Weekly Razor Review

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Above The Tie Windsor Pro - SB90 (China)



Above The Tie have been machining razors from solid metal since about 2012 and very important to some people – they were Made in USA. Some of the best shaves I’ve ever had, have been delivered by an ATT branded razor but it seems that they are not always the flavour of the month with the wet shaving community. New companies have come along, borrowed the ATT philosophy, produced bright shiny razors, doubled the cost of purchase and at the end of the day did not improve on what Above The Tie had been able to deliver. Times change and Above the Tie have had their latest razor, the Windsor Pro, machined in China. Earlier when it was made known that ATT had gone to a Chinese manufacturer for this razor it was assumed that this would be the end of USA manufactured ATT razors. May be not, word now leaking out of ATT is that new contracts have been awarded and some USA manufacture is to continue.

Quality has not been compromised by the move to Chinese manufacture and the Windsor Pro is probably better finished than what had been sourced out of the USA previously. Every visible part of the razor has an excellent polished finish but in contrast, the bottom of the cap and the top of the plate have a satin finish with not a machining mark to be seen. A distinguishing feature of previous ATT razors was the blade positioning pins on the cap and these again feature on the Windsor Pro. Missing from the Windsor Pro razor are the lather clearing holes drilled into the edge of the plate; these have been replaced by two long slots on each side of the plate. It is the old favourite Kronos handle that adorns the Windsor Pro; it is a very usable length and it too, has been polished to match the rest of the razor. This is one very high quality razor.

Included in the package was a tuck of Astra SP Green blades so I done what I normally do with Astra Green blades, set them aside and reached for a blade that I knew would work, this time a Wizamet Polsilver. Continuing the ATT brand tradition, the Windsor Pro did not disappoint as it effortlessly scythed down two days growth each shave. With an efficiency similar to that of a Karve CB #C the smoothness and closeness was unquestionable. And just that minute amount of blade feel was a very welcome addition to the shave. It just goes to prove that a company supplying quality razors can still come up with premium products even with a change in country of manufacture. It’s a very good razor to use, well done ATT.

Blades Used – Wizamet Polsilver and Tatra
Material – Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 112g
Head Width – 43.60mm
Handle Length – 89.0mm
Handle Diameter – 12.55mm
Availability – Above The Tie
Final Word – Bliss
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Location
Sherborn, Massachusetts
Above The Tie Windsor Pro - SB90 (China)



Above The Tie have been machining razors from solid metal since about 2012 and very important to some people – they were Made in USA. Some of the best shaves I’ve ever had, have been delivered by an ATT branded razor but it seems that they are not always the flavour of the month with the wet shaving community. New companies have come along, borrowed the ATT philosophy, produced bright shiny razors, doubled the cost of purchase and at the end of the day did not improve on what Above The Tie had been able to deliver. Times change and Above the Tie have had their latest razor, the Windsor Pro, machined in China. Earlier when it was made known that ATT had gone to a Chinese manufacturer for this razor it was assumed that this would be the end of USA manufactured ATT razors. May be not, word now leaking out of ATT is that new contracts have been awarded and some USA manufacture is to continue.

Quality has not been compromised by the move to Chinese manufacture and the Windsor Pro is probably better finished than what had been sourced out of the USA previously. Every visible part of the razor has an excellent polished finish but in contrast, the bottom of the cap and the top of the plate have a satin finish with not a machining mark to be seen. A distinguishing feature of previous ATT razors was the blade positioning pins on the cap and these again feature on the Windsor Pro. Missing from the Windsor Pro razor are the lather clearing holes drilled into the edge of the plate; these have been replaced by two long slots on each side of the plate. It is the old favourite Kronos handle that adorns the Windsor Pro; it is a very usable length and it too, has been polished to match the rest of the razor. This is one very high quality razor.

Included in the package was a tuck of Astra SP Green blades so I done what I normally do with Astra Green blades, set them aside and reached for a blade that I knew would work, this time a Wizamet Polsilver. Continuing the ATT brand tradition, the Windsor Pro did not disappoint as it effortlessly scythed down two days growth each shave. With an efficiency similar to that of a Karve CB #C the smoothness and closeness was unquestionable. And just that minute amount of blade feel was a very welcome addition to the shave. It just goes to prove that a company supplying quality razors can still come up with premium products even with a change in country of manufacture. It’s a very good razor to use, well done ATT.

Blades Used – Wizamet Polsilver and Tatra
Material – Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 112g
Head Width – 43.60mm
Handle Length – 89.0mm
Handle Diameter – 12.55mm
Availability – Above The Tie
Final Word – Bliss
Typically great review @Errol. When you say, "Windsor Pro is probably better finished than what had been sourced out of the USA previously," can you elaborate?
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Typically great review @Errol. When you say, "Windsor Pro is probably better finished than what had been sourced out of the USA previously," can you elaborate?
When ATT released the Windsor range it was in an effort to present a razor that maintained a similar shave to the ‘Classic‘ but with a polished finish. At that time the opposition had overtaken ATT and they were in catch up mode. My first Windsor is one of the very first release and has a very high quality polished finish however, the area under the cap has a machined finish. The Windsor Pro has an equally good polish job but the underside of the cap displays a satin finish, it’s all about attention to detail.
 

rhodes96

Sabbatical? Unbearable ...
Grand Society
2020 Charity Auction Winner
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Dec 11, 2019
Location
Currently Australia
Also good to note that the price has also been reduced from the +200 USD to $99 USD as manufacturing costs have been reduced. I guess in order to increase sales, this move was necessary. I have no issues with China made products as long as manufacturing costs are reflected in the final product pricing, in which ATT have done.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Location
Sherborn, Massachusetts
When ATT released the Windsor range it was in an effort to present a razor that maintained a similar shave to the ‘Classic‘ but with a polished finish. At that time the opposition had overtaken ATT and they were in catch up mode. My first Windsor is one of the very first release and has a very high quality polished finish however, the area under the cap has a machined finish. The Windsor Pro has an equally good polish job but the underside of the cap displays a satin finish, it’s all about attention to detail.
Got it. Thanks @Errol (y)
 

Razor Burn

President of the TF Custom Brushes Fan Club
Grand Society
Da Menth Heads
2019 Charity Auction Winner
2020 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Location
Canberra
You continue to impress with yet another wonderful review.
ATT were early pioneers of adjustability by offering a variety of designs, plates, materials with a reputation for quality workmanship.
Its nice to see the standard continue despite change in ownership and manufacturing country.
 

nav1

Active Member from afar
2018 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Great review!!

I also enjoyed the Windsor Pro in SS and AL however, the Windsor (original) blew me away!!

I sold the Windsor Pro razors to a friend and he loves them too!

ATT have really done an excellent job and the price of $99 for a polished SS razor is crazy good!
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Homelike Colibri 1.30mm OC (Russia)



Homelike have labelled their Colibri (Hummingbird) range a continuation of their popular Start razor however there are many changes to the design, and it looks like Homelike have started with a clean sheet of paper. Not all the changes have been for the better though; the head width has been reduced to 40mm. Usually, blade tab protrusion is a something I care little about but when it becomes excessive, I do mention it and I believe the amount of blade tab present on the Colibri to be excessive and verging on dangerous. There are elongated blade positioning tabs machined on the cap that now protrude completely through the plate and finish up flush with the back of the plate. To Colibri’s credit, the blade clamping is still accomplished on large flats at the edge of the cap. Homelike supplied nylon washers with the Colibri and in a touch of class these washers fit flush into a countersink in the back of each plate. Laser engraving on the rear section of the plate provides all the razors details however the printing is small and I have difficulty reading it. Everything other than the plate identification and serial number is written in Russian, no wonder I couldn’t read it. Fitted with a handle that shares a similar style of knurling to that employed by Karve CB and then highly polished, the Colibri certainly presents nicely.

My Homelike’s Colibri was purchased as a full kit with four plates but the 1.30mm OC plate selected today was only available as an additional option, and in fact, there are no OC plates included in the kit. With an efficiency just above that of a Karve CB level #D it did not take long to establish that here was a razor to be treated with respect. I appreciate blade feel but the amount of blade feel present on the Colibri is at the extent of my comfort zone. If positive blade feel is not your scene, I would suggest that the Colibri is not for you. With the amount of blade feel present, the shave was always going to be close but I managed to navigate my way through the review without any weepers or cuts. With some OC razors it is difficult to discern any feel from the comb, but with the Colibri the comb can certainly be felt. Nothing bad, but you are reminded that there is a comb there. It is evident that the Colibri 1.30mm OC is not going to suit everybody with the positive blade feel and better than mid-range efficiency but I appreciated the delivered shave. Homelike have machined up a very good razor here but my one criticism of the Homelike is that the width of the head needs to be extended to somewhere near the 42mm mark to get rid of that excessively protruding blade tab.

Blades Used – Gillette Nacet and Glatz
Material –316L Stainless Steel
Blade Tab – Dangerous
Weight – 101g
Head Width – 39.97mm
Handle Length – 89.93mm
Handle Diameter – 11.97mm
Availability – Homelike Shaving
Final Word – Not for everybody
 

Razor Burn

President of the TF Custom Brushes Fan Club
Grand Society
Da Menth Heads
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Joined
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Location
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I'll be waiting patiently for your review tomorrow and will be posting mine next week. This will be interesting.
Its OK @Errol as its only taken him forever to actually use the thing considering it was released a while ago. :p



Looking forward to reading your thoughts @rhodes96 ;)
 

rhodes96

Sabbatical? Unbearable ...
Grand Society
2020 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Currently Australia
Its OK @Errol as its only taken him forever to actually use the thing considering it was released a while ago. :p



Looking forward to reading your thoughts @rhodes96 ;)
LOL, we missed you today El Presidente :p

I had been having such good shaves with the Rocca, why change. :D
 

Razor Burn

President of the TF Custom Brushes Fan Club
Grand Society
Da Menth Heads
2019 Charity Auction Winner
2020 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Location
Canberra
LOL, we missed you today El Presidente :p

I had been having such good shaves with the Rocca, why change. :D
Sadly I was busy plant shopping with the misses but glad to see @Tony Forsyth back infront of the cameras doing his magic. (y)
As nice as the Kolibri looks I'm hard pressed to see any of the plates replacing my beloved Rocca so have held off for now.
Who knows future reviews from @Errol and other users such as yourself may convince me to look at an investment at a later date...? :unsure:
 

Gargravarr

Our resident snake charmer
Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Location
Tasmania
...
Blade Tab – Dangerous
...
Here's a thought: you could just trim those tabs with a pair of scissors, and you would have a super-nimble razor able to get in really close to difficult areas like noses. I often think there's a lot of wasted material protruding beyond the useful part of the razor...
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Homelike Colibri 1.50mm (Russia)



It was always in the plan to review one of the four SB plates supplied in the Colibri kit this week but until I’d put the OC plate through its paces, I did not know which plate that would be. Decisions, decisions! Yes, that 1.50mm has a bigger gap than that used last week, but in the end the 1.50mm plate was selected. With the exception of a change to a SB plate, everything detailed previously about the Colibri range is applicable; quality machine finish, striking appearance, excessive blade tab exposure, Karve CB style of knurling on the handle, everything! Of note, the 1.50mm plate has one long lather channel running along each side of the plate.

Over time, I’ve come to expect an OC plate to be a bit more aggressive than a SB plate of the same blade gap. Based on that assumption, I was banking on the 1.50mm SB plate shaving something similar to the 1.30mm OC plate. However, with the 1.50mm SB plate fitted the efficiency felt to be under that of a Karve CB #D level and most notably, there was way less blade feel and there in is the big change. There was never any doubt about how close the 1.50mm plate shaved though. Using the 1.50mm SB plate was a totally different experience to the same razor fitted with the 1.30mm OC plate, smoother and less blade feel. I enjoyed my time shaving with both plates, but probably would not select much lower than a 1.30mm SB plate on the Colibri; too mild. Homelike, do yourself a favour and increase the width of the head on the next release of Colibri razors; there is a dangerous amount of blade tab exposed.

Blades Used – Gillette Platinum and Sputnik
Material –316L Stainless Steel
Blade Tab – Dangerous
Weight – 101g
Head Width – 39.97mm
Handle Length – 89.93mm
Handle Diameter – 11.97mm
Availability – Homelike Shaving
Final Word – Pleasant
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Baili Victory Shaver BT171 - Classic Chrome (China)



Baili razors are not normally on my radar but when it was suggested that a review of one would be a good idea I went out and bought one. Two similar Baili razors were suggested, one rose gold, the other chrome and it’s the chrome model that I chose. Written on the packaging is the name Victory Shaver so that will do for model name; everything else written on the packaging is written in Chinese. It is stated in their advertising literature that the Baili is based on the Gillette Tech; yeeee haaa; whatever a Gillette Tech may shave like???? I don’t know, so I’m judging this razor as I see it and not going in with perceived conceived ideas how it should perform.

Baili’s Victory Shaver displays many of the design features made famous in the mystical BBS-1 razor, however the Baili missed out completely when it came to material and a detailed fine machined finish. I’m thinking the cap is zinc cast metal but the material is so thin that if it is zinc I am concerned with its life expectancy especially in the areas around the centre post. On each corner of the cap are short extensions that the blade positions into; in turn these extensions mate into cut outs in the plate. It’s a simple idea that leaves the back of the cap clear with the exception of the centre post. Looking at the plate, it has been formed by pressing, metal type unknown. Here another BBS-1 feature presents itself, the longer than normal serrated face contact area. Undoubtedly the handle is zinc, out of round, thin, lacking grip and with a very sloppy fitting thread mating to the cap. With a head width under 40mm, there is a dangerous amount of blade tab exposed; a couple of mm added to the width would not have gone astray. In an effort to appeal to the first-time buyer, the whole razor is chrome plated and positively sparkles.

What a shave? Not at all what I was expecting. Delivered was a super smooth shave, close and with an efficiency level very close to that of a Karve CB fitted with #D plate, maybe a little lower. For me though, the most surprising aspect of the shave was that Baili had actually allowed for an amount of blade feel. It was not all a bed of roses though; the razor’s balance is handle heavy, maybe more correct to say head light; the head weighs virtually nothing and the Victory Shaver does need to be used a few times to become accustomed to. I’m not convinced that the Victory Shaver would be appreciated by a first-time user who I suspect it would be marketed at. For an el-cheapo I really appreciated the shave, must be the features shared with the BBS-1 coming to the fore.

Blades Used – Gillette 7 O’Clock Yellow and Lord Cool (Crap - for the bin)
Material –
Zinc metal alloy
Blade Tab – Exposed big time
Weight – 58g
Head Width – 39.96mm
Handle Length – 85.28mm
Handle Diameter – 11.35mm
Availability – Artisan Arcade
Final Word – Surprising
PS – All remaining Lord Cool blades have been disposed of
 
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