07-31-2012, 08:08 AM
#1
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Hello all, I am new to the forum and I am trying to decide between the iKon S3S and the OSS. You're probably thinking; haven't we covered this already! Well, I've searched the forum and read lots of post, but I still don't have quite what I need. The S3S looks cool, but I also like the traditional look of the OSS.

So here is my question... Which one is the better performer/value for the money?

I started with a Merkur 38C and moved on to a Merkur Mergress adjustable, which I find to be a far better razor (better shaves with less nicks and a little more refined). Depending on how many days of growth I have, it is usually adjusted somewhere between the 1.5 and 2.5 mark. I don't know how agressive that is when compared to the non-adjustables. I was considering the Feather, but it sounds like it is too mild for my course beard.

I'm looking for something more refined than my Mergress, something with even blade exposure and gap, and something that is easy to clean, with a quality finish. I also don't want to spend a lot of time re-learning how to shave with a particular razor (so maybe the S3S isn't for me?).

If I use a little care when loading the blade into my Mergress I can get even blade exposure, but I really don't want to use care. I just want to pop it in and go.

Cheers

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 07-31-2012, 09:55 AM
#2
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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I have both and if I were you I would wait for the new one coming late fall. The OSS is as mild as the Feather (next to useless)and the S3S is no better than the SK9 (aluminum base). Quite hard to get a better SHAVE than the Mergress which you allready have. If you like collecting try a Weber or a Tradere.(possibly even the closed comb Tradere coming late September)Honestly really depends on how much you want to invest in your search. Eventually you will realize you only use one or 2 and the rest are just for show.Just my opinion ...I have almost 200 razors but i,m a collector...but I only USE just a few.The new releases will be better or they wouldn,t be making them so don,t hurry and enjoy what you have.

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 07-31-2012, 10:01 AM
#3
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Ikon's are lovely.

In my experience the OSS has more bite than the feather.

Anyway, both have there merits. I prefer a razor that is heavy, for that reason, my choice is the s3s, this razor head gets a little while to get used to. The OSS is easier to pick up and get on with it as its more of a conventional style razor.

The asymmetric head works quite well for me. I've never had razor burn as you can just tone it down by using the closed side.

Which ever you pick, there both great IMO.

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 07-31-2012, 10:08 AM
#4
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Thank you both for the feedback.

Harvey, given your extensive collection, are you able to tell me which razors have the precise alignment of the blade that I'm looking for? In the meantime I'll check out the Weber and Tradere and look forward to the new offerings.

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 07-31-2012, 10:09 AM
#5
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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The OSS is average on the OC side and very mild on the standard bar side but better then the Feather AS. The S3S because of its heavy weight is better then the OSS. If you wait there will be more iKon models coming out sooner or later and will probably offer more aggressive razors.

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 07-31-2012, 11:07 AM
#6
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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I agree that neither the OSS or S3S will add a lot to the Mergress. Maybe add an Open Comb or Slant if you're simply wanting to change things up a bit. A Fatip or R41 would certainly be nice additions as would the Merkur 37c or 39c Slants.

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 07-31-2012, 12:59 PM
#7
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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(07-31-2012, 10:08 AM)swampgas Wrote: Thank you both for the feedback.

Harvey, given your extensive collection, are you able to tell me which razors have the precise alignment of the blade that I'm looking for? In the meantime I'll check out the Weber and Tradere and look forward to the new offerings.

This is what I do..remove the metal split ring of the knob (makes it much easier to clean ) and after you have put the blade onto the top hold it to the bottom plate while pressing down and tightening the knob..can easily see the blade alignment and quite frankly it is never that much off anyway so don,t even worry about it..you flip sides and rince all the time so unless you are an engineer and doing a research paper won,t make any difference...just enjoy the process and work with what you have a while OR you might end up like me with more razors than you know what to do with...next check out shave bowls,soap and creams,after shaves brushes ,blades....see where this goes...don,t rush and there is no shortage of product and no rush to buy anything. Just a tip from someone who went the other expensive way...fun but that was my thing.Tongue

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 07-31-2012, 04:21 PM
#8
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That sounds like good advice - cheers.

[/quote]

...just enjoy the process and work with what you have a while OR you might end up like me with more razors than you know what to do with...next check out shave bowls,soap and creams,after shaves brushes ,blades....see where this goes...don,t rush and there is no shortage of product and no rush to buy anything. Just a tip from someone who went the other expensive way...fun but that was my thing.Tongue
[/quote]

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 08-01-2012, 12:46 AM
#9
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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I have both and enjoy both. I find the OSS has greater manoeuvrability, but the weight of the S3S makes it feel like it's not quite as mild...

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 08-01-2012, 05:12 AM
#10
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(07-31-2012, 10:08 AM)swampgas Wrote: If I use a little care when loading the blade into my Mergress I can get even blade exposure, but I really don't want to use care. I just want to pop it in and go.

Are you able to tell me which razors have the precise alignment of the blade that I'm looking for?

* I shaved with both the OSS and the S3S - Blade alignment for the OSS is a lot more of a throw it in and it's precise and ready to go deal,the S3S required more attention.

* The OSS is nicely balanced,the S3S is a bit more head heavy than I prefer and needs more handle than the little bulldog...The new PB2 addresses that.

http://ikonrazors.com/shopping/index.php...n5vk55f7h6

* The open comb side of the S3S is one of the best I've used,very smooth and effective.

* I think the dual OC/CC heads are a great way to shave,took full advantage of that but now I'm rarely using closed combs for anything so it's better for me to have OC on both sides.I'll give the new iKon Open Comb Bulldog Deluxe a real close look when it's released.

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 08-07-2012, 11:05 PM
#11
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I don't have an OSS, but the beautifully balanced feel of the S3S allows this razor to drive itself over your face for the perfect result every time.

The option for OC/CC is also a great coverall for BBS!!!

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 08-12-2012, 07:20 AM
#12
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I have owned - and sold - both the OSS and the S3S. Sure, I liked the machined look and they both were very well-made, but I didn't really enjoy the shaving experience. The double-duty head annoyed me because I had to rinse the head off twice as often as with a normal double-sided razor because I couldn't just flip it over and use the opposite side. Also, the overall shave quality on the open comb side was mild compared to other open combs I have used.

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 08-12-2012, 12:39 PM
#13
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(08-12-2012, 07:20 AM)vocalistbob Wrote: Also, the overall shave quality on the open comb side was mild compared to other open combs I have used.

I don't think that a "mild" open comb is such a bad thing - it still offers a distinct difference to the straight bar edge.

For my purposes, I'm using the OC side as a training edge, in order to fully appreciate the open comb experience of more aggressive OC razors (& not shred my face in the process).

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 08-12-2012, 01:27 PM
#14
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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I have the S3S matched (at least for today's shave) with a UFO Kaiser handle which provides much better balance than my smaller handles. I have my OSS matched with an iKon Bulldog - it works out pretty well as a combo.

The OSS is a decent razor for the money. They show up fairly often on the B/S/T forums and if you are looking for a well built, fairly mild razor - it's worth your consideration.

The S3S is another story. The head weighs in at 63 grams as opposed to the OSS' head at 28 grams. The difference in your hand is not subtle...they feel a "lot" different. The S3S is also around 40% more expensive than the OSS; which is also a consideration.

The final shave results aren't that much different. Neither is particularly aggressive, both shave smoothly, both shave very much alike in regards to getting a decent DFS shave. Finding the right angle is easy with the OSS, it takes a bit more time with the S3S.

Ultimately, I am disappointed with the S3S...the same way I am with the Tradere OC. Huge potential with these guys...incredible build quality; the shaves however are a bit lackluster. I'm hoping this will change in time; I'm certainly willing to purchase their latest and hopefully improved creations.

Bottom line for me?

OSS - pretty good value - pretty nice shave - I love the OSS handle (as well as the Bulldog). If you can get one at a good price - snatch it up. The OSS would be a good iKon to have remain in production in my opinion - a nice entry level "high end" shaver that would be similar in regards to analogy - to a BMW 3 Series - solid, reliable, no surprises and very good overall performance. A razor you could easily recommend to a friend and know that they would get a pretty good shave and be impressed with the overall DE experience. Unfortunately, unless I'm mistaken, I believe that production of the OSS is over, or at least coming to an end.

At the $159 price it was at - it competed in the same price category as the Feather, Joris, Tradere and the Merkur Vision.

S3S - amazing build quality matched to mediocre shaving quality. I REALLY wanted to love this razor - it just didn't happen. For the retail price of $225 or so - it simply doesn't represent a smart return on investment in my current rotation. Production of the S3S has ended - probably a good thing; as better designs are bound to be in the making. It's not a razor I would recommend - whereas I would recommend the OSS.

At the $225 price - it's pretty much alone with the exception of the Pils.

And of course, as always...YMMV; these are just my personal observations based upon my own shaving experience with the models mentioned. I own a fair amount of razors and enjoy shaving with all of them; some however simply work out better than others.

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 08-12-2012, 02:32 PM
#15
  • biggiej42
  • Looney for Rooney
  • Stony Point, NY
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I've never tried the OSS, but the S3S is a wonderful shaver. It's in my daily rotation, and that means a lot. I'm very picky!

The tradere open comb is by far my favorite, followed closely by the S3S and the Weber.

Not sure what Samjax meant by the tradere, but the shave has been nothing but excellent. I guess it's just a case of YMMV.

The only way to truly know for you is to try both.

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 08-12-2012, 06:57 PM
#16
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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Well...what I meant about the Tradere and the S3S for that matter; is that when you price something from $150 to $225, it should be able (at least in my mind) to "outshave" a vintage Gillette - neither the Tradere, OSS or the S3S do that for me. This thought of course is my own...and probably doesn't represent most people.

In my experience (this is the subjective YMMV part)...

In regards to the Open Combs, a Gillette Single Ring or New will outperform them both easily (speaking of the iKon OC side and the Tradere OC). If you go with a new product - the Fatip will outshave them both as well...all for $30 or so. If the Tradere or iKon were able to shave as well as the Fatip (or my Big Fellow), but retained their present build quality - I would certainly sing their praises.

In my opinion - if someone would simply create a Big Fellow clone in Stainless, they would probably have a huge winner on their hands...but that's probably not going to happen.

In iKons case - go a type of Gillette Single Ring OC or New OC on one side and a Superspeed or RedTip on the other - there you go...a very popular combination by anyone's standards. Once again, build the thing in Stainless with outstanding build quality and you have a very formidable shaver.

In regards to Safety Bar razors - the S3S/OSS models provide nothing that a Gillette Tech, Superspeed, Fatboy or Slim Adjustable won't provide and the Gillettes will do so for far less money. Sure, you have to buy the Gillettes used, but anyone looking to buy an iKon or Tradere probably already knows how to snag a decent Gillette from any number of sources.

We can talk about build quality - the iKon and Tradere are truly nice in that area (for the most part) and I believe that it's safe to say that the Gillettes have pretty much proven themselves in that regard as well.

You make mention of the Weber - I have a Weber/DLC Classic which I like a lot. It's less than half the price of the Tradere/OSS and is far less than the S3S...put a Feather in the Weber and it will outshave all of them...at least on my face. I own them all - and can only speak from my personal experience in using them. As mentioned...YMMV.

I'm confident that the best is yet to come for iKon, Tradere and Weber...and I certainly plan on purchasing their new "improved" releases as their product lines continue to evolve...and believe me, when one of them hits a "home run" for me; I will be happy to share the good news.

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 08-12-2012, 08:45 PM
#17
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(08-12-2012, 06:57 PM)Samjax Wrote: Well...what I meant about the Tradere and the S3S for that matter; is that when you price something from $150 to $225, it should be able (at least in my mind) to "outshave" a vintage Gillette - neither the Tradere, OSS or the S3S do that for me. This thought of course is my own...and probably doesn't represent most people.

In my experience (this is the subjective YMMV part)...


In iKons case - go a type of Gillette Single Ring OC or New OC on one side and a Superspeed or RedTip on the other - there you go...a very popular combination by anyone's standards. Once again, build the thing in Stainless with outstanding build quality and you have a very formidable shaver.

Samjax your last 2 posts were filled with keen insight,I hope you'll post here frequently.

If the OSS had an OLD Type OC or more likely a Short Comb New OC on one side and the Closed Comb side had been even a little more agressive I'd still own one.(Of course the curved baseplate of the OLD would most likely not work well in a dual persoanlity head design.)

As for the S3S - I ran hot and cold with it....partially because I didn't use it consistently.If I recall properly...the bevel on the OC side of the baseplate guided me towards what I found to be a good shaving angle.When I got in the zone with it I was surprised at how smooth it felt while quite effective.I ran both the iKon Bulldog and Bamboo handles on it and found my results were best when "choking up" on the handle closer to the razor's head.

The largest negative I found in the S3S was the weight and size of the razor's head was awkward for timming around my goatee,especially the tight spots.
I adapted to it and got decent results,but had to put too much effort into conforming to the razor.

At the end of the day the head of any razor houses a standard sized small wafer thin blade.I believe the downfall of some razors is the use of an overweight bulbous head to hold a tiny double edge blade.Overkill size and weight and the resultant loss of maneuverability is a destraction I can do without.

The most pleasurable razors I've used to shave with are the Gillette OLDs
Incredible feedback,shallow shaving angle,thin baseplate and cap equal a nimble razor that's fun to use.

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 08-13-2012, 02:00 PM
#18
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(08-12-2012, 08:45 PM)razorx Wrote: At the end of the day the head of any razor houses a standard sized small wafer thin blade.I believe the downfall of some razors is the use of an overweight bulbous head to hold a tiny double edge blade.Overkill size and weight and the resultant loss of maneuverability is a destraction I can do without.

The most pleasurable razors I've used to shave with are the Gillette OLDs
Incredible feedback,shallow shaving angle,thin baseplate and cap equal a nimble razor that's fun to use.

Excellent points and I agree completely.

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 08-13-2012, 02:37 PM
#19
  • biggiej42
  • Looney for Rooney
  • Stony Point, NY
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The S3S provides an open comb and safety bar side, both on the same razor. It may or may not be desirable by some, but as far as my experience it is a pleasure to have.

The open comb for my first pass, sometimes the second as well, and the safety bar for my third finishing pass (sometimes second and third). I can see two Gillette's doing that, but no singular Gillette can accomplish that.

Stainless construction is my weakness. I've owned the Feather AS, which I absolutely hated, the Ikon S3S and Modern, the Tradere OC, and the Weber ARC. Out of all of these, and many agree (YMMV), the Tradere comes out on top. It may be aggressive, but if you find the right blade combo, it's a very rewarding shave. Well worth the price point IMO.

I also have a Gillette Fatboy, that isn't even in the same league as these stainless razors. Does it give a good shave, sure, but it just feels cheap in my hands. The plating slowly comes off, the lettering slowly fades, and the mechanics of it slowly gets sloppy. Would I be able to pass it down to my grandchildren? (I'm 31) I highly doubt it. Would I be able to pass my stainless razors down to my great great grandchildren, and their children... absolutely.

There is something to be said about the aesthetics of a beautiful razor, they add to a shave. If they didn't, new designs, and companies pioneering new designs would never exist.

It's a huge case of YMMV, but you can't deny the build quality of the Ikons, Traderes, PILS, Webers, and Feathers. The fact that they will all well outlast me justifies the price point, IMO.

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 08-13-2012, 02:54 PM
#20
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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I had an OSS and an S3S and sold them acquire other iKon Models. The S3S to me was aggressive and comfortable. I liked the OSS but found it a bit mild for me.

I feel like both Tradere and iKon have not only hit home runs but grand freaking slams when it comes to outshaving and outshining old Gillettes. The OC Bulldog from iKon along with both the Tradere Standard Bar and Open Comb models are the three finest razors I've ever used and could hope to use. Thanks to both manufacturers, I have sold off my Vintage razors because they don't come close to the quality of the shave that I get from the three of them. It's like I said in one of my interview threads, when you purchase a razor from Greg at iKon or Richard at Tradere, a large part of that money is going to fund development for new models and not just gathering interest in a bank. That's the most important thing to me and it's important to me to support the folks who are passionate about wet shaving so they don't go away due to lack of interest or sales. The same goes with Soap. I'd much rather buy from Joe at RazoRock than from Taylors, DR Harris, or Trumpers. The quality is just as good and it's much more affordable.

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