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Bowl Review: Vikings Blade Unique Bowl?

Newber here, so these are merely my impressions of my first shave bowl. It is my first shaving product review. Even at my age, some things are firsts and new!

Bowl.jpg

Trafalger 1, Bowl, New Karve Overlander

This is a Vikings Blade bowl, purchased from Amazin for $ 20. From a web search, there are very few sellers of this item and no bowls anything similar to it. The same bowl is also available in a minimally larger (only .5 inches wider) size for $ 25. I chose the smaller bowl due to the preferred smaller knots (primarily 22 mm - 24 mm) and shorter handles on my brushes. Unmistakably, compared to the dimensions of most bowls/scuttles, these are small bowls. That was my overwhelming first impression when unboxing the item, raising skepticism about its usefulness.

The measurements of the (small) bowl: are 3 inches interior top diameter at the usable top, gently tapering inward to the bottom, 3.75 inches top lip edges diameter, usable interior height is 1.5 inches, measured interior liquid volume is 5.5 ounces. Measured weight is 4.93 ounces. There are no ridges, grooves or structural alterations in the interior or on the exterior. The words "Vikings Blade" and their emblem appear as embossing at the bottom inside of the bowl. There is a generous, integral flanged lip surrounding the top to help prevent overflow of lather. Esthetically, the bowl is an attractive piece to my eye.

The base construction material is stainless steel. More importantly, and what might set this bowl apart from other steel bowls, the entire interior and exterior surface is almost certainly covered by what I believe is a "Cerakote" surface. If you are not familiar with this ceramic film treatment of metals (more typically applied to firearm and knife surfaces), it is an extremely grippy, protective treatment of metals that inhibits rust and corrosion. If you are not familiar with "Cerakote," think of a heavily bead-blasted texture. For stainless steel in this application, the protective qualities of the application are secondary to the enhanced exterior grippiness and interior lathering enhancements.

From a quality standpoint, the execution of the bowl is excellent: No sharp edges, uniform steel thickness, nicely weighted in hand, uniform application of the "Cerakote" surface and uniform color (matte grey). (When wet, “Cerakote darkens in shade, returning to original color when dry.)

The surface of the bowl has impressed me as being very practical (if not ideal) to working a lather in three ways. (It was, in fact, the reason I chose to make this my first bowl.) First, all creams and smushed-down soaps adhere like glue to the bottom surface of the bowl and then to the sides as lather is built. It's very easy to see whether or not the brush has picked up all the soaping material. Second, the granular surfaces of the bowl seem to help the brush aerate the soap and quickly reduce large air bubbles in the lather. Third, the same texturing on the outside of the bowl made it exceptionally grip-worthy. Not once has the bowl turned or slipped in my soapy hands.

The only other bowl-type I considered before making my final purchase decision was the stone bowls which have textured surfaces, all esthetically pleasing but weighty drop hazards waiting to fall on the counter or floor. My grip ain't what it used to be, especially with wet surfaces.

There might be a downside to the texturing on the inside surfaces. I'll wonder, but never know for a protracted time, whether or not the graininess of the "Cerakote" is damaging the fibers of my brushes. Given the "reasonable" costs of my brushes, this is an acceptable risk when weighed against the benefits of using this bowl.

All-in-all, I am extremely pleased with this bowl and its performance in my arsenal of shaving weapons. If the larger size bowl was not a mere .5 inches larger than this model, I'd purchase it. With 20/20 hindsight, I should have purchased the slightly larger size. I see no practical reason to acquire other bowls and consider this find a gigantic stroke of luck for a novice to this art of ours. (Ah, more RAD spending freed up for other shaving acquisitions. Perfect!)

Thanks for reading. I welcome constructive criticism and opinions.
 
Newber here, so these are merely my impressions of my first shave bowl. It is my first shaving product review. Even at my age, some things are firsts and new!

View attachment 1453038
Trafalger 1, Bowl, New Karve Overlander

This is a Vikings Blade bowl, purchased from Amazin for $ 20. From a web search, there are very few sellers of this item and no bowls anything similar to it. The same bowl is also available in a minimally larger (only .5 inches wider) size for $ 25. I chose the smaller bowl due to the preferred smaller knots (primarily 22 mm - 24 mm) and shorter handles on my brushes. Unmistakably, compared to the dimensions of most bowls/scuttles, these are small bowls. That was my overwhelming first impression when unboxing the item, raising skepticism about its usefulness.

The measurements of the (small) bowl: are 3 inches interior top diameter at the usable top, gently tapering inward to the bottom, 3.75 inches top lip edges diameter, usable interior height is 1.5 inches, measured interior liquid volume is 5.5 ounces. Measured weight is 4.93 ounces. There are no ridges, grooves or structural alterations in the interior or on the exterior. The words "Vikings Blade" and their emblem appear as embossing at the bottom inside of the bowl. There is a generous, integral flanged lip surrounding the top to help prevent overflow of lather. Esthetically, the bowl is an attractive piece to my eye.

The base construction material is stainless steel. More importantly, and what might set this bowl apart from other steel bowls, the entire interior and exterior surface is almost certainly covered by what I believe is a "Cerakote" surface. If you are not familiar with this ceramic film treatment of metals (more typically applied to firearm and knife surfaces), it is an extremely grippy, protective treatment of metals that inhibits rust and corrosion. If you are not familiar with "Cerakote," think of a heavily bead-blasted texture. For stainless steel in this application, the protective qualities of the application are secondary to the enhanced exterior grippiness and interior lathering enhancements.

From a quality standpoint, the execution of the bowl is excellent: No sharp edges, uniform steel thickness, nicely weighted in hand, uniform application of the "Cerakote" surface and uniform color (matte grey). (When wet, “Cerakote darkens in shade, returning to original color when dry.)

The surface of the bowl has impressed me as being very practical (if not ideal) to working a lather in three ways. (It was, in fact, the reason I chose to make this my first bowl.) First, all creams and smushed-down soaps adhere like glue to the bottom surface of the bowl and then to the sides as lather is built. It's very easy to see whether or not the brush has picked up all the soaping material. Second, the granular surfaces of the bowl seem to help the brush aerate the soap and quickly reduce large air bubbles in the lather. Third, the same texturing on the outside of the bowl made it exceptionally grip-worthy. Not once has the bowl turned or slipped in my soapy hands.

The only other bowl-type I considered before making my final purchase decision was the stone bowls which have textured surfaces, all esthetically pleasing but weighty drop hazards waiting to fall on the counter or floor. My grip ain't what it used to be, especially with wet surfaces.

There might be a downside to the texturing on the inside surfaces. I'll wonder, but never know for a protracted time, whether or not the graininess of the "Cerakote" is damaging the fibers of my brushes. Given the "reasonable" costs of my brushes, this is an acceptable risk when weighed against the benefits of using this bowl.

All-in-all, I am extremely pleased with this bowl and its performance in my arsenal of shaving weapons. If the larger size bowl was not a mere .5 inches larger than this model, I'd purchase it. With 20/20 hindsight, I should have purchased the slightly larger size. I see no practical reason to acquire other bowls and consider this find a gigantic stroke of luck for a novice to this art of ours. (Ah, more RAD spending freed up for other shaving acquisitions. Perfect!)

Thanks for reading. I welcome constructive criticism and opinions.

Newbies are awesome! Always entertaining to see someones else's journey, and see where it takes them. And you always remember your firsts, so don't feel bad there buddy!

Regarding the bowl you picked, its a bit smaller then I would have gone with, although if it works for you, thats what matters. I do applaud you however on not overspending for only 0.5 inches larger diameter, thats not worth it, I agree. What I love however, is your review actually educated me into things in which I did not know before hand. I can see that bowl working perfectly for small and tiny brushes, like the Simpson Wee Scott.

I did not know about those material makeups before, like Cerakote, I am not into firearms, so I wouldn't have known this previous. If I am reading your review right, it sounds like you prefer bowls with Cerakote coatings now, based on your experience, which is understandable. I hope that your bowl continues to work out for you.

I really do recommend Captains Choice bowls for your future though. I am a big ceramic lover, I love things hand made out of ceramics, pottery is awesome. But they also make copper bowls, for those who love copper. So, just keep CC on your list for future lather bowls is all I ask. But for now, I am glad your enjoying your bowl. For me, it would be too small.

After all, the brush I have right now? Well geeze, its a huge 30 knott giant! lol. My 30 knot brush hates my scuttle, cause it doesn't have enough room for it to maneuver. I think my 30 knot brush would prefer my Cobalt bowl, cause its got more room lol. Well, I am waiting on a smaller 24mm knot synthetic brush to arrive, and I am sure it would do better in the scuttle. But soon, warm weather will be upon us, and I won't be using my scuttle anyways lol.
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
That's a fine looking bowl. I suspect you'll find some advantages to the smaller bowl: easier to hold as you build lather, quicker lather building. The only question in my mind would be clanging the brush handle on the sides of the bowl, but I'm sure you can adapt your technique to the bowl.

My bowls are all part of a scuttle as I like warm lather. Enjoy your new bowl.
 
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