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R41/SLOC review: Topcaps matter!

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All right. I know R41 has many fans ... deservedly so; it occupies a place on the far-end of the shave scale. Over there with alligators, pirhanas, barracudas ...

I have dozens of razors, new and old, and R41 is one of the meanest-shaving to me.

Aggressive, yes, but I LIKE that. I shave with Thin-cap OLDS, Single-Ring and many other mean shavers.

I never could get a comfortable shave with the thing. Tuggy, to me. With blade chatter, perhaps inherent in the design. (Mine is the newer version). So.

Recently I decided to challenge my beliefs, a good thing to do periodically. (Hate Tabac? Try it again six months later. Veg reminds you of a funeral home bathroom? Revisit the Veg after attending a wake, etc.) Anyways.

I gave R41 a try last week and it did exactly what I remember: a tuggy, painful shave.

But I got an idea ...

A member here gets good shaves with R41 using the Yintal "bronze" razor's topcap. I have that cheapie razor, so gave it a try.

While a good-looking combination, it also was noisy - a sign of chatter/vibration - and, hm, it didn't work well for me.

I had a few other "heads-only purchases" lined up, and gave the Razorock Self-Lubricating Open Comb (SLOC) head a try.

It fit with a greater coverage across the top, and seemed to clamp well - a prerequisite for any combo working well.



Now. I'm not an engineer (though there are plenty here) and in general, don't want to mess with combinations of topcap and baseplate. It's 50-50 you'll make something worse and a lot of times, they don't fit. But what the hey; take no chances have no fun.



It shaved SO WELL. Quiet, and another efficiency tiger. More importantly, it was the first comfortable shave I've ever gotten with the R41 baseplate.

I think it's clamping well; someone with the math skills or ability to reckon on this is welcome to weigh in.



I have no opinion on the combination's looks. (Dang, need a better side-photo). Can only say, the SLOC topcap is making the R41 baseplate work very well - for me. Shaved with it all week, to be sure!

Thoughts?


AA
 
Interesting that you are going down this path.

My razor on tap for today is the Global Shave Club R41+ with the SLOC top cap.

The handle I'm using isn't as high tech as yours, though. ;)

Now I'm really interested to see how this Frankenrazor shaves. :)
 

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Interesting that you are going down this path.

My razor on tap for today is the Global Shave Club R41+ with the SLOC top cap.

The handle I'm using isn't as high tech as yours, though. ;)

Now I'm really interested to see how this Frankenrazor shaves. :)
Well, all right! Let's hear from another experimenter! DO report back!

Yeah; that handle is a Russian titanium custom; I really like it ... perfect weight; shaves upside down strokes perfectly; just really happy with it.

R41 is itself worthy of study. It really is unique - a solid baseplate that performs like an open comb.

But that topcap - I think it's short, myself. Why else would that blade flap and chatter like a dogdoor in the wind?


AA
 

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The SLOC is a very good razor all on its own. Very cool that the cap provided some success with a razor it seems should have left you long ago :cool:
It is! SLOC is a great, mild shaver. I think its design works: it does retain water/soap for a sense of lubrication ...

I never really "bought" an R41. The head alone was on sale somewhere, cheap; I've got a million handles, just wanted to see what the buzz was about.


AA
 
I saw some threads a while ago on people pairing the R41 2013 baseplate with various OC top caps (SLOC, Yaqi Mellon, Yaqi Beast, DOC, etc). It took me a while, but I finally ordered a Yaqi Beast, which arrived last week. I used it once and it wasn't quite as efficient as I'd like. I then paired the OC top cap with my R41 and was pleasantly surprised. It worked great. I agree it gets rid of the touch of tugginess that I had with the R41, and I think it might be a bit more efficient that way as well. I went back to the normal R41 top cap yesterday just for comparison, and I think the R41 base + OC cap is definitely better.
 

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I saw some threads a while ago on people pairing the R41 2013 baseplate with various OC top caps (SLOC, Yaqi Mellon, Yaqi Beast, DOC, etc). It took me a while, but I finally ordered a Yaqi Beast, which arrived last week. I used it once and it wasn't quite as efficient as I'd like. I then paired the OC top cap with my R41 and was pleasantly surprised. It worked great. I agree it gets rid of the touch of tugginess that I had with the R41, and I think it might be a bit more efficient that way as well. I went back to the normal R41 top cap yesterday just for comparison, and I think the R41 base + OC cap is definitely better.
Garrett; interesting, thanks. I know the 2013 version is even more aggressive...


AA
 
Interesting thread...
Looks like I have to invest in a top cap like that in the future.
But right now I enjoy my Tech's so much that I'm not in a hurry 😊
 
So, how's it shave?

AA
Funny you should ask: :)

Shave 20191109

Prep: Washed face with Neutrogena
Pre-shave: Proraso Red
Soap: Stirling Electric Sheep
Brush: Mr. Fine Stout, 26mm 'Angel Hair' Synthetic
Bowl: Timeless Blue
Razor: FrankenRazor (GSC R41+, SLOC Top Cap, Maggard MR16 Handle)
Blade: Voskhod (3)
Post-shave1: Crystal Thai Alum Stick + used styptic stick as needed
Post-shave2: Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel plus Organic Moroccan Rose Water (3:1 ratio)
Aftershave Balm: CeraVe
Cologne: Original Stetson

Three+ pass shave. WTG , ATG, XTG and then another halfway XTG/ATG angle to get my neck and chin cleaned up (this is where I got my weepers chasing the BBS).

Other than the weepers on my last XTG/ATG angle to get my neck and chin cleaned up, this was a pretty good shave.

DFS with two weepers on my neck and one minor weeper on my chin. Moderate irritation.

8.5/10
 
Must be something with the R41 cap,
I found pairing it with a Gillette roller guard to be a real winner for me.
Was never impressed enough with the R41 alone to make it into regular rotation
but now I can't put it down!
 

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Funny you should ask: :)

Shave 20191109

Prep: Washed face with Neutrogena
Pre-shave: Proraso Red
Soap: Stirling Electric Sheep
Brush: Mr. Fine Stout, 26mm 'Angel Hair' Synthetic
Bowl: Timeless Blue
Razor: FrankenRazor (GSC R41+, SLOC Top Cap, Maggard MR16 Handle)
Blade: Voskhod (3)
Post-shave1: Crystal Thai Alum Stick + used styptic stick as needed
Post-shave2: Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel plus Organic Moroccan Rose Water (3:1 ratio)
Aftershave Balm: CeraVe
Cologne: Original Stetson

Three+ pass shave. WTG , ATG, XTG and then another halfway XTG/ATG angle to get my neck and chin cleaned up (this is where I got my weepers chasing the BBS).

Other than the weepers on my last XTG/ATG angle to get my neck and chin cleaned up, this was a pretty good shave.

DFS with two weepers on my neck and one minor weeper on my chin. Moderate irritation.

8.5/10
8.5 is pretty high!

Weepers, you say. I have not got ... But I could not get through my usual three passes with R41 as-issued. The Yintal cap was tuggy, too.

And yet, SLOC, as-issued, is a little too mild.

This works.


AA
 
8.5 is pretty high!

Weepers, you say. I have not got ... But I could not get through my usual three passes with R41 as-issued. The Yintal cap was tuggy, too.

And yet, SLOC, as-issued, is a little too mild.

This works.


AA
I love the SLOC, but I tend to like mild razors.

The 8.5 rating might have been a bit generous, but the result really was very good. As my face relaxed, the shave hit DFS+ and would have hit BBS save for one rough spot under my chin.

The other top cap I want to try is a Gillette Old Type. That cap really mellowed out another Frankenrazor I was messing with some time back (there's a thread here at B&B on it).

Playing mix and match with this stuff can be fun but we do have to acknowledge that, to the designer, we are compromising their intent. As long as the change is an improvement TO ME, I am okay with that.

YMMV :)
 
Did half a head shave w this mix and half with a Schick injector.....Franken 41 was closer and no irritation.
I was OK w the OEM cap, too....I think I ride the cap....so the sloc was a bit scary at the beginning. And last pass all over w R41.
IMG_20191109_205701.jpgIMG_20191109_205718.jpgIMG_20191109_205718.jpg
 
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