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Yaqi shavette

Yaqi shavette (IBC clone)

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Yaqi are making a clone of the Irving Barber Company (IBC) shavette. The one I have looks closest to the nickel (or “nickle”, as Yaqi would have it) finish on the scales, with a chromed blade holder. It cost about a third of the price at time of purchase (around 15 GBP before tax, the IBC is listed at a sale price of 60 USD).

As with the IBC, it has a screw to clamp the blade in place. I’ve looked at it with half an Astra SP, which seems to have a large blade exposure/protrusion, but I’ve not had the nerve to try shaving with that so far. It will also take an AC blade, which was the reason I bought it - to fill a gap between half DE shavettes and the 65mm Tondeo / Miraki in the Dovo Shavette / Boker Barberette.

Initially the action around the pivot seemed... shall we say “unusual”. Pretty loose in the closed and normal shaving positions, but going through a tight spot when the blade holder and scales are in line. I didn’t like that, so I dismantled it and cut some flexible plastic sheet for spacers between the holder and scales, which was much more to my liking. Washers would probably do something similar - I’ve read about others doing that.

The metallic scales feel quite heavy and the blade holder is jimped at the bottom (the blade side) but very smooth on the chromed opposite edge, which led to my being a bit nervous on the first outing with a Feather Professional blade. It all went fine, but I’ve now roughed up that edge and applied a blob of matt enamel paint where my forefinger goes, which I think has dramatically improved the handling (the handling has a lot less potential for drama).

The AC blade seems to have less protrusion than a half DE. It takes a bit of positioning as the two halves of the holder rotate, but when it’s in the right place the back of the blade is located against three pegs. The screw seems to give reasonable clamping force, but I might go for some wax or rubber solution on the inside of the blade holder. We’ll see how it goes next blade change.

All of which suggests it arrives in construction kit form, but that might just be me. It’s nicely finished, and shaves very well with a Feather Professional blade - I was surprised how good it was. It’s probably not something I’d recommend for a first time open blade user, but for anyone with a bit of straight razor and shavette experience, it’s a good addition to the box - particularly at the price.

Latest reviews

Yaqi shavette
Pros: Price, AC capability, appearance and performance
Cons: Some fit and finish quibbles
As above - this bit added for the star ratings. Take "Lasting Edge", "Easy to sharpen" and "Easy to maintain" in the context of a shavette - there didn't appear to be a separate section. "Shaving smoothness" will owe as much to the installed blade - in this case a Feather Professional AC.
5.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
4.00 star(s)
3.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
4.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
4.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
5.00 star(s)
I've used a lot of different shavettes over the years, but I never used the IBC one. I did pick up one of these Yaqi clones, though, and it was my least favourite shavette ever! The balance on it was just horrific in my opinion. It's like they knew nothing about shavettes (and they know a lot about razors) and just thought putting the pieces together to look like a razor would be enough. I'm glad it worked ok for you, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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4.00 star(s) 1 ratings

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