11-05-2012, 11:04 AM
#1
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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Now that I have some time off, I wanted to do a "shootout" with a few of my "safety bar" type razors. I have purposely left out my Open Combs (2011 R41, Big Fellow Old & Joris), Adjustables (Futur, Megress LH & Gillette Slim) and SE's (Cobra Classic, Gem Damaskeene OC, OCMM and Schick F) at least for now.

The pictures below are: left to right - ordered in level of least aggressive to most aggressive (at least on my face with Super Iridiums). Actually - the Slant should be to the right of the Tradere SB...but just barely.

Shaving was done with Super Iridiums - soaps included MWF, Tabac, Arko and Cella. Brushes - mostly Simpson (Chubby 2s, Chubby 3s, 2 Band 59, Simfix Carnane 2 Band and Thater 4292/6 2 Band Fan).

Since this is my personal collection - you will notice some handle differences. The Stahly Live is matched with a BRW handle and the original Weber DLC is matched with an iKon OSS.

My views on these - in regards to aggression and smoothness are as follows:

Stahly/BRW: A very mild razor and very smooth. I would place this in the same category as the EJ 89, Gillette Tech and Superspeed. While there are subtle differences in all of them, the overall shave is pretty much an "auto pilot", smooth, shave with little danger of nicks and/or weepers. It has been said that the Stahly head is one of the best engineered shaving heads ever designed - I won't argue with that, although in all of it's goodness; it's still a very mild shaver. If it wasn't for the engineering of the razor itself - I'm not so sure I would even own it to be honest. EJs, Techs and Superspeeds have come and gone...but I always keep the Stahly. Is it that much better than them? No. It's just a "cooler" design and something a bit more off the beaten path.

Weber DLC/OSS: The Weber provides a very smooth shave albeit with more aggression than the Stahly. It's very hard "not" to like this razor. Everyone who loves a nice smooth shave with a dash of "Tabasco" will love this razor. This is another "auto pilot" razor - very difficult to lose blood with this one. Dollar for dollar - the Weber offers a fairly significant return on your money - my guess is, is that for many, the Weber will be plenty razor enough. I would definitely recommend the Weber to anyone looking to get started in DE shaving.

Merkur Slant 39C: To me, the Slant is slightly more aggressive than the Weber - although not by a huge margin. I have never found the Slant to be the "monster" which some have reported in days gone by. It's an extremely nice and extremely smooth razor - to me, the Slant and the Tradere SB are VERY close in regards to aggression. Depending upon the day - they both shave so similar that it's very hard to differentiate them. Yes, your angles are going to be different and yes, they feel different in the hand - but for me - they are very much alike in regards to aggression. If pressed to the wall to "have to choose" the more aggressive razor - I would give a slight edge to the Slant. Put a shim in the Tradere SB (which I did experiment with) and they are pretty much even.

The Slant has been around well over 70 years - it's a design that has stood the test of time - and for good reason, it's an excellent shaving device. As with the Weber, for many, this will be all the shaver they ever need. Some have reported issues getting the blade aligned correctly, etc..., I've personally never had a problem in this regard. It's a fairly straightforward process and provided you don't "over-think" it too much, it's a pretty simple thing to do. The Slant is another razor I would recommend to a new DE shaver without hesitation.

Tradere SB: As mentioned above, the Tradere SB and the Slant 39C are very, very close in regards to overall shave results and aggression. Neither are particularly aggressive and while not necessarily "auto pilot" type razors (like the Stahly and the Weber), they are generally very easy to use without any real danger of incident. I believe that the Stahly, Weber, Slant or Tradere SB can be easily recommended to anyone getting into DE shaving. The overall improvement and satisfaction over modern cartridge razors is readily apparent. In terms of build quality - I would have to give the overall nod to the Tradere with honorable mention going to the Weber and Stahly. With that said, one is foolish to argue against the sheer genius of the Slant and Stahly head designs. To my eye, the Merkur Slant is not manufactured to the same level as the others...although in regards to shave results - it gives up nothing to the others.

I was not a big fan of the original Tradere OC. I now own the latest generation OC along with the SB by Tradere and to me, they are both superior to the original design. Proper angle is much easier to find - and for me - the overall results are better. I would recommend both of them without hesitation to anyone seeking a high quality shaving instrument.

Barbasol Floating Head: This razor - not always easy to come by - is without question one of the finest shavers ever built. It's a good size, feels good in your hand and shaves most people as close as they are ever likely to want. It's probably not a good razor to throw in the mix, since they are not readily available, but since this is a shootout within my own collection, I figured it to be fair game. The negatives of the Barbasol, if any, would be that either it is "too big" or that it is "too aggressive". Both concerns are valid, depending upon your hand size and of course your shaving preferences regarding aggression. For me, I like "meaty" razors that cut close. The Barbasol does this in spades and for anyone wanting an aggressive shave, the Barbasol deserves a place in your rotation. The Barbasol is going to shave you closer than all but the most aggressive Open Comb razors - it's not as aggressive as my 2011 R41, but it's certainly more aggressive than the Gillette NEW. I like it...a lot. Would I recommend it to someone new to DE shaving? No. The razors mentioned above make far more sense for a new DE shaver.

ATT Titan: The Titan is pretty much the new kid on the block. It's well made, looks nice and getting the right angle is easy to do. With that said, it is far more aggressive on my face than the Stahly, Weber or Tradere SB. In what was somewhat of a shock, I have found it marginally more aggressive than the Barbasol Floating Head (yes, I said it, sharper fangs than the Barbasol). After "snugging" up the handle - without tightening it hard - the blade against your skin is "very easy" to feel - so much so in fact, that to attempt an "auto pilot" shave with the Titan would be downright silly. I actually find myself slowing down with the Titan much in the same way that I do with the Barbasol, R41, Joris and Cobra. I've never nicked myself with it, although the razor has so much feedback that you're almost expecting to at times. I really like this razor - in the same way that I really like my Barbasol. It shaves very close, it handles very well...and it's build quality is every bit as good as any of the current offerings that the other artisans are producing. Would I recommend the Titan for someone new to DE shaving. No. Would I recommend it to anyone with more than a few months of DE experience? Oh yeah!

Left to Right: Stahly/BRW, Weber DLC/OSS, Slant 39C, Tradere SB, Barbasol Floating Head and ATT Titan

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 11-05-2012, 11:15 AM
#2
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Fantastic review and having all of those except the Barbasol I totally agree.One thing I don,t understan is why the Barbasol has a "floating" head when other than the "tooth" design it does not"float' in any way...I have tried to research this and it does not make make it any clearer.Any help in understanding this would be appreciated.Idea

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 11-05-2012, 11:16 AM
#3
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Excellent review Tom!

I have both the Barbasol and its British brother the PAL floating heads and can attest that they are plenty aggressive and are excellent razors that have stood the test of time.

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 11-05-2012, 11:22 AM
#4
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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I understand the shaving nature but not the "floating head' design..what does that mean?

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 11-05-2012, 11:55 AM
#5
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Tom, excellent review! Thanks for the taking the time and for the pictures.

We think similarly...I anxiously await more Personal Collection Shootout threads. Wink

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 11-05-2012, 12:37 PM
#6
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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Great Review! I'm surprised by the aggressiveness of the
Titan. Probably won't be one for me to add.

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 11-05-2012, 12:40 PM
#7
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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First all nice Nook of razors. Your review was very informative, thank you for sharing.

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 11-05-2012, 02:17 PM
#8
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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An outstanding review and beautiful clear pictures. I have read more then one review on the ATT Titan and all seem to agree that it is aggressive. Thank you for taking the time to display all those fine razors.

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 11-05-2012, 03:21 PM
#9
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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I truly and honestly think the Titan H1 is efficient and like the R41 a smooth shaver...just use a light touch..let the razor do the work...kind of like a sanding machine...don,t press too hard !!! The Cadet TTO 15 is also a great shaver...spend some time with any razor before you move on to the "next" one...master the product..work with it and THEN decide Smile

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 11-05-2012, 05:34 PM
#10
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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A very! nice review, accompanied by some nice looking photos Thumbsup

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 11-05-2012, 06:33 PM
#11
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You have a nice collection of DE's. Thanks for the informative review.

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 11-06-2012, 11:06 AM
#12
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Bob, thanks for the update on the razors and they sure look lovely. Enjoy them all.

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