Weekly Razor Review

Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Location
Gold Coast
Detroit Shaving Alpha - Adjustable (USA)



I don’t make a habit of naming my razors but when it comes to the undisputed heavyweight of my razors, I think it appropriate for the Detroit Alpha to be christened Bertha - Big Bertha. There is absolutely nothing good that can be said about Bertha, it is terrible razor by any stretch of the imagination, but it keeps drawing me back; it’s big, it’s heavy, it’s cumbersome, it’s ugly and that’s just it’s good features. I’ve used Bertha before so I know the shave will be less than average and even to achieve that I’ll have to put the effort in. Bertha gives nothing away. The Detroit Alpha is a simple three piece stainless steel adjustable razor from a line of thinking where the blade itself provides the spring tension between the cap and the plate; different positioning of the handle provides differing efficiency levels. All good in principal but Detroit in their wisdom overlooked the fact that a user might like to know the level of efficiency for the last shave and so neglected to put any markings to assist with settings. I appreciate I’m different but I like to know insignificant facts like the settings on an adjustable razor, so I hatched a plan. I’ve explained my strategy previously so here’s a brief outline of what was done. I determined where the top on the handle was with a blade fitted and the handle screwed right down; then I filed a small notch as a reference point at the 12.00 O’clock position at the end of the handle. I now have a reference point and can use an imaginary clock face on the back of the plate to determine the position. There is a useful range from between 4.00 O’clock to 12.00 O’clock so somewhere in that range is a spot (doubtfully sweet) for Bertha to give its all. A primitive system, but it works and it’s one hell of a lot better than nothing at all. Until I put the blade in and went to screw the handle down, I’d forgotten just how much of the blade tab was exposed on the Alpha; heaps. No problems, use the corner of the towel and screw the handle down and be careful!!!! That amount of exposed blade tab could do damage. Finally, something good, to the manufacturers credit the thread was very smooth and positive.

What? No stand available for Bertha? There’s no requirement for a stand when Bertha is quite capable of standing up on its own. With a 20mm diameter base on the handle there is enough contact with the sink for Bertha to stand upright in a gale. There is no machined grip on the handle, its sheer size provides the grip but add in a bit of lather and it behaves like a greasy pig. All surfaces are machine finished and I’m pleased to say the makers had enough intestinal fortitude to engrave their name on it, all over the flat on the front of the cap.

From memory it was around the 7.00 O’clock position where I shaved last time Bertha was used so this was the starting point. It only took a small adjustment from the 7.00 O’clock position to be set up about Karve CB level #D plate level efficiency. Blade feel was quite pronounced but I don’t think I will ever fully get used to that weight. It’s often said just let the weight of the razor do the work but with all the weight in the handle and balance being all out of kilter, some guidance is required. There are two massive rectangular cut outs in the plate for lather dispersion but for some reason these weren’t enough. I’ve never really experienced a razor just going into what I’ll call ‘aquaplane mode’ before and totally loosing blade contact with the face but I managed it with Bertha. A quick rinse to wash out the excess lather and Bertha was back to as normal as Bertha can be; till the next time the lather clogged up. Smooth – surprisingly it wasn’t too bad; close – put in the effort and you may be rewarded. With my warped sense of what’s good, I enjoy using the Detroit Alpha but it is not a razor I could recommend to anyone, but I’ll be back to use Bertha again.

Blades Used – Lord Cool and Gillette Wilkinson Sword
Material – Stainless Steel
Blade Tab – Exposed - seriously
Weight – 224g
Head Width – 40mm
Handle Length – 89mm
Handle Diameter – 20mm
Availability – Detroit – Out of production (lucky you)
Final Word – It’s horrible but I love it
That's about double the weight of the average full stainless razor, my arm is tired just thinking about it.
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Phoenix Ascension – Stainless Steel - Adjustable (China)



With that double open comb head, the Phoenix Ascension certainly doesn’t look your everyday razor but if were not for the writing on the packaging there is nothing to indicate that it’s an adjustable. It looks like any three piece razor and probably the only give away that it might be something different is the tight curvature of the head but I’ve seen tight curving heads before and that’s all they are tightly curved heads. Using a design principle similar to that employed by the Detroit Alpha, the blade provides the tension to determine the gap between the plate and cap which in turn is dictated by how far down the handle is screwed. Just like the Alpha, the Ascension is devoid of any setting marks so the same operation was carried out on the Ascension. Insert a blade, mark top center on the handle, file a notch and use an imaginary clock face on the back of the plate. Surely, I’m not the only one who likes to know their settings, am I?

There are machine marks on the back of the cap but otherwise it’s a good machine polish finish on the remainder of the razor and the knurling on the handle provides a good grip. There are small machined out sections on the ends of the cap and plate where a minute amount of blade is visible but the end of the blade tab remains guarded. It’s an optical illusion but the head of the Ascension appears to be longer and narrower than other razors, it’s just that double open comb playing tricks. Etched on the back of the plate is the words PHNX and DOC and this is the only marking to be found anywhere on the razor. Because of the tight curvature of the cap, the blade needs to be held on the elongated blade post while the razor is assembled; that’s where the cut outs on the end of the head came in handy.

Initially the range of adjustment on the Ascension was thought to be between 3.00 O’clock and 12.00 O’clock but after screwing the handle down a couple of time it was more like the adjustment starts at 5.00 O’clock. Probably all to do with the piece of tin plate, masquerading as a razor blade, that I was using. 7.00 O’clock seemed like a good start point but at the 7.00 O’clock setting there was an over abundance of blade feel so I moved to the 8.00 O’clock position and I was able to leave the Ascension there for the remainder of the review, Karve CB level #D efficiency. Even at the 8.00 O’clock setting the grip of the thread was not particularly positive and I got the feeling that it wouldn’t take a lot to screw the handle from the predetermined setting. It’s just as well I never took my own advice to put some oil on the thread otherwise it could have been really interesting. At the 8.00 O’clock position there was a pleasing amount of blade feel and I was rewarded with a wonderfully close shave; no! no! that should read, a super close shave. For a razor that produced such a close shave without any pretence, the smoothness was not too bad and I could certainly live with it. Very impressive, this is one very good razor.

I usually never say much about the suppliers but in this case Phoenix Shaving rate a special mention. This razor was the second Ascension they sent me, the first simply disappeared in transit. Normal parcel post time from USA to me is four or five weeks so when the razor was not here by six weeks I let Phoenix know. Immediately they wanted to refund my money and said they would send another razor when new stock arrived. I convinced them to wait till eight weeks, still nothing and then again they wanted to refund my money and send another Ascension when their stock arrived. I couldn’t take their money but wanted the razor. All along there was good communication from Phoenix advising me when their stock had arrived and when the replacement was posted. Thanks Phoenix.

Blades Used – Super-Max Platinum and Gillette Silver Blue
Material –
316L Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 98g
Head Width – 44.36mm
Handle Length – 88.66mm
Handle Diameter – 12.8mm
Availability – Phoenix Shaving
Final Word – Impressive performance
 

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
Phoenix Ascension – Stainless Steel - Adjustable (China)



With that double open comb head, the Phoenix Ascension certainly doesn’t look your everyday razor but if were not for the writing on the packaging there is nothing to indicate that it’s an adjustable. It looks like any three piece razor and probably the only give away that it might be something different is the tight curvature of the head but I’ve seen tight curving heads before and that’s all they are tightly curved heads. Using a design principle similar to that employed by the Detroit Alpha, the blade provides the tension to determine the gap between the plate and cap which in turn is dictated by how far down the handle is screwed. Just like the Alpha, the Ascension is devoid of any setting marks so the same operation was carried out on the Ascension. Insert a blade, mark top center on the handle, file a notch and use an imaginary clock face on the back of the plate. Surely, I’m not the only one who likes to know their settings, am I?

There are machine marks on the back of the cap but otherwise it’s a good machine polish finish on the remainder of the razor and the knurling on the handle provides a good grip. There are small machined out sections on the ends of the cap and plate where a minute amount of blade is visible but the end of the blade tab remains guarded. It’s an optical illusion but the head of the Ascension appears to be longer and narrower than other razors, it’s just that double open comb playing tricks. Etched on the back of the plate is the words PHNX and DOC and this is the only marking to be found anywhere on the razor. Because of the tight curvature of the cap, the blade needs to be held on the elongated blade post while the razor is assembled; that’s where the cut outs on the end of the head came in handy.

Initially the range of adjustment on the Ascension was thought to be between 3.00 O’clock and 12.00 O’clock but after screwing the handle down a couple of time it was more like the adjustment starts at 5.00 O’clock. Probably all to do with the piece of tin plate, masquerading as a razor blade, that I was using. 7.00 O’clock seemed like a good start point but at the 7.00 O’clock setting there was an over abundance of blade feel so I moved to the 8.00 O’clock position and I was able to leave the Ascension there for the remainder of the review, Karve CB level #D efficiency. Even at the 8.00 O’clock setting the grip of the thread was not particularly positive and I got the feeling that it wouldn’t take a lot to screw the handle from the predetermined setting. It’s just as well I never took my own advice to put some oil on the thread otherwise it could have been really interesting. At the 8.00 O’clock position there was a pleasing amount of blade feel and I was rewarded with a wonderfully close shave; no! no! that should read, a super close shave. For a razor that produced such a close shave without any pretence, the smoothness was not too bad and I could certainly live with it. Very impressive, this is one very good razor.

I usually never say much about the suppliers but in this case Phoenix Shaving rate a special mention. This razor was the second Ascension they sent me, the first simply disappeared in transit. Normal parcel post time from USA to me is four or five weeks so when the razor was not here by six weeks I let Phoenix know. Immediately they wanted to refund my money and said they would send another razor when new stock arrived. I convinced them to wait till eight weeks, still nothing and then again they wanted to refund my money and send another Ascension when their stock arrived. I couldn’t take their money but wanted the razor. All along there was good communication from Phoenix advising me when their stock had arrived and when the replacement was posted. Thanks Phoenix.

Blades Used – Super-Max Platinum and Gillette Silver Blue
Material –
316L Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 98g
Head Width – 44.36mm
Handle Length – 88.66mm
Handle Diameter – 12.8mm
Availability – Phoenix Shaving
Final Word – Impressive performance
Another excellent review @Errol.
 

Holiday

from Lanolin
2019 Charity Auction Winner
2020 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Location
Darwin
Phoenix Ascension – Stainless Steel - Adjustable (China)
Thx @Errol, very timely. Considering RR SLOC or PAA DOC because sometimes the razor feels like a squeegee very efficiently scraping all lather off the face especially in the dry season
Reviews are split between SLOC and DOC with price preference to SLOC and the YAQI Mellon head gets some votes, but leaning toward machined stainless over cast. For the $ difference and to avoid potential issues with handle adjustment will probably go CNC machined RR SLOC. Have email VSHOD for Bulldog handle instead of UFO. Anyone have a RR SLOC or RR DOC they want to move on :link:
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Homelike Taiga Adjustable (OC) (Russia)



Taiga was the second model released from Homelike and it’s an all stainless steel adjustable razor that was supplied with both an SB and an OC plate. Unique? I’m not aware of any other adjustable razor with an OC plate or the ability to swap between plates. Word on the street is that there were 100 Taigas in the release but Homelike display their stock holdings and I was watching their website very closely at the time of the release and believe the number of razors released to be closer to 85. Getting in early does have its advantages and I was again able to request and received my favoured #46 numbered razor.

Homelike openly admit to having borrowed the design of the mechanism from the famous Gibbs razor but the remainder of the razor has been engineered to Homelike’s own design. First up I’m using the Taiga as it came supplied and fitted with the open comb plate. Taiga’s cap has a longer center post and elongated blade posts that extend completely through the upper and lower sections of the plate to keep both sections in alignment. Keeping the two sections of the plate under pressure is a spring which effectively provides the top section with firm base for the blade and cap, and all dependant on the efficiency level chosen. While screwing the setting adjuster the two sections of the plate can be seen moving apart/ together depending on the direction the adjuster is being moved. In reality, the head is not all that thick so shaving in those tight spots will not be an issue. Clamping of the blade is done on flat surfaces at the outer edge of the cap and these match with flat planes machined into the plate. Both sections of the plate and the cap have alignment dots on one end to ensure the correct alignment. Etched around the circular flange at the rear of the lower plate are the setting numbers; #1 to #6 with a mid-way line between each of the main setting. There is no click to identify the selected setting but during the shave everything is under spring pressure therefore the risk of involuntary movement of the dial is minimal. On the back of the cap there is evidence of machine marks and these have all butt been polished out. While the whole razor has been machine polished it does look good but lacks that mirror sparkle of a hand polished finish.

Experts in the world of adjustable razors advise to start the adventure at the lowest setting and work your way up the scale. Not me, I’m too stupid to follow a simple direction, I start at the middle of the settings and go from there. So, it’s setting #3 and I’m away. #3 setting did not last long, about Karve CB #B minus level of efficiency but it was ever so smooth and with a totally neutral blade feel. Up to #5 and I was shaving at about Karve CB Level #C and then onto setting #6. The adjusting knob would go past the #6 position to about the #1 ½ setting but I never used any setting past #6.
  • #3 – Karve CB Level #B minus
  • #4 – Karve CB Level #C minus
  • #5 – Karve CB Level #C
  • #6 – Karve CB Level #D minus
On the #6 setting there was pleasant amount of blade feel but the shave was still very close and oh so smooth. This razor is a very neutral shaver but I did expect that after using the Start model from Homelike where neutral blade feel was the tune of the day. Users who like a bit more aggression in their shaving will be disappointed in the Taiga but for me the shave was very enjoyable.

Adjustment Range – #1 through to #6 with a mid-position line
Blades Used – Ladas and Feather
Material –
AISI 316 Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 107g
Head Width – 43.33mm
Handle Length – 90mm
Handle Diameter – 12mm
Availability – Homelike Shaving
Final Word – Very smooth
 

SpeedyPC

Active Grasshopper
Grand Society
2017 Sabbatical Fail
2018 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Jan 19, 2016
Location
The Dark Lord of Wet Shaving
Curse you @Errol, you’r tempting me with some unattainable sh*t right there. Well, at least I hope it’s unattainable.m, for the sake of my wallet.
@Errol loves the smell of your burning wallet and he also loves to keep you further down the deepest and coldest rabbit hole for the rest of your life.
 

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
Homelike Taiga Adjustable (OC) (Russia)



Taiga was the second model released from Homelike and it’s an all stainless steel adjustable razor that was supplied with both an SB and an OC plate. Unique? I’m not aware of any other adjustable razor with an OC plate or the ability to swap between plates. Word on the street is that there were 100 Taigas in the release but Homelike display their stock holdings and I was watching their website very closely at the time of the release and believe the number of razors released to be closer to 85. Getting in early does have its advantages and I was again able to request and received my favoured #46 numbered razor.

Homelike openly admit to having borrowed the design of the mechanism from the famous Gibbs razor but the remainder of the razor has been engineered to Homelike’s own design. First up I’m using the Taiga as it came supplied and fitted with the open comb plate. Taiga’s cap has a longer center post and elongated blade posts that extend completely through the upper and lower sections of the plate to keep both sections in alignment. Keeping the two sections of the plate under pressure is a spring which effectively provides the top section with firm base for the blade and cap, and all dependant on the efficiency level chosen. While screwing the setting adjuster the two sections of the plate can be seen moving apart/ together depending on the direction the adjuster is being moved. In reality, the head is not all that thick so shaving in those tight spots will not be an issue. Clamping of the blade is done on flat surfaces at the outer edge of the cap and these match with flat planes machined into the plate. Both sections of the plate and the cap have alignment dots on one end to ensure the correct alignment. Etched around the circular flange at the rear of the lower plate are the setting numbers; #1 to #6 with a mid-way line between each of the main setting. There is no click to identify the selected setting but during the shave everything is under spring pressure therefore the risk of involuntary movement of the dial is minimal. On the back of the cap there is evidence of machine marks and these have all butt been polished out. While the whole razor has been machine polished it does look good but lacks that mirror sparkle of a hand polished finish.

Experts in the world of adjustable razors advise to start the adventure at the lowest setting and work your way up the scale. Not me, I’m too stupid to follow a simple direction, I start at the middle of the settings and go from there. So, it’s setting #3 and I’m away. #3 setting did not last long, about Karve CB #B minus level of efficiency but it was ever so smooth and with a totally neutral blade feel. Up to #5 and I was shaving at about Karve CB Level #C and then onto setting #6. The adjusting knob would go past the #6 position to about the #1 ½ setting but I never used any setting past #6.
  • #3 – Karve CB Level #B minus
  • #4 – Karve CB Level #C minus
  • #5 – Karve CB Level #C
  • #6 – Karve CB Level #D minus
On the #6 setting there was pleasant amount of blade feel but the shave was still very close and oh so smooth. This razor is a very neutral shaver but I did expect that after using the Start model from Homelike where neutral blade feel was the tune of the day. Users who like a bit more aggression in their shaving will be disappointed in the Taiga but for me the shave was very enjoyable.

Adjustment Range – #1 through to #6 with a mid-position line
Blades Used – Ladas and Feather
Material –
AISI 316 Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 107g
Head Width – 43.33mm
Handle Length – 90mm
Handle Diameter – 12mm
Availability – Homelike Shaving
Final Word – Very smooth
Excellent review as always @Errol - you've given me a bit of thinking to do...??? :unsure:
 

SpeedyPC

Active Grasshopper
Grand Society
2017 Sabbatical Fail
2018 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Jan 19, 2016
Location
The Dark Lord of Wet Shaving
Excellent review as always @Errol - you've given me a bit of thinking to do...??? :unsure:
Looks like @Razor Burn is preparing his BBQ Wallet soon for your dinner @Errol while he’s thinking, any particular flavour you like with your dinner and something on the side as well.

How do you like @Razor Burn wallet cooked? medium, rare or well done.
 

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
Looks like @Razor Burn is preparing his BBQ Wallet soon for your dinner @Errol while he’s thinking, any particular flavour you like with your dinner and something on the side as well.

How do you like @Razor Burn wallet cooked? medium, rare or well done.
How about over cooked mate (n)
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
Homelike Taiga Adjustable – Titanium Handle (Russia)



Homelike offered an optional titanium handle for the Taiga at the razor’s release so I grabbed one. This week it’s a swap to the titanium handle and I’ve changed to the solid bar plate option that is also included in the package. To change the plate the razor must be stripped to its six individual pieces; very easy to do but it must be remembered that all threads are left handed. Basically, the handle is a cylindrical tube but with the titanium handle installed the weight difference is immediately apparent; by my scale there is a weight saving of around 11g. Being an adjustable razor, the Taiga has three different threads mating together plus the possibility of the spring binding in the head. Last week I noticed that there was some binding of the threads and spring so while I had the razor disassembled, I took the opportunity to put a spot of fishing reel oil on all the threads and the spring. What a difference; everything smoothed out and it was a totally different feeling razor. This is not having a shot at Homelike because realistically they have done a great job with the machining but simply advising that a small amount of lubricant works wonders on mechanical parts.

As soon as I picked up the reassembled SB Taiga, I noted the weight reduction but it was the extra grip afforded by the titanium handle that grabbed my attention; edges left on the knurling is my guess. Setting #6 was my favoured setting from last week so I threw caution to the wind and commenced shaving on setting #5. My impression is that the SB plate is about the same level of efficiency as the OC version. I tried shaving on #6 for a while but came back to #5 because it felt just that little bit kinder for me and it was in that Karve CB level #C efficiency range. Talk about smooth though, the SB plate follows the trend set by the OC version last week making the Taiga one smooth operator whatever your choice of plate. For as smooth as the Taiga fitted the OC plate was, I feel that the SB plate was smoother so that’s saying something. With a near neutral blade feel, it’s pleasing to report that a close shave could also be enjoyed. As I worked the lower settings the shave just got smoother so overall, I’m very impressed with the Taiga and would recommend it to anyone who likes neutral blade feel and a smooth shave.
  • #3 – Karve CB Level #B minus
  • #4 – Karve CB Level #C minus
  • #5 – Karve CB Level #C
  • #6 – Karve CB Level #D minus
Adjustment Range – #1 through to #6 with a mid-position line
Blades Used – Ladas and Bic
Material –
AISI 316 Stainless Steel/ Titanium handle
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 96g
Head Width – 43.33mm
Handle Length – 90mm
Handle Diameter – 12mm
Availability – Homelike Shaving
Final Word – Very Smooth
 

Errol

Razor Review Guru
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Location
Nhulunbuy
REX Ambassador Adjustable – First Release (USA)



There have been changes to the REX Ambassador Adjustable since I purchased this razor in the first release at the end of 2017. REX are restorers of Gillette razors so it was no surprise when their Adjustable razor was released that they chose to continue the Gillette numbering system, this particular razor is coded M3. There were 150 razors in the first release and this razor remains as it originally came from REX with a machined finish on the cap. As the result of user dis-satisfaction REX organised a recall for the removal of the visible machining marks. This razor was not returned for the factory upgraded satin finish and I’m now very content with that decision. All Ambassador razors from this original batch are binned when they are returned for warranty work so I’m now thinking that this one, complete with its original finish must be becoming increasingly rare.

Because this razor is adjustable there are obviously going to be many parts, but for the user, there are just two, the body and the cap. Gibbs’s spring loaded, two-section plate design has again been selected as the basis for the REX Ambassador adjustable head. REX have disguised the two-section plate design a little by providing end tabs on the upper section that cover most of the gap between the sections and also keeps both sections of the plate aligned. Impressively the head is not thick so shaving in those tight spots is not going to present a problem either.

Machined into the spindle of the handle are longitudinal and circumferential grooves that are not only visually impressive but also provide an outstanding grip. Numbers 1 – 6 with intermediary dots denote the razor settings and these markings are etched on the flange behind the head. These numbers are easy to read so aligning them with the red positioning dot on the adjuster ring is not a problem. Machining marks that look like half moons (that I actually like) adorn the top of the cap while the remaining exterior of the razor is machine polished. There are machine marks under the cap and on the top of the plate.

Mid setting position happened to be #3, and my favoured setting last time this razor saw daylight. At setting #3 the shave was smooth and with a pleasant amount of blade feel and an ever so close shave resulted. When the adjuster was moved to #4, there was a definite increase in efficiency but the blade feel felt about the same. Setting #5 and again there was an increase in efficiency and again the blade feel remained constant. Setting #5 was enough for me and I didn’t go any further. I came back to setting #2 for a nice smooth shave and a practical amount of blade feel was the result.
  • #1 – Karve CB Level B plus
  • #2 – Karve CB Level C plus
  • #3 – Karve CB Level D plus
  • #4 – Getting savage
  • #5 – A bit more savage
These days, by the time I’ve completed two shaves with any razor I just about have the review completed in my head if not down on paper. Shaves three and four are confirmatory shaves and the ones I can really enjoy. Not this time; Malfunction Junction. When the second blade went in (third shave) the shave felt like I’d put a Feather blade into a Karve CB Level #H with no blade guard fitted; cap’s down tight, check the setting, it’s on #2; go again, same feel; went to go down to setting #1 and the adjusting wheel spun freely with no engagement; grabbed another razor and finished the shave. Immediately I’m thinking this is why there are so many of the original REX Adjustables being returned for warranty and I want to keep this razor. Out with my beloved fishing reel oil and put a drop in every place I thought might allow the oil to penetrate to the internals. After about five minutes some engagement was being felt on the adjuster wheel; bloody beaudy! By the time I’d come home from work the whole razor felt just like it did early in the review. Shave number four was again a confirmatory shave but this time checking there was nothing amiss with the razor. All good, it behaved like it was expected to. This is one very pleasant razor to use. Remember that this razor is from the very first release and there is a revised version of the REX Adjustable available; it can only be hoped that not too many changes have been made to the way the updated REX performs.

Adjustment Range – #1 through to #6 with a mid-position dot
Blades Used – Ladas and Treet
Material –
Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 99g
Head Width – 45.18mm
Handle Length – 81.5mm
Handle Diameter – 13.25mm
Availability – Out of production
Final Word – Admirable even with a mechanical hiccup
 

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
REX Ambassador Adjustable – First Release (USA)



There have been changes to the REX Ambassador Adjustable since I purchased this razor in the first release at the end of 2017. REX are restorers of Gillette razors so it was no surprise when their Adjustable razor was released that they chose to continue the Gillette numbering system, this particular razor is coded M3. There were 150 razors in the first release and this razor remains as it originally came from REX with a machined finish on the cap. As the result of user dis-satisfaction REX organised a recall for the removal of the visible machining marks. This razor was not returned for the factory upgraded satin finish and I’m now very content with that decision. All Ambassador razors from this original batch are binned when they are returned for warranty work so I’m now thinking that this one, complete with its original finish must be becoming increasingly rare.

Because this razor is adjustable there are obviously going to be many parts, but for the user, there are just two, the body and the cap. Gibbs’s spring loaded, two-section plate design has again been selected as the basis for the REX Ambassador adjustable head. REX have disguised the two-section plate design a little by providing end tabs on the upper section that cover most of the gap between the sections and also keeps both sections of the plate aligned. Impressively the head is not thick so shaving in those tight spots is not going to present a problem either.

Machined into the spindle of the handle are longitudinal and circumferential grooves that are not only visually impressive but also provide an outstanding grip. Numbers 1 – 6 with intermediary dots denote the razor settings and these markings are etched on the flange behind the head. These numbers are easy to read so aligning them with the red positioning dot on the adjuster ring is not a problem. Machining marks that look like half moons (that I actually like) adorn the top of the cap while the remaining exterior of the razor is machine polished. There are machine marks under the cap and on the top of the plate.

Mid setting position happened to be #3, and my favoured setting last time this razor saw daylight. At setting #3 the shave was smooth and with a pleasant amount of blade feel and an ever so close shave resulted. When the adjuster was moved to #4, there was a definite increase in efficiency but the blade feel felt about the same. Setting #5 and again there was an increase in efficiency and again the blade feel remained constant. Setting #5 was enough for me and I didn’t go any further. I came back to setting #2 for a nice smooth shave and a practical amount of blade feel was the result.
  • #1 – Karve CB Level B plus
  • #2 – Karve CB Level C plus
  • #3 – Karve CB Level D plus
  • #4 – Getting savage
  • #5 – A bit more savage
These days, by the time I’ve completed two shaves with any razor I just about have the review completed in my head if not down on paper. Shaves three and four are confirmatory shaves and the ones I can really enjoy. Not this time; Malfunction Junction. When the second blade went in (third shave) the shave felt like I’d put a Feather blade into a Karve CB Level #H with no blade guard fitted; cap’s down tight, check the setting, it’s on #2; go again, same feel; went to go down to setting #1 and the adjusting wheel spun freely with no engagement; grabbed another razor and finished the shave. Immediately I’m thinking this is why there are so many of the original REX Adjustables being returned for warranty and I want to keep this razor. Out with my beloved fishing reel oil and put a drop in every place I thought might allow the oil to penetrate to the internals. After about five minutes some engagement was being felt on the adjuster wheel; bloody beaudy! By the time I’d come home from work the whole razor felt just like it did early in the review. Shave number four was again a confirmatory shave but this time checking there was nothing amiss with the razor. All good, it behaved like it was expected to. This is one very pleasant razor to use. Remember that this razor is from the very first release and there is a revised version of the REX Adjustable available; it can only be hoped that not too many changes have been made to the way the updated REX performs.

Adjustment Range – #1 through to #6 with a mid-position dot
Blades Used – Ladas and Treet
Material –
Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 99g
Head Width – 45.18mm
Handle Length – 81.5mm
Handle Diameter – 13.25mm
Availability – Out of production
Final Word – Admirable even with a mechanical hiccup
Another fantastic review good sir! P&C are blessed to have you amongst its membership. (y)
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Location
Sydney
REX Ambassador Adjustable – First Release (USA)



There have been changes to the REX Ambassador Adjustable since I purchased this razor in the first release at the end of 2017. REX are restorers of Gillette razors so it was no surprise when their Adjustable razor was released that they chose to continue the Gillette numbering system, this particular razor is coded M3. There were 150 razors in the first release and this razor remains as it originally came from REX with a machined finish on the cap. As the result of user dis-satisfaction REX organised a recall for the removal of the visible machining marks. This razor was not returned for the factory upgraded satin finish and I’m now very content with that decision. All Ambassador razors from this original batch are binned when they are returned for warranty work so I’m now thinking that this one, complete with its original finish must be becoming increasingly rare.

Because this razor is adjustable there are obviously going to be many parts, but for the user, there are just two, the body and the cap. Gibbs’s spring loaded, two-section plate design has again been selected as the basis for the REX Ambassador adjustable head. REX have disguised the two-section plate design a little by providing end tabs on the upper section that cover most of the gap between the sections and also keeps both sections of the plate aligned. Impressively the head is not thick so shaving in those tight spots is not going to present a problem either.

Machined into the spindle of the handle are longitudinal and circumferential grooves that are not only visually impressive but also provide an outstanding grip. Numbers 1 – 6 with intermediary dots denote the razor settings and these markings are etched on the flange behind the head. These numbers are easy to read so aligning them with the red positioning dot on the adjuster ring is not a problem. Machining marks that look like half moons (that I actually like) adorn the top of the cap while the remaining exterior of the razor is machine polished. There are machine marks under the cap and on the top of the plate.

Mid setting position happened to be #3, and my favoured setting last time this razor saw daylight. At setting #3 the shave was smooth and with a pleasant amount of blade feel and an ever so close shave resulted. When the adjuster was moved to #4, there was a definite increase in efficiency but the blade feel felt about the same. Setting #5 and again there was an increase in efficiency and again the blade feel remained constant. Setting #5 was enough for me and I didn’t go any further. I came back to setting #2 for a nice smooth shave and a practical amount of blade feel was the result.
  • #1 – Karve CB Level B plus
  • #2 – Karve CB Level C plus
  • #3 – Karve CB Level D plus
  • #4 – Getting savage
  • #5 – A bit more savage
These days, by the time I’ve completed two shaves with any razor I just about have the review completed in my head if not down on paper. Shaves three and four are confirmatory shaves and the ones I can really enjoy. Not this time; Malfunction Junction. When the second blade went in (third shave) the shave felt like I’d put a Feather blade into a Karve CB Level #H with no blade guard fitted; cap’s down tight, check the setting, it’s on #2; go again, same feel; went to go down to setting #1 and the adjusting wheel spun freely with no engagement; grabbed another razor and finished the shave. Immediately I’m thinking this is why there are so many of the original REX Adjustables being returned for warranty and I want to keep this razor. Out with my beloved fishing reel oil and put a drop in every place I thought might allow the oil to penetrate to the internals. After about five minutes some engagement was being felt on the adjuster wheel; bloody beaudy! By the time I’d come home from work the whole razor felt just like it did early in the review. Shave number four was again a confirmatory shave but this time checking there was nothing amiss with the razor. All good, it behaved like it was expected to. This is one very pleasant razor to use. Remember that this razor is from the very first release and there is a revised version of the REX Adjustable available; it can only be hoped that not too many changes have been made to the way the updated REX performs.

Adjustment Range – #1 through to #6 with a mid-position dot
Blades Used – Ladas and Treet
Material –
Stainless Steel
Blade Tab - Covered
Weight – 99g
Head Width – 45.18mm
Handle Length – 81.5mm
Handle Diameter – 13.25mm
Availability – Out of production
Final Word – Admirable even with a mechanical hiccup
Thanks for a brilliant review Errol...always informative and thoroughly enjoyable
 
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