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A Few Good Men, Redux. $1.25 razor challenge…

Evening Shave - 06/10/24
Razor:
RazoRock Mentor
Blade: Assured For Men Blade (2)
Soap: BSS #1
Brush: RazoRock Plissoft RR400
Aftershave: AV Musk
Shave Comfort: 10/10 (Smooth)
Shave Quality: 9/10 (DFS+)
Shave Rating: 9.5/10
Slightly less close than previous shave, but still a very smooth one. 12 hours after the shave and it is still a nice DFS so I deem that being a great shave. No irritation and a pleasant shave.

I think for this Dollar Tree 3-piece razor that it is the razor itself that is the main issue for me. The blades seems to work just fine once I put them in a decent, familiar razor. Sure they are not the sharpest and probably will not be the longest lasting blades, but if you are on the road and without blades and a Dollar Tree near by, sure why not. It will be cheaper to pick up the $1.25 razor and just use the blade than going into CVS or similar and get a 5-pack of the blades they carry for 4-5 dollars. Of course we also know that using the razor is certainly doable, if the need arises.
 
Shave #1

Evening Shave - 06/10/24
Razor:
Assured For Men 3-piece
Blade: Assured For Men Blade (1)
Soap: RazoRock XXX
Brush: RazoRock 400
Aftershave: Nivea Men Deep Comfort After Shave - Vanilla & Bourbon

Got my first head shave with the Assured For Men razor set in the books last night. My experience not what I was initially expecting when I signed up for the challenge, but it was very much in line with the other reviews I’ve seen here so far.

The razor looks incredibly cheap, but is surprisingly solid and free of any major issues that I couldn’t work around. I didn’t weigh the razor, but it’s very lightweight, the top cap feels like a single thin layer of metal and the handle is mostly plastic. I was immediately worried that the top cap and base cap wouldn’t hold the blade securely enough, but my surprise this ended up not being an issue for me.

Not really trusting the razor or the blade, I was very mindful to have a solid lather going throughout the shave. My previous shave was with the Lupo Aluminum, so I thankfully already had a decent feel and touch for the light weight of the Assured For Men razor. The grip and comfort on handle was good enough, and I had no problem finding the correct shaving angle.

The only but significant complaint I had was the blade, it was just awful. The blade was rough and dull and felt like it was scraping my scalp rather than cutting. First stroke was “ahhh, well this sucks”, second stroke was “what the hell did I sign myself up for?”, third stroke was “yeah, don’t know if I’ll be finishing this shave”.

I finished my first WTG pass despite not wanting to, and I had to admit it did start to feel better as I kept going. Not sure this was from the blade breaking in or from me kinda just getting used to it. Results from my first pass were respectable; close enough with no nicks or irritation.

I relathered and went back for a second WTG pass and was surprised yet again. The blade was still scraping but it wasn’t quite as bad with me already knowing what to expect.

Ending results were a solid DFS after two WTG passes, and no irritation to speak of. Comfort rating would be about as low as I can imagine however.

I’m really curious to try this razor with a decent blade. I suspect it would make for a respectable low budget or travel razor. I’m impressed that Assured For Men managed to package this all for $1.25, but man, I kinda wished they had sold it without the blades for $1.20 or with decent blades for $1.30 😂
 

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Blade 2 Shave 1 Total Shave 4

My third shave on blade 1 was downright uncomfortable, so I decided to try something today. I put Blade #2 into my RazoRock SLOC. I chose the SLOC since it seems to be pretty blade-agnostic.

I got a tolerable to almost good shave. It was far more comfortable in the SLOC, and did a fair job cutting my whiskers. I ended the shave with no irritation, cuts, or weepers. I admit to not pushing the blade hard, but I gave it two solid passes to show me its capability. It's not extremely close, but I look shaved and I feel fine. I could shave everyday with this combo if needed. I also think I could push this blade to give a far better shave than I settled for today, but shave #2 and #3 were weighing on my mind.

Tomorrow, it will be back into the 3 piece. I probably won't count this toward my shave total, but I still wanted to give the blade a fair shake in a handle I trusted.
 
Evening Shave - 06/10/24
Razor:
RazoRock Mentor
Blade: Assured For Men Blade (2)
Soap: BSS #1
Brush: RazoRock Plissoft RR400
Aftershave: AV Musk
Shave Comfort: 10/10 (Smooth)
Shave Quality: 9/10 (DFS+)
Shave Rating: 9.5/10
Slightly less close than previous shave, but still a very smooth one. 12 hours after the shave and it is still a nice DFS so I deem that being a great shave. No irritation and a pleasant shave.

I think for this Dollar Tree 3-piece razor that it is the razor itself that is the main issue for me. The blades seems to work just fine once I put them in a decent, familiar razor. Sure they are not the sharpest and probably will not be the longest lasting blades, but if you are on the road and without blades and a Dollar Tree near by, sure why not. It will be cheaper to pick up the $1.25 razor and just use the blade than going into CVS or similar and get a 5-pack of the blades they carry for 4-5 dollars. Of course we also know that using the razor is certainly doable, if the need arises.

That's an interesting observation, Boris. I need to try the Assured blades in another razor. I have used other blades in the Assured razor and rather like its performance, given the low cost of entry. Then again, I didn't have the threading problem with mine, so maybe I got a good sample through luck of the draw.
 
I also suspected the blade was worse than razor, but I have yet to test the two separately. It could have also just been a 1+1= something less than 2 situation. I did have the thought mid-shave that the light razor really wasn't doing the dull blade any favors.
 
A Few Good Men, Redux - Epilogue

TL;DR
- Finish on the razor is quite decent, no rust observed, actually might last a good long while!!

Post Participation Observations: Now that my sentence is up, I was doing the final cleaning on the razor and noticed that there are no rust spots or signs of wear. It's too bad that the razor was so harsh, because it seems like it would have made a decent travel razor. The original AFM razor began rusting after the first use, and then completely fell apart after shave 4. This iteration is of a "higher quality" and may have some longevity to it.
 
I’m really curious to try this razor with a decent blade. I suspect it would make for a respectable low budget or travel razor. I’m impressed that Assured For Men managed to package this all for $1.25, but man, I kinda wished they had sold it without the blades for $1.20 or with decent blades for $1.30 😂
I had to laugh when I read this. I feel the same way but in the opposite way. I do not jive with the razor, but the blades I can get 3 good shaves out or maybe even more. 🤣
 
That's an interesting observation, Boris. I need to try the Assured blades in another razor. I have used other blades in the Assured razor and rather like its performance, given the low cost of entry. Then again, I didn't have the threading problem with mine, so maybe I got a good sample through luck of the draw.
Yeah it is not half bad blade to me. It is not the sharpest, I'll grant you that, but it is ok. We will see how many shaves that it hold up for this week. So far they have been comfortable shaves. You probably do need a bit more of an aggressive razor though. In a mild one I have a feeling it would struggle.
 
I think trying the razor and blade separately is going to tell us a lot more. I have been using the blade in old familiar RR Mentor and after two shaves it is doing well. I am thinking of trying a good quality blade in the razor once I am done with the blade eval. It will be interesting to see the outcome.
 
I think trying the razor and blade separately is going to tell us a lot more. I have been using the blade in old familiar RR Mentor and after two shaves it is doing well. I am thinking of trying a good quality blade in the razor once I am done with the blade eval. It will be interesting to see the outcome.
I think this is reason enough for me to take a slight detour on this challenge this week. Thinking I'll try a fresh AFM blade in my Lupo Aluminum next, and then maybe a Perma-Sharp in the AFM razor after that. I'll report back.
 
6/11 Shave #6

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! One more to go. I used a fresh AFM blade in the AFM razor this morning. The Irish Countryside provided a nice slick protective layer. Did my normal WTG, ATG with and XTG on the jaw line followed by some buffing. ATG was still rough but doable. The end result was very good. Despite some minor discomfort on the ATG pass, the rest of the shave wasn't bad. This one was probably as close to BBS as I can expect with this rig. Finished off with a splash of Aqua Velva Ice Blue.
 
Shave 4
Second shave with #2 blade. Thankfully I won't have to do that again 🙂 next three blades will be one and done! Two passes wtg and xtg. Better than last shave, no weepers and much less irritation. Paid more attention to pressure. Still lots of tugging and nothing seems to help with that. Just the way it is.
 
Morning Shave - 06/12/24
Razor:
RazoRock Mentor
Blade: Assured For Men Blade (3)
Soap: BSS #1
Brush: RazoRock Plissoft RR400
Aftershave: Skin Bracer
Shave Comfort: 10/10 (Smooth)
Shave Quality: 8/10 (DFS)
Shave Rating: 9/10
The closeness of the shave has been steadily decreased with this blade. It shows that the blade is wearing out and needs to be replaced. I think this blade is a 2-3 shave blade. I still had a presentable shave with no irritation so I should not complain too much. For me this is the limit with this blade. Not because I could not use it with more shaves, but it no longer gives me the shave result that I desire. I will use up the remaining 2 blades I have this week.
 
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Blade 2 Shave 2

OK, I put a spare handle on the AFM head, and this was the best shave of the bunch so far using the AFM head. Don't get me wrong, it's still not great but it isn't painful at least. I did my full three passes, and I had a very nice result at the end. An easy DFS+ bordering on BBS.

So, I felt like I was cheating a bit, but I'm not really sad. I don't think I'll go back to the original handle. I just don't enjoy the quality of the shave with the light handle.

This does bring up some plans for future shaves around this razor and blade:

* try other handles with the AFM head and blade
* try other blades in the original AFM head/handle
* try other blades with the original AFM head/different handle
* try a new top cap on the AFM baseplate with the AFM blades
* retry the AFM TTO ( I have one some where around here I think )

I'm headed to Scout Caon camp next week and I don't think I'm brave enough to work on those projects then. I'll finish out my next two shaves on this current setup I used today, and then slowly work through that punch list when I get back.
 
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