08-01-2012, 09:43 AM
#1
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Right from the start of this nonsense I have to admit to a loaded bias in favour of heavyweight razors. Although my beard is fairly light I nevertheless get a much better shave from heavy, aggressive hardware and my daily rotators for the past decade have been a Merkur Futur (125 grms) and a Merkur Vision (124 grms) with my constant travelling weapon being a Merkur 38 Barberpole Slant (115 grms).
That is of course until SWMBO recently demonstrated her engineering capability by demolishing my Vision and setting me on the course of lurking on shave sites to bone up on an appropriate replacement. Okay, I might be a tad shallow but once I had clapped eyes on the Pils, Feather, Tradere and iKon offerings I knew that nothing but stainless steel would cut the proverbial mustard.

I initially discounted the Feather on the basis of its comparative mildness (gleaned from forum reviews) but more essentially because of its weight (90 grms). The Pils was similarly consigned to Room 101 but although allegedly mild it was unarguably getting there in terms of its overall heft (115 grms).
I finally decided on the iKon S3S with Bulldog handle (130 grms) although there were moments when the pendulum did swing in the direction of the Tradere OC (118 grms).

That would normally have been that, but unfortunately everything went pear-shaped once I received the iKon. It was absolutely stunningly beautiful and I was besotted with the open comb which I hadn’t tried for years. The 38 and Futur were no longer acceptable in the shadow of such company and so I decided to buy a Tradere and another Bulldog Handle - fit the Tradere OC head on the Bulldog handle and install a Fatip Grande head on the Tradere handle as my travel razor. Obsession was kicking in fast...

I already had it in my mind that I would not like the satin finish and slim shank of the Tradere and so I was very surprised to receive an equally beautiful razor, this time reminiscent of a surgical instrument as opposed to the functional precision of the iKon. Trust me, I can be as picky as the next obsessive but the Tradere handle matched well with any combination of heads and its 96 mm length was pretty much what I was used to whereas the 80 mm iKon Bulldog was marginally less manoeuvrable.

Nevertheless I paired the iKon S3S and Tradere OC with the Bulldog handles, installed a couple of 7 O’clock Yellows and began a comparative analysis (pompous arse). Oh! nearly forgot, the froth was provided courtesy of Mr Taylors Shaving Cream - the singular advantage of living in the UK being we can always get TOBS at a spectacularly good price.

The S3S head is heavier by some 16 grms, but it’s OC edge is appreciably less aggressive than that of the Tradere. Both gave an excellent shave which I enjoyed so much I decided to run them in Tandem for my daily fix. I commenced this procedure using the Tradere OC for the first pass WTG until James (aka syngent) suggested the benefit of using the mildest edge for the first pass and the more aggressive for subsequent passes. Bloody spot on... works a treat... and my ongoing three pass rotation is (1) S3S (CB) - WTG, (2) Tradere OC - ATG and (3) S3S (OC) - XTG. Absolutely close to perfect and the Fatip head on the Tradere handle is not too shabby either.

Alas and alack, everything in the garden should be wonderful but I forgot the gypsy’s warning about improving on perfection and wondered how these lovely OC’s would perform with heavier handles. Then as if by divine intervention the devil’s disciple Dr Dulcamara introduced a Spanish artisan named Rafael who produces a stainless steel handle called the “Kaiser” that is 100 mm in length and weighs in at 91 grms.

Hmmm... now these UFO handles will make the iKon S3S combination 153 grms and the Tradere OC 137 grms. Are these heavy or are these heavy?
Okay, I’ve given into temptation and my order is in. Can anyone tell me where the hell this is leading as sex and booze is much cheaper, not to mention drugs and rock ‘n roll.

A snap follows (sans Kaiser handles cos they’re not here yet) along with a weights and measures chart for those who enjoy drooling over such things.

   

   

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 08-01-2012, 10:01 AM
#2
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Absolutely fantastic post and even better pic!

I'm glad you were able to find your niche with the heavy razors/heavy handles. I'm curious if anything changes after you try the UFO handles with the exact combinations that are already working well for you.

I say that I am a bit jealous because I am all over the board between vintage, modern, heavy, light, aggressive, mild, sharp blade, smooth blade, etc.
You, on the other hand, seem to have it where you want it and are going to keep it there in spades. Biggrin

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 08-01-2012, 12:06 PM
#3
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Excellent read Thumbsup

You have 3 absolute stunning razors there Babeando

I look forward to hearing your impression of the UFO Kaiser handle, as that is the one I'm eying very! closely...

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 08-01-2012, 01:26 PM
#4
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Thanks for an informative, and fun, read. I shall be looking forward to your further adventures with these razors and their new handles. Smile

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 08-01-2012, 06:49 PM
#5
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
User Info
A great read!

Thank you for sharing your stats and pics Biggrin

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 08-01-2012, 08:36 PM
#6
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Wow you really have a way with words and science...interesting data analysis...where is this heading you ask? Usually it ends up with spending more and more time in the "shave cave" and trips to the blood bank to sell your remaining blood and spare body parts to obtain the next product generally referred to as "Unobtainium " and a lifetime of dispair and depression...so as the Doctor once said quit now and "enjoy the process":BiggrinTongue

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 08-01-2012, 09:36 PM
#7
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Stunning razors and a great dilemma to have. Enjoy the razors and the Ufo handles when they arrive.

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 08-07-2012, 10:38 PM
#8
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I too, seem to have been bitten by the "stainless bug", as my rotation selection (currently) consists of:

PILS 101NE
iKon S3S,
Tradere OC &
(soon) Weber DLC with classic handle.

There is something about the weight behind this selection of stainless razors, but I would like to suggest that the weight of the PILS, while not in the same league as the iKon, is beautifully balanced & offers a BBS finish every time (aggressiveness is just not needed for great results).

Just my two cents worth.

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 08-08-2012, 01:46 AM
#9
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Hello, a little more temptation from hell.
Only say that UFO KAISER weights 91 gr, but
UFO GOLIATH XL (100 mm long, 15/15 mm caliber) finally weights 123 gr.
Have a good day, my friends.
Your favorite devil's disciple Firedevil

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 08-08-2012, 04:46 AM
#10
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My new obsession with stainless razors is unfortunately not independent of heft and aggressiveness and having just received a second S3S head I am now running this with the Tradere handle equating to a total razor weight of 134 grms.

Although you are absolutely right about balance, this has no place in my obsession... in fact this combination has about the same balance as a toffee hammer.

However this now pales into insignificance as my wayward friend Dr Dulcamara has just informed me that the pair of Goliath XL's that I have on order (15/15 mm calibre x 100 mm length) will weigh in at 123 grms each.

This will make the Tradere OC/UFO combination a whopping 169 grms while the iKon S3S/UFO combination at 191 grms is destined to become the standard hammer for the next Olympic Games Biggrin

Jack


(08-07-2012, 10:38 PM)Capn CutThroat Wrote: I too, seem to have been bitten by the "stainless bug", as my rotation selection (currently) consists of:

PILS 101NE
iKon S3S,
Tradere OC &
(soon) Weber DLC with classic handle.

There is something about the weight behind this selection of stainless razors, but I would like to suggest that the weight of the PILS, while not in the same league as the iKon, is beautifully balanced & offers a BBS finish every time (aggressiveness is just not needed for great results).

Just my two cents worth.

Great news! I've done the math and the Tradere OC/Goliath XL and iKon S3S/Goliath XL combinations weigh in at 169 grms and 191 grms respectively.

I am salivating and cannot wait to receive these beautiful handles, but as I've already sold my soul to get them what more is there left.

Get thee hence Satan! Haven't you tempted this poor mortal enough? Angel

Jack


(08-08-2012, 01:46 AM)Dr Dulcamara Wrote: Hello, a little more temptation from hell.
Only say that UFO KAISER weights 91 gr, but
UFO GOLIATH XL (100 mm long, 15/15 mm caliber) finally weights 123 gr.
Have a good day, my friends.
Your favorite devil's disciple Firedevil

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 08-12-2012, 11:13 PM
#11
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I like my Kaiser a lot. Presently, I have it attached to my R41 head and it does a nice job of softening up the aggressive/irritating nature of the R41. I don't think I'd want to go with a heavier handle. I have used an ultra-heavy handle in the past that was about the same weight as the Goliath XL and it's just overkill. It makes the razor head too light and actually forces you to exert pressure on the head, which is never a good idea. The Kaiser keeps the razor weight in the same range as a Futur, Vision or Tradere.

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 08-13-2012, 03:40 AM
#12
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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I currently have the Kaiser (100mm x 13mm) and was actually the guy who requested the specific specs on a modified Goliath (100mm long/15mm diameter/very deep knurling) - which Rafael and Juan in turn named the Goliath XL (my Goliath XL should be here in a few more days).

I think the Goliath XL is probably about as large a handle as I'm going to go...as Bob mentions above, you reach a point of diminishing returns. I like the 100mm length, the actual diameter I prefer has yet to be determined. I hope that it's not 14mm...which would mean that I would have to special order yet another UFO handle in the weeks to come. Dodgy

The UFO handles are amazing works of quality and "shaving art", if you haven't ordered one, you certainly should give it some consideration.

Matching my S3S head with the Kaiser provides quite a bit more balance to the S3S...unfortunately, I just don't care much for the S3S shave overall, so it's a moot point. It is a fairly "heavy" combination...but one that I could easily get used to, if it shaved a bit better as compared to many of my other "in house" choices.

My extra handles currently include 2 of the Traderes, 2 iKon OSS, 1 iKon Bulldog, UFO Kaiser and the incoming UFO Goliath XL. I, like the original poster, have a great deal of fun in mixing/matching/balancing the various handles and heads in pursuit of my own "personal" holy grail of shaving.

Great post, info and pics!

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 08-13-2012, 05:23 AM
#13
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To be honest I would have been perfectly content with the Kaiser had the XL not cropped up. I take your point about balance having used a Merkur Slant, Vision and Futur for a lot of years - each having approximately 4" handles and the latter two a fair amount of girth.

However, using the Tradere and iKon OC heads with 3"(ish) Bulldog handles required a totally different handling technique which I am still endeavouring to master. In this configuration the head appears to pivot between the thumb and middle finger while the digit and third apply a degree of steadying.

So here the balance is arguable more important, but when the handle length is increased to 4" the little pinky comes into play to steady the shaft right at the end and thus makes the grip more stable. Now I would suggest that the balance becomes less important but I can only put this to the test when my two Kaiser XL's turn up!Tongue

Oh what fun we'll have.Biggrin

(08-12-2012, 11:13 PM)vocalistbob Wrote: I like my Kaiser a lot. Presently, I have it attached to my R41 head and it does a nice job of softening up the aggressive/irritating nature of the R41. I don't think I'd want to go with a heavier handle. I have used an ultra-heavy handle in the past that was about the same weight as the Goliath XL and it's just overkill. It makes the razor head too light and actually forces you to exert pressure on the head, which is never a good idea. The Kaiser keeps the razor weight in the same range as a Futur, Vision or Tradere.

I hope you're right about the 15mm diameter Smile
I seem to remember that when I measured the Futur handle it had a girth of about 14mm and was the best part of 4" long.

My UFO handles on order are medium knurled so they are effectively Kaiser XLs by another name. I will consequently be very interested to hear your opinion when you have had the opportunity to compare the 13mm with the 15mm handle, utilising both Tradere and S3S heads.Sherlock

(08-13-2012, 03:40 AM)Samjax Wrote: I currently have the Kaiser (100mm x 13mm) and was actually the guy who requested the specific specs on a modified Goliath (100mm long/15mm diameter/very deep knurling) - which Rafael and Juan in turn named the Goliath XL (my Goliath XL should be here in a few more days).

I think the Goliath XL is probably about as large a handle as I'm going to go...as Bob mentions above, you reach a point of diminishing returns. I like the 100mm length, the actual diameter I prefer has yet to be determined. I hope that it's not 14mm...which would mean that I would have to special order yet another UFO handle in the weeks to come. Dodgy

The UFO handles are amazing works of quality and "shaving art", if you haven't ordered one, you certainly should give it some consideration.

Matching my S3S head with the Kaiser provides quite a bit more balance to the S3S...unfortunately, I just don't care much for the S3S shave overall, so it's a moot point. It is a fairly "heavy" combination...but one that I could easily get used to, if it shaved a bit better as compared to many of my other "in house" choices.

My extra handles currently include 2 of the Traderes, 2 iKon OSS, 1 iKon Bulldog, UFO Kaiser and the incoming UFO Goliath XL. I, like the original poster, have a great deal of fun in mixing/matching/balancing the various handles and heads in pursuit of my own "personal" holy grail of shaving.

Great post, info and pics!

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 08-17-2012, 12:14 PM
#14
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Hello, a little more temptation from hell.
Only say that Rafael has a new beast.

UFO ZEUS. The Father of all Handles. 316L stainless steel, 85 mm long, 20/20 mm caliber, 166 gr. weight. There is one in New York.
and he has an order for
UFO ZEUS XL. 316L stainless steel, 100 mm long, 20/20 mm caliber, probably around 195 gr. weight. It will go to the southern hemisphere.

Also say that Rafael has an order for one unit of UFO GOLIATH XXL 316L stainless steel, 120 mm long, 15/15 mm caliber, probably around 150-153 gr weight.
Also say there is a new handle in New York. UFO TORNADO, 316L stainless steel, 15/15 mm caliber, 103 gr, mirror polished, 1 pass knurling only, Less grip, more brightness.

Have a good day, my friends.
Your favorite devil's disciple Firedevil

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 08-17-2012, 01:42 PM
#15
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How much bigger and heavier are these handles going to get! Wow, would i love to see pictures.

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 08-17-2012, 02:15 PM
#16
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Much as they want their users and Rafael agrees.

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 09-03-2012, 09:02 AM
#17
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Hello, a little more temptation from hell.
Only say that Rafael has an order for

UFO ZEUS 3XL. 316L stainless steel, 125 mm long, 20/20 mm caliber, probably around 245 gr. weight. It will go to the southern hemisphere also, same gentleman of UFO ZEUS XL.

Have a good day, my friends.
Your favorite devil's disciple Firedevil

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 09-04-2012, 12:56 AM
#18
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The ZEUS 3XL handle at 125 mm long was born yesterday. I made a mistake in calculating weight. Finally weighing 273 gr. With the LC NEW head, the complete razor weighs 303 gr.

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 10-05-2012, 12:16 PM
#19
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My friends. These two large handles UFO ZEUS XL and UFO ZEUS 3XL finally have been introduced in society. His owner has given approval. Enjoy the pics!!! Take a look last pic, mirror finish!! http://uforazorhandles.blogspot.com.es/2...s-3xl.html

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 10-08-2012, 08:56 AM
#20
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Recently back from my hols to find 2 Goliath XL stainless steel handles waiting for me. OK, so iKon Bulldog Handles are substantial but just look at these bad boys alongside them.Biggrin
Heavy, tactile razors are certainly an acquired taste, but for those who want something different I highly recommend Rafael's (of UFO Razor Handles) workmanship... the knurling and finish is superb.
   

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