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Phoenixkh: An Old Man's Continuum....

It is Thanksgiving in the US and so hopefully everyone is enjoying time with loved ones. We do not have Thanksgiving per se in the Netherlands, but I do have a lot to be thankful of - including this little place called B&B and the friends I get to meet there. One of those friends happens to be the owner of this thread and so with much pleasure I continue our journey in razor definitions.

As always: reading disclaimer: YMMV - these are my personal opinions and views and cannot be seen as representative for the B&B community.

So now that's out of the way again, let's see what we think about Unicorn razors and Goldilocks razors. I think these to are related actually. There are subtleties to be found here are well


A Unicorn-in-want razor is the razor:
  1. you always wanted
  2. you do not currently have
  3. you find aesthetically pleasing in design, and
  4. requires extensive searching and seeking [therefore most likely a non-current model]
A Goldilocks-in-want razor is the razor:
  1. you really want
  2. you do not currently have
  3. you find aesthetically pleasing in design or peaks your curiosity, and
  4. requires a single purchase [therefore most likely a current model]
A Unicorn-in-have razor is the razor:
  1. you always wanted
  2. you do currently have
  3. you find aesthetically pleasing in design
  4. delivers the shave results you are after, and
  5. you use it less that a Holy Grail and more than a Goldilocks-in-have*
A Goldilocks-in-have razor is the razor:
  1. you really wanted
  2. you currently have
  3. you find aesthetically pleasing in design
  4. delivers the shave results you are after, and
  5. you use it less that a Holy Grail and more than a Rotation razor (see below)
After obtaining such a razor we refer back to the Holy Grail razor definition to check if a Unicorn and/or Goldilocks razor fits those criteria - i.e. a razor can shift categories. If not, a razor can stay stable and only shift from 'in-want' to 'in-have'.

*) I do realize that you may have a Unicorn-in-have razor that you intentionally shave less with, e.g. to preserve the razor or to save it for special occasions like a birth quarter razor.

With that in mind, there are two other categories to be defined as well obviously. These are the ones that currently came to my mind:

A Rotation razor is the razor:
  1. you have in your collection
  2. you find pleasing in design
  3. delivers at least decent shaving results, and
  4. you occassionally use and at least less than a Goldilocks-in-have razor, but more than a Pass-on razor
A Pass-on razor is the razor:
  1. you have in your collection
  2. you find pleasing in design
  3. delivers at least decent shaving results
  4. you rarely use and at least less than a Rotation razor
  5. would be ok with if it was not in your collection
The Pass-around razor could at first have been a Goldilocks razor that simply wasn't what you thought it would be. If you continue to use it with some regularity it would be a Rotation razor - otherwise it will become a Pass-on razor.

And then there is the Display razor, which is basically a razor you have, maybe even Unicorn status, but you do not use and only have for collection purposes.

I currently do not have Unicorn-in-want razors on my list and have one Unicorn-in-have razor. I have a couple of Goldilocks-in-want razors (and this list expands and shrinks periodically), such as the Karve CB, Mühle Rocca and Lambda's. My other razors fall into Goldilocks-in-have and Rotation razors. I have no Pass-on razors at the moment.

Reading disclaimer 1: YMMV
Reading disclaimer 2: read disclaimer 1

Looking forward to your views again everyone.

Cheers,

Guido.
Oh wow. Even your categories have categories. This is a game where reading the rules takes longer than playing. But…

I guess a unicorn-in-want razor for me might be the Raw Shaving RS10, although I don’t know if it would seem as good now, when compared to some of the best newer razors. Impossible to say without owning one.

Oh, no, wait, it wouldn’t be that, it would be the Janus prototype (before they changed the spec for the ill-fated production model). Yeah, that’s my unicorn razor. In gold. I wonder if the Janus will ever be resurrected.

229ECCA1-84A1-42CC-8AF5-8CB5F2772327.png
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
I don't have a set rotation yet, but I'm using my Claymore Evo around the bottom of my nose and up into the nostrils on every shave.

By Guido's definitions and rules, I have 4 Holy Grail razors. I plan to use them all equally and throw in one of my new ones to get a handle on how well they work.

I used the Blackland Era L4 OC a few minutes ago. This was my first experience with an open comb. It was pretty much uneventful. The only place where the OC came into play was around my bottom lip. It was just a bit more difficult to get the blade positioned perfectly to cut the whiskers along my bottom lip. It wasn't really a challenge, just adjusting to a different feel.

I don't have a verdict on the Era yet. It seems efficient. The shave quality was excellent but it wasn't quite as smooth and comfortable as my top razors. I'll pay attention to how long the shave lasts. I have the L4 SB and the L5 OC. I'll probably try the L4 SB next, then the L5 OC... find which one works better for me and use it two more times or so. I'm still using Wizamet Super Iridiums for all my shaves for consistency. I'm not sure if they are the best blade for me but I have more of them than any of my others. The only other blade I've used for quite a few shaves is the Gillette 7 O'clock blacks. I don't know enough to know how they are supposed to compare but I can't really tell any significant difference. The only blade I've used that I might like more is the King C Gillette. They are so expensive that that won't be my regulars, I'm pretty sure but I really enjoyed them. However, I only used them in the British Flat Bottom Tech, not in any of my top 3 DE razors. As you know, my other Holy Grail razor is my ATT X1 AC Slant.

These Era tests will take me until the middle of December, I think. I'm sure I'll throw in a shave from my favorites along the way as well. Then the RR Lupo is next on the list. I'll have 2 new base plates by then since they are going to release the 72 OC and restock the 95 SB. I already have the 72SB and the 95OC. That experiment, with 4 plates, will take me into the new year, I'm guessing.

Somewhere along the line, I'm going to try the Overlander again. I have it loaded with a Kai. I hope that changes it for me. I really want to love it. For one thing, the 24K gold plating makes it a visibly striking razor now. Almost everyone here loves theirs, with a few exceptions.
 
I don't have a set rotation yet, but I'm using my Claymore Evo around the bottom of my nose and up into the nostrils on every shave.

By Guido's definitions and rules, I have 4 Holy Grail razors. I plan to use them all equally and throw in one of my new ones to get a handle on how well they work.

I used the Blackland Era L4 OC a few minutes ago. This was my first experience with an open comb. It was pretty much uneventful. The only place where the OC came into play was around my bottom lip. It was just a bit more difficult to get the blade positioned perfectly to cut the whiskers along my bottom lip. It wasn't really a challenge, just adjusting to a different feel.

I don't have a verdict on the Era yet. It seems efficient. The shave quality was excellent but it wasn't quite as smooth and comfortable as my top razors. I'll pay attention to how long the shave lasts. I have the L4 SB and the L5 OC. I'll probably try the L4 SB next, then the L5 OC... find which one works better for me and use it two more times or so. I'm still using Wizamet Super Iridiums for all my shaves for consistency. I'm not sure if they are the best blade for me but I have more of them than any of my others. The only other blade I've used for quite a few shaves is the Gillette 7 O'clock blacks. I don't know enough to know how they are supposed to compare but I can't really tell any significant difference. The only blade I've used that I might like more is the King C Gillette. They are so expensive that that won't be my regulars, I'm pretty sure but I really enjoyed them. However, I only used them in the British Flat Bottom Tech, not in any of my top 3 DE razors. As you know, my other Holy Grail razor is my ATT X1 AC Slant.

These Era tests will take me until the middle of December, I think. I'm sure I'll throw in a shave from my favorites along the way as well. Then the RR Lupo is next on the list. I'll have 2 new base plates by then since they are going to release the 72 OC and restock the 95 SB. I already have the 72SB and the 95OC. That experiment, with 4 plates, will take me into the new year, I'm guessing.

Somewhere along the line, I'm going to try the Overlander again. I have it loaded with a Kai. I hope that changes it for me. I really want to love it. For one thing, the 24K gold plating makes it a visibly striking razor now. Almost everyone here loves theirs, with a few exceptions.
I’m not sure I have the discipline to schedule my shaving equipment use two months in advance. I will sometimes do a few shaves to test out something or to try and answer an interesting question, but I am always happy to interrupt my experiments just to shave with something I feel like using. It means I do have several razors I’ve never shaved with yet. But that’s ok. There’s no rush.

Lately I’m pretty much alternating between two (same brand) razors and two (same brand and model) brushes for nearly every shave. But I did use one new razor for my last shave (H&S Ti 130 Aggressive) and I just received my novelty PAA 10th anniversary Bazooka Joe plastic toy razor and for some reason I want to use that next. But only because I feel like it.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
I should have been more vague. ;)

I like using my top 4 razors. I don't have a "set" rotation... just a preferred group at this point. I like them so much, it's a challenge to force myself to try the other soon-to-be 8 (again) razors I haven't tried yet.

I used the Era yesterday but I remember when I was setting up, saying to myself, hmmmmm I wonder if I should just use the Elite again. We are heading down to see our son and his wife... having the Thanksgiving meal at her parents' house, tomorrow. I am going to use one of my top 4 razors before we head off. I really prefer shaving in the evenings but on special occasions like this, I'll do the rare morning shave.

Edit: Brushes.... I have over 20. I use the three SV 2.0 Manchurian brushes for every shave. Those I do rotate. I have my original SV brush I bought from @SgtCrppls but since that one is broken in, I haven't used it since I got the other three. I did buy an STF brush from Rudy Vey a while back so I've thrown that in the rotation. In fact, I used it yesterday. It lathers like nobody's business. My only complaint: it's just a bit too soft.... not floppy at all... but I prefer the slight scrub feeling I get from the SV badgers. It's such a subjective thing. Unlike a razor, where the end results can vary razor to razor, a brush just has to get the lather on your face. It's a pretty simple job. I can see why some people are fine with just using one brush. I could use an SV brush every day and not need another. But I do have 8 boar brushes. I bought them specifically to use in DecemBOAR. I look forward to that. Something different.
 
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I should have been more vague. ;)

I like using my top 4 razors. I don't have a "set" rotation... just a preferred group at this point. I like them so much, it's a challenge to force myself to try the other soon-to-be 8 (again) razors I haven't tried yet.

I used the Era yesterday but I remember when I was setting up, saying to myself, hmmmmm I wonder if I should just use the Elite again. We are heading down to see our son and his wife... having the Thanksgiving meal at her parents' house, tomorrow. I am going to use one of my top 4 razors before we head off. I really prefer shaving in the evenings but on special occasions like this, I'll do the rare morning shave.
It’s kind of a shame that it takes so long to really try something out - especially when, like you, I don’t shave daily. I remember when I decided to compare four synthetic shaving brushes, and then check if the Blackland brush white and black knots are different. That took a week and a half and I was almost regretting that I started it, even though I was only using each brush once. It was certainly a relief to finish, write down my thoughts, and go back to normal.

On the other hand, if I’m getting shaves that mean I don’t need to shave the next day, then I’m getting satisfaction out of it.
 
Another similar dilemma I have right now - and it’s such a trivial thing - I saw someone say they love Bic Astor blades and I thought I ought to try one, since I got some with my Lambda razors. I’ve no idea when I’ll get around to it, though. It made no sense to use an unknown blade when I tried my new H&S razor, and it won’t make sense with my kiddy PAA razor either. I also don’t want to waste good blades so I have to wait until I need to change the blade in whichever razor I do use. It’s gonna take me at least a week just to try a blade, and then who knows how many shaves I need to really reach any opinion about it.

Not the biggest problem facing the world today, I realise.
 
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Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
First world problems, indeed. While the other razors I have purchased are well regarded by many B&B members, I don't expect any of them will be that "hidden gem" that topples one of my top 4, but one never knows. If another one climbs the pinnacle and ends up tied at the top, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

My only "fear", if you can call it that, is... will the Gillette Vintage razors measure up? With the replating costs added in, I do have quite a bit of money tied up in them. I enjoyed shaving with the British Flat Bottom Tech..... but not as much as I have enjoyed my top 4. I'll get back to them at some point.

On the other hand, if I sell them, I could easily finance a Rocnel Sailor. <eg>.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I know what I'm using today...
  • If I'm doing a Fixed Four or something like that where I'm committed.
  • If I'm traveling and only have available what I brought along on the trip.
  • If I'm in the midst of a serious experiment the parameters of which are inflexible.
  • If I'm hearing voices and have been told over and over what kit I'm expected to use today.
Otherwise I get my marching orders by whim or from Big Nurse; she has, after all, rules for some of the inmates, rules which can override my whims.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I know what I'm using today...
  • If I'm doing a Fixed Four or something like that where I'm committed.
  • If I'm traveling and only have available what I brought along on the trip.
  • If I'm in the midst of a serious experiment the parameters of which are inflexible.
  • If I'm hearing voices and have been told over and over what kit I'm expected to use today.
Otherwise I get my marching orders by whim or from Big Nurse; she has, after all, rules for some of the inmates, rules which can override my whims.

Happy shaves,

Jim
Ehhmm…Big Nurse just asked me why you are not in your room cell. I covered for you, but she’ll be back before you know it.

Just sayin’

Guido
 
Brushes.... I have over 20. I use the three SV 2.0 Manchurian brushes for every shave. Those I do rotate. I have my original SV brush I bought from @SgtCrppls but since that one is broken in, I haven't used it since I got the other three. I did buy an STF brush from Rudy Vey a while back so I've thrown that in the rotation. In fact, I used it yesterday. It lathers like nobody's business. My only complaint: it's just a bit too soft.... not floppy at all... but I prefer the slight scrub feeling I get from the SV badgers. It's such a subjective thing. Unlike a razor, where the end results can vary razor to razor, a brush just has to get the lather on your face. It's a pretty simple job. I can see why some people are fine with just using one brush. I could use an SV brush every day and not need another. But I do have 8 boar brushes. I bought them specifically to use in DecemBOAR. I look forward to that. Something different.
I have always really liked using my SV brushes. They aren’t dense, which is a pleasant antidote to all the hand-tied artisan badger knots, and they just have a nice, light scrubby feel. The handle is very comfortable and of course owning one makes you an honorary Italian duke because of the pewter crown. I kinda think they’re the most comfortable and user-friendly badger brushes I have. I don’t know why I don’t use them all the time.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I have always really liked using my SV brushes. They aren’t dense, which is a pleasant antidote to all the hand-tied artisan badger knots, and they just have a nice, light scrubby feel. The handle is very comfortable and of course owning one makes you an honorary Italian duke because of the pewter crown. I kinda think they’re the most comfortable and user-friendly badger brushes I have. I don’t know why I don’t use them all the time.


I'd probably say they're dense but not too dense. I've had two or three brushes a good bit less dense, brushes which weren't dense enough.

We 100% agree on how great the SV knots are. I could have saved a lot of money had I followed my inclinations and purchased one years ago. Mostly I didn't for two reasons.
  1. SV brushes are expensive; it took me a long time to find them at a discount which made 'em an easier pill to swallow.
  2. For some reason I had the idea they were smallish knots. In reality they are a huge-ish nominally sized 26 mm.
Speaking of excellent and huge-ish knots...

I'm sure I wouldn't say the Mozingo knot I have is totally like the SV knots, but it is not particularly dissimilar. I have no idea what kind of hairs the Mozingo contains other than two band. Some people say the Mozingo is very dense. To me, it feels and functions somewhat like or maybe a lot like the SV knots depending on how I think of its attributes. It is however a lot larger and of a totally different shape.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I'd probably say they're dense but not too dense. I've had two or three brushes a good bit less dense, brushes which weren't dense enough.

We 100% agree on how great the SV knots are. I could have saved a lot of money had I followed my inclinations and purchased one years ago. Mostly I didn't for two reasons.
  1. SV brushes are expensive; it took me a long time to find them at a discount which made 'em an easier pill to swallow.
  2. For some reason I had the idea they were smallish knots. In reality they are a huge-ish nominally sized 26 mm.
Speaking of excellent and huge-ish knots...

I'm sure I wouldn't say the Mozingo knot I have is totally like the SV knots, but it is not particularly dissimilar. I have no idea what kind of hairs the Mozingo contains other than two band. Some people say the Mozingo is very dense. To me, it feels and functions somewhat like or maybe a lot like the SV knots depending on how I think of its attributes. It is however a lot larger and of a totally different shape.

Happy shaves,

Jim
I’ve never tried an SV brush, but from your description, I would like them. I find myself favoring my Mozingo ZT3 and my Varlets lately—none of which are super high density, but still plenty dense for my tastes. I picked up a ZT4 this week—since Mozingo is having a very good sale right now.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Ehhmm…Big Nurse just asked me why you are not in your room cell. I covered for you, but she’ll be back before you know it.

Just sayin’

Guido



She thinks I'm in my cell now, but little does she know.

(She says you'd like the SV brushes, but what does she know about brushes.)

Thanks for covering for me.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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I used the Blackland Era L4 OC a few minutes ago. This was my first experience with an open comb. It was pretty much uneventful. The only place where the OC came into play was around my bottom lip. It was just a bit more difficult to get the blade positioned perfectly to cut the whiskers along my bottom lip. It wasn't really a challenge, just adjusting to a different feel.

I don't have a verdict on the Era yet. It seems efficient. The shave quality was excellent but it wasn't quite as smooth and comfortable as my top razors. I'll pay attention to how long the shave lasts. I have the L4 SB and the L5 OC. I'll probably try the L4 SB next, then the L5 OC... find which one works better for me and use it two more times or so.
I'm sorry to hear your first experience with the Era OC/L4 wasn't great for you, my friend. Looking forward to your thoughts on the SB/L4. :001_smile
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
I love big Blutts and I cannot lie... What a wonderful shave with the Blutt BR-1 1.20 again this morning. As you know by now, I'm usually a late afternoon shaver but today, I had PT on my shoulder early and didn't get a shave in yesterday, so it was a 9:00AM shower and shave.

That made it 4 days in between shaves so a healthy beard was evident. No problems whatsoever for the Blutt. After the last so-so shave with it Saturday with a Wizamet on its third use... the fresh blade solved that issue. I can't believe I can only get two wonderful shaves with a Wizamet before they are toast but that seems to be the case. The third shave wasn't close or smooth.

I used my Zenith B33 Boar brush (506 Copper handle) for the first time as I'm participating in DecemBOAR month. It has a very nice feel to it: soft but with delicious scrub. I had put it, along with my other boar brushes, through 30 or more wet/dry cycles some months back in preparation for this month. I don't know if it's fully broken-in... my guess? not quite but it was a pleasure to use.

Same PAA Cube and Tube 2.0 pre-shaves. Timeless modest blue shaving bowl. Canada Shaving Soap. Timeless Ti Crown handle on the Blutt. Post shave: Metro gel, hyaluronic acid and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream.

All in all, I continue to be very pleased with my top 4 razors: the aforementioned Blutt BR-1 1.2; the Lambda Athena; the ATT X1 AC Slant and the Rocnel Elite.

I'm still working on the Blackland Era. I think I'll try it with the L4 SB next before returning to the L5 OC. My inexperience with an OC base plate is likely the cause of the lack of a good shave when I first used the Era.

I'm still waiting for RazoRock to release the Lupo 72OC and get the 95SB back in stock. I'm also going to order their SLOC head so I can use the top cap on my R41 and get a Lupo top cap so I can have two complete Lupos set up. I'm trusting that I'll be able to adjust to OC razor shaving... it can't be that difficult.

This year has flown by. When you shave every other day, as I'm mentioned previously, it's hard to get experiments in unless that's all you do. I hate doing that since I have such great top razors but I'll get to all the impatiently waiting razors eventually. I only have two other razors on my "wish list": the Green Cult GC 2.0 and the RR SuperSlant but I hadn't have any plans to add them immediately. @LRod is very impressed with Green Cult 2.0 as are quite a few other B&B'ers, so that one interests me a lot. The SuperSlant... well, it's going to be a while before everyone here who ordered one has a chance to use theirs a few times and report back. Perhaps, on the next go-round, you'll be able to select your handle regardless of with base plate you order... or even by a head by itself. Time will tell.

Edit: I am continuing to use my Claymore Evolution around and under my nose. Nothing else I own does it better. I've decided.... it's just easier with my odd whisker growth to make that part of the routine on every shave. If I forget to mention it when I post the razor information, rest assured, it's still active unless I say I've done something different.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
OK.... I used the Athena again today. The end results were spectacular as usual but the path there wasn't as nice. I made the mistake of changing two things at one... the soap and the razor blade choice. I used a Personna Labs Platinum "Blue". I think they were the culprit but as I said, I also used a new soap for me: the Mystic Waters Unscented.

Oh, and I used the Omega Jade Premium boar. Unlike the Zenith B33 I used Thursday, the Jade was a bit pokey... so not broken in enough for a pleasant feeling. So that makes three changes.

The soap lathered up well, but did seem to disappear quite quickly on my face so I suspect I didn't get enough of the bubbles reduced in size. I'll lather it a bit longer next time and make sure to use less water. It has a hmmmm I can't quite come up with the right word for its consistency right out of the tub. It's more rubbery than creamy but it's soft. Anyway, I added some to the bottom of my Timeless "modest" blue shaving bowl, sprayed in a bit of water, spread it around thinly and then took my shower. I think I should have taken more water out of my Jade brush because I didn't have to add any more water. I'll dial that in next time.

The shave? Well, I don't think the Personna Lab Platinum German "Blue" blade was near as smooth as the Wizamet Super Iridiums. One use so it's hard to say. It cut well enough. I didn't need much more than the two regular passes: WTG and ATG, with just the few touchups, upper lip and chin. Very smooth end result. I do use three full passes on my upper lip, after shaving around my nose with my Claymore Evolution. I go against the grain first... then across the grain but on a slant of sorts, once in each direction. I don't do a straight against the grain on my upper lip very often. The two slant passes seem easier to do and get things pretty smooth.

Any comments on the Personna Lab Platinum blues (German) would be appreciated. How are they for you?
 
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