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Did your 'grail' live up to your expectations?

I thought a 'Grail' razor was the one that gave someone the best shaves, The one that just 'fits' like no other.
Not the one that looks great in pics then turns out not so great a fit after all.
I think you're right. To my mind, a grail razor is a razor that give one they shaves they only dream of as possible. The razor that makes every other dim by comparison. One can only know if they've found their grail razor after they've tried it. I've had razors I've really wanted that turned out to be disappointing. My grail razor was a complete surprise. I really wanted it once I saw it, but I've wanted lots of razors. Only this one razor gives me reliable, pleasurable, irritation-free BBS shaves every time. I'm lucky.

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In terms of DE razors, I was seduced by a 1936 British Aristocrat French Set that someone posted on BST before I even knew what a grail razor was. I am still "wet behind the ears" compared to most on this forum but the shave with this vintage Gillette is DFS/BBS and irritation free despite my still developing technique. On top of that, it is gorgeous. I had my eye on a Feather AS-D2 which cost about the same but am very, very happy with my Aristocrat. Now, I need to find a Iwasaki Tamahagane Western Straight that won't break the bank...
 
I’ve had a few grail razors.

When I was collecting vintage English Gillettes, it was the raised flat bottom 2-piece #88 set. But it didn’t shave as well as the cheaper 3-piece RFBs.

For a long while I used another grail - Timeless 68 OC. Not that it was hard to find, but more expensive than any razor I would ever own. 😉. I still have it, but need more effeciency.

Now its a Wolfman WR2 SB in 125/115. I love this razor. Expectations met. I won’t sell off all my other razors, but will sell quite a few.
 
I have come to the conclusion that the grail is a state of mind that will always be in flux. The real grail is the best damn shave you can muster, efficient, comfortable, no drama and the tool just fits for where you are on your journey. When I first made the change to DE from carts I thought the Timeless .68 SS was it. Over the next few shaving seasons I improved my technique and learned by trial and error what I liked and did not. I would never have imagined, when I thought the .68 was a far as I could go, I would in about a years time, prefer more aggressive gaps and and the feather blade. My other conclusion is that "how is my face feeling today" determines the grail of the day. My stable is now being built on different criteria - normal day - the WM 1.25, if feeling that yesterday's face scrape was a bit too much the Paradigm DB. I do have 3 other great razors that have been sidelined and will eventually be on BST to find a new home that will appreciate them despite my fondest for them. I will secure one more that is more efficient than the 1.25 perhaps the 1.55. I am participating in a number of pass arounds to see what options there are besides a higher gapped WM. Will not entertain the variable of the metal in this discussion - SS, 17-4, TI, Brass, Cooper or AL or blade selection as those are additional rabbit holes. We are fortunate to have so many opportunities and options to find the right tool for the job and I think I am close to being done. As of today that is.....
 
I've generally have had good experiences with my few holy grail acquisitions. I do extensive homework and serious thinking before the pursuit and before spending the money. The concept of owning a few holy grail items is a good mental heath practice, and I would encourage it.
 
I had two grail razors so far and I ended up purchasing both. The first was a Gillette toggle, the most common kind. After paying to re-furbish it it came to $200. It did not provide me a $200 shave. The second was an Eclipse Red Ring. I actually lucked out and got a very decent price on it. It wasn't as impressive as I'd hoped it would be, but I tend to use it far more frequently than the toggle.
With no offense to the OP the Eclipse Red Ring was among my most desired acquisitions... until a friend lent me his and I was not impressed enough to want to pay the going rate as beautiful as they are.

My Wolfman, Paradigm, Apollos, Leresche 77 and Le Coq caged head razors, no not disappointed. Don't really have a "grail" razor anymore. Walbusch b5 maybe.

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Nope. I really wanted a certain razor because of everything I hoped it would be, got it, and found that it's not a great fit for me. That's the problem - you can't know until you try.

I have a few "really darned good" razors, but none that make me want to give up the others. I'll probably continue to try to trade my way into razors that might meet the Grail standard, but if I never find it, I'll still be happy with what I have.
+1 Exactly what happened to me

The problem with grail razors is that they are something we aspire to. We put them on a pedestal in our dreams. Once we get them however satisfied we are (or unsatisfied as the case may be) there's nothing more to do so we always decide on something else despite the fact that the £30 razor we started with is perfectly acceptable.
+1 Exactly what happened too.
I realized my Grail Razor is all my razors combined...giving me a variety of unexpected and pleasurable shave depending on blades and other factors. I now enjoyed my cheap tech, or Chinese, or Gillette vintage to the latest acquisition, a Stainless Steel....what a journey....to find my grail razor....
 

GaryTha

Contributor
My grail razor is a Van Der Hagen with a short handle. I've shaved 475 times with it.

I carefully selected it as it was the only razor they had when I went to Target to buy a razor. It gives a perfect shave every time. There is no need to consider a second razor. It would just be another thing for the maid to clean.
 
With a Gillette Tech razor, how could it not live up to or exceed my expectations?

My grail razor is just a like new version of something I already think is the pinnacle. It's my avatar picture and comes out a couple of times a year...it's also my backup. I can't lose.
 
My grail for awhile was a Wolfman, back when it was only the WR1 available. I was able to get a standard gap OC WR1 and since then it has been my #1, just absolutely perfect for me. Now a WR2 is my new grail, I just have to get to the top of the waiting list :biggrin1:
 
My razor acquisitions are driven by simple curiosity. I don't really expect much, but sometimes my curiosity is heightened by things that I've read about a razor. There certainly are variables from person to person that often make other people's experiences with a razor very different from mine. The only way to know is to try them.
 

Brian C.

Contributor
I never knew I had a grail razor until i tried my first slant razor. I now have 3 of them and I am thoroughly satisfied with them. I do plan to add a Fatip La Sorto Testina Gentile and a Wunderbar. I'm still on the fence about the Fatip La Sorto Testina L'Originale. I have tried an OC razor before and didn't really care for it.

I use each one a month at a time so they get used 4 times a year. I have contemplated getting 6 different ones for a 6 month rotation but don't know what my 6th one would be.

So my grail ended up being a collection and specific type- slants.
 
I thought a 'Grail' razor was the one that gave someone the best shaves, The one that just 'fits' like no other.
Not the one that looks great in pics then turns out not so great a fit after all.
Mine was a birth year and quarter Slim which would also be the first year and quarter of production. I found one, purchased it and guess what? Not only is it a looker, it shaves well too.





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I don't think a lot of folks know what "grail" even means or implies. In the non historical context it is

"a thing that is being earnestly pursued or sought after."

It's not something you just got and are happy with. The impulse drug store purchased Van der Hagen or 34c you got by clicking once on Amazon is not your grail razor.





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I don't think a lot of folks know what "grail" even means or implies. In the non historical context it is

"a thing that is being earnestly pursued or sought after."

It's not something you just got and are happy with. The impulse purchased Van der Hagen is not your grail razor.





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Correct. My “grail” was a birth year and quarter Slim. I found one, acquired it and my quest is finished.


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I don't think a lot of folks know what "grail" even means or implies. In the non historical context it is

"a thing that is being earnestly pursued or sought after."

It's not something you just got and are happy with. The impulse drug store purchased Van der Hagen or 34c you got by clicking once on Amazon is not your grail razor.





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Yeah I was thinking it was all about the shave. My apologies. :thumbup:
 
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