10-29-2017, 12:57 PM
#1
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I thought I'd start an impressions thread for the Sabre Level 2.  I was lucky enough to buy one on Friday from Shane...it turns out we are basically neighbors when you look at the geography of TSN membership...who'd've thought?

I haven't used a Blackland Razor before, so I was excited to try it out.  I have also been looking for a Gem that works for me...vintage, modern, whatever...but hadn't acquired a Level 1 as I was worried it would be too mild.  The Sabre Level 2 fit and finish are excellent and packaging is top notch...very impressive actually.  The razor is smaller than I imagined, particularly the handle which reads a bit larger when looking at pictures.  In hand, its scale is very DE like, comfortable to hold, good balance, good weight.

First shave was with a hand stropped Gem, LPL Oud Santal, and an M+F L7.  First pass was a bit rough as I adjusted to the angle...seems like having the top plate close to parallel to the face is the way to go.  By the end of the first pass things had smoothed out.  WTG, ATG, and a little XTG touch up and I was definitely in BBS territory.  Shave was very consistent, particularly noticeable today as my stubble is "even" if you know what I mean.  This razor doesn't bite and no weepers... I like the blade guards at the corners too.

I'm going to shave with the L2 exclusively for the next week to get more comfortable with it and develop my technique...with this good of a first shave I am pretty sure it will only get better.  I'll report back as things develop.

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 10-29-2017, 01:20 PM
#2
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Thanks for the write up, Tom.

To be clear here, the L2 isn't yet available. I had two extra L2 plates (for QC purposes) and Tom got one at full purchase price with no expectation for a review because we met for lunch. These should be available for all this week.

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 10-29-2017, 02:01 PM
#3
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Looking forward to the release......  Sisi

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 10-31-2017, 11:49 AM
#4
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I have a total of 3 shaves in.  The second was similar to the first, although smoother from the get-go as I understood the angle better.  My third was the best so far...I added a longer handle to the Sabre today and that improved the shave for me.  With the top plate hugging the face, the slightly longer handle allowed me to get and keep the angle more naturally.  The tolerances on the machining show themselves well...blade is very secure, no wiggle of shift, nicely locked down and secure.  The non-OEM handle threaded on easily, no problems at all.

I did my usual 2 pass + touch up and a solid BBS again.  The BBS to date has been somewhere in between my Rx and Cobra in terms of lasting power.  I think I'll use a thinner, slicker lather for the next shaves...similar to a straight?...to aid in glide.  With the top plate close to the face I do feel a touch of drag that I think a thinner lather will overcome.

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 10-31-2017, 12:20 PM
#5
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I have always used a slightly longer handle on my L1 Sabre and prefer it. I am bouncing off the walls in anticipation of this L2 baseplate and it should do extremely well with the slick lathers that any of the Grooming Dept.soaps create. The wait is almost over!!


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 10-31-2017, 12:53 PM
#6
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Good to know.  I need to go back and read the other posts on the Sabre...I'm sure there is plenty there that I can learn from.

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 10-31-2017, 02:29 PM
#7
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+1 on a longer handle. Sabre's handle makes wonders on light heads like vintage Gillettes though.

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 10-31-2017, 02:46 PM
#8
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I love the design of the Sabre handle but I never use short handles so my limit is 95mm on any razor. I had a couple custom handles made for the Sabre which work extremely well.


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 11-01-2017, 10:41 AM
#9
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Fourth shave with the Sabre L2.  Just keeps getting better...adding the longer handle is a plus for me*.  Thinner, slicker lather a plus too.  Perhaps I am feeling the blade smooth out with use as well.  Keeping angle with the back of the top plate just off the skin.  All of these are contributing to a great shave.  

Again, WTG/ATG/touch up.  It's not as close as my Rx (maybe that would be a Level 3 if it ever comes to pass), but somewhere around the closeness of a Cobra I think.  But the Sabre delivers a close shave nonetheless and very consistent.  Also, it takes less thought than using my Rx.  I can't see a way to clip oneself with the Sabre yet...maybe there is but I haven't found it.  

*I really like the Sabre handle design, but would advocate with Shane to offer a longer handle, same design, down the road.

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 11-02-2017, 11:01 AM
#10
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Shave 5 with the Sabre L2 is in the books.  Not much more to add, the Sabre was quick to pick up and get used to.  2 pass + touch up BBS.  Long handle + slick lather will be my continued combination with this razor.  Back of the top cap just slightly above the skin when in use. 

I haven't done a 3 pass shave yet and I think that will be on the agenda for my next shave...I'd like to see how much closer the shave gets and how long it lasts...and how comfortable 3 passes is.  2 passes is my standard with most razors.

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 11-02-2017, 01:07 PM
#11
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Nice, Tom.  Thanks for the pics and the shave reports.  Beautiful razor.

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 11-03-2017, 10:09 AM
#12
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Thanks kingfisher...

6th shave down.  All the same routine, but did 3 passes + touchup.  Very very close shave.  Just a hair under the Rx for me.  Generally comfortable, but just a bit of burn toward the end in a couple spots (probably not the razor...this is common for me even with some of my favorites).  Really liking this razor...

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 11-03-2017, 10:23 AM
#13
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(11-03-2017, 10:09 AM)wreck | fish Wrote: Thanks kingfisher...

6th shave down.  All the same routine, but did 3 passes + touchup.  Very very close shave.  Just a hair under the Rx for me.  Generally comfortable, but just a bit of burn toward the end in a couple spots (probably not the razor...this is common for me even with some of my favorites).  Really liking this razor...

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I've been reading your shaving experience which you've been kind enough to share and am grateful for you doing so. Except...now I have another razor to consider purchasing! I have not found Gem blades particularly effective in cutting my beard, but perhaps I should chalk that up to giving up on them too soon. If the Sabre is as efficient and smooth as the Blackbird, I'd be sold! Thanks again!

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 11-03-2017, 11:23 AM
#14
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Haven't tried a blackbird yet, but it's on my list.  This is the first gem that I've gotten a close enough shave with.  The blades are definitely different relative to AC and DE blades.  But I am thinking after this short period that it's the razor that drives the efficiency and comfort more than the blade itself.  Could be wrong.  Just an initial thought.

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 11-03-2017, 11:37 AM
#15
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Just a side note, I put my Sabre handle on my Asylum Rx this morning and it is a beautiful match!!


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 11-03-2017, 02:16 PM
#16
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(11-03-2017, 11:37 AM)gmhjr06 Wrote: Just a side note, I put my Sabre handle on my Asylum Rx this morning and it is a beautiful match!!


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Hmm hmmm...I need to try that.  Great idea!

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 11-03-2017, 02:19 PM
#17
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(11-03-2017, 02:16 PM)wreck | fish Wrote:
(11-03-2017, 11:37 AM)gmhjr06 Wrote: Just a side note, I put my Sabre handle on my Asylum Rx this morning and it is a beautiful match!!


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Hmm hmmm...I need to try that.  Great idea!


Now I have a reason to get the Sabre stand along with my L2 Baseplate.


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 11-03-2017, 04:16 PM
#18
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the stand is very nice

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 11-04-2017, 09:22 AM
#19
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(11-03-2017, 11:37 AM)gmhjr06 Wrote: Just a side note, I put my Sabre handle on my Asylum Rx this morning and it is a beautiful match!!


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Uh, ya.  Great idea...

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 11-04-2017, 09:59 AM
#20
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(11-04-2017, 09:22 AM)wreck | fish Wrote:
(11-03-2017, 11:37 AM)gmhjr06 Wrote: Just a side note, I put my Sabre handle on my Asylum Rx this morning and it is a beautiful match!!


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Uh, ya.  Great idea...

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Yep, looks amazing!


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