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My impression of Muhle R41

"I'm sorry, I don't do impressions. My training is in psychiatry."
Dr. Stone 1982



Sorry, couldn't resist...

Ok, so I've been curious about this razor for a while now so when I saw one going at a good price a few weeks back I decided to pick one up. I have no idea which version it is but the seller says it is brand new having only been removed from the box to take pictures so it's a reasonable assumption it's the latest variant (is there a way of telling just by looking...)?

First a quick disclaimer in favour of the R41. My regular razors are a MK1 Fatip Piccolo and, more recently, a Fatip La Storto open comb (FOCS) and due to the extensive use they have had it's fair to say my technique is far more developed than with the R41 which, at the time of writing, is on it's 3rd use.

I'm not going to bother describing packaging, finish and what it looks like as it's a popular enough razor.

My focus is on how it performs in use:

So, loaded up with a Gillette 7 o'clock yellow and off I went.

First impressions are that although the blade exposure is less than that of my Piccolo it seems to have more blade feel. I played around with the angle a little until it felt comfortable and then got into my WTG pass. Completed with no real issues.

Onto the 2nd pass, XTG. Definitely started to feel a bit "bitey" now. At both shallow, neutral and steeper angles I was far more aware of the cutting process than usual in terms of touch and sound. I put this down to the reduced rigidity of the blade vs the Fatip. Again completed with no untoward incident though.

Hmm should I quit while I'm ahead me thinks.............

No, of course not - onto pass 3, ATG!

I think this is where I started to appreciate it a little more as it was clear that the razor was naturally shaving close without much need for adjustment on my part. I was a bit nervous here so paid a lot more attention than normal to applying minimal pressure - I've heard the tales of the damage this thing can do and all through the shave I've had the feeling that it would if given the chance.

Ultimately completed 3rd pass with no real problems except my top lip. Granted a notoriously challenging area but I wasn't able to find the right angle on this occasion which meant that it felt very tuggy, very bitey and very scary!

Cold splash, deep breath, alum block...........................all good, one small area of tingle on lip. Breathes sigh of relief.

Quality of shave vs that which I am used to? Notably less smooth (see disclaimer), may be close to DFS if I'm being generous. I did feel that I had maybe given it a bit too much respect though (bordering on fear perhaps) and felt sure both it and I can do better.

This was born out in the second and third shaves where I let the razor off the leash a bit more and which improved on each occasion. The 3rd outing was today and most of my face was BBS with the exception of my top lip which I've still not dialled in yet.

But here's the thing. Apart from the small area on lip on first shave I've had zero irritation or alum block sting, which was a very pleasant surprise.

In comparison to my Piccolo I would say that the Fatip is smoother in use and, at present, gets me a closer shave as I'd expect in part due to the length of time I've been using it. A fairer comparison might be vs the FOCS which I've only owned and used for a few weeks before the R41. The word that springs to mind here is "intuitive". With the FOCS I got all over irritation free BBS on it's very first outing whereas the R41 has a learning curve. In use the Fatip slant feels smoother but quality of shave is too close to call (notwithsanding top lip - I'll get there).

In conclusion I like it and am very glad I bought one. I doubt it (or anything else) will ever replace my Piccolo but it's definitely earned a place in my regular rotation and looking forward to seeing what it can achieve with more practice.

And I notice the Ikon Tek is on sale......
 

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
Ambassador
"I'm sorry, I don't do impressions. My training is in psychiatry."
Dr. Stone 1982



Sorry, couldn't resist...

Ok, so I've been curious about this razor for a while now so when I saw one going at a good price a few weeks back I decided to pick one up. I have no idea which version it is but the seller says it is brand new having only been removed from the box to take pictures so it's a reasonable assumption it's the latest variant (is there a way of telling just by looking...)?

First a quick disclaimer in favour of the R41. My regular razors are a MK1 Fatip Piccolo and, more recently, a Fatip La Storto open comb (FOCS) and due to the extensive use they have had it's fair to say my technique is far more developed than with the R41 which, at the time of writing, is on it's 3rd use.

I'm not going to bother describing packaging, finish and what it looks like as it's a popular enough razor.

My focus is on how it performs in use:

So, loaded up with a Gillette 7 o'clock yellow and off I went.

First impressions are that although the blade exposure is less than that of my Piccolo it seems to have more blade feel. I played around with the angle a little until it felt comfortable and then got into my WTG pass. Completed with no real issues.

Onto the 2nd pass, XTG. Definitely started to feel a bit "bitey" now. At both shallow, neutral and steeper angles I was far more aware of the cutting process than usual in terms of touch and sound. I put this down to the reduced rigidity of the blade vs the Fatip. Again completed with no untoward incident though.

Hmm should I quit while I'm ahead me thinks.............

No, of course not - onto pass 3, ATG!

I think this is where I started to appreciate it a little more as it was clear that the razor was naturally shaving close without much need for adjustment on my part. I was a bit nervous here so paid a lot more attention than normal to applying minimal pressure - I've heard the tales of the damage this thing can do and all through the shave I've had the feeling that it would if given the chance.

Ultimately completed 3rd pass with no real problems except my top lip. Granted a notoriously challenging area but I wasn't able to find the right angle on this occasion which meant that it felt very tuggy, very bitey and very scary!

Cold splash, deep breath, alum block...........................all good, one small area of tingle on lip. Breathes sigh of relief.

Quality of shave vs that which I am used to? Notably less smooth (see disclaimer), may be close to DFS if I'm being generous. I did feel that I had maybe given it a bit too much respect though (bordering on fear perhaps) and felt sure both it and I can do better.

This was born out in the second and third shaves where I let the razor off the leash a bit more and which improved on each occasion. The 3rd outing was today and most of my face was BBS with the exception of my top lip which I've still not dialled in yet.

But here's the thing. Apart from the small area on lip on first shave I've had zero irritation or alum block sting, which was a very pleasant surprise.

In comparison to my Piccolo I would say that the Fatip is smoother in use and, at present, gets me a closer shave as I'd expect in part due to the length of time I've been using it. A fairer comparison might be vs the FOCS which I've only owned and used for a few weeks before the R41. The word that springs to mind here is "intuitive". With the FOCS I got all over irritation free BBS on it's very first outing whereas the R41 has a learning curve. In use the Fatip slant feels smoother but quality of shave is too close to call (notwithsanding top lip - I'll get there).

In conclusion I like it and am very glad I bought one. I doubt it (or anything else) will ever replace my Piccolo but it's definitely earned a place in my regular rotation and looking forward to seeing what it can achieve with more practice.

And I notice the Ikon Tek is on sale......
Nice, entertaining review!
 
It took me about 2 weeks of shaving daily with the R41 to really get dialed in. Now I can achieve close and zero irritation shaves without paying much attention to what I'm doing. Shaving with the R41 has become easy and almost mindless. The R41 is my favorite razor, but I've moved on to the Ikon Tek to improve my technique (I just recently got a good shave out of the Tek without looking like a just lost a fight).

Upper lip took me about 3 attempts before I got it right. I ride the cap and use short micro strokes (like buffing but with 3-4mm strokes) and stretch the skin as much as possible. After I started to get good results I relaxed a bit with the skin stretching. There are a few threads specifically about this topic if you looking for more ideas. Here's a recent one (all of these suggestions are good for the R41, IMO) :


And here:


It was quite a challenge, but now I can go first pass ATG using the R41, including mustache and gotee areas, without any issues, but only with some blades, other blades its simply not possible (for me). If you get to a point where you feel you aren't making any progress, I would consider trying a different blade.

... I wasn't able to find the right angle on this occasion which meant that it felt very tuggy, very bitey and very scary!
If the blade feels too tuggy, try adjusting your angle more shallow; ride the cap. This *should* reduce the tugginess for some blades. Some blades there is no hope.
 
Last edited:

ajkel64

The Aussie Bulldog
Moderator
Thanks for the review. Interesting read of a razor that I don’t own or have yet to try.
 
Thanks for sharing your experience. This makes me want to use my R41 tomorrow, especially since I've been learning more and more about the fun of extremely shallow angle shaving with a Gillette Old Type! I like the Muhle a lot. It is chunky without feeling too heavy, has nice finish, and only as much blade overhang as is necessary to give a slight adjustment to one side or the other. It gets a lot of work done. I respect that. I still need to learn to use it better. I respect that, too.
 
Good review. I felt much the same when I got mine. Fear, then “Hey, not bad”. The experienced encouraged me to try more aggressive razors.

I had a CG Level 3 for a time. I kept asking myself whether the level 3 was better enough than the R41 to justify the price. I ultimately decided no, and sold it.
 
I just received the DS Cosmetic Z.0 clone. I posted an unboxing to my YouTube channel, and I plan to do the first shave video this weekend. The finish could use some work, but otherwise, it seems ok so far for a budget stainless razor.
 
Today saw the R41 get it's fifth outing.

So far each shave has improved on the previous one and today I was able to achieve BBS all over, DFS on left side of top lip. Still irritation free, which is nice!

As a right handed person it's the left side of my top lip/undernose that is always one of the trickier areas and it's the only area where I'm still not comfortable with this razor. Still feels like it would rather chew skin than hair no matter the angle I use - but as I say it is improving with each use and I am hopeful I'll have it sorted very soon.

One thing I have found with this razor is that you can't be scared of it. Think of it like riding a horse - show it respect but let it know who's boss otherwise it'll either go it's own way or else trample all over you :p
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
Thanks for the review.

R41 is one of the most irritation free shaves I've ever had. The upper lip was my trouble spot too. I can go ATG, but like Eben Stone said it's a matter of micro strokes. Most of the time I just went XTG both ways on the upper lip and it was close enough.

I've had other razors I could easily go ATG on the upper lip with, but they were also less efficient and invited buffing and irritation. Using my Schone/Fatip OC these days and it's not as close nor quite as irritation free, or as easily irritation free as the 41was.
 
Even the Chinese R41 clone (non Z.0, the Zamak unit) shaves better than the Schone/Fitip for me, getting close with fewer passes, no weepers, nicks, or irritation, you just go easy and take your time, which ends up being a fast shave. - I found the Pol-Silver SI blades to be near perfect match, and would presume the same for the genuine R41. An angled upwards pass on the mustache area easily yields BBS, try around 45 degrees from strait upwards on the stroke, still gets me to BBS, without the harshness.
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
Even the Chinese R41 clone (non Z.0, the Zamak unit) shaves better than the Schone/Fitip for me, getting close with fewer passes, no weepers, nicks, or irritation, you just go easy and take your time, which ends up being a fast shave. - I found the Pol-Silver SI blades to be near perfect match, and would presume the same for the genuine R41. An angled upwards pass on the mustache area easily yields BBS, try around 45 degrees from strait upwards on the stroke, still gets me to BBS, without the harshness.
For me I liked Personna Med Prep, Feather and Treet 7 Days in the R41. I generally ride the cap more for most razors, but the R41 I was a steep angle shaver.
 
"I'm sorry, I don't do impressions. My training is in psychiatry."
Dr. Stone 1982



Sorry, couldn't resist...

Ok, so I've been curious about this razor for a while now so when I saw one going at a good price a few weeks back I decided to pick one up. I have no idea which version it is but the seller says it is brand new having only been removed from the box to take pictures so it's a reasonable assumption it's the latest variant (is there a way of telling just by looking...)?

First a quick disclaimer in favour of the R41. My regular razors are a MK1 Fatip Piccolo and, more recently, a Fatip La Storto open comb (FOCS) and due to the extensive use they have had it's fair to say my technique is far more developed than with the R41 which, at the time of writing, is on it's 3rd use.

I'm not going to bother describing packaging, finish and what it looks like as it's a popular enough razor.

My focus is on how it performs in use:

So, loaded up with a Gillette 7 o'clock yellow and off I went.

First impressions are that although the blade exposure is less than that of my Piccolo it seems to have more blade feel. I played around with the angle a little until it felt comfortable and then got into my WTG pass. Completed with no real issues.

Onto the 2nd pass, XTG. Definitely started to feel a bit "bitey" now. At both shallow, neutral and steeper angles I was far more aware of the cutting process than usual in terms of touch and sound. I put this down to the reduced rigidity of the blade vs the Fatip. Again completed with no untoward incident though.

Hmm should I quit while I'm ahead me thinks.............

No, of course not - onto pass 3, ATG!

I think this is where I started to appreciate it a little more as it was clear that the razor was naturally shaving close without much need for adjustment on my part. I was a bit nervous here so paid a lot more attention than normal to applying minimal pressure - I've heard the tales of the damage this thing can do and all through the shave I've had the feeling that it would if given the chance.

Ultimately completed 3rd pass with no real problems except my top lip. Granted a notoriously challenging area but I wasn't able to find the right angle on this occasion which meant that it felt very tuggy, very bitey and very scary!

Cold splash, deep breath, alum block...........................all good, one small area of tingle on lip. Breathes sigh of relief.

Quality of shave vs that which I am used to? Notably less smooth (see disclaimer), may be close to DFS if I'm being generous. I did feel that I had maybe given it a bit too much respect though (bordering on fear perhaps) and felt sure both it and I can do better.

This was born out in the second and third shaves where I let the razor off the leash a bit more and which improved on each occasion. The 3rd outing was today and most of my face was BBS with the exception of my top lip which I've still not dialled in yet.

But here's the thing. Apart from the small area on lip on first shave I've had zero irritation or alum block sting, which was a very pleasant surprise.

In comparison to my Piccolo I would say that the Fatip is smoother in use and, at present, gets me a closer shave as I'd expect in part due to the length of time I've been using it. A fairer comparison might be vs the FOCS which I've only owned and used for a few weeks before the R41. The word that springs to mind here is "intuitive". With the FOCS I got all over irritation free BBS on it's very first outing whereas the R41 has a learning curve. In use the Fatip slant feels smoother but quality of shave is too close to call (notwithsanding top lip - I'll get there).

In conclusion I like it and am very glad I bought one. I doubt it (or anything else) will ever replace my Piccolo but it's definitely earned a place in my regular rotation and looking forward to seeing what it can achieve with more practice.

And I notice the Ikon Tek is on sale......
Great review!
I have just purchased the R41 and gave it a go this morning.
20210224_064256.jpg

The FOCS has been my regular razor for the last week with a Nacet blade. I also like the German37 and Maggard slant razors. I actually found the G37 easy to use from the 1st shave, as the MS and FOCS has taken a week to dial in, but they were worth the effort.

With the R41 I did not know what to expect, but I didn't like the slick muhle handle so put the RR HD handle on the R41 head. I then opted for the rapira platinum lux blade but found it a bit tuggy on my 1st stroke. So put a Nacet blade in which was much better.

The R41 seemed to feel slightly rough when shaving, but the results were near perfect with no irritation. I shaved WTG & ATG and got a near BBS shave.

I can see the R41 as a daily shaver as it is very efficient and close, when paired with a very sharp blade. You just have to use a light touch, and get used to the slightly different shaving feeling. I think this is due to the blade being fairly flat in the R41. Compared to the blade being more curved in other de razors, which will keep the blade firmer with less flex, hense a smoother cutting feeling.
 
Using ASP’s lately, and got a few weepers. Need to tighten up my technique!

I love the rose good handle on mine, but damn it’s slippery. I use alum to keep a grip, but I may end up swapping out the handle like the gent described earlier.
 
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