Thinking of buying a Mühle R41 2011.... should I do it?

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by Christoph, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. I'd like a new DE, and I would like something brand new. I would also like a bigger razor, as in the size of Merkur's 38c or larger/heavier. Would the R41 fall into this category? I hear great things about the R41, and I know there is a "grande" edition. So would this be the one?
  2. If you like really aggressive razors, it could do the trick. Have you read some of the threads about this model, if it is the same one that I have tried, there are many of us who have not been able to tame this beast....

    Edit: If all you want is a bigger razor, also consider getting a handle from BobsRazorWorks, the bullmastiff handle is big, the XL is really big.
  3. jamesspo

    jamesspo Contributor

    The R41 is awesome...check the R41 combined thread, or the BrotherHood of the Open Comb thread for more details. It's got a lot of blade exposure, so be prepared for that, it takes some care, just like a straight or a shavette (but not quite that much's still a safety razor). The razor as it comes is fairly light, by my standards. I've not held the Grande version, so not sure on how it feels. I replaced my handle with the iKon Bulldog, which while short, is very heavy and grippy. There is lots of info in those threads I mention on handle options, and the R41 as is.

    +1 on Bob's handles....he's got a number of great options. Also the new Tradere handles are quite nice (see the vendor forum).
  4. The Grande edition is larger handled but as the other respondent pointed out the BRW handle on an R41 is the bee's knees..

    You can get the XXL handle from Bob but I find the standard Bull Mastiff handle works the best with the R41 head. Adds enough heft to make it effortless to use.


  5. The 2011 is R41 is in my top four DE razors and part of my regular rotation. It is by far the most efficient DE that I own. The stock handle is a little on the light side for my taste, although it looks amazing.

    As mentioned above, there are all sorts of custom razor handles which are available for purchase, as well as most modern razors that are available you can easily swap one handle to another.

    Lately I have been using a Sabi T3 handle with the 2011 R41 head, which for me has been a great combo.

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  6. Is there a link to Bob's site that I ca have?

  7. If your main criteria is size/weight, and not aggressiveness, you may want to pass on the R41. You mentioned the 38C, which is a fine razor and heavier than the R41 or even the GRANDE. The Merkur 38C is still one of my all-time favorites.

    I am a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the '41 because of its aggressiveness, which I need for my very wiry beard. So many members have found the R41 too aggressive for them, that I hesitate to recommend it unless you know it's your primary need and have the desire to use it.

    There are so many beautiful custom handles available now, that you will be able to find a nice heavy razor, if that's what you're after.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  8. That is a really cool soap bowl. Where did that come from?
  9. I will really have to think about this R41. Part of me really wants one, but I do recognize that it just might not be for me. I have learned over the years that I do not really want or need a super aggressive razor. I like some aggression, don't get me wrong - but nothing extreme.

    Let me tell you what I like and what works for me and you tell me if I should buy an R41.

    I own numerous Gillettes from the 1930s through the 1970s. Its by no means a massive or expensive collection but I have some nice examples. I do not use these razors. I also have the Merkur Futur,a Progress, an HD, and the Sledgehammer. For some reason I never had a desire to own a Vision.

    I use the Sledgehammer (38c) all most all the time, with a Derby blade or sometimes an Israeli Personna. I focus on good prep, and I do a 4 pass shave that gets me a very good result.

    I can't use Feathers. I've just had no success with them.

    I have learned over the years not to seek perfection. Just get a nice, close, comfortable shave and don't push it.

    I love the whole classic grooming/"wet shaving" thing. But my focus is more on enjoying cool artifacts, classic scents, etc, rather than achieving the perfect shave. But don't get me wrong, I do get an excellent shave, but the additional time, effort, and risk to skin is not worth trying to get it flawless.

    So... should I buy an R41?

    Be honest please.
  10. Just my 2 cents:

    Grab your Futur next time you shave and crank it all the way up to 6.5. Shave with that, and do no more than a 3 pass shave. Try this a few times until you get used to using a razor with a lot of blade exposure. Give it a fair shot, and see if you like it/can shave like that without tons of burn/nicks/weepers. If you can, you'll likely wind up with the best shave of your life, and you'll be hooked. In that case, you should order the R41.

    If the opposite happens (nicks/weepers/burn, poor shaves), then you'll probably hate the R41 due to the slight learning curve which seems to be associated with it.

    I've got an R41 Grande on order and en route to me. If you want me to follow-up with you regarding my post-shave impressions of it, I'll be more than happy to tell you what I think. (My impressions may not be useful, though, because I REALLY enjoy aggressive razors; my beard is coarse and too many passes irritate my neck.)

    On the other hand, if you have the funds, curiosity and inclination, you could just order it on a whim and give it a whirl. Worst case scenario, someone on the B/S/T forums will probably be interested in buying it/trading for it.

  11. +1 I agree 100%, and there's always the 39C barberpole slant as an alternative.

  12. This is a truly excellent suggestion and I shall do it. I will let you know what happens. Thank you!
  13. Yes, without doubt!
  14. As one who just got the R41, and who also is not a fan of aggressive razors, I would tell you to go ahead and get one. I've only used mine for one shave so far, and understanding the whole pressure thing, that shave was really great. It does require a VERY light touch, but the shave was closer than any other DE I've used. I did get some slight razor burn, but I do realize that there's a slight learning curve with this DE. That being said, I'm really sold on the R41. I have however ordered the Ikon Bulldog handle for it, as I don't care for the supplied handle. The bulldog will give me a bit shorter but heavier handle.
  15. I have both the Merkur 39C Slant and the R41 (and will soon be trading up to a R41 Grande), and I'd take the R41 hands down. It is very aggressive, but as long as you adapt to its idiosyncracies you can get the closest shave ever. I find that I need to be a lot more cautious with my 39C, which tends to lacerate me whenever it sees an aopportunity. Mind you, neither are 'everyday' razors for me, I use the R41 usually every 2-3 days in rotation with my Fatboy and Slim.
  16. I love my R41, it gets heavier rotation than other razor.... is not for everyone. If you are looking for an efficient razor for a BBS shave.... The R41 may be for you.... But many can't seem to "tame" it.... For me it is very intuitive....
  17. I just shaved this morning with the Futur at max aggressiveness. A couple of very, very small pinhole cuts which stopped bleeding quickly. I got a close, smooth shave with no irritation.

    I have used razors like this before, but what I have mostly done is used the 38c for a 4 pass shave which results in great shave with zero damage almost every time.

    So this still leaves me a bit undecided about the r41, but I must say I am leaning towards it and will probably take the plunge soon.

    Thanks for the advice!

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