Side by side comparison to the HD.
Side by side with HD - side view.
Close-Up of the Slant's head.
Price - These razors sell for the same price as the HD with the gold model costing an extra $6-10. This puts the Slant Bar in the low to middle price range, however, like the HD, when you consider the quality of the item, you are getting it for a bargain.
Grip - The handle of the Slant Bar is identical to that of the HD. It is gnarled and has a textured pommel which allow for excellent handling and control (zero slippage).
Ease of Blade Replacement - In a word, Simplicity. Like the HD, the Slant Bar is a 3-piece razor, but is constructed so that there is no need to hold the head of the razor (the danger zone) while tightening it down. Blade replacement with the Slant Bar is not as easy as with a "Butterfly" razor, but it is certainly not a chore that requires more than very average hand-eye coordination.
Aggressiveness - If you view aggressiveness as the ability to get one of the closest shaves of your life, then this is a very aggressive razor. On the other hand, if you view aggressiveness as a razor's tendency to irritate or cut one's face, then it depends on the hand that wields it. Certainly, this razor demands respect and refined technique. It will allow very little patience for a careless shaver. When used properly, however, it is a superbly smooth and easy shaver.
Balance - Like the HD, this tool is of near perfect design. The balance and heft are right on the money. It feels very natural in the hand, the way a great razor should.
User Friendly - This razor is a lot like a good woman. If you respect her and handle her gently, tending to her needs, she will pamper you like a king and spoil you with a shave that is unmatched by any other razor. Also note, respect does not equal fear.
There are several gents, including myself, who have struggled during the first several shaves with the Slant Bar. Holding the handle of the razor higher (more parallel to the floor) than when using the HD combined with the execution of longer stroke length have proved to be two great adjustments for taming this razor (thank you, Joel, for pointing this out to me). Other than these two points, follow the same rules you would for any DE: no pressure, use reduction techniques, only shave lathered areas, etc. Not surprisingly, after using this razor for a while, I've found that it has improved my overall technique such that even shaves with my HD and Fatboy have been noticeably better.
Having said all of this, like with any shaving product, the Slant Bar is not for everyone. I highly recommend it but am sure that there are some who will never enjoy it's use.
How it does what it does - The head of this razor is twisted which causes the blade to meet your whiskers in a slanted, scything, or angled manner (hence the name, Slant Bar). This allows you to slice through your whiskers as opposed to chopping through them. If held at an inappropriate angle, it will perform the same duty on skin tissue (slicing off thin layers & causing BURN). This, I believe, is why so many struggle through the first several shaves with it. The razor demands that you maintain an excellent discipline with the angle that you use.
Overall Quality - Like the HD, upon first glimpse/grasp, there will be no doubt that you hold in your hand an instrument that is finely crafted, which will last for generations. While this razor will not push my HD into retirement, it has taken over the role of favorite shaver.
To the gentleman who suggested that I wait on purchasing this razor until I had established good technique, I say THANK YOU.
To the guy who told me that this was a "gimmick" razor, I say nothing because I don't talk to him anymore.
To discuss this review, go to this thread.