11-02-2020, 08:47 AM
#1
  • DanLaw
  • Just an old slow fat man
  • Peachtree City, GA
User Info
The N075 in 303 Stainless Steel is the razor that launched Haircut & Shave into the hardware market in 2018. It features unique design elements combined with excruciating attention to detail in a mild feeling yet moderately efficient razor at a mid-market price. While the owner has ventured into some beautifully executed razors in exotic metals that have placed him firmly at the leading edge of artisan producers, he has continued to produce evolutions of his entry-level razor. The primary focus to date has been experimenting with finishing treatments reducing friction and enhancing the visual impact ranging from HardCoat to TiN (Titanium Nitrate as is used in high-end motorsport suspensions from MotoGP to F1 to reduce stiction) and now, Black T.

Black T is a process developed by WE Birdsong to protect firearms from corrosion and minimize maintenance. Most significantly to shavers, the treatment is a polymer coating applied in a very thin layer, resulting in a dry film lubrication that decreases friction. From experience, friction - particularly stiction - has become an obsession as my skin is incredibly damaged and sensitive; anything that can minimize the drag of a razor across the skin makes a huge difference to eliminating post shave irritation. Hitherto have strongly preferred the most thoroughly polished DE razors available (one of the reasons for my raving regarding Wolfman High Polish finishes and H&S P076 razors) or straight edge shaving to mitigate against the terrible irritation resulting from drag on my admittedly outlier skin at considerable expense. One could imply that if products work for the most sensitive skin types, they will most assuredly work for those with normal skin sensitivities so this does have merit beyond us outliers perhaps justifying the added expense where that an issue. Let’s also face the facts: matte black imparts an impression of technical superiourity real or imagined; the looks of this razor are eye porn, pure and simple.

H&S uses a practical naming convention designating the blade exposure and gap: in this case, N075 references the razor’s Neutral blade exposure and 075 represents the 0,75mm blade gap between the baseplate and top cap. The razor was designed to be gentle on the face as possible by keeping the blade within the boundaries of the head assembly while leaving a sufficient gap to permit the blade to get access to hairs.

As with all H&S products, the razor is delivered in a blow molded plastic case lending the impression of a precision instrument that are similarly packaged. A beautifully logoed microfiber cloth covers the razor, as is de rigeur these days for high-end razors. While it is a small thing having no impact on the shaving properties, it does send a message about the owner’s view of his product and perspective on quality. The fit and finish is outstanding with perfectly machined surfaces and the company’s signature design flair most obviously displayed in the handle shape. The handle shape is unique; frankly was neutral on the shape being a Bauhaus advocate but in use, the shape encourages proper hand placement to facilitate getting the best shave and lends visual variety to those with multiple razors in their rotation. I have come to like the shape with usage thinking it both marketing genius and sound ergonomic design. For those wishing alternative handle lengths, Aji is making those available across the H&S family over time. The handle knurling is more than adequate without being tactilely intrusive. Again, the looks just capture the soul of motorsports, outdoor and tech enthusiasts with the minimalist appeal that is matte black.

H&S has provided the soap and aftershave for the passaround. The crème is reminiscent of a classical Brit soap in scent and usage. The scent is described as petit grain, cardamom, lemon, orange and fir but my take it a masculine flowery in a good way – classically Brit. The performance is good, certainly more than adequate for those with average skin types. It easily produces lather with different water types and rinses clean without residue with a respectable post shave effect. Passaround participants PLEASE exercise the courtesy to scoop crème for bowl or face lathering as this is being shared and there is a flu outbreak – exercise discretion in considering your fellow shavers.

In total, I used the H&S N075 for 4 3-pass shaves: first pass With the Grain: second pass Against the Grain: and third pass Across the Grain. Having learned H&S responds well to the Gillette Nacet, used them exclusively from the first shave with excellent results.

People having read previous passaround reviews of H&S razors know that I strongly recommend them based on both the manufacturing excellence as well as the shave characteristics. In the case of this N075 SS Black T razor, while it is an outstanding razor, I – note I – prefer the mixed metal variant. The weight distribution is decidedly head heavy compared to the mixed metal variant N075. I was going to test shave the razor using a spare Al HardCoat baseplate but Aji asked that we stick with the razor as shipped: my suspicion is that the Black T treatment combined with Al HardCoat base would have yielded an extraordinary smooth shaver, even superior to the current mixed metal version. That stated, there are many many shavers that prefer the SS baseplate to the Al; for those shavers the full SS version in Black T will undoubtedly be a notable improvement with its superior glide. Irrespective of preferring the Al baseplate, the razor delivers an incredibly smooth yet efficient shave for those chasing unchallenging nick free results.

In conclusion, this is an outstanding variant of the N075 family that has demonstrable benefits over the original uncoated releases. H&S continues to develop, evolve and perfect their razors on both the top end and entry level focusing on reducing friction. If seeking a mild razor, my perspective is the N075 family in all its guises is impossible to beat – God knows have been chasing this segment for nearly decade trying them all. While $220 is not inexpensive, there can be no doubt that one gets every penny worth of value out of that spend with this razor and then some in the quality of production and finish. As with all reviews of H&S to date, strongly recommend Aji create a stand keeping with the design theme and hope he continues experimenting with coatings, maybe DLC??

PM to be included in the PM


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 11-02-2020, 09:10 AM
#2
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
User Info
Another great review and you’re correct is very appealing to the eye!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 11-08-2020, 07:04 PM
#3
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My first shave with the pass-around NO75 Black T.  A month ago I purchased an NO75 with both the stainless and aluminum bases and have been using it frequently and love it.  So I know what to expect and am comfortable with the shaves it gives.  Smooth and effortless but close.  I like both bases, but perhaps the SS slightly more; to me, the weight is perfect and a like the touch of greater face feel of the razor.  With either base, the NO75 is probably as good as any (maybe the best?) of that highly desired form of a mild shaver that rocks when paired with a sharp blade. I've not tried every such razor but the NO75 certainly works for me.


As for appearance, the Black T is just plain cool. The machining and metal work is H&S quality, meaning as basically top-tier.  In black, it's just got character.  

To turn to the shave itself.  I paired it with a familiar soap, the Tallow & Steel Sicily.  The Black T was a somewhat surprising change -- as Dan pointed out, the coating is intended to make the razor glide greater.  And, it does.  In fact, the razor glides across the skin (at least my skin) so smoothly and so easily that the sensation of the razor metal itself effectively disappears.  From the first pass's first swipe (I did a classic three WTG, XTG, ATG), I actually stopped and looked at the razor.  The normal sense of a metal razor was almost nil.  Instead, I felt the blade itself but not the razor. I'm so used to using the bar and cap to aid in guiding my hand that it was slightly disconcerting.  By the end, I was more dialed into it but still not sure that I wouldn't want to just pick up my own SS NO75.  This took more concentration since the blade is all I'm feeling (but then I've never used a straight.....). One thing that is true is that there was no possible sense of irritation.  But then the cap or either base of my NO75 doesn't irritate.  By comparison, I have just finished three shaves with the PO75 in the 17-4 pass-around and there I felt too much of that cold, clinical steel.  

The shave was BBS smooth -- perhaps not the closest shave I will ever get, since the NO75 doesn't give you (what it does give is an effortless, smoot BBS). It was my third use of a Feather and I think the blade had reached the end of its life.  With me, Feathers don't last.  But they do give two great shaves and they go great for those two shaves in my NO75!

Finally, since I wanted to use a known quantity as a soap, I didn't use the supplied H&S cream or gel.  That will be the next review.[Image: zXdnwrD.jpg]

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 01-06-2021, 06:56 PM
#4
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First off, I want to thank Dan here at TSN for organizing this, and Aji at H&S for offering this pass around opportunity. This was the first time I've participated in one of these and really enjoyed everything about it. I'm going to break my experience down into three pieces: one piece each for the razor, the cream, and the after shave cooling gel.


1. N075 SS Black T Razor:
Fit and finish: The black coating on this razor looks great. I couldn't find a single imperfection anywhere on the razor. I wish I could say the same for a $350 titanium razor I recently purchased. At this price, you truly get a perfectly-machined piece of hardware. The threading is the smoothest I've ever felt on any razor, and offered one of the best tactile feels I've experienced. The weight is fairly hefty in hand, but not overwhelmingly so - especially while shaving.

Shave experience: The razor is simple and intuitive to use. The weight and balance point allow you to apply a zero-added-pressure shave with good results. I don't like any blade feel and typically have a rough go with razors that offer it. I felt that the blade feel on this particular razor is very noticeable, but didn't cause me any issues. I had a zero-nick shave with each use, and no lingering irritation after applying post-shave products. Comparing this razor to other polished DE razors, I was hoping the black coating would increase the glide while using. Unfortunately, I didn't notice any difference in use against any of those razors. If you compare it against a matte finish DE razor, then you'd likely notice a difference there. 

2. Shaving Cream:
Scent Qualities: This is a strong citrus-cologne scent. It's a very modern scent.
Scent Strength: In my den of too many soaps and creams, this ranks among the strongest I've ever experienced. If you open the tub, you can smell it from the next room. After shaving with it (and using unscented post-shave products), I could smell it on my skin for at least five hours after.
Lather Ease: A little goes a long way. I scooped and bowl lathered, and had a massive amount of lather generated very quickly.
Lather Quality: Gets the job done. Nothing to fault on it.

3. After-Shave Cooling Gel:
Scent Quality/Strength: I'm combining these factors together because the product is unscented. This is perfect for me because I exclusively use unscented post-shave products.
Consistency: If you've ever used a cold cream (night moisturizer), it feels pretty similar to one of those. It's half way between a balm and a gel. Again, a little goes a long way.
Impact on my skin: The product instantly moisturizes and soothes the skin. The light menthol touch is welcome, even in colder weather. I found myself reaching for this gel every day, regardless of what razor or soap combo I used. I'm enjoying using this product so much that I reached out directly to Aji to purchase a jar. At the time of writing this review, the gel isnt available to purchase yet on the H&S site, but Aji indicated that it would be up soon.

Thanks again to everyone involved, and I look forward to hearing other people's impressions.

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