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Pils and Pils-style razors

I just wanted to post my thoughts on Pils and Pils-style razors, as I have owned, tried, and used quite a few of them. These are the ones I have tried:

Pils
iKon Modern (Pils copy with knurled handle)
iKon S3S (three-piece Pils style razor with dual comb)
iKon H2O (two-piece Pils style razor with dual comb)
iKon original brass SBS (three-piece made of uncoated brass, dual comb, flippable base plate)
iKon newer aluminum alloy SBS (three piece, dual comb, fliappable base plate)
Tradere 2nd generation SB

In general, I love this style of razor. For the uninitiated, these razors completely enclose the blade within a fairly large boxy head and keep the blade almost entirely flat. They differ largely in weight and amount of blade exposure/blade feel. They are all good shavers, and generally on the mild side (although I have heard that the first-generation open-comb Tradere was fairly aggressive).

I will now attempt to rate them 1-7 in order of my preference.

1) iKon Modern. Beautiful, all stainless steel, high polish; extremely mild (less blade feel than even a Tech). A reliable and comfortable shaver, although I guess it wouldn't be favored by those who require BBS shaves or who enjoy blade feel. Very few of these razors were made; Greg said at one point that there were only 81 of them completed and sold.

2) Tradere SB. Smooth and comfortable, a bit more aggressive than the Modern, but still on the mild side. Beautiful. Also a rare razor, although nowhere near as rare as the Modern (somewhere around 1500-2000 made, if I recall correctly; they were all numbered). Blackland is currently working on re-releasing the razor, perhaps with a tiny bit of tweaking (correct me if I'm wrong, Shane); but it will essentially be the same fantastic razor. A good opportunity for those who never had a chance to try this fantastic razor.

3) iKon S3S, which is a remarkably smooth and comfortable shaver on both the SB and the open comb sides. Numbers of these razors was much higher than the Modern or the Tradere, but I don't know how many were actually made. I believe they were available for 2 or 3 years.

4) Pils. Mine has a brushed finish but it is beautifully made. More blade feel and more aggressive than the Modern by quite a bit, although the razors physically look exactly the same other than polished versus matte finish and the knurling on the handle of the Modern. I suppose if you like a more aggressive razor and more blade feel, the Pils would be better than the Modern for you (not to mention that the Modern is truly unobtanium). The Pils razor is still being made and sold and has never been sold out.

5) iKon original brass SBS. The head of this razor resembles the Tradere almost uncannily; not sure if some of the same CNC programs were used to make it. So why did I rate it 3 spots behind the Tradere? The flaw of this razor, in my opinion, is the flippable base plate. The idea was to have it shave milder on one side, and more aggressively when the plate is flipped. Unfortunately, the difference, at least on my face, is subtle, and the amount of extra brass that had to be used to make the base plate makes the head heavier than I'd like it to be. It's still a really good shaver, but the razor is just a bit too heavy for my taste.

6) iKon H2O. This was another razor that had a limited run. I tried one on loan to me for a couple of weeks. It shaved mildly and pretty well, but had an annoying tendency for the blade to load unevenly; because the head completely covers the blade, adjustment of this problem was difficult.

7) iKon newer aluminum S3S. The design of this razor is somewhat similar to the brass S3S, but actually quite a bit different. It shaves ok, although for me the SB side is much better than the open comb side. Despite being made of "aluminum," the head is actually quite heavy. It retains the idea of the flippable baseplate, and, in this razor, the difference is actually discernible. I don't use it much and don't need that much adjustability; in this case, also, I think the razor would've been better had the base plate been thinner and they had dropped the idea of flipping to adjust. Others may feel otherwise.


Interestingly, I currently only own number 3, 4, 5, and 7 of the razors. I sold both the Tradere (a long time ago) and the iKon Modern (very recently).

Still, I love the S3S and the Pils. I will likely try to unload both of the S3S razors at some point in the near future.


Anybody else like this DE razor style? Have you owned or used any of these razors, or do you know of others with a similar design? I would love to hear any and all thoughts/experiences with any of these Pils-type razors that you could share with us. Thanks!
 
Excellent review Kingfisher. To complete your review, I could offer my 1st Gen OC razor. As you probably know, I have numbers 1, 2, 3, 5 and I owned 4 (too mild). The Tradere 1st Gen OC is very aggressive and the 2nd Gen OC is a tad less aggressive but more aggressive than the Tradere SB.
 
Meant to say I would probably sell the SBS razors, not the S3S. Dang, these naming systems are complicated!

Nobody else has experience or thoughts about any of these razors?
 
I found all I owned to be on the mild side. Paired with a Gillette black, feather or any other uber sharp blade and they were a pleasure.

I too no longer own a Tradere (was a re-release purchaser), Ikon, or Pils.

I did like the fully enclosed blade though.





 
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