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Initial thoughts on some top-tier razors

I've recently acquired four very nice, very different razors:




Karve with B Open Comb and D Open Comb plates
Blackbird Brass Open Comb
Above the Tie H plate
Timeless .95 Open Comb plate with scalloped cap


I don't have a lot of experience under my belt with these razors. They are all considerable upgrades from my Merkur razors. Don't get me wrong; I like Merkur and have happily shaved with them for over a decade. These are a step above though. I had also never tried an open comb until the Karve, so keep that in mind as you read this.


Karve - This razor looks like it came from Tutankhamen's tomb. The combination of patina and old-world design are striking. The open comb is rounded and produces a nice, smooth shave. The open comb is always noticeable, but never annoying. Both B and D plates can easily give nice, BBS shaves. Paired with a Personna Red blade, I felt I could fly over my face with no fear of nicks. I plan on buying more plates, a real advantage for Karve, and having a ball with this razor. My only complaint with the Karve is the aesthetic choice to cut the cap to show more of the blade edges. I’d much rather see a solid cap than the top of my blade. As long as you don't mind brass, this should be on your list.

Pros
Relatively inexpensive to own and also to buy different plates to suit your needs.
Comfortable shaves
Very maneuverable

Cons
Odd cap design choice



Blackbird (Brassbird) - The Brassbird has a completely different look than the Karve. It's brass, but it is combined with a very modern look. The patina creates a strange dichotomy of old and new. It's not unattractive at all, just unique. The simple handle provides an excellent grip. With my limited experience with this razor, I have a love/hate relationship with it. The open comb is rather sharp (see below) and any off angle will cause it to scrape along the face uncomfortably. I have to slow down and take my time when I shave with the Blackbird and it is not the most pleasant shave experience. It's never bad, just not what I would consider an easy shave as I'm always aware of the comb's teeth on my face.


Having said that, I can't deny that when I finish my Brassbird shave I have the smoothest skin of all my razors. Twelve hours later I will still have a very smooth face. This is not an everyday razor for me, but if I need to look my best for some occasion, I'm probably going to reach for it. I might acquire an SB plate and see if that can provide the closeness I get now with a more pleasurable shaving experience.

Pros
Great construction
Can deliver ridiculously BBS shaves

Cons
Comb teeth are uncomfortably sharp



Above the Tie - The only straight bar out of the group, the ATT H has an aggressive head that is very maneuverable. This is a no-frills workhorse that effortlessly provides a great shave. My razor is unpolished stainless steel and it gives it a very Spartan look. It's a tool and it does what it's designed to do very well. The handle has a barber pole design and I have never enjoyed the feel of that in my fingers. It's like some people not liking the texture of a certain food like oatmeal, I just don't like that design, even though it does provide a good grip. I'm going to replace the handle soon so I can enjoy every aspect of this wonderful razor.

Pros
Excellent head design (best of the bunch)
Highly maneuverable

Cons
None (I don't consider the barber pole handle as a con as that's an option and personal preference)



Timeless - I've never had a razor wow me at first glance as much as this one. If you told me this razor costs $400 I would believe it. The plaid handle might not have the most practical texture, but it is absolutely beautiful.

Unlike the Karve and especially the Blackbird, the big rounded teeth of the Timeless Open Comb are hardly noticeable when shaving. You forget that you're shaving with an open comb at all. The head is fairly heavy and the long handle on this model helps provide a bit of balance. Due to its size, it's not as maneuverable as the Karve or the Timeless. But just relax, take your time, and enjoy every minute of pampering yourself with this Rolls Royce.


Pros
Simply stunning
Open Comb design is superb

Cons
Bulk reduces shaving speed, but more time shaving with this is never a bad thing.
Pricey
 
Good reviews man, glad you’re enjoying these!

Find the same on the Timeless and Karve (I own those two) but I switched out that handle for a shorter one for the Timeless. Pretty much perfect now, but like you said, not the fastest shave. I reach for it when I have extra time.

Glad you got em all!
 
My wish list for razors just keeps growing, even when I think I have everything I want. I'm very proud of the nice little collection I have, yet I still want:
1. At least two SB plates for my Karve (I could seriously see me getting all of them)
2. A different handle for my ATT
3. A shorter handle for my Timeless (however I might stick with the plaid just to maintain the absolute beauty of this razor - style over function)
4. An SB baseplate for my Brassbird (there is no brass baseplate on the Blackland website, but I've inquired about this)
5. Replacing my Rockwell 6c with a 6s (absolutely no reason to do this other than RAD mania).

Once I complete those five, I'll finally be done. I mean until I get the email from Charcoal Goods that the new batch is ready. Right? RIGHT???
 
I have the Karve OC E plate and the Timeless Bronze OC .78. Previously had the OC .95 SS, which I sold as it didn't have enough blade feel and was less efficient than my R41. I use titanium handles on all my razors including my go-to R41. I rate the Bronze ahead of the OC .95, and it's even more stunning to look at. At first I put the Bronze ahead of the Karve OC E Plate, but now I'm not so sure - Karve is giving some great shaves.

If you have the D OC, then try the E and F plates. Cheap enough. My all-time favourite is the R41, which I'd have no hesitation in calling a top-tier design. That's one to try.

You have some handle choices here. You may want to settle on a single preferred handle and try it on all your heads. Made a big difference for me.
 
Excellent initial review on these Top-tier DE SAfety Razors. Can’t wait to hear a more in-depth review of each as you get to know them and get more shaves under your belt. Quick Question: How would you rank them initially? (Combination of smoothness & efficiency)
 
Quick Question: How would you rank them initially? (Combination of smoothness & efficiency)
I really don't have enough shaves to rank them yet, but my initial run makes me think the ATT might win in both categories. All are very efficient though.
 
I really don't have enough shaves to rank them yet, but my initial run makes me think the ATT might win in both categories. All are very efficient though.
Very interesting. I am going to have to re-think my thoughts about Above the Tie Razors. Thanks
 
The pictures of the Copper/Stainless combo Windsor make it look just as stunning as the Timeless, so if you pay a little extra to jump from machined finish to polished you might get a beautiful razor that also shaves like a dream.

Again, I might cut the hell out of myself on my second shave, so take that initial impression with a grain of salt.
 
Very good review and congrats on getting some excellent shaving razors. I think you’ll enjoy the SB baseplate in the BB a bit more than the OC
 
Good stuff, sir. Your description of the T95 is very similar to my own. It may be an OC but it has the face feel of a SB and cuts very close. Once you get more time with it, you'll get to where you can wield that big monster with surprising speed as it's pretty forgiving as well.

You've got some great razors there. Be patient with the Blackbird OC. It may take some time to lock in too. While I love a BB, I am partial to the SB plate for sure. The OC takes time to get used to.

Keep us posted as you get more shave time with them.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 
My wish list for razors just keeps growing, even when I think I have everything I want. I'm very proud of the nice little collection I have, yet I still want:
1. At least two SB plates for my Karve (I could seriously see me getting all of them)
2. A different handle for my ATT
3. A shorter handle for my Timeless (however I might stick with the plaid just to maintain the absolute beauty of this razor - style over function)
4. An SB baseplate for my Brassbird (there is no brass baseplate on the Blackland website, but I've inquired about this)
5. Replacing my Rockwell 6c with a 6s (absolutely no reason to do this other than RAD mania).

Once I complete those five, I'll finally be done. I mean until I get the email from Charcoal Goods that the new batch is ready. Right? RIGHT???
Decided to pick up a used 6S to see any differences to my 6C. From what I have read and understand, it is considerably better.

Don’t look now, but CG has pieces for sale on their site! Love my Lv3 in bright Brass.
 
Decided to pick up a used 6S to see any differences to my 6C. From what I have read and understand, it is considerably better.

Don’t look now, but CG has pieces for sale on their site! Love my Lv3 in bright Brass.
I think the geometry on the 6c and 6s is exactly the same. So the shave should be almost the same. But the 6s being stainless is going to last much longer. There have been reports on here of people with the 6c having corrosion problems. None of that with the 6s.
 
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