Weekly Razor Review

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Stirling Soap Co - Standard Baseplate (USA)



Stirling had been on the verge of releasing a fully machined stainless steel razor for some time but various factors intervened to delay a release. Early in March 2021, Stirling released their razor package with two options; my choice was to purchase both the offered plates on what is called their Austin handle. Immediately gaining your attention is the quality polished finished of the product; while the underside of the cap and the top of the plate retain machine marks, they are not immediately obvious and contrast well in their dull finish to the remainder of the razor. Seven radial grooves have been machined into the top of the cap to give it a unique appearance which is further enhanced by the makers insignia ‘SSC’ visible on each end of the plate. One long lather groove runs the length of the plate. Rather than being smooth, shallow channels have been machined into the face contact area of the plate. Elongated blade tabs protrude from the top of the plate. These days I don’t even bother to load the blade on the plate but just insert it in the cap as ’normal’ and line everything up from there. Seems to work nine time out of ten and I’m getting better at it. I’m a big fan of the style of handle fitted to the Stirling; forward and rear grip areas with a relieved centre section and just to add a visual effect, the relieved section on the Austin handle is hexagonal. To improve grip, the knurling looks to have been applied after the polish.

This razor is aggressive with efficiency not far under that of the Muhle R41 but with a level of blade feel not far removed from that of the Dscosmetic ZO. Smooth - hell no, with that amount of blade feel there is no way the shave can be smooth. Close – ticks that box. Blade feel – by the bucket loads. I managed to navigate through the review without any major mishaps but it was not pleasant shaving. Comfort level – none, very average. Shaving with the Stirling Soap Company’s standard plate was, to put it bluntly - horrible; therefore, there will be no rush to trot it out again.

Blades Used – Gillette Wilkinson and Glatz
Material – Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Exposed
Weight – 97g
Head Width – 40.64mm
Handle Length – 88.72mm
Handle Diameter – 12.7mm
Availability – Stirling
Final Word – Not enjoyable
 

nav1

Active Member from afar
2018 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Stirling Soap Co - Standard Baseplate (USA)



Stirling had been on the verge of releasing a fully machined stainless steel razor for some time but various factors intervened to delay a release. Early in March 2021, Stirling released their razor package with two options; my choice was to purchase both the offered plates on what is called their Austin handle. Immediately gaining your attention is the quality polished finished of the product; while the underside of the cap and the top of the plate retain machine marks, they are not immediately obvious and contrast well in their dull finish to the remainder of the razor. Seven radial grooves have been machined into the top of the cap to give it a unique appearance which is further enhanced by the makers insignia ‘SSC’ visible on each end of the plate. One long lather groove runs the length of the plate. Rather than being smooth, shallow channels have been machined into the face contact area of the plate. Elongated blade tabs protrude from the top of the plate. These days I don’t even bother to load the blade on the plate but just insert it in the cap as ’normal’ and line everything up from there. Seems to work nine time out of ten and I’m getting better at it. I’m a big fan of the style of handle fitted to the Stirling; forward and rear grip areas with a relieved centre section and just to add a visual effect, the relieved section on the Austin handle is hexagonal. To improve grip, the knurling looks to have been applied after the polish.

This razor is aggressive with efficiency not far under that of the Muhle R41 but with a level of blade feel not far removed from that of the Dscosmetic ZO. Smooth - hell no, with that amount of blade feel there is no way the shave can be smooth. Close – ticks that box. Blade feel – by the bucket loads. I managed to navigate through the review without any major mishaps but it was not pleasant shaving. Comfort level – none, very average. Shaving with the Stirling Soap Company’s standard plate was, to put it bluntly - horrible; therefore, there will be no rush to trot it out again.

Blades Used – Gillette Wilkinson and Glatz
Material – Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Exposed
Weight – 97g
Head Width – 40.64mm
Handle Length – 88.72mm
Handle Diameter – 12.7mm
Availability – Stirling
Final Word – Not enjoyable
Thanks for the review!!

The large gap, pinch point and the huge amount of blade show instantly turned me off the SSC razors!

I never considered buying one and after reading your review, my suspicions are confirmed!
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Stirling Soap Co - Hyper-Aggressive Baseplate (USA)



Combining my experience with the standard plated Stirling DE Razor last week and this extract from the Product Description “The Hyper-Aggressive head is one of the most efficient and aggressive razors to come to market. It has positive blade exposure and a huge blade gap” one would have to be pretty pig headed not heed that advice. The only alteration to the razor this week is the change to the Hyper Aggressive plate; details of the razor remain as for the standard plated setup. Before I received the razor, I had an email from Rod at Stirling advising that there could be an issue in separating the cap from the head on the HA plate. Sure enough, there is an issue with this razor. Rod has been exceptional to deal with and asked for the razor to be returned for correction, one day repair and back in the post. I advised that I’d like to try the razor before returning it but in the end changed my mind and decided not to return the razor for correction; it’s four weeks postage each way and removal of the cap was not an issue with a blade was fitted.

Thoughts/ hopes that the hyper aggressive set up may suite me more than the standard plate were realized after just the first couple of strokes and concerns of having the side of my face disappear in a potato peeler like action quickly disappeared. Stirling’s hyper aggressive plate is, as the name suggests – bloody aggressive, there’s no denying that. Somehow, I didn’t feel as much blade as the with the standard plate. Efficiency may have increased marginally to around the Muhle R41 level but the actual shave was smoother than with the standard plate but it still could not be described as a smooth shave. It was always going to be a close shave and light pressure was the way to go. I managed a couple of weepers each shave while using the hyper aggressive plate but nothing a dab of pawpaw ointment couldn’t fix. Stirling Soap Company’s aggressive plate model had too much aggression for me and the whole experience was anything but enjoyable so unless you like a really aggressive razor, I could not recommend the Stirling Hyper Aggressive.

Blades Used – Gillette Platinum and Gillette 7 O’Clock Green
Material –
Stainless Steel
Blade Tab – Exposed
Weight – 97g
Head Width – 40.64mm
Handle Length – 88.72mm
Handle Diameter – 12.7mm
Availability – Stirling
Final Word – Hyper aggressive
 
Joined
May 4, 2021
Location
Melbourne
Stirling Soap Co - Hyper-Aggressive Baseplate (USA)



Combining my experience with the standard plated Stirling DE Razor last week and this extract from the Product Description “The Hyper-Aggressive head is one of the most efficient and aggressive razors to come to market. It has positive blade exposure and a huge blade gap” one would have to be pretty pig headed not heed that advice. The only alteration to the razor this week is the change to the Hyper Aggressive plate; details of the razor remain as for the standard plated setup. Before I received the razor, I had an email from Rod at Stirling advising that there could be an issue in separating the cap from the head on the HA plate. Sure enough, there is an issue with this razor. Rod has been exceptional to deal with and asked for the razor to be returned for correction, one day repair and back in the post. I advised that I’d like to try the razor before returning it but in the end changed my mind and decided not to return the razor for correction; it’s four weeks postage each way and removal of the cap was not an issue with a blade was fitted.

Thoughts/ hopes that the hyper aggressive set up may suite me more than the standard plate were realized after just the first couple of strokes and concerns of having the side of my face disappear in a potato peeler like action quickly disappeared. Stirling’s hyper aggressive plate is, as the name suggests – bloody aggressive, there’s no denying that. Somehow, I didn’t feel as much blade as the with the standard plate. Efficiency may have increased marginally to around the Muhle R41 level but the actual shave was smoother than with the standard plate but it still could not be described as a smooth shave. It was always going to be a close shave and light pressure was the way to go. I managed a couple of weepers each shave while using the hyper aggressive plate but nothing a dab of pawpaw ointment couldn’t fix. Stirling Soap Company’s aggressive plate model had too much aggression for me and the whole experience was anything but enjoyable so unless you like a really aggressive razor, I could not recommend the Stirling Hyper Aggressive.

Blades Used – Gillette Platinum and Gillette 7 O’Clock Green
Material –
Stainless Steel
Blade Tab – Exposed
Weight – 97g
Head Width – 40.64mm
Handle Length – 88.72mm
Handle Diameter – 12.7mm
Availability – Stirling
Final Word – Hyper aggressive
What would a Stirling Hyper Passive-Aggressive shave like? :unsure:
 
Joined
May 26, 2018
Location
Melbourne
What would a Stirling Hyper Passive-Aggressive shave like? :unsure:
It would provide no audible feedback. You wouldn't know if you were removing whiskers or if your angle was even close to correct. Just no response from the razor so you are left anxious and bewildered. o_O

BTW, the Stirling razor is a niche product that was never intended to suit a wide range of customers. The HA plate could be said to appeal to a niche within a niche. Some reviewers such as IAMCDB and Tim Shaves really love the Stirling razor and find it to be aggressive but smooth. It is just another example of what makes this a fascinating hobby: one man's passion is another man's poison. Rod hasn't decided whether to continue with the project given the hurdles he faced in bringing it to market and the target market. It could soon be a collector's item.
 

Gargravarr

Our resident snake charmer
Joined
Jun 13, 2020
Location
Tasmania
It would provide no audible feedback. You wouldn't know if you were removing whiskers or if your angle was even close to correct. Just no response from the razor so you are left anxious and bewildered. o_O

BTW, the Stirling razor is a niche product that was never intended to suit a wide range of customers. The HA plate could be said to appeal to a niche within a niche. Some reviewers such as IAMCDB and Tim Shaves really love the Stirling razor and find it to be aggressive but smooth. It is just another example of what makes this a fascinating hobby: one man's passion is another man's poison. Rod hasn't decided whether to continue with the project given the hurdles he faced in bringing it to market and the target market. It could soon be a collector's item.
Kudos to him for trying, I don't imagine anyone really goes into razor design or production with the illusion that they'll get rich out of it. It's the kind of thing you do for love, not profit.
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Barbasol Floating Head (USA)



Something very different for me this week - an oldie and hopefully a goodie, the Barbasol Floating Head razor. Barbasol patented the design for their Floating Head razor in the early 1930’s in an attempt to have more of the blade actually working. By all accounts they were successful as the Barbasol Floating Head has a reputation as an aggressive razor. Probably made some time around 1932, this Barbasol is in a used condition and displays wear marks to prove that point but it’s still in good original condition. Its plating remains intact so as soon as this review is complete, it will be packed back in its dedicated velvet lined case. I’m not going to scratch the plating to confirm but history records that it’s a brass chassis and then nickel plated. Bullet shaped blade posts are a good indication to its era of manufacture, and confirming that it is old generation, the Barbasol Floating Head is a two-piece razor. I’m a bit of a fan of two-piece razors and cannot understand why the design has been discontinued except in adjustables.

I’m hoping that recent experience gained while using the modern super aggressive razors will stand me in good stead for the Floating Head. Super aggressive – what’s that? In the end there was no need to worry about the Floating head, it was a pussy compared to the likes of the Stirling Soap Company pair but with an efficiency level above the mid aggressive range; in excess of a Karve CB Level #D but well below that of the Muhle R41. There was a pleasant amount of blade feel present but it was not severe and for an aggressive razor, the shave was pleasantly smooth and close. My satisfaction of the Floating Head may not have been so grand had I used it before the super aggressive razors but that’s the way the cards fell. I’ll most certainly revisit the Barbasol Floating Head at some point, it’s not the big bad beast I’d been warned of but one that I will hold up with my favoured razors.

Blades Used – Gillette Platinum and Gillette Wilkinson
Material –
Brass/ Nickel plated
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 87g
Head Width – 43.11mm
Handle Length – 92.35mm
Handle Diameter – 12.25mm
Availability – Out of production
Final Word – Liked it
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Location
Sherborn, Massachusetts
Barbasol Floating Head (USA)



Something very different for me this week - an oldie and hopefully a goodie, the Barbasol Floating Head razor. Barbasol patented the design for their Floating Head razor in the early 1930’s in an attempt to have more of the blade actually working. By all accounts they were successful as the Barbasol Floating Head has a reputation as an aggressive razor. Probably made some time around 1932, this Barbasol is in a used condition and displays wear marks to prove that point but it’s still in good original condition. Its plating remains intact so as soon as this review is complete, it will be packed back in its dedicated velvet lined case. I’m not going to scratch the plating to confirm but history records that it’s a brass chassis and then nickel plated. Bullet shaped blade posts are a good indication to its era of manufacture, and confirming that it is old generation, the Barbasol Floating Head is a two-piece razor. I’m a bit of a fan of two-piece razors and cannot understand why the design has been discontinued except in adjustables.

I’m hoping that recent experience gained while using the modern super aggressive razors will stand me in good stead for the Floating Head. Super aggressive – what’s that? In the end there was no need to worry about the Floating head, it was a pussy compared to the likes of the Stirling Soap Company pair but with an efficiency level above the mid aggressive range; in excess of a Karve CB Level #D but well below that of the Muhle R41. There was a pleasant amount of blade feel present but it was not severe and for an aggressive razor, the shave was pleasantly smooth and close. My satisfaction of the Floating Head may not have been so grand had I used it before the super aggressive razors but that’s the way the cards fell. I’ll most certainly revisit the Barbasol Floating Head at some point, it’s not the big bad beast I’d been warned of but one that I will hold up with my favoured razors.

Blades Used – Gillette Platinum and Gillette Wilkinson
Material –
Brass/ Nickel plated
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 87g
Head Width – 43.11mm
Handle Length – 92.35mm
Handle Diameter – 12.25mm
Availability – Out of production
Final Word – Liked it
Great review as always @Errol. I wholehertedly agree with your conclusions. Now put away for a well deserved rest, my Barbasol Floating Head was my daily driver for more than two decades.

 
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