11-25-2017, 11:47 AM
#1
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The experience of single edge shaving has changed considerably over the last few years. From what used to be Schick Injector and a few EverReady models that used the Gem blade there was not a lot to choose from. Many shavers swear by these single edge alternatives to the standard double edge razor some liking the various lettered Schick models and the Damaskene, Bullet End and Streamline being the Gem favorites.
 
With the introduction of the Cobra Classic and the King Cobra all of this changed. These two razors allowed wet shavers to experience the Feather Artist Club/Kai blades used primarily in barber shops as replaceable blades in straight razors. The success of the Classic Shaving Cobra brought forth several new designs and a profusion of razors.
 
I wanted to review the majority of them and put them in some order at least based on my opinions and using the same brush, soap and blade. I have almost totally switched to this form of wet shaving having previously been comfortable with classic Gillette's, slants, adjustable and many one-off shaving tools. I still do shave with these occasionally but to my mind there is nothing that compares to Artist Club type blades in one of these new products. They are smooth, efficiently remove whiskers and leave my face BBS after a normal 3-pass shave.
 
I have ranked below the majority of these new razors, missing a couple. With each razor I used a Feather Pro Guard which is mild and safe to use in any angle. While there are other blades just as good or better, maybe, I thought the Guard would be the best to compare in the various tools. The most available are the Feather Professional, Kai Titan Mild, the Kai Protouch MG (also a guard blade) and the Schick Proline P-30 there is so much interest in. The brush was a faux Ivory synthetic silvertip by Edwin Jagger and Meisner Tremonia Moroccan Rhassoul paste was the soap.

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My general observations were that there was not a bad shave in the group, just some better than others; that I generally preferred the heavier stainless steel verities to the aluminum offerings; and that smaller more maneuverable heads were better performing than large. The photos that follow are the razors in groups of three and four. They are ranked in order of preference by what I thought gave the best shaves. It is very hard to distinguish between many of them so the order is really a "leaning" compared to an absolutely clear choice. The exception were the last two in the order. I think most of these razors are available directly from the manufacturers or from one of the big internet providers such as Bull Goose Shaving, Maggard's or Italian Barber. Some are available only as complete razors while some individual heads can be ordered. I tended to use my own handles rather than what came with the razor.

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1.  King Cobra (SS) with a Triad Titanium handle. 94gr. The original. Established the category. Made in 2 versions with the same head. As Mel Brooks said "it's good to be King." Shaves with perfection in all angles. Small head so easy to manipulate in the tight areas. Wonderful on face feel. I think the best by a very slight margin. Unfortunately no longer available at retail.
 
2.  Colonial General (AL) with a Bob's Razor Works chubby aluminum handle. 96gr. Outstanding shave that is comfortable in all directions and efficient. Currently being sold in a stainless steel version and had been made in brass in addition to the original aluminum in silver and black. The first SE Artist Club to have a curved head which allows the user to establish the angle that best suites their face.
 
3. Mongoose (SS) polished batch 1 with a Muhle Grande handle. 110gr. This is the original Mongoose which is currently offered in a brushed and aluminum version with a slightly smaller head. Outstanding shave. Liked the heavy feel to the razor. This was the first razor to establish a built in angle to the head. Almost equal to the Cobra and General.

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4.  Asylum RX (SS) matte finish. 108gr. With a head similar in size to a Cobra it is very maneuverable and smooth shaving. You can positively change the blade without completely taking the razor apart. It is an ingenious design that allows the user to change handles but the one that comes with the tool seems to work best. This razor is one of the best and will last a lifetime.
 
5. Above The Tie SE1 (SS) with a Jurgen Hempel Titanium Wave handle. 97gr. This head is curved and similar to the Colonial General in looks but has a couple of unique features that make the blade sit rock steady in the head. It has the lowest profile of the curved heads because the top edge of the cap is recessed into the base plate. A very smooth shaving efficient razor that is every bit as good a choice as those above. Just depends on who you like doing business with and how each of the Artist Club blades work in the various heads. There sometimes is a difference. The  Feather Guard was very nice in this head and consistent with the performance of the razors above.
 
6. Ikon MR-SE (AL) paired with the UFO Titanium handle is 91gr. Unlike the original El Jefe that appears to have been a design mistake as to how the base plate tabs seated the blade, the SE is similar in fit to all of the others. It is a low profile curved head, produces a wonderful shave and is a bargain price wise. If price was a criteria this along with the IB Hawk would be #1. Easy to use and comfortable to get under the nose and through the lip and chin area for those that shave their entire face. All of these razors perform well in that measure even with the big ass blade. Unfortunately many of the video's showing the AC SE razors in action are done with guys with beards or goatees so worthless in showing how they perform beyond broad flat surfaces.
 
7. International Barber Hawk (AL) high polish silver at 36gr. This comes with the angled opposed to curved head but is very intuitive as to angle and a very nice razor. As I mentioned in the general observations there is not a significant difference  between the performance of all of these razors. The variations are subtle and the distinguishing characteristics a matter of preference. They all have some design differences that can one more pleasing over the other. Or price can be an issue. This is one of the bargains. I believe this razor is only produced in black at the moment. There is a stainless version which I have not tried.

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8. Above The Tie SE1 aluminum.(AL) 44gr. Exactly the same head design as the stainless ATT SE1 but not as smooth a shaver. For some reason the similarity in design does not translate to an identical shave. Not bad mind you but different. To me not a smooth and pulling while the SS version is like butter.
 
9. Rocnel SE50 (SS) with a Triad Titanium handle which makes everything 133gr. A huge head with a unique blade holding motion that requires sliding the cap horizontally and fixing it in place with a set screw that also holds the handle. Overly complicated system for no real advantage to smoothness, efficiency or ease of use. The weight can wear your arm out it is so heavy. The head is double the size of most of the others. Complicated to get to the nose, chin and lip area. Not a bad shave just not as good as the others and I think from design issues. The set screw is also cheap and rusts. I replaced it with a stainless variety.
 
10. Mongoose Alumigoose batch 1. (AL) paired with a Muhle handle. 50gr. I have this at the bottom of the group in terms of the comfort of the shave. I did not try the new version which supposedly is better. It has a smaller head. This is the exact same size as the batch 1 stainless which is one of the best shaves in the group. I guess I have come to the conclusion that aluminum in this format just does not shave as well, with the exception of the Colonial General. Even with this the Alumigoose batch 1 is better than a lot of other razors.
 
All of the above is in my opinion and more than anything provided as a summary of what's available. I am sure I have missed a few things and someone should complete the list and comment on experiences with other blades and correct any mistakes I have made.

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 11-25-2017, 01:27 PM
#2
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Thank you for the informative article.

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 11-25-2017, 01:43 PM
#3
  • pbrmhl
  • Senior Member
  • Seattle
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Great review! I only have the Asylum RX, ATT SE2, Mongoose v2 and Alumigoose v2. I would place the RX and SE2 as a tie for first (and tied with my favorites using other blades), with the Mongoose next, and the Alumigoose last (although still a very nice shave with a Feather Pro Super).

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 11-25-2017, 01:55 PM
#4
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Nice write up!

The SE1/SE2 reigns supreme for me with Schick Proline blades.

I've used the Asylum RX, Classic Cobra, aluminum General, El Jefe, and MR SE.

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 11-25-2017, 02:18 PM
#5
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Great review. The King Cobra razor is still being produced. Currently sold at CS for $209 (without blades). International Barber is Italian Barber but also goes by Razorock. It doesn't seem that the Mongoose is being produced at this time.

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 11-25-2017, 02:27 PM
#6
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Very nice and informative article!

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 11-25-2017, 02:54 PM
#7
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
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Nice write-up!  I'm always drawn to posts that have some rationale to the usual interweb "its gud bcuz i bot it" type posts.  I've tried a bunch of SE's, including Schicks from A to O, GEM's & EverReady's over a century old, and the AC spoken of here

Of the Hair Shaper format razors, the ATT SE is the only one I've retained, so I'd move that to the head of the list.  But, opinions are like ... everybody's got one

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 11-25-2017, 06:08 PM
#8
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(11-25-2017, 02:18 PM)slantman Wrote: Great review. The King Cobra razor is still being produced. Currently sold at CS for $209 (without blades). International Barber is Italian Barber but also goes by Razorock. It doesn't seem that the Mongoose is being produced at this time.

Was not aware of this and really good news. Checked CS site and not only King Cobra but Cobra Classic is being offered as well. They must have found a reliable production facility. And yes, I always forget the Razorock branding is what they go by.

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 11-25-2017, 06:16 PM
#9
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(11-25-2017, 01:55 PM)rabidus Wrote: Nice write up!

The SE1/SE2 reigns supreme for me with Schick Proline blades.

I've used the Asylum RX, Classic Cobra, aluminum General, El Jefe, and MR SE.

Yes, forgot to mention the ATT SE2 which is open comb. I have not tried it as yet.

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 11-25-2017, 06:18 PM
#10
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Thanks for a thorough and interesting write-up.

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 11-25-2017, 10:27 PM
#11
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Thanks. You inspired me to get a MR-SE head!

I get great shaves from the ATT Calypso SE1. I don't have a stainless SE1 to compare it to, but I do have the SE2 (v1) in stainless, with the large Colossus handle. The extra weight makes it quite an effective razor.

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 11-26-2017, 12:11 AM
#12
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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Tried most of them and had some similar experiences, only one I still have is the Asylum RX. Thanks for the review!

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 11-26-2017, 12:44 AM
#13
  • P.B
  • Member
  • UK
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(11-25-2017, 02:18 PM)slantman Wrote: It doesn't seem that the Mongoose is being produced at this time.

Maggards have the Alumigoose but not the stainless steel version.

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 11-26-2017, 05:12 AM
#14
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(11-25-2017, 06:16 PM)zeppelinkarte Wrote:
(11-25-2017, 01:55 PM)rabidus Wrote: Nice write up!

The SE1/SE2 reigns supreme for me with Schick Proline blades.

I've used the Asylum RX, Classic Cobra, aluminum General, El Jefe, and MR SE.

Yes, forgot to mention the ATT SE2 which is open comb. I have not tried it as yet.

The SE2 is just as efficient as the Asylum RX, only it's smoother and more user friendly than the RX.

The SE2 uses the same cap as the SE1, so the baseplate simply unleashes the blade. The blade to cap angle is the same.

Your aluminum SE1 probably has more blade gap than your SS SE1 if the SS is stamped 2016. The SE2 I have has more blade gap than my 2016 SS SE1 and add to that the open comb. All I can say is, "hold on to your socks!"

It's the only OC AC razor if I'm not mistaken and it's outstanding!

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 11-26-2017, 06:29 AM
#15
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Your aluminum SE1 probably has more blade gap than your SS SE1 if the SS is stamped 2016. The SE2 I have has more blade gap than my 2016 SS SE1 and add to that the open comb. All I can say is, "hold on to your socks!"

Does the 2016 SS SE1 baseplate have less blade gap than the 2017 SS SE1?

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 11-26-2017, 06:39 AM
#16
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(11-26-2017, 06:29 AM)SweetReason Wrote: Your aluminum SE1 probably has more blade gap than your SS SE1 if the SS is stamped 2016. The SE2 I have has more blade gap than my 2016 SS SE1 and add to that the open comb. All I can say is, "hold on to your socks!"

Does the 2016 SS SE1 baseplate have less blade gap than the 2017 SS SE1?


Quote:The Single Edge Base Plate is a mid aggressive, yet mild, solid bar razor with a .61 mm blade gap.

The Single Edge Open Comb Base Plate is a mid aggressive, yet mild, open comb razor with a .61 mm blade gap.

According to their website on the combo pack, both the SE1 and SE2 have a .61 mm blade gap. My SE2 bought over a month ago has the .61 mm blade gap. My 2016 stamped SE1 has less, I forget exactly, but some where around .45 mm. I don't have the later SE1, aluminum or SS...

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 11-26-2017, 07:36 AM
#17
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So 2016 SS SE1 is milder than actual SS SE1?


Enviado desde mi iPhone X utilizando Tapatalk Pro

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 11-26-2017, 08:20 AM
#18
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Thanks for this informative piece

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 11-26-2017, 08:24 AM
#19
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Very nice writeup.  A great piece to help with all the choices these days.

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 11-26-2017, 02:22 PM
#20
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Stan confirmed me that there’s no difference between actual and 2016 SE1.


Enviado desde mi iPhone X utilizando Tapatalk Pro

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