03-27-2016, 09:48 AM
#1
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Gentlemen,

For years, I have searched, at high expense, for the perfect safety razor, perfect for me, I should note, and thus far failed to find that treasure.

Perfect is a mild to moderately aggressively razor that gives a close and comfortable shave. It should also be in stainless steel, since I welcome the quality workmanship and the comfortable feel in the hands of these modern razors. Thus far, the Above the Tie S1 Slant comes closest to my perfect razor. A few notches below is the iKon Shavecraft 102 slant.

I had hopes for the Feather S1 and S2, but although both were comfortable shavers, neither gave me a close shave. They were no match for my heavy Assyrian beard.

Of the great Gillettes of the bygone years, none has impressed me as much as the Aristocrat. No, not because it gives me the close shave I desire, but because it is a comfortable shaver dressed in royal garb. The Aristocrat is true American workmanship, a beautiful and majestic razor that should be part of any shave den. I have two Aristocrats, and although I rarely use them, someday my grandsons will be grateful that I saved one for each.

The Joris and its poor cousin the Fatip were good shavers, but they were harsh on my ultra sensitive skin. So was the Muhle R41: the shave was close but uncomfortable. I neither feared it nor was I intimidated by the R41; rather, I found it to be a mean razor almost out of spit. Not for me.

The standard Muhle and Edwin Jagger were comfortable shavers, but they failed to tame my beard. The Merkurs were almost the same in shaving characteristics but with second-rate finish.

The Tradere was agood shaver, but harsh; the Pilz had excellent workmanship and shaved me relatively well, but it felt like a hammer in my small hands. Even all the models of the Weber failed in the end to be my perfect, or nearly perfect, razor.

The Wolfman was exquisite in workmanship, and a beautiful razor, I might add, but the initial shaves were rough, both open and closed comb versions. In fairness, I regret not giving them sufficient time before selling them. I have anther SB with the R2 handle on order for a second chance, but with the current production rate, I don't expect it until the next century.

I had hopes for the Mongoose, and although it gives me a close shave, thus far the razor is a wee bit harsh on my Hollywood face. Perhaps in time it will equal the ATT S1 slant as a nearly perfect razor for me.

The OneBlade razor comes highly recommend by my friends here, but I am hesitant about this pivoting shave head business. Maybe I am making too much of it. How long will it last before wearing out? Still, I might give it a try. Another new stainless razor recommended by my friends is the Blackbird. I understand the sharp edges on the shave head are muted in the latest models. I might order the razor and keep my fingers crossed.

In the end, perhaps my perfect razor does not exist. Perfection might even be too much to ask in a safety razor. Yet, I continue to search. It is an expensive search, but maybe the experience is worth the price.

Happy Easter

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 03-27-2016, 10:01 AM
#2
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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Nuts... I thought you had the answer... :-(

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 03-27-2016, 10:04 AM
#3
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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Very nice review of your experience with razors. From your SOTD photos, I had thought the Mongoose was working out for you. My experience is somewhat similar to yours, which is why I primarily stick to straights, although I'm also tempted to try the OneBlade. Happy Easter, Obie.

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 03-27-2016, 10:04 AM
#4
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Well written, I would give both the oneblade and Blackbird a try.  Both excellent razors. I know some members of this forum occasionally loan razors to each other.

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 03-27-2016, 10:14 AM
#5
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
User Info
Gentlemen,

Thank you for the kind words.

Chamm, perhaps I will become a razor holy man and have all the answers. Until then, my wallet keeps complaining. And my wife, who shuffles out of the shave den with a forgiving smile and saying, "They grow like rabbits," puts up with my practical hobby.

Richard, I get tired of the straight razor. This has been happening more and more the past year or so. Also, my arthritic hands make honing, stropping and shaving with the straight a wee bit uncomfortable.

Rod, I am thinking about both the OneBlade and the Blackbird. In the meantime, I shall count the decades in waiting for my Wolfman.

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 03-27-2016, 10:19 AM
#6
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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I can offer an opinion on those razors. The OneBlade offers an amazing shave. It gets me super smooth, with no effort whatsoever. I don't like the feel of the handle, nor really the look of the razor, but I'm a function over form kinda guy, and this razor is *tops* in terms of performance.

However, bang-for-the-buck goes to the Blackbird, hands down. It is easily in league with razors twice its price, and is in the very top shelf of my collection. I won't throw around the term "perfect," because that implies I could stop looking. :-D

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 03-27-2016, 10:31 AM
#7
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Craig,
Good thoughts and comments on these razors. Thanks, my friend. Yes, something drives me more toward the Blackbird, too.

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 03-27-2016, 10:35 AM
#8
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I have so many perfect ones Rolleyes

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 03-27-2016, 10:46 AM
#9
  • gagarin
  • Student of Stainless
  • Pelotillehue
User Info
I've tried and own several but not all of the razors you've used.  You didn't mention the new Rockwell S6.  I recently received one and am astonished by its sheer goodness.  While very smooth, it delivers a close, long-lasting shave, and offers six different settings to match your preferences.

For a relatively modest outlay, you may want to give it a try.  It may prove to be The One......

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 03-27-2016, 11:20 AM
#10
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Have you tried a Vintage Gillette Tech or The modern Lord L5/L122 (Tech Clone) & Lord L6/LP1822L (Merkur Head) with Crystal, Red Personna Blades made in Israel?  Some claim on Amazon the Lord Razors gives better shaves than the real deal.

For a Mild OC Razor have you tried a Merkur 1904/41c?

*NOTE: I have not tried any of them, but they are my top contenders to try.  All I have is a 1960 Fatboy Adjustable.

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 03-27-2016, 11:51 AM
#11
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
User Info
(03-27-2016, 10:46 AM)gagarin Wrote: I've tried and own several but not all of the razors you've used.  You didn't mention the new Rockwell S6.  I recently received one and am astonished by its sheer goodness.  While very smooth, it delivers a close, long-lasting shave, and offers six different settings to match your preferences.

For a relatively modest outlay, you may want to give it a try.  It may prove to be The One......

Chuck,

I did some stage work in Los Angeles last spring, and during my stay, I visited the Old Time Shaving store in Pasadena. They had the Rockwell. I bought it. When I returned home, I shaved with the razors. Good heavens, it was dreadful, one of the roughest razors I have ever used. So I returned it.

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 03-27-2016, 12:00 PM
#12
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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(03-27-2016, 11:20 AM)easttexas Wrote: Have you tried a Vintage Gillette Tech or The modern Lord L5/L122 (Tech Clone) & Lord L6/LP1822L (Merkur Head) with Crystal, Red Personna Blades made in Israel?  Some claim on Amazon the Lord Razors gives better shaves than the real deal.

For a Mild OC Razor have you tried a Merkur 1904/41c?

*NOTE: I have not tried any of them, but they are my top contenders to try.  All I have is a 1960 Fatboy Adjustable.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Yes, I think I have used almost the entire vintage Gillette line, and from different periods. The Merkur 1904, both open and closed comb, did not impress me. A friend had a couple Lord razors, neither of which I liked, especially the fit and finish. I had three or four Fatobys and got rid of all. These days, I want to stay with stainless steel razors.
Red Persona (and Crystal) are fine blades, although no match for my tough beard. On the other hand, I loved the Red Personnas in my Weber — but all my Webers are gone. For blades, I use Super Iridium, Gillette "yellows," Astra and Feather. For my Mongoose, I use the Feather Professional.

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 03-27-2016, 12:08 PM
#13
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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(03-27-2016, 11:51 AM)Obie Wrote:
(03-27-2016, 10:46 AM)gagarin Wrote: I've tried and own several but not all of the razors you've used.  You didn't mention the new Rockwell S6.  I recently received one and am astonished by its sheer goodness.  While very smooth, it delivers a close, long-lasting shave, and offers six different settings to match your preferences.

For a relatively modest outlay, you may want to give it a try.  It may prove to be The One......

Chuck,

I did some stage work in Los Angeles last spring, and during my stay, I visited the Old Time Shaving store in Pasadena. They had the Rockwell. I bought it. When I returned home, I shaved with the razors. Good heavens, it was dreadful, one of the roughest razors I have ever used. So I returned it.


If it was a year ago, you used a first-generation Rockwell. Yes, they were dreadful. Clever idea, but utterly failed in execution.

However, the company learned from its mistakes, and re-manufactured the same design using a MiM/Sintering process. Those were only released late last year. That razor is pretty good, especially considering the price.

It isn't a new design, just their original design the way it was meant to be.

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 03-27-2016, 12:15 PM
#14
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
User Info
Craig,
It was last spring that I used the Rockwell.
I have wet shaved for many years, with both straight and safety razors, and the Rockwell I tried last spring was the bottom of the pit.
I hope they have improved their razors sufficiently.

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 03-27-2016, 12:16 PM
#15
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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I may be able to post side-by-side pictures when I get home if I have time. It's a completely different razor.

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 03-27-2016, 12:19 PM
#16
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I have all three versions, was a backer, the second and third versions did the job.  The v2 was more about aesthetics, performance was very good. V3 resolved most of the aesthetics, but I haven't tried it yet.

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 03-27-2016, 02:06 PM
#17
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FWIW, the OneBlade has become that razor for me.  I have had most of the razors listed above and OneBlade shaves me as well or better than all of them.  It reminds me of why I started wet-shaving in the first place, to stop paying $3.50 a week for a cartridge.  Ten years, thousands of dollars and hundreds of razors later I have a close, comfortable, bloodless shave for less than a dollar a week.  People complain about the lack of skill or technique in using the OneBlade  or the lack of mystery and satisfaction of unlocking the key to a great vintage razor shave.  But for me, it just gets the job done and I have no less pleasure.   I carry the OneBlade in my carry on when I travel and interestingly I think the resemblance to a cartridge has prevented my bag from being searched.  When I return from my current trip I will be selling the remainder of my SE and DE razor collection including my Weber, ATT, my soon to arrive Barbaros etc.  If I ever want to go back to DE, I enjoyed the new Rockwell enough to make it my razor of choice. At $100 I think it is a bargain in todays world.

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 03-27-2016, 02:52 PM
#18
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Sounds like we have the same issues. I have gone through a ton  of Razors and blades and troubleshooting and trying different soaps. I've tried them all but the One Blade but I already had issues with every SE I've tried.

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 03-27-2016, 04:01 PM
#19
  • e-dub
  • Senior Member
  • right brain: bna. left brain: dtw.
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the bbs-1 is an INCREDIBLE razor, and the one i think of as king of my den.

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 03-27-2016, 04:25 PM
#20
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(03-27-2016, 04:01 PM)e-dub Wrote: the bbs-1 is an INCREDIBLE razor, and the one i think of as king of my den.

Yes sir Smile. Mine throw punches with the Wolfman's here and there, lol....

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