Articles

The 2015 Badger and Blade Awards – DE Razor

2015 Winner – Double Edge Razor

PILS $210

DEWinner

It’s surprising what a difference a double edge razor handle can make. You’d think with the blade doing all of the heavy lifting, the handle would be more of an afterthought, but that couldn’t be less accurate. While the blade does the work, the angle at which the blade touches your face, feedback delivered to your hand, and the amount of pressure you apply to your face, is largely determined by the double edge razor handle and head.

When it comes to a delightfully close shave from a double-edged blade, the PILS razor has no peers. While last year’s winner, the Muhle R41 delivered a thrashing to a $260 Feather AD-D2 to take the crown, the PILS stands head and shoulders above both, as the penultimate double edge razor. Is it worth more than three times the price of the Muhle R41? Simply put, yes. It’s a superior razor and offers a closer, more engaging shave, with less irritation. Is the shave three times better? Heavens no, but like most things, when you go from “exceptional” to “the best” there is a non-linear increase in cost. Alright, enough with the price justification, lets talk about why this razor is the best.

DE2First, the PILS razor offers a unique weighting, unlike any other DE razor on the market. While it is top heavy like most DE razors, the handle boasts a surprising amount of heft, especially given its relatively slender diameter. The balance point is about one inch below the head of the razor, thanks in part to the hefty balancing knob at the bottom of the handle. The unique heft and balance of the razor takes a few shaves to get accustomed to, but once you’ve got it down, you are rewarded in spades as the unique balance and weight mows through the thickest stubble, with almost no perceptible feedback. It feels very similar to a feather straight razor in that it erases beard scruff like a squeegee, except that unlike the feather straight razor, the PILS double edge razor is incredibly forgiving and easy to use. With so little feedback from this razor, you must be particularly careful if you wear a moustache, goatee, or beard like I, as one careless swipe and you’ll zip right through even a heavy beard!

DE3Along with great weight and balance the blade angle at which the double edge blades present themselves is nothing shy of perfect. There is enough exposure to provide optimal closeness, without crossing the line into the land of nicks, cuts and irritation – even when loaded with fresh feather blades. In fact, the PILS razor completely tames feather blades, and turns them into the providers of effortless baby’s butt smooth shaves. It almost becomes boring… almost. The precision with which these razors are made is nothing short of inspiring. Double edge blades are secured and aligned with unrivaled accuracy, such that both sides have identical blade exposure and blade angles, even when viewed under magnification.

DE4Quality is what the PILS razor is all about, not just in terms of performance, tolerances and feel, but also in terms of ergonomics and aesthetics. While this razor’s design is simple, it’s curiously enchanting and inviting. The finish is identical to that of a Rolex sports watch and you can’t help but notice its regal presence, like a fine Swiss watch.

I left the razor on the counter for inspiration several days before penning this review and guests who would visit would be drawn to the razor with such frequency, I had to remove the blade to avoid an accident. It became somewhat of a running joke, and I began to put other interesting and expensive items next to it, to test its curb appeal. Watches, fountain pens and other safety razors all fell to the feet of the mysterious intrigue of the PILS razor. It simply cannot be explained in words, but this object has an inexplicable presence few products can rival.

As most of you know, I started my wetshaving journey with traditional straight razors and despite hundreds of double edge razors passing through my hands over the last decade, none of them have interested me enough, or provided a close enough shave to earn countertop space in my bathroom next to the likes of custom Bill Ellis, Zowada Damascus and Thiers Issard limited edition razors… at least until now. The PILS is so lovely; it has secured itself a spot as a permanent fixture on my countertop, complete with the matching razor and brush stand. If the mystique continues, it will be the first double edge razor that I regularly use.

Finally, a double edge razor worth drooling over.  I’ve enjoyed this razor so much that it has inspired me to design several new products for DE’s to improve the overall experience. Who knows, in 2016 perhaps these may pop up in a few small, exclusive B&B Limited Edition runs.

Highs:

  1. Quality.
  2. Asthetics
  3. Mysterious appeal.
  4. Shave Quality.

Lows:

  1. Price

You can purchase a PILS double edge razor here.

Joel

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisements

Follow Us

Archives by Month