2011 R41 - The Quest Achieved!

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

  1. pbrmhl

    pbrmhl Contributor

    I've got a Barbasol floating head I've only used a few shaves because I couldn't figure out how to get a close shave with it. I'll try again tomorrow and the next several days and get back to you. I really want to enjoy this beautiful vintage DE (especially because it's been hard for me to find good shaves with vintage razors, except the Le Coq cage comb).

    Speaking of the Le Coq (see my avatar), I heartily recommend it. Being in the UK, Marcus, you might have an easier time finding one than those of us on this side of the pond. It's my one razor that's most like putting a DE blade on a stick.
  2. Great! The few shave reports I've read from the Barbasol Floating Head do question its efficiency and it will be fascinating to see a direct comparison.

    I'll look out for a Le Coq - I had a Famex cage Comb where you could reverse the cage to change aggression level...

    ...Still wondering why the Kais feel and behave so differently to all the other DE blades, almost like an SE...
  3. pbrmhl

    pbrmhl Contributor

    When I'm done with my 2017 restraint, I'll have to try the Kai blade. I've got many different DE blades in stock, but no Kai blades.
  4. So I had a close look at those Kais and there really is nothing to explain why they feel so immovably rigid in the R41.

    They may be slightly thicker but they are also wider than standard blades so there's more blade extension(!)
    You'd expect this to increase flex, yet the Kais feel almost like an Injector blade in the R41.
    Why, why, why?
    Can anybody explain?
  5. pbrmhl

    pbrmhl Contributor

    Marcus, I went back to the Barbasol floating head today after months of neglect. I'll try again tomorrow, but I wasn't able to get a truly close shave. Sort of like any of my many vintage Gillettes, or my late model Schick injectors with Chick blades, rather than twins. I'm trying to keep the angle very shallow, to keep the blade front and center. We'll see.
  6. Hmmm.... would the Barbasol do any better with a steep angle?
    It has such a reputation for aggression but perhaps the geometry is not good...
  7. pbrmhl

    pbrmhl Contributor

    I fully intended to go with the Barbasol this morning but, given yesterday's less-than-spectacular shave, I went with the tried and true: Ikon Shavecraft Tech. The more I use it, especially with a shallow angle, the better it gets. It's like listening to Radiohead. I'll try again tomorrow to pick up the Barbasol...
  8. Funny, I was thinking of trying the Kai blade in the Shavecraft Tech.
    I agree that it's a fabulous razor.
    Like the 2011 R41 the geometry and balance are very thoughtful.
  9. KAI is also my favorite blade in R41.
  10. pbrmhl

    pbrmhl Contributor

    Marcus, I still can't get a good shave with the Barbasol. I tried everything. Too bad, as it's a beauty.

    On the other hand, I had a tremendous shave today with my ATT H2. It had been gathering dust for over a year. Why? I have no idea. It's a good thing I'm in the 2017 restraint so I can re-discover some of the great items I already have...
  11. This is so so interesting to hear - the Barbasol Floating Head is one of my Grail razors (along with the Schick F and the Personna Micrometric) and now you are making me wonder if it really is a worthy shaver or not.
    I will have to try one for myself one day
  12. rabidus

    rabidus Contributor

    I read through your review and wanted to comment on a few things. I don't own a shavecraft Tech but from reviews and pictures, it seems like a Postwar Tech with more blade exposure. It is superior ATG because of its superior rigidity.

    The R41 leaves pricklier stubble because of its lacking rigidity. When the blade hits difficult stubble to cut, it will flex and scrape the stubble, in effect, sharpening the stubble as it reduces it while the Shavecraft Tech cuts the stubble cleanly. This happens to me with razors that lack rigidity, Derby and shark blades no matter what razor they are in.

    The superior ATG quality of a razor is what I need to efficiently mow down my beard with ease weather the razor has little or a lot of blade exposure. It is for this reason I only use DE razors with max rigidity.

    My NEW SC with squared off corner tabs on the cap is just as aggressive as an Old Type thin cap but smoother and has the most rigidity a DE Razor can have.

    Not that I would buy one, but I wonder how the Shavecraft Tech measures up against the NEW SC with squared off tabs on the cap. I'm a vintage kind of guy and find the SC one of the best razors ever made. Which is why I chose it for a DEvette.
  13. rabidus

    rabidus Contributor

    Not sure how thick Kai blades are, but Personnas are .006" thick and are thicker than the average blade, which is .004"

    Vintage and Contemporary Blade Thickness
  14. The Barbasol FH and Schick Type F are also Holy Grail razors for me, and I was lucky enough to snag both in the past month.

    The Type F is very efficient - more efficient than the Type E2. It has more blade feel and only slightly less smooth than the E2, but still very smooth IMHO. I happen to find the Type E2 incredibly smooth.

    The Barbasol is a very strange beast. It has a lot more blade feel than most DEs, yet is smoother and seems to cut more cleanly than most, but does not cut as close. This razor has jumped very close to top spot for DEs, right up there with the NEW Deluxe and Old Type thick cap.

    Background: with any razor, I always do 4-pass shaves, use the steepest angle the razor will support, and never chase BBS.
  15. Very interesting comments - I hadn't made the connection between blade flex and the feel of the shave results but what you say makes a lot of sense.

    For me the Shavecraft Tech feels very similar to the Devette and that is superb!

    I read that the Barbasol FH shaves similar to the Big Fellow - I have both Old Type and New Improved Big Fellows so I'm keen to find out.

    Thanks to the great kindness of pbrmhl I will find out how the Barbasol feels :001_smile
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  16. So in the interest of who knows what, I shaved half my face with the 2011 R41 and the other half with a Devette both using a NOS British Wilkinson blade:
    After using the Roedter 1909 both these razors are a walk in the park.
    In my imaginary shaving boot camp everyone has basic training with Feather Artist Club and then advanced Roedter 1909 work in order to graduate...but that's another story :001_smile

    If you're interested in the Devette (which is a DE razor modified by removing the guard) read about it in the epic thread here:
    No guard DE?

    And don't be fooled - the Devette isn't just trick shaving, men were doing this back in the 1930's to boost the performance of their Gillettes.

    Because there's no guard you have to skin stretch and that's why the Shavecraft Tech and 2011 R41 with their clever guards and geometry can match the devette's performance, but let's see how closely...

    The Devette really does feel like a more extreme Shavecraft Tech which is a good thing!
    The blade is braced and the BBS feels like sandstone but the shave can be a bit rough.
    And the Devette is so so manouverable with a large range of effective angles.

    The 2011 R41 is smooth as always and gives that lovely waxy BBS.

    After 30mins the shaves are identical.
    Let's see how these high powered shaves grow out...
  17. 24hrs after the shave, the Devette and the 2011 R41 had shaved more or less equally closely.

    As with most of the other comparisons, the stubble on the 2011 side was pricklier.

    And over this period of time the 2011 had shaved marginally closer than the devette, presumably due to the action of the guard.
  18. After a shave with the Asylum Rx to get everything even, last night I shaved one of half my face with the 2011 R41 and the other half with an Eclipse Red Ring:
    The Eclipse was made by James Neill (of Neillite razor Eclipse hacksaw blade fame) in Sheffield in the 1930's.

    It has an unusual "pins up" configuration - the pins to hold the blade in place come up from the baseplate.
    Like the R41 it's a toothcomb (was this the first tooth comb?)

    And it's adjustable in the same way as the Single Ring - by loosening the handle tube blade gap is increased but if you loosen it too much then the head comes loose so no more than 1/8 turn from fully tightened is recommended.

    And for me the Eclipse Red Ring is the most beautiful DE ever made.
    This model has an Art Deco representation of a Solar Eclipse on the cap. Wow!

    So with the handle loosened 1/8 turn the Eclipse is very aggressive and it's unbelievably smooth, smoother than any other razor I know by a long way, it just glides across the face.
    In terms of closeness it was soon apparent that the Eclipse is more like a 2013 R41, very aggressive but not quite a match for the 2011 but what a gorgeous shave!
  19. Wait... I've been off the forums for a bit. I knew the 2011 R41 was a bit more desirable than it's 2013 replacement; but has it really become a "Grail" razor?!?
  20. Yes indeed a Grail razor!
    A boxed 2011 R41 with original handle sold last week on eBay UK for £185.

    Rare and magnificent :001_smile

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