Weekly Razor Review

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
@Errol you have me sold on Seygus. However not on the 0.9 plate and it confirms to me that the curvature of the blade design has limits. So an aggressive Timor blade which is wider than most could have a dramatic impact on shave quality by increasing a positive blade exposure. Blade choice for this style of razor maybe critical for a bitey or smooth shaver.
It’s hard for me to understand just how much of a difference that 0.2mm added/ subtracted to the plate could make such a dramatic difference. I have wondered about asking about a 0.8 + 0.8mm plate.
 

Pbgoose

Active Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Location
Dubbo
I'm curious, the same as @RustyBlade whether blade choice could tame the 0.9 plate. Perhaps a Dorco blade? Somebody suggested the other day the Kai are aggressive as they are slightly wider. I haven't checked the specs but tried the Kai today in a milder razor (Rocket HD) and that worked well for me. Previously I had found the Kai a little harsh.
 

Pbgoose

Active Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Location
Dubbo
Thanks @RustyBlade for the references. Interesting.
I pulled out my digital calipers and checked the Kai, Dorco Premium and Dorco ST 301. I found the blades surprisingly difficult to measure due to the blade flex and my eyesight not as sharp as it used to be.
Kai - 22.23 (slightly wider than Double-Edge Razor Blade Dimensions Table dimension for Kai)
Dorco Prime - 21.86
Dorco ST 301 - 22.01
I hadn't actually noticed the Dorco Prime being milder than the 301 so that will be worth revisiting.
Is there a larger table for Badger & Blade table? I couldn't find it clicking on the link above the table?
 

RustyBlade

Active Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Location
Sydney
Is there a larger table for Badger & Blade table?
Not aware of but there are other sites out there on this same topic.
Just to note that to get an accurate width reading they used a jig to compress the blade to keep it rigid. As the flex would give an erroneous reading.
Another thing to note is blade thickness. Vintage blades are thicker compared to modern and modern vary 0.1mm in thickness. And combined with width, coatings, facets of blade edge you have differing properties per product.
The data is a useful gauge for choice of direction but the real test is using the blade per razor.

The Dorco STP 301 (primes) are smoother than the Dorco ST 301 to me.
The coating on the primes give a tug on first use and after that I find them smoother. Guess there may be logic in your measured widths.
 
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Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Haircut & Shave NO75 (USA)



It must be the year of new razor manufacturers. Here again is another new manufacturer ready to take on the world with the best razor ever to see the light of day; a smoother than smooth yet very efficient shave is their marketing slogan. For something a little bit different Haircut & Shave have machined the cap and handle from 303 stainless steel and manufactured the plate out of 7075 Aluminium. To add an appealing contrast to the polished stainless steel, the aluminium plate has a scratch resistant Hardcoat Black Anodize coat applied. A chunky, knurled handle coupled to a comparatively light weight head is what greets you when the packing box is opened. As the weight of the H&S is nearly all in the handle, anyone who changes to the large diameter UFO style handle may be spared that expense with the H&S. The H&S handle may not have the finesse of the UFO but it does provide very good grip and the feel that you have something special in your hand.

I had to stop a couple of times early in the shave to make sure I hadn’t swapped the H&S for the Weber; the feel of the way the razors work and their performance is so close, neutral on the blade exposure, smooth and comfortable. Put this heavier handle on a Weber and I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two; Karve CB #C level of efficiency. Heaven, a close shave with predictability. If you’ve never used a Weber here is your chance to get that experience without doing all the searching required to find one and a chance for those who have used the Weber to renew old acquaintances.

There is talk of a stainless steel plate for the H&S being available in September and maybe a full titanium version at a later time. I will be keeping my nose to the ground on that one.

Blades Used – Voskhod and Leaf Super Platinum

Material – 303 Stainless Steel with the plate made from 7075 Aircraft Grade Aluminium

Blade Tab - Covered

Weight – 131g

Head Width – 43.8mm

Handle Length – 90.4mm

Handle Diameter – 14.95mm

Availability – Haircut & Shave

Final Word – Terrific
 

RustyBlade

Active Member
2018 Sabbatical
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Location
Sydney
Haircut & Shave NO75 (USA)



It must be the year of new razor manufacturers. Here again is another new manufacturer ready to take on the world with the best razor ever to see the light of day; a smoother than smooth yet very efficient shave is their marketing slogan. For something a little bit different Haircut & Shave have machined the cap and handle from 303 stainless steel and manufactured the plate out of 7075 Aluminium. To add an appealing contrast to the polished stainless steel, the aluminium plate has a scratch resistant Hardcoat Black Anodize coat applied. A chunky, knurled handle coupled to a comparatively light weight head is what greets you when the packing box is opened. As the weight of the H&S is nearly all in the handle, anyone who changes to the large diameter UFO style handle may be spared that expense with the H&S. The H&S handle may not have the finesse of the UFO but it does provide very good grip and the feel that you have something special in your hand.

I had to stop a couple of times early in the shave to make sure I hadn’t swapped the H&S for the Weber; the feel of the way the razors work and their performance is so close, neutral on the blade exposure, smooth and comfortable. Put this heavier handle on a Weber and I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two; Karve CB #C level of efficiency. Heaven, a close shave with predictability. If you’ve never used a Weber here is your chance to get that experience without doing all the searching required to find one and a chance for those who have used the Weber to renew old acquaintances.

There is talk of a stainless steel plate for the H&S being available in September and maybe a full titanium version at a later time. I will be keeping my nose to the ground on that one.

Blades Used – Voskhod and Leaf Super Platinum

Material – 303 Stainless Steel with the plate made from 7075 Aircraft Grade Aluminium

Blade Tab - Covered

Weight – 131g

Head Width – 43.8mm

Handle Length – 90.4mm

Handle Diameter – 14.95mm

Availability – Haircut & Shave

Final Word – Terrific
Lovely looking razor with the contrasting plates and handle design. Lacking the tapered head design to reduce the blade width spacing. But none the less a beauty.

Weight at 130g is heavy and due to review comments they have noted that a new stainless steel baseplate will replace the aluminium one. The handle weight will drop so overall the SS version will be sighter lighter.

What truely is impressive is the neutral blade exposure and still performing at a very efficient level while maintaining smoothness. That is not easily achieved and IMHO the holy grail of design. This means the blade angle, exposure and gap align perfectly. Differing blades are going to make a difference but only slight.

Really available and priced well.

@Errol what was the blade feedback like please, esp. considering the neutral exposure?
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Smart Helix Apollo (Ukraine)



Smart Helix is a new manufacturer of razors out of the Ukraine who this year released their first razor, the Apollo, onto the market. Two different levels of efficiency are available on the Apollo and this is achieved via a flippable base plate. A lightly polished finish (Smart Helix refers to it as harness-smooth texture) has been applied to the razor but all corners and edges that come into contact with the skin have been highly polished; this razor is very well turned-out. Also supplied is a silicone washer that can be fitted between the bottom of the plate and handle to avoid damage to the mating surfaces of either part. This silicon washer is very spongy so I replaced this with a nylon washer for improved feel when tightening the handle. When I first viewed photos of the handle my initial reaction was that the adornment was overdone but when you have the razor in hand the grip is positive and it’s not gawky looking at all. In a change from normal, a hole is drilled into the end of the handle to accommodate a spigot sticking up on the supplied razor stand. It works. Adding to the presentation side of the razor, two series of seven lines are engraved over the top of the cap.

The accompany literature mentions in numerous places that the razor is handmade and the two parts of the head are hand fitted. Should either the cap or base plate require replacement both parts must be returned to the manufacturer for rectification. This leads me to believe that the cap and plate are not machined on a CNC type machine but individually machined by hand which in turn can result in minute variances requiring the individual fitting of parts. If the parts were CNC machined there would be no quantifiable differences in the measurements and any cap would fit any base plate. This thought is reinforced by the razor being produced in very low numbers. Another Errolism is that each razor has been given a serial number and that serial number can be registered with Smart Helix for a lifetime warranty to the original owner.

This week I will kick off the review of the Smart Helix Apollo using the milder side of the plate option ie the small circle on the plate facing the blade. Karve CB level #C efficiency with some positive blade feel; what a razor! This set up was always predictable, amazing in use and resulted in a very close shave. There is no doubt about it, the presence of a little bit of blade feel does wonders for the quality of the shave thus making this razor more suited to an experienced user. Smart Helix has done a really first-rate job with their new razor.

Blades Used – Sputnik and Ladas

Material – 304 Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Slightly exposed

Weight – 119g

Head Width – 42.36mm

Handle Length – 95mm

Handle Diameter – 13.8mm

Availability – Smart Helix

Final Word – Impressive
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Smart Helix Apollo (Ukraine)



This is exactly the same razor as reviewed last week; flip the base plate over thus putting the big circle on the plate towards the blade and this week I’m reviewing the Apollo’s more aggressive offering. Because the milder side of the plate tested last week was nigh on perfect I had a niggling feeling that I may have misread the instructions and this week I would have a very mild razor. Not so, there was a noticeable increase taking the efficiency to the plus side of the Karve CB #D plate level. I feel the efficiency may be fractionally more than I usually like but at no time did the Apollo feel like it was in control. Blade feel remains positive but to Smart Helix’s credit the blade feel is less than with the milder side of the plate; the shave was smooth and the quality of the shave superb. If Smart Helix could just reduce the efficiency of the Apollo on this side of the plate ever so slightly? I just love this razor.

Already Smart Helix is working on a new model of the Apollo to be known as the Apollo Light. While I never at any time felt that the Apollo head was overweight Smart Helix have ditched the flippable plate idea and will now be offering two lighter plates instead. Smart Helix has mentioned on their web site that there will be minor changes to plate efficiency so I’m hoping that will be marginally less aggression on the aggressive plate. Production of the Apollo has ceased but you can join me and pre-order the Apollo Light now.

Blades Used – Voskhod and Rapira Swedish Supersteel

Material – 304 Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Slightly Exposed

Weight – 119g

Head Width – 42.36mm

Handle Length – 95mm

Handle Diameter – 13.8mm

Availability – Smart Helix

Final Word – What an impressive razor
 

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
@Errol the new H&S is available now (with the stainless baseplate).
https://www.haircutandshaveco.com/products/haircut-shave-co-cnc-machined-double-edge-safety-razor
I am so tempted! Must try to resist.
Compared to the Karve SS OC I'm on the wait list for...is the H&S a better bet?
The Karve wins for adjustability with all those plates available.
The H&S is better looking, slimmer,and....?
Edit: I may have answered that last question myself...The Karve is $241NZ + shipping. The H&S is $345NZ + shipping. I can buy the Karve and an extra plate or two for the price of the H&S.
 
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Rabid Badger

Member
2018 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Location
victoria
Smart Helix Apollo (Ukraine)



This is exactly the same razor as reviewed last week; flip the base plate over thus putting the big circle on the plate towards the blade and this week I’m reviewing the Apollo’s more aggressive offering. Because the milder side of the plate tested last week was nigh on perfect I had a niggling feeling that I may have misread the instructions and this week I would have a very mild razor. Not so, there was a noticeable increase taking the efficiency to the plus side of the Karve CB #D plate level. I feel the efficiency may be fractionally more than I usually like but at no time did the Apollo feel like it was in control. Blade feel remains positive but to Smart Helix’s credit the blade feel is less than with the milder side of the plate; the shave was smooth and the quality of the shave superb. If Smart Helix could just reduce the efficiency of the Apollo on this side of the plate ever so slightly? I just love this razor.

Already Smart Helix is working on a new model of the Apollo to be known as the Apollo Light. While I never at any time felt that the Apollo head was overweight Smart Helix have ditched the flippable plate idea and will now be offering two lighter plates instead. Smart Helix has mentioned on their web site that there will be minor changes to plate efficiency so I’m hoping that will be marginally less aggression on the aggressive plate. Production of the Apollo has ceased but you can join me and pre-order the Apollo Light now.

Blades Used – Voskhod and Rapira Swedish Supersteel

Material – 304 Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Slightly Exposed

Weight – 119g

Head Width – 42.36mm

Handle Length – 95mm

Handle Diameter – 13.8mm

Availability – Smart Helix

Final Word – What an impressive razor
How much are these?
 
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