08-29-2012, 02:57 AM
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This is the fourth in a series of posts about razors that you don't really hear about on the forums.

Here are the other reviews:

1) Gladweg De Luxe
2) Henso DE razor
3) Gladweg Push-Button


After a long hiatus from this series, I started it up again because I finally have the time to test these razors out.

The razor I've been using lately is a DE razor made by F. Engels - a well-known straight razor maker. This is probably something they farmed out for manufacture and just branded as their own, but I have no evidence for this.

It came to me in a cardboard box that was helpfully marked 'Made in Germany'. I'm not sure if the box is original to the razor,but it does fit in well.

[Image: IMG_20120829_061020.jpg]

What attracted me to this razor was the thick handle. It is significantly thicker than even the Fat-Handled Tech handle, but this is some sort of cast metal, and it's not too heavy.

[Image: IMG_20120829_061409.jpg]

However, there was something different about this razor, and I didn't catch that when I first purchased this razor. I only noticed it when I started to clean it up (which was not easy, because of some plating issues). Maybe the really sharp-eyed among you can pick out what that was.

[Image: IMG_20120829_061034.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20120829_061056.jpg]

The razor has a 2-piece spindle construction, and I like that. That also means that the handle is mostly hollow, making for a well-balanced razor, with excellent grip.

[Image: IMG_20120829_061232.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20120829_061138.jpg]

What made this razor really interesting is that the head is asymmetric - one side has a different level of aggression from the other.

Now, this is one of those concepts that's better in theory than in practice. On a previous razor that I used with this feature (the Gibbs +/-), the milder side was pretty useless to shave with. However, in this razor, they hit a nice sweet spot.

The mild side is about the same level of aggression as a 40's SS and the aggressive side is perhaps a tad more aggressive than the Red Tip SS. So, it's not a wide variation in aggression, but it does make for a useful razor.

The reason I say this is that I always use both sides of a DE razor to shave with. So, when there's a wide gap in aggression on the two sides, I have issues with the shave. With this one, I could still use both sides interchangeably, but when I got to areas of my face that needed less aggression (right side of my throat), then I used the mild side. When I needed more aggression (chin/upper lip), I used the aggressive side.

This razor doesn't have a helpful '+' and '-' on the head to designate the two sides, but it does have different numbers of 'teeth' on the safety bar - fewer teeth on the mild side, and more on he aggressive side - pretty easy to distinguish.

[Image: IMG_20120829_061329.jpg]

The shave with this razor was nice and easy. Not a standout, by any stretch of the imagination. However, we don't need a standout razor for daily shaving, and I could easily (and happily) use this as a daily shaver.

While this razor was not as effective as the Gladweg Push-Button, it is a really nice razor in its own right. It is quietly functional, it is a pleasure to use, and it is different from the run-of-the-mill Gillette, which adds some mystique.

I like it. Smile

37 1,731
 08-29-2012, 03:19 AM
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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Nice razor. You always find the most interesting ones Yohann

116 3,804
 08-29-2012, 05:55 AM
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Nice razor and good review. I am very partial to spindle razors. I really like the head. Thank you

98 12,360
 08-30-2012, 04:58 PM
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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I enjoyed the review. Is lack of background information for a razor, i.e. when it was made, and where, etc., due to the re-branding? When one cannot find any online information, is there a book or other source to find out this sort of thing for vintage razors?

16 536
 08-30-2012, 05:37 PM
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That is a fascinating razor. Thanks for sharing, Yohann.

74 20,791
 08-30-2012, 11:17 PM
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Very interesting razor you got there Yohann - never seen an asymmetric head like that before. Is it just the cap that's asymmetric, or is the base skewed too?

3 3,439
 08-31-2012, 02:31 AM
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The cap is symmetric, and can be reversed. It's the base plate that's asymmetric.

Mat - I just didn't spend the time to research the razor. There has to be some information on the razor out there. I was just looking to evaluate it as a shaver.

37 1,731
 10-09-2012, 08:38 AM
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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This is very cool if the aggressiveness levels are right for the user. I think two different settings is all most of us would need. I also really like the deep channels behind the safety bar for the soap/cuttings. This is what Progress has and I think that creates a better sudio feedback, at least on the Progress. I find that I use the Progress as a two setting razor most of the time. I will do the first pass (or two) on higher (more aggressive setting) and then dial it down just a tad. Like half a setting for the rest of the shave. This gives me perfect results once I found the two settings for the particular blade. Most blades have the same setting, but some get a little bump up (Merkur blade actually works really well in the Progress dialed ever so slightly up). So I can totally see a dual "strength" design being very useful. Great looking razor, too. Love the handle and the spindle design.


25 1,695
 10-09-2012, 11:29 AM
  • Johan
  • Barberian of the lathering
  • Sweden
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Looks very manly and classy!

0 284
 10-09-2012, 03:40 PM
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Great post! I got a little terrified upon seeing the super-thick handle that it was one of those Stahle-style electric double edge razors. My eyes lit up when I read the idea of two-variants of aggressiveness on a non-adjustable razor, but you brought me back down to Earth when I too remembered I use both sides...

0 95
 10-09-2012, 04:01 PM
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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I use both sides of the razor as a rule, but with a special razor like this I would use a different technique. Just because I do something with most razors does not mean I would not adapt a special technique for this particular razor, especially if the razor is worth it. I normally would use a more aggressive side for first couple passes and then switch to the mild side for the ATG and touch up. Or something similar to that. Of course, the gimmick part may be that the difference is not worth adapting to. I once had a 1972 BMW Bavaria and it had a turn signal stalk on the right and the windshield wiper mode selector on the left of the steering column. At first I was put off, but after about a week I realized not only do I not mind having the turn signal stalk on the "wrong" side, but I actually liked it. When I drove cars with normal turn signal stalk position I did not get confused at all. My muscle memory was two fold and switched between two modes triggered by the car I was in. That Beemer was very special to me and I did not mind getting used to that little quirk.

25 1,695
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