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Participation PIF - The Mysterious KAI Blades

Second shave with Mysterious Kai blade #3.

Razor:
Fatip Lo Storto Originale Slant “FOCS”
Blade: Kai Stainless Steel (2)
Brush: Chisel and Hound “Buffalo Valley” with 26mm V9 Fanchurian
Bowl: Captain’s Choice Copper Lather Bowl (Heavyweight)
Lather: Murphy and McNeil Naid
Post-shave:
• Omega Alum Stick
• Murphy and McNeil Naid Aftershave Splash (Alcohol Free)
• Murphy and McNeil Naid Aftershave Balm
Result: 9 / 10

I did a 3 pass shave that was enjoyable but not as fantastic as yesterday’s BBS, problem free shave. Today I got a DFS with no irritation. The edge of the slightly wider Kai blade nicked the edge of a large scar on my lower lip that resulted in a little blood and had 2 weepers under my chin. Minor tugging on the ATG pass on my chin but no where near as bad as the previous blades with the Timeless. No shave for tomorrow, Thursday’s shave with a little more growth should be a little better.
 
Fifty-fourth shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Fine Stout 20mm Angel Hair
Soap: RazoRock Gold Label

I have to take back what I said yesterday about the quality of my shaves worsening because today's outing was fantastic!

The FOCS/Kai duo's performance was surprisingly good. Great, in fact. I say "surprisingly" because I had thought that the blade was on its last legs. However, it has rebounded back to the level of quality that I had previously enjoyed; smooth, comfortable shaves with low effort.

Interestingly, the sensation of sharpness has returned. Although I may not have mentioned it in any of my earlier entries, this blade's edge retention is excellent; it's sharp out of the wrapper and has proven, so far, to stay sharp for the life of the blade.

Anyway, my usual three passes were absolutely trouble-free and I had no post-shave irritation afterwards. It looks like I'll be able to push this blade for a while longer because the consistency still seems to be there. Predictability may have suffered slightly as I'm less sure of the performance that I'll get with subsequent shaves.

Side note: Had a bit of trouble with the Fine Stout/RR Gold Label combo. After the first two passes, the lather completely dissipated. I lightly reloaded the brush and proceeded with my third pass. Not sure what happened; this pairing is usually very reliable.
 
15th shave Mysterious Kai blade 2

Razor: King C Gillette
Brush: Omega 10005 boar
Soap & AS: Captain’s Choice Nor’Easter

I was surprised that I got a comfortable DFS+ shave. I didn’t expect to get a real close shave because the KCG is quite mild. But I wanted to use it today. Then I messed up my lather. I made it way too thin and bubbly. But I got an enjoyable, nice, fun shave and a good result after all
 
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Fifty-fifth shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Fine Stout 20mm Angel Hair
Soap: RazoRock Gold Label

Excellent performances from all aspects of today's shave.

The Yaqi Purple Mink required only a few swirls of RR SMdF to make mounds of slick, cushiony lather. SMdF's fragrance is fairly strong while lathering, but the after-scent is subtle and various people have told me that it's quite appealing. It could be my favourite among the soaps in my rotation.

The FOCS/Kai duo performed like a champ. My three usual passes were smooth and comfortable. The ATG pass required minimal effort. As a side note, my shaves may not be as quick as before, but a few extra seconds per pass is no bother at all.

Only some minor buffing was needed; just the usual touchups along the jawline. Finally, there was no post-shave irritation, so I was able to forgo the ASB, once again. Overall, this was a fine shave.
 
Second shave this morning with my first PIF'd Kai blade (thanks, Grundi). The razor was my ATT S-1--stainless steel but with aluminum baseplate to cut down on the weight. Lather was courtesy of Knightsbridge charcoal cream.

My first shave with this razor-blade combo, and Tabac stick soap, was yesterday morning, and the stubble this morning was noticeably less rough than usual. So something was up, and this morning's shave confirmed that impression. The line from Crocodile Dundee--"That isn't a knife. This is a knife."--comes to mind. If the last blade I used (Shark Stainless Steel in a Tech) was a blade, the Kai is a BLADE. Not quite as smooth as the Shark but much more efficient and still smooth enough so that I got a true and ultra-close BBS with no nicks and no irritation with fewer strokes.

The Kai has a small quirk in use. It's tighter on the center post of the top cap on my S-1, and tightening the razor took more forceful twists than with other blades. So the metal on the Kai must be thicker or stiffer than the metal on other blades. It's not a bug or a feature, just a quirk.

I'll report back on longevity.

10th shave this am with a Kai, still in my ATT S-1. But this time I switched the baseplate from aluminum back to the original stainless steel. No preshave. Cream was Knightsbridge Charcoal.

Bottom line: Best 10th shave with any blade, ever. (I usually change blades after 8 shaves.) BBS and no irritation, including a few places on my chin that had weepers in the 9th shave—Tabac soap. I don’t know how much of the improvement is due to the different baseplate, the Knightsbridge cream, or just good luck. On to shave no. 11 tomorrow.
 
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Fifty-sixth shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Maggard 18mm Timber Wolf, Travel Size
Soap: Tabac

The best shave of the week, by far!

An excellent performance from the Maggard 18mm Timber Wolf/Tabac pairing, as usual. Despite the tiny size of this brush, it always manages to make enough lather for at least three passes.

Meanwhile, the FOCS/Kai duo easily surpassed my expectations. Just a few days ago, I thought that this blade was done like dinner, so I began my shave with some trepidation. However, by the end of it, my fear had turned to delight. Somehow, the blade rehabilitated itself (via "face stropping"? :001_tongu ) and is providing quick and effortless shaves, once again.
 
20210416_164834-01-01-01.jpeg
Razor: Karve CB Brass Open Comb "D"-plate

Blade #3 / Shave #3

A splendid shave. The Karve is reputated for being a very smooth razor. Loaded with the KAI, the smoothness didn't change significantly. The Karve efficently mowed down my one day worth of growth with ease. 3 passes, BBS without additional touch ups. Just a tad of irritation, since I just shaved too speedy.

Onward!
 
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Fifty-seventh shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Yaqi Black Marble 24mm Silvertip
Soap: RazoRock Black Label

(My rotation brought all of these items together to create my version of "Black Friday". 😜 Anyway... )

An excellent shave marred by a balky brush that refused to lather.

For some reason, the Yaqi Black Marble Silvertip just wouldn't cooperate. A heavy load of RR Black Label barely managed to generate one pass worth of lather before it completely broke down. Going back to the puck resulted in enough lather for a second pass, but then it dissipated, as well. I had to dip into my lather remnant mug for the third and final pass.

Perhaps the knot is clogged with deposits or something. I'll give it a good cleaning with my homemade brush-cleaning solution: a mixture of borax, OxiClean, washing soda, and SLS dissolved in hot water. Before anybody asks... these are the same ingredients used in brush cleaners made by Classic Shaving and Zingari, among others.

Meanwhile, the FOCS/Kai duo didn't let me down. I received another smooth, trouble-free shave with only some minimal buffing needed. There was no post-shave irritation, so no ASB was required.

Side note: The blade is looking even more grungy now. The edges are clean, but the faces are heavily mottled and discoloured. As mentioned before, dunking the blade in phosphoric acid didn't help. I don't want to rub the faces for fear of damaging the edges, so I'll just keep using it as-is.
 
Fifty-eighth shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Simpson Special S1 Best Badger
Soap: RazoRock Green Label

I almost didn't shave because I got some sunburn on my face, yesterday, from working in the yard in 27 C (81 F) weather. This was exacerbated by a string of in-person meetings with a pack of blood-thirsty lawyers (...like Dick the Butcher said in Shakespeare's "Henry VI": "Let's kill all the lawyers!" 😜 ), so there wasn't much time for prep. This all seemed like a recipe for disaster but, luckily, all aspects of my shave were trouble-free.

The Simpson S1 Special Best/RR Green Label pairing produced enough rich, slick lather for three passes. Thankfully, the lather felt very cushiony.

The sunburn made my face a bit sensitive, but the slick, protective lather allowed the FOCS/Kai duo to breeze through my usual three passes without issue. I was particualrly concerned during the ATG pass, but it was extremely smooth and comfortable. I did not need to buff, at all. Finally, there was no post-shave irritation, so I did not require any ASB.

Currently, my face feels perfectly fine. The mildness of the FOCS and the smoothness of the Kai did a great job of protecting my skin from further abuse.
 
Third shave with Mysterious Kai blade #3

Last night’s shave.

Razor: Fatip Lo Storto Originale Slant “FOCS”
Blade: Kai Stainless Steel (3)
Brush: Grizzly Bay “Empress - EVO Deluxe” with 26mm High Mountain White (Bulb)
Bowl: Captain’s Choice Copper Lather Bowl (Heavyweight)
Soap and Aftershave: Dr Jon’s Savannah Sunrise

I had planned on shaving several times in the last few days but due to life, I went 4 days between shaves. Everything worked perfectly together, resulting in a superlative 3 pass shave that was one of the best, if not the best, BBS shaves I’ve ever had. Writing this 16 or so hours after the shave, it’s still DFS+. No cuts, weepers, irritation, redness or bumps. The Kai worked amazing. It wasn’t as effortless on the first pass, ATG, I think because of the 4 days growth but brought down the majority of the growth with no issues. The XTG and ATG passes were effortless and had zero tugging. For me, I find the Kai works best if I leave a day or a few between shaves.
 
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Fifty-ninth shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Yaqi Moka Express 26mm Two-Band Badger
Soap: RazoRock Blue Label

A nice, relaxing shave. The complete opposite of yesterday's chaotic free-for-all.

Although the Yaqi Moka Express Two-Band required a fairly heavy load of RR Blue Label to produce enough slick lather for three passes, this was a welcome change from the Yaqi Silvertip that could only generate a thin, airy mess despite a very heavy load of soap.

The FOCS/Kai performed extremely well, once again. All three of my usual passes were quick and comfortable. Only minimal buffing was needed after the XTG pass. There was no post-shave irritation, so no ASB was required.

Over the last few days, this Kai blade's performance has improved significantly. At one point, earlier this week, I was ready to bin it. Now, I am confident that I can keep using it for a while longer.
 
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Fifty-ninth shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Yaqi Moka Express 26mm Two-Band Badger
Soap: RazoRock Blue Label

A nice, relaxing shave. The complete opposite of yesterday's chaotic free-for-all.

Although the Yaqi Moka Express Two-Band required a fairly heavy load of RR Blue Label to produce enough slick lather for three passes, this was a welcome change from the Yaqi Silvertip that could only generate a thin, airy mess despite a very heavy load of soap.

The FOCS/Kai performed extremely well, once again. All three of my usual passes were quick and comfortable. Only minimal buffing was needed after the XTG pass. There was no post-shave irritation, so no ASB was required.

Over the last few days, this Kai blade's performance has improved significantly. At one point, earlier this week, I was ready to bin it. Now, I am confident that I can keep using it for a while longer.
That Mysteriously Indestructible KAI Blade must have been one of the original blades from the Very First Batch!!
 
Fourth shave with Mysterious Kai blade #3

Razor:
Fatip Lo Storto Originale Slant “FOCS”
Blade: Kai Stainless Steel (4)
Brush: Yaqi “Butterscotch” with 26mm Silk Smoke (Fan / Flat Top Hybrid)
Bowl: Captain’s Choice Copper Lather Bowl (Heavyweight)
Lather: Taylor of Old Bond Street Lime Zest
Aftershave: Stirling Coconut Lime Aftershave Splash

Result: I last shaved Saturday evening with the Kai, which was of the best shaves I’ve had ever. Tonight’s shave was great as well, it was BBS with no cuts, weepers, irritation or bumps. I had no tugging at all on any of the 3 passes so I believe the tugging on the first (WTG) pass last shave was probably due to the heavy growth of a 4 day beard. The FOCS / Kai duo works fantastic on my tough areas of my chin, goatee and lip, where it would tug every shave with the Timeless .95 and Kai blade. With other blades, I get up to 4 shaves from a blade then have to toss it, I didn’t notice any loss in performance tonight. I’m really hoping I can get to double digit shaves with the Kai / FOCS duo 🤞
 
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Sixtieth shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Omega 10005 Boar
Soap: Pré de Provence No. 63

The mail lady brought a tin of Pré de Provence No. 63, just in time for my daily shave, so...

A stern first test for the PdP No. 63 due to the Omega 10005 boar brush coming up in the rotation. Although I like this brush (mostly due to sentimental reasons), it has been an inconsistent performer in the decade that I've owned it. So, with some trepidation, I lightly mashed the damp brush onto the puck and gave it a half-dozen back-and-forth rotations.

To my surprise and delight, the soap began to lather immediately. I moved the brush to my face and some moderate swirling quickly built a healthy lather with a tight, dense structure. There was no airiness or foaminess, at all. The lather seemed slightly dry, so I added a few drops of water and was rewarded with outstanding slickness. The overall performance was stellar.

However, I must say that I'm not sold on the fragrance. On the one hand, it is warm and appealing. But, on the other hand, there's a spiciness that I find a bit too sharp and even a touch oppressive. The pepperiness overpowers all of the other fragrance notes. I suspect that I'll get used to it, though.

Meanwhile, the FOCS/Kai duo had no issues, again. My three usual passes were smooth and comfortable. A very similar shave to yesterday's; quick and trouble-free. No buffing was needed. There was no post-shave irritation, so no ASB was required.

That Mysteriously Indestructible KAI Blade must have been one of the original blades from the Very First Batch!!
There's an ancient Japanese legend in which the storm god Susa-no-O battles an eight-headed/eight-tailed dragon. When he cut into one of its tails, the edge of his sword cracked and a small chip flew forth. Thus, I believe that my Kai blade is the self-same chip from that celestial being's mystical sword!



Either that or the skin on my face is like elephant hide and I've been shaving with a dull blade for the last two months. :em3400:
 
Fifth shave with Mysterious Kai blade #3

Razor:
Fatip Lo Storto Originale Slant “FOCS”
Blade: Kai Stainless Steel (5)
Brush: Chisel and Hound “Buffalo Valley” with 26mm V9 Fanchurian
Bowl: Captain’s Choice Copper Lather Bowl (Heavyweight)
Soap and Aftershave: Barrister and Mann Le Grand Chypre

Another fantastic shave with the FOCS / Kai duo. I didn’t have very much stubble left after yesterday’s shave so I only did a two pass shave today, WTG and ATG. I got a BBS result with no cuts, weepers, irritation, redness or bumps. There was no tugging again, even in the tough areas of my chin, goatee and lip. The only thing was that I had to do a bit more buffing on the ATG pass, not sure if the blade is starting to dull a bit or more likely it’s because I didn’t do the XTG pass? I have no shave tomorrow so we’ll see on Thursday but I’m anticipating having at least a few more great shaves with this duo.
 
Mysterious Kai blade 2, shave 18
King C Gillette
Yaqi Sagrada Familia synth
Stirliing Agar

another nice shave. I think the blade may be a bit less sharp than at first and I’ll need to use a more aggressive razor in the future. A DFS, but just barely.
 
Sixty-first shave with the Mysterious Kai blade #2

Razor
: Fatip Lo Storto Originale (aka FOCS)
Brush: Yaqi Aqua 24mm Tuxedo
Soap: RR Gold Label

Excellent performances from all aspects of today's shave.

Due to the lingering effects of the sunburn that I received a few days ago, I used much more water to prepare a slicker lather with the Yaqi Aqua Tuxedo/RR Gold Label pairing. This greatly enhanced the ability of the FOCS/Kai duo to glide over my skin.

As a result, I enjoyed three smooth, comfortable passes with minimal effort. I did not buff, at all. Partly because my shave was close, but also to reduce the chance of post-shave irritation. Having said that, there was no irritation, afterwards.
 
10th shave this am with a Kai, still in my ATT S-1. But this time I switched the baseplate from aluminum back to the original stainless steel. No preshave. Cream was Knightsbridge Charcoal.

Bottom line: Best 10th shave with any blade, ever. (I usually change blades after 8 shaves.) BBS and no irritation, including a few places on my chin that had weepers in the 9th shave—Tabac soap. I don’t know how much of the improvement is due to the different baseplate, the Knightsbridge cream, or just good luck. On to shave no. 11 tomorrow.

16th and final shave with my 1st Kai blade this morning.
 
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