A grumpy review of the Toro Mastiff/Capa Azul and comparison with Muhle R89

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by Teppanyaki, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. I am grumpy.

    After getting 3 nicks during a single WTG pass using Mike's lather, 2 minor scrapes, and cutting my first 2 fingers on my left hand, I am . . . grumpy. Let it never be said again that I didn't shed blood to evaluate at least 1 razor in my life. :glare: Anyway . . .

    I ordered a Matador open comb (Capa Azul) and Matador Toro Mastiff (closed comb; they don't have open combs for the Toro Mastiff handle or I would have just got that one) from Razor Blades & More. Excellent service, arrives quickly, no problem. My understanding is that the Matador open comb is the same head as the Cadet/Sabi/Pearl open combs, but perhaps with a touch more quality control and cool handles/engraving. I basically wanted to try the open comb head and the Toro Mastiff handle.

    I opened the box and found both razors, as well as 3 5-packs of razor blades (Astras, Gillette Silver Blues, and blue Personna labs). Another nice touch was a small 1 oz tube of Cremo Cream.

    Razor #1 - Toro Mastiff. Arrived in excellent condition, mildly surprised and discouraged to see a visible flaw at 2 feet on the handle. Only 1, and close inspection by myself (take that for what it's worth!) didn't pick up anything more. Nice, small, grippy handle. Photo showing handle flaw -


    Razor #2 - Capa Azul open comb. Arrived in excellent condition in a tiny wooden box (I wouldn't characterize it as worth keeping, but nevertheless a nice touch). Razor is in excellent condition except for . . . the head is twisted. I've tried to replicate it in the photo; that's about how slanted it looks. The opposite side doesn't have that slant to it.


    On to the shave . . .

    I did 1 pass WTG with the Toro Mastiff on one side, and my old Muhle R89 on the other. Prep etc was as usual - hot shower, lathering with Mike's using my Muhle silvertip fiber brush.

    Both razors did a decent job. Not as close in 1 pass as my 2013 R41, but decent. I did get 3 small nicks from the Toro Mastiff that I didn't get with my Muhle. I also noticed something else problematic with both razors, but moreso with the Toro Mastiff - the blade edges/tabs (the unsharpened edges I hold the blade by to put it into a razor) stick out a tiny bit more. It stuck out enough that I painfully nicked my nose doing a sideways pass under my nose.

    I did try to figure out how tightly blades sat in each razor to determine tolerance and fit - I gripped each blade and wiggled it a bit when the razors were loosened (when tightened the blades looked well aligned and didn't move). Maybe a tiny bit more play on the Toro Mastiff. This is where I discovered that unsharpened razor edges will also cut, and now have bandages on 2 fingers of my left hand.

    Soooo . . .
  2. Dang, some of those photos look awful!

    So . . . in conclusion, I have several thoughts.

    First, take anything I say with a grain of salt. YMMV with any razor, and I still believe that for me the 2013 R41 is a kinder, gentler razor than either my Muhle R89 or the Toro Mastiff.

    Second, closed comb razors and I apparently don't get along well (except for my Merkur Slant). They irritate and scrape more for me than open combs.

    Third, The photos I posted above are my attempt to show that in both closed comb razors, there is a significantly larger blade gap than in my R41 if you look at it compared to the teeth (in between the teeth the open comb clearly has free air). But even given that, the Toro Mastiff blade seems to project out pretty darn far to my eye.

    Fourth, I hate nicking and cutting myself on exposed blade edges in narrower razors.

    Fifth, having a cold right now, bandages on 2 of my fingers, and a bad shave with a few nicks and some scraped areas probably doesn't help me feel less grumpy. :laugh:

    In short, I do like the Toro Mastiff handle. It feels dense/small, maneuverable, very grippy, and looks pretty good. The head I can do without, and if I were a closed comb person I'd still probably stick with a Muhle R89/EJ de89. But the handle is nice. I do wish it didn't have that defect in the handle.

    As to the open comb, I will probably contact Razor Blades & More to see about my slanty OC Capa Azul.

    As to quality control on Matador/Cadet/Sabi razors, I am very unimpressed. Definitely not in the same league as Merkur (even though the chroming is nice) if 1 razor has visible flaws on the handle and the razor head is simply distorted on the other.

    For the record, the open comb Capa Azul, Toro Mastiff, and Muhle R89 handles seem to fit one another. The OC head does fit the Toro Mastiff handle without sawing. I didn't try the Capa Azul head on the Muhle R89 handle, though.

    I'm feeling pretty darn burnt out on trying new razors at this point, and while I do have a vintage Gillette New long comb on order, I don't think any other razors will be coming to my house.

    As for Razor Blades & More, I have nothing but good things to say about them. I will see what they say about the 2 razors and what to do.
  3. The head on the Maggard razors are similar, the unsharpened edges of the blade sticks out slightly at the ends, or at least the one I have is that way.
  4. Chadao

    Chadao Contributor Contributor

    My EJ's had the edges sticking out. I got used to gripping it wIt a towel. I was surprised when those ends were protected protected on my iKon. My iKon OF is mild, and the CC is aggressive.
    My New L.C. came from Nick. It is a pretty little thing. I'm not going to shave with it until after my next business trip.
  5. Spoke with Razor Blades & More - willing to replace the Capa Azul, can't take other back as I used it but willing to return 10% (which I figured and makes sense). Very polite and very fast to respond. I continue to be impressed with Razor Blades & More customer service. Two thumbs up, if I need to order from them again will do so without reservations.

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