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A Blackbird, Wolf and Bishop Walk Into A Bar...

... or ... A Tale of Two Blackbirds...

Years ago, I was a participant in the original crowd funding campaign (KS) for the first Blackbird razor. I pledged for the Black Oxide, with the 101 mm handle. When it arrived, it was a glorious specimen. Shortly after, I bought the first batch Open Comb baseplate when it was released. I had never before spent that much on a razor. And it would be years later before I eclipsed that price point. However, the razor was too much for me, and I could not get a shave without irritation and weepers. I loved the super close shave I got with this weapon of mass beard destruction. But it came at a price. So I did not use it often. I pulled it out every once in while in the hopes that my technique would improve to the point that I could make it work for me. I was predominantly a medium to mild razor shaver, and this one was just too much.

Over my many years of wet shaving, I had accumulated a massive collection of vintage and modern razors. Most of them were inexpensive, sub $100 razors. A lot of them were found in the wild in the sub-$20 price range. I love collecting things, and collecting razors with their associated paraphernalia became a great and fulfilling hobby.

One day I had an epiphany... Instead of accumulating hundreds of inexpensive razors, and always hunting for that awesome deal on that rare razor, I decided to just go out and buy what I wanted. (Please dont judge me harshly for this... but I just wanted to hit that bucket list earnestly.) First thing I did was put my name on the Wolfman waiting list. Then I kind of forgot about it. Next I bought the bucket list vintage Gillettes... Toggle, Hybrid Tech, Brit Crat, Psycho Tech, etc. After a number of months elapsed, I turned my attention to the Modern razors. And as part of this process, I started selling off some razors that I did not use enough.

The first real eye-opener was the purchase of a brand new stainless Charcoal Goods Level 2 with the Bishop handle. This was a couple of years ago when Brian was still making these things. Then.... remember that Wolfman waiting list entry? Well my name popped up like a week later! What to do? Already blew a pile of cash on the CG. Bail on the Wolf? No way! So the poor dusty Black Oxide Blackbird went to the BST, along with some of its other neglected friends.

So now I had a Level 2 and a WR2 1.15. I had a tough time with both of them at first. But it wasn't as bad as the Blackbird had been. I was getting great shaves! But there was still a bit of irritation and blade feel that I did not know how to deal with. So I went onto the forums and started discussing these points with guys that know a thing or two about shaving. At that time, there were many people here that were the source of incredible knowledge for me. But Dan (@Hannah's Dad) was the guy that really took the time to guide me in the right direction. He uttered two words that really changed my shaving forever! And with that, I learned to "Shave Steep" ... and almost instantly, I started getting Hyper-Efficient shaves like I never had before... all with incredible smoothness! I started really enjoying aggressive razors. And those mild and medium razors I thoroughly enjoyed before this were almost useless to me. (But that would also change as my techniques improved further.) I went to the Charcoal Goods Level 3... the WR2 1.25, then 1.55. Got a WR1 .80 OC... and started using my Gillette Adjustables on 9. You get the picture. I was amazed at the evolution in my shaving.

But I had one huge regret the minute I learned how to shave steep.... I regretted selling that Blackbird! I have been lusting after one ever since. But I just could not bring myself to re-purchase a razor I sold off due to bad shaves... I just couldn't.

Well, today that finally ended! I saw a great looking polished Brassbird with the SB plate and the 85 mm handle on the BST, and made the deal. I have been on quite a Brass razor kick these days, and figured that was the way to go. Many thanks to the seller! Before it even shipped I went up to the Blackland site and ordered the 101 mm handle and OC plate! Yeah, I was jumping in with both feet. The shave was fantastic. I hit it super steep. And it was super smooth! To borrow a phrase from fellow steep shaver @never-stop-learning... I would say the Blackbird definitely runs with the Big Dogs.

And one more thing... when I was sorting out the learning curve for my first Wolfman, someone suggested I try the Perma Sharp blades in the gold box. I was a confirmed Polsilver user, and didn't think that a Perma Sharp would have a big impact on the Wolf's shave, but it most certainly did! The Perma Sharp smoothed out the Wolf's shave even more... and works better than any other blade in that razor. So when I got my Brassbird out for its inaugural shave this morning, I grabbed a fresh Perma Sharp. Fantastic shave! Thanks for reading my long winded story. But it was a journey of many years, and I wanted to share. Stay smooth!

My original first-batch Blackbird:

Blackbird Packed.jpg

My new Brassbird:

2021-11-22 09.54.13.jpg

Today's Fantastic Shave:

2021-11-22 10.11.56.jpg
 

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
... or ... A Tale of Two Blackbirds...

Years ago, I was a participant in the original crowd funding campaign (KS) for the first Blackbird razor. I pledged for the Black Oxide, with the 101 mm handle. When it arrived, it was a glorious specimen. Shortly after, I bought the first batch Open Comb baseplate when it was released. I had never before spent that much on a razor. And it would be years later before I eclipsed that price point. However, the razor was too much for me, and I could not get a shave without irritation and weepers. I loved the super close shave I got with this weapon of mass beard destruction. But it came at a price. So I did not use it often. I pulled it out every once in while in the hopes that my technique would improve to the point that I could make it work for me. I was predominantly a medium to mild razor shaver, and this one was just too much.

Over my many years of wet shaving, I had accumulated a massive collection of vintage and modern razors. Most of them were inexpensive, sub $100 razors. A lot of them were found in the wild in the sub-$20 price range. I love collecting things, and collecting razors with their associated paraphernalia became a great and fulfilling hobby.

One day I had an epiphany... Instead of accumulating hundreds of inexpensive razors, and always hunting for that awesome deal on that rare razor, I decided to just go out and buy what I wanted. (Please dont judge me harshly for this... but I just wanted to hit that bucket list earnestly.) First thing I did was put my name on the Wolfman waiting list. Then I kind of forgot about it. Next I bought the bucket list vintage Gillettes... Toggle, Hybrid Tech, Brit Crat, Psycho Tech, etc. After a number of months elapsed, I turned my attention to the Modern razors. And as part of this process, I started selling off some razors that I did not use enough.

The first real eye-opener was the purchase of a brand new stainless Charcoal Goods Level 2 with the Bishop handle. This was a couple of years ago when Brian was still making these things. Then.... remember that Wolfman waiting list entry? Well my name popped up like a week later! What to do? Already blew a pile of cash on the CG. Bail on the Wolf? No way! So the poor dusty Black Oxide Blackbird went to the BST, along with some of its other neglected friends.

So now I had a Level 2 and a WR2 1.15. I had a tough time with both of them at first. But it wasn't as bad as the Blackbird had been. I was getting great shaves! But there was still a bit of irritation and blade feel that I did not know how to deal with. So I went onto the forums and started discussing these points with guys that know a thing or two about shaving. At that time, there were many people here that were the source of incredible knowledge for me. But Dan (@Hannah's Dad) was the guy that really took the time to guide me in the right direction. He uttered two words that really changed my shaving forever! And with that, I learned to "Shave Steep" ... and almost instantly, I started getting Hyper-Efficient shaves like I never had before... all with incredible smoothness! I started really enjoying aggressive razors. And those mild and medium razors I thoroughly enjoyed before this were almost useless to me. (But that would also change as my techniques improved further.) I went to the Charcoal Goods Level 3... the WR2 1.25, then 1.55. Got a WR1 .80 OC... and started using my Gillette Adjustables on 9. You get the picture. I was amazed at the evolution in my shaving.

But I had one huge regret the minute I learned how to shave steep.... I regretted selling that Blackbird! I have been lusting after one ever since. But I just could not bring myself to re-purchase a razor I sold off due to bad shaves... I just couldn't.

Well, today that finally ended! I saw a great looking polished Brassbird with the SB plate and the 85 mm handle on the BST, and made the deal. I have been on quite a Brass razor kick these days, and figured that was the way to go. Many thanks to the seller! Before it even shipped I went up to the Blackland site and ordered the 101 mm handle and OC plate! Yeah, I was jumping in with both feet. The shave was fantastic. I hit it super steep. And it was super smooth! To borrow a phrase from fellow steep shaver @never-stop-learning... I would say the Blackbird definitely runs with the Big Dogs.

And one more thing... when I was sorting out the learning curve for my first Wolfman, someone suggested I try the Perma Sharp blades in the gold box. I was a confirmed Polsilver user, and didn't think that a Perma Sharp would have a big impact on the Wolf's shave, but it most certainly did! The Perma Sharp smoothed out the Wolf's shave even more... and works better than any other blade in that razor. So when I got my Brassbird out for its inaugural shave this morning, I grabbed a fresh Perma Sharp. Fantastic shave! Thanks for reading my long winded story. But it was a journey of many years, and I wanted to share. Stay smooth!

My original first-batch Blackbird:

View attachment 1366700

My new Brassbird:

View attachment 1366701

Today's Fantastic Shave:

View attachment 1366702
Awesome news, Brad! So glad you gave the Bird another try. It truly is a remarkable, unique shaver and it so fittingly belongs in your den. Congrats!
 
Great story Brad. I've been there,lol. I see these beautiful razors with awesome reviews and dream about bbs, weeper less shaves everyday and then finally pull the trigger and learn quick there is a learning curve.

I've been eyeing the Blackbird but can't decide on the SS or Brass. Will you be polishing it or let it patina?
 
Very pleasing how things worked out for you! 👍
When shaving with the Blackbird OC, I must resist shaving steep though. Focusing on riding the cap works out better for me with the OC.
So it is quite the other way around for me. I am rather sitting at the bar with a steep angle than riding the cap.

But that's part of the fun. Learning the ways of a new razor.

Yesterday I didn't quite kill it close enough under my chin. Next time I will. 😎

For people looking at the Blackbird, I found the OC to require some practice, while the SB side was much easier to use. Maybe Blackland will one day release a dual comb! 🤗
 
the Blackbird is two of my favourite razors. I like the brass a little more than the steel, and it is a shame the brass version is no longer made. Still, Titanium is coming back soon and if this is the best of all - as many attest - then the Blackbird will be three of my favourites.
 
What an awesome story! Thank you for supporting that Kickstarter six years ago. Without you, we'd never have gotten off the ground so you'll have my gratitude forever.

Also, that stupid tin with the wood shavings is ridiculous, but a bit nostalgic (and rare).
Thank you for your kind words. It pained me greatly to sell my first blackbird. But I believe I wasn’t ready for it at that time. I regretted selling it almost instantly. This Brass one is absolutely beautiful. And as a 3D Printing enthusiast, I can’t wait until the Era comes out. Hopefully I can get one without waiting too long.
 
Great story Brad. I've been there,lol. I see these beautiful razors with awesome reviews and dream about bbs, weeper less shaves everyday and then finally pull the trigger and learn quick there is a learning curve.

I've been eyeing the Blackbird but can't decide on the SS or Brass. Will you be polishing it or let it patina?

I will let it patina for a while. Some day I will polish my brass razors. Just not yet. 😎. I like them to look like they are 100 years old. 😜
 
I had a similar journey with the R41... Bought and sold it 4 times... Including the stainless steel version... Now I have the titanium version :)

By the way I strongly regret selling my Dart.. and now it is not available anymore...
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Great story, Brad.

I've had a Blackbird for a while but mostly didn't get along with it until fairly recently.


Blackbird.OpenComb.Brass.Baseplate.Ti.NY.10-14-21.JPG


Steep for sure. I had a titanium handle custom made to fit it, too. The original handle is too skinny for my tastes. Interesting things we learn in this hobby.

Have you tried any of the modern high end adjustables?


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Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I have not. I have a bunch of vintage adjustables, and a Mergress. Not a huge adjustable fan, so I never felt inclined to drop big dollars on a modern version.


I theory I've long thought adjustables are stupid, but I'm rethinking that.

Perhaps you'll avoid the rabbit hole, but it's too late for me.

I know what a Mergress is, but haven't used one. Aside from being adjustable how does it rate as a razor once you find a suitable setting?

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I theory I've long thought adjustables are stupid, but I'm rethinking that.

Perhaps you'll avoid the rabbit hole, but it's too late for me.

I know what a Mergress is, but haven't used one. Aside from being adjustable how does it rate as a razor once you find a suitable setting?

Happy shaves,

Jim
The Mergress is great. A very capable shaver. I would recommend starting with a Progress first. If you like that well enough, but think it would be better with a bit of tuning and with better balance, then move up to the Mergress. If you think the Progress is fine, then don’t bother… just stay with the stock razor.

And for the record, I ordered a Pearl Flexi V4 today for Black Friday. Should be a fun razor to test. At the Black Friday price, it’s a low risk. Not really looking to spent $200+ on a high Zoot adjustable though.
 
... or ... A Tale of Two Blackbirds...

Years ago, I was a participant in the original crowd funding campaign (KS) for the first Blackbird razor. I pledged for the Black Oxide, with the 101 mm handle. When it arrived, it was a glorious specimen. Shortly after, I bought the first batch Open Comb baseplate when it was released. I had never before spent that much on a razor. And it would be years later before I eclipsed that price point. However, the razor was too much for me, and I could not get a shave without irritation and weepers. I loved the super close shave I got with this weapon of mass beard destruction. But it came at a price. So I did not use it often. I pulled it out every once in while in the hopes that my technique would improve to the point that I could make it work for me. I was predominantly a medium to mild razor shaver, and this one was just too much.

Over my many years of wet shaving, I had accumulated a massive collection of vintage and modern razors. Most of them were inexpensive, sub $100 razors. A lot of them were found in the wild in the sub-$20 price range. I love collecting things, and collecting razors with their associated paraphernalia became a great and fulfilling hobby.

One day I had an epiphany... Instead of accumulating hundreds of inexpensive razors, and always hunting for that awesome deal on that rare razor, I decided to just go out and buy what I wanted. (Please dont judge me harshly for this... but I just wanted to hit that bucket list earnestly.) First thing I did was put my name on the Wolfman waiting list. Then I kind of forgot about it. Next I bought the bucket list vintage Gillettes... Toggle, Hybrid Tech, Brit Crat, Psycho Tech, etc. After a number of months elapsed, I turned my attention to the Modern razors. And as part of this process, I started selling off some razors that I did not use enough.

The first real eye-opener was the purchase of a brand new stainless Charcoal Goods Level 2 with the Bishop handle. This was a couple of years ago when Brian was still making these things. Then.... remember that Wolfman waiting list entry? Well my name popped up like a week later! What to do? Already blew a pile of cash on the CG. Bail on the Wolf? No way! So the poor dusty Black Oxide Blackbird went to the BST, along with some of its other neglected friends.

So now I had a Level 2 and a WR2 1.15. I had a tough time with both of them at first. But it wasn't as bad as the Blackbird had been. I was getting great shaves! But there was still a bit of irritation and blade feel that I did not know how to deal with. So I went onto the forums and started discussing these points with guys that know a thing or two about shaving. At that time, there were many people here that were the source of incredible knowledge for me. But Dan (@Hannah's Dad) was the guy that really took the time to guide me in the right direction. He uttered two words that really changed my shaving forever! And with that, I learned to "Shave Steep" ... and almost instantly, I started getting Hyper-Efficient shaves like I never had before... all with incredible smoothness! I started really enjoying aggressive razors. And those mild and medium razors I thoroughly enjoyed before this were almost useless to me. (But that would also change as my techniques improved further.) I went to the Charcoal Goods Level 3... the WR2 1.25, then 1.55. Got a WR1 .80 OC... and started using my Gillette Adjustables on 9. You get the picture. I was amazed at the evolution in my shaving.

But I had one huge regret the minute I learned how to shave steep.... I regretted selling that Blackbird! I have been lusting after one ever since. But I just could not bring myself to re-purchase a razor I sold off due to bad shaves... I just couldn't.

Well, today that finally ended! I saw a great looking polished Brassbird with the SB plate and the 85 mm handle on the BST, and made the deal. I have been on quite a Brass razor kick these days, and figured that was the way to go. Many thanks to the seller! Before it even shipped I went up to the Blackland site and ordered the 101 mm handle and OC plate! Yeah, I was jumping in with both feet. The shave was fantastic. I hit it super steep. And it was super smooth! To borrow a phrase from fellow steep shaver @never-stop-learning... I would say the Blackbird definitely runs with the Big Dogs.

And one more thing... when I was sorting out the learning curve for my first Wolfman, someone suggested I try the Perma Sharp blades in the gold box. I was a confirmed Polsilver user, and didn't think that a Perma Sharp would have a big impact on the Wolf's shave, but it most certainly did! The Perma Sharp smoothed out the Wolf's shave even more... and works better than any other blade in that razor. So when I got my Brassbird out for its inaugural shave this morning, I grabbed a fresh Perma Sharp. Fantastic shave! Thanks for reading my long winded story. But it was a journey of many years, and I wanted to share. Stay smooth!

My original first-batch Blackbird:

View attachment 1366700

My new Brassbird:

View attachment 1366701

Today's Fantastic Shave:

View attachment 1366702
Terrific tale...I enjoyed it very much to put a comment. I have always loved and dreamed about the Brass Blackbird. It will remain my dream for now... 😅 So glad to see how you are able to overcome the challenges.
Your newly obtained Blackbird looks amazingly gorgeous!! Enjoy!
 
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