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Rockwell 6S Review: day-by-day, plate-by-plate

FoolishMortal

Contributor
I received a brand new Rockwell 6S, sent to me as part of a trade. Over the course of 4 days (so far), I have tested each plate in order. I thought that bringing the reviews here might be fun for the group.

These SOTD reviews were originally posted in the Arko August thread, hence the references and the focus on the brush/lather.

After I get through plate 6 - assuming I'm still alive - I'll post my overall results and assessment, along with some pics of the razor's components.
 
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FoolishMortal

Contributor
SOTD: Monday, 8/17
  • Rockwell 6S (1)
  • Nacet (1)
  • Arko for August (in a re-used tub)
  • SOC Taj Resin Handle
  • WH w/menthol, LTFT
  • Stirling Spice ASB
  • Vintage Avon Bay Rum AS
I had some issues with the brush on the first real use (after a few soak/dry cycles) - it's a new boar, so it eats lather, and it's a Semogue, which eats lather. I had loaded more heavily than usual, but it wasn't enough, so today I doubled my loading time - 30 seconds rather than 15 seconds. The result was a pretty good lather, all things considered, and made me appreciate Arko that much more.

I received the Rockwell as partial trade, along with the SOC brush. As you probably know, there are 6 "settings", achieved by using a base plate in one of two positions, with 1 being most mild and 6 being most aggressive. As I haven't used the razor before, I started with the 1 plate.

First, let me say that they razor is really attractive - no surprise. It's stainless steel and has a nearly grey matte finish that looks outstanding to me. Because it's not shiny, I don't have to worry too much about upkeep, which is nice.

And this shaving tool (for there's no mistaking this as anything but a purpose-built tool) is a bit of a chunky monkey. I was worried that the mass of the head would make maneuverability difficult. Not so; I was able to get under my nose without effort. There's a fair bit of heft here, with a reported weight between 118g and 120g, but it's superbly balanced. There was no sensation of the razor being weighted toward either the head or the handle, just a nice neutral feeling.

I decided to start at the beginning and used the 1 plate. If you want to maintain the rugged look of a single day's growth, or want to ensure that you never, ever cut yourself, this is the plate for you. I was working on two days' growth, and I could see cut whiskers in the lather, but I definitely wasn't getting down to the skin. It's far too mild for me, so we'll see what plate 2 brings tomorrow.

SOTD_08172020.jpg
 

FoolishMortal

Contributor
SOTD: Tuesday, 8/18
  • Rockwell 6S (2)
  • Nacet (2)
  • Arko for August (in a re-used tub)
  • SOC Taj Resin Handle
  • WH w/menthol, LTFT
  • Stirling Spice ASB
  • Vintage Avon Bay Rum AS
Day 2 means plate 2 with the Rockwell, and because I used plate 1 yesterday, I was essentially shaving two days' growth. Again. Plate 2 is definitely a step up, feeling nearly twice as efficient as plate 1. I had trouble finding a good cutting angle with plate 1 because it just didn't feel like it was cutting - there was zero blade feel. Plate 2 allowed me to find an angle that seemed to work, giving a tiny amount of feedback.

That doesn't mean it was efficient, though. While yesterday I had nothing smooth, at least plate 2 got rid of some whiskers today. My cheeks are relatively happy, my neck is passable, but the stubborn hairs on my chin just laughed.

I spent way more time buffing and working at angles than I ever would on a "normal" day, so it's on to plate 3 tomorrow. At this rate, I'm figuring that I will settle on plate 4, but we'll see.

[Sorry, no photo]
 
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FoolishMortal

Contributor
SOTD: Wednesday, 8/19
  • Rockwell 6S (3)
  • Nacet (3)
  • Arko for August (in a re-used tub)
  • SOC Taj Resin Handle
  • WH w/menthol, LTFT
  • Stirling Spice ASB
  • Vintage Avon Bay Rum AS
Day 3 means plate 3 - now we're talking!

Plate 3 provided both tactile and auditory feedback. There was a little blade feel and a little bit of noise, letting me know when I was somewhere near the appropriate cutting angle. The efficiency was notably higher and I easily ended with SAS and still no irritation. I had one small spot, which was plate 3 removing the start of an ingrown, butI blame that on the lack of efficiency with plates 1 and 2.

My neck still has a few trouble spots and the more stubborn of the chin hairs remained in their crevices (though shorter). The corners of my mouth, always prone to irritation, have a bit of stubble that is felt but not seen. The rest was great and there's wasn't even a hint of warmth from the Bay Rum.

Overall, this will likely be my "safety plate". If I have a rough shave and don't have the opportunity to skip a day to recover, I feel that plate 3 will give me solid results with very little chance of exacerbating the damage.

On to day 4 and plate 4!

Oh, and because this is the Arko August thread, I'll mention that my SOC Taj is breaking in quite nicely. I loaded "just" 25 seconds today (rather than my usual 10 to 15, but not the 30 seconds I had needed early on) and got some really nice lather. I have missed having a quality boar brush in my hand.

After my first face-lathering pass:

SOTD_08192020_1.jpg

Bonus photo to make up for Day 2:

SOTD_08192020_2.jpg
 

FoolishMortal

Contributor
SOTD: Thursday, 8/20
  • Rockwell 6S (4)
  • Nacet (4)
  • Arko for August (in a re-used tub)
  • SOC Taj Resin Handle
  • WH w/menthol, LTFT
  • Stirling Spice ASB
  • Vintage Avon Bay Rum AS
Day 4 means plate 4 on the 6S. This one is a little scary for me, with notably more blade exposure. I've used some razors with a fair bit of blade exposure and it usually goes poorly. Typically - predictably - the blade catches on something in one of a few specific areas, flexes, and gives me a nick (or worse).

There was no need to be scared, though. The 6S still clamped the blade very firmly, so while there was noticeable blade feel, it was a helpful guide and there was no chattering of the blade. None. Efficiency was markedly improved, as well. This inspired confidence, and I felt very comfortable with sliding the razor around, marveling at the way the whiskers melted away. I even buffed ATG a little bit, with good result and seemingly no irritation.

The resulting shave was very smooth, especially on my cheeks (which aren't much of a challenge) and my neck, which has some stubborn areas next to the Adam's apple, looks pretty darned good. The spots that generally result in leftover stubble or irritation - with, seemingly, little room for any other choice - nevertheless seemed to be no match for the 4 plate. The hairs in the crevices around my chin are all but gone and the very-sensitive areas alongside the corners of my mouth are acceptable.

All of this efficiency came with just a bit of aggression but, most important, not a single incident of blood-letting. I got a hint of warmth from the Bay Rum AS, enough to know that I had shaved, but nothing unpleasant.

I think I was right in my initial assessment - plate 4 seems to be a great match for my shaving needs. However, I'm committed to going through the entire course of treatment, so tomorrow is plate 5. You know, for science.

SOTD_08202020.jpg

This shot is after my first face-lathering pass. The Taj continues to perform. I'm losing one to two hairs per shave, but they're short, leading me to believe that they are weak hairs breaking off rather than strong hairs pulling out of a bad glue job. I can live with it (though I hope it stops soon) in light of the fantastic lathers I'm getting!
 
I think I was right in my initial assessment - plate 4 seems to be a great match for my shaving needs. However, I'm committed to going through the entire course of treatment, so tomorrow is plate 5. You know, for science.
I thought R4 was just perfect, and then I tried R5, and... wow! I didn't use the R4 again.

I've used R5 since ~ November 2019, and not had any "dramatic" events. I think I did use the styptic once after user error, but it would have sorted itself out anyway.

R6 never gave me anything that R5 didn't, but I am a daily shaver, so it might be a different story for someone who has several days to mow down.

I believe I have finally managed to beat the R5 champ (YMMV on that), but it wasn't at all easy.

The Game Changer .68 is like an R5, a similar gap (Rockwell R5 = .69mm), comes with a prettier choice of handles and a more agile thin head, but those two only slugged it out to a draw. Both excellent razors, that will deliver a 99% experience for most people.

The Game Changer .84 is my current favourite. It feels like the .68, but you don't need to be revisiting your strokes so much.

I take notes, so here are the blade gaps from Rockwell:

R1: 0.008" (0.20 mm)
R2: 0.014” (0.35 mm)
R3: 0.019” (0.48 mm)
R4: 0.024” (0.61 mm)
R5: 0.027” (0.69 mm)
R6: 0.031” (0.79 mm)

The Rockwell is a great razor, and I will carry on using it, for variety, but you are also buying an education.

Maybe the Game Changer .84 is an "R7" for people like me.
 
I have a 6C arriving next week. Looking forward to the rest of your review.
I love my 6C. I use R6 and once in a way R5. R6 is great imho - wipes out whiskers really well. And when R6 isn't enough there's my Fatip Piccolo. Good luck with your 6C - it's a great razor!
 
I never got around to try plates 1,2 and 5

When I got it I started immediatelly with #3, which was a bit too mild for me, I had troubles finding optimal shaving angle, more of a user error I thing. And even when I did get teh angle right there was some stubble left, because I shave every 2-3 days and razor just couldn't handle it. I quickly graduated to R4 and kinda just stayed on it. Plate #6 sees irregular use when I don't shave for more than 3 days. Then ATG is #6 and then #4 to the end.
 
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