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A tale of shaves

I have previously posted about the Mamba 53 and Henson medium.

I also have the Mamba 70 and Leaf Thorn, which I haven't posted about.

Since I'm posting about my experience with different razors, from now on I will share my experiences in this thread only, so that they all can be found in a single place.

I have two other razors incoming right now: the new Taiga "2022" and Razorock BBS.
Leaf Thorn (two shaves)

6-7 days growth.
Astra blue 1st use; Gillette Platinum 2nd use.
One pass WTG (as always).

I used the Thorn twice in a row, followed by the Twig for the last shave so that I could correctly compare the two.

The Thorn is a very smooth razor. The efficiency is slightly better compared to the Twig, but not by much. If you don't have "problem areas" where you are very sensitive to blade feel, the Thorn is a great alternative to the Twig.

However if you do have sensitive areas, as I do, then you will definitely feel the difference between the two razors in those areas: while the Twig is never uncomfortable because of the blade, the Thorn can be.

Overall I think the Twig is the better razor: the difference in smoothness is much greater than the difference in efficiency - the Twig handles 7 days of growth just as easy. I never have to do micro strokes with the Twig.

As such, the Twig is still my favorite razor.

Razorock BBS

6 days growth.
Astra blue 1st use.
One pass WTG.

First shave with the BBS.

The angle is a little different than other DEs, but you dial it in in a couple of strokes.

It shaves incredibly smooth. No blade feel, yet efficient. I think what makes it so smooth is mainly two things:
- Blade rigidity. The combination of a very curved blade, and clamping along the complete blade, makes a significant difference.
- Blade angle. It's a very shallow angle (close to parallel to the skin). Thus you get more of a cutting, and less scraping, action.

Compared to the Twig, which has been my favorite razor so far, the BBS has significantly better clamping, and it's really noticeable.

Not only could I shave my problem area with it (something that only the Twig was capable of), it even did better than the Twig, which is saying a lot.
The advantages of the Twig are that's it's easier to find and stay at the correct angle, and the slimmer and more nimble head. Also it has less drag, not because the BBS is bad in any way, but simply because most DE razors will have a larger surface area in contact with the skin than the Twig.

I would rate the BBS even smoother than both the Mamba 53 and 70. Much smoother than the Henson medium.
Efficiency wise it's probably a little better than the Twig. Better than 53 and 70. Maybe same or slightly below the Henson (not sure at all tbh, but don't think it's any better).

Another thing I noticed is that the blade seems "sharper" with the BBS: I have used the Astra blue in both the Twig and Thorn (and Henson I think), and it was noticeably less effort with the BBS to cut through the stubble. Again it comes down to the blade angle I'm sure. I need more shaves to confirm though.

After this first shave I can already conclude that the BBS is my new favorite. The Twig has finally been dethroned. I didn't expect it, after the Mambas and Henson.

I hope to receive the Taiga this week, but even if I do my next shave will be with the BBS again. I enjoyed it that much.
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So the Taiga has arrived, but the next shave will be with the BBS.

I had read about some quality issues with the Taiga, including in this forum, so before placing the order I reached out to Homelike.
I asked:
I have read some posts of people saying that the setting slider is too easy to move on the SS version.
I have also seen reports (and images) of alignment issues between the top and bottom plate.

Have any adjustments been made in the parts and/or manufacturing of this new batch?

Homelike's reply:
In this batch of razors there will be a more reinforced spring, which will reduce the incidence of such shortcomings, but it is technically impossible to get rid of this completely. Notes on the ease of tightening the ring on the thread are accepted in this batch, the thread rolling is slightly different.

Given their awareness of these issues, and the fact they tried to address it, I placed the order after their response.

Can't wait to give it a try!

Homelike Taiga

6 days growth.
Astra blue 1st use.
One pass WTG.

First shave with the Taiga. I said I'd use the BBS for a 2nd shave, but curiosity got the better of me.

As most here probably know, the Taiga is an adjustable razor with settings 1-6 (you go beyond 6 if desired).

A note on build quality: I had read posts where people complained about the setting slider being so easy to turn that you could twist it with a single finger. That is absolutely not the case with this latest batch. It's very firm now. In fact, it felt a bit like metal grinding against metal out of the box, a lot of friction. So I actually dissembled the razor and applied some silicone spray on the slider threading and where the slider meets the top plate. Made a noticeable difference, and it now has the perfect amount of resistance.

I did the first few strokes on setting 3. Could definitely feel some blade so I dropped it to 2.5 for a couple of strokes. Felt I could drop it to 2 while still easily cutting everything, so I ended up doing most of the shave on setting 2. On 2 I would describe the blade feel as a neutral exposure, while on higher settings it came across more as positive.

The efficiency is awesome, even on setting 2 I think it's more efficient than the BBS. There was zero issue with mowing down 6 days of growth with single strokes. Didn't feel any risk of cutting myself during the shave. Awesome blade clamping.

I think it's a bit draggy, more so than the BBS, but it's not a deal breaker. Any soap worth its salt (or money) should take care of that.

It handled my problem area with no issue, maybe even better than the BBS, which honestly surprised me. (To recap the razors that I couldn't shave my problem area with because of excessive pain from pulling: Henson medium, Mamba 70, Rockwell 6C, the Thorn, Focus R48, Broman, Gillette King C, Mercur 34C, Mercur 37).

Overall it was a great shave, and the face feels great now one hour later. But I think the BBS was smoother, both during the shave and probably post shave by a tiny bit. The Taiga was much better than I expected though: after the massive disappointment of the Rockwell 6C, which everyone praise but which I haven't been able to do a whole shave with yet because of the excessive tugging/scraping, the Taiga is in another league.

It is a great razor for sure. But even if it's an adjustable razor I consider it "traditional" from a blade geometry point of view: the type of shave Taiga provides feels akin to the vast majority of DE razors out there, while the BBS, again, has more of a cutting, not scraping, feel. The BBS is the odd duckling in the DE world, with its very flat blade angle. I think the Astra blue felt "sharper" in the BBS.

To be clear: when I say it's similar to other DE razors I don't mean the shave quality. It's miles ahead in that regard. I'm referring to the general feel, or shave type. People that have used the BBS probably know what I mean.

I could absolutely stick with the Taiga as my single razor going forward (the other two razors are the BBS and the Twig). It's that good. But then again you wouldn't expect any less for that price. I honestly thought it would fail on my problem area, but no such thing, and that's saying a lot.

I put the Taiga ahead of the Twig in every area except drag. Is the Taiga better than the BBS? Not certain at all right now. Initial response would be: probably not? I need to repeat with both razors to know for sure.

Next shave will be with the BBS, after that I'll do the Taiga again.
A quick 24h update: the Taiga on setting 2 is definitely more efficient than the BBS, which is very impressive. I can clearly see and feel the difference.
Given that it has infinite settings above 6 I think the Taiga can provide all the efficiency anyone could ask for.

Compared to the Henson medium, the Taiga has less blade feel while being both significantly more efficient and smoother; seems like an impossible combination, but the Taiga pulls that off somehow.

In some way I'm more impressed today, a day later, than yesterday. Or put in another way: 24h later the Taiga keeps piling on to the initial positive experience.
Razorock BBS

6 days growth.
Astra blue (2).
One pass WTG.

I actually wanted to use the Taiga again for this shave given how well it did the previous shave ("if it ain't broken don't fix it", etc, etc...), including post 24h, but I figured I'd go with the BBS as planned, for a more direct comparison. From that perspective I was looking forward to this shave, in itself and how the BBS would compare to the Taiga again.

The tldr: my 2nd shave with BBS was disappointing, even bad overall.

On my non-problem areas it was fine, in those areas I would still say the BBS felt like it was cutting a bit better than the Taiga. But as soon as I hit my problem areas it went south. A lot of tugging, the blade felt very dull. The only reason I completed the shave with the BBS at all was that first great shave - I was kind hoping it would suddenly "click" again. If it hadn't been for the 1st great shave I would never have finished my problem areas with the BBS. On top of that I got a couple of significant nicks on my jawline.

This time around I also noted that the BBS has significantly more blade feel than the Taiga. Also, it was easier to stay with the correct angle with the Taiga, I felt like it has a more generous effective range. And I can once again state that the Taiga is more efficient.

1h post shave my face felt definitely felt better with the Taiga, and overall everything was so much smoother with it.

Had this been my 1st shave with the BBS I wouldn't have bothered with a 2nd one, I would have disqualified it from further shaves. It was that bad. And I have no further wish to use with it again.

Based on this shave alone, the Taiga blows the BBS out of the water, if only because of the apparent inconsistency between shaves. Not sure how it can differ so much from one shave to the next. I would even put the Twig ahead of the BBS right now.

Post shave I regret not having reached for the Taiga as my guts told me.

Given the day and night difference between the 1st and 2nd shave with BBS, I am now curious if the Taiga will impress as much on the 2nd shave as it did on the 1st one... In a few days I will know. Stay tuned.
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Looking forward to the Taiga’s next use for you
Yeah, I am also very eager to know how well the Taiga will do the next shave. After today's BBS fiasco I don't have expectations of being wowed again.

I currently don't have anything else incoming (though I am considering a couple of purchases), so it's really all down to the Taiga now.
Homelike Taiga

6 days growth.
Astra blue 1st use.
One pass WTG.

First shave with the Taiga. I said I'd use the BBS for a 2nd shave, but curiosity got the better of me.

As most here probably know, the Taiga is an adjustable razor with settings 1-6 (you go beyond 6 if desired).


I put the Taiga ahead of the Twig in every area except drag. Is the Taiga better than the BBS? Not certain at all right now. Initial response would be: probably not? I need to repeat with both razors to know for sure.

Next shave will be with the BBS, after that I'll do the Taiga again.
Sorry to ask, you talk a lot about BBS, which to me is 'Baby Butt Smooth' shave. Apparently you mean a razor; which razor are you referring to?
Sorry to ask, you talk a lot about BBS, which to me is 'Baby Butt Smooth' shave. Apparently you mean a razor; which razor are you referring to?
I found the answer it appears to be an Italian Barber house brand razor called 'baby butt smooth'. Sorry to bother.
No worries :)

Yes, it's the Razorock BBS. I reviewed it here above, right before the Taiga, in this same thread ;)
Italian Barber + Razorock is confusing, I also didn't make the connection in the beginning.
Homelike Taiga

6 days growth.
Astra blue (2).
One pass WTG.

D-day. The initial plan was to shave after 5 days, but a patch (approx. a square inch) of my problem area was constantly sore for a full 4 days from all the excessive tugging after the last shave. Even on day 5 I could still feel some discomfort, so I took another day off. In reality it still didn't feel 100% fine today, but as it will take another few days to completely recover I shaved the sore patch with an electric razor, and the rest of the face with the Taiga. That way I prevent the pain from flaring up again, and I don't unfairly attribute any lingering discomfort to the Taiga after this shave.

I went into this shave with high expectations, mainly because I really wanted to have a great shave after the last very painful experience, but I was also very curious if the Taiga could impress me a second time.

I set the razor on setting 2 to keep everything similar to the first shave.

I noted that the blade didn't feel very sharp this time around either (as with the BBS), it felt duller than the first shave. Compared to the BBS it was still better, and it's easier stay at the correct angle with the Taiga. Also - and it occurred to me only after I finished the shave - it didn't feel draggy at all this time, that thought didn't even cross my mind during the shave. No discernible difference from the BBS.

When I was going to finish up with the upper lip, the blade felt extremely dull on the very first intent of a stroke. I was surprised how bad the blade felt, and that I had managed to almost complete the shave at all with it. So I decided to improvise and replace the blade, and reached for the sharpest tool in the box: a brand new Feather. I have also read that the Taiga manages to tame the Feather really well.

Wow, what a difference! Even with that brief shave of the upper lip it was immediately evident that it was so much smoother, noticeably smoother than even the very first shave I had with the Taiga when I used a brand new Astra SS. It was day and night.

But overall it wasn't a great shave, barely acceptable because of the blade, but I think can draw some conclusions:
  • Even with a bad blade the shave wasn't quite as bad as with the BBS. I got no nicks this time around, and the face feels better post shave.
  • Astra SS doesn't seem to be an ideal blade for the Taiga. From that very brief experience with the Feather, sharp blades seem to do much better. I have a theory as to why, but I'll reserve judgment, and conclusions, for the next shave.
  • The BBS deserves another chance with a different blade: with the BBS I did manage to shave my upper lip, with the Taiga it felt like "mission impossible". That's consistent with what I also noted in my previous two reports, that the BBS seems to cut easier. However, I would also expect the overall shave to have been better with the BBS last time, but that wasn't the case for some reason. I can't explain that.
I thought I liked the Astra SS and even thought about buying a 100-pack, even before having begun to explore my blade samples, but the last two shaves have left me surprised and disappointed. Glad I didn't place that order.

The Taiga didn't really have an opportunity to impress because of the blade. I'd say it fared better than one could reasonably expect though with that blade. OTOH, I didn't shave part of my problem area with it, so maybe it would have ended as bad as the BBS if I would have.... In other words, maybe my last review of the BBS was unfair. Even so, I am much more interested in repeating the shaves with the Taiga than the BBS at this point.

Either way, the Feather ended the shave on such a high note that I really look forward to a full shave with it in the Taiga. That will be my next shave.


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
At one shave every six or seven days, you could use a fresh Feather every time and not have it be too expensive.
At one shave every six or seven days, you could use a fresh Feather every time and not have it be too expensive.
You are right!
Though I hope/expect to get at least two great shaves with each blade. I'm thinking ideally even four (equivalent of two full shaves with each side), but not sure how realistic that is. But I certainly won't push it from now on - I reported on the feeling of a dull blade on the previous shave, that should have been enough to immediately discard the blade from the start on this shave; if it feels dull I will assume it actually is dull, and swap it, no matter how few shaves it has under the belt :)
Lesson learned the hard way.

The goal is to reduce the frequency to every four days, but whenever I slowly reduce the frequency I seem to hit that very bad shave that then forces me to take extra days off, and then I have to start all over again at six or seven days.


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
It’s possible a Feather changed after every 1-4 shaves will make that more likely. Hoping you can try after the next few shaves
Yes, if my brief shave with the Feather is anything to go by, I think the next few shaves will be smooth enough to be able to keep a regular cadence until I reach four days.
If the shave is actually as comfortable as I hope, I don't think I will be doing much experimentation in the meantime.

But since I'm grazing the subject: just yesterday I snagged a Lupo 72 from the BST :)
The curiosity for a more blade forward razor got to me!
It has to cross the ocean though so it will be at least a couple of weeks until it arrives.
Homelike Taiga

6 days growth.
Feather (1).
One pass WTG.

After the last shave's final few strokes with the Feather, I was very much looking forward to this shave.

I started at setting 2, but it felt so good right away that I increased it slightly to 2.25 (which translates to a blade gap of 1.05 mm).

And holy cow, the Feather brought up the Taiga a whole notch! As I had deduced from the last week's brief glimpse into the Taiga + Feather combo, the shave was extremely smooth. It delivered in spades - it was the best shave I have had in a very very long time. The Feather made shaving my problem area virtually painless, something I have never even been close to be able to claim!
And just as important, I didn't get the impression that it was a "fluke" great shave, that we get once in a while when the moon and the stars all align, but rather that it's a repeatable process. And that's huge.

I got a nick, but that was on my for not respecting the sharpest blade around.

I used Feathers exclusively for many years before but could never get comfortable shaves with them, it was always various degrees of rough (most often a high degree). Because of that I'm hesitant to reach for one these days, after I started exploring some other blades. But Feather is a great match for the Taiga. It never felt harsh. As I briefly alluded to in my previous post, I think what makes a sharp blade shine in this razor is its virtually neutral blade exposure and the particular blade angle (and possibly blade gap/setting). It almost requires a sharp blade to shine its brightest.

The Taiga fully impressed me. I genuinely think that this shave was about as good as it can realistically get for me, it was that good. If I can consistently get these kind of shaves, the Taiga will completely win me over (it already has tbh). Add to this that I can play with different gaps, and there is much left to explore and potential left on the table.

Of course, it won't stop me from trying other razors (hello Lupo 72!), but the Taiga reigns supreme right now.
Homelike Taiga

6 days growth.
Feather (2).
One pass WTG.

For this shave I decided to dial it down to setting 2, and 1.5 for my problem area.

Even with the 2nd use of the Feather it was a better shave than with the Astra's blue 1st shave, but not quite as smooth as the previous 1st shave with the fresh Feather. As such, I won't do a third shave with Feathers. I will chuck them after two shaves, so I don't get anywhere close to the disaster of the last shave with the Astra.

Maybe I have gotten used to it, but I didn't notice any kind of drag (nor the last time, which is why I forgot to mention it at all). Not sure what I got that impression in my first shave with it...

But I think I prefer the higher setting of the last shave, so the next time I will increase the gap a bit.

Overall it was an good shave. It confirmed my previous impression of being able to repeatedly get great shaves with the Taiga + Feather combo, so for now I won't change anything, and I don't see any surprise there that could throw me off the cadence.

But, the Lupo 72 will land any day now, and with its blade forward design I could easily be back to square...
Homelike Taiga

7 days growth.
Feather (1).
One pass WTG.

I cranked up the setting to 2.5, and 2 for my problem area.

The brand new Feather provided a noticeably better shave than last week's 2nd use, so I definitely won't go beyond two shaves per blade going forward.

I also enjoyed the higher gap settings: it provides a significantly closer shave and more generous range of angle. It one of the closest shaves I have had, all while the Taiga keeps the Feather perfectly smooth. Overall a magnificent shave. As such I will keep increasing the gap over time, which should mean even closer shaves.

And as I have noted in another thread, the precision of the threading is impressive - even a 0.25 change is noticeable.

I have Bic Chrome Platinum sample blades which I have never tried. Not sure if I'll stick with Feather for my next shave or try the Bic, which supposedly are almost equally sharp.
I also expect to have the Lupo 72 by then, which is a whole different beast...
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