04-21-2019, 05:23 PM
#1
  • DanLaw
  • Just an old slow fat man
  • Peachtree City, GA
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Was fortunate to trial a Wolfman WR2 SB in 0,95 gap thanks to Sean Kehoe who was also kind enough to tolerate being without the head for nearly a month due to being quite ill yet wanting to conduct as rigorous a review as possible.  The trial consisted of shaving for a week every 36 hours (as per normal routine) side by side switching sides every shave versus a BBS-1, another week paired against a WR1 DC in 0,54 gap (based on being the closest in aggression to the WR2 from the previous week's shaves (possess 0,48-0,67 DC WR1 razors)) and finally solo for 10 consecutive days to assess if it was possible for a person with extremely sensitive skin to use a WR2 SB 0,95 as a truly daily shaver.  Prior to returning the razor, compared the WR2 SB 0,95, BBS-1 and WR1 DC 0,54 using Mitutoyo Digital Calipre to determine critical dimensions.  The attached photos document as best possible the laughable attempt at metrology.

General Impressions:
1, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is a definite step milder than the BBS-1 without ANY question
2, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is a very slight step milder than the WR1 DC 0,54 and nearly identical in shaving results
3, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is a great daily razor that gets within a hardly detectable smidgeon of a perfect BBS shave without causing irritation whilst mowing down even the most wiry of facial hair over extended periods of daily 3 pass shaving
4, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 (and by extension all gaps of this razor head) is slightly less maneuverable than the original BBS-1 and WR1 due to the head thickness and inability to reach complex curvatures particularly on those with disfigurements
5, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is much more robust than the original BBS-1.  Although have never encountered a report of the BBS-1 breaking when dropped or hit, it appears the new design would suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune much better for wear.

Side by Side Razor Comparison:
Throughout the trial, kept shaving routine as consistent as possible:
1, Washed face pre shave with phisoDerm, warm rinsed
2, Applied Grooming Dept Unscented Preshave for 1,5 minutes
3, Used Grooming Dept. Frankensoap comprised of equal parts Pekin, Asinus and 0,5 part Agnus applied with a Kent BK2
4, Used equally aged Timor blades corked before each shave and rotated between the razors so as to mitigate against individual blade quality
5, Employed 3 pass shave: first pass Superiour to Inferiour, second pass Inferiour to Superiour and final pass lateral to medial
6, Post shave routine comprised of applying lather and leaving on face during clean up of hardware, cold rinsing, applying Grooming Dept Postshave Serum and ABC Balm

WR2 SB 0,95 vs BBS-1:
The first thing one notices is just how much more robust every element of the WR2 is versus the BBS-1.  It is amazing to witness side by side how an evolution of a design can retain all the design elements yet be so totally different and, despite stating it repeatedly, is the foremost element that confronts the new user no matter how much one tries to ignore it.  As will be revealed during shaving, the design philosophy has consequences both positive and negative.  The robustness also adds to the perceived heft of the razor which may be a positive or negative: enjoying heft and being able to rely on the weight of the head to aid shaving is a good thing from my perspective so this was a positive the WR2 head enjoyed over the BBS-1 and WR1.  Another element of the robust head design of the WR2 is that it renders a perception of the blade disappearing contrasted with the BBS-1 and the WR1.  Finally the base and cap appear bigger in every dimension on the WR2 v BBS-1 including the slots.

Shaving:

WR2 v BBS-1

Side by side there is an amazing difference between the 2 razor heads regarding feel, feedback, efficiency.  Were one a sportscar driver, the best analogy is comparing the 2 heads to generations of Porsche 911s: the WR2 is a 991 watercooled variant ultimately forgiving of errant technique and comfortable while still high performing whereas the BBS-1 is a 993 pure and simple giving precise information as to every imperfection in one’s skin, lather quality and bad technique – done right it is ultimately rewarding and wrong in any element: punishing (bearing in mind this is not to suggest it is as pure a shaving experience as using a straight razor).  To use a skiing analogy, the WR2 is a Doctor’s ski and the BBS-1 a Slalom racer: a pilot’s analogy would be the WR2 is a Bonanza and the BBS-1 a Mooney: motorcyclists would compare the WR2 to a Yamaha R6 and the  BBS-1 to a Ducati Panagale – one could go on ad infinitum but hoping most will get the picture.  An area where the WR2 redesign is incontrovertibly superior is in shedding lather – the head design just doesn’t clog no matter how thick one prefers their lather and is a welcome improvement for those of us having gotten accustomed to loosening the head multiple times throughout a shave when using the BBS-1.  However the shear bulk of the WR2 head does make it tough to get into nooks and crannies, particularly for those of us with facial injuries.  Getting the area where the hair line meets the ear (for those of us preferring no sideburns) or under the nose is virtually impossible and requires either using another razor or tweezering to effect a clean shave in those areas.  While the ultimate fine maneuverability of the WR2 may be in question, there is absolutely no doubt that this is the smoothest DE ever used and is even nearly on par with the OneBlade in being able to effortlessly shave across the neck in any direction without fear of irritation nor knicks; for those with super sensitive skin, there is no finer DE razor.  Shave quality with the BBS-1 is outstanding and equal to any straight ever used but there is irritation such that it can not be used as a daily razor, requiring at least one day rest between shaves.  The WR2 delivers as close to a BBS shave without actually accomplishing it as is possible, for one the tiny spots that are inaccessible require follow-up and for another, a spot at the uppermost hollow of the right cheek that never could be completely perfectly shaved irrespective of number of passes and touchups.

WR2 v WR1
These are simply completely different approaches to designing a DE and the photos illustrate this clearly.  My perspective is that EVERY razor should use the 4 post design to secure blades – period full stop.  There is no more brainless way to assure every blade is loaded and secured perfectly no matter how incompetent the shaver – in fact it should be an international treaty provision.  Further, while the WR1 doesn’t suffer lather jamming as badly as the BBS-1, it does accumulate somewhat in the lower gaps by shave’s end and the WR2 is a noticeable improvement in this regard.  The maneuverability of the WR1 is the equal of the BBS-1 and again noticeably superior to the WR2 in the same areas aforementioned.  Side by side the difference between the 2 razor heads regarding feel, feedback, efficiency is less pronounced than with the BBS-1 with the WR1 being a compromise between the BBS-1 and WR2 leaning to the BBS-1.  Were one a sportscar driver, the best analogy is comparing the 2 heads to generations of Porsche 911s: the WR2 is a 991 watercooled variant ultimately forgiving of errant technique and comfortable while still high performing whereas the WR1 is a 996 being somewhat purer and simpler in giving more precise information as to the general imperfections in one’s skin, lather quality and bad technique – while one can feel an improvement when executed properly, there are no real consequences for failure in any element.  To use a skiing analogy, the WR2 is a Doctor’s ski and the WR1 a Giant Slalom racer: a pilot’s analogy would be the WR2 is a Bonanza and the WR1 a Trinidad: motorcyclists would compare the WR2 to a Yamaha R6 and the WR1 to a BMW RR….   Shave quality with the WR1 is outstanding and almost equal to any straight ever used but with far less irritation than the BBS-1 such that it can be used as a daily razor providing one’s technique is spot on.

So Which Razor is Best?
Ha!  It depends.  All of these razors are absolutely the pinnacle of machining perfection and of motorsport quality in design and execution – there are no better crafted razors on the planet of any type period end of sentence.  Rather than think of these as representing perfection on a scale, one would be better advised to consider them as equally perfectly machined yet different tools for different jobs. 
• If one wants absolute precision with rewards and punishment for technique, the BBS-1 is the choice. 
• If one wants a razor possessing most of the design elements making the BBS-1 so unique among modern DE razors but with the ability shave daily even using less than ideal technique, it is the WR2. 
• If one wants a compromise between ultimate precision and some forgiveness for less than stellar technique then WR1 is a great choice.
I have in the past and will continue in the future to reach for the WR1 0,54 DC for every day shaves and the BBS-1 for those occasions when I want a special shave but not willing to risk cuts using a straight.  Currently do not own a WR2 but would be excited to add a DC 0,95 if a slot became available at Wolfman.  Thank you Sean for the loan of your razor!

Way too many photos:

WR2 v BBS-1
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WR2 v BBS-1 v WR1 (tried to keep these logically grouped but....)

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 04-21-2019, 05:35 PM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Thank you for sharing this meticulous analysis and review.

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 04-21-2019, 06:07 PM
#3
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Thanks for an impressively thorough review.

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 04-21-2019, 07:18 PM
#4
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This is the best comparison I have seen of the 3 razors created by James.  Excellent job! I only had the WR1 .61 to compare to the other 2 razors but I would agree with you 100%

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 04-22-2019, 05:25 AM
#5
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Thanks for the comprehensive review. Sounds like I don't want a WR2. I'm fortunate to have a BBS-1, and a WR-1. Enjoy both. I don't generally care for razors with 'robust' heads. Not the weight, but the inability to reach those nooks and crannies, and especially under the nostrils is the deal breaker for me.

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 04-22-2019, 06:45 AM
#6
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As a scientist, I applaud and admire your review, including counterbalancing blades - the only thing missing was shaving blind to the razor you were using, but I'm guessing there would be some danger involved in that Biggrin
I have a DC .61 WR1 that I'm liking a lot, but of course, I'm also coveting a WR2 and seeing if my time on the computer can somehow coincide with one of James' drops. But this review helped a lot, and also squelched any interest in a BBS-1. Thank you for writing this!

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 04-22-2019, 07:57 AM
#7
  • DanLaw
  • Just an old slow fat man
  • Peachtree City, GA
User Info
Photos (Cont'd)

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 04-22-2019, 09:23 AM
#8
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Thanks for the great and extensive comparison Dan! Very helpful Smile

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 04-22-2019, 10:41 PM
#9
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(04-22-2019, 05:25 AM)JimmyH Wrote: Thanks for the comprehensive review. Sounds like I don't want a WR2. I'm fortunate to have a BBS-1, and a WR-1. Enjoy both. I don't generally care for razors with 'robust' heads. Not the weight, but the inability to reach those nooks and crannies, and especially under the nostrils is the deal breaker for me.

WR2 head is not as 'robust' as, say, a Timeless head...

The WR2 is able to get under the nose fairly easily (altho not like a blackbird or charcoal goods)....the cutting angle is what presents a slight challenge.....but Ive found that getting a bit creative
under the nose with cutting angles does the trick.....and I get exceptional results with mine in these areas.

The simplistic conclusion I draw from this thorough review is that the WR2 is a more user-friendly version of the WR1
and is very forgiving to the shaver with a wandering mind (myself included).

The WR1 seems to be a more 'pure' design which will reward if you invest the correct technique and attention. 
This seems more appealing to me.

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 04-26-2019, 05:22 PM
#10
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Amazing comparison. I was looking for that kind of comparison for a long time.  
My best daily razor is Guerrilla Open Comb, which is mild and effective. 
My over daily driver is BBS-1. Both of them are amazing razors.
After I read the first review, I really would like to buy WR2 but it is almost impossible to get from Wolfman website.

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 04-27-2019, 10:21 AM
#11
  • chrism
  • Junior Member
  • England, UK
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I was lucky enough to pick up a WR2-SB 1.15 last week and today was my first shave with it using my normal Gillette Nacet blade. Previous to this I have been using a WR1-SB 0.74 for the past 9 months. Once I find something that works, I tend to stick with it.

I went with the 1.15 as I wanted something a notch up from the 0.74 and from what I read the 1.15 seemed to be closer to a 0.83 in efficiency but just as smooth.

Well, James has certainly hit the ball out of the park with this one. Yes, the head is slightly bigger and I see what people say about under the nose, but I always go ATG just under my nose into the nostrils, so not really a problem.

I usually do 2 passes with a bit of touch up - WTG then XTG, but I kept on having to check there was a blade in the razor on the 2nd pass and the angle was correct because I couldn't feel the blade at all - it was that good at cutting hair that I didn't have that much left on the 2nd pass.

The real test will be whether I can use it every day and only time will tell, but what an amazing piece of engineering that has now won top spot.

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 04-27-2019, 07:45 PM
#12
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Nice write up.  One of these days I hope to be lucky enough to snag a WR2.  I must say I have 2 WR1's - one SS the other Ti and both are amazing shavers and works of machining art.  Since the BBS-1 is off the market, you just made me more excited for a WR2.  Great stuff.
Steve

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 04-30-2019, 08:55 AM
#13
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(04-27-2019, 10:21 AM)chrism Wrote: I was lucky enough to pick up a WR2-SB 1.15 last week and today was my first shave with it using my normal Gillette Nacet blade. Previous to this I have been using a WR1-SB 0.74 for the past 9 months. Once I find something that works, I tend to stick with it.

I went with the 1.15 as I wanted something a notch up from the 0.74 and from what I read the 1.15 seemed to be closer to a 0.83 in efficiency but just as smooth.

Well, James has certainly hit the ball out of the park with this one. Yes, the head is slightly bigger and I see what people say about under the nose, but I always go ATG just under my nose into the nostrils, so not really a problem.

I usually do 2 passes with a bit of touch up - WTG then XTG, but I kept on having to check there was a blade in the razor on the 2nd pass and the angle was correct because I couldn't feel the blade at all - it was that good at cutting hair that I didn't have that much left on the 2nd pass.

The real test will be whether I can use it every day and only time will tell, but what an amazing piece of engineering that has now won top spot.

Nice...congrats on the new razor....what handle did you order it with?

I think the 1.15SB can be used everyday as it's pretty easy on the skin...only problem is there's not much to shave the next day.
I'd imagine the 0.74 would be perfect for daily use and the 1.15 on 2-3 days' growth and beyond.

I was contemplating a 0.74 after owning the 1.15 but I now I think that might be a regressive move....0.80 (DC) is sounding better by the day.

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 04-30-2019, 12:23 PM
#14
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(04-30-2019, 08:55 AM)Tester28 Wrote:
(04-27-2019, 10:21 AM)chrism Wrote: I was lucky enough to pick up a WR2-SB 1.15 last week and today was my first shave with it using my normal Gillette Nacet blade. Previous to this I have been using a WR1-SB 0.74 for the past 9 months. Once I find something that works, I tend to stick with it.

I went with the 1.15 as I wanted something a notch up from the 0.74 and from what I read the 1.15 seemed to be closer to a 0.83 in efficiency but just as smooth.

Well, James has certainly hit the ball out of the park with this one. Yes, the head is slightly bigger and I see what people say about under the nose, but I always go ATG just under my nose into the nostrils, so not really a problem.

I usually do 2 passes with a bit of touch up - WTG then XTG, but I kept on having to check there was a blade in the razor on the 2nd pass and the angle was correct because I couldn't feel the blade at all - it was that good at cutting hair that I didn't have that much left on the 2nd pass.

The real test will be whether I can use it every day and only time will tell, but what an amazing piece of engineering that has now won top spot.

Nice...congrats on the new razor....what handle did you order it with?

I think the 1.15SB can be used everyday as it's pretty easy on the skin...only problem is there's not much to shave the next day.
I'd imagine the 0.74 would be perfect for daily use and the 1.15 on 2-3 days' growth and beyond.

I was contemplating a 0.74 after owning the 1.15 but I now I think that might be a regressive move....0.80 (DC) is sounding better by the day.


Of all the the WR1s I've tried, I like the 74 the least. I prefer a Blackbird. The 80SB is good but the 80OC is very nice.  It should leave you with a little more growth after 24hrs than the 115. There isn't a whole lot of difference, to me.

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