My adventure with a Muhle R41

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Pauldog
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My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:31 pm

After reading a bit about it, I ordered an R41 head from Connaught at what I think is a very good price. It's now on its way over. In the meantime, I got lucky with a large eBay auction containing mostly Jagger and Merkur razors, some with fancy-schmancy handles, though the Jagger razors all use the same Muhle closed comb head as the one on the inexpensive Jagger I got years ago.

One of the razors was listed by the seller as a Muhle R89, but turned out to be an R41. Based on my experience with it and by measuring the top piece against the numbers posted on Sharpologist's website (he posts here as Mantic), I'm pretty sure it's the "Beast" - Version 1. I could hear the hairs popping, and there was quite a bit of pull. It felt impossible to shave downward from my lower lip, or shave upwards against my nostrils.

I shaved very gingerly, and managed to avoid drawing any blood. I used another razor to finish the area around my mouth.

It was a good mindfulness exercise, but not an enjoyable shave. I wonder how much different the Version 2 head will be.

What do you think the best blade to try would be? For the shave I did, I just pulled some blade out of another razor, and I don't know how many shaves were on it.

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by brothers » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:19 pm

Not one of my favorites either. I had one and it was dreadful. Traded it for the (milder) 2013 replacement, but it was still uncomfortable. I've still got it, but never intend to use it. I probably should sell it.
Gary

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:37 pm

Did you try more than one kind of blade with it?

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by TRBeck » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:41 am

I had the 2011 briefly. I used both a mild blade (Dorco ST-301) and a sharper one (Gillette 7 O'Clock Blue), but I didn't ever get comfortable with it. I don't recall which shaved more smoothly in the razor, but given that you have good technique, I say err on the side of sharpness. Maybe don't go full Feather yet, but a Silver Blue or Polsilver, etc.
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Tim

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by brothers » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:03 pm

Pauldog wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:37 pm
Did you try more than one kind of blade with it?
I used the Personna hospital use and the Kai DE blades with the 2013 version of the R41 and the shaves were much more pleasant. At the time I was still testing the waters for razors. I wouldn't mind using this razor again, but never the harsh original version.
Gary

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Tucker » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:27 pm

I've never tried this particular razor, and I have no desire to. However, in aggressive razors, I have found either the Dorco ST-300, Dorco ST-301, or the Personna Red works well.

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Steve » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:14 pm

If you have the 2011 version, it's worth some money. If you have the 2013 version, that's what I use. I use Astra SP blades. I get a very close shave and a very smooth shave all the time.

Steve

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:57 pm

That's good to know about Version 1. I'm not particularly attached to it. :D

I got the Version 2 head in the mail a couple of days ago, and it was a lot less dangerous, though still the second-most dangerous open comb razor I've tried. Unlike my adventure with Version 1, I felt safe using it everywhere on my face.

I'm in the middle of using a bunch of different DE blades on various razors. I'll have to try it again with a fresh blade, so I know how much of the shave is the razor and how much is a blade perhaps near the end of its life.

I have some Astras, so I'll try one soon.

I didn't see any Version 1 open comb Muhle razors or heads listed on eBay when I checked the other day. At least, no listings that were explicit about being version 1. I don't think I can write to sellers and ask them to dig out a ruler and give me the head width in mm.

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:54 am

Steve wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:14 pm
If you have the 2011 version, it's worth some money. If you have the 2013 version, that's what I use. I use Astra SP blades. I get a very close shave and a very smooth shave all the time.

Steve

Does it make a lot of difference if I sell the whole razor or just the head? Have you seen any of these being sold? I didn't see any sold explicitly as Version 1 models on eBay.

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Steve » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:31 pm

Pauldog, I am no expert on used razors but I would assume the 2011 R41 would be worth more with the head and handle, even as a collectors item. I saw one recently on Ebay for $200 but it was a new one in the box. I saw another for for $78 used with a few scratches. When you sell a used razor, does it have to be sterilized?

Steve

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:38 pm

I don't think there's any legal requirement to sterilize a used razor before shipping it. Certainly I've bought my share of old razors encrusted with organic matter, and spent a lot of time cleaning them. There's very little, if anything, that will grow on clean bare (non-rusty) metal, and a good scrubbing has made them safe enough for me. I've tried a lot of old razors, and I haven't caught anything. The one serious hazard I remember was from an eBay seller who haphazardly threw old razors and blades together with no protection, so if I had been less lucky when opening the package, I would have gotten cut.

Back to the Muhle 41. Lately I've been leaning toward slants. The theory is appealing to me - making the blade more rigid and the shave smoother and easier. I've had a Merkur 37C for a long time (which I recently switched to orienting the blade to be uniform along the cap rather than the bar), and I recently got a bakelite Phoenix Alpha Ecliptic for a very moderate price. This kind of razor might eliminate my interest in either of the aggressive Muhle heads, leaving me with my Muhle closed comb as being the one that's too well-made and affordable to ignore.

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Steve » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:18 pm

How old is your 2011 R41? How much have you used it. Is it the 3 piece model? How much would you charge me to buy it?

Steve

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:23 pm

I just bought the R41 as part of a razor lot, so I don't know the exact age. It looks like new. As far as selling, we can PM each other. I don't know what the going price is for a used one until I look at other sales. I'd be willing to sell the whole razor and only keep the less aggressive R41 head that I just bought new.

Steve, have you tried this thing?

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Steve » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:37 pm

Pauldog, I have never tried the 2011 version. How do you know it's a 2011 R41? I am always looking for a closer shave. I own the 2013 R41.

Steve

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:12 am

According to The Sharpologist, "The top plate on the head has been widened to 20.2mm from 18.8mm, decreasing blade exposure." It was easy to measure the difference on the two heads I have. It would have been scary if my first R41 head had been as wide as the 2013 head I just got!

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:44 pm

I just found one eBay completed sale for a 2011 R41. $250! Too few to tell if this is a typical price.

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by brothers » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:32 am

After my face-mangling misadventures with the 2011 version, I think anyone paying that much for this meat chopper has money to burn.
Gary

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:47 pm

The buyer spent a tremendous amount of shekels per negative millimeter. :)

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by brothers » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:12 pm

I am wondering if he or she is enjoying the shaves it provides.
Gary

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Re: My adventure with a Muhle R41

Post by Pauldog » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:22 pm

The big thrill is from opening the package. :)

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