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ATT SE2 vs ATT SE1 vs Colonial General SS

Chan Eil Whiskers

Contributor
Ambassador
My only experience with any Artist Club razor is with the Colonial General SS razor. I've used it a lot since it arrived, and I'm shaving exclusively with it until Christmas. The only blade I've used in it is the Schick Proline.

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I like the General. My shaves are BBS and reasonably comfortable, but I have to do multiple passes and touch ups on my neck to find baby. My face, with any razor, is almost always BBS. The whiskers on my neck coupled with my tendency to razor burn is a problem.

I'd say the General is more efficient than any of the other razors I've used - DEs and injectors - but I'm not saying the General is as efficient as I'd like a razor to be.

I plan to acquire the ATT SE2 within the next few weeks. My reason for picking the SE2 is entirely centered around having read about its efficiency as compared to just about any razor which rigidly holds the blade.

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I've read every thread and post I can find anywhere about the SE1, SE2, and General, and want to thank anybody who has already helped me.

Much of what I've read about the SE2 I've found on other shaving forums and review sites. I see on B&B a lot of love for the SE1, and some for the SE2, but not a great deal comparing the two, and not much comparing them with the General.

Going into ownership of the SE2 I will want to be in a position to evaluate it carefully. Determining whether I should exchange it for an SE1 or return it is of high priority. So, basically I'm asking if you can tell me anything which will help me figure this out.

Obviously, I will have my shaves with the General to compare, and I won't have an SE1 to compare. From what I've read I've gathered the General is far smoother than the SE2 according to some people, but this is not universally agreed upon, nor is the opinion that the SE2 is greatly more efficient than either the SE1 or the General without achieving that increased efficiency at the sake of increased aggressiveness (tendency to bite, harshness, etc).

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I will have to figure out for myself what works and doesn't but any pointers or information you can give me which might help would be appreciated. Mostly, I want to be able to answer the questions I must answer within the allotted trial time, so I must avoid too much fumbling about, and I must be efficient in my approach to the razor's trial period.

My current plan is to shave exclusively with the SE2, daily, until I decide I want to keep or return or exchange it.

Also, should I test blades other than the Proline, or should I just go with the Proline during my trial with the SE2?

If I need blades other than the Proline, are there particular blades to try? Particular blades to avoid? I don't really know where to get AC blades for a trial other than Try A Blade, and I'd assume buying just one of a small number of AC blades would suffice assuming the blades are carefully considered?

I have a huge stash - 389 blades counting the one in the razor - of Prolines already. I know where to buy them. I know nothing about buying any other AC blade except what I said about Try A Blade.

I've never had a razor before which came with a trial period, so I've never before been faced with having to decide about keeping it, exchanging it, or returning it. Time pressure with razor evaluation is new to me.

Probably there are other questions I should have asked but didn't.

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Thanks for any help with this.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I have an SE1 and it works fine with both the Feather Pro and the Pro Guard, the only two AC blades that I have tried. I don't have an SE2 because I never felt the need for a closer shave with the SE1, so I can't compare the two. I plan on trying a Proline in the SE1 and in my Brass General soon. For me, the SE1 and the Brass General are both very smooth and efficient enough to easily get a BBS.
 

pbrmhl

Contributor
I haven't used an SE1, but the SE2 is one of my favorite razors. (Among the AC blade family, I have it tied with the Asylum RX). Just today, I used a loaned General for the first time, the black aluminum version, I think.

Based on only one shave, it appears that the General with a Proline gets along well with my face. The razor is very smooth, more so than my SE2 with a Feather Pro Super, which provides more blade feel (which I like). In the SE2, I always use a Feather Pro Super, which is too aggressive for my other AC blade razors (except the Alumigoose). I decided to use a Proline in the General because that blade doesn't get much love in my den. I like my Feathers and Kais better. The General and the Proline work well together, however, on my face.

The General is very efficient, not quite SE2 territory, but very close. As I said, I like feeling the blade, so I'll probably not take the leap to purchase a General. We'll see after I use it a few more times (including with a Pro Super). I hope you enjoy the SE2--if it seems too aggressive with a Proline, the Kai MG (with a blade guard) can calm any beast, in my experience. I use the MG frequently in my Asylum RX.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Ambassador
Thanks, gentlemen. This is helping me.

I can feel the Proline blade in the General. I don't mind the blade feel. On the other hand, I have had times when I couldn't feel the blade at all, so I must be sometimes riding the cap more.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
  • Schick Proline

I find the Proline to be the sharpest AC blade. The Proline cuts my stubble clean and effortless.

  • Kai Mild PINK

The Kai Mild PINK will cut my stubble with more strokes than the Proline. Here's the thing, when my stubble grows back, my skin is a little sore after so many hours. I don't think the Kai blade is cutting my stubble as clean.

  • Kai Proguard

The PG blade doesn't seem to be any sharper than the unguarded blade. On top of that, the PG blade reduces blade gap significantly to the tune of .005" making any razor milder, not to mention the not so sharp edge.

  • Colonial General

I only had the the aluminum General and found the El Jefe to be more to my liking. I found El Jefe a little more efficient, so I sold the General.

  • ATT SE1

I find the ATT SE1 to be perfect with Schick Proline. I have not compared the SE1 directly to the General, but since the El Jefe dethroned the General and the SE1 dethroned the the El Jefe. All will get the job done but the SE1 Stands out.

  • ATT SE2

Not a razor I would use daily! Using the SE2 with the not so sharp Kai blades really wouldn't benefit me, it may benefit others though.

I used the SE2 today for my face and head shave. It takes a different technique from the others but the results last longer.

The SE2 is smooth if your technique allows for it.

BBS is BBS no matter what razor you use, if you find a razor that will get you there comfortably, go for it!
 

Dragonsbeard

Contributor
Chan ELL Whisker - I think you just got some very, very good advice from both @rabidus and @pbrmhl and all I can add to it is any razor as efficient as the SE2, Asylum RX, Mongoose Classic or any DE razor like an R41, Charcoal Level 3 etc... it's all about good solid technique! You don't just jump in a Ferrari or Porsche and take it around a track all out until you have a lot of seat time in a Mazda Miata. Same with shaving. Hone your technique, challenge yourself to not only improve your technique but it's got to be consistent. Maybe then jump into something more aggressive. Anthony said it best. A BBS is a BBS and I can tell you this and I'm sure other experienced shavers will to, I can get a BBS shave out of just about any somewhat efficient razor in my den with a good blade in it. Some razors will take more passes and more strokes than others but when your technique is good, blade is sharp and your shaving tools, prep etc are all in place... the pieces to the puzzle will all fall in place and the results will be a great shave!
:thumbup1:
 

captp

Contributor
I have the SE1 & SE2. The SE2 is more aggressive, i.e. you feel the blade more than with the SE1. But I find the final outcome with either one to be the same. If you want a milder feel go for the SE1, more aggressive feel, SE2. If there's a difference in actual time shaving, I can't tell it.
 
I kept my General and sold my SE2. I liked both but wanted to invest more in my straight shaving gear. The General is nice and mild which is nice for somebody like me that uses safety razors when a quick and dirty but still super gentle shave is required. If the SE1, which I haven’t tried yet, is more aggressive than the General I will probably still prefer the General.
 
If the SE1, which I haven’t tried yet, is more aggressive than the General I will probably still prefer the General.
I haven't compared the SE1 and General in a side by side, the General was long gone by the time I got the SE1. I found the El Jefe to be more efficient than the General and just as smooth. I don't find the SE1 more efficient than the El Jefe about the same, but there's something about the SE1 that makes me reach for it instead of the El Jefe. They're all very similar.
 
I haven't compared the SE1 and General in a side by side, the General was long gone by the time I got the SE1. I found the El Jefe to be more efficient than the General and just as smooth. I don't find the SE1 more efficient than the El Jefe about the same, but there's something about the SE1 that makes me reach for it instead of the El Jefe. They're all very similar.
I’ll likely try the SE1 at some point later on. The SE2 was nice but redundant with my straights around. The General with a Proline is a BBS in 2 passes 100% of the time razor for me (at least my brass one that is) so more efficiency, in my mind, just translates to more blade feel for no reason since the General and Proline combo is already able to achieve a perfectly close shave for me every time. Regardless, I’m into Shaving as a hobby, so I’ll likely end up trying the SE1 at some point anyway.

As clarification to why a straight makes the SE2 feel redundant, the edges I put on my straight razors have taken a leap forward lately and are mowing down hair just as well as the Proline but feel much smoother doing it. There’s so much blade feel with the SE2 that it almost feels like a straight but the Proline edge doesn’t feel anywhere as nice on the skin as my straight edges. The General’s safety bar gives me less blade feel but still enough blade exposure to get BBS so it just feels a lot better to my face when I’m not using a straight. I’m guessing the SE1 would be similar in this regard. It’s funny, too, because I prefer OC Razors in most cases otherwise. Just something about the grinds on these blades makes them comfortable with a safety bar, but with the SE2 experience I can’t even imagine liking them in a shavette like they’re intended. There’s a really nice marriage that can be found between a safety razor and these blades, though, that when a company gets it right they make for some of the smoothest shavers out there.
 
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I have the brass General and the ATT SE1. I never got the SE2 because I never felt the need for it since I can get a very close BBS shave with the General & the ATT SE1. To me the ATT SE1 is just slightly more aggressive than the General but I prefer the feel of the ATT over the General. IMO the Feather Pro blade feels sharper than the Proline but the Proline feels a bit smoother.
Lately I have been using the Proline in the General and the Feather Pro in the ATT. I get great shaves from them both.
 
I’ll likely try the SE1 at some point later on. The SE2 was nice but redundant with my straights around. The General with a Proline is a BBS in 2 passes 100% of the time razor for me (at least my brass one that is) so more efficiency, in my mind, just translates to more blade feel for no reason since the General and Proline combo is already able to achieve a perfectly close shave for me every time. Regardless, I’m into Shaving as a hobby, so I’ll likely end up trying the SE1 at some point anyway.

As clarification to why a straight makes the SE2 feel redundant, the edges I put on my straight razors have taken a leap forward lately and are mowing down hair just as well as the Proline but feel much smoother doing it. There’s so much blade feel with the SE2 that it almost feels like a straight but the Proline edge doesn’t feel anywhere as nice on the skin as my straight edges. The General’s safety bar gives me less blade feel but still enough blade exposure to get BBS so it just feels a lot better to my face when I’m not using a straight. I’m guessing the SE1 would be similar in this regard. It’s funny, too, because I prefer OC Razors in most cases otherwise. Just something about the grinds on these blades makes them comfortable with a safety bar, but with the SE2 experience I can’t even imagine liking them in a shavette like they’re intended. There’s a really nice marriage that can be found between a safety razor and these blades, though, that when a company gets it right they make for some of the smoothest shavers out there.
I've heard good things about the Proline in a shavette! The blade is sharp, I think when the bevel hits skin, that's what can cause issues, which is why light pressure is only needed! Too much pressure and you're calling for mommy! I get the same experience with the GEM SS PTFE blade.

I agree about the the SE2, it's overkill for me, but when I use it, my stubble is scared to break skin, usually takes about 20 hours as opposed to about 12 hours with the SE1.

The perfect SE2 should have .018"/.45mm blade gap, with a Proline blade, that should match the performance of the MMOC/GEM SS PTFE, which it's not too far from now.

Nevertheless, the SE1/Schick Proline will BBS my face and head with no fuss smooth as can be.
 
I've heard good things about the Proline in a shavette! The blade is sharp, I think when the bevel hits skin, that's what can cause issues, which is why light pressure is only needed! Too much pressure and you're calling for mommy! I get the same experience with the GEM SS PTFE blade.

I agree about the the SE2, it's overkill for me, but when I use it, my stubble is scared to break skin, usually takes about 20 hours as opposed to about 12 hours with the SE1.

The perfect SE2 should have .018"/.45mm blade gap, with a Proline blade, that should match the performance of the MMOC/GEM SS PTFE, which it's not too far from now.

Nevertheless, the SE1/Schick Proline will BBS my face and head with no fuss smooth as can be.
My stubble is annoying lol I could never get 20 hours, not even with the SE2. Regardless of the Razor my stubble is back in about 8-10 hours. I have very thick and fast growing facial hair. The thing I like about straight razors is the way a super high polished edge cuts the hair the stubble actually feels softer on the end and not as scratchy so when my coarse stubble is back in the evening it doesn’t bother my wife as much and FEELS artificially closer from the less aggressive stubble.

As mentioned I will surely try the SE1 at some point as well as a Sabre L2 I’m sure. Right now, though, I am working on paying off a pretty expensive JNAT Karasu on layaway so it will have to wait until I take care of that before buying more safety razors.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Ambassador
Ah, gentlemen, you guys are hitting the sweet spot here with your information. It's exactly what I've been looking for, and I'm getting a much better understanding of what I want to know.

SantaSE2.jpg

I put the SE2 on my Christmas wish list. By accident I saw a package from ATT in my wife's mail at our office. Unless she ordered something else from ATT, and why would she, I'll receive an SE2 for Christmas. The responses and discussion in this thread have given my some basis to understand how to approach evaluating the SE2 during its trial period.

Yes, I've checked with Stan and been assured that the trial on my gift - not that Stan knows what Santa might bring - would begin when I receive the gift and not when the gift was purchased. What a good bit of customer service that is, don't you think? I'm not saying what ATT's general policy is, just that I inquired and got a favorable, and sensible, clarification.

The Christmas Exam.jpg

All of your replies to me, and to each other, have been read several times. They will be studied more
between now and Christmas, and more as I use the razor (assuming I actually receive one for Christmas). Well, if Santa has not acquired one for me, I'll buy myself either the SE1 or the SE2, but not right away. Probably the SE2 would be my first choice, still, after reading everything here because it doesn't sound like the ATT SE1 is greatly more efficient than my General.

As I said, I can get a BBS with the Colonial General SS and a Proline, but it takes a whole bunch of passes and/or touch up work. My objective is more efficiency.

More efficiency along with adequate smoothness is a tall order. It is not clear to me that the SE2 delivers that to the degree that it would be an acceptable daily razor.

Is anyone using the SE2 every day? Does anybody see the SE2 as a razor a guy might enjoy using every day?

Insane Plan?.jpg

My plan is to use the SE2, beginning on Christmas, daily, to test it as fully as possible during the trial. Perhaps that's pushing things too much in terms of its aggression. I distinguish between aggression and efficiency; aggression to me means an increased possibility for irritation, razor burn, weepers, nicks, and cuts.

Yes, I understand the role of the user, but all razors are not the same as we all quite well know, or we'd all have only one razor.

Even though daily use of the SE2 is my plan, I have the General as a somewhat less aggressive and somewhat less efficient backup, but I will, during my SE2 trial period, use the General only if I feel I have to in order to give my skin a break, and I really do not want to do that. I want to find out if the SE2 can be my daily driver.

It is apparent that there's not a one-size-fits-all solution here. I'm not an old hand with these razors, but I've used them enough in recent months, and enough for a decade or so decades ago, to understand that all razors do not play well with me. I need a very rigidly held blade. I have easy face whiskers. I have difficult neck whiskers. I can get away with many passes and lots of touch up work, but that's not what I want.

SE2 Daily Driver.jpg

Thanks so much, everybody, for helping me see this more clearly. If you have any further thoughts I'd appreciate hearing them.

Happy Shaves,

Jim
 
The SE2 is worthy of being a daily driver in my opinion. If you are not a straight shaver you won’t have to worry about my dilemma that caused me to sell it. I really liked the razor honestly. But I was able to use the money to help fund my first passion in wet shaving. Since I don’t use a safety razor every day, a slightly lesser blade feel in a razor I can practically use at light speed safely makes more sense for my personal needs. If I were a daily safety razor shaver I would have no problem using the SE2 regularly. It’s a bit on the aggressive side but as with anything if you learn the technique it likes I think you’ll have good results. If anything, you may just want to get another baseplate if you want something milder now and then.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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The SE2 is worthy of being a daily driver in my opinion. If you are not a straight shaver you won’t have to worry about my dilemma that caused me to sell it. I really liked the razor honestly. But I was able to use the money to help fund my first passion in wet shaving. Since I don’t use a safety razor every day, a slightly lesser blade feel in a razor I can practically use at light speed safely makes more sense for my personal needs. If I were a daily safety razor shaver I would have no problem using the SE2 regularly. It’s a bit on the aggressive side but as with anything if you learn the technique it likes I think you’ll have good results. If anything, you may just want to get another baseplate if you want something milder now and then.
Thank you for that.

Yes, I can see myself having both SE baseplates. It's been suggested to me before by others, particularly Anthony @rabidus. I can also see myself having just the SE2 and the General.

It's not like my wife is particularly wild about me spending money on razors. Now she knows how much these upper end modern razors cost, so that's going to be even more of an issue.

How you guys shave with straight razors is beyond me. I tried it in my youth, and I have the scars to prove it. Maybe one day I will try it again, but I doubt it. I like the idea, and I liked the idea in college, too, more so because I had a fraternity brother or two who'd learned from their grandfather. They made it look so easy. I got very good at shaving my arm, but sliced up my face and neck.

I know you're not saying you shave with the SE2 every day, but it helps so much that someone who knows the razor (and knows razors to the level of straights) believes the SE2 could be a daily driver.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Straight Shaving is more of a journey for sure. The best way to go about it is to have somebody that’s really good at honing get your first edge established for you and then watch a bunch of videos first. Once you can shave your whole face with one comfortably you’ll still always feel like you could do better. Then honing comes into play and that can be a real wormhole! But it’s a lot of fun. I still love safety razors and use them weekly at least once or twice and especially if I need to put my best face on for a party or a holiday. Did that yesterday with the General, actually.
 

Esox

Ambassador
Since I don’t use a safety razor every day, a slightly lesser blade feel in a razor I can practically use at light speed safely makes more sense for my personal needs.
I'm curious if you've tried a Fatip OC.

I shave fast and 9 shaves out of 10 I start directly ATG. I dont like feeling the blade more than I need too. I also think of my Grande as a straight with training wheels, similar inherent angle and ample exposure.

If you havent tried one, you may really enjoy the shave they can give.
 
I'm curious if you've tried a Fatip OC.

I shave fast and 9 shaves out of 10 I start directly ATG. I dont like feeling the blade more than I need too. I also think of my Grande as a straight with training wheels, similar inherent angle and ample exposure.

If you havent tried one, you may really enjoy the shave they can give.
I believe you've lost your way!

 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Contributor
Ambassador
Straight Shaving is more of a journey for sure. The best way to go about it is to have somebody that’s really good at honing get your first edge established for you and then watch a bunch of videos first. Once you can shave your whole face with one comfortably you’ll still always feel like you could do better. Then honing comes into play and that can be a real wormhole! But it’s a lot of fun. I still love safety razors and use them weekly at least once or twice and especially if I need to put my best face on for a party or a holiday. Did that yesterday with the General, actually.
So you're saying you get a better shave - closer and/or smoother - with the General and an Artist Club blade than a straight?

If so, that amazes me. My agenda with using these single bladed razors is to get the same shave at home I used to get at the hands of a professional barber using a straight. Those shaves of yore - close, long lasting, smooth, and very comfortable - were wonderful.

With a cartridge I can use the blade for weeks or months and get a comfortable, good enough shave, but I want a shave like the professionals delivered when my father used to take me with him.

My objectives are becoming closer - the General loaded with a Proline is a great kit - but fewer passes and less touch up work would suit me nicely.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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