10-08-2012, 11:25 AM
#1
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Today I shaved with a Stahly razor I picked up for a fellow Nook member at his request.

   

   

   

With his permission I used the razor before I send it to him. This is my first full shave with a Stahly. I did a few passes with it day before yesterday, but was in a hurry and needed a good shave, so finished up with my old faithful Progress for great results.

Today I had a full shave with a Stahly loaded with a brand-new Personna Super (Med/Lab). It's a very good razor. It's very mild, but slightly less mild than Gillette Tech. The vibrating handle is interesting, but I got sick of winding it up in pass 2. The full wind up lasts about 3 minutes, so about one pass. The vibe feels good, but for me it masks the feel of the action. I found that aspect of it distracting from the shave. I like to pay attention to the feel and sound of my razor. This and face feel give me feedback. The vibration of the razor, which is transmitted to the head makes the shave feel very comfortable for sure, but you can't hear or feel what the blade is doing. This annoyed me and I took the huge Stahly wind-up handle off and used a Merkur 1904 handle, which has a similar nickel plating as the Stahly head. That combination worked really well. The Stahly head is very nice. As I said, not too aggressive, but effective. I did some strokes with one of my Techs with a new Personna Super blade (to keep that variable constant) and Stahly is a more efficient shaver than the Tech, but they are close in comfort level. Believe it or not, I had to finish (pass 4.5) with my Progress loaded with Astra SP (3) to get great results, but I was at a very confident DFS and possibly BBS on cheeks when I was done with the Stahly. All in all I just do not see this razor blowing anyone away with its shave, but it's a great shaver and a fun conversation piece. It is built like a tank and has that "Made in USA" air to it (the one that used to mean "Great Stuff", not "Overseas Tech Support") and can be used very nicely with a different handle. Quality is very high and should you enjoy the vibrating action of the razor, it's a unique DE experience.

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 10-08-2012, 01:41 PM
#2
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Nice review.

I know many guys will mount the head of the Stahly Live Razor onto other handles (i.e.: iKon, Weber, UFO, etc) and say that they out shave many of the Gillette Heads. I keep looking for a "broken" one on the 'bay with no plating lose on the head for a reasonable price.

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 10-08-2012, 02:34 PM
#3
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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(10-08-2012, 01:41 PM)Azarius Wrote: Nice review.

I know many guys will mount the head of the Stahly Live Razor onto other handles (i.e.: iKon, Weber, UFO, etc) and say that they out shave many of the Gillette Heads. I keep looking for a "broken" one on the 'bay with no plating lose on the head for a reasonable price.

In all honesty, even if the Stahly head does out-shave vintage Gillettes, it does not out-shave Merkur Progress. I think an adjustable with such a superior head design as Progress is difficult to beat with most designs. Stahly head is not all that different. Yes, the safety bar is not rigidly attached to the center post and therefore the blade, but so what? If you are going to forgo the vibration feature, this is irrelevant. The safety bar is interesting in that it is a composite of what appears like many washers stuck together to form a bar. This gives the bar a cylindrical shape with tiny grooves (between washers). I am not sure if it's good or bad. It works as a safety bar, but is it better than other safety bars or an open comb? I don't think so. So, if you take these two particularities out of the equation, the Stahly head is not very different than others out there. As I said, it is different in aggressiveness than the Gillette, but so is EJ DE89 and Merkur safety bar head, either of which will out-shave a Gillette for me. So, as I said, Stahly is a very nice razor and is certainly very interesting, but is it a Gillette killer? Doubt it. Are there better razors out there? Yes, definitely. Progress comes to my mind in my limited experience. It's a beautiful object, though, and built very well.

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 10-08-2012, 02:55 PM
#4
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Thanks for the interesting review. I have wondered about these razors for a long time.

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 10-08-2012, 03:11 PM
#5
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Hiya,

The Stahly head isn't for everyone. If you prefer a razor with some bite, this ain't it. Closest relative is a Tech, but the Stahly's got lots more character, starting with the chrome plating.

On a good solid handle, this thing will provide a true no drama kinda shave. Milder even than a Tech, it can tame the sharpest blade. It's one of the few razors I use a Feather in, with great results. The head design works unlike others I've tried over the years.

My preference is for a mild razor/sharp blade set up, which is why the Stahly fits me so well. For over a year now, the Stahly head on a Weber handle has been one of my two favorite razors. Yeah, I like it that much.

I can see this being good for going ATG, especially for people who have trouble with that pass. Seems like a good way to mop up, if that's what you need.

Well worth a shot if this sorta shave appeals to you,

Martin

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 10-08-2012, 07:47 PM
#6
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I have one and am unimpressed with the shave it offers. I'm not one to make Frankenrazors so I use the Stahly as is. The handle is too heavy and way too bulky and the vibration coming from the wind up is more annoying than helpful. As was pointed out above, winding it up just once will not come close to taking one through a complete shave, which is just another annoyance. Of course, I am speaking only for myself and as can be seen on this thread, views differ on this very unusual DE.

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 10-08-2012, 09:14 PM
#7
  • Johan
  • Barberian of the lathering
  • Sweden
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Thanks for a great review! I have seen these a lot of these at ebay, and always wondered what they are and how they work.

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 10-08-2012, 11:39 PM
#8
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Interesting read, and it sounds like it's confirming what I believed; the vibration is a gimmick.

Head looks intriguing though...

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 10-09-2012, 07:16 AM
#9
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Well, the Stahly is on to its new owner, who is a member here and I am sure will post his own thoughts on it. I think for most modern day wet shavers the Vibrating handle will prove to be a gimmick. After all, we came to this method of shaving to get away from the gimmicks, right? I find the vibe does offer a certain feel to the shave, but it's not super helpful in accomplishing a task at hand. It kind of hides the feel and sound of the blade. Most of us here are "stick shift" shavers, I think and we like to feel and hear our apparatus. At least it's my feeling about it. However, the head is a good one. Not the end of all DE shaving heads, but it's nice. I prefer the Progress head for its feedback and angle, but the Stahly head has its own character. It's more of a Tech feel with a bit more efficiency. Again, this is for me. Aside from all that, the razor is just a thing of beauty. The heavy construction and the industrial strength wind up mechanism are awesome to behold. Very interesting piece, all told.

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 10-09-2012, 10:07 AM
#10
  • UFO
  • Artisan
  • Seville, Spain
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I've read this post with interest, and Google translator. Thanks.

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 10-09-2012, 10:50 AM
#11
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Hiya,

It's definitely not for everyone. I know some people who enjoy em quite a bit, and others who think it's just not a good fit. For whatever the reason, it's my favorite fixed head model by far. The handle vibrations surprisingly enough don't interfere much with the shave at all. Used the Stahly once that way the first time, and then I made a frankenrazor outta the head. Believe me, no one was more surprised than me when I first tried it that way. I was expecting a most likely crap shave, which wasn't the case. Heh, that handle is pretty silly to actually use........weighs a fair bit and feels like shaving with a small flashlight in my hand. Much better using a nice handle with that head.

If I remember right, the handle needs winding before one pass is completed. Took me a bunch of times cranking that thing back up to speed. We're not talking a dainty two finger twist....this thing must have a heavy spring that fights back pretty well. Very nice screwing around with that when it's wet. But really, the vibrations are faint enough not to screw things up. Doesn't help the shave, but doesn't destroy it either.

One thing that's great about that head is I can use a normally too sharp for me Feather blade with excellent results. Similar to my Fatboy set on a low number.

Anyway, it's different enough to at least test drive if you like a mild razor.

Martin


Oh yeah, of the three Stahly razors I've run across, one didn't vibrate at all, and the other two gave up the ghost within a few shaves. Don't plan on using that feature for very long.








Believe me,

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 06-14-2013, 04:08 PM
#12
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I received a Stah5 a few days ago. I have had thee great shaves with it . It's very mild, but effective. I loaded with a Gillette Platinum. It works for me!

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 06-20-2013, 04:39 AM
#13
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(06-14-2013, 04:08 PM)Sharecropper Wrote: I received a Stah5 a few days ago. I have had thee great shaves with it . It's very mild, but effective. I loaded with a Gillette Platinum. It works for me!

One of my all time favorites.

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 07-01-2013, 03:55 PM
#14
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One cool razor for its time. IMHO

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 07-01-2013, 05:53 PM
#15
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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The head is excellent and will fit almost any handle...very well made and worth having in one,s shaving tool box.

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 07-01-2013, 11:48 PM
#16
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(07-01-2013, 05:53 PM)Harvey Wrote: The head is excellent and will fit almost any handle...very well made and worth having in one,s shaving tool box.
I have mine, i just put in a Titan/ATT handle on it.Biggrin

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 07-02-2013, 07:33 AM
#17
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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I found one of these and bought it.

It is well built, in good condition and still going strong.

For a while I was buying any cheap old razor I could find just so I could shave with it.

Then I bought a few newer ones.

So when I heard of these razors I thought how strange and interesting and in my quest of buying razors (straights or razors) in antique shops, I found the Stahly for a reasonable price.

While it is a mild shaver and it's vibrating handle is a gimmick ... it is still a very unique razor and I am very happy to own one.

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 07-02-2013, 08:41 AM
#18
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I now own two, and I changed the name of my blog to "The Wind-Up Razor Chronicles" in honor of my Stahlys.

An observation: I enjoyed days of great shaving with my first Stahly. I was convinced that I had never had a smoother shave.

Then I switched to my Cadet TP-26 for a few days. The results?

Superb.

Since then, I have used a number of Super Speeds, a Slim Adjustable, a Super Adjustable, a couple of Parkers, and a Cadet TTO.

All great.

I wonder if I taught myself better technique with the Stahly.

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 07-02-2013, 09:33 AM
#19
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(07-02-2013, 08:41 AM)Sharecropper Wrote: I now own two, and I changed the name of my blog to "The Wind-Up Razor Chronicles" in honor of my Stahlys.

An observation: I enjoyed days of great shaving with my first Stahly. I was convinced that I had never had a smoother shave.

Then I switched to my Cadet TP-26 for a few days. The results?

Superb.

Since then, I have used a number of Super Speeds, a Slim Adjustable, a Super Adjustable, a couple of Parkers, and a Cadet TTO.

All great.

I wonder if I taught myself better technique with the Stahly.

I imagine that you did. I've had a similar experience with other razors. "The Instructors"

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 07-02-2013, 07:21 PM
#20
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Hey, Tom!

I forgot to mention that I'd used my single-edge razors (one of which I purchased from you) after using the Stahly and found those much easier to deal with after using the Stahly! I beat the dickens out of my face the first times I used the GEMs that I own (a Junior and an open-comb Micromatic). Now they seem much more manageable.

Tom, I can't remember whether I bought the Junior or the Micromatic from you. But what does matter is that I found you a great seller, and I like the razor--regardless which one it was!

Thanks,

Dan

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