After three shaves, under three different scenarios, I am ready to provide my opinion on the Bakelite Slant I picked up last week. This was somewhat of a difficult review to write, the entire time while shaving all I could think about was the praise I had read about this razor. To the point where when something didn’t feel right (more so in the first two shaves) I immediately blamed myself first and questioning the razor second. I’ll save my thoughts for the end of the review which I broke up into three parts; one for each shave.
First Shave – For my first shave I used a fresh Dorco Blade, I had two days of growth and went with my current shave cream of choice Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado. Aside of the light weight of the razor, the first thing I noticed was the head of razor – it felt large and slightly awkward making it a bit difficult to maneuver under the nose. Also as expected, the angle that I was holding the razor required some adjustment – more so than I usually need with a new razor. I completed three passes and the end result was minimal razor burn, but more than I am use to, however the shave was close. I can’t say it was the closest shave ever.
Second Shave – For my second shave I used another new blade, a Astra Superior. With one day of growth and sticking with the Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado shave cream. The second shave was slightly more comfortable. I was less focused on how to hold the razor and its angle. I did notice missing the weight of my metal razors, I wasn’t loving the plastic feel to the Bakelite. The first two passes went well and then I went for a third pass -I should have stopped at two. Started to feel some burning and discomfort. Perhaps this was my fault, too many passes perhaps. For my third shave I decided to stop at two passes if my face felt sufficiently smooth. By the end of my second shave I was still torn on my thoughts of the razor. I couldn’t for certain say that it was provided me this amazing shave – I also couldn’t say that it was a terrible shave – it does its job. But if it is just going to do its job perhaps a metal slant is a better alternative – like the Merkur 37C.
Third Shave – For my third shave I debated picking up some Feather Blades to see if extra sharpness would equal more satisfaction, but decided against it because I didn’t want to change too many variables. I had three days of growth and I wanted to see how the razor performed with a longer beard. So I stuck with my Astra Blade (same one as in the second shave). I also stuck with the Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado shave cream for the same reason. The third shave was by far the best of the three. It felt great, no burning during or after. I completed three passes and my face looked and felt great. I will honestly have to say it was one of the closest, if not the closest shave I have ever had. Face was smooth in every direction. The only issue I had was around the nose – finding the head of the razor still a bit awkward.
So where does that leave me for a final opinion? Apparently, at least based on my third shave, the Bakelite razor will be my multi-day growth razor, because I am convinced that the third shave was as close and as comfortable as it was because of the length of my beard and the three days rest my face had from a blade. I’m actually impressed that this light weight razor was able to perform as it did. However, regardless of the final result, I am still not sold on the razor. As mentioned earlier, I like the feel of the steel razor in my hand while shaving – the balance, the weight, the look. Perhaps a terrible reason to choose a razor, but lets be honest – men who are interested in purchasing a Bakelite Slant are not the most pragmatic people. Unfortunately (or fortunately) what the Bakelite has done is make me curious about how a Merkur 37 or Merkur 39 would compare. I guess my post a while back about my Edwin Jagger being my last razor didn’t last very long.
For those of you who have experience with the Bakelite Slant and the Merkur 37 and or 39 here is a poll to help me on my way: