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Karve Christopher Bradley versus my other DE razors - notes

I've only been using DE razors for about 9 months now, so am behind a lot of you! However, I feel experienced enough to offer up a little review of the Karve Christopher Bradley brass razor (3 inch handle, B and C plates) versus the few others that I have: the Merkur 34c, Baili 171, King C. Gillette, and Viking Blade The Chieftain. In particular, this might be of interest to newbies.

Aggression/Blade Feel
Least - Baili 171, although a massive blade gap allows some blemishes of mine to get caught and cut easily, ironically
Christopher Bradley B
Christopher Bradly C
Merkur 34c
King C. Gillette
Viking Chieftain

The Chieftain has way too much blade feel for me. It was my first DE razor, and it is amazing that I stuck with the hobby, knowing what I know now. Wish I had discovered B&B earlier!

Handle/Balance
Christopher Bradley - the grip is excellent
Merkur - also excellent, but not quite as good as the CB
KC Gillette - that handle is too long for me, and it lacks good balance
Chieftain
Baili - I find the handle rather slippery

Artistic Impression
CB is by far the winner. The quality/tolerances just seems superior in all ways. The blades are held closer to the cutting edge then all other razors save the Baili, which is a different and rather elegant design using tabs not posts to hold the blade in place. The Chieftain is sort of cool because it is TTO. Merkur 34c is sort of appealing in an industrial way.

I get a DFS with all of these razors although the Chieftain is danged displeasing for me to use due to blade feel/aggression. For a newcomer, if they can just get over the slight cost difference, I would almost suggest the Karve SB, B plate. For $30 each, a person can order different plates that represent different aggression levels, for AA to I think F. Merkur 34c also is excellent for newbies. If they have no moles, the Baili 171 for about 7 bucks plus shipping would be worth a try. It Baili would reduce that enormous blade gap it would be a much better razor for me.

YMMV .... what do I get next? I'll attempt to hold off for a while but I'll need something. I have been thinking of a birth year Gillette ... not sure how I'd get something so specific though.
 
As you already have the Karve from Canada, the first two are Canadian:

Razorock/Italian Barber has a lot of different models, and I dare to say they are both affordable and excellent throughout.
The Game Changer series, BBS series, or the Wunderbar Slant, they are among my favorites.

Henson:
If you like it mild, but good. I would still rather get the Henson AL-13 Medium, it's already mild enough, IMO.

Alpha Shaving/Executive Shaving Outlaw:
The Outlaw is excellent. Very nice audible feedback. Might be a bit aggressive, depends on your preferences.

Rex Envoy/Ambassador:
A bit too blade forward for my liking, can deliver a great shave, but I always found it to scratch my skin somewhat.

Mühle:
R41. My first razor love. Quite a beast, by my today's standard a bit too aggressive.
But it's a fair beast: It doesn't bite unannounced. Very much worth trying, I got it while I was still learning how to shave and the R89/DE89 left me unimpressed. This one showed me what "Baby Butt Smooth" means. The butt was a bit bloody sometimes, but this razor was a great teacher.

Tatara:
I don't own a Nodachi yet, but it's on my list! ;) Their Muramasa is extremely cool with the shifting exposure, but it's quite beyond my financial capabilities


There are quite some interesting American companies I still have not tried yet, Timeless, Yates, Blackland, but as European I am kinda wary of customs and delivery from the USA. And it didn't get better over the last 2 years. :(
Stuff from Asia usually works out better, sadly enough. DSCosmetics often copies Razorock designs (who copy quite a lot from others, that's a copy of a copy) and do so very well, they often add fancier handles that unfortunately have not so deep and overpolished knurling.
 
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YMMV .... what do I get next? I'll attempt to hold off for a while but I'll need something. I have been thinking of a birth year Gillette ... not sure how I'd get something so specific though.

If you like the Karve CB (B or C plate), you will likely enjoy the following razors as all of those are in my rotation with the Karve...They all shave a little different on-face, but the results are equally stunning with a similar post-shave feel:

Timeless SB 68
Tatara Masamune
Wolfman SB 95
Timeless Bronze 38

I can honestly say that this group of razors is the best I have ever owned.

I have also used and discontinued a H&S N075 that shaves very similar to the Karve, yet it just didn't work for me.
 
As you already have the Karve from Canada, the first two are Canadian:

Razorock/Italian Barber has a lot of different models, and I dare to say they are both affordable and excellent throughout.
The Game Changer series, BBS series, or the Wunderbar Slant, they are among my favorites.

Henson:
If you like it mild, but good. I would still rather get the Henson AL-13 Medium, it's already mild enough, IMO.

Alpha Shaving/Executive Shaving Outlaw:
The Outlaw is excellent. Very nice audible feedback. Might be a bit aggressive, depends on your preferences.

Rex Envoy/Ambassador:
A bit too blade forward for my liking, can deliver a great shave, but I always found it to scratch my skin somewhat.

Mühle:
R41. My first razor love. Quite a beast, by my today's standard a bit too aggressive.
But it's a fair beast: It doesn't bite unannounced. Very much worth trying, I got it while I was still learning how to shave and the R89/DE89 left me unimpressed. This one showed me what "Baby Butt Smooth" means. The butt was a bit bloody sometimes, but this razor was a great teacher.

Tatara:
I don't own a Nodachi yet, but it's on my list! ;) Their Muramasa is extremely cool with the shifting exposure, but it's quite beyond my financial capabilities


There are quite some interesting American companies I still have not tried yet, Timeless, Yates, Blackland, but as European I am kinda wary of customs and delivery from the USA. And it didn't get better over the last 2 years. :(
Stuff from Asia usually works out better, sadly enough. DSCosmetics often copies Razorock designs (who copy quite a lot from others, that's a copy of a copy) and do so very well, they often add fancier handles that unfortunately have not so deep and overpolished knurling.
Much appreciated! Some names in there I had not known about and will look up!
 
If you like the Karve CB (B or C plate), you will likely enjoy the following razors as all of those are in my rotation with the Karve...They all shave a little different on-face, but the results are equally stunning with a similar post-shave feel:

Timeless SB 68
Tatara Masamune
Wolfman SB 95
Timeless Bronze 38

I can honestly say that this group of razors is the best I have ever owned.

I have also used and discontinued a H&S N075 that shaves very similar to the Karve, yet it just didn't work for me.
Thanks ... Wolfman is always sold out! Tatara is a new name for me, now suggested by two so will look into it.
 
Thanks ... Wolfman is always sold out! Tatara is a new name for me, now suggested by two so will look into it.

I have the Tatara Nodachi, gave me one of the best shaves ever last time I used it. At least in my case it really makes me take my time and watch my technique since it seems to have more of a positive blade exposure, definitely one to consider if it's on your list.
 
If you don't like blade feel, you don't get much better than the Karve Brass SB-B and SB-C you already have. Maybe get on the Wolfman waiting list or look at the Timeless 0.68 SB. For vintage DE, a Gillette Pre-War or Post-War Fat Handle Tech should fit the bill.

If you are open to trying a Single Edge Artist Club razor, the Blackland Razors Vector SB with Kai Captain Titan Protouch MG guarded blades is the way to go - in my opinion. :)

YMMV
 
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