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Noob shaver, Blackland Blackbird review

I guess I must be an exception. I started using my open comb BB mid December every day six days a week and haven't put it down yet. Got BBS shaves from day one and absolutely no blood. Amazing razor.
Really glad to hear that man, it's an awesome razor.
 
I’ve been liking my new machined SB, but I do wonder why the owner designed the safety bar to have such a sharp edge. Since that’s the main part of the razor that makes contact with your skin, the sharp edge creates a distinctly less comfortable sensation while dragging the razor across my face, in comparison to a safety bar with a more rounded edge.
 
I’ve been liking my new machined SB, but I do wonder why the owner designed the safety bar to have such a sharp edge. Since that’s the main part of the razor that makes contact with your skin, the sharp edge creates a distinctly less comfortable sensation while dragging the razor across my face, in comparison to a safety bar with a more rounded edge.
The reason is to force you into the fairly shallow angle that the razor was designed for. It operates best in a pretty narrow range. So if you feel the safety bar edge you’re likely out of the intended angle range. Let the head guide you into the right position for the razor rather than imparting your regular angle onto it. This is a good idea for all razors, but particularly for the ‘bird.
 
The reason is to force you into the fairly shallow angle that the razor was designed for. It operates best in a pretty narrow range. So if you feel the safety bar edge you’re likely out of the intended angle range. Let the head guide you into the right position for the razor rather than imparting your regular angle onto it. This is a good idea for all razors, but particularly for the ‘bird.
Thanks so much for the quick reply and for that color. I’ve been following the advice of others on this thread who recommended a steep angle for the ‘Bird (posts # 7, 12, and 18, to name a few). I have been enjoying my shaves, but now I’m excited to give it a run tomorrow, employing a shallow angle as intended....we’ll see if the shaves get even better!

It seems crazy to me that so many of the Blackbird’s biggest proponents on the Forum are not even using the razor as it was designed to be used.
 
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Thanks so much for the quick reply and for that color. I’ve been following the advice of others on this thread who recommended a steep angle for the ‘Bird (posts # 7, 12, and 18, to name a few). I have been enjoying my shaves, but now I’m excited to give it a run tomorrow, employing a shallow angle as intended....we’ll see if the shaves get even better!

It seems crazy to me that so many of the Blackbird’s biggest proponents on the Forum are not even using the razor as it was designed to be used.
Even I use the razor as it wasn’t designed pretty often. I play with angle all the time. Shallow is definitely recommended to begin, but after that you should play with it and do whatever works. That’s just the reason why the safety bar was designed that way. Whether or not it’s an effective idea is up for debate.

Edit: I should also mention that a lot of people get the concept of shallow/steep backwards. No clue if that’s the case here, but it’s really common.
 
Edit: I should also mention that a lot of people get the concept of shallow/steep backwards. No clue if that’s the case here, but it’s really common.
Fair point. Some clarification is probably in order here. As I understand it.....

Razor handle parallel to face = steep angle
Razor handle perpendicular to face = shallow angle

If you read the posts I referenced, you’ll see the recommendation is to run the handle nearly parallel to the face, or at a steep angle.
 
The way I understood it the head was designed to more or less be run at a neutral angle, using the guide built into the cap....I started with a steeper angle and gradually brought it down into a shallower angle as I got more comfortable using it. After that, the right angle just seemed to present itself during subsequent shaves and I've been using it ever since. Whatever works, works.
 
I wanted to bump this one more time.

I've gotten a few PMs from members having some issues with their Blackbirds.

We have all been noobs at one time or another, and we've all gotten the same advice from the old timers, which is to do the One Month thing, where you use the same gear for a month. It's fantastic advice and it took me a long time to get there, but I did it.

I tried to 3017 a puck of WSP Matterhorn; I didn't finish, but I got close and it'll be gone before summer. Point is, I used that soap, the same blades and the Blackbird for almost 6 weeks.

There is no better training than using the same gear over and over again, to learn where you're going wrong and to correct your technique.

I learned the crap out of that soap, and that razor too....I can load that soap with any brush in any water and get a great shave, I know instinctively when I've added too much soap, when I've used too much water, and know immediately what I need to do to correct it and get a great shave.

Same goes for the razor, I know from the first stroke when blades are shot, if I'm on the wrong angle, etc.

I'd urge anyone having issues using their Blackbird to drop everything else and just use the BB for a month. By the time you're done, there's no mystery anymore, and you'll be able to (I don't recommend this but you COULD) shave in the dark using it with any soap and any blade, guaranteed.

Before switching to the BB, my most used razor was my Timeless .95, and that was maybe 3 months.....I could whip that thing around my face like nothing, never get a weeper, never get cut etc....and despaired of ever feeling that was about the BB.

I've vastly increased my technique, my confidence and my skill at using this razor just from that 3017 trial, and most of the gains came in the 1st month. I can confidently say than I'm faster and more confident with the BB than I ever was my Timeless, and I'm sure most of you know that the BB is a more aggressive razor than even the .95 is.

It transfers over to less aggressive razors too; I keep a RR SLOC around for days I don't want to think about shaving, and to check how my technique has progressed....the SLOC was one of my first DE razors and is a great benchmark for me to check against past performances.

I did a lazy shave the other day and after months of using the BB, got pretty darn close to BBS using the techniques (2 pass XTG/ATG) that I've developed using the Blackbird on the SLOC.

Point being, this is not a razor you're going to learn using it once a month. If it's biting you, it's going to continue to bite you until your skill improves, and the only way to do that it to keep using it, over and over until it's not a trick anymore.

Bruce Lee famously said "I fear not the man that's practiced 10,000 kicks once but I fear the man that's practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Get your 10,000 kicks in with the Blackbird, and you'll be rewarded for a lifetime of shaving, every time you pick up a new razor.

Happy shaves fellas.
This Sir, is a fantastic post.
 
The 'Bird is a favourite of mine. It's been seeing most of the action lately.

I vary between steep and shallow. Steep for sharper blades or smoother shave, then ride the cap for a bit more efficiency and blade feel. Love it.

20191217_062350.jpg
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Contributor
I wanted to bump this one more time.

I've gotten a few PMs from members having some issues with their Blackbirds...

Bruce Lee famously said "I fear not the man that's practiced 10,000 kicks once but I fear the man that's practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Get your 10,000 kicks in with the Blackbird, and you'll be rewarded for a lifetime of shaving, every time you pick up a new razor.

Happy shaves fellas.
I'm not sure I entirely like this post in a certain way, but mostly I love it.

The problem is this. Some razors are better than others.

I've not used my Blackland Blackbird all that much. It may perhaps be a fine razor which a persistent gentleman can mastered. For me it was too prone to jumping up out of nowhere and biting. Still, I'll accept the thesis that many more shaves with it would change me into a great BB shaver and into a fan of the razor, and that I simply abandoned it too soon.

The problem is this. Some razors are much easier to learn and just as great in all respects. To me, that makes them better than the BB (for me). The other problem is some razors are nowhere near as good as the Blackbird. One can shave with them for a very long time and not master them because they simply aren't capable.

Still, mostly I love this post because it points out the importance of sticking with kit as opposed to jumping all over the place.

One of the best things I've done since joining B&B - and I was practically forced by Cal @Cal to do it - was the Fixed Four. Using the same kit - one brush, one soap, one safety razor, one brand of blade - for a month was of great benefit to me. However, I can absolutely think of razors I would not want to sign up to use for a month.

Again, I love this jewel of a post, but there are other facets.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
The problem is this. Some razors are better than others.

I've not used my Blackland Blackbird all that much. It may perhaps be a fine razor which a persistent gentleman can mastered. For me it was too prone to jumping up out of nowhere and biting. Still, I'll accept the thesis that many more shaves with it would change me into a great BB shaver and into a fan of the razor, and that I simply abandoned it too soon.

The problem is this. Some razors are much easier to learn and just as great in all respects. To me, that makes them better than the BB (for me). The other problem is some razors are nowhere near as good as the Blackbird. One can shave with them for a very long time and not master them because they simply aren't capable.

Still, mostly I love this post because it points out the importance of sticking with kit as opposed to jumping all over the place.

One of the best things I've done since joining B&B - and I was practically forced by Cal @Cal to do it - was the Fixed Four. Using the same kit - one brush, one soap, one safety razor, one brand of blade - for a month was of great benefit to me. However, I can absolutely think of razors I would not want to sign up to use for a month.


Happy shaves,

Jim
I was going to get blustery because I just woke up! Rational logical part took over though.

I took minor offense at the statement that there were better razors out there, but logically speaking that absolutely has to be true. For me, the BB is one of if not the best razor I’ve ever used. It’s better than everything I’ve tried, which is a lot, so statistically speaking there has to be something better out there as well.

Mostly like I said, I’ve gotten a few PMs asking for advice as I’m pretty outspoken about the BB being my #1, so I wanted something in place that I could go and grab in case of any more PMs so I didn’t have to type it all out over and over lol

Can appreciate that there are better razors out there. If you get some time today Jim, would you mind shooting me a PM telling me which razors you own that are better for you, and why? Appreciated sir, thanks!

Scott
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Contributor
I was going to get blustery because I just woke up! Rational logical part took over though.

I took minor offense at the statement that there were better razors out there, but logically speaking that absolutely has to be true. For me, the BB is one of if not the best razor I’ve ever used. It’s better than everything I’ve tried, which is a lot, so statistically speaking there has to be something better out there as well.

Mostly like I said, I’ve gotten a few PMs asking for advice as I’m pretty outspoken about the BB being my #1, so I wanted something in place that I could go and grab in case of any more PMs so I didn’t have to type it all out over and over lol

Can appreciate that there are better razors out there. If you get some time today Jim, would you mind shooting me a PM telling me which razors you own that are better for you, and why? Appreciated sir, thanks!

Scott
I have no idea that there are better razors than the Blackbird at least not in any universal and absolute sense.

I much prefer in terms of safety razors the Schick injectors particular my open to clean Type E-2. I also prefer the SS DLC Hawk in the AC platform. In the double edged razors I prefer the Gillette Old Type with the borrowed handle from a fat handled Tech, and the SLOC, and the 2013 R41, and a couple of my slants.

My point wasn't there are razors truly better than the BB. I was more thinking there are razors not as good. The danger is someone concluding all razors are great or good enough and that it's just a matter of enough practice with whatever razor you have at hand. I believe some razors would never work out for some guys and perhaps some would never work out for anyone.

All that said, I shave with straight razors most of the time.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I guess I must be an exception. I started using my open comb BB mid December every day six days a week and haven't put it down yet. Got BBS shaves from day one and absolutely no blood. Amazing razor.
Me too. I didn’t experience any kind of learning curve with it. And, yes, I think it’s pretty much the greatest de razor ever.
 
Ditto on sticking with it. I was not a fan of the Vector at all at first. Given that it was my first AC razor and that there were so many good reviews about it, I was determined to stick with it. One day it clicked, and now it's among my favourites.

Sticking with the BB taught me to master a light touch. That's really all the BB requires; I think the angle is secondary. The long handled OC BB is a really sweet razor.

I may have to wait a while on the Tradere because I'm on a restraint now. I want to see how long I can go. Maybe all of 2020 :scared:
 
The problem is this. Some razors are much easier to learn and just as great in all respects. To me, that makes them better than the BB (for me). The other problem is some razors are nowhere near as good as the Blackbird. One can shave with them for a very long time and not master them because they simply aren't capable.
I much prefer in terms of safety razors the Schick injectors particular my open to clean Type E-2. I also prefer the SS DLC Hawk in the AC platform. In the double edged razors I prefer the Gillette Old Type with the borrowed handle from a fat handled Tech, and the SLOC, and the 2013 R41, and a couple of my slants.
I saw these messages morning, and have been thinking of a response but haven't quite nailed it but I'll try. We're all friends here and good to invoke thought. I think that wet shaving is wildly personal, YMMV and all that. Having some experience, I take posts I read with a grain of YMMV salt and consider it critically. It can be good to define/remind newer folks of the personal aspects. That said, I am a declared Blackbird nut, I love it.

So I'm curious, what to you is an "easier to learn" razor; and what do you like about the other preferred razors. This isn't meant to be an explain yourself post, more so, getting better on clarity on what to you prefer of the others and helping other compare your preference to the reader's. Do you like blade feel, efficiency, riding the bar/cap, etc...

I'll answer it for myself. To me, some razors are better than others for people, just the way it is. As the first ever DE for someone, I'm not sure I'd recommend the 'Bird, I think the blade-forward design might not be amendable for someone coming from carts with poor technique. That said, I'd highly recommend the 'Bird to a newbie or experience shaver who prefers shaving at a steeper angle and want a blade forward design. Blade feel to me, is a good way to keep me honest with pressure (or lack thereof) and the 'Bird has it. The blade forward design makes it more sensitive to blade selection, and I have to be slightly pickier about blades that go in it, not to say limited but more focused. Also, the 'Bird works well for me at steeper (riding the guard or safety bar) much better than a lot of other razors, and personally, steep shaving is my jam. I hate riding the cap.

So the 'Bird is a unique razor, works for some magnificently and not so well for others. I just think it's good to define some of our preferences, which I think helps others relate to their preferences.
 
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