2011 R41 - The Quest Achieved!

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by mjclark, Jan 18, 2017.

    At last I have acquired a 2011 R41 which is one of my Grail razors:
    It's so funny that it looks nearly identical to the ubiquitous 2013 version and that a couple of mm of the top cap should make such a difference.

    I'm also surprised to find that the baseplate is a little shorter than the 2013 and the corner teeth are slightly thinner:
    I've got the 3D printed Spitfire cap which is designed to boost the performance of the 2013 to approximate the 2011 but of course it's lighter by about 8g and the baseplate is longer.
    It gives an amazingly loud shave and is highly recommended but it's not a 2011 is it?

    On this quest I also filed down the top cap of my 2013 to 18.6mm width - this certainly gives a beautiful aggressive shave but the extra thickness of the cap mitigates this and I guess this approximates to the 3D printed Hurricane cap but again it's not actually a 2011 R41 is it.

    I am so excited to have this razor and the big question for me is can it outperform the Shavecraft Tech?[​IMG]

    Ha ha -I remember being so amazed to find the Shavecraft Tech outperformed the Cobra Classic for me, can the 2011 R41 top that?

    And what blades will it like?
  1. Bondage007

    Bondage007 Contributor

    Can't wait to hear how it compares. It's an awesome feeling when a quest is completed successfully.

  2. Mr. Clark, you do enjoy a good aggressive razor, don't you? :thumbup1:

    Looking forward to your Battle of the Scrapers!
  3. Congrats on finally acquiring the R41-11!
    I look forward to your impressions as compared to the various R41-13 configs and the Ikon Tech.
  4. Thanks Gentlemen!

    The first excited shave with the 2011 R41 more than met expectations:
    The shave was very loud like a vintage SE with that "buttering toast" effect.
    A lot of blade feel, a slight sensation of blade flex and a very powerful steep angle shave.

    Compared to the Spitfire this is marginally less loud, marginally less blade flex and noticeably more powerful perhaps because of the extra weight in the head.

    On the face it feels less smooth than the Shavecraft Tech and on first impression perhaps ever so slightly more aggressive.
    I'll make a direct comparison later on.

    In any case this was a fantastic steep angle shave and shockingly aggressive as I'd hoped!

    Shave was at 11pm last night so we'll see how long it last and how smart it grows out...
  5. Congrats! For me a bit too aggeressive, but that is clearly what you like.
  6. I have both razors also and concur with your findings. At first, the iKon Tech was horribly harsh for me, but when I switched to steep angle shaving, it got very smooth, smoother than my babied 2011 R41.
  7. Interesting! Although for sure there's not much in it, which razor gives you the more aggressive and longer lasting shave, the ST or the 2011 R41?
  8. I'd say the aggression is close to the same. I'd have to do a side-by-side shave with both of them to know for sure. I'm doing a run on my SE razors now, so I'll shave with both sometime next week and report back.

    As for longer lasting, I can't answer because I never chase BBS - DFS is my target. My beard grows real fast, so even if I chase BBS, it'll be DFS in a few hours.
  9. Congrats! You don't see the 2011 everyday
  10. I have a 2011 R41. Try a Kai blade in it for optimum performance. The Kai seems to be the only blade that doesnt have some chatter when '11 is at work. Enjoy!!!
  11. I wonder why that is - is the Kai blade thicker?
    To be honest I quite enjoy a bit of blade chatter and the 2011 is performing superbly with a Polsilver SI at the moment.
    The blade chatter is a lot more noticeable on the Spitfire R41 and it's something I remember from the Cobra Classic too.

    I'm getting more and more interested to directly compare the 2011 R41 and the Shavecraft Tech and I have been searching for a previous thread that does this in any depth.
    I started a thread a while back comparing the ST and the Spitfire but the 2011 takes things to a whole new level.

    Of course the ST is made of that nice aircraft grade aluminium whereas the R41 is cheapy Zanac and the handle can be slippy.
    On the other hand the ST looks rather meh whereas the R41 is stunningly attractive and the manufacturing tolerances on it are superb - perfect blade alignment instantly every time.

    Anyway I know I must be in love with the 2011 R41 because I shaved again with it last night even though I didn't need to:
    24hrs on from the last shave I was looking very smart for the 21st Century and certainly acceptable for work. If anything, as the stubble was just beginning to come through I started looking smarter and smarter as the hours from the previous shave elapsed and I could imagine shaving only every 36hrs or even 48hrs with this razor but where's the fun in that?

    So the Polsilver SI has smoothed on the second shave and it was even better than the first.
    One of the joys of this razor is how it leaves your face feeling afterwards, which is radically different from how it feels before almost like it's become someone else's face.
    After the R41 shave the skin feels taught and smooth like a drum in a way it never normally does and I've seen it described as feeling "waxy" which is about right.
    Another superb shave and I noticed that because the R41 has a lot of effective angles it's very easy to negotiate curves on the chin and jawline and get a good shave in those tricky areas.
  12. I was once thinking it is thicker but was proved wrong. It has the same thickness as most other blades. It is maybe more rigid because of how it is hardened.
  13. That is very very interesting! I was recently wondering if there was a modern thicker stainless blade for more rigidity (there isn't) so perhaps this is the answer.

    I also read a discussion which points out that the 2013 baseplate has more curvature than the 2011 baseplate.
    Obviously this changes the geometry so that even though the Spitfire cap may be a match for the 2011 cap, with the 2013 baseplate it must shave differently.

    And there's the possibility of using the 2011 cap on the 2013 baseplate which would give a Metal Spitfire.

    And even using the Spitfire cap on the 2011 baseplate for a 3D Spitfire....
  14. Congratulations, I found Super Iridium and GSB work best for me. Enjoy!
  15. Thanks!
    Those Super Iridiums are nice blades aren't they?

    Do you use steep or shallow angle?
  16. They are my favorites. I change the angle according to how aggressive I want to shave that area. It's one of the reasons it's my favorite DE, the blade gap and geometry allow a wide variety of angles. Happy shaves.
  17. Kai blade in a 2011 R-41 sounds wicked, I want one !!!
  18. The 2013 R41 was my daily shaver for about a year, before I switched to the SC Tech (daily, except when I take a break and back off to my NEW short-comb or Maggard V3A head). Never owned a 2011 R41, so very interested in ongoing input about how it compares with the Tech. Also, anybody able to compare the aggressive razors in discussion with the Rockwell 5/6 plate (my pre-ordered white chrome Rockwell is supposed to arrive in March)?
  19. I see what you mean!
    The variable angle capability of the R41 is a great feature - it kind of makes it like an adjustable which goes from very very aggressive to very very very aggressive lol or one of those razors with differential aggression where one side has more bite than the other.

    For the third and final outing of this Polsilver SI I used a predominantly shallow angle moving into steep angle for the jawline and neck.
    This was a phenomenal shave and the 2011 R41 has "clicked" for me now:
    I'm a big fan of steep angle shaving whenever it's possible and usually it gives the most comfortable and efficient shave so I'm very surprised that a predominantly shallow angle has given me an even better shave with the 2011 R41.

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