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My first impression (unboxing) was, meh! The handle was longer and larger (in diameter) than I prefer. The knurling is fantastic but the grooves are too deep. They just don't feel right. The weight of the razor felt quite unbalanced. The head is SS with a Proprietary B1 Coating. The head felt too light for the handle. So I cleaned it up with some alcohol and set it down to await the morning shave.
I loaded the razor with an Astra SP (Ikon even provided a 5 pack with the razor). As I started to shave, I couldn't help but focus on the handle and how I was going to have to swap it out to get the razor balanced. By the time I switched my focus to the shave itself, my first pass was just about complete. All of a sudden I realized how effortless the shave was. I did the fingertip rinse for more later and pass #2. Hot damn, this razor in one pass was equal to one pass with the R41. No way! It can't be! Now I'm focused. Today's shave only needs to be a DFS as it's a work day. Second pass complete and NO irritation. I rinse and get ready for a clean up pass. I, like all of us, have a couple trouble spots that always require attention. These areas still needed attention but the razor shaved equal in closeness to the R41 but with much less irritation. So I went for broke and lathered my head. If this razor is this smooth then my head should be easy peasy. One pass, ATG and only a couple hot spots. WOW! I wish that the handle was a little thinner and the grooves were more rounded. Those two issues would make this razor a 100% pure joy for me.