02-02-2016, 10:56 AM
#1
User Info
After switching from carts about a year ago, the first razor I used was an ej89. I sport a beard and only shave my neck. The ej89 has provided many close irritation-free shaves for this more sensitive shaving area. However, it just can't hack it when I let my neck hair approach a week of growth. The first passes leaves many hairs uncut and I have to make extra passes, which usually results in irritation.

To combat the extra growth, I purchased a iKon Shavecraft 103 short comb a few weeks ago. This razor has no problem mowing through the longer hair, but I find that the shave isn't quite as close and I end up with some irritation and small nicks. The 103 is significantly more aggressive and I can really feel the blade against my skin. With the ej89 I can barely feel the blade. All around I do not find shaving with the 103 as enjoyable as the ej89. I've only tried Astra SP and Personna Lab Blue blades in the 103, so maybe some other blade will change my current opinion. I'm not quite ready to give up on the 103 just yet and have a handful of other blades to try in it. By the way, I love the bamboo handle it came on. That is absolutely a keeper.

That said, my wife told me yesterday that she doesn't know what to get me for valentines day. This seems like a golden opportunity to get a razor that may be more suited for my shaving needs. I really like the idea of the Shavecraft line because of the higher quality materials at a somewhat reasonable price. When I purchased the 103, I was torn between it and the 101. Then there's that 102 that's been calling my name for awhile now. I'm wondering, if anyone can provide firsthand comparisons between 101 or 102 and the ej89 or 103. I'm really looking for something closer to the ej89 in aggression, but more efficient and made of higher quality materials (e.g., stainless, aluminum, and brass).

Other suggestions are welcome, but the budget here can't handle the high end stainless steel razors. I'm thinking $50 is around the max, which is why I think the shavecraft heads are a good starting point. My wife is really weird about used personal items like this, so vintage is also out for this round. Although, I've been eyeing a NEW short comb myself and will likely get one eventually.

0 11
Reply
 02-02-2016, 11:32 AM
#2
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
User Info
Parker OC,s...the new ones are great shavers for around $30.00..(24C or 26 C)....really enjoy these..!!!

6 1,994
Reply
 02-02-2016, 12:08 PM
#3
User Info
(02-02-2016, 11:32 AM)Harvey Wrote: Parker OC,s...the new ones are great shavers for around $30.00..(24C or 26 C)....really enjoy these..!!!

The Parker OC's are a great choice.  My progression was from the EJ89 to the Parker 24/26C.  Then I moved to slants Merkur 37C and finally the ATT S2.

Come to think of it I need to dig it out and shave with the Parker tomorrow : )

6 223
Reply
 02-02-2016, 12:17 PM
#4
User Info
(02-02-2016, 11:32 AM)Harvey Wrote: Parker OC,s...the new ones are great shavers for around $30.00..(24C or 26 C)....really enjoy these..!!!

Thanks for the suggestion. You reminded me that I was considering the razorock rake last year and it's my understanding that the rake utilizes the same head as the parker 24c/26c. I was hoping to get a razor made of something a step above zinc alloy, but I might make an exception, if it's such a good shaver.

0 11
Reply
 02-02-2016, 12:32 PM
#5
  • ARGH
  • Senior Member
  • Boston, MA
User Info
iKon Shavecraft 102 is slightly more expensive but is in my top tier together with the Wolfman and  ATT

111 1,400
Reply
 02-02-2016, 12:46 PM
#6
  • dajmacd
  • Member
  • Tennessee River Valley
User Info
+1 on the Merkur Slant.  Efficient and low irritation.  If you are open to vintage, I get great shaves out of the heavy head, made in England Aristocrat Jr.  These were also marketed in Canada as Rockets.  Also think about swapping up your blades.  Sometimes a blade switch can really change the character of a razor.

Edit*  Since you mentioned wanting a non-ZAMAK razor, the Fatip Piccolo is nickel plated brass and <$25 in many places.

Edit 2*  Another alternative is getting a blem Weber handle (~$25 shipped) and an R41 head from a UK seller (~$22 shipped) and you have a great razor for just under $50.

4 194
Reply
 02-02-2016, 12:51 PM
#7
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(02-02-2016, 10:56 AM)abefroman Wrote: To combat the extra growth, I purchased a iKon Shavecraft 103 short comb a few weeks ago.  I've only tried Astra SP and Personna Lab Blue blades in the 103, so maybe some other blade will change my current opinion. I'm not quite ready to give up on the 103 just yet and have a handful of other blades to try in it.

Try some KAI blades in your Shavecraft 103. 

(02-02-2016, 10:56 AM)abefroman Wrote: I really like the idea of the Shavecraft line because of the higher quality materials at a somewhat reasonable price. When I purchased the 103, I was torn between it and the 101. Then there's that 102 that's been calling my name for awhile now.

The solid bar side of the Shavecraft 101 is said to be more aggressive than the open comb side is; if part of your dissatisfaction with the Shavecraft 103 is the feel of the open comb against your skin as contrasted to the feel of the smooth bar of the EJ89, the Shavecraft 101, head available separately direct from the maker for $40, may hit the sweet spot for you.  The Shavecraft 102 has a reputation for being extremely mild, and (because of its humpy head, a bit difficult to maneuver in tight spaces), so it may take you back beyond the EJ89 in respect of the issues that led you to purchase the 103.

0 1,049
Reply
 02-02-2016, 01:33 PM
#8
User Info
(02-02-2016, 12:51 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote: Try some KAI blades in your Shavecraft 103. 

The solid bar side of the Shavecraft 101 is said to be more aggressive than the open comb side is; if part of your dissatisfaction with the Shavecraft 103 is the feel of the open comb against your skin as contrasted to the feel of the smooth bar of the EJ89, the Shavecraft 101, head available separately direct from the maker for $40, may hit the sweet spot for you.  The Shavecraft 102 has a reputation for being extremely mild, and (because of its humpy head, a bit difficult to maneuver in tight spaces), so it may take you back beyond the EJ89 in respect of the issues that led you to purchase the 103.

Well, that's dumb luck. I only have maybe six different blades and kai blades are one of them. I'll give them a try next shave and if I survive, I'll report back.

I don't think the feel of the comb itself is the issue because it doesn't really touch my face except when I'm working at a steep angle around the neckline of my beard. Regardless, I had read that the 101 is more mild than the 103, so I'm in agreement that it might check all the boxes.

I had read that the 102 was very mild, but I had also read that it was very efficient. That got me thinking it might shave as smooth as the ej89, but handle the longer hair better.

0 11
Reply
 02-02-2016, 01:35 PM
#9
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
User Info
I could be wrong, but I would think it would be hard to get a straight edge on your beard if you get a slant.  I would go vintage and get the NEW.  I've never used a NEW, but I would think an open comb would meet your needs.  You can sanitize it with scrubbing bubbles and rubbing alcohol.  The blade does the cutting and is disposable, so there isn't anything unsanitary about a vintage razor.

3 531
Reply
 02-02-2016, 01:40 PM
#10
User Info
(02-02-2016, 12:32 PM)ARGH Wrote: iKon Shavecraft 102 is slightly more expensive but is in my top tier together with the Wolfman and  ATT

I already have a bamboo handle from the 103, so I could get just the head for under $50. Does it handle multi-day growth well?

0 11
Reply
 02-02-2016, 01:45 PM
#11
User Info
(02-02-2016, 01:35 PM)DayMan Wrote: I could be wrong, but I would think it would be hard to get a straight edge on your beard if you get a slant.  I would go vintage and get the NEW.  I've never used a NEW, but I would think an open comb would meet your needs.  You can sanitize it with scrubbing bubbles and rubbing alcohol.  The blade does the cutting and is disposable, so there isn't anything unsanitary about a vintage razor.

Because the 102 doesn't twist, I was thinking it would work by turning the slant around for each side of the neck line. I will very likely be getting a NEW at some point, but I would prefer to pick that out myself versus having my wife pick one out.

0 11
Reply
 02-02-2016, 01:58 PM
#12
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
User Info
Another vote for the NEW by me. If you prefer buying a modern razor, then I recommend you to try the Fatip Grande.

49 1,938
Reply
 02-02-2016, 02:05 PM
#13
User Info
(02-02-2016, 12:46 PM)dajmacd Wrote: +1 on the Merkur Slant.  Efficient and low irritation.  If you are open to vintage, I get great shaves out of the heavy head, made in England Aristocrat Jr.  These were also marketed in Canada as Rockets.  Also think about swapping up your blades.  Sometimes a blade switch can really change the character of a razor.

Edit*  Since you mentioned wanting a non-ZAMAK razor, the Fatip Piccolo is nickel plated brass and <$25 in many places.

Edit 2*  Another alternative is getting a blem Weber handle (~$25 shipped) and an R41 head from a UK seller (~$22 shipped) and you have a great razor for just under $50.

I'm going to run through the blades I have on hand and see if any work better. Mel suggested Kai, so that's the next one I'll try. I've tried Personna Lab Blues and Astra SP; and also have Kai, feathers, bluebirds, and 7 o'clock greens left over from a sample pack. 

I think if anything I want to head in the milder direction from the 103. I know the R41 is one of the most aggressive around and I thought I read that the Piccolo was fairly aggressive too. The ej89 provides a very smooth and close shave when it's only been 2 or 3 days since the previous shave. I need something to handle those weeks I only get around to it on the weekend, which is frequent.

0 11
Reply
 02-02-2016, 03:01 PM
#14
  • dajmacd
  • Member
  • Tennessee River Valley
User Info
(02-02-2016, 02:05 PM)abefroman Wrote:
(02-02-2016, 12:46 PM)dajmacd Wrote: +1 on the Merkur Slant.  Efficient and low irritation.  If you are open to vintage, I get great shaves out of the heavy head, made in England Aristocrat Jr.  These were also marketed in Canada as Rockets.  Also think about swapping up your blades.  Sometimes a blade switch can really change the character of a razor.

Edit*  Since you mentioned wanting a non-ZAMAK razor, the Fatip Piccolo is nickel plated brass and <$25 in many places.

Edit 2*  Another alternative is getting a blem Weber handle (~$25 shipped) and an R41 head from a UK seller (~$22 shipped) and you have a great razor for just under $50.

I'm going to run through the blades I have on hand and see if any work better. Mel suggested Kai, so that's the next one I'll try. I've tried Personna Lab Blues and Astra SP; and also have Kai, feathers, bluebirds, and 7 o'clock greens left over from a sample pack. 

I think if anything I want to head in the milder direction from the 103. I know the R41 is one of the most aggressive around and I thought I read that the Piccolo was fairly aggressive too. The ej89 provides a very smooth and close shave when it's only been 2 or 3 days since the previous shave. I need something to handle those weeks I only get around to it on the weekend, which is frequent.

Don't rule out the "more aggressive" razors just yet.  I have found that they can provide a DFS with one pass and a little touchup with minimal irritation.  Another suggestion (if you are open to vintage) would be the I and L type injector razors.  I find them to be mild and efficient with excellent blade life.

4 194
Reply
 02-02-2016, 03:36 PM
#15
  • ARGH
  • Senior Member
  • Boston, MA
User Info
(02-02-2016, 01:40 PM)abefroman Wrote:
(02-02-2016, 12:32 PM)ARGH Wrote: iKon Shavecraft 102 is slightly more expensive but is in my top tier together with the Wolfman and  ATT

I already have a bamboo handle from the 103, so I could get just the head for under $50. Does it handle multi-day growth well?

I have pretty coarse facial hair and sensitive skin. The longest I did not shave before using my 102 was 4 days. It handled my relatively dense beard in three passes and a bit of extra cleaning up for a truly BBS shave with minimum irritation. I usually use feather or Gillette silver blue blades with the 102 and they last for 3 quality shaves on average.

Hope it helps!
Alex

111 1,400
Reply
 02-02-2016, 08:01 PM
#16
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
User Info
Besides the Parker 24C and 26C another reasonably priced great razor is the NEW Fatip..."TESTINA GENTILE" which is a SB version....just used it again and think it a great under rated not talked about razor....I got the black...they call it the CLOSE COMB....many different colors and two different handle types are available.

6 1,994
Reply
 02-02-2016, 08:54 PM
#17
  • KRpdx
  • Member
  • Portland, OR
User Info
It sounds like an OC would best accomplish what you're hoping for. Two suggestions to consider that won't break the bank:

1) Razorock Jaws -- A couple of steps down in aggressiveness from the 2013 R41 and a step up in aggressiveness from a NEW. Currently on sale for $19.99 from Italian Barber, who describes it, in part:  "...Open comb razors allow you to shave closer to facial hair like a mustache, goatee or beard; they are great for outlining because you can easily find and use the edge of the blade.  Lastly, the open tooth design allows you to use the razor for convenient beard trimming.  They are the most convenient and least messy way to trim down facial hair like a goatee or mustache; the teeth easily travel through the hair and the blade trims them..." Chrome plated brass, made in India. Downside: I had to work at getting blades aligned in mine, not uncommon. I would check with them about it before ordering, if you're inclined, to see if it's still a typical problem.

2) Fatip Grande or Piccolo -- A step up in aggressiveness from the Jaws. Nicely finished nickel plated brass, made in Italy. Downside: non-standard thread means a lot of otherwise interchangeable handles don't work (my Ikon handle doesn't work on my Piccolo). A few dollars more than the Jaws from IB. (Just mentioning Italian Barber as an example, not necessarily suggesting you buy from them).

Try to enjoy the hunt!

12 163
Reply
 02-03-2016, 06:25 AM
#18
  • Balj86
  • Senior Member
  • Maryland USA
User Info
If you want aggressive, I highly recommend the Matador Toro Mastiff & RR SLAB. I have thick coarse stubble and these two have been my daily drivers.

10 963
Reply
 02-03-2016, 07:20 AM
#19
User Info
You guys have given a lot of good suggestions. From the information that I can find, it seems like the Fatip open comb might be a lateral move from my shavecraft 103 as both are on the aggressive side and even saw another owner liken the 103 to the fatip. At this point, my thought is to get the 101 or maybe a parker 24c/26c for a more mild open comb and sell the 103. I still have several shaves before I have to make a decision, so maybe the 103 will surprise me with one of my other blades and change those plans.

In the future when I'm looking to replacing my ej89, the fatip closed comb and shavecraft 102 will likely be on my short list to start that search. I really hadn't heard much about the fatip closed comb before, but it sounds like a good fit and sure looks good in that black finish.

Regardless, the NEW short comb will be purchased at some point. All I hear is good things about it and even if it's not great, it'll make a cheap travel razor. If it is as great as I hear, then it'll be shipped to Delta Echo Works for a new look.

0 11
Reply
 02-03-2016, 07:48 AM
#20
  • SciTX
  • Member
  • Houston, TX Area
User Info
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest a vintage SE....perhaps an injector....I know this is the DE forum but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

I recently started using them and I'm getting phenomenal shaves....they are the what seems to me the perfect balance between aggressive and comfort.

0 62
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)