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REVIEW: The Tatara Nodachi Razor

I’ve been curious about Tatara razors for quite a while.

After having used the Tatara/Semogue collaboration badger brush, I fell in love with the Tatara design and function.

You can check out my review of the brush in case you missed it:


The Masamune razor intrigued me but the mild blade gap meant I never took the plunge. So I ended up getting the Nodachi, which is a more efficient razor than the Masamune.

I got the kit with both the straight bar and open comb plates and would like to share my thoughts about this razor with you all…

PACKAGING:

This has to be my absolute favourite packaging! I love the cork tray holding the razor and the minimalist outer cardboard cover. Bringing it altogether is the black paper with wax seal (the Tatara logo is imprinted in the wax).

I don’t think there is any classier packaging than this on the razor market!! Plus, it’s all biodegradable so fully environmentally friendly (not that I would ever discard this packaging!)





FIT & FINISH:

The razor is finished impeccably, it’s absolutely flawless and looks great!

There are no machining marks, no blemishes and everything fits together so smoothly.

The bead blasted finish looks great and lends itself to the minimalist design of the overall razor.

Underneath the baseplates, they have kept the minimalist theme going with the model name and the awesome Tatara logo engraved.









ERGONOMICS (Weight, Balance, Overhang):

This is an aspect of the razor that really surprised me! As you can see, the razor handle is quite long and the razor weighs in at 120 grams. This is quite a hefty razor, however, the balance and weight distribution is perfection!!

The razor is so well balanced that it’s difficult to tell I am holding a 120g razor! The handle is also very comfortable and despite the longer handle, it doesn’t impede manoeuvrability.

The handle is grippy and at no point does it feel slippery. The knurling is positioned well, in the area where the razor feels perfectly balanced. I can hold the razor lower down without any slippage but this does impact the balance of the razor, so I prefer to hold it where the knurling is.

SHAVING COMFORT / BLADE CLAMPING / BLADE CHATTER:

The Nodachi has aspects that have been designed to ensure the razor blade is kept as rigid as possible during the shave.

In the pics below, I have tried to show the two aspects that achieve blade rigidity.

The first is the base plate being recessed, which allows the top of the handle to insert into the recess, which as per Tatara reduces vibrations and blade chatter.

The second is how the razor clamps the blade. The design of the head clamps the blade closer to the cutting edge and is supported (“sandwiched”) between the base plate and top cap. This is one of the best ways to ensure blade rigidity in my experience.

The blade doesn’t have much of a bend to it (which is another element that increases blade rigidity), but the sandwich design achieves blade rigidity for sure!

Blade changing is straightforward as the blade is kept centred with ease and remains that way when tightening the razor. There is no blade play and never has the blade alignment been off.









EFFICIENCY / BLADE GAP / BLADE EXPOSURE / BLADE REVEAL:

The blade gap on the Nadachi is 0.90mm. Blade exposure is 0.13mm.

This combination definitely makes this an efficient razor, no doubt about it!

I tend to ride the cap a bit more on this razor in order to reduce the blade feel a little. It cuts through stubble with ease and the smoothness (lack of blade chatter) ensures the skin is looked after at the same time.

There is blade feel given the positive blade exposure, but this doesn’t make the razor uncomfortable. Again, I feel this is due to the blade being held so rigidly that the blade never vibrates against the skin. In my experience with 70+ razors, I believe blade chatter is the skin’s worst enemy when it comes to nicks and razor burn.

An example would be that I can use the Karve F plate (1.23mm gap and positive exposure) without any negative impact on my skin in terms of nicks or razor burn. I can of course feel the blade but it doesn’t feel dangerous or rough.

The open comb base plate will add that extra oomph to your shave! It retains the 0.90mm gap and 0.13mm exposure, but being an open comb, the blade feel is amplified. This setting would be for those that not only want a very high efficiency razor, but also prefer knowing where the blade is on the skin.

This is one of those razors that can give me a BBS on a daily basis but where is really shines is 2+ days growth. It just scythes through the heavy growth like it’s nothing!

OVERALL:

The Nodachi is aesthetically beautiful and engineered to perfection! I really like the way they have ensured minimal blade vibration/chatter, which maximises comfort whilst the largish gap with positive exposure provides a very efficient razor, with some blade feel on the skin.

I would note that all Tatara parts are interchangeable and looking at their site, it is possible to use the Masamune top cap with the Nodachi base plate to achieve a combo of 0.90mm gap with a more neutral exposure, for those that prefer minimal blade feel.

For those that want to retain the positive exposure of the nodachi head, my suggestion would be to have a bias towards riding the cap as this will reduce the blade feel without compromising on efficiency.
 

Multum in parvo

Contributor
Cool review - somehow I can't see pics...

I want to add a cnc'd piece to my den later this year and this is a serious contender.
 
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This is probably one of the nicest razor out there.

It's also nice to know that it shaves well.

But it's simply too expensive for my taste.
 
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Cool review - somehow I can't see pics...

I want to add a cnc'd piece to my den later this year and this is a serious contender.
That's strange. I wonder if anyone else is having issues with seeing the pics.

It's a great razor and one I would highly recommend if you're after a CNC stainless razor.

If you like low blade feel, perhaps go for the masamune top cap with the nodachi base plate.

This is probably one of the nicest razor out there.

It's also nice to know that it shaves well.

But it's simply too expensive for my taste.
It's a gorgeous razor for sure!
I understand. The CNC machined stainless razors are not inexpensive!
 
Awesome review and I can see all the pictures! I have heard many things about this Nodachi but this is the first in-depth review with pictures for both the SB and OC plates.
You have sure tickled my RAD for Nodachi with this excellent write-up.

BTW, can you relate to the difference between this Nodachi and the Yates razor that you review recently too?

Thanks for this...
 

Multum in parvo

Contributor
That's strange. I wonder if anyone else is having issues with seeing the pics.

It's a great razor and one I would highly recommend if you're after a CNC stainless razor.

If you like low blade feel, perhaps go for the masamune top cap with the nodachi base plate.



It's a gorgeous razor for sure!
I understand. The CNC machined stainless razors are not inexpensive!
Must be my browser it works on my iPad.
Super Pics :thumbsup:
 
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Awesome review and I can see all the pictures! I have heard many things about this Nodachi but this is the first in-depth review with pictures for both the SB and OC plates.
You have sure tickled my RAD for Nodachi with this excellent write-up.

BTW, can you relate to the difference between this Nodachi and the Yates razor that you review recently too?

Thanks for this...
Thanks!!

The Yates M plate is 0.68mm with neutral exposure. It is considerable milder than the Nodachi.I would guess the Yates M would be close to the Tatara Masamune.

I'm still awaiting the Yates H plate, which in guessing would have efficiency closer to the Nodachi. Will keep you updated.

I don‘t mind bladefeel is it in the region of the current production R41?
The blade feel of the SB is less than current R41. The open comb would be closer to it though...but much smoother feeling as the blade is better supported than the R41.
 
Did you have any issues with drag with this razor?

I love everything about this razor, the looks, the feel in the hand, but the dragging and tugging under any angle is just killing me. I really want to like it, but decided to put it on sale.
 
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Multum in parvo

Contributor
Thanks!!

The Yates M plate is 0.68mm with neutral exposure. It is considerable milder than the Nodachi.I would guess the Yates M would be close to the Tatara Masamune.

I'm still awaiting the Yates H plate, which in guessing would have efficiency closer to the Nodachi. Will keep you updated.



The blade feel of the SB is less than current R41. The open comb would be closer to it though...but much smoother feeling as the blade is better supported than the R41.
Then it’s a viable choice as the R41 on a daily basis is a bit much.
The thing that remains is the length of the handle. I prefer short - Piccolo/Tuckaway short but I give it to the designers that they know how to handle balance and maneuverability.
 
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Did you have any issues with drag with this razor?

I love everything about this razor, the looks, the feel in the hand, but the dragging and tugging under any angle is just killing me. I really want to like it, but decided to put it on sale.
Sorry to hear that.
I don't experience dragging or tugging with the Nodachi.

The only suggestion I can make is try easing off the pressure completely because I've experienced a few razors in the past where higher blade exposure gave the feeling of drag on the skin.

Then it’s a viable choice as the R41 on a daily basis is a bit much.
The thing that remains is the length of the handle. I prefer short - Piccolo/Tuckaway short but I give it to the designers that they know how to handle balance and maneuverability.
You can interchange all Tatara parts so Nodachi head with Masamune handle would likely be more to your liking.
 
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