Weekly Razor Review

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
@beerhog Good questions all. You’re talking about three really good quality SE’s who‘s performances are all very similar. The General V1 was a well received razor that performed exceptionally well and the V2 is a continuation of the same principles. Probably the biggest change to the V1 has been the reduction in weight and a different handle; it works well but so did the V1 handle. If your thinking the V1 is too heavy, a change to the V2 is warranted, otherwise stay with the one you know.

A comparison between the General V2 and the Vector probably comes down to handling and weigh. If you want a really nimble razor go for the Vector, if you want a nimble razor go for the V2. You‘ll get a good shave with either. Just to show how difficult your question is, the Vector in my opinion was one of the best razors out of 2018 and the V2 will be in consideration for my best razor of 2019.

Now that I’ve told you nothing?
 

Pbgoose

Active Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Location
Dubbo
Since I first tried the Supers in the Asylum Rx I’ve been very hesitant to use them again. What a mistake? They work brilliantly in the General V2 and take the performance up another level. Close was the order of the day and smooth as well. I’ll certainly be using Supers again now.
Glad I asked the question then.:) I've been using Schick Pro Line and Feather Pro lately for a change but I'd say my No:1 blade for the General is the Feather Pro Super.
I'm guessing this will be the case for the Vector for when it turns up as well as I understand it to be on the mild side.
When I first saw your review on the General V2 I thought, nuh, got the General, don't need the V2. But good enabling says my General is brass and a V2 stainless would be a good move. Just got to save up.:LOL:
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Rocnel Elite 2018 Limited Edition (Turkey)



Only qty 55 of the Rocnel Elite 2018 LE razors were manufactured and these were distributed exclusively through Bullgoose Shaving in the USA. A feature of this release is that the pins that hold the blade have been slimmed down and the 2018 Elite LE will now accept all DE blades; no longer are users restricted to Feather blades and a few other blades that happened to fit. Sitting above the lower oval section of the ends of the plate is a squared off portion that aligns with the square ends on the cap. 2 x huge lather channels have been milled into the plate with the blade sitting on a serrated edge. For a plate that is so heavy, the cap is quite lightly proportioned. A heavy duty handle with fine knurling compliments the heavy head and the whole razor is finished in a dull satin finish. In true Rocnel fashion they have got carried away with their engraving and information is splattered all over the razor. For my part I’d prefer to see this information displayed rather than like some manufacturers where they don’t even put their name on the razor.

On an earlier model Elite, I had difficulty (well I forced it on) fitting a Gillette 7 O’Clock Green over the Feather sized pins on the cap so that is the reason for my first blade selection. No such trouble with the 2018 LE and the 7 O’Clock Green blade fitted like a glove, no trouble with the Kai blade either. I was expecting a medium efficiency shave because the plate is engraved 1.95mm so it’s no surprise that I’m going to rate the efficiency level of the 2018 LE as about that of a Karve CB #C plate. The shave was mild, very mild and smooth but nowhere near the closest shave I’ve ever enjoyed. There is little if any blade feel and the sound of each whisker being sheared off is pleasantly loud so I was able to enjoy “The Rocnel Rhapsody” as I shaved.

Blades Used – Gillette 7 O’Clock Green and Kai

Material – 316L Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Covered

Weight – 137g

Head Width – 45.93mm

Handle Length – 90mm

Handle Diameter – 14.2mm

Availability – Out of production

Final Word – Just average
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Rocnel Elite 2019 limited Edition – Medium Aggressive (Turkey)



If there was a prize for the best feeling handle fitted to a production razor this year the Rocnel LE would walk away with the blue ribbon, very little doubt about it. It is superb, my ideal length, solid feel and the quality of the unique knurling is flawless. Not knowing where each efficiency level of this razor would fall I purchased both variants so hopefully if/ when there is a future release of Elite LE’s I might be able to purchase the one razor that is closest to my liking. The head on the 2019 Elite is completely different to previous editions of the Rocnel Elite; gone are the oval ends on the plate that protected the tabs on the blade; these ends are now squared off and there is slight blade protrusion. Rocnel have again employed a solid weight head and I’m sure the thickness of the plate could have been reduced considerably with minimal effort. Overall the whole razor looks resplendent with the dullish machine polished head and the highly polished handle. Each of the 2019 LE’s is individually serial numbered, and that number is engraved on the end of the handle the cap and the plate.

I was expecting a shave similar to the shave delivered by the 2018 Elite last week because the plate is engraved 1.95 and I for once I was right. When compared to the 2018 LE Elite there is virtually no difference in the delivered shave but there is probably less volume to “The Rocnel Rhapsody” as each whisker is being scythed through. With an efficiency level around that of a Karve CB #C plate, the resultant shave is not as close as it could have been but it was certainly as smooth and certainly as comfortable as the 2018 LE. It’s widely known that Rocnel designed their earlier Elite razors around the Feather DE blade and while this LE will now accept every brand of razor blade, I still decided on a Feather blade as the second option but in the end I could not identify any perceivable difference between the Feather and the 7 O’Clock Yellow blades. I’m now looking forward to stepping up to the aggressive variant next week.

Blades Used – Gillette 7’O’Clock Yellow and Feather

Material – 316L Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Slight blade protrusion

Weight – 122g

Head Width – 41.88mm

Handle Length – 86.74mm

Handle Diameter – 13.51mm

Availability – Bullgoose Shaving

Final Word – Average
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Rocnel Elite 2019 Limited Edition - Aggressive (Turkey)



There were two variations of the Rocnel Elite LE 2019, medium aggressive and aggressive and this week it is the turn of the ‘A’ identified aggressive plate to step forward and show its value. Other than the plate, this razor identical to the ‘M’ model used last week, same very usable handle, same head shape, just like old home week.

This ‘A’ plated 2019 LE is the razor Rocnel should have introduced as their standard, it is still medium efficiency level but is now a desirable razor; the ‘M’ plate never quite made the grade. Never at any time did I feel that this razor was going to harm in any way, it is so predictable. This time the shave was very close and just as smooth as the ‘M’ plated edition but again there was no blade feel. For a razor engraved on the blade side of the plate ‘For Professional Users’ I was disappointed that there was not some built in blade feel. Rocnel’s 2019 LE Aggressive provided an efficiency level shave on the lower side of the Karve CB #D allowing plenty of opportunity for a more efficient razor to be positioned before getting into that seriously aggressive mode. This razor just needs some blade feel to be exceptional.

Blades Used – Voskhod and Gillette Silver Blue

Material – 316L Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Slight blade protrusion

Weight – 122g

Head Width – 41.88mm

Handle Length – 86.74mm

Handle Diameter – 13.51mm

Availability – Bullgoose Shaving

Final Word – Good
 

Errol

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



When I reviewed the Smart Helix Apollo I mentioned that I found nothing wrong with the weight of the double sided plate but Smart Helix has decided to lighten the weight of the razor by lightening the plate, essentially machining a plate with one side and then providing another plate with the alternate efficiency level. Lightening each plate has produced a very light head and the handle is now the heavy part. Balance and feel of this razor would improve immensely with a shorter and/ or titanium handle. I still believe that each razor is handmade and not mass produced in a CNC machine. Smart Helix’s attention to detail is incredible and this razor rates as the pinnacle as far as fit and finish is concerned. Not a tool mark is to be found anywhere on the razor and both sides of the cap and both sides of the plate appear to have been precision ground to a super smooth finish, no further surface finish is required. There are highly polished surfaces on the handle and these contrast flawlessly with the ground surfaces of the head, it’s all about quality.

A single line engraved onto the back of the plate denotes the less aggressive plate and that is the plate I will be using this week. There was talk of the efficiency rates for the plates being adjusted so I’m interested to see how much change has been made there. First stroke and it is immediately obvious that this razor is less efficiency than the original Apollo but I’m still going to say its efficiency level is on par with the Karve CB #C plate. A smooth, close shave and there is some blade feel present but not a lot. The efficiency level of this razor sits just above the point where I know I start to apply pressure to the razor. Overall, the Apollo Light fitted with the milder plate is a real performer.

Blades Used – Gillette Nacet and Sputnik

Material – 304 Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Slight protrusion

Weight – 111g

Head Width – 42.43mm

Handle Length – 95.14mm

Handle Diameter – 13.83mm

Availability – Smart Helix – Free shipping

Final Word – First rate
 

Errol

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



Like all Smart Helix razors the Apollo Light is released in small numbers so when I requested #46 it is a continuation of the numbering system used from the original Apollo series. I did ask how many of the original Apollo series razors were made and was advised that they would let me know, I’m still waiting. For me the big news was that they allocated me razor #46 very early in the pre order. I grew up in Southern Queensland and until sometime in the 1970’s, #46 was the family phone number through the old manual telephone exchange. With #46 having such a long family association I just claim #46 as my favourite number and any time I get to nominate a number, #46 gets the nod. This is the first time I’ve been able to get a razor with #46 as the serial number. This is the same razor as used last week, only this week the aggressive plate is fitted. I cannot say enough about the quality of manufacture that is seen on this razor; it is outstanding. I would go so far as to say that this is as good a razor as any produced in the world today.

After changing the plate over to that with the engraved double lines I’m ready to proceed. With an efficiency level in excess of a Karve CB #D plate this is still one very pleasant razor to use. From memory, and we all know how reliable that can be, I don’t think there is much difference to the original Apollo’s efficiency when fitted with the more efficient side of the plate. Efficiency is not that far removed from that aggressive range of razors but it certainly performs, even the balance on the handle feels better suited to this more efficient version or maybe I’m just getting used to it. There is blade feel present and again Smart Helix has not gone overboard with blade feel just because the efficiency level has increased. There was however, more blade feel noticeable when using the Lord Super Chrome blade. There is not much in it but this plate is not as smooth as the less aggressive version however the shave was just as close. This razor is magic.

Blades Used – Gillette Platinum and Lord Super Chrome

Material – 304 Stainless Steel

Blade Tab – Slight protrusion

Weight – 111g

Head Width – 42.43mm

Handle Length – 95.14mm

Handle Diameter – 13.83mm

Availability – Smart Helix – Free shipping

Final Word – Exemplary
 

alfredus

organises many group buys
Staff member
Site Moderator
State Convenor - SA
Grand Society
Group Buy Caporegime
Charity Auction Team
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Location
Adelaide
I was about to order one of these after last weeks review...but I just got an invoice from Mr. Dafour...hopefully they are still available next year...
 

Nico

Multi-blade using heretic - burn the witch ...
2018 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Location
Canberra
I thoroughly enjoy reading Errol's reviews, no BS. The information exchanged here has certainly helped me make informed purchasing decisions. Thanks mate.:)
Razors still on my radar. Charcoal Goods razor level 2 plate, Paradigm 17-4.
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Karve Christopher Bradley Stainless Steel ‘E’ Plate (Canada)



Over the last couple of years Karve have made a name for themselves with their brass razors and their selection of plates ranging from ‘AA’ to ‘G’ covering just about every efficiency level anyone could ever want. The razor being reviewed this week is the eagerly awaited Karve CB stainless steel version. I ordered my Karve CB Stainless Steel version with plates covering the ranges #B to #E so I’m pretty sure somewhere in that range there is one plate, hopefully more, that will suite me.

As soon as I removed the Karve CB Stainless Steel from the packaging I was amazed by the quality of the fit and finish on this razor, the SS is really an impressively finished piece of kit with its blemish free satin finish. No tooling marks are to be found anywhere on this razor. Lately I’ve been tending away from the highly polished variants of razors and in many cases selecting a matt/ satin finish where there is an option. I still admire a bright highly polished razor but there is just something about a satin finish that appeals and that is why I liked the bead blasted finish so much on the Karve CB stainless steel. Always contradictory, I’ve put my name down for one of the highly polished stainless steel varieties of Karve CB. Karve have been floating the idea of applying a small amount of grease on the threads and I note that they have done this on the SS at the factory; any measure to reduce wear, however small, is a great initiative. A black nylon washer was supplied to reduce metal pick up on the handle and plate during transportation. There is a warning that this washer should not be fitted while the razor is being used so of course I did not follow that instruction.

This week I will be using the Karve CB Stainless Steel fitted with the #E plate and the 3 ¼“ handle. Presenting the advice that the shave was just like a Karve CB fitted with a #E plate is not going to cut the mustard with this review. In fact the resultant shave was very much like the Above The Tie H1 and there was not a lot of difference between this and the Smart Helix Apollo Light (Aggressive) reviewed last week. There is blade feel present, not as much as the Apollo Light but enough to let you know it’s there. Smooth, certainly, and close shaving so for me this razor ticks a lot of boxes. This razor demonstrates why the Karve CB family of razors has become very popular and are so much talked about.

Blades Used – Gillette Rubie Plus and Kai

Material – 303 Stainless Steel

Blade Tab - Exposed

Weight – 97g

Head Width – 40.72mm

Handle Length – 84mm

Handle Diameter – 12.15mm

Availability – Karve Shaving

Final Word – Wonderful

Merry Christmas everyone and make the most of that family time together. Drive Safely.

 

Pbgoose

Active Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Location
Dubbo
Karve Christopher Bradley Stainless Steel ‘E’ Plate (Canada)



Over the last couple of years Karve have made a name for themselves with their brass razors and their selection of plates ranging from ‘AA’ to ‘G’ covering just about every efficiency level anyone could ever want. The razor being reviewed this week is the eagerly awaited Karve CB stainless steel version. I ordered my Karve CB Stainless Steel version with plates covering the ranges #B to #E so I’m pretty sure somewhere in that range there is one plate, hopefully more, that will suite me.

As soon as I removed the Karve CB Stainless Steel from the packaging I was amazed by the quality of the fit and finish on this razor, the SS is really an impressively finished piece of kit with its blemish free satin finish. No tooling marks are to be found anywhere on this razor. Lately I’ve been tending away from the highly polished variants of razors and in many cases selecting a matt/ satin finish where there is an option. I still admire a bright highly polished razor but there is just something about a satin finish that appeals and that is why I liked the bead blasted finish so much on the Karve CB stainless steel. Always contradictory, I’ve put my name down for one of the highly polished stainless steel varieties of Karve CB. Karve have been floating the idea of applying a small amount of grease on the threads and I note that they have done this on the SS at the factory; any measure to reduce wear, however small, is a great initiative. A black nylon washer was supplied to reduce metal pick up on the handle and plate during transportation. There is a warning that this washer should not be fitted while the razor is being used so of course I did not follow that instruction.

This week I will be using the Karve CB Stainless Steel fitted with the #E plate and the 3 ¼“ handle. Presenting the advice that the shave was just like a Karve CB fitted with a #E plate is not going to cut the mustard with this review. In fact the resultant shave was very much like the Above The Tie H1 and there was not a lot of difference between this and the Smart Helix Apollo Light (Aggressive) reviewed last week. There is blade feel present, not as much as the Apollo Light but enough to let you know it’s there. Smooth, certainly, and close shaving so for me this razor ticks a lot of boxes. This razor demonstrates why the Karve CB family of razors has become very popular and are so much talked about.

Blades Used – Gillette Rubie Plus and Kai

Material – 303 Stainless Steel

Blade Tab - Exposed

Weight – 97g

Head Width – 40.72mm

Handle Length – 84mm

Handle Diameter – 12.15mm

Availability – Karve Shaving

Final Word – Wonderful

Merry Christmas everyone and make the most of that family time together. Drive Safely.
Nice Pic!
'Presenting the advice that the shave was just like a Karve CB fitted with a #E plate is not going to cut the mustard with this review.':LOL:
What would the efficiency level of the E Plate equate to on a Gillette Slim setting?
Do you think a longer handle would be too unwieldy?
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Nice Pic!
'Presenting the advice that the shave was just like a Karve CB fitted with a #E plate is not going to cut the mustard with this review.':LOL:
What would the efficiency level of the E Plate equate to on a Gillette Slim setting?
Do you think a longer handle would be too unwieldy?
When I used the Slim I was only interested in finding a comfortable shave number so cannot assist with the comparison with the Karve E plate. The Karve CB with the E plate is getting up there efficiency wise. I have got an F plate review pencilled in for next year. I don’t know how I’d go with a G plate. Probably leave the G plate to the heroes out there.

Next week I use a Karve with 3 1/2” handle and feel wise there is little difference. I cannot say I have a preference either way. A 4” handle though may be very different.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Location
Australia
When I used the Slim I was only interested in finding a comfortable shave number so cannot assist with the comparison with the Karve E plate. The Karve CB with the E plate is getting up there efficiency wise. I have got an F plate review pencilled in for next year. I don’t know how I’d go with a G plate. Probably leave the G plate to the heroes out there.

Next week I use a Karve with 3 1/2” handle and feel wise there is little difference. I cannot say I have a preference either way. A 4” handle though may be very different.
Nice review @Errol thanks. I once used the karve brass with a D plate and found it a little mild, i am thinking the E plate would be perfect or maybe the F at most. Can i ask, have you used a D plate with any Karve and if so how much does the E plate differ from the D?

Also if you have any experience with any of the following razors, how does the karve E compare?

Timeless 0.95 SB, GC JAWS, R41.... cheers
 
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