Blackbird OC...first shave.

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
I did a swap recently with another member.
My Rocca R95 for his Blackbird OC (black oxide). No names mentioned as I don't want to intrude on his privacy, but hopefully he will put up a review of his Rocca when he has a few shaves in.
The BB arrived yesterday and first shave today. Used Stirling Bay Rum and a Wizamet blade.
Can't really offer more to add to Errol's complete review of the BB last week.
The BB is a heavy wee beast. Haven't weighed it but feels 'about' the same as the stainless Timeless. Don't know if this is a version 1 or 2 BB (more rounded 'softer' corners on the Mk2).
The black oxide finish is actually quite nice...I thought I might have preferred a polished razor, but now I'm pleased to have the black one.
I noticed the extra blade feel compared to my Timeless .95 OC, or Karve #F plate (SB).
But it was a good 2 pass shave, and certainly comfortable enough.
It could easily be my daily driver. Nice, close shave with no drama.
I can see though why some folks don't like the blade feel, and I will have to trial a few more different blades to find the ideal.
I'm a happy camper, as I do (now) prefer a more assertive razor.
I hope the new owner of the Rocca enjoys his shaves just as much.
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
I did a swap recently with another member.
My Rocca R95 for his Blackbird OC (black oxide). No names mentioned as I don't want to intrude on his privacy, but hopefully he will put up a review of his Rocca when he has a few shaves in.
The BB arrived yesterday and first shave today. Used Stirling Bay Rum and a Wizamet blade.
Can't really offer more to add to Errol's complete review of the BB last week.
The BB is a heavy wee beast. Haven't weighed it but feels 'about' the same as the stainless Timeless. Don't know if this is a version 1 or 2 BB (more rounded 'softer' corners on the Mk2).
The black oxide finish is actually quite nice...I thought I might have preferred a polished razor, but now I'm pleased to have the black one.
I noticed the extra blade feel compared to my Timeless .95 OC, or Karve #F plate (SB).
But it was a good 2 pass shave, and certainly comfortable enough.
It could easily be my daily driver. Nice, close shave with no drama.
I can see though why some folks don't like the blade feel, and I will have to trial a few more different blades to find the ideal.
I'm a happy camper, as I do (now) prefer a more assertive razor.
I hope the new owner of the Rocca enjoys his shaves just as much.
You got the way better deal on this one.
 

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
You got the way better deal on this one.
I guess it's 'horses for courses' @Errol . The other member didn't particularly like the Blackbird, and the R95 wasn't doing it for me.
So a swap worked out for both of us. We both have a razor we can use now.
In my case, yes...I think I do have a better razor than the Rocca. It was just sitting unused in the bathroom as it didn't give me the shave I wanted.
The Blackbird ticks more of the boxes for me.
I wouldn't call it 'smooth' as in Timeless smooth, but it's OK. Not 'harsh' for sure...just more blade feel than most razors...but I've never tried an R41 (yet).
Those dinky wee 'teeth' of the OC can do with some smoothing though. I think I feel them more than the blade. Quite sharp feeling along the lower edge.
Makes me think this is a Mk1 version as I've read that the later model was slightly more 'rounded' and softer to the face.
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
I guess it's 'horses for courses' @Errol . The other member didn't particularly like the Blackbird, and the R95 wasn't doing it for me.
So a swap worked out for both of us. We both have a razor we can use now.
In my case, yes...I think I do have a better razor than the Rocca. It was just sitting unused in the bathroom as it didn't give me the shave I wanted.
The Blackbird ticks more of the boxes for me.
I wouldn't call it 'smooth' as in Timeless smooth, but it's OK. Not 'harsh' for sure...just more blade feel than most razors...but I've never tried an R41 (yet).
Those dinky wee 'teeth' of the OC can do with some smoothing though. I think I feel them more than the blade. Quite sharp feeling along the lower edge.
Makes me think this is a Mk1 version as I've read that the later model was slightly more 'rounded' and softer to the face.
Mine is definitely a later version Blackbird. If you can compare it to mine in the Weekly Razor Review last week it might give you some idea. Now, I’m not sure that the earlier version came in an OC, I thought it was only an SB.
 

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
Yes, I'm not really sure how to tell Mk1 or Mk2. Thanks for the info about OC/SB and maybe OC was Mk2 anyway.
The OC teeth are quite sharp along the lower edge. I might just have a wee polish up along there.
It will remove some of the black finish, but it was designed to wear and gain a unique patina anyway.
I don't normally run the lower edge of OC teeth across my face while shaving, but now I'm older I seem to have developed some wee wrinkles!
No trouble with the Timeless OC, but it's a different design, and offers a smoother contour to the face.
Edit: Just ran my fingers along the top of the OC teeth (more towards the blade edge).
You would not want to attempt a 'Gillette Slide' with this razor. Sharp edged, knobby wee teeth. I can see a bit of 'refining' needed here. Must get the diamond sticks out.
Might be all it needs to make a good razor into a great razor.
 
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Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
@Errol maybe the difference is that your razor is polished and mine is machined? The machined version won't have all those nice clean polished edges.
I just (10 minutes ago) gave all the inner leading edges of the OC teeth a wee tickle up with a very fine oil stone (from my Lanskey knife set).
Now when I run my finger along the 'pointy' edges I can't feel that roughness that was there before.
I'll do a couple of weeks worth of shaves and then decide if I like it as is, or if I'll get out the polishing mops, grit, etc.
Don't really want to loose the black finish so may just do the OC teeth area. Could always polish the entire baseplate, and leave the cap and handle to 'patina' I suppose.
 

Pbgoose

Active Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Location
Dubbo
Yes, I'm not really sure how to tell Mk1 or Mk2. Thanks for the info about OC/SB and maybe OC was Mk2 anyway.
The OC teeth are quite sharp along the lower edge. I might just have a wee polish up along there.
It will remove some of the black finish, but it was designed to wear and gain a unique patina anyway.
I don't normally run the lower edge of OC teeth across my face while shaving, but now I'm older I seem to have developed some wee wrinkles!
No trouble with the Timeless OC, but it's a different design, and offers a smoother contour to the face.
Edit: Just ran my fingers along the top of the OC teeth (more towards the blade edge).
You would not want to attempt a 'Gillette Slide' with this razor. Sharp edged, knobby wee teeth. I can see a bit of 'refining' needed here. Must get the diamond sticks out.
Might be all it needs to make a good razor into a great razor.
Yes, the OC teeth do have a relatively sharp edge but I actually quite like the feel on the face. The bottom plate could almost double as a skutch hammer blade. :)
 

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
Oh bugger!
2nd shave today and I got carried away whipping the Blackbird around my ruggedly handsome face...and I got a weeper on my chin.
First time in many years. The Rocca never did this...perfectly well behaved they are.
On the 2nd pass and just sort of went on to 'Auto Shave' setting when the little sod bit me.
It's that wee bit extra blade protrusion that got me.
I promise to take more care tomorrow.
 

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
Update time...I was expecting some more 'roughness/harshness' to the shave than what I get from the Karve/Timeless, etc. And that is what I got!
I did find that it was too much effort to go over my chin area as the Blackbird sort of hopped and skipped there. It wasn't happy...blade chatter I figured. Got a couple more weepers on the chin too.
Long story short...was changing blade and as the razor is a black oxide one I could see there were high spots showing on the baseplate where the blade sits down on when clamped up.
Briefly ran the baseplate over a flatedge and sure enough, there was a high spot at each end and a wee ridge of high spot along one edge.
Didn't bother to measure how much, I just knew that area should be flat.
So I smoothed it down on a flatplate until all high spots were gone.
This did of course reduce the blade gap a tad, but that was not a consideration I worried about.
The razor performs better now. I can shave around the chin and no blade chatter. It is smoother.
But now no black oxide finish there, so I emailed Blackland and told Shane the story and asked about sending the baseplate back for a new black oxide job (or was I best to just buy a new plate?).
Shane asked for photos and I sent him some showing the high spot areas and my polish job to remove them.
He says that even though I bought it used it doesn't matter...he 100% guarantees his product.
He is checking his inventory for a black oxide baseplate which he will send to me.
Now that is impressive service. Plus he answers each of my emails by the next day.
I can see my next razor will be a Blackland. Have to support a maker who goes that extra mile for you.
 

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
I should add that the previous owner warned me that it was 'aggressive', and he didn't use it much because of the 'face feel'.
I see now why that was. Those high spots meant that the entire middle portion of the blade was unsupported and 'flapping in the breeze' sort of thing.
Not his problem and nothing that he did. Just a wee manufacturing hiccup.
Be interesting how it feels with a new baseplate.
It still might end up on BST yet though.
Maybe time I looked at an SE?
 

Gargravarr

Our resident snake charmer
Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Location
Tasmania
But now no black oxide finish there, so I emailed Blackland and told Shane the story and asked about sending the baseplate back for a new black oxide job (or was I best to just buy a new plate?).
Shane asked for photos and I sent him some showing the high spot areas and my polish job to remove them.
He says that even though I bought it used it doesn't matter...he 100% guarantees his product.
That is good news. A sign of a good workman is standing behind his product no matter what. I'm impressed. Many (most) manufacturers would use the multiple ownership or the fact that you've modified it as a get-out.
Maybe time I looked at an SE?
You could do worse than try the Hawk V3 OC, I've a feeling you might like it. It was a little "toothy" for me, but if you're not shaving your melon, that shouldn't be a problem, and it's at a good price point. A nice thing about these AC razors it's how you can more or less select the level of aggressiveness you like with your choice of blade.
 
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