What's new

Fatip Nickel Open Comb Piccolo vs Fendrihan Kingston

TL;DR: Comparison of the Fatip Nickel Open Comb Piccolo with the Fendrihan Kingston reveals that the Fatip is more aggressive but also much smoother than the Fendrihan. In short, when in doubt, get the Fatip!

For a while there, I was agonizing over whether to buy a Fatip Nickel Open Comb Piccolo. I've been wanting a brass razor for a while.

While I started my DE journey with a MicroTouch One, which is supposed to be chrome plated brass, I do not get good shaves from it. I switched to three piece razors and have a number of them with Zamak heads. Initially, I wasn't concerned with that (heck, I didn't even know Zamak was a thing!); then I found Badger and Blade. I learned about Zamak rot and razor caps snapping of Zamak posts.

Still, I purchased a number of Zamak razor heads and was fairly happy with them. I got some great shaves and even discovered that I rather like how an open comb razor looks and feels. Then a friend of mine broke the Lord L5 (the cap broke off the post) I gave him. This started me worrying that my Zamak razors would follow suit.

This led me to buy a Fendrihan Kingston, which shaves pretty well. I bought it because Fendrihan listed the head as being chrome plated brass when I purchased it. Subsequently, a forum member posted photos he took of the Kingston head that revealed its interior was Zamak, not brass.

This started me looking into buying an open comb brass razor. Since I am firmly in Camp Value, I decided against spending hundreds of dollars on a brass razor. Instead, I zeroed in on Fatip razors, which are popular in this forum. But before pulling the trigger, I read up on the Fatip OC (in particular the Piccolo). Unfortunately, none of the razor comparisons I read mentioned any of the razors I owned, so I was uncertain whether the Fatip OC would be too aggressive for me. As a result, I stayed faithful to my Kingston and agonized over whether to replace it.

Recently, I finally decided to pull the trigger. I figured even if it didn't work out for me, I could always put it up on the BST or PIF it. More importantly, though, I wanted to include a comparison of the Fatip OC with the Fendrihan Kingston (so anyone else in a similar situation would have a point of reference); hence, this thread.

Here are some pictures showing the razors side by side*. (Unfortunately, the only camera I have is my iPhone 6S, so the pictures aren't as crisp and clear as can be.)

13163DB5-38A7-41CB-B537-7F886F7FEF7C.jpeg
86579E9D-EDD1-4FCE-97CA-B553D9332620.jpeg

86579E9D-EDD1-4FCE-97CA-B553D9332620.jpeg13163DB5-38A7-41CB-B537-7F886F7FEF7C.jpeg1A58E737-4230-4FF3-B773-8626855DD568.jpeg71C7CFEE-8D71-48BE-BE51-EA8E494CF5D0.jpeg

D4774F4D-D8B1-4E45-ABC6-0499C7D1DFA3.png6664F9E7-4523-4FA2-8F60-3DF3DFA2C9CE.png

You'll note that the blade exposure is greater in the Fatip OC. This would suggest that the Fendrihan is also more aggressive. However, as I've learned from the many excellent posts in this forum, blade exposure and blade gap are also equally as (if not more) important in determining a razor's aggressiveness. The blade gap in each razor is pretty de minimus; the blade in both razors essentially flex down and just fail to meet the teeth of the base plate by a hair. That said, given the slight downward curl of the teeth in the Fatip OC, it has just a touch more blade exposure than the Kingston. This suggests the former is more aggressive than the latter. However, the free end distance of the Kingston is greater than that of the Fatip OC, suggesting the latter may have more blade rigidity and thus provide a smoother shave, which could be mistaken for a less aggressive shave.

As the saying goes, the test of the pudding is in the tasting. Similarly, the test of the razor is in the shaving.

I placed a vintage Polisilver Stainless Steel (on its 29th shave) in the Fatip OC^. I made a lather with Tabac (tallow) shaving soap whipped up by a Semogue Owner's Club Finest Badger Cherry Wood brush in a Captain's Choice Seaworthy shaving bowl. I've been using the same soap and hardware for my most recent shaves with the Kingston. In short, the only thing that I changed between this shave and my previous handful of shaves is the razor. This should help minimize variables that could lead to skewed results.**

I made my usual two pass (WTG, ATG) shave. Then I cleaned up by rinsing my face with cold water and then rubbing an alum block across it. The alum block serves a dual purpose of serving as an astringent and (more importantly for my current purposes) providing feedback on my shave. My previous shaves with the Kingston razor were all so gentle that I barely felt any sting from the alum block; even then, it was usually only in places where I'd nicked myself. Somehow, I felt even less sting from the alum block than before, meaning the shave was noticeably less irritating. If my previous alum feedback was a 10/100, this was about a 2/100.

Yet, the shave itself felt closer. While I normally achieve a BBS shave, with the Fatip OC, it felt somehow closer. Best of all, while I really didn't feel the blade unless I got my angle wrong (ride the cap and don't let the blade angle go beyond neutral!), when I did feel the blade, it felt newer--as if I were back on shave five or six instead of shave 29! Additionally, the efficiency of the razor meant I made fewer touchup passes!

It should be mentioned that while the Fatip OC Piccolo was lighter and the handle was both shorter and thinner than what I prefer, the razor was so well balanced I didn't mind the lighter weight. In fact the only issue I had was concern the razor might fall from my fingers because of its diminutive size (not because of any lack of grip^^; in fact, the grip was good enough I never worried about the handle slipping). I have a hunch the Fatip OC Grande would suit me a bit better. Still, I am plenty happy with the Fatip OC Piccolo.

Ultimately, I'm left with the conclusion that the Fatip Nickel Open Comb Piccolo is easily much better than the Fendrihan Kingston. Now I'm kicking myself for (1) opting for the Fendrihan Kingston over the Fatip OC Piccolo in the first place, (2) worrying that the Fatip OC would be too aggressive for me, and (3) waiting so long to get the Fatip OC!

*While the Kingston came with a steel handle, I've swapped that out (and PIFed it to a friend) for a West Coast Shaving 79BR. The 79BR is listed as weighing 79 grams on WCS's website. This is comparable to the 2.8 oz (79.35g) listed weight of the Kingston's original handle. This means the Kingston handle weighs in at about 9 grams more than the total weight (handle and head) of the Fatip OC.

^Since I'd made the previous 28 shaves with the same blade in the Kingston, I am familiar with how this particular blade shaves and feels.

**Of course, I was unfamiliar with the Fatip OC, so a rough shave could have been the result of such unfamiliarity (e.g., not getting the ideal shave angle).

^^I like to grip my handles by the ball end (if they have one). The Fatip OC Piccolo has a small groove at the butt of the handle that creates an almost-ball end so I gripped it there by pinching it between my thumb and forefinger used my middle finger to act as a backstop.
 
The Fatip is fantastic razor. I was extremely upset when I found out the Kingston wasn't brass....
Agree on both counts. In my case, I contacted Fendrihan about the razor being made of Zamak and they actually refunded me my purchase price. It hadn't been my intention to ask for that, but more to alert them of the incorrect description. This speaks well of their customer service, IMHO (though it still raises the questions of (1) how well they know their products and (2) whether they were aware of the Zamak in the razor heads before).
 
Agree on both counts. In my case, I contacted Fendrihan about the razor being made of Zamak and they actually refunded me my purchase price. It hadn't been my intention to ask for that, but more to alert them of the incorrect description. This speaks well of their customer service, IMHO (though it still raises the questions of (1) how well they know their products and (2) whether they were aware of the Zamak in the razor heads before).
Also emailed them with my findings to change their item description... Wondering if multiple emails were made in a short amount of time.
I would agree about customer service if they didn't change another razors description back to brass (forgot the model) It was confirmed Zamak by another member some time ago and they changed it... Temporarily...

And yes the Grande handle is a must try! Might want to get a gold Fatip so you can mix and match.
 
Also emailed them with my findings to change their item description... Wondering if multiple emails were made in a short amount of time.
I would agree about customer service if they didn't change another razors description back to brass (forgot the model) It was confirmed Zamak by another member some time ago and they changed it... Temporarily...

And yes the Grande handle is a must try! Might want to get a gold Fatip so you can mix and match.
I forgot that I bought a gold Grande on the BST. It arrived yesterday; I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂

I should note the seller shipped the package immediately, but when I checked the tracking, the post iffice hadn't updated the package's tracking info.
 
I don't have the Kingston, but I heartily agree that the Fatip Open Comb, while being somewhat aggressive, it's a really smooth shaver. You don't really feel how much beard is being cut.
 
I don't have the Kingston, but I heartily agree that the Fatip Open Comb, while being somewhat aggressive, it's a really smooth shaver. You don't really feel how much beard is being cut.
I've gotten practically no irritation from the Fatip OC, even with buffing! It's the smoothest razor I've tried to date. I'm just kicking myself for waiting so long before getting one. I should've given in to my RAD earlier. 😆
 
We will be seeing you at Fatip Fridays?
I'm going to be using the Fatip (and/or a gold Grande OC I received recently) for at least the rest of this month. It may become my daily driver. But I'm not sure if I'll be doing Fatip Fridays since I shave only every other night.

Also, I'm not sure if a shave counts as a Friday or a Thursday shave if it takes place after 12 am on Thursday night-Friday morning. Similarly, I'm not sure if my shave counts as a Friday shave if it takes place after 12am on Friday night-Saturday morning. It might get confusing. 😁
 
Great comparison!

I'm a fellow traveler from Camp Value.

When I started my DE wet shaving journey, three years ago, the $1 Assured TTO safety razor from Dollar Tree was my gateway drug into this hobby.

Lurking on this website, I learned the way of the Jedi, acquiring better hardware and software.

The mighty Piccolo, a modern classic, is my favorite razor.
 
Great comparison!

I'm a fellow traveler from Camp Value.

When I started my DE wet shaving journey, three years ago, the $1 Assured TTO safety razor from Dollar Tree was my gateway drug into this hobby.

Lurking on this website, I learned the way of the Jedi, acquiring better hardware and software.

The mighty Piccolo, a modern classic, is my favorite razor.
If the handle were bigger, I'd absolutely love the OC Fatip Piccolo. I plan to try my gold Grande OC in a little bit. I've held it in my hand and the balance is okay, not as great as with the Piccolo. I suspect I'll get some good shaves with it, but am afraid I may need to add some pressure to compensate for the balance issue.
 
I received my fatip piccolo a few days ago I've had a few shaves with it ive no complaints loaded with a nacet blade to me its as efficient as an R1 but a lot smoother again YMMV.
 
Top Bottom