10-19-2018, 06:13 AM
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That's correct. Like Rawfox said, they will go live on time at 9am Pacific tomorrow.

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 12-04-2018, 01:55 AM
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I thought I could give some feedback on my first week with the Blackland Blackbird machined SB.

Warning: this will be a long post! Hopefully, it'll be helpful to someone on the fence about getting one, or entertaining to read my 4:30 am rant. I mean review.

Brief Summary: This beautiful piece of hardware is one of the finest shaving tools I own or have ever used. It's great. Shane's design of the BB is pure genius, and his customer service is fantastic. But this razor didn't come out yesterday, so why am I so late to the party? Well, a lot of reasons, but the biggest ones were (1) concerns about blade rigidity, (2) a general preference for lighter razors, and (3) mixed results after trying the Dart.

Full disclosure: I tried the Dart, eventually got pretty good results from it, but I did not enjoy the steep angle required, the heavy feel in hand, my propensity for burn/irritation, or the blades that seemed to work best in it, for me. That said, Shane's customer service, and a great Black Friday deal, was all I needed to give Blackland another go.

After my first shave, I knew the BB was special. The results were so good, I decided to create a log of my first 7 shaves, putting the BB through the paces. Here's a (brief-ish) summary:

*For all of the shaves, I used the same Yaqi 28 mm synthetic brush and Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Splash

Shave 1:
Blade: Personna Lab Blue
Soap: XPEC Unscented
Balm: Nivea Sensitive
Technique: WTG, XTG, GTX, ATG with moderate skin stretching on WTG/ATG
Results: With just one day's growth (and the last shave with the Timeless 95), I didn't have a ton of stubble. But it yielded one of the best shaves. After a WTG pass that wiped away most of the stubble, I was really just going XTG and GTX to see if it picked up anything I missed (which it did). I was a bit worried about the ATG pass because some people have reported chatter, but I did some skin stretching and took my time. The results were an amazing 14 hour BBS shave with zero irritation. I was shocked. Couldn't stop smiling.

Shave 2:
Blade: Personna Lab Blue (2)
Soap: Ogallala Unscented
Technique: WTG, ATG with a bit more skin stretching, + clean-up pass
Results: Thinking Shave 1 was a fluke and that I was just excited to have a new razor, I reused the Lab Blues, which I don't usually love, and I used Ogallala since it's not as protective as XPEC. But, I still got a 10 hour BBS shave without irritation (1 minor weeper on a bump ATG, which is hardly the razor's fault).

Shave 3:
Blade: Merkur
Soap: Soap Commander Integrity
Technique: Same as Shave 2 – 2+ passes
Results: So, I tried to sabotage the BB with a duller blade. Yeah, it didn't work. Drama free, irritation free, nick free shave. BBS was "only" 6 hours. I blame Merkur.

Shave 4:
Blade: SuperMax Blue Titanium
Soap: Wickham 1712 Unscented
Technique: WTG, ATG
Results: Another ho-hum world class shave, minus that pesky bump again. BBS on my cheeks for about 12 hours, but on my neck about half that. Here's where I experienced a little bit of chatter, and it wasn't as close, but I think that's more the speed I shaved at. It really is both no-nonsense and drama-free.

Shave 5:
Blade: Personna Red
Soap: Proraso White
Balm: Woody's
Technique: WTG, XTG, ATG, plus clean up
Results: After the Merkur/SuperMax combo, I went for a closer shave. No nicks or weepers, but I did have some slight irritation/feedback from the Woody's. Still, I got a 14 hour BBS. Insane closeness without giving up much comfort.

Shave 6:
Blade: Personna Red (2)
Soap: Uncle Jon's Quiet Storm
Balm: Nivea Sensitive
Technique: WTG, ATG, clean up
Results: Frankly, there wasn't a lot to shave. I felt more like I was restoring my face to full BBS order. 10 hour BBS.

Shave 7:
Blade: Gillette Nacet
Soap: WCS Duck Fat Oriental
Balm: Soap Commander Vision
Results: Some of you are thinking, FINALLY he put something sharp in there. Well, there's a problem. I shaved almost 19 hours ago, and there's still barely any regrowth. What am I going to do tomorrow?! Why is this man still typing after 19 hours? 16 hour BBS. I f**ing love this razor!

My first 7 days with the BB have been immensely enjoyable, which made me think: why didn't I like the Dart more?

One issue I mentioned above was my proclivity for lighter razors, but the BB weighs in at 98 g vs. the Dart at 99.5 g. So why does it feel lighter in hand?

The BB measures:
Head weight: 36 g (approx.)
Handle weight: 62 g (approx.)
Handle length: 85 mm

The Dart comes in at:
Head weight: 29.5 g
Handle weight: 70 g
Handle length: 92 mm

The increased head weight, combined with a shorter handle, shifts the balance point of the BB closer to the head, which, for me, makes the razor feel lighter and more nimble despite the heavier head. With more of the weight in the handle of the Dart, for me, it made ATG less comfortable; and with the Dart's increased rigidity and steeper angle required, I needed laser-like focus to avoid weepers. That said, the Dart is one of the most efficient razors I've ever used; it just wasn't for me.

But, the BB is almost as efficient as I recall the Dart being, and yet it is so much more forgiving. I still find that steep angle shaving is best for either Blackland, but if you stray to a shallower handle angle with the BB, you don't get punished. Of course, it's not fair to compare the BB to a razor that costs about half as much.

Of the higher end razors I own or have owned (Timeless 95 SS SB, ATT Windsor H, and Asylum Evolution Model T), the BB is at or near the top of the heap in efficiency, smoothness, fit/alignment, and overall quality of shave. As someone who is generally a believer in supported blades and rigidity, I only noticed an issue of chatter once or twice with a milder blade going quickly ATG, which surprised me (the fact that the BB is so rigid – I think it's based on the large curvature of the blade, which reminds me of the Merkur 45). I did not experience any drag that some other users have reported with the machine finish of the BB (or the Dart when I had it).

Critiques of the BB:
1. Well, it's expensive.
2. The handle is not as easily interchangeable. I wish there was a shorter/lighter handle (like the 70 mm that is no longer offered).
3. It's not a razor I would recommend for newbies because of its blade forward design and sharp edges on the SB.

Final Thoughts:
The BB is one of the best modern razors. It's an instant classic design. It's a little rough around the edges, but I like it. A lot.

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