Occam's SE, First shave

Discussion in 'Single Edged Razors' started by MichaelB, Jun 17, 2019.

    I have been on an SE roll for the last several weeks. My Mongoose has become the go-to razor in my collection. I recently bought the Occam's SE Razor from Classic Shaving, and I used it this morning for the first time. I used the two-dot head (the one between the mildest one-dot and the most aggressive three-dot) with an Artist's Club Professional blade. (They don't recommend using the three-dot with a Professional blade, only a Pro Guard). I didn't bother using the tool to insert the blade.

    Here are some first impressions:
    This is like no other razor I have used. It is extremely light. The first strokes suggested an almost free-floating blade held in place by a minimal apparatus. The only razor that gave me a remotely similar feeling was the ultra-light Standard DE, which I consider a beginner's razor. I found it hard to get a good grip on the Occam, because of the odd shape of the handle and the razor's extreme lightness.

    I began at my right sideburn, which I usually do. Since the way the blade is oriented enforces a very steep angle, I found it a bit difficult to shave at places that require more dexterity. I noticed when I was done that my right sideburn was less straight than I usually get it. Even more difficult was the stubble just under my the nose. It isn't easy getting that area smooth when it can only be approached from one fixed angle.

    The first pass was not very effective. I suppose that was mostly because I was not used to the overall feel of this unusual razor. Usually, I can get a great shave in two passes, but this time I needed three full passes followed by a little touching up.

    These negatives aside, I did ultimately get an OK shave from the Occam, and there were no bleeders or nicks. I am actually looking forward to improving my technique with this razor, because I think it has potential to be a keeper. This razor does require a learning curve to improve one's skill at it. I am also looking forward to using the three-dot head with a Pro Guard blade (but I may have to buy the right-sized screwdriver to change the head).

    And while I'm on that subject, I do, by the way, agree with those on other forums who view the blade-inserting tool as useless and who question the design that requires one to use a screwdriver to change the head. Both of these undermine the advertised assertion that the Occam is the simplest way to shave.
  1. I too have struggled to master this razor (I have the OREN). I like the design, etc, but a good shave eludes me.

    I have to give it another chance; I'd love to use it as my head shaver, but carts are (unfortunately) much faster and easier.
  2. After a handful of shaves I sold mine on the BST. It's not a bad razor, and the fact that it's "adjustabie-ish" is a plus, even if it does take a small Phillips screwdriver to change plates. (As an aside, I think that there are adjustable razors like the Gillette Super Adjustable or the Merkur Progress, changeable plate razors like the Rockwell, Karve and Game Changer, and then the OREN which is the least adjustable of all - maybe it should just be called "modifiable").

    My first two shaves were with the 2 dot, or moderate, guard. While the shave was very comfortable, I was a bit disconcerted by the complete lack of blade feel. More disturbingly, however, it just wasn't a close shave using my normal 2 pass plus touch-up shave. The next two shaves were with the 3 dot, or aggressive, guard. There was noticeably more blade feel, but the shave was still very smooth and comfortable. And not too bad. Maybe with more patience it would have improved, but all of the other razors I am currently using worked well from Day 1 and all give me a closer shave than the OREN. My only other AC razor is the Black Hawk, and I find it superior in all aspects to the OREN.

  3. Yes.

    Maybe that's what I experienced... No matter the dots, I never got a very close shave. Comfortable and smooth definitely, but not close.
  4. ajkel64

    ajkel64 Ambassador

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have not tried this razor.
  5. I just posted this in another thread....

    So first shave in on this this morning. I have to agree with the other’s assessments. Surprisingly little feedback and very inefficient. Several passes to get a decent but not even DFS especially on my neck. I have a coarse beard and wonder if I should give the 3-dot proguard combo a try before I turn this back over to the BST? I may just need to play with the blade angle(??).

    I did not find it too awkward to hold. Will take some muscle memory to get the hold just right. Surprisingly, it is not slippery despite its smooth finish. This is a positive.

    It is worth trying. It clearly has value for some beards. So far just not for mine. Not even going to attempt a head shave.

    This is three strikes for AC razors for me. Maybe this just isn’t what my face wants

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. I took it in a completely different direction and have been enjoying AC blades in my Feather SS AC. :)
  7. You cost me some money! After reading your post, I ordered a Black Hawk.
  8. Sorry about that. But if your results are like mine, it will be money well spent.
  9. Okay. Wow.

    I tried again tonight with 2 dot and a Kai mild.

    Smooth, close, comfortable, and irritation free.

    I can't explain it, but I really enjoyed the shave and was pleased with the results.

    More shaves are necessary to see if I can get consistent results.

    The results were less pleasing on my head, but I didn't put much effort into it. Not even lather. Warm water worked just fine.
  10. Well this is encouraging!! Anything else you can think of that may have been a factor here?

    Mind if I ask your beard type? Me being wiry I figured I would have to go pro-guard/3 dot, but maybe I need to go in the other direction and pick up some Kai Pinks??

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Potential factors: First is the blade selection. Until last night I was using Feather Pro Supers. It's possible the Kai Mild works better in that razor for me.

    Next is the lather: I ran out of PAA, and used Rustic Shave Soap. IMO this is least likely to have had a significant effect.

    Third, and most likely: technique. I've been shaving with a Feather SS AC lately, and I'm more "blade aware" than I used to be. I concentrated very hard riding the top cap, and angling down until the blade "just" made contact with my face. This razor does not seem to favor steep angle shaving.

    Beard type: Thick/heavy and coarse. I swear my whiskers chew up razor blades for breakfast. Most razor blades "tug", and my preference is Feather when it comes to my DE's; they are the sharpest I've found, and work the best for me.
  12. I tried again this am w a Pro. Not dissimilar results tho got a better angle and more feedback today. I did notice that maybe I had the blade in the wrong way? There is one side of the blade w a notch. I thin it needs to be on the left w the head facing away from you. When I looked at this after my shave and adjusted the blade it seemed to give more exposure.

    Should the blade be easy to push straight thru from back to front. It seems to take a precise touch to load correctly.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. The Pro Supers always hit the safety bar when I install them. And they don't seem to float as well as the Kai blades. Also of note, the Kai blades install much easier without hitting the safety bar.

    Not sure if there is a "top" or "bottom" to the blades, but I make sure to install them oriented as they come out of the dispenser.
  14. I don't believe that it should matter which way you put the blade into the razor (assuming of course that the sharp side faces out!). There are horizontal springs in the razor that should catch in the horizontal cutouts in the blade; the extra notch should not come into play, or at least not in any way that I remember.

    It is easy to push the blade all of the way through. Once you push down slightly on the blade to release it from those springs, there is nothing to stop you from pushing it all of the way through. That is how I unloaded the used blade.
  15. I had my first shave with this razor this morning with Feather Professional blades and Stirling Ozark Mountain Soap. I have to tell you it ranks up there with one of the best shaves I have ever had. I used the 2 dot and it performed really well for my face. This is my first time using so it was a little awkward at first but all I can say is wow. I hand loaded the blade, there was no chatter whatsoever with the blade before or during the shave. I did a 3 pass shave with no weepers or nicks. End result was a bbs close shave. I never felt the blade during the shave but it mowed down a course 2 day growth. Impressed and it’s a keeper for me.
  16. I have just completed 9 consecutive Shaves with the Oren, all on plate 2, the first 8 being with a Feather Pro. I quickly got the hang of the skeletal hand and find it great at ATG and working around the neck. I think the Razor encourages you to go for a close finish, so a shave takes me a little longer than usual. Despite having a strong beard, this Razor delivers some of the closest all round Shaves ever.
  17. GlazedBoker

    GlazedBoker Contributor

    The O.R.E.N razor is a really good performer. I also have the original Occam's razor and it also is a very good razor as well. But, I prefer the 2nd version as it feels easier maneuvering around the neck and tighter areas. I have never been bit by either version and frankly I find that you would have to intentionally be reckless to do so as the floating blade is designed to move within the contours of ones face to prevent or limit nics and cuts. The 2 dot with either a Schick Proline, Feather Pro or Super perform marvelously in both.

    They're the best kept secret in the SE razor world...

  18. This morning, I used my new Black Hawk for the first time (with an AC Professional and Mitchell's Wool Fat). It has a more aggressive blade posture than the Oren, is about just as light, but it has a much more grippable handle. After just two passes, I had a perfectly stubble-less, immaculate shave. It is a simple, light, three piece SE razor, but it gives a truly great shave. Thanks for the tip, Steve.
  19. I'm still enjoying my Oren and switched to the 3 dot.

    It will never make my regular rotation, but it is a nice razor.

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