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Next purchase - advice appreciated!

I am in the annual restraint and have been trying to refine my list of items to buy at year end.

I have a tough beard and sensitive skin so my ideal is to find a razor that is efficient but not overly aggressive. I would appreciate any advice you can offer in refining my list!

The razors I have found that work best for me are:
  • RS10 aggressive plate: wonderful, easy shave, BBS. I can use this daily. My only quibble is that the BBS doesn’t last as long as I’d like
  • PAA Ascension in stainless: my sleeper razor. I came back to it after a long time in the drawer. If I buff it can get me the closest of any of my razors
  • Fatip Piccolo (old style, bought in 2013 or so): my quickest shaver. A bit rough with repeated use after a few days. The BBS doesn’t seem to last as long as with the PAA.
I have had but don’t really like:
  • Muhle Rocca – too blade feeley for how close it gets me
  • Timeless 0.95 SB – causes irritation sometimes, doesn’t shave close enough
  • Blackbird OC – too blade feeley. Great on a few days of growth but I can’t use it every day
  • iKon tech – for the longest time this was the only razor I’d use. But it’s just too aggressive and would tear my face up. Best razor I have ever used for multiple days growth.
  • Razorock Game Changer 0.68 and 0.84 – wonderful razors, but neither is capable of giving me BBS
  • Oneblade original – OK, but no fun to use, the BBS only lasted a few hours
  • Karve - even the most efficient plates couldn't get me BBS
  • Rockwell - even the most efficient plates couldn't get me BBS
Now, come January 1, I am looking to try a couple new things.
  • Razorock Game Changer JAWS – the review on this have been outstanding. I am not sure if it will get me BBS given that the .84 SB couldn’t
  • Phoenix Starling – never really used GEMs that much but it looks promising
  • Occam’s razor enhanced nano – 3 plates, from the looks of it very efficient
  • Stirling’s upcoming stainless – this is the one I am most excited about. Two plates, very efficient. Beta users have said it is as efficient as an ikon tech but can be used every day
Any thoughts?
 
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8/8 Full Wedge with a thick spine. If not, a Filarmonica Jose Monserrat Catorce (14 P) Novodur. Kiss the wife and children and pet your dog. Lock yourself in your shave den for a few months. If you don't have a mug that looks like it was chiseled out of granite from the immortal hands of the shave gods on Mt. Olympus, grow a beard and be hapoy.....
 
The only one on the list that I can comment on is the Starling.

EXCELLENT razor. I like the head but hate the handle. It's definitely a YMMV thing, but with the OC plate and a fresh PTFE blade that thing gives me a very, very nice shave. Some say it's a little rough. It always gets compared to the Gem MMOC, so I will too. [grin] I find that the MMOC is a close shaver, but the ergos don't spin my toque. I also get slightly more irritation out of the MMOC than the Starling. For me the Starling shaves slightly closer than the MMOC as well.

I put an ATT Kronos handle on my Starling and that was what it needed. I do wish they'd make the razor in stainless, though. I also get nice smooth shaves without stropping or corking the blade, just to show that not everyone does that. If you do, fine; if you don't, fine.

O.H.
 
I didn't realize OP was asking about single edge razors, in that case ignore my above suggestion.
I would recommend a vector with a super pro blade.
 
Well, if it is SE Gem, buy a Micromatic. If SE in general, get a Schick Type E. If you want to get a shavette, the hair shaper blade of choice seems to be ?? Not sure anymore, mines a ATT SE
 
The only one on the list that I can comment on is the Starling.

EXCELLENT razor. I like the head but hate the handle. It's definitely a YMMV thing, but with the OC plate and a fresh PTFE blade that thing gives me a very, very nice shave. Some say it's a little rough. It always gets compared to the Gem MMOC, so I will too. [grin] I find that the MMOC is a close shaver, but the ergos don't spin my toque. I also get slightly more irritation out of the MMOC than the Starling. For me the Starling shaves slightly closer than the MMOC as well.

I put an ATT Kronos handle on my Starling and that was what it needed. I do wish they'd make the razor in stainless, though. I also get nice smooth shaves without stropping or corking the blade, just to show that not everyone does that. If you do, fine; if you don't, fine.

O.H.
Thanks very much

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 
I didn't realize OP was asking about single edge razors, in that case ignore my above suggestion.
I would recommend a vector with a super pro blade.
Interesting. How would you say the vector stacks up against the starling?

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 
I’d be interested to hear comments on the Vector also. Not to steal this mans post but eyeing the General V2 or Vector. Sadly the Vector is not in stock and who knows when it will return.
 
I’d be interested to hear comments on the Vector also. Not to steal this mans post but eyeing the General V2 or Vector. Sadly the Vector is not in stock and who knows when it will return.
Follow blacklandrazors on social media. I think they'll be restocked very soon.
 
You seem to be more of a "New/Modern" versus a "Vintage" guy. If you are open to trying vintage, I would echo @santamariasteve's recommendations with just a couple of edits:
1. I haven't tried an "Injestor", but I really do like "injectors" :p -- just teasing brother SMS -- and goodness knows that if I had a nickel for everyone of my typos, I could afford a couple of Wolfmans AND a Tradere.

2. I would probably start with a GEM Micromatic Comb -- there's an active pass-around of all 3 Micromatics (the Open Comb, Clog-Pruf, and Bullet tip. I'd get in on that, and for the price of shipping to the next guy, you get to try several GEM blades. The pass-around has been going on for months, and if you let them know you'd be interested in January 2020, I'm sure they'd make sure to keep it going for you to join in. It also comes with some blades, so it's a low-risk way to try it, here's the link if you're interested: Micromatic Passaround

Just a few other comments (I promise). I wasn't a fan of the Starling, but other folks who's experience and opinions I respect came away with a very positive impression of it. To me, the Open Comb plate did an okay job, but I found the aluminum kind of "draggy" and the head felt large and awkward to maneuver. I also prefer the excellent TTO that the Micromatic has to the plate-system used by the Starling. But if "New" is your preference, than the Starling may be your choice -- I would strongly recommend the Micromatic over the Starling (personally).

As to Injectors, they are truly excellent shavers. My beef (and that's really too strong a way to describe it) is that there are so many, types A thru O, and finding the "E" where the "E2" shaves more aggressively than the "E3" can be challenging, but the "G's" which are much prevalent are supposed to be milder but less efficient, and all of this is done by diving into the world of bakelite handle color, inscriptions on the head, presence of "ear-tabs" or how they lay on the head....if you're not up for learning some stuff, getting a specific Schick is more challenging than just looking for a Gem Micromatic on the 'bay.

Good luck with your search, and keep us posted!
 
You seem to be more of a "New/Modern" versus a "Vintage" guy. If you are open to trying vintage, I would echo @santamariasteve's recommendations with just a couple of edits:
1. I haven't tried an "Injestor", but I really do like "injectors" :p -- just teasing brother SMS -- and goodness knows that if I had a nickel for everyone of my typos, I could afford a couple of Wolfmans AND a Tradere.

2. I would probably start with a GEM Micromatic Comb -- there's an active pass-around of all 3 Micromatics (the Open Comb, Clog-Pruf, and Bullet tip. I'd get in on that, and for the price of shipping to the next guy, you get to try several GEM blades. The pass-around has been going on for months, and if you let them know you'd be interested in January 2020, I'm sure they'd make sure to keep it going for you to join in. It also comes with some blades, so it's a low-risk way to try it, here's the link if you're interested: Micromatic Passaround

Just a few other comments (I promise). I wasn't a fan of the Starling, but other folks who's experience and opinions I respect came away with a very positive impression of it. To me, the Open Comb plate did an okay job, but I found the aluminum kind of "draggy" and the head felt large and awkward to maneuver. I also prefer the excellent TTO that the Micromatic has to the plate-system used by the Starling. But if "New" is your preference, than the Starling may be your choice -- I would strongly recommend the Micromatic over the Starling (personally).

As to Injectors, they are truly excellent shavers. My beef (and that's really too strong a way to describe it) is that there are so many, types A thru O, and finding the "E" where the "E2" shaves more aggressively than the "E3" can be challenging, but the "G's" which are much prevalent are supposed to be milder but less efficient, and all of this is done by diving into the world of bakelite handle color, inscriptions on the head, presence of "ear-tabs" or how they lay on the head....if you're not up for learning some stuff, getting a specific Schick is more challenging than just looking for a Gem Micromatic on the 'bay.

Good luck with your search, and keep us posted!
Then too, there is the easy way out. Just get a Type M (?) Schick Injector adjustable razor and forget about the rest of the alphabet!

Always remember to "ride the cap" when shaving with any injector. Most guys claim they get the best shaves with that method, and I'm one of them. :lemo:
 
You seem to be more of a "New/Modern" versus a "Vintage" guy. If you are open to trying vintage, I would echo @santamariasteve's recommendations with just a couple of edits:
1. I haven't tried an "Injestor", but I really do like "injectors" :p -- just teasing brother SMS -- and goodness knows that if I had a nickel for everyone of my typos, I could afford a couple of Wolfmans AND a Tradere.

2. I would probably start with a GEM Micromatic Comb -- there's an active pass-around of all 3 Micromatics (the Open Comb, Clog-Pruf, and Bullet tip. I'd get in on that, and for the price of shipping to the next guy, you get to try several GEM blades. The pass-around has been going on for months, and if you let them know you'd be interested in January 2020, I'm sure they'd make sure to keep it going for you to join in. It also comes with some blades, so it's a low-risk way to try it, here's the link if you're interested: Micromatic Passaround

Just a few other comments (I promise). I wasn't a fan of the Starling, but other folks who's experience and opinions I respect came away with a very positive impression of it. To me, the Open Comb plate did an okay job, but I found the aluminum kind of "draggy" and the head felt large and awkward to maneuver. I also prefer the excellent TTO that the Micromatic has to the plate-system used by the Starling. But if "New" is your preference, than the Starling may be your choice -- I would strongly recommend the Micromatic over the Starling (personally).

As to Injectors, they are truly excellent shavers. My beef (and that's really too strong a way to describe it) is that there are so many, types A thru O, and finding the "E" where the "E2" shaves more aggressively than the "E3" can be challenging, but the "G's" which are much prevalent are supposed to be milder but less efficient, and all of this is done by diving into the world of bakelite handle color, inscriptions on the head, presence of "ear-tabs" or how they lay on the head....if you're not up for learning some stuff, getting a specific Schick is more challenging than just looking for a Gem Micromatic on the 'bay.

Good luck with your search, and keep us posted!
Thanks for this thorough recommendation.

Unfortunately, I have limited use of one hand, so opening a micromatic is next to impossible for me. I have one or two and just couldn't do it.
 
Respectfully, I disagree.

Most people wouldn’t use both carts and blades. And there’s too much risk that a percentage of users that do that would like it enough to abandon carts altogether. Remember, blades are 10 times cheaper and don’t have to come from Gillette. It would take at least a handful of converts from DE to make up for one lost cart user’s money.

More likely, they are just trying to make some money off of the small DE shavers community in the West. Making razors requires a whole lot less investment than making blades, so even in a niche market you can make some profit. That’s why theres so many boutique razors but no boutique DE blades.
I would go with the Muhle R41. The shave, if you get it right, is simply out of this world. The finish is outstanding , it is perfect. The feel of the razor is amazing , the weight and balance perfect IMO. It is usable daily, it certainly is my daily choice but it took time to get the shave right with it. Now i shave in 5 min or under.
I know you said that you don't like the ROCCA but I haven't tried that one, maybe it is different.
There is a catch though. The R41 can ruin the other razors for you to be honest since when you get it right it is a very comfortable shave. But if you don't get it right .. well you know.
Why do you say that?
Van der Hagen has a bunch of DE and straight razors available. I've never seen this web page before. I think it's new.
You seem to be more of a "New/Modern" versus a "Vintage" guy. If you are open to trying vintage, I would echo @santamariasteve's recommendations with just a couple of edits:
1. I haven't tried an "Injestor", but I really do like "injectors" :p -- just teasing brother SMS -- and goodness knows that if I had a nickel for everyone of my typos, I could afford a couple of Wolfmans AND a Tradere.

2. I would probably start with a GEM Micromatic Comb -- there's an active pass-around of all 3 Micromatics (the Open Comb, Clog-Pruf, and Bullet tip. I'd get in on that, and for the price of shipping to the next guy, you get to try several GEM blades. The pass-around has been going on for months, and if you let them know you'd be interested in January 2020, I'm sure they'd make sure to keep it going for you to join in. It also comes with some blades, so it's a low-risk way to try it, here's the link if you're interested: Micromatic Passaround

Just a few other comments (I promise). I wasn't a fan of the Starling, but other folks who's experience and opinions I respect came away with a very positive impression of it. To me, the Open Comb plate did an okay job, but I found the aluminum kind of "draggy" and the head felt large and awkward to maneuver. I also prefer the excellent TTO that the Micromatic has to the plate-system used by the Starling. But if "New" is your preference, than the Starling may be your choice -- I would strongly recommend the Micromatic over the Starling (personally).

As to Injectors, they are truly excellent shavers. My beef (and that's really too strong a way to describe it) is that there are so many, types A thru O, and finding the "E" where the "E2" shaves more aggressively than the "E3" can be challenging, but the "G's" which are much prevalent are supposed to be milder but less efficient, and all of this is done by diving into the world of bakelite handle color, inscriptions on the head, presence of "ear-tabs" or how they lay on the head....if you're not up for learning some stuff, getting a specific Schick is more challenging than just looking for a Gem Micromatic on the 'bay.

Good luck with your search, and keep us posted!
Then too, there is the easy way out. Just get a Type M (?) Schick Injector adjustable razor and forget about the rest of the alphabet!

Always remember to "ride the cap" when shaving with any injector. Most guys claim they get the best shaves with that method, and I'm one of them. :lemo:
I have a couple injectors. I'll have to try them again as it's been years!
 
Unfortunately, I have limited use of one hand, so opening a micromatic is next to impossible for me. I have one or two and just couldn't do it.
That may also let out some of the other "moderns" like the Blackland Sabre and the Above the Tie G1.

ATT's G1 has a small hook that comes up through the centre hole in a Gem blade and hooks into the top cap. The other end of the hook screws into the handle, which tightens the whole works up. Works like a charm and seems robust, but it's a little dinky thing and could be dropped. There are some tricks: you don't have to take the handle off to remove the cap and change blades, though you do if you want to get the baseplate off; and assembly over a folded towel on the counter is a good idea. It will catch the parts you drop and not let them go bouncing all over or into the drain. Voice of Personal Experience...

The Blackland Sabre dispenses with the little hook, using a stud that is part of the top cap. Because of the need to fit through the oblate centre hole on a Gem blade, the stud is faced off on two sides, rather deeply it appears from Blackland's website. That leaves less-than-full-circle coverage for the stud threads. Their website notes it can be an area of concern, and suggests being very gentle when threading on the handle.

I don't own a Blackland Sabre. I may some day but at the moment I'm pretty happy with my Gem-style arsenal. One thing I have noted is that most of the modern Gem razors are safety-bar rather than open comb. I personally get better shaves with OC razors. Neither the Sabre nor the G1 are OC; the Starling comes with both an SB and an OC plate, and, unless I am dramatically mistaken is just about the ONLY Gem-style modern with an open comb.

There are more or less aggressive vintage Gem, Ever Ready, Star, Pal, etc. razors with safety bar. I've personally had less luck with them, but I also haven't had the opportunity to try a Parade or Streamline or G/E-Bar. I have (and absolutely love) an Ever Ready 1914, and hear the 1924 is "differently good." Seems like some Ever Ready models are more aggressive than contemporary Gems.

O.H.
 
Above the Tie SE1 with a Shick Proline. It’s a really efficient combo without feeling too dangerous. It’s too efficient for me so I rarely use it.
 
I've tried most of the SE razors both new and old style ones. I had a couple of favorites including an el Jefe I have been holding on to. If I was going to sugest a razor to someone starting out, I would sudjust trying a Schick that will take Twin blades from Japan. It just makes shaving too easy. The last time I tried to get the most shaves out of one, I gave up after 40 shaves because I just wanted to use a new blade in it because I was traveling.
 
Schick Injector, they're very intuitive and close shaving, without causing massive razor burn, nicks or cuts. Out of the injectors I've tried, my favorite is the Adjustable, with a Schick Twin blade, although the yellow Chinese Schick blades give nearly the same shave, with the razor set on a setting or two higher than that used with the Twin.

I also have a G, which to me is a bit more aggressive or less smooth feeling to my face, but doesn't seem to shave appreciable closer than the Adjustable. They can also be had pretty darn cheap, positive I paid less than $10 including shipping, and that included an injector of vintage blades.

As I look to thin down the number of razors in the den, the G is in the pile to sell, but the Adjustable is one of the keepers, as it's easily become one of my favorites that gets reached for regularly.

One other selling point on the Injector, that nice small and thin head makes trimming the nostrils and ears a breeze! They'll get in much easier than just about any other DE or SE razor, for a nice cleanly kept look.
 
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