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Please talk me into or out of Above the Tie razor

Please share your thoughts about ATT razors. Please only post if you've actually tried the razor. Thank you.
 
I received the Atlas 5 piece set (handle, top cap, and all three levels of baseplates) last week. So far I have only used the M1 (mild/medium) baseplate. I posted my initial observations a few days ago:
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showth...al-observations-on-ATT-Above-The-Tie-Atlas-M1

And my purchasing decision is pretty much summarized in this thread:
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/366954-What-anniversary-razor-should-I-buy


Without knowing what aggressiveness of razor do you like and what you are looking for in the ATTs, I can only share some of my general research....


Pros:
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- Everyone seems impressed with the construction and quality control of the Above The Tie razors. Even people who return or sell them never seem to critique the construction. The chrome plated stainless steel Feather razors are probably the only other manufacturer with the same level of reputation.

- Unplated, 100% stainless steel should be a very maintainable material, even over many decades of use. Any razor with a plating might potentially scratch and chip and trap moisture or limit oxygen over time. Any rust on the ATTs is reportedly easily removed with a toothbrush, and likely rust is completely preventable with an alcohol rinse after use.

- A fairly large percentage of owners seem to call ATT their favorite razor. Also, getting the additional baseplates might increase the likelihood of it being a favorite razor over time.

- Buying all 3 baseplates helps to spread out the cost. Sort of like buying 3 stainless steel razors for $100 each.

- One of just three brands owned and made in America (along with Weber and Tradere).

- Only brand that I know of that offers a 30 day satisfaction guarantee on their stainless steel razors.



Cons:
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- The blade stays perfectly centered if the cap is carefully tightened, but it is a bit tricky to get the blade to stay on the pins while tightening.

- The set of ATT head designs tends towards aggressive. Consensus from what I've read seems to be that if a Feather AS-D1 were to be defined as an aggressiveness level of 1, and a Muhle R41 (2011) is defined as a 10 ... then by reputation the ATT M1 probably = 4.5, R1 = 7, and the H1 = 9. For further comparison, I think a Feather AS-D2 would probably = 2, EJ89 = 3, and Weber = 4, and a Merkur Slant might be = 5.

Note: These numbers would definitely vary according to an individual's technique and beard/skin qualities. Also, the ATT models have an unusually small blade gap ( http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/Double-Edged_Safety_Razors_Ranked_by_Blade_Gap ) when compared to their blade exposure. Some people would probably rate the ATT M1 around 3.5 if the blade gap is their primary factor in what feels aggressive.

Caveat: Of these razors bench marked above, I only own the EJ89, Merkur Slant, and ATT Atlas 5. The others I have only tried to make educated guesses towards from having done a lot of reading in these forums.


- The ATTs are made from 303 stainless steel ... which is less resistant to rust than the 316 marine/surgical grade stainless steel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_steel_grades ) which is used in some other high end modern razors. Still though a toothbrush is said to be able to remove any common degrees of rust. And I suspect that just about anything could be buffed out of 303 stainless without noticeable damage to the razor. Note: given that the ATT razors are machined out of solid blocks of stainless steel, the 303 is I believe necessary for this manufacturing technique while the marine/surgical grade stainless steel has to be heated (molded or sintered) into its final shape.



I hope this is helpful.


Cheers,
shawnsel
 
Shawn pretty much covered it all................but once you get it the razor and shave results will hypnotize and make you love it.



 
shawnsel, thanks for the description of the detailed pro's and cons, its very specific and technical and exactly what I was searching for as I've been toying with the idea for an Above the Tie, but haven't had a chance to research it deeply yet. The pin thing I can see one could get used to but would be 'annoying' in the beginning, so each mfg to their own designs. But I've been searching for an alternative to my AS-D2 and really been favoring ATT for a while, this sounds like the next step or a nice alternative to keep things fresh.. or even if the Open Comb comes out for the holidays it would now be seriously considered as I've been wanting to try a nice OC as the mfg'ing should be the same or slightly improved
 
I had the Atlas R1 for 30 days and opted to return it. The build quality, as others have said, was very nice. The razor looks very classy and feels great in the hand. I'd prefer a polished finish, but that's just me. I got good shaves out of the R1, but wasn't totally blown away. I've had smoother and closer shaves from other razors (many of which were much cheaper). Don't get me wrong....I'd recommend anybody to try an ATT razor. Stan's customer service is unmatched and the fact that you have 30 days to try out the razor make's it a no brainer.
 
I am really liking mine. I have the Atlas and Kronos, both in the R1 configuration. I haven't had them long, so cannot comment on long term use, but I am getting great shaves and enjoying the ride thus far.
 
I've been searching for an alternative to my AS-D2 and really been favoring ATT for a while, this sounds like the next step or a nice alternative to keep things fresh.. or even if the Open Comb comes out for the holidays it would now be seriously considered as I've been wanting to try a nice OC as the mfg'ing should be the same or slightly improved
Funny enough, if the ATT Atlas 5 set proves too aggressive for my current preference, my next razor purchase will likely be the Feather AS-D2. Or if I'm fine with the Atlas 5's aggressiveness (which so far is seeming likely) then I'll probably get an ATT OC.

edit: corrected a typo
 
Just ordered the ATT Kronos 5 piece set and looking forward to trying it out.
Thank you all for your advice.

Shawnsel thanks for the great write up, it was very helpful and is much appreciated.
This in addition to reading every review I could possibly find has me believing that I've made a good choice.
The aggressiveness of the ATT set is exactly what I am looking for.

Be careful with your choice though as the feather AS-D2 is supposed to be really, really mild and I don't think you can just send that one back.
 
I have the Titan handle for a Old type head. I am waiting for the OC heads to come out and I am going to snap one up with an R2 base plate. Depending on how that works, I may get either the H2 or M2 base plate to go with it.
 
Just ordered the ATT Kronos 5 piece set and looking forward to trying it out.
Thank you all for your advice.

Shawnsel thanks for the great write up, it was very helpful and is much appreciated.
This in addition to reading every review I could possibly find has me believing that I've made a good choice.
The aggressiveness of the ATT set is exactly what I am looking for.

Be careful with your choice though as the feather AS-D2 is supposed to be really, really mild and I don't think you can just send that one back.

You are very welcome. I'm glad that I could help. I've only had mine for about a week, but so far I'm really liking it ... I suspect you'll really like yours too.

At this point the Atlas set is seeming sufficiently mild. I'm currently not foreseeing a need to supplement my ATT set with a Feather AS-D2. Last night I actually tried the H1 plate and I think I might even be okay with it. I'm not sure exactly what was giving me problems with the EJ89 ... perhaps the small blade gap is more important to me than blade exposure? According to B&B's Blade Gap chart, even the ATT H1 has half of the blade gap as the EJ89 ... although it seems significantly more efficient.

Please post how you like yours. I'll be interested to hear.
 
Very informative thread on ATT. I have begun shaving with a Fatip and really like the open comb aggressive shaves. I am really looking forward to ATT's new open comb reviews and have interest in acquiring an SS open comb razor.
 
Supposed to be out around the holidays. If I like these I may have to grab an OC plate to try as well. I wish there was a slant option.
 
Well, I received the razor kit today and got a shave in. I used the R and H plates and got a really excellent shave without any irritation. The build quality is amazing as well. I'll use each of the plates for several days, then post a proper review. So far I'm really liking it.
 
I have an ATT Atlas M1 and am very impressed. The build quality is top notch and it looks fantastic! Despite the miniscule blade gap I find the M to be more Moderate than Mild, it's definitely a notch or two above my Weber. I can see myself ordering an OC plate if they're available in M too.
 
I have the ATT with the R plate and it's a fine shaver. I used this morning with a Voskhod blade and it gave me a fantastic BBS!
I prefer the shorter handle of the Atlas to the Kronos (Titan). I have both handles and just the head with the R plate at the moment.
I can't wait for the OC head to come out.
 
My Kronos R1 arrived yesterday, and I used it for the first time this morning. I agree the blade positioning is a bit tricky at first, but nothing too tough. I used a Feather blade, Harris soap, and a super badger brush. The razor feels well balanced, although I will probably order the Colossus handle as I prefer a long grip. Three passes (W,A,&X) and I got a phenomenal shave. I've read opinions about the R head still being a bit aggressive, but I found it to be the perfect compromise between aggressive and mild, if compromise is even the correct phrase to use. Overall, one of my favorite razors.
 
Congratulations on your purchase of the ATT razor. Mine arrived on Monday and I'm trying to decide if I want to exchange the Colossus for the Atlas. My best shave as of to date has been with the H-2 plate and the Kronos handle.
 
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