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Wolfman WR2 1.05 and the Karve CB

This will be a tl;dr post. Really.

[I am writing this on Thursday night but posting today]

[On Thursday,] I received my 1.05 sb Wolfman with a 90 mm WRH2 handle in the basic polished (textured) finish. There are plenty of Wolfman Razor reviews. I wanted to review the razor and specifically try to compare it to the Karve Christopher Bradley razor, my current favorite DE.

The Karve really opened my eyes about how great a modern razor could be. I started with the brass (such a fantastic price point) then bought the stainless. Then had the brass plated in rhodium. So, yea, big fan. I use the plated brass version the most—it feels warmer and ‘softer’ on the face to me than the steel.

Tried the A, B, C, and D safety bar plates. A was fine. B was great and smooth and effortless, C was more efficient but just as great and smooth with a bit more attention needed, and D was more efficient but I definitely was feeling the blade. Some might like that. I do not. I tried the B open comb plate and thus just reaffirmed that I don't like blade feel. All plates were still smooth shaves. I know I like mild to mid-aggressive shavers and not beyond. This post might also be useful for that group as well.

With that in mind, I received advice that the 1.05 might be the best for me. Knowing from past posts that I could shim the Wolfman to simulate higher exposures, this made a lot of sense to me.

My expectations. Some reviews have said they liked the wolf better, some the Karve, and some neither. One possibility is that the 1.05 might shave just like a B plate. I am hoping it might shave as efficiently as a D but feel like a B. The middle ground might be as easy and smooth as a B but be as efficient as a C.

On to the wolf. The Wolfman packaging did not impress me. Did I notice? Yes (Karve has better packaging to me). Do I care? No. Again, I just noticed. For example, the wolf came wrapped in pieces of what looked like black paper napkins? Interesting choice. But hey, it’s stainless steel so it won’t matter. Did the razor arrive in perfect condition? Of course.

I unwrap the razor and like so many am just awestruck by the polish, and it’s even the basic one. Just wowzers. Or if you prefer, Holy Schnikes. I had prepurchased a nylon washer/spacer to use between the base plate and handle.

I begin to assemble the top cap and baseplate. Again, wowzers. Such tight tolerances. Amazing. Then I screw in the handle. Hmm. I guess I never really realized how great the Karve threads were. Clearly superior machining in the Karve in this one aspect. What do I mean? In tightening the Karve handle, there’s no wobble at all. With the Wolfman, there’s a wee bit. Do I think this will affect the shave? Not one iota. Again, just some impressions/observations. It’s more a compliment to the Karve than any criticism of the Wolfman.

Once assembled, the Wolfman I have is a heavy beast. My Karve is about ~100 grams. This wolf is about 130. A full-third heavier, give or take. Noticeable. Even so, it feels nice and balanced in the hand. Given that I plan to use a steep angle with the wolf on my first shave, will this weight be helpful? I want to think so.

The knurling on the WRH2 provides a great grip. I have no fear of it ever being slippery. Running my fingers over it, I can really feel the ‘cuts’ in the steel. It’s ‘rougher’ than either the brass or steel Karve handles (these have always been more than sufficiently ‘grippy’ for me). Different but certainly pleasant.

This is all window-dressing and superficiality. The shave will happen tomorrow [Friday] morning. To get my mind right, I will watch Teen Wolf tonight. There will be no regrets. In theory.
[Today. No regrets in movie selection.]

So, in a basic first shave with a new razor, soap, brush or whatever, I always use a new Gillette Silver Blue blade in the razor. So, I load the wolf with it. It fits easily but snugly into the top cap. Base plate covers it just as snugly.

Usually I like to shave with Stirling Sheep as a baseline as well. However, I am feeling animalistic in a sense. I want to pair the wolf with a bear. So, I will be using Murphy and McNeil’s Nantahala (note, M&M occasionally offers its other scents in the bear-tallow or Kodiak base if you care; I have a few). I also added 10 healthy doses of Stirling’s Frost Drops to mentholate the soap, polarize the bear-tallow if you will (sorry).


I usually shave every other day. Sometimes it’s three-day growth when I’m lazy or over the weekend. Sorry wolf, I’ve been waiting for you, so I last shaved on Monday. It’s four days of growth for you to tackle. Up for the challenge? We’ll soon find out if you shave more like a Karve B, C, or D now. Suck up the unfairness, wolfie.

As I wrote earlier, I hope the Wolfman will be just as smooth as a Karve, without much blade feel yet more efficient. Is this crazy thinking? Well, my actual thinking is to assume that the Wolfman has neutral blade exposure. The Karve B has neutral exposure with a blade gap of 0.73 mm. My wolf has 1.05. All things being equal, the extra 0.32 mm blade gap must mean something, right? Now yes, there are more shaving geometries than just exposure and gap, but manufacturers don’t tend to share those details. Thus, I am left with the idea that a larger gap with similar blade exposure should mean that more hair can get shaved down with a larger gap. Is this scientifically correct? No idea. Will my shave experience prove anything definitively? Nope. I just hope to give others data.

I lather up then go for a first pass with the grain. I use a steep angle, and it mows the hairs down nicely. It’s particularly good around my most dense area, the chin. I rinse and feel around. Pretty good. No worse than the Karve C—my usual go-to for more than two days’ growth.

On to the second pass and across the grain. I actually relax the angle a bit here, raise it to a more normal one for me, neither riding the bar nor cap. Very smooth. Very nice shave. No blade feel, just like the Karve B and C to me.

I rinse and feel around. Normally, I do some touch ups or buffing here to get a good DFS. I am pleasantly surprised that I don’t need to do so. A two-pass no buff DFS. An improvement on the Karve shaves in theory.

So let’s compare based on this first shave. For me, there is no difference in smoothness between the Karve B or C plate and the WR2 1.05. That’s a huge compliment to both razors. There was no blade feel on this wolf either, which is a plus for me. If I had to say which plate the 1.05 felt like when moving around my face (the feel, not the efficiency), I would say the B.

So far, 1.05 vs Karve B = Wolf wins. I expected this, so there may be some confirmation bias going on.

1.05 vs Karve C. Wolf wins, but this a temporary conclusion. Here is where I see the error in this first shave. I don’t have enough experience (really shave memory) with this much beard growth to compare properly. Sometimes when my beard is longer, I can get what feels like more efficient shaves. If I remove this variable as a consideration, the 1.05 is more efficient than the C but just as comfortable. The proof was the lack of a need to buff or touch up. By the end of the shave, I was really just ‘whipping’ it around my face like I do with a Karve B because it felt so nice, comfortable, and safe.

1.05 vs. Karve D? I don't use the D enough for a fair comparison.

I’ll have to test the wolf against the Karve D at some point. But only after I get more comfortable with it and learn the best angles for me, and use the Karve on B and C to get a closer comparison. I know people sometimes like half-shaves to compare two razors at once. Unfortunately, my growth does not allow that—my right side has easier growth patterns than the left and therefore easier to shave (the buffing is always on the left side).

I hope to shave with the Wolfman on Sunday to get my more usual two-day growth and shave experience.

Thanks for laboring through this review.


Nice review. I have the 1.05 WR2 SB and find it comparable to the D plate on the Karve. I don't have any wobble with my handle. However, the washers I bought go on and off all my razors' posts without any effort - except for the Wolfman.
Wobble might too strong a term, in fairness. I was just testing out the threads. The Wolfman feels perfectly normal screwing in. I just notice a difference with the Karve. I don't think I would have noticed it without my experience. Or just chalk this up to me being wrong. I can accept that :)

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
Wobble might too strong a term, in fairness. I was just testing out the threads. The Wolfman feels perfectly normal screwing in. I just notice a difference with the Karve. I don't think I would have noticed it without my experience. Or just chalk this up to me being wrong. I can accept that :)
Actually, I know exactly what you mean. There is a slight ‘play’ when screwing the handle — very slight. This ‘play’ is not present on my RS-10, and I recall being very impressed with the Karve in that regard.

Excellent review. The Wolf/Bear combination is tops in my den, too.
i too bought a wolfman through their wait order.

i thought man, it's a lot of money based on scanty information. i tried to get more info from their site on different gaps etc. the feedback on customization was pretty bad in my opinion. however based on it's reputation i still went through the purchase. i got the open comb/regular combination with the stand.

i finally used it this week. i was impressed. very smooth and easy to use. i have been a fan of att slants and timeless titanium previously. i've tried the rex adjustable and still can't get a good shave...wolfman really came through and cemented its reputation with me.

on to rocnel...
Due to a number of things I did not get to shave yesterday (power outage for a bit was a large factor), but I did this morning. So, a Friday-to-Monday shaving time gap. This would always be a Karve C plate shave for me.

My second shave with the Wolfman was wonderful. Again, smooth and effortless. And equally again, no touchups or buffing required. Based on this shave, the WR2 1.05 is indeed more efficient than the Karve C while being just as smooth as a Karve B plate.

I played a little bit with the shave angle. Like others have said, I do believe the wolf likes a steeper angle (more riding the bar). When I raised the handle up, I could hear and feel less cutting going on. This led me to try and determine any kind of blade feel at all. At one point, I thought yes, I can feel three things on my skin (plate, blade, top). But upon reflection, I think I really just felt the hairs being cut and interpreted that as blade feel. Maybe some of you do, but I don't. Blade feel to me is actually feeling the blade sliding along my skin. Perhaps this has something to with this larger blade gap. Whether I am lying or deceiving myself is also up for anyone to determine.

Two shaves in and the Wolfman is indeed living up to its hype. Can't wait for Wolfman Wednesday.

For those that care, shave was with the same GSB blade (shave 2) but I used Zingari Man Nomad soap.
I received my Wolfman last week. Same as yours aside from a 80mm hollow handle. I had a brass Karve from early on, B/C plates. For me, the Wolfman works way better. Karve B was inefficient, C was irritating. The Wolfman has been the smoothest, most irritation-free AND efficient razor I've tried yet.
Small update this evening on the two-pass DFS shave. 1.05 is absolutely more efficient than the Karve C plate. Rubbing around my face 13 hours later just confirms it. DFS has lasted far, far longer. I am impressed. It's so smooth you just really don't notice how close it shaves.
Another shave update. Today, with two days' growth, I shaved with the stainless steel Karve with the D plate/safety bar version. The shave was nicely efficient but reminded me why I don't like much blade feel.

Compared to the 1.05, I think the Karve D was just a tiny bit more efficient. However, the Wolfman was so much smoother and more comfortable. To my face and skin, the Wolfman is so close to the D while giving a more pleasant shave experience. So, I think it's fair to say that the Wolfman WR2 1.05 does shave like a Karve D plate, if only in efficiency.

The Wolfman is a clear personal winner here across plates B, C, and D. I still love the Karve and will continue to use the B and C plates. One day.
Thank You merovirginian for the comparisons and reviews.

That was exactly the information needed as I wait to make the final decision on my Wolfman order.

Much Appreciated!
You are very welcome, @para. I was torn between the 1.05 and 1.15 wr2 personally, like so many. One day, I will likely put 1 razor shim (about 0.1 mm) to my 1.05 to get close to the 1.15 to see what the difference may be. Maybe a second for a 1.25 feel. But I have zero regrets about the 1.05 given that I knew I was not an aggressive shave lover.

I shaved with the Wolfman again this morning. Just wow, so smooth and close and irritation-free. Wonderful.

To sum up again, if you like the Karve on B or C, you will want the Wolfman 1.05—it's just as smooth and more efficient, really. If you enjoy the D (I am not a big fan), I would anticipate that you would want a 1.15 or perhaps 1.25 (the latter or higher seems to be very popular with people who are happy with more blade feel, fwiw).

Another data point. My preferred Rockwell 6s plate is R4. To me, the Karve B felt like an R3 but efficiency-wise was more like an R5. The Karve C felt more like an R4/R5, but was closer to the R6. I would say the Wolfman 1.05 feels like an R3 but is definitely more efficient than the R6.

Good luck with any future Wolfman orders!
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[QUOTE =“ merovirginian,帖子:10815314,成员:125336”]
非常欢迎您,[USER = 126049] @para [/ USER]。和很多人一样,我个人在1.05和1.15 wr2之间陷入困境。有一天,我可能会在我的1.05上放1片剃须刀垫片(约0.1毫米),使其接近1.15,以了解两者之间的差别。可能需要一秒钟才能获得1.25的感觉。但是,由于我知道自己不是一个积极的剃毛爱好者,因此对1.05感到非常遗憾。


再次总结一下,如果您喜欢B或C上的Karve,您将需要Wolfman 1.05,它确实一样平滑且高效。如果您喜欢D(我不是超级粉丝),那么我预计您会希望使用1.15或1.25(后者或更高的值似乎对那些对刀片感更满意的人很受欢迎)。

另一个数据点。我首选的罗克韦尔6s平板是R4。在我看来,Karve B感觉就像是R3,但在效率方面更像是R5。Karve C感觉更像是R4 / R5,但更接近R6。我想说沃尔夫曼1.05感觉像是R3,但绝对比R6更高效。