Info needed re: Muhle R41

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
User avatar
ShadowsDad
Posts: 3113
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine

Info needed re: Muhle R41

Post by ShadowsDad »

I'm lusting after one of these from Connaught Shaving and they have 2 versions. One is the current 2011 comb and the other is the old 2010 open comb.

Can someone with experience tell me how they compare in the act of shaving? Is the '11 version worth the extra $?

I'm betting that if it's dropped, the '11 version is more rugged, but I don't have them in hand to compare and I can only see so much in a picture.

Where I'm going with this is... If the 2011 comb is a change just for the sake of change, with no benefit, I wouldn't be interested in spending the extra $. I have no problem with open combs as they have existed for 100 years.

Thanks Gents!
User avatar
brucered
Posts: 257
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:55 am
Location: Canada

Post by brucered »

you'll find 1000+ threads on the new 2011 R41 on B&B.

it's not change for the sake of change...they really did do something with this razor head that is unlike any other razor..it's not open comb, it's not closed, it's not slant....i best describe it as an "OPEN COMB SLANT" and it should be feared, but respected....don't be AFRAID of it, but it should be FEARED WITH RESPECT...as you can get a ubber super duper close shave with it, or leave your face a blood mess (which was my case)

i've had both, sold the 2011 as it was TOO aggressive for me...totally different then any other razor on the market today, totally different blade angle.

it's a beauty to look at...some love it, some hate it...me, i hated it. i got 1 pass with it and couldn't take it any more..i tried it a few different days, a few different blade, but it wasn't for me.

the 2010 is MILD...even compared to the closed comb head...and i believe the 2010 OC head is by MERKUR, so the fit/finish on it is not up to the standards as EJ/MUHLE.

others will chime in
itsmedave
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:11 am

Post by itsmedave »

I love mine. Nothing has topped it thus far. I do have a futur and a 39C on the way to test it though.
User avatar
ShadowsDad
Posts: 3113
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine

Post by ShadowsDad »

Thanks gents! (I include Gary in that)

After what Gary wrote to me, your posts, and a smattering of the posts on B&B and it sounds like the 2011 is definitely for me.
itsmedave
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:11 am

Post by itsmedave »

I do think you'll enjoy it. It seems to enjoy sharp blades and seems to do better with them (at least IMO). Take it slow and watch your angles and you should do fine with it. I was noticing that with my FatBoy it would take 4 full passes and touchup but with the R41, I can get a great shave with 2 passes. I let my beard go for 3 days and it just mowed right through it. I do get the occasional nick, but they are few and far between now. I'd suggest going through Connaught or traditional shaving and you should be able to get one for less than $40. If you have any more questions, just fire away. I've had mine for 2 months or so and have used it for 3 out of 4 shaves per week.
bbqncigars
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:02 pm
Location: Iowa

Post by bbqncigars »

The R41 has replaced my Fatboy as my traveling razor. The shaves are awesomely close, but it is very unforgiving of anything less than perfect technique. I prefer one of my 1912 Gems for that level of closeness, but the Muhle has it's place.


Wayne
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." A. Brilliant
User avatar
SharpSpine
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:09 am
Location: Springfield, TN

Post by SharpSpine »

ShadowsDad wrote:Thanks gents! (I include Gary in that)

After what Gary wrote to me, your posts, and a smattering of the posts on B&B and it sounds like the 2011 is definitely for me.
Please let me know if you get the new R41 and how it works for you. As we've talked before about our love of SEs, this razor is also starting to pique my interest. I may even ask for it as a Christmas present. I do find the look of the razor to be mean and beautiful at the same time and even if it didn't work well for me I'd probably hold on to it just to show off!

However, if this can work for a fellow aggressive SE junkie then I very well may NEED this razor!
> Brian < Shave On & God Bless!!

Mongoose B1 + Hempel Spiral; Feather Pro
itsmedave
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:11 am

Post by itsmedave »

Sharpspine, you live close enough to me. Want a test run of the R41? If you promise to take care of her and pay for shipping, I'd be more than happy to let you have a run with her for a bit. I have a Gem OC MM, a Futur, a Schick Krona, and a 39C to make a few runs with for a couple of weeks. You're more than welcome!!
rpk
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:01 pm

Post by rpk »

brucered wrote:....don't be AFRAID of it, but it should be FEARED WITH RESPECT...as you can get a ubber super duper close shave with it, or leave your face a blood mess (which was my case)
Picked up a R41 2011 to give it a try, and hopefully add to my growing collection. The quote above is most definitely accurate! Very close shave. I used it yesterday, and could probably skip today without much notice. Started out very cautiously, and got in a pretty good groove. Unfortunately got a little too comfortable towards the end and nipped my neck pretty good (still learning!). I can see using this a couple times a week to get a really close shave, but wouldn't try it daily as I'd likely get irritation due to the closeness. Very nice finish, and a high quality piece of kit all around.
-Rich
User avatar
KM-INSTRUCTOR
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:31 am
Location: USA and Le Boréon, France.

Post by KM-INSTRUCTOR »

The R41 is a super nice shaving tool.
Image
User avatar
brucered
Posts: 257
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:55 am
Location: Canada

Post by brucered »

Km...i only count 11, are you sure you have enough?
brothers
Posts: 20826
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Post by brothers »

I'll take the Chatsworth Barley if it's not already spoken for! :lol: Already got Bob's BM handle.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
User avatar
TRBeck
Soapgeek
Posts: 5050
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Post by TRBeck »

I used my new R41 for the first time this morning. It is a very unique razor, no doubt, but after shaving with it, I can't help but thinking people have made too much out of how differently one has to approach shaving with it. At least that is my first impression, which is all I mean to report here.

The head is not very rounded, meaning the blade doesn't have a whole lot of curvature. This does require a different shaving angle as a result, but if you poke around some threads on, ahem, other forums, you see a lot of discussion of extreme angles. Maybe this is of benefit to longevity of blades with this razor or something; I don't know. I do know that I simply approached the shave as I do with any other razor, starting with the head of the razor flat against my cheek and adjusting the angle until I could feel the blade. I shaved. No irritation or bloodbath or anything. Just a good, close shave with a very mild Crystal blade. I wonder if a lot of guys wind up with cuts and nicks and weepers from overthinking the angle on this one. Anyway, it is an aggressive razor, so care and good technique and all the other requisite precautions one should take when shaving do apply. I used a standby soap to ensure perfect lather; I used a mild, smooth Crystal blade. I feel pretty confident saying that I could've used a sharper blade and any number of soaps and had a great experience.

Now, the sensory experience with this razor is quite different to other DEs. You get a ton of feedback during the shave. In the first place, you can feel the presence of the blade more than you can with other double edge razors. I'm not sure this is a good thing, as a thin DE blade might cause some annoyance with continued use in this fashion. I'll have to see how things progress. There's a good deal of auditory feedback, too. I haven't used a Futur, but this thing offers a very "loud" shave like gents describe with the Futur, each stroke approximating the sound of a knife buttering toast, if I may borrow an analogy from Dominic. Really a cool thing for me, as I enjoy this sort of auditory experience. It's noteworthy that some of the SE guys are expressing interest in this razor, as that's what the shave experience reminds me of more than anything: that combination of "feeling" the blade and good sound feedback is very akin to my SE shaves.

Some have compared it to shaving with a straight. Well...no. The blade is too thin, the slicing action too laserlike. And the way the razor handles of course in no way approximates a straight.

Speaking of which, the razor handles very well. Mühle has dialed in the handle/head balance on their newer razors just perfectly IMO, and the knurling on the handle is quite comfortable. I love my R89 for the same reason, to the extent that I am pondering selling my gorgeous Harris Chatsworth-type razor with a Mühle head. I just think the balance on these might be better for me. The fit and finish is superb, too. Very well-made shaving tool indeed.

I did enjoy my shave this morning, and it was a bit more challenging than using my R89. I'm going to use this razor/blade combination for a few more shaves to test how my skin fares with extended use and how the blade holds up in such an aggressive razor. After that, I may test a 7 O'Clock or some other sharp blade, as well. That will help me determine whether this is something I can use regularly and whether it is something I will enjoy on a daily or frequent basis.

Regardless, my initial impression is that there's not a whole lot to fear here if you know what you're doing with a double-edge. That's not to say the R41 is not aggressive: it is. That's not to say the R41 is not distinct or unique: it is. For those reasons, if you're a shavegeek, it's definitely fun to at least try. And not the least bit scary.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau
User avatar
ShadowsDad
Posts: 3113
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine

Post by ShadowsDad »

Thanks!

After reading your SOTD I couldn't miss this.
brothers
Posts: 20826
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Post by brothers »

Tim, well done! Very informative review of a unique razor. One thing I have discovered is that the Gem Micromatic Open Comb (single edge) razor from about 80 years ago feels very similar to the way the Muhle 2011 R41 feels. To me, it is simply the feel of the edge resting on the skin, and the sound they make. Obviously, there's no bend or bowing whatsoever with the Micromatic OC. Another similarity between the two. Aggressive and a challenge, but as with everything else, most of us enjoy new experiences, and this is definitely a new experience, but is it really, if the guys from the 1930's using the MM OC had the same experience?
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
User avatar
TRBeck
Soapgeek
Posts: 5050
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Post by TRBeck »

Interesting, Gary. The other comparison I have read - and there are certainly some pics that display the similarities - is to the Barbasol razor of that same time period. Have never handled that one or the Micromatic Open Comb. Very intriguing thought, though, should I get rolling on safety razor experimentation again.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau
brothers
Posts: 20826
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Post by brothers »

TRBeck wrote:Interesting, Gary. The other comparison I have read - and there are certainly some pics that display the similarities - is to the Barbasol razor of that same time period. Have never handled that one or the Micromatic Open Comb. Very intriguing thought, though, should I get rolling on safety razor experimentation again.

Regards,
Tim, I understand there were two slight variations of the head on the Barbasol. I've got the later design, which raised the edge of the blade slightly above the safety bar. I don't think my Barbasol feels very similar to the MMOC or the R41. Maybe the other comparison you saw was making reference to the earlier Barbasol design?
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
User avatar
TRBeck
Soapgeek
Posts: 5050
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Post by TRBeck »

Perhaps. I'm not familiar with the Barbasol razor(s), I confess, and it was something I only noted in passing. The pics displayed similarities in head configuration and comb design, but I do recall a difference in blade gap between the Barbasol and the R41.

Regards,
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau
User avatar
franz
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:00 pm

Post by franz »

Nice write-up Tim!

My ongoing experience with the R41 has been similar to yours.

Interesting razor. It almost feels like a prototype.

I love my R89 but it has seen little use since this puppy (and its ancestor, the Fatip) landed on my doorstep.
User avatar
ShadowsDad
Posts: 3113
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine

Post by ShadowsDad »

Well the Chairman of the Board announced that Mrs Santa decided to deliver a Muhle R41 to me, but there wouldn't be room on the sleigh, so I probably just oughtta order it from wherever I wanted.

Done, so one will be on the way from the UK in a day or 2.

This will be my 2nd aggressive DE razor. My other one is my Slim turned all the way to the "magical" setting.
Post Reply