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Razors that surprised you?

On the other hand, though, my Red Tip and my Slim -- which do have narrow-ish handles, albeit slightly thicker ones than the SS does -- still appeal to me.
Both of these razors are also slightly heavier than the SS, I think. That may also make it seem more substantial, and thus more satisfying.
Well the one that jumps out as a "I know I'm going to love this razor" but didn't/still haven't, is the Wunderbar. I like slants....I have a half-dozen different ones (brands, materials and methods of "slanting"), so I figured the Wunderbar would be my crowning jewel. I'm still working with it (going on a year and admittedly I'm not really spending a lot of time with it), but it feels heavy and always leave me with at least one weeper (if I'm lucky) and some irritation. Another one in this category is the Gillette New Improved....beautiful razor, lousy shaver (for me) -- I like the models that came before the NI and the ones that came after, but I have yet to make my peace with it.

The ones that have surprised me in a good way are usually the ones I chase down figuring they're over-hyped, but that I still want it in my collection. Then I manage to get it, and think...."man, this thing is AWESOME!"
That would be these: Gem Damaskeene Open Comb, Schick Type F, Gem Zinn Automatic (my avatar), Gillette and Rotbart RFBs, and the Gamechangers (.84 and .68). All but the GC were the result of a great deal of luck and patience, and I was convinced that "best case" they'd be okay shavers and "worst case" I'd be able to sell them and stay relatively whole....financially-speaking. Instead they were outstanding shavers (for me) and I couldn't imagine letting them go.

The one that I thought I'd try and release back into the "wild" immediately was the RazoRock V3 OC. It was my first attempt at trying the AC blade format and I was convinced I'd hate the format more than anything else. Instead, this razor gives me some of the closest and most comfortable shaves I have ever had. I was totally blown away, and I continue to have that experience every time I use it. I don't know if it's the razor or the blade format, but for now I'm calling myself lucky to have found my "perfect" AC razor and I'm not going down that "rabbit hole"....yet.
When I bought a Barbasol (which was quite expensive), I loved the overall design but I had a distinct feeling that for some reason it won't work for me. Well, it did. It's a wonderful razor.

When I bought the Muhle Rocca, I thought it would be the perfect razor for me. In reality it turned out much too aggressive and harsh, and I couldn't even finish one shave with it.
I own a Muhle Rocha too and its a wrll made good razor try mild blades as opposed to really sharp blades.

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The Fatip OC slant easily surprised me the most. I didn't expect it to be much better than the fatip grande, but it's more efficient, yet milder and surpasses all my other cheaper and more expensive razors.
Surprised? Yes, in that based on the reviews I had read prior to purchase, I was expecting the Futur to be a more usable piece of equipment. Found the head was far too tall to shave effectively under my nose and that the razor was otherwise unwieldy. Catch and release for me. Guy who picked it up now has two of 'em, so YMMV :)


Cheaper than ink
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I still don't understand why, but my '53 SuperSpeed just is not a favorite ...my birth year razor... Maybe it's that skinny short handle that makes it seem like a toy or a boy's beginner razor. I like thicker handles.
Find yourself a '53 President. :thumbup1:
Wade and Butcher open comb DE razor. They are not common.

My daily drivers are a pre-war fat handled tech and a 79 aluminum handle tech. Tried a bunch of razors, vintage and modern, but those two do me well. I was browsing an antique shop one day and found a Wade and Butcher open comb, and immediately noticed it took proprietary blades. You can easily modify (after ruining a blade or two) modern DE blades so they fit on its square posts. I just bought the thing because I've never ever heard of this particular razor, and for that fact alone I could easily purchase this and a Gem 1912 "Brooklyn" for $10.

I decided to modify a modern DE blade to fit the Wade and Butcher and got a very comfortable no nick no irritation shave, after taking my time of course. This was my first open comb razor shave and I was cautious with it after reading about how they tend to be more aggressive, and it seemed to have more blade exposure than I'm used to with my Gillette Tech shaves.

For my face and my skin, this is a gem of a razor. I've seen some vintage Wade and Butcher straights from the 1800s and drooled over these things. I adore shaving with the DE variant.
Gillette Post war tech ball-end, I purchased form ebay never having sighted one in the flesh, when I unpacked it it seemed very small and light weight. In use it felt very petite and more scalpel like compared to Rex Ambassador and Rockwell 6s which are nearly double the weight.

I didn't get the best first shave out of it compared to Murker 34c and afore mentioned razors (and with the same blade), which I was also surprised by given all the praise it receives. I probably have to adjust technique to take into account the lower weight.
Under "Surprised in a Good Way" I have to list the Blackland Sabre. I've probably spent more time shaving with Gem and Gem-style (which I call "Gem-ish") than any other format. Hence I feel like I understand it, and accept some of the quirks like big slabby heads that don't get some spots easily. I had my eye on a Sabre for quite a while but kept talking myself out of it for several reasons.

None of which really mattered in the end, and I've been enjoying some wonderful shaves with it. I'd been kind of on the hunt for a decent Streamline but I don't think I'm in that market any more.

Paging back through my shave diaries I see there were two razors that gave me some challenges: the ATT SE2 and the PAA Oxblood Bakelite Alpha Ecliptic. The SE2 was originally part of a combo buy, but I had gone ahead and completed the razor with its own cap and handle. I find it extremely aggressive, and so far not terribly smooth.

The PAA is a tilted slant and every entry in my shave diary details some struggle I was having with it. I never did reach an accomodation with it, and it's been piffed to another member. I may try an iKon 102 some day, but I'm just not all in on tilted slants. I wanted to like it but it had other ideas.

Like @Flintstone65 I have a Wunderbar. I also have an ATT S2. I like the ATT better, but the Wunderbar is a great razor as long as I'm willing to deal with a little uncertainty. I'll have to wheel that sucker out again one of these days.

A made in Mexico 1973 travel Tech with the stubby handle l got with a lot of SEs last year. It sat neglected for the longest time, l've never sought out travel Techs. I always thought they looked weird. One day out of curiosity l put in a Gillette 'Winner' blade in it and gave it a try and was impressed with the results. I have never used such a small handle on a razor before and surprisingly had no issues with the way it shaves. In the future l want to try that travel Tech's wee handle with some of my other razor's heads to give them a spin and see how they 'handle it'.
Maggard MR18C V1.
It's a great razor, even though it's a blade alignment issue. Excellent multi-colored design, great handle grip. I turned this misalignment issue into an advantage. One side gives an effective but not aggressive feeling while the other side has a very forgiving. While the first two pass (WTG) I prefer the effective one, I use the forgiving side for 3rd. and touch ups which is XTG . Two different characters together.
Razorock Lupo. Bought it on a whim, figuring I wouldn't be out too much if I didn't like it. I'm only 4 shaves in, but I love this razor. Super easy, very close 2-pass shaves every time.
Triangle slot Tech, my favorite every day.

My pre-Krona, gets no love but a great shaver...

Merkur HD, a solid tool that works but no soul...like a hammer.