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Bamboo SE Razor

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I’ve been a wet shaver for 35 years, and have experience with a wide variety of DE and SE razors. I cannot remember getting a shave that equals the Above The Tie Bamboo SE razor in quality. My shaves are close and achieved without irritation. They are some of the best shaves I’ve ever received.

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Pros: shave quality superbe
Cons: blade replacement tricky
I’ve been a wet shaver for 35 years, and have experience with a wide variety of DE and SE razors. I cannot remember getting a shave that equals the Above The Tie Bamboo SE razor in quality. My shaves are close and achieved without irritation. They are some of the best shaves I’ve ever received.
To start, let me say that my beard is not particularly dense, but it is very wiry and usually demands an aggressive razor. This razor, loaded with a Feather Artist Club Professional blade, mows my whiskers with remarkable ease.
I am not a fan of Feather DE blades, but the Artist Club Professional SE blade is perfectly paired with this razor--at least for me. I would rate the aggressiveness of the razor as equivalent to an ATT razor with an R1-H1 base plate. Shaves with it, however, are notable for their complete lack of irritation. They are among the smoothest shaves I’ve ever received.
For me, the razor required a brief learning curve. Its weight distribution and blade replacement process required some practice and were not immediately intuitive. These were overcome with about a week’s practice with the razor.
The razor came packaged in the ATT presentation box. This, with its die-cut foam inserts, allows the box to accommodate anywhere from a single razor to a full 7-piece set with the laser-cut customization inserts provided. The razor itself reflects ATT’s usual attention to fine detail. At 105 grams, the razor has a solid heft. The handle weighs 55 grams, and the head 50.
This review is my impression of the Above The Tie Bamboo SE razor after one month of daily use:
Price: At $185, the Bamboo SE razor is not inexpensive. However, its materials and workmanship make it a good value. This is truly an heirloom quality razor that should last for generations. Since the head can be purchased separately from the handle, significant cost savings are possible.
Quality: This is a beautiful and functional piece of stainless steel craftsmanship. ATT is known for high quality manufacturing standards and space-age machining technology. The razor has a polished satin finish. I found the razor to excel in every dimension of quality.
User Friendly: Two aspects of this razor required a short learning curve. First, the razor is asymmetric in design and some attention had to be paid to keep the razor from rotating in my hand. The solution was easily learned with a little practice. Second, loading the blade properly was difficult for me at first. A call to Stan at ATT provided me with some tips that helped a lot: hold the top cap in the palm of the hand, seat the blade, then lower the base plate onto the assembly, then screw the handle on. Still, the procedure was more difficult than for most other razors, and care is needed to assure that the blade does not slip out of alignment during the process. Again, once I learned the correct procedure, the problem became minimal, but still requires care.
Grip: I found the bamboo handle to be both very attractive and functional. The soft curves of the handle provided a solid grip, and there was no tendency to slip during shaving. The handle is interchangeable with all others in the ATT line, as well as many other standard razor handles.
Ease of Blade Replacement: This is covered in the “User Friendly” section above. In short, proper blade insertion and alignment is more difficult than most razors, but it is a skill that can be easily mastered with practice.
Aggressiveness: This is an aggressive and effective razor capable of giving really fine shaves. With a sharp blade like the Feather, I get 10-15 good shaves. In terms of shave effectiveness, I give it high marks. I rate the aggressiveness to be like an ATT H1 or R1. It is capable of BBS shaves with 2-3 passes.
Adjustability: This is a non-adjustable razor.
Balance: The asymmetrical shape of the razor make it want to twist in the hand. There was a short learning curve of a half-dozen shaves that was needed to overcome this tendency. The balance situation was easy to overcome.
Overall: I have difficulty holding back my enthusiasm for this razor. It gives wonderfully close and comfortable shaves--among the best I’ve ever received from any class of razor. It’s just that good. It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and its heirloom quality construction promise generations of satisfied use.
Photos courtesy of Stan Hickam, Above The Tie
Grip
4.00 star(s)
Price
4.00 star(s)
Balance
3.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
3.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
4.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
3.00 star(s)

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