User Info
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?

(08-26-2015, 04:12 PM)Hanzo Wrote:
(08-26-2015, 01:44 PM)Billium Wrote: I've been trying to get one friend to take up DE shaving and he refuses because he's black and shaving causes ingrown hairs.  He told me about Bevel but hasn't made the switch.  Is it any better for sensitive skin than a Tech or an AS-D2?

I'm African American and I'd go opposite direction razor wise for your friend. I've found for us we need very sharp and aggressive , something which will really cut our beard and in a way that's clean and close so we avoid the Carts = ingrown hair, razor rash we suffer from. DE wise the R41 2013, Futur and the Ikon Tech are my weapons. From what I gather from the great review ,Bevel seems to pay attention to prep and post shave care to target the problems particular to us and I sure hope they work.

Black men of the older generation will use depilatories or chemical hair remover on their beards, many younger men will simply use electric hair/beard trimmers  to shave with. Its a bid to avoid the problems of shaving and their is a stubbornness in the community to get back to wet shaving  I think because shaving can be such a trial for some black men when it comes to razor rash in particular.

You're a good friend, keep at him and get him to use a DE.


Im not sure if this is just some BS marketing, but I am personally a fan of personna blades, and they make a disposable razor which claims to be designed to combat the problems that African American men seem to encounter when shaving. It looks like a damn fine disposable in general and was thinking about getting a few packs to just take with me when I go traveling. I am white so take it all with a grain of salt. 

I personally think that the technique of shaving coupled with a good soap is the best way to reduce irritation. Anyway, they are called Personna Bump Fighter razors. They look pretty sleek and they sell for just over a dollar per razor

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