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What's your favorite Ralf Aust model?

As the title suggest, I would like to know which model or models from Ralf Aust you like and why. At first, I was thinking about getting a shoulderless 6/8 with a round point, but now I think that a 6/8 with a Spanish point might be a better choice and since the tip is muted, I don't have to worry about cutting my ear off. I like both, but the shoulderless cost as twice as much and somehow I don't think it would shave two times better. The other thing that bothers me is whatever I should pick one with jimps or without jimps.
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Aust razors make the largest group in my stable and they are all well built, reliable razors.

I have both the 6/8 blades, points, and types of scales that you showed in your images.

The shoulderless blade is very nice, but when it was new the ridges on the side tended to scratch my strops and I asked Mr. Aust (whom I had bought them directly from) to ‘tone down’ the ridges of these blades (about 5 in total), which he did. Since then, they work just fine and are a pleasure to hold and handle.

Aust’s take on the Spanish point works very well for me and I never had any issues with it.
BTW, some people are confused by what Aust calls ‘American point’, but once you realize that this is how he refers to a straight point, it becomes quite simple really.
This also made me wonder at times whether the round point was the favourite point for the German market while the American market might have preferred straight points (hence ‘American point’) that may have been cheaper to produce too.

I do like Aust horn scales and have avoided in my later Austs the simple black plastic material that the cheaper versions of his razors have, since this material tends to be a bit too flexible for my taste.
Besides horn Aust offers other interesting materials, in particular his various types of wood are worth taking a closer look at.

About half of my Aust razors were chosen based on the various configurations that he offers on his website, and I got chose blade size, type of steel, serrated or non-serrated tang, spine decoration, type of scales, etc…
With that in mind, it may be worth considering configuring and ordering your razor directly from Aust, if import duty (like in case of the U.S.) is not a major impediment.


But given only a choice between the two razors shown, I would pick the one with the horn scales.



Hope you find what you are looking for…




B.
 
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I expected to see a bit more people sharing their thoughts on the different Austs, but I guess I was wrong once again :D.
 
The truth is they are not very different. He uses only 2 blanks, the standard and the Bismarck style, all hollow grounded. It’s just a matter of preference in terms of scales, which Mr Aust makes using a laser cutting machine, and blade points.

I have a 5/8” in olive wood and a 6/8” stainless in black micarta. Both with Spanish points. I prefer the 5/8” but they both shave pretty much the same
 
I expected to see a bit more people sharing their thoughts on the different Austs, but I guess I was wrong once again :D.

Should have added one more point to my earlier post:
If you should consider buying directly from Aust and have the razor shipped to an address outside of the European Union, the 19% VAT that - unlike sales tax/GST in North America - is already included in the listed price will not be applicable.

In other words, you will pay only about 84% of what Aust’s VAT inclusive price list shows.



B.
 
The shoulderless Ralf Aust 6/8 is a great shaver and just gorgeous to look at.

I chose this model because I never had shoulderless razor and wanted to experience it. One thing to consider is the size of the blade is not as big it is shown on the photos as well as the length of the cutting edge. That being said, it is great for beginners too. Less intimidating.
 

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Haven’t gotten an Aust yet, though like you I have been looking at his site and thinking about it. I am leaning towards a shoulderless, because I tend to prefer shoulderless for my other razors. One comment I will make - you asked jimps or no jimps? I will take jimps every time - they just give me a better grip. In particular the bottom jimp helps me more than the top jimp.
 
Haven’t gotten an Aust yet, though like you I have been looking at his site and thinking about it. I am leaning towards a shoulderless, because I tend to prefer shoulderless for my other razors. One comment I will make - you asked jimps or no jimps? I will take jimps every time - they just give me a better grip. In particular the bottom jimp helps me more than the top jimp.

I might grab a Koraat 14 2.0 instead though. The blade of the Koraat is larger, there's a shoulderless option as well as a ''tough beard'' option, which I would most definitely benefit from and the price is roughly the same. Both brands offer great options, but somehow that particular Koraat model seems like a better option for me and the only ''downside'' is that the scales are acrylic, but honestly i'm not that addicted and into straight razors to care that much whatever they are made of. That doesn't mean that I won't get an Aust in the future though.
 
So I will say, after collecting many vintage razors, when I decided to take the plunge on a brand new razor, it was a Koraat 14.2 with the tough beard option. It cost over 2X what I had spent on any vintage, and I haven’t had a single regret. I’ve heard RA are great razors, but I *know* that my Koraat is a wonderful razor. 😀
 
So I will say, after collecting many vintage razors, when I decided to take the plunge on a brand new razor, it was a Koraat 14.2 with the tough beard option. It cost over 2X what I had spent on any vintage, and I haven’t had a single regret. I’ve heard RA are great razors, but I *know* that my Koraat is a wonderful razor. 😀

I guess there must be a good reason for them to put the tought beard upgrade as an option and since my beard is a pain in the neck the shave, I see that as a nice bonus. I was thinking about asking if someone owns a razor made that way to explain how it feels compared to a regular razor. I've also seen old vintage razors with a gold wash or print on the blade saying - ''Pour barbe dure'' and I think it's French and according to Google translate it means - ''for hard beard''.
 
What Ulrik told me is that compared to the regular bellies full hollow, the tough beard has a slightly fatter belly. So a little more rigidity near the edge, but still with some flex beyond the belly.

I don’t know how it would shave compared to the regular full hollow or the extra hollow (which has a thinner belly). But it shaves as close and comfortably as any other razor I own. And it cost less than a user grade Fili 14.

My experience is that Ulrik is quite happy to discuss at length the difference between his various grind options. So no need to dive in without examining the options.
 
I went back and forth on the grind options on the Koraat I ordered. I went with thinned belly. I don't have a tough beard, except for my chin, and that's where my skin is the most sensitive by far, too. I get consistently better results with thin, flexible blades than I do with heavier grinds. Exception is framebacks Despite being stiff I get comfortable shaves from them.
 
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