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Atelier Durdan Le Maurice 1.4 Review – Old World Elegance

Holding the Stainless Steel Le Maurice feels like holding a piece of the old world. The square angles of the head, the stubby round handle with simple engraved lines, and the 98g heft, combine to make it feel premodern. But not something crude. On the contrary, it exudes functionality, reliability, and simple elegance.

In the hand the proportions are generous. I purchased the long handle at 95mm bringing the total length to 102mm (4”). The 1.4mm blade-gap head is 25mm from safety-bar to safety-bar and the top-cap is broad at 20mm. I purchased the closed-comb head with “grooves” which resemble shallow scalloping on the outside edge of the safety bar, which combine to create nice glide. It’s also sold in an open-comb and closed-comb smooth variant (no grooves). Overall, the razor feels well-balanced and satisfying to hold.

The way it shaves is best described as traditional, in the sense that it’s straightforward with no singular feature or characteristic which stands out. The audio feedback is good, the blade clamping is solid, and it gets the job done.

One nice feature of the Le Maurice is that it’s offered in seven variants of blade-gap ranging from 0.8 to 2.0. Augustin, the engineer behind the company, adopted the unique design strategy of fixing the blade exposure at 0.05mm for all blade-gaps. On the website he recommends newcomers begin with the 1.0mm blade-gap. As I prefer razors with medium to high efficiency I opted for the 1.4mm gap.

My one major criticism of the razor is that the wide 1.4mm blade gap leaves the blade quite exposed and easy to create nicks if not mindful. In addition, as the blade exposure remains constant at all gaps, given the simple design of the head it’s not clear that the wider gap creates additional efficiency. I use a Wizamet Superior Iridium as a base-line with all razors to compare performance, and with the Le Maurice 1.4 my shaves consistently came in below BBS at around DFS+. In addition, the wide gap creates quite a bit of blade feel, reducing comfort, and making it tricky to find the best angle which makes shaving outcomes feel somewhat inconsistent. In addition, the razor requires quite a bit of effort and concentration to avoid getting bitten. As a result, despite its beauty and decent efficiency, it’s composite score relative to my other top razors is low (see below).

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In sum, the Le Maurice is a fun and beautiful razor, and one which I enjoy owning. Given the efficiency is on the low-side, it’s not clear to me that the challenges which come with the wider 1.4mm blade-gap are worth it. If I had to buy it again, I’d be tempted to buy the 1.0mm blade-gap head which I suspect would be almost as efficient with higher comfort, better consistency, and easier to use.

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Beautiful razor. The machining looks top notch.

I would try experimenting with different blades to try and increase efficiency. I find that sharper blades work best with mild razors. I have 3 mild razors and I'll use Feathers or Treet Carbon's in them and that has increased their efficiency and gives me a smooth BBS. But I don't use those same blades in my more aggressive razors. They're just to much then.

I know that you probably know this already, but I just thought I'd mention it🙂
 
I really appreciate your comparison chart!
We should all be doing this tbh, but it's not easy putting numbers on such things.

May I be as curious as to ask if there are more razors on that list that could be revealed? I see you've mentionned the Athena. Is there an Ares in there as well?
I ask because I haven't tried any of your benchmark razors, and it would be really helpful to compare your numbers to something I AM familiar with.

/Edit People often tell me that when I am offered a finger, I take a hand. I can see why now, lol. I am asking this purely out of interest and mean no disrespect!
 
I really appreciate your comparison chart!
We should all be doing this tbh, but it's not easy putting numbers on such things.

May I be as curious as to ask if there are more razors on that list that could be revealed? I see you've mentionned the Athena. Is there an Ares in there as well?
I ask because I haven't tried any of your benchmark razors, and it would be really helpful to compare your numbers to something I AM familiar with.

/Edit People often tell me that when I am offered a finger, I take a hand. I can see why now, lol. I am asking this purely out of interest and mean no disrespect!
@Shaun asleep actually expanding the chart is a great idea. I used these razors because they are currently the ones in my rotation and my ability to assign scores will be more accurate. If some of my other razors make it back into the rotation I'll add them. Thanks for the feedback!
 
Holding the Stainless Steel Le Maurice feels like holding a piece of the old world. The square angles of the head, the stubby round handle with simple engraved lines, and the 98g heft, combine to make it feel premodern. But not something crude. On the contrary, it exudes functionality, reliability, and simple elegance.

In the hand the proportions are generous. I purchased the long handle at 95mm bringing the total length to 102mm (4”). The 1.4mm blade-gap head is 25mm from safety-bar to safety-bar and the top-cap is broad at 20mm. I purchased the closed-comb head with “grooves” which resemble shallow scalloping on the outside edge of the safety bar, which combine to create nice glide. It’s also sold in an open-comb and closed-comb smooth variant (no grooves). Overall, the razor feels well-balanced and satisfying to hold.

The way it shaves is best described as traditional, in the sense that it’s straightforward with no singular feature or characteristic which stands out. The audio feedback is good, the blade clamping is solid, and it gets the job done.

One nice feature of the Le Maurice is that it’s offered in seven variants of blade-gap ranging from 0.8 to 2.0. Augustin, the engineer behind the company, adopted the unique design strategy of fixing the blade exposure at 0.05mm for all blade-gaps. On the website he recommends newcomers begin with the 1.0mm blade-gap. As I prefer razors with medium to high efficiency I opted for the 1.4mm gap.

My one major criticism of the razor is that the wide 1.4mm blade gap leaves the blade quite exposed and easy to create nicks if not mindful. In addition, as the blade exposure remains constant at all gaps, given the simple design of the head it’s not clear that the wider gap creates additional efficiency. I use a Wizamet Superior Iridium as a base-line with all razors to compare performance, and with the Le Maurice 1.4 my shaves consistently came in below BBS at around DFS+. In addition, the wide gap creates quite a bit of blade feel, reducing comfort, and making it tricky to find the best angle which makes shaving outcomes feel somewhat inconsistent. In addition, the razor requires quite a bit of effort and concentration to avoid getting bitten. As a result, despite its beauty and decent efficiency, it’s composite score relative to my other top razors is low (see below).

View attachment 1868713

In sum, the Le Maurice is a fun and beautiful razor, and one which I enjoy owning. Given the efficiency is on the low-side, it’s not clear to me that the challenges which come with the wider 1.4mm blade-gap are worth it. If I had to buy it again, I’d be tempted to buy the 1.0mm blade-gap head which I suspect would be almost as efficient with higher comfort, better consistency, and easier to use.

View attachment 1868715View attachment 1868716
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Late to your thread!
I'm sure you've already figured this out but I'll still post it. Maybe somebody can use this info:

The head design plays a huge role in what the efficiency will be. It's not just Gap/Exposure!
Your particular face also plays a role (You have the Blackbird listed as a 10 in efficiency, I had the OC version which is supposed to be the most aggressive & efficient and it didn't give me those results)
I have (and have had) razors with every possible combination of gaps & exposures:
i.e., Large gap, low exposure, large exposure, small gap, negative, neutral or positive (in all ranges) etc..
And they've all given different results!
I've had some that have twice the positive exposure as compared to others that don't (regardless of gap) and they've been less efficient.
So that's just two things out of the many components that will determine efficiency (and even smoothness).
You're not the only one here that has said that it's efficiency doesn't match what is expected based off of it's specs.
It's head design is probably what makes it give the results you're getting!
But I'm sure it's smooth!! So regardless, I'm sure it's a nice razor.
I had the Vestige but haven't tried the Le Maurice. Maybe some day I'll give it a chance!!
 
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Holding the Stainless Steel Le Maurice feels like holding a piece of the old world. The square angles of the head, the stubby round handle with simple engraved lines, and the 98g heft, combine to make it feel premodern. But not something crude. On the contrary, it exudes functionality, reliability, and simple elegance.

In the hand the proportions are generous. I purchased the long handle at 95mm bringing the total length to 102mm (4”). The 1.4mm blade-gap head is 25mm from safety-bar to safety-bar and the top-cap is broad at 20mm. I purchased the closed-comb head with “grooves” which resemble shallow scalloping on the outside edge of the safety bar, which combine to create nice glide. It’s also sold in an open-comb and closed-comb smooth variant (no grooves). Overall, the razor feels well-balanced and satisfying to hold.

The way it shaves is best described as traditional, in the sense that it’s straightforward with no singular feature or characteristic which stands out. The audio feedback is good, the blade clamping is solid, and it gets the job done.

One nice feature of the Le Maurice is that it’s offered in seven variants of blade-gap ranging from 0.8 to 2.0. Augustin, the engineer behind the company, adopted the unique design strategy of fixing the blade exposure at 0.05mm for all blade-gaps. On the website he recommends newcomers begin with the 1.0mm blade-gap. As I prefer razors with medium to high efficiency I opted for the 1.4mm gap.

My one major criticism of the razor is that the wide 1.4mm blade gap leaves the blade quite exposed and easy to create nicks if not mindful. In addition, as the blade exposure remains constant at all gaps, given the simple design of the head it’s not clear that the wider gap creates additional efficiency. I use a Wizamet Superior Iridium as a base-line with all razors to compare performance, and with the Le Maurice 1.4 my shaves consistently came in below BBS at around DFS+. In addition, the wide gap creates quite a bit of blade feel, reducing comfort, and making it tricky to find the best angle which makes shaving outcomes feel somewhat inconsistent. In addition, the razor requires quite a bit of effort and concentration to avoid getting bitten. As a result, despite its beauty and decent efficiency, it’s composite score relative to my other top razors is low (see below).

View attachment 1868713

In sum, the Le Maurice is a fun and beautiful razor, and one which I enjoy owning. Given the efficiency is on the low-side, it’s not clear to me that the challenges which come with the wider 1.4mm blade-gap are worth it. If I had to buy it again, I’d be tempted to buy the 1.0mm blade-gap head which I suspect would be almost as efficient with higher comfort, better consistency, and easier to use.

View attachment 1868715View attachment 1868716
View attachment 1868717
Nice collection of razors - I'm a big fan of Wizamet's as well and I am also a fan of doing comparisons. Your chart was quite helpful - It gave me a way to compare the Overlander (which I was thinking about) with the Athena, Blackbird and Timeless 95 (which I have)

Thanks!
 
Nice collection of razors - I'm a big fan of Wizamet's as well and I am also a fan of doing comparisons. Your chart was quite helpful - It gave me a way to compare the Overlander (which I was thinking about) with the Athena, Blackbird and Timeless 95 (which I have)

Thanks!
@BigAlVista thank you. Here’s another representation of the data with some new razors added.

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I have copper atelier durdan maurice in gaps 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6

I would rank, based on your chart
1.2 - 6 efficiency , 9 comfort, 8 consistency, 8 ease of use
1.4 - 7 efficiency , 8 comfort, 8 consistency, 7 ease of use
1.6 - 8 efficiency , 8 comfort, 9 consistency, 8 ease of use

*this is based on using it with PolSilver blades
 
I have copper atelier durdan maurice in gaps 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6

I would rank, based on your chart
1.2 - 6 efficiency , 9 comfort, 8 consistency, 8 ease of use
1.4 - 7 efficiency , 8 comfort, 8 consistency, 7 ease of use
1.6 - 8 efficiency , 8 comfort, 9 consistency, 8 ease of use

*this is based on using it with PolSilver blades
Your composite scores are 1.2mm 31, 1.4mm 30, 1.6 33. It's interesting that you rate them all so much higher on comfort, consistency and ease-of-use. I'm going to reexamine my scores, which may have been a bit punitive. The difficulty I face is the blade gap on the 1.4 is so wide that it seems to make it easy to get nicks. I may need to dial-in my technique.
 
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