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PAA Copper Ascension Twist VS - Yaqi Mellon Head Razor Comparison

I own 2-double open comb razors now, a PAA Copper Ascension Twist, and a Yaqi Mellon Head. I thought it would be fun to do a comparison post, to go over some of the differences.

PAA Copper Ascension Twist VS Yaqi Mellon Head - Lets Go!!!
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Can you tell which one is which? ūüėĀ‚Äč

Just visually looking at both razors, we can see quite a difference here, even though, they look quite similar. Have you figured out which is which yet? OK, the razor on the left side, is the Yaqi Mellon Head, and the razor on the right side, is the PAA Copper Ascension Twist. We can see a substantial difference between the two, in regards to the razor heads. The Yaqi has a much thinner head, and doesn't have an aggressive arch to it. The Yaqi will also have a little bit of blade overhang as well, which I am not a fan of. The head on the PAA Copper Ascension, is much thicker, and has a more aggressive arch to it, and doesn't suffer from exposed blade overhang.

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You can tell that the handle on the Yaqi Mellon Head, is slightly thinner, but the handle is inferior, because it doesn't have a quality knurling, and is far too smooth, which allows fingers to slip when soapy. The handle on the PAA Copper Ascension, is slightly thicker, and has a much better quality knurling, which provides superior grip, plus the styling of the handle is much better too.

The Yaqi Mellon Head razor is a 3-piece design, made out of Zinc Alloy for the head, Brass for the handle, and is 95mm long. Rose gold finish.

The PAA Copper Ascension is also a 3-piece design, made out of tellurium copper, with a rose gold electroplate coating, polished finish, and is also 95mm long.

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It is clear that we have already established, that PAA's Copper Ascension, is the superior razor in regards to material makeup. You can buy a Yaqi Mellon Head razor for around $30.00 US dollars. Where as the PAA Copper Ascension will cost you $110.00 US dollars. So its clear that the cheaper razor in cost, is also the Yaqi Mellon Head, and would be far easier for most folks to acquire one. So the next question you might have is, so why would I pay a heck of a lot more for the PAA razor?

First, you might want a higher quality built razor, something that will last an entire lifetime, perhaps more, so you can pass the razor down to your kids perhaps? Well, if you want something that lasts, better go with the PAA razor. Another factor, is the technology built into the PAA razor. Notice how the razor has much more of an arch to it, in regards to the head design? Do you know why? This was made to put extra tension force on the blade, to act as a tension spring. Why would they do that you ask?

The full name of the razor is PAA Copper Ascension Twist Adjustable. Key word is on the "adjustable." Because of the extra tension applied to the razor blade, due to the arch design, it effectively allows you to alter the blade gap aggression, by loosening the handle, to make the razor more aggressive, without causing blade chatter. The razor is adjustable between 1/8 turn out, to a whole 1/2 turn out. But you don't want to exceed 1/2 turn out for safety.

The Yaqi Mellon Head, does not have the extreme arch in the head, required to apply proper tension on the blade, to allow for loosening up the handle for adjustment. To do so on the Yaqi, would invite blade chatter, which will cause severe irritation to your skin, and or cause razor cuts, and possible weepers, so please don't do it!

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I have shaved with both of these razors, here are my findings. The Yaqi Mellon head was fairly easy to use, loading up a blade, no different then any other 3-piece razor. I wasn't a fan of the blade overhang though, but I've seen worse. While the razor appeared to glide relatively smooth on my skin, it was extremely mild! With no way to adjust it, I was forced to shave with this mild razor, until the shave was done. I am somebody who likes to have BBS shaves, and this razor took an eternity to get there. By the time the shave was done, I had a couple of nicks, and I also had irritation.

Please note, that the Yaqi Mellon head razor's extreme mildness, might work for somebody who has thin soft whiskers, so don't count it completely out quite yet. But, if you have course thick whiskers like I do, your going to want something more aggressive.

The PAA Copper Ascension, is a fine piece of engineering IMO. I just had my first shave with it today, and I pinned it up against 7-day whisker growth, and this razor didn't even flinch! Loading the blade is the same process for any 3-piece razor. Unlike the Yaqi, this razor has no blade overhang, which is a major plus in my book. This razor's adjustabillity, allowed me to make the razor more aggressive, with the handle loosened to 1/2 turned out from fully seated, which took down the 7-day whiskers in the WTG passes. I tightened the handle to only 1/4 out from fully seated, when I did my XTG passes. Then I fully had the handle seated for the most mild shave, when I did my ATG passes.

Final result?

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The PAA Copper Ascension Twist Adjustable razor, provided me literally the best shave that I ever had, in my entire life! It provided the most efficient, and the most smoothest worry free shave. I had 0-nicks, 0-weepers, and 0-irritation. I achieved a complete 100% BBS shave, and my face thanked me for finally removing the 7-day whiskers I was building up for razor testing. In my experience, the Yaqi Mellon Head wasn't able to give me a comfortable smooth shave. It technically got the job done yes, but it was inefficient, missing whiskers consistently, causing nicks and irritation. Is the Yaqi $30 dollar razor worth it to me? Nope! Would I love to sell it? YEP! Is the PAA $110 worth it to me? YEP! Would I ever sell it? NOPE!

What about you folks? Have any of you used both of these razors, and if so, what conclusions did you come up with?
 
Nice review. I do not have an Ascension, but I think you are selling the Mellon short.

Many guys are buying just the Mellon head, so the handle become irrelevant. I bought mine as the SLOC with a super knurl handle for less than $20. I'd bet a tuck of Gillette platinums that the super knurl is a better handle than what comes with the Ascension. When you can grab a few Mellon heads at around $9 a piece the life span of the zamak also becomes less of a concern.

The Mellon is a mild razor, and that's one of the reasons that I and others recommend it for new users. I know from months of experience that it can deliver a BBS shave. It might, however, take more practice to achieve. I don't mind the bit of blade tab exposure---it makes it easier to remove the blade. I completely understand the preference for covered tabs though, especially for head shavers.

Many guys, myself included, won't touch a PAA product because of their business practices and misleading marketing. I'd like to propose a razor that I believe would be better than either the Mellon or Ascension. The RR Game Changer .68OC. It's made in Canada instead of communist China. It also has a significantly lower price than the Ascension while being made of superior materials. Compared to the Mellon/SLOC it is more efficient and will handle longer growth better in my experience. It doesn't have the double open comb, but in my real life experience I've not seen a benefit to it. The double open comb might have a slight advantage in buffing.

To be honest, if someone wasn't happy with the Mellon/SLOC performance I'd recommend a vintage Gillette new. There are plenty of user grade ones made from better materials for the same cost or cheaper that will deliver a great shave. It's just easier to buy new rather than used.

I don't mean to detract from your review, but I'm a big SLOC/Mellon fan even if it doesn't see as much action as it used to.
 
Nice review. I do not have an Ascension, but I think you are selling the Mellon short.

Many guys are buying just the Mellon head, so the handle become irrelevant. I bought mine as the SLOC with a super knurl handle for less than $20. I'd bet a tuck of Gillette platinums that the super knurl is a better handle than what comes with the Ascension. When you can grab a few Mellon heads at around $9 a piece the life span of the zamak also becomes less of a concern.

The Mellon is a mild razor, and that's one of the reasons that I and others recommend it for new users. I know from months of experience that it can deliver a BBS shave. It might, however, take more practice to achieve. I don't mind the bit of blade tab exposure---it makes it easier to remove the blade. I completely understand the preference for covered tabs though, especially for head shavers.

Many guys, myself included, won't touch a PAA product because of their business practices and misleading marketing. I'd like to propose a razor that I believe would be better than either the Mellon or Ascension. The RR Game Changer .68OC. It's made in Canada instead of communist China. It also has a significantly lower price than the Ascension while being made of superior materials. Compared to the Mellon/SLOC it is more efficient and will handle longer growth better in my experience. It doesn't have the double open comb, but in my real life experience I've not seen a benefit to it. The double open comb might have a slight advantage in buffing.

To be honest, if someone wasn't happy with the Mellon/SLOC performance I'd recommend a vintage Gillette new. There are plenty of user grade ones made from better materials for the same cost or cheaper that will deliver a great shave. It's just easier to buy new rather than used.

I don't mean to detract from your review, but I'm a big SLOC/Mellon fan even if it doesn't see as much action as it used to.

Thank you for providing your opinions and experience. One of the things I find interesting, is that we are all different. We have different skin types, we have different whisker types, and depending on what those are, greatly impact how well a razor performs for us. Another thing I learned in my experience, is that depending on the blade used, also greatly impacts razor performance.

For clarification, I bought the Yaqi Mellon from Big_T's BSD sale from several months ago, so I didn't have any choice of handle, I got what I got and that was that. I realize that people who buy from that Ali-Express site, they allow a pull down of choices, and for some reason, they sell the handles and the heads separately, which is kind of weird, cause most don't do that.

After a bad experience with the Yaqi Mellon, I went on a quest to find another double open comb razor. Thats when I discovered the Razorock Slock 1.0 and the Razorock Slock 2.0. The heads may have been more or less the same, but the handles were completely different between versions. I really wanted the Slock 2.0, but they were out of stock!

So I contacted the company, as to inquire into the whereabouts, of the missing Slock 2.0. They told me that they discontinued it, due to lack of interests, and some negative reviews. I then later discovered that the double open comb heads on both the Razorock Slock, and the Yaqi Mellon, were pretty much virtually identical, and wouldn't offer much difference anyways.

In a nearly heart broken state, I began searching the interwebs for a superior razor, thats when I discovered that PAA made double open comb razors, and have done since the original DOC razor. They have several different versions of double open comb razors. They have nickel plated chrome, they have aluminum, they have stainless steel, and then finally the copper.

Yes, I am well aware of the negatives of PAA, and I have even had a run in with Doug that didn't go so well in email, in regards to site feedback. I put my foot down and didn't buy anything ever again from them for months! But eventually I needed to get the thorn out of my backside and grow up. If Doug is doing good now with some of the products he sells, then I will just buy what I need.

The reality is, both the PAA Copper Ascension Twist Adjustable in Rose Gold, and my PAA Ice Cube 2.0 with Intergalactic Dock, have been absolutely superb products. I may not like PAA as a company, but I do like some of their products. I also got a Chill Mill and some menthol crystals coming from them as well. Thanks again for providing your opinions and experience. You should try the Copper Ascension and see what you think of it. You just might like it.
 
I think @borwish is pretty much on-target. Buying the Mellon head by itself costs me less than $6, IIRC. I've got plenty of nice handles to choose from. I don't have any signs of plating loss after a few years, so I'm not too worried about the Mellon lasting a good long while. If I have to replace it years down the road for $6, that's not really significant.

The Mellon head is great for several situations. It's good for traveling when you need to shave quickly. It's a good buffing razor. It's also nice when you just want a mild shave on an easy day.

@Star_Wahl_Clipper_Treker, you might be blaming the equipment for your technique issues. I felt the same about your Red Tip review. You have to get to know a piece of equipment over time, in order to learn how to get the best out of it.
 
Another thing I learned in my experience, is that depending on the blade used, also greatly impacts razor performance.
I can't say how greatly blade choice affects a razor's performance (I have observed this myself and know it to be true) but I can say that the razor can have an immense affect on a particular blade's performance. A blade might be acceptable in the GC .68OC but completely unusable in the Winning razor for example.

To be clear I don't recall any bad comment's about PAA's products, just their methods.

Keep an eye on Razorock's scratch and dent area. A nice heavy, grippy handle might improve your opinion of the the Mellon. The UFO handle would probably be a good match up to compare to the Ascension.
 
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Meh, PAA, like Razor Emporium, has had some significant issues; however, occassionally I will chance a product if I'm able to get a reasonable amount of info. On the Ascension, I felt confident enough to take a chance.

The Ascension is a better product in build and range of performance. The Mellon is another zinc copy of another maker's product. It is cheap. And mild. Is the Ascension $90-odd better? Individual preference.

I don't like zinc, I do like aggressive shavers. I still have the Ascension, not the Mellon.

Others will choose differently.
 
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