Fatip Grande Open Comb Gold DE Razor!
I wanted my first quality open comb razor, to be none other then the Fatip Grande Open Comb Gold razor. When I am shaving 1 to 2 day stubble, I find, that my single bar razors, tend to handle it with ease. Having said that however, when were talking about 3-day to 5-day stubble, they can't keep up. A lot of folks on B&B love their Fatip razors, so I figured I would give one a try, and report on my findings.
The box is a tad on the flashy side, it is clear that it honors Italians heritage, and since I value culture, I can appreciate that!
Well, this Fatip razor gets my attention, and I can't take my eyes off it. Good thing I don't have a lady, otherwise she'd think I was cheating on her. This razor is stunningly gorgeous, and the head design is superb. What I love most about it, is the comb edges are rounded, this prevents scratching your face.
The rear of the head is also excellent, I love how big and rounded the blade alignment pins are. The handle I have mixed feelings about however. I do appreciate the grande diameter size of the handle, but its much shorter then one would expect, and I don't have tiny hands. It would have been nice if the handle was an inch longer. Also, the handle uses a smooth vertical knurling, which doesn't really help you with grip very much, so you have to be careful with it.
One of the things that I really like about this design of razor, is when you look at it from the right angle, it looks like one of those vintage lamp shades, you know the ones that use the hanging threaded tassels? I am a huge fat of art deco designing, and its been a lost art in building designs for so long, I am happy to see some vintage art deco designing in razors! Lets have a closer look at the razors finish...
For those who don't know, these razors are hand made in Italy, which means, they are not going to be finished with computer/robotic precision. If I am going to be 100% honest, I would be remiss if I didn't bring up the fact that the finish is not perfect, on this razor. As you can see, in some areas, the finish looks perfect, but other areas, such as the ends of the base plate and cap, and the handle, will not be so perfect.
There are many on B&B, who like to know about blade gap and exposure, infact, there is a dedicated thread for it right now. For those who are interested, I did the best I could to get some shots for ya. These are difficult to get with lower end camera's, so bare with me...
As you can see, the blade exposure really isn't extreme at all, its quite minor if you think about it. And that is also equally so, to the blade gap, which is also quite miner. It is my view that even the blade gap on my Henson AL13 Medium razor, has a greater blade gap, but its exposure is even less then that of the Fatip Grande razor.
The Fatip Grande has a solid weight to it, without going overboard, 2.4 ounces to be exact. This means it weighs less then the Feather AS-D2, less then the Rex Ambassador, less then the Merkur Futur, however weighs more then my Henson AL13 razor. I would consider this razor to be a mid-weight razor, in between light and heavy.
SWCT Experience With Fatip Grande Open Comb Gold Razor September 5th Shave Report!
First thing I noticed, was how smoothly the handle threaded onto the top cap, this is excellent design. I also noticed how many more threads it had, over your typical 3-piece razor too. I loaded the razor with a Nacet blade, that only had 1-use on it previously. While most razors, you can just tighten the handle till snug and stop, this seemed to result in the handle coming lose too easily, so give it a tad more when you tighten it down, just don't go crazy with it now!
I washed my face with Stirling Glacial Lemon Chill bar soap.
I applied some Stirling Executive Man Pre-shave oil.
Shave soap of choice, was the Stirling Glacial Lemon Chill shave soap, whipped up to yogurt consistency lather, in my Cayuen Workshop Dark Nebula bowl, using my Cayuen Workshop Dark Nebula 26mm shave brush.
STUBBLE Quantity = 3-days!
WTG FIRST PASSES:
I began with my WTG passes, and the Fatip razor wasn't shaving as smoothly as I had expected. I haven't had a lot of luck with my Nacet blades in most of my razors, so I am guessing a Wizamet would shave smoother with it. Having said that however, the razor seemed to do the WTG passes just fine, and even got under my jawline fairly well for the WTG passes. Once I was finished, I felt my face, and I was nearly BBS in my cheeks! It was clear that the open comb design got the job done here.
XTG/DTG SECOND PASSES:
Going XTG on my face, was quite smooth, and over my upper lip, surprisingly smooth! If I go west to east, then double back east to west, I can get more whiskers, it depends on beard growth, which is why wet shavers often suggest folks to map their beards. Suffice to say, this razor will get it done, just gotta have a little patience. I did my usual DTG for my neck area, a requirement due to whisker growth patterns. I found that the razor shaved this smoother then both my Rex Ambassador, and my Merkur Futur razors.
ATG THIRD PASSES:
I did my ATG passes, and this is where I felt that the razor shaved its smoothest. However, due to the blade gap being so miner, it did cause some slight inefficiency, making the ATG take a little longer to achieve a full BBS state, but it did get there. I did try different angles to see what worked best, shall or steep when going ATG, neither seemed to make much difference. About the only real difference is that riding the cap, made the shave feel more comfortable, but perhaps less efficient.
The Fatip Grande Open Comb Gold razor, is not as aggressive as it looks. Having said that however, if your not careful with this razor, shave too aggressively with it, apply too much pressure, you will go from blade feel, straight past it, to bite ya good, hello weeper. I managed to go almost the entire shave without nicking myself with this razor, until I got to one of my problem areas, below the chin, and it got me, because I wasn't being careful enough. Overall, I feel that this was a smooth shaving razor, but I think it would probably be improved with a Wizamet blade. Also, a Gillette 7 O Clock GREEN blade might work well in it as well too.
What I liked most about the shave, was that the open comb design took down that bulk stubble with ease, not many single bar razors would do that. The razor has a nice weight to it, not too much, not too little. But it could benefit from having a longer handle with higher quality knurling. Having said that however, for the price I paid for it, I think I got my money's worth. The razor is absolutely stunning. IMHO, this is a razor for Intermediate & Expert wet shavers, not beginners who haven't mastered technique! So far, until otherwise stated, I am giving this razor a 4 out of 5