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Muehle R41 compared to my vintage razors

Nothing of the sort Jack on the embarrassing part! I bet you can teach us a thing or two about distinguishing Bakelite razors even with your eyes closed. All a master of focus. And don’t forget we non-Bakelites have that R41 so imprinted in our brains as THE Beast (and there are others even more beastly) we are more acutely aware that we are staring the beast in the eyes 😅.

And truth be told, all credits are for @Filudo here. I myself was going along your story too much to really notice the difference.

I have been considering getting an R41 myself (I have Fatips) to finally feel the difference. Maybe your post helps me seal the deal with myself.


I'll let you know what I think about the R41 😇
I ordered just the R41 head that I use on a razorock barber pole handle just because I’ve read about how light and slippery people think it is. But with that razorock handle seems like a nice combination as far as how it feels in my hand and looks good together also. But like some people have said I do feel like to an extent that it feels like it kinda tugs at my hair rather than cleanly cutting it. I guess that that’s my one complaint with it. Otherwise it isn’t that bad of an every other day type of razor for me. And a solid amount of efficiency. I haven’t used it in a while. Maybe I’ll pull it out and use it for my next shave.
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That would be something: both of us shaving with a modified R41.
Although in my case it would be a real R41 🤣
Very true. But like I said the only reason that I had done that to begin with was because a complaint people had was the handle could get slippery. And that’s something that I don’t like. I’ve had that issue with using an Edwin Jagger DE89 and their plain chrome handle. With a sharp blade it’s not a bad shaver. But trying to do so with a slippery handle kind of takes away from the enjoyment of shaving a little bit when you’re more focused on it not slipping in your hand.
But I just tried my R41 for the first time in a while with a super max diamond edge super platinum. Which is also a random blade I haven’t used in a while. It is like I remembered a little bit of a rough shaver but efficient. It actually I feel like does a good job with getting the hairs on my neck cut fairly good surprisingly like I remembered it. And honestly not much for irritation. But it is definitely something that I’d want to use like every other day though.
It's been quite a while since I shaved with an all metal DE razor. The reason is I jumped the rabbit hole of vintage razors. More specific: bakelite and "plastic" razors. Most in my collection are from around 1935, but I have some from as late as the sixties. Because they are usually rather aggressive, I like them a lot. Especially my head shaves have been extremely close since I fell in love with this category of vintage razors. And I have used them. A lot. in fact: exclusively, for months.
I have thought of letting all my metal razors go, sell them, or give them to my sons or son in law, whom I converted to DE razors.
But because most of these razors are carefully selected on their aggression, I am too reluctant to part with them
That's why I decided to use them all during June GRUME and thought it a good idea to start immediately, digging up the R41.
Now, this razor has a fierce reputation. I remember using it for the first time: I was nervous. But because my technique had improved after listening to some fellow members, the first shave with the feared Muehle was quite good. For a while I considered it my most aggressive razor, untill I purchased some of the Yaqi freak brothers. If you don't know how to use those, they eat you.
When I became focused on bakelite vintage, I discovered most of these razors are very aggressive. So, I kind of forgot about my metal razors.
I have been wondering about the nature of my vintage razors. They were widely used, so my conclusion was: men in those days were highly skilled in using aggressive razors. Most DE razors we use now are much milder.
I attached a picture of one of my vintages. Look at the blade exposure and blade gap. You can imagine it takes some technique to use these.
Back to the Muehle R41. Blade gap, nor exposure seem extreme. In fact: apart from the open comb, the R41 looks kind of mild. But it is not. This razor delivers a very close shave. Maybe not the extreme closeness many of my vintages produce, but closer than most other modern razors I've used. And looking at the construction, I think that is a great achievement from the Muehle engineers. I mean: most of my vintages need huge blade gap and exposure to deliver a superb shave, the Muehle seems almost modest in comparison. I was very pleased with result of yesterdays shave with the R41. Good BBS, two passes and a few minor touch ups.
I'd say with a little advanced technique, the Muehle R41 could easily be a fantastic daily driver. It is not the monster some claim it is. It is a sweet, effective and easy razor. I'm glad I kept it.

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hey nice write up and interesting observation about men being more skilled with razors back in the day,
you may have a point there, im not entirely sure

wanted to ask which bakelite razors you got?

i ask as the only bakelite razor i got is the merkur 45 and i think its amazing one of my favourite razors
I like the Muhle R41, newer version and have sometimes experimented using different top caps (it changes how it shaves). BTW from what I could see: your first picture is a Muhle handle but the plate does not look like an R41 -- has a typical open comb in it and R41 is a different thing....
Last: I bought a "bakelite" slant razor on line, said "German", the only thing in common with the only bakelite German I have is the color. This slant, if coming apart, blade fit is bad and I would bet it's some sort of "East German" , DDR, contraption........
just curious which top caps you tried on the r41?

not come across this before
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