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Tell me the difference between Expensive razors and all the others?

Admire the Rocnels, but for their craftsmanship. If anyone can prove that they can actually shave better than acknowledged classics like the New SC, many would be very impressed.
I think the beautiful craftmanship is a given with many high cost modern razors. But I've learned in the short time that I've been DE shaving that "The better or best shave" is totally YMMV!
And psychology probably plays a role as well in how good of a shave that "expensive" razor gives.
Using my short list of high quality razors, I can attest to this because of the example I gave today on another thread.
My Karve CB brass shaves just as good as my ATT Windsor! (no psychology involved!) They just both work as good as the other.
One is a $200 razor and the other was less than $60!
I believe that something like a Rocnel would probably be a purchase that would showcase pride of ownership above the shave quality.
Now, that the owner would believe that or not is a different story, LOL!!😉
 

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
There's a big difference to me. Buying dinner for friends is an investment in human relationships, which has value far beyond a tool that's only for my own use and enjoyment.

But to each his own! I am glad artisan razors are there for those who enjoy them.
You made a really excellent point here about the investment in relationships and I agree with you. But, I also use my 20-30 minutes of shave time as a means of prayer and reflection - an investment in my most important relationship with my Creator.
 
You made a really excellent point here about the investment in relationships and I agree with you. But, I also use my 20-30 minutes of shave time as a means of prayer and reflection - an investment in my most important relationship with my Creator.
I should follow your example but I pray ahead of time and thank God after the shave. When I look in the mirror with razor in hand the only thing going through my mind is avoiding another scar. :)
 
For a rookie, this thread is a wealth of info. I've got one razor, a Yates 921 with M and H plates. I realize it's too soon for me to have any real specific conclusions, but the M plate has a .64 mm blade gap and the H plate is 1.02 mm. I'm guessing my sweet spot is something in between. I have to do more touchups with the M plate and have some slight irritation with the H plate (although perhaps it's just more practice, finesse, and dexterity needed).

Because I don't know if other brands with the same or slightly different blade gaps will work any better based on viewing specs, I suspect trying them out is the only way to really know (obviously). It's kind of like predicting how food tastes by reading the list of ingredients. Specs are a nice starting point for baseline knowledge, but I think for me, I'd need to test drive to really know.

So, from this thread, I'm impressed with the looks and craftsmanship of the Wolfman, Rex Ambassador, and Rochnel Sailor. I'm sure these are unattainable and clearly pricey. They sure are nice to look at. The Rex is appealing as it looks great and is adjustable. I wouldn't have to go through numerous plates, which is the idea, I guess. Just the initial thoughts of rookie.
 
For a rookie, this thread is a wealth of info. I've got one razor, a Yates 921 with M and H plates. I realize it's too soon for me to have any real specific conclusions, but the M plate has a .64 mm blade gap and the H plate is 1.02 mm. I'm guessing my sweet spot is something in between. I have to do more touchups with the M plate and have some slight irritation with the H plate (although perhaps it's just more practice, finesse, and dexterity needed).

Because I don't know if other brands with the same or slightly different blade gaps will work any better based on viewing specs, I suspect trying them out is the only way to really know (obviously). It's kind of like predicting how food tastes by reading the list of ingredients. Specs are a nice starting point for baseline knowledge, but I think for me, I'd need to test drive to really know.

So, from this thread, I'm impressed with the looks and craftsmanship of the Wolfman, Rex Ambassador, and Rochnel Sailor. I'm sure these are unattainable and clearly pricey. They sure are nice to look at. The Rex is appealing as it looks great and is adjustable. I wouldn't have to go through numerous plates, which is the idea, I guess. Just the initial thoughts of rookie.

I have to say I think all of your thoughts in this post are spot-on.

I recently got a Yates M&H and I agree the sweet spot for me is between the M and H. I have a Game Changer .84 and Lupo .72 and they both are in that sweet spot. Although they are not "expensive razors" they play well above their pay grade, as they say, and you may want to consider one of those.

If you're serious about the Rex Ambassador you may want to try the much less expensive Pearl Flexi first, I don't have either one but they are supposedly very much alike.

I just ordered a Yaqi Final Cut adjustable for $28 based on good reports, and don't mind taking a chance at that price.
 
To me, the Tedalus Essence is the poster child for an expensive razor. Not because it's the most expensive (it isn't), but because one guy felt that even the "high end" shavettes from Feather and Kai weren't high end compared to some of the stainless DE razors.

A shavette is pretty simple, design-wise. It's a blade on a stick. Most shave pretty similarly too, especially if they use the Artist Club style blades. We'll stick to razors that use this blade system for our examples.

You've got the Asian export knockoffs, which copy the Kai razors and use plastic handles and a zinc 'blade.' $10-$25. The springs are a weak point, and it will last 2-25 years, probably.

You have the next step up, which is the Kai and Feather Artist Club razors. These are MIM molded, 3D printed from stainless alloy and have resin or wood handles. $100-$200. They are functionally identical to the previous razors, but the materials and build quality are significantly better.

Then there's the Essence. CNC machined 17-4 PH steel (overkill, but magnetic!), Samarium Cobalt magnets (again, overkill, but more corrosion resistant than Neodium), CNC machined one piece handle (again, overkill, a multiple piece handle would have been a thousand times easier to manufacture), hard anodized. Custom cut and machined screw. $300. Designed to last for a century or more.

A huge amount of prototyping and machining time and effort, just to shave off a few more thousandths of an inch off the 'blade' thickness, compared to the previous razors. It also grips the blade better and puts the blade as close to the end of the razor as physically possible. It's all the little details like this that add value to the Essence and make it a better shaver than the razors that have come before.

If a person just wants a good shavette shave, there's no reason to spend more than $20. But if a person wants a shavette shave that nearly replicates a straight razor shave, they will have to fork out some serious dough.

The difference between low and high end DE razors is even narrower than that of the shavettes I just mentioned. Selling the same razor at different price points with minor (or no) upgrades is a long and respected tradition that has been chugging along for well over 100 years. In the very early days the difference was just nickel versus gold plating. Then it was a different style of handle, or case, or both. Now it is mostly "what exotic alloy is this razor made from?" It has become less about the shave, and more about celebrating machining as an art form.

Edit: Production runs make a huge difference in price. A person who can afford to make 10,000 razors will get a much better machining price than the guy doing 300 razors. That's probably the biggest difference between the expensive stainless razors. That and machine time. The more complicated or complex the design is, the more expensive it will be to manufacture. Every curve on a machined razor = $$$.

Someone like Elon Musk could afford to have, say, a million stainless razors made. It would take forever to sell that many, but let's say he did it anyways. It would probably cost him about $5 per razor to make them. The exact same razor, but this time, only 100 are made. Now the machining price balloons up to $150 per razor to make, and the setup time is the same for 100 or a million, and that cost is spread out over fewer razors.
 
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For a rookie, this thread is a wealth of info. I've got one razor, a Yates 921 with M and H plates. I realize it's too soon for me to have any real specific conclusions, but the M plate has a .64 mm blade gap and the H plate is 1.02 mm. I'm guessing my sweet spot is something in between. I have to do more touchups with the M plate and have some slight irritation with the H plate (although perhaps it's just more practice, finesse, and dexterity needed).

Because I don't know if other brands with the same or slightly different blade gaps will work any better based on viewing specs, I suspect trying them out is the only way to really know (obviously). It's kind of like predicting how food tastes by reading the list of ingredients. Specs are a nice starting point for baseline knowledge, but I think for me, I'd need to test drive to really know.

So, from this thread, I'm impressed with the looks and craftsmanship of the Wolfman, Rex Ambassador, and Rochnel Sailor. I'm sure these are unattainable and clearly pricey. They sure are nice to look at. The Rex is appealing as it looks great and is adjustable. I wouldn't have to go through numerous plates, which is the idea, I guess. Just the initial thoughts of rookie.
I found my sweet spot in both my ATT Windsor SSRH which is 0.80 and the Karve D plate which is 0.98, so I'm in that same zone as you guys.
What changes those two (I believe) is the difference in blade exposure. I've learned that the blade exposure also plays a role in dialing in what I like. And I really really like how those two perform. They are very comparable in feel and results.
 
I found my sweet spot in both my ATT Windsor SSRH which is 0.80 and the Karve D plate which is 0.98, so I'm in that same zone as you guys.
What changes those two (I believe) is the difference in blade exposure. I've learned that the blade exposure also plays a role in dialing in what I like. And I really really like how those two perform. They are very comparable in feel and results.
I missed out (as usual) on your listing of the Pearl Flexi. Am I correct in my belief that an adjustable razor would be a practical way to determine my optimal blade gap vs. just purchasing different razors with fixed blade gaps? Any downside to your Flexi? I was looking at the Rex Ambassador as well. Mighty fine looking razor, that one!
 
I missed out (as usual) on your listing of the Pearl Flexi. Am I correct in my belief that an adjustable razor would be a practical way to determine my optimal blade gap vs. just purchasing different razors with fixed blade gaps? Any downside to your Flexi? I was looking at the Rex Ambassador as well. Mighty fine looking razor, that one!
Yes it's practical! I really like the Flexi if your looking for an adjustable. It's built well and is nowhere near the price of the Rex. No downsides at all. I just wanted to downsize on the amount of razors I have. And I've settled on the ATT & Karve for daily use.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I missed out (as usual) on your listing of the Pearl Flexi. Am I correct in my belief that an adjustable razor would be a practical way to determine my optimal blade gap vs. just purchasing different razors with fixed blade gaps? Any downside to your Flexi? I was looking at the Rex Ambassador as well. Mighty fine looking razor, that one!


I have quite a few adjustables including most of the top drawer models. I don't have the Rex Ambassador, but I have the Rex Konsul, the Sailor, the Taiga, the Muramasa, etc.



6-19-22.Pearl.Flexi.CanadaSS.SV.Horn.640.JPG



The Pearl Flexi, last used yesterday, is a very good adjustable by any standard as long as you understand it's a tank. No, that's not a knock on the razor, not at all, but it is heavy. Others are heavy, too. I've not weighed 'em all, but the Flexi might be the heaviest.

In my experience you're going down the wrong path if you think the gap all that important. Yes, the gap is important, but it's far from able to tell the story. It's easy to think of a far more aggressive razor with a lower gap.

To me, the huge advantage of an adjustable is the ability to use several settings which vary in gap and blade exposure during the same shave. I can start with the Flexi on say setting 1.5, then catch a few left overs with setting 5, then do my ATG S-N under the nose shaving with the most fully closed setting (less than 1 on my Flexi) for ultimate smoothness.


WolfmanWR2 Razors.1.15 & 1.35.640.Side..JPG



It's easy to compare gaps on one adjustable with other gaps on the same adjustable. The same is true comparing a Timeless 0.68 with a Timeless 0.95, or a Wolfman WR2 0.95 with a WR2 1.65. However, thinking that because you like a Timeless 0.68 you'll like other razors with similar gaps may or may not be to your advantage. You might love the Timeless 0.95 and hate the completely different Timeless Bronze 0.78.

There's a lot more to it than gaps.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I have quite a few adjustables including most of the top drawer models. I don't have the Rex Ambassador, but I have the Rex Konsul, the Sailor, the Taiga, the Muramasa, etc.



View attachment 1475162


The Pearl Flexi, last used yesterday, is a very good adjustable by any standard as long as you understand it's a tank. No, that's not a knock on the razor, not at all, but it is heavy. Others are heavy, too. I've not weighed 'em all, but the Flexi might be the heaviest.

In my experience you're going down the wrong path if you think the gap all that important. Yes, the gap is important, but it's far from able to tell the story. It's easy to think of a far more aggressive razor with a lower gap.

To me, the huge advantage of an adjustable is the ability to use several settings which vary in gap and blade exposure during the same shave. I can start with the Flexi on say setting 1.5, then catch a few left overs with setting 5, then do my ATG S-N under the nose shaving with the most fully closed setting (less than 1 on my Flexi) for ultimate smoothness.


View attachment 1475164


It's easy to compare gaps on one adjustable with other gaps on the same adjustable. The same is true comparing a Timeless 0.68 with a Timeless 0.95, or a Wolfman WR2 0.95 with a WR2 1.65. However, thinking that because you like a Timeless 0.68 you'll like other razors with similar gaps may or may not be to your advantage. You might love the Timeless 0.95 and hate the completely different Timeless Bronze 0.78.

There's a lot more to it than gaps.

Happy shaves,

Jim
Thanks- I appreciate the guidance. So, do most just take the leap of faith and purchase, test drive, and sell/trade? For a non-adjustable, I'd feel very hesitant for example, to drop several hundred on a Wolfman 1.25 only to discover that it's too aggressive. The inverse would be true if I purchased something and found it too mild. What's the method that most of you use to determine what gap/exposure is right for you?
 
+2 on "There's a lot more to it than gaps".

The Rockwell 6C/6S is a great razor IMHO, not real expensive, and a good place to start. Lots of people compare a razor to a certain plate on the Rockwell. Sometimes I use mine with plate 5 or 6, other times I'll use plate 4 and then flip it over to plate 2 for a final polish. My only complaint with the Rockwell is the size of the head which is due to the dual plate flip-over design. Even with that, it's still in my top 5.
 
Thanks- I appreciate the guidance. So, do most just take the leap of faith and purchase, test drive, and sell/trade? For a non-adjustable, I'd feel very hesitant for example, to drop several hundred on a Wolfman 1.25 only to discover that it's too aggressive. The inverse would be true if I purchased something and found it too mild. What's the method that most of you use to determine what gap/exposure is right for you?
This is why people buy the adjustable or “configurable” razors (razors with multiple baseplate options). I’m eagerly awaiting for delivery from Yates. I bought a 921 cap and “H” baseplate because a lot of people were saying the razor, as it’s sold stock (M plate) is too mild. But I have the option to go back and order either the M plate or the EH plate to adjust/configure the razor to shave better/more comfortably for me.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Thanks- I appreciate the guidance. So, do most just take the leap of faith and purchase, test drive, and sell/trade?

You're welcome.

Yes, it's mostly trial and error.

Homework helps but nothing substitutes for experience.

If the razor you're using is great for you or even good for you you can certainly just stick with it.


For a non-adjustable, I'd feel very hesitant for example, to drop several hundred on a Wolfman 1.25 only to discover that it's too aggressive. The inverse would be true if I purchased something and found it too mild. What's the method that most of you use to determine what gap/exposure is right for you?


Homework + trial and error + rental fees.

Buy a Wolfman WR2 1.15 for example. If it seems too mild, buy a WR2 1.35.

If the 1.15 isn't mild enough, buy a WR2 0.95.

Keep the ones you love and sell or trade the rest.

For some razors, particular the Wolfman WR2, there are endless conversations and threads about which to buy. Experienced and knowledgable folks are eager to help.

Problem is this: Nobody knows your skin and your whiskers except you.

Another problem: Some of the advice is like the blind leading the blind. Not everyone's advice is informed, experienced, and balanced.

It's fun but it's not easy and it's not cheap unless you get lucky.

(Some would say all razors are equally good and it's all just technique, but they're wrong.)

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Ignorance might not be bliss... but in the case of shaving, it's certainly less expensive. <eg>

As I've mentioned many times, I had no idea shaving was so subjective. I got lucky and got a razor I like first time around.

Brushes have been fun and less complicated than razor selection. They have a pretty simple job: getting soap or cream onto ones face in a pleasing manner.

The soaps have been equally complicated for me. I didn't know my skin would react negatively to various soaps/creams. I never had a reaction to Edge or Fusion goo in a can. Thankfully, I have assembled a few good soaps/creams that don't affect my skin negatively.
 
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