03-23-2016, 10:05 PM
#1
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The Lutz Slant Bar Razor:



One line summary:


Quite an aggressive razor, but rough and inefficient compared to other slants if you have a coarse beard. Probably not very good value for money at current prices.


Detailed Review:


The Razor:


The Lutz slant bar razor is unique. Manufactured in the 1930s and repackaged in the 1960s. It's made of Zamak and chromed. Zamak (formerly trademarkedas ZAMAK and also known as Zamac) is a family of alloys with a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium (4%) ,magnesium, and copper. This makes the razor light in the hand.


The Lutz two sides of the razor head vary: One is somewhat mild and one more aggressive offering a wider gap. The razor is set with the base plate in such a way that the wider set teeth on one side of the top plate present the more aggressive side, and the closer set teeth the milder side. Even the mild side is rather aggressive. This is effectively an “adjustable” slant bar razor with two settings. It has a hexagonal, rather short and slim, art deco handle and is reminiscent of the Merkur barber pole razor in design.


Here is my review based on three uses of the razor.


A little about me for context: I'm a fairly experienced DE shaver and I think my technique is more than passable. Why? Well, I regularly get BSS shaves, and very rarely nick or cut myself. I also can do this without burn or irritation. I enjoy experimenting with lots of different razors so I'm fairly adaptable. I especially enjoy aggressive razors. So I think my technique is OK. Could it be improved? Yes. I aim to improve on every shave.


I have a fairly coarse, fast growing beard, and moderately sensitive skin. I use the same routine for each shave when testing and reviewing razors or blades. I wash my face thoroughly twice with Van der Hagen glycerin soap. Then I apply a Maggard pre-shave oil. Wet my face again, and use an Arko shave stick to produce a thick plentiful lather. I use a 26 mm Stirling soap synthetic knot brush. Post shave I use an alum block, and Thayer's alcohol-free, rose scented, witch hazel.


I'm familiar with slants as I've used and like the Merkur 37C. I also own and have used an Ikon Shavercraft 102 slant, though I find it a little mild for my beard.


For this review I decided to try three shaves on consecutive days. The blade I chose was the Rapira Platinum Lux. Why? I've found this blade to be a superior and consistent performer in any type of razor I have.


Using adjustable razors like the Mergress (modified Merkur Progress), the Gillette Slim and the Merkur Futur, I have, like others, discovered that increasing the aggression of the razor as one continues the shave produces the best results. At first this was surprising but testing I (along with others) have found this to be true.
Following this logic I decided to use the mild side of the razor to do the WTG pass, and the XTG pass. For the AGT pass and to do any buffing or touch up I decided to use the more aggressive side of the razor.


Shave One:


Quite a good shave on all three passes. One small weeper on the XTG pass, very, very unusual for me with any razor. A lot of touch up was needed and I still didn't get a BSS. Close but not quite BSS and I cannot say the razor was very comfortable to use. Feedback from the alum block was noticeable on the neck area. Sometimes it takes a shave or two to get used to a razor. Let's hope tomorrow's shave is better.


Shave Two:


I more used to the razor now. It's light and is easy to maneuver around the contours of my face. It's very hard to produce a clean shave around the neck XTG. On the more aggressive side the shaver cuts close but feels rough. ATG it is again harsh in feel but not that aggressive. It produces a good shave but not BSS. Even successive touch ups do not produce an especially smooth shave along the neck, under the jawline, or ATG on the chin. A lot of feedback from the alum block. The razor jusr cannot be described as comfortable and efficient.


Shave Three:


The first two passes were tolerable but not pleasant. The first pass WTG managed to produce a nick. I literally cannot remember nicking myself using even really aggressive razors on the WTG pass. The XTG pass felt very uncomfortable, I got two weepers, but reduced the beard to some degree. As I began to make the ATG pass the blade and razor became so uncomfortable I stopped. It felt like it was about to cut me severely. There is no way I wanted to shave ATG under the nose, or AGT along the jawline with this razor at this point.


Now it gets interesting because I was dissatisfied with the shave and I wanted to see if the blade had run out of life or would work in another razor. So I took it out and put it in my Merkur Futur. I cranked it up to setting five and made a pass ATG. The blade performed fairly well and I got no nicks or cuts yet reduced the beard more. I touched up using the same blade with the Futur at its highest setting, six. No cuss or weepers. Did I get a BSS. No. But I did get a very close shave that continues to look clean thirteen hours later.


Now for me this proved that there was life in the blade, but that once it declined beyond a certain point, the razor could not handle it Yet another razor could. So its not the blade, but the razor that's inefficient. Sure you could blame my technique, but I feel that my technique is more than passable, even with a new razor.


Conclusion:


I really wanted to like this cool looking razor. Is it aggressive? Yes fairly. Is it efficient? No. My other slants are more efficient and much more comfortable to boot, as are several of my open combs, adjustable razor,s and even aggressive TTO razors like the Pearl TTO, or a Gillette Super Speed Red Tip.


The Lutz slant bar razor is just too rough and inefficient to keep in my rotation. This is not to say it couldn't work for others, perhaps with lighter beards, or tougher skin, but I think you will find that the $50 to $80 this razor currently fetches is better spent elsewhere.

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 03-24-2016, 06:25 AM
#2
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Thank you for review.  I was considering seeking one of these out but now I think I'll stick with the slants that I have.

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 03-24-2016, 08:08 AM
#3
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Thank you for sharing your impressions of the shaver. Shy

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 03-24-2016, 06:44 PM
#4
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Good review.  I'll stick with my Merkur for now.

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 03-27-2016, 05:38 PM
#5
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Thanks for the review. I've moved this thread to the DE razor forum.

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 03-27-2016, 06:41 PM
#6
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Thanks for such a detailed review.

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