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ATT Atlas SE2: Measurements, Photo Analysis, Review

Summary

  • The Above the Tie (ATT) Atlas SE2 Artist Club (AC) safety razor was photographed and measured. General measurements (mass, length, center of mass, etc.) were made and safety razor parameters (blade exposure, guard span, blade angle, etc.) were analyzed.
  • The SE2 (open comb) blade exposure, guard span, blade angle, and blade gap are larger than with the SE1 (scalloped bar), and with its open comb, the SE2 is definitely more aggressive than the SE1
  • The sample blade exposure of 0.35 mm is considered by the author to be very aggressive. The author has found that he prefers a more neutral blade exposure. Quantitative measurements can be correlated with individual preferences to help each shaver understand what works best for him.

Introduction


The Above the Tie (ATT) Atlas SE2 is an open comb, three-piece Artist Club (AC) safety razor that is CNC machined out of 303 stainless steel in the USA. The Atlas handle has a classic "barber pole" look, as ATT states. The analyzed version here comes from 2017, after ATT made the SE2 baseplate more aggressive near the end of 2016, but it is possible that a newly machined model might be somewhat different.

Special Thanks to Chan Eil Whiskers


Back in August 2018, @Chan Eil Whiskers (Jim) lent me his ATT Atlas SE2 and two other single-edge (SE) razors. I was supposed to analyze those razors in a reasonable amount of time, but I let the project slip by, and eventually, the years passed. Jim was incredibly patient and understandably asked for his razors back around the end of 2021. Thankfully, he agreed to give me extra time to do what I should have done years ago. I can only hope that this analysis helps make up for my extreme tardiness.

Overall Photos


The ATT Atlas SE2 is nicely machined and finished. The pieces fit together well and the blade automatically aligns itself with pretty even blade exposure.

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Measurements Without a Blade


Below is the general table of measurements for the razor without a blade. Mass was measured with a calibrated scale having a 0.01 g resolution and distances were measured with a calibrated digital caliper having a 0.01 mm resolution. The center of mass was found by carefully balancing the razor on a relatively thin edge and then calculating the location from the top of the razor. Regarding the cap and baseplate, width dimensions are perpendicular to the guard and length dimensions run parallel to the guard, as observed from the top of the razor. Dimensions are averages of a few or several measurements, possibly derived by calculations with two or more parameters.

ATT Atlas SE2 AC Safety Razor: Measurements Without a Blade
Mass112.16 g
Length84.51 mm
Center of Mass from Top29.15 mm
Head Mass50.56 g
Head Height8.25 mm
Thread Size x PitchM5 x 0.8 mm
Thread Length into Handle5.99 mm
Handle Threaded Hole Length9.22 mm
Handle Mass61.60 g
Handle Length76.26 mm
Handle Diameter12.68 mm
Cap Mass17.22 g
Cap Width17.09 mm
Cap Length50.85 mm
Cap Height without Pins4.82 mm
Cap Pin Height0.80 mm
Cap Pin Width2.07 mm
Cap Pin Length6.91 mm
Cap Pin Center-to-Center Distance30.67 mm
Cap Pin Back to Cap Edge Distance4.74 mm
Cap Edge to Baseplate Back Distance18.79 mm
Baseplate Mass33.34 g
Baseplate Width20.98 mm
Baseplate Length50.97 mm
Baseplate Height5.72 mm
Clamp Edge to Baseplate Back Distance17.44 mm
Tooth Thickness1.17 mm
Tooth Gap2.38 mm

Analysis around Blade Cutting Edge


The methodology that was followed for determining parameter values around the blade cutting edge (URL) of an ATT Atlas SE1 AC safety razor (URL) was applied here. The following overall procedure was employed:
  1. Measurements were taken of the cap and baseplate, as tabulated above, with care taken to make measurements that would help with analyzing parameters around the blade cutting edge
  2. The razor was loaded with a sample blade having a width of 8.07 mm, a distance of 1.74 mm from the back edge to the slots, and a thickness of 0.262 mm. Using my accurate set of micrometer-measured feeler gauge blade combinations (URL), blade gap was accurately measured to a precision of 0.01 mm by finding the thickest feeler gauge stack that fit at most places between the guard and the blade cutting edge with room to spare.
  3. The razor was loaded with a modified AC blade that had an unevenly sanded cutting edge and a variable blade width. A flat plastic piece was then moved across the cap and baseplate to find where the plastic contacted the blade. That point of zero/neutral blade exposure was identified.
  4. A small scale was balanced across the cap and guard. The scale was positioned very close to the point where the modified blade's edge would meet the neutral shave plane and touch the scale. My phone's camera was then used to capture a picture for analysis of the neutral cap and guard spans.
  5. The razor was loaded with a modified AC blade having a cutting edge that was evenly sanded off. A blue acrylic piece was taped onto the razor head so that the acrylic securely spanned the neutral shave plane and was approximately centered across it. After the first photo was taken, a second photo was taken with the razor having been turned around 180 degrees inside the vertical wooden stand. I did my best to keep all other geometry the same so that averaging angles from the first and second photos would approximately average out physical mounting biases, particularly whatever bias might have been present from the razor not being perfectly vertical.
  6. The razor was loaded with the sample AC blade and side view photos were taken of the blade cutting edge
  7. Steep and shallow shave plane side view photos were taken using a similar procedure to the neutral shave plane photos
  8. Average dimensions around the blade cutting edge were found using physical and digital measurements

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ATT SE2 AC Safety Razor: Neutral Values* Associated with Zero Blade Exposure
Neutral Blade Width from Back of Pins5.72 mm
Neutral Blade Angle35.57 deg
Neutral Handle Angle39.80 deg
Neutral Guard Span2.05 mm
Neutral Cap Span1.39 mm
Neutral Free-End Distance0.98 mm
Neutral Clamp Distance2.38 mm
*See this ShaveWiki page for definitions

ATT SE2 AC Safety Razor: Parameter Values* Associated with Sample Blade Having Width of 8.07 mm
Steep Blade Angle46.69 deg (w/ 28.68 deg Handle Angle)
Neutral Blade Angle35.57 deg (w/ 39.80 deg Handle Angle)
Shallow Blade Angle27.51 deg (w/ 47.86 deg Handle Angle)
Blade Angle Range19.18 deg
Blade Exposure0.35 mm
Guard Span1.55 mm
Cap Span1.89 mm
Blade Gap0.72 mm
Free-End Distance1.59 mm
Clamp Distance2.99 mm
*See this ShaveWiki page for definitions

SE1 vs. SE2 Parameters


The SE2 is open comb, but its blade exposure, guard span, blade angle, and blade gap are larger than with the SE1, which make the SE2 even more aggressive than the SE1. Parameters around the blade cutting edge are compared below.

ATT SE1ATT SE2
Blade Exposure0.29 mm0.35 mm
Guard Span1.35 mm1.55 mm
Blade Angle31.56 deg35.57 deg
Blade Gap0.53 mm0.72 mm
Cap Span2.09 mm1.89 mm

I Didn't Bother Trying It


Given my experience with the ATT SE1, with how aggressive it was for me, I didn't bother shaving with the even more aggressive SE2.

What's Next?


It feels good to have finished analyzing the three AC razors loaned by @Chan Eil Whiskers (Jim). (Thanks again, Jim!) The Colonial General (first stainless steel version), ATT SE1 (2016), and ATT SE2 (2017) were the first AC or SE razors that I've measured. I'm open to analyzing more AC or SE razors in the future, but in the meantime, I have a renewed interest in analyzing DE razors. The next razor that I will analyze will be the RazoRock BBS Standard that I recently purchased, followed by the RazoRock Mamba 53 that I will be receiving soon. After that, who knows?
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Thanks, Grant.


1644635551633.png

Would you mind adding to this the General's numbers? Just for science of course, and general interest.​


One of my very favorite razors is the ATT CM1 which is a very mild and yet surprisingly efficient bit of gear. It's no longer being made but ATT makes a somewhat similar baseplate which is available. You might find it interesting.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Would you mind adding to this the General's numbers? Just for science of course, and general interest.

Sure thing, Jim. Here you go. You'll see that the Colonial General is similar to the ATT SE1:


Colonial General (1st SS Version)ATT SE1 (2016)ATT SE2 (2017)
Blade Exposure0.31 mm0.29 mm0.35 mm
Guard Span1.07 mm1.35 mm1.55 mm
Blade Angle30.97 deg31.56 deg35.57 deg
Blade Gap0.57 mm0.53 mm0.72 mm
Cap Span3.06 mm2.09 mm1.89 mm

One of my very favorite razors is the ATT CM1 which is a very mild and yet surprisingly efficient bit of gear. It's no longer being made but ATT makes a somewhat similar baseplate which is available. You might find it interesting.

Sounds interesting. I'd like to find the best mild and efficient razor. The RazoRock BBS Standard isn't that for me, but maybe the RazoRock Mamba 53 will work well. Either way, the journey will continue.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Not too long after my General and ATT SE1 and SE2 went on a road trip to visit with Grant I had some AC platform withdrawal issues.


Hawk.AC.ABC.8-12-18.640.JPG




These were largely alleviated by my purchase of the SS DLC Hawk. I don't recall which version of the Hawk mine is. As I recall, there are gentlemen who aren't terribly fond of it, but it might be my favorite of the AC razors. It was an instant hit in my den.

Somewhere down the road I'll compare it with the General and the SE1.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Not too long after my General and ATT SE1 and SE2 went on a road trip to visit with Grant I had some AC platform withdrawal issues.


View attachment 1408530



These were largely alleviated by my purchase of the SS DLC Hawk. I don't recall which version of the Hawk mine is. As I recall, there are gentlemen who aren't terribly fond of it, but it might be my favorite of the AC razors. It was an instant hit in my den.

Somewhere down the road I'll compare it with the General and the SE1.

Happy shaves,

Jim
Well, Jim, if you're up for it, I'm up for analyzing more of your razors :) Is the Hawk not as aggressive as your other AC razors? Why was it an instant hit with you?
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Well, Jim, if you're up for it, I'm up for analyzing more of your razors :) Is the Hawk not as aggressive as your other AC razors? Why was it an instant hit with you?


Grant, I don't remember exactly.

I'm inclined to think maybe it was a combination of things. For one thing it's a very good razor (for me). I'm not sure I can say why I like some razors more or less than others. There are very clearly design parameters I don't understand at all.

For instance, some blade feel feels different to me than other blade feel. Not always knowing exactly what the blade exposure is and what all the other measurable numbers are makes it impossible to do anything more than guess about why I like one razor over another. Plus, I'm not sure any of us really completely understand what makes a great razor better than a good razor in terms of its shave.

Thinking about when I acquired the Hawk...I was really missing the AC platform. (Which I didn't realize was going to happen until it did.) Also, I think the Hawk is just a good razor.

Some of the razors I've used in recent months, particularly the ATT CM1 have convinced me I value the qualities of a good mild razor. Smoothness. Lack of blade feel. Very little propensity to damage my skin. Comfort.

However, I also have a need, or at least a very strong desire, to get a good close shave even in my most impossible areas, the most visible and obvious bell-cow being the soul patch.

Enter the modern adjustables. The Tatara Muramasa has fairly blown my mind. It's a mild razor for sure. Its adjustment range is what I'd consider very small for an adjustable, but also not too small at all. It overtly and explicitly adjusts both gap and blade exposure. (Look up its sales page and study the video, etc.)

The Muramasa has achieved Daily Driver status in my den, Daily Driver being my highest razor ranking. I can use it every day, get a decent shave, and not end up wanting to change razors because of skin issues.

On the other hand, I am just beginning to test my new 2021 Rocnel Sailor Master Collection beauty. I think but don't know for sure its lowest setting has a negative blade exposure. The razor will crank open to gaps far beyond anything I see myself using. It can easily smooth my soul patch on setting V (5) and also go low enough to suit the areas of my face or the directions of my approach where I want negative blade exposure.

Sorry, rambling away from the point.

Grant, I have a lot of razors.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Grant, I don't remember exactly.

I'm inclined to think maybe it was a combination of things. For one thing it's a very good razor (for me). I'm not sure I can say why I like some razors more or less than others. There are very clearly design parameters I don't understand at all.

For instance, some blade feel feels different to me than other blade feel. Not always knowing exactly what the blade exposure is and what all the other measurable numbers are makes it impossible to do anything more than guess about why I like one razor over another. Plus, I'm not sure any of us really completely understand what makes a great razor better than a good razor in terms of its shave.

Thinking about when I acquired the Hawk...I was really missing the AC platform. (Which I didn't realize was going to happen until it did.) Also, I think the Hawk is just a good razor.

Some of the razors I've used in recent months, particularly the ATT CM1 have convinced me I value the qualities of a good mild razor. Smoothness. Lack of blade feel. Very little propensity to damage my skin. Comfort.

However, I also have a need, or at least a very strong desire, to get a good close shave even in my most impossible areas, the most visible and obvious bell-cow being the soul patch.

Enter the modern adjustables. The Tatara Muramasa has fairly blown my mind. It's a mild razor for sure. Its adjustment range is what I'd consider very small for an adjustable, but also not too small at all. It overtly and explicitly adjusts both gap and blade exposure. (Look up its sales page and study the video, etc.)

The Muramasa has achieved Daily Driver status in my den, Daily Driver being my highest razor ranking. I can use it every day, get a decent shave, and not end up wanting to change razors because of skin issues.

On the other hand, I am just beginning to test my new 2021 Rocnel Sailor Master Collection beauty. I think but don't know for sure its lowest setting has a negative blade exposure. The razor will crank open to gaps far beyond anything I see myself using. It can easily smooth my soul patch on setting V (5) and also go low enough to suit the areas of my face or the directions of my approach where I want negative blade exposure.

Sorry, rambling away from the point.

Grant, I have a lot of razors.

Happy shaves,

Jim
I've heard of the Tatara razor(s), but I never looked into it until now. Very interesting! The Tatara Muramasa has blade exposure that goes positive and negative, centered around zero. Also, the Tatara Masamune is stated as having a 24 deg blade angle, which probably also applies to the Tatara Muramasa. A lower blade angle should also contribute to a milder, smoother shave. Since analying many razors, it has bothered me how razor manufacturers stick with around 30 deg blade angles like that is the only option and the perfect angle. I want to see razors made with blade angles of 25 deg, 20 deg, and maybe even lower. Different combinations of blade angle, blade exposure, guard span, etc. would be awesome, but it isn't happening much. The vast majority of razors have positive blade exposure and a roughly 30 deg blade angle. The Tatara Muramasa sounds like a great option, a razor with an apparently lower blade angle of 24 deg with negative-to-positive blade exposure. Let me know if you're willing to part with it for a while. :)
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I've heard of the Tatara razor(s), but I never looked into it until now. Very interesting! The Tatara Muramasa has blade exposure that goes positive and negative, centered around zero. Also, the Tatara Masamune is stated as having a 24 deg blade angle, which probably also applies to the Tatara Muramasa. A lower blade angle should also contribute to a milder, smoother shave. Since analying many razors, it has bothered me how razor manufacturers stick with around 30 deg blade angles like that is the only option and the perfect angle. I want to see razors made with blade angles of 25 deg, 20 deg, and maybe even lower. Different combinations of blade angle, blade exposure, guard span, etc. would be awesome, but it isn't happening much. The vast majority of razors have positive blade exposure and a roughly 30 deg blade angle. The Tatara Muramasa sounds like a great option, a razor with an apparently lower blade angle of 24 deg with negative-to-positive blade exposure. Let me know if you're willing to part with it for a while. :)


In order to even consider parting with the Muramasa for a while I've got to determine if one of the other adjustables reaches Daily Driver status. Can anything stand in for the Muramasa? Better it?

That's a tall order.

I have some other Daily Drivers such as the FOCS and the ATT CM1, but, so far, only the Muramasa does what the Muramasa does. Perhaps the Sailor will do what the Muramasa does, and more, but I don't know that for sure. Not at all.

Also, I've not used the Taiga sufficiently to know much about its capacities for my needs. It likely has potential.

The Rex Konsul adjustable slant may be a contender, too, but it's not been released so for now it's just a pipe dream. It's supposed to be a milder version of the Ambassador as well as a slant according to my very limited understanding of it from the reviews Gus @GlazedBoker did of it.

I've become pretty convinced by Doug @Rosseforp and his photos that adjustables in general vary the blade exposure along with the gap (not in the way the Muramasa does of course), but many start with too much blade exposure for me.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
In order to even consider parting with the Muramasa for a while I've got to determine if one of the other adjustables reaches Daily Driver status. Can anything stand in for the Muramasa? Better it?

That's a tall order.

I have some other Daily Drivers such as the FOCS and the ATT CM1, but, so far, only the Muramasa does what the Muramasa does. Perhaps the Sailor will do what the Muramasa does, and more, but I don't know that for sure. Not at all.

Also, I've not used the Taiga sufficiently to know much about its capacities for my needs. It likely has potential.

The Rex Konsul adjustable slant may be a contender, too, but it's not been released so for now it's just a pipe dream. It's supposed to be a milder version of the Ambassador as well as a slant according to my very limited understanding of it from the reviews Gus @GlazedBoker did of it.

I've become pretty convinced by Doug @Rosseforp and his photos that adjustables in general vary the blade exposure along with the gap (not in the way the Muramasa does of course), but many start with too much blade exposure for me.

Happy shaves,

Jim
I totally understand, Jim. I wouldn't want to part with my favorite, either. The baseplate adjustment of the Muramasa does seem unique. It doesn't do the typical raising/lowering of the baseplate, but increases/decreases the baseplate width instead. Both methods affect blade exposure and blade gap, along with blade angle, etc. The Muramasa, though, has adjustments that center around zero blade exposure, which can't be said of all adjustables. The Rockwell 6C/6S might also have adjustments that are centered around zero blade exposure. I'm not sure.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
If the Rockwell 6C/6S is an adjustable so is the Timeless.

I guess in a way both are, but to me it's a stretch. I do like how these razors and the Karve and the upcoming 3D Blackland have baseplate options so you don't have to buy a new cap and handle to experiment.

Is the Wolfman WR2 an adjustable? Maybe so, kinda sorta.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Since analying many razors, it has bothered me how razor manufacturers stick with around 30 deg blade angles like that is the only option and the perfect angle. I want to see razors made with blade angles of 25 deg, 20 deg, and maybe even lower.
I have a razor that has a 15 deg shaving angle, but the blade is clamped entirely flat. It is like a shavette on a stick. Even though I have two different plates and love them for what they do, having too low of a blade angle like a Gillette Tech does not impart enough rigidity into the blade. This requires the designer to provide the rigidity completely from the blade clamping. I believe this is why there is not more razors, that are well designed, with lower angles. I have a Tatara and the blade clamping is very impressive while keeping an angle that allows me to shave mostly neutral even though there is a tiny amount of blade exposure. I was surprised to discover that my Timeless has a similar angle, but the design of the guard makes it a steep only shaver or irritation awaits. The listed exposure is the same, but the blade feel is totally different. If i am being honest, the Timeless is one smooth shaver for how efficient it is. The Tatara is easier for me to use at different angles while being as smooth, but with noticeably less effectiveness. It's not an entire pass extra difference so it isn't a concern for me. It does get at difficult spots better with less irritation than the Timeless and other steep angle razors. That is why I finally bought it.
 
I have a razor that has a 15 deg shaving angle, but the blade is clamped entirely flat. It is like a shavette on a stick. Even though I have two different plates and love them for what they do, having too low of a blade angle like a Gillette Tech does not impart enough rigidity into the blade. This requires the designer to provide the rigidity completely from the blade clamping. I believe this is why there is not more razors, that are well designed, with lower angles. I have a Tatara and the blade clamping is very impressive while keeping an angle that allows me to shave mostly neutral even though there is a tiny amount of blade exposure. I was surprised to discover that my Timeless has a similar angle, but the design of the guard makes it a steep only shaver or irritation awaits. The listed exposure is the same, but the blade feel is totally different. If i am being honest, the Timeless is one smooth shaver for how efficient it is. The Tatara is easier for me to use at different angles while being as smooth, but with noticeably less effectiveness. It's not an entire pass extra difference so it isn't a concern for me. It does get at difficult spots better with less irritation than the Timeless and other steep angle razors. That is why I finally bought it.
You're saying that blade rigidity would naturally drop with a lower blade angle unless countered by better blade clamping, but I think that the opposite might be true. Think of a standard DE razor, but now curve the blade more to decrease the blade angle. The blade is more curved, not flatter. The standard 30 deg blade angle is often treated like it is a given and the "perfect" angle. It is easier to just stick with that rather than trying to optimize blade angle in combination with other parameters. That's my thinking about it.
 
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You're saying that blade rigidity would naturally drop with a lower blade angle unless countered by better blade clamping, but I think that the opposite might be true. Think of a standard DE razor, but now curve the blade more to decrease the blade angle. The blade is more curved, not flatter. The standard 30 deg blade angle is often treated like it is a given and the "perfect" angle. It is easier to just stick with that rather than trying to optimize blade angle in combination with other parameters. That's my thinking about it.
We are in agreement, but using different definitions.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I have a razor that has a 15 deg shaving angle, but the blade is clamped entirely flat. It is like a shavette on a stick. Even though I have two different plates and love them for what they do, having too low of a blade angle like a Gillette Tech does not impart enough rigidity into the blade. This requires the designer to provide the rigidity completely from the blade clamping. I believe this is why there is not more razors, that are well designed, with lower angles. I have a Tatara and the blade clamping is very impressive while keeping an angle that allows me to shave mostly neutral even though there is a tiny amount of blade exposure. I was surprised to discover that my Timeless has a similar angle, but the design of the guard makes it a steep only shaver or irritation awaits. The listed exposure is the same, but the blade feel is totally different. If i am being honest, the Timeless is one smooth shaver for how efficient it is. The Tatara is easier for me to use at different angles while being as smooth, but with noticeably less effectiveness. It's not an entire pass extra difference so it isn't a concern for me. It does get at difficult spots better with less irritation than the Timeless and other steep angle razors. That is why I finally bought it.
You're saying that blade rigidity would naturally drop with a lower blade angle unless countered by better blade clamping, but I think that the opposite might be true. Think of a standard DE razor, but now curve the blade more to decrease the blade angle. The blade is more curved, not flatter. The standard 30 deg blade angle is often treated like it is a given and the "perfect" angle. It is easier to just stick with that rather than trying to optimize blade angle in combination with other parameters. That's my thinking about it.
We are in agreement, but using different definitions.


And I don't understand anything either of you are saying about angle.


$Steep Angle.jpg

$Shallow Angle.jpg


I understand these angles, but not when you put numbers to them.

I also know the blade angle isn't the same as the handle angle. Again, no numbers.

My understanding is the whole thing is much more complicated because of the flow of the skin, the skin having been impacted by the guard. (At least with a steep angle it is.) It's not as simple as the picture about make it look.

Beyond that, I'm lost.

The whole Tower of Babel thing doesn't help of course.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I was also trying to agree that two razors that seem nearly identical in specs can feel completely different.
Yes, but if two razors are nearly identical in specs, they should feel similar with all other things being equal (user, technique, lather, etc.). Right?
 
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