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Cobra Classic vs. Muhle R41 Toothcomb

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.

Postby ShadowsDad » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:26 pm

Well, I for one checked the price of a Cobra a while back and found it too pricey, no matter how good it is. I don't think it's inexpensive to manufacture and I don't begrudge profit. I admit it, it's just out of my reach. Those folks wanting one, get it now, the inflation from the stimulus hasn't fully hit yet, but it's coming.

Plus, my Muhle 2011 R41 has NEVER drawn blood on me that I didn't force it to draw (a cut on the corner of my nose because I didn't rinse the razor- a vision problem), other than that it so is so well behaved it's incredible. So I'll stick with it and the myriad of other razors that shave me just fine; close, comfortable, and inexpensively. Plus, I already have plenty of blades for them. I haven't gotten into inexpensive injectors because I really don't want to inventory more blades.

BTW, so far I've only used the very sharpest of blades in the R41 and I have no plans on ever using anything less than those. I can't imagine using less than the sharpest blade and thereby compromising the cut in a razor that is so aggressive. It came with a pack of Gillette Yellows (one of my favorites) and I plan to stick with the sharpest blades I have when using it.

I do plan to get a spare '11 R41. Just in case they change the head again. Shaving just doesn't get better than the R41 IMO. I can equal it with other razors though, just not in a razor so well behaved. Maybe the SE OCMM comes closest.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Postby SharpSpine » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:43 pm

Brian: how would your characterize your beard? Coarseness, density, etc?

Just curious given my recent test drive of the R41 & the results it gave me.
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Postby ShadowsDad » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:41 am

I'd say it's fairly coarse; density, I can't even guess at; I have nothing to compare it to. When I grow a beard it's pretty full though. My stubble in places grows parallel to the skin and hugs it, some whiskers nestle in creases in the skin, and it takes an aggressive razor to get them.

Brian, I read your post above this forum where you state that you need a stiff blade. BTW, thanks for the kind words re: the Bay Rum. But back to the point... The R41 definitely doesn't allow that (stiff blade). When I first began using it I could feel the blade flexing. It felt out of control to me and like it was about to continually bite. What I'm saying is that it just might not be for you. I'm of the opinion that because of the nature of the R41, it might be for far fewer folks than for the many. I'm just either lucky, charmed, blessed or just plain dumb I guess. :)

One question... I can't imagine using anything other than my absolutely sharpest blades in the R41. I think it would be a mistake to use a lesser blade because of the nature of the razor. What blades did you use in it? In fact my R41 came through with the factory supplied Derbys, but Connaught threw in a box of Gillette Yellows which I took as a sign of what they wanted me to use. The yellows are among my sharpest blades.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Postby SharpSpine » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:53 am

I used Feather & Voskhod. Lots of weepers from the Feather, much much fewer from the Voskhod.
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Postby ltjaw » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:59 am

I enjoy shaving with the R41, and I have been debating purchase of a Cobra for some time. But I am more curious to know how the Cobra compares to shaving with a Gem SE, like the open comb Micromatic. I have heard the OCMM is quite aggressive but provides a very close shave, much like the things I'm hearing about the Cobra. A Gem is much cheaper, and blades are readily available. The head is also narrower. So, does anyone have experience with both the Cobra and a non-injector single edge razor like the Gem?
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Postby itsmedave » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:05 pm

I have both and the Cobra gets much closer and is a much better shaver to me than the OC MM. The shave with the Cobra doesn't last as long for me as one with a SE or DE, but it is enjoyable and more comfortable.
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Postby ltjaw » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:16 pm

Thanks for the input. I'm a little perplexed, though. You say the Cobra provides a closer shave, but that it doesn't last as long as a SE or DE shave? Do you mean you can get the job done more quickly with the Cobra? If it's a closer shave (to me this means you cut the hair shorter), why wouldn't it last longer?
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Postby itsmedave » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:51 pm

ltjaw wrote:Thanks for the input. I'm a little perplexed, though. You say the Cobra provides a closer shave, but that it doesn't last as long as a SE or DE shave? Do you mean you can get the job done more quickly with the Cobra? If it's a closer shave (to me this means you cut the hair shorter), why wouldn't it last longer?


I'm not sure why honestly. When I shave with the Cobra or the Injector, I have to shave every single day. With my R41 or my Fatip, I can go 36-48 hours without shaving again. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's true. The Cobra does get much closer to me than the OC MM.
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Postby ltjaw » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:55 pm

I think I understand you - the Cobra shaves feel smoother and more comfortable, i.e., the face is happier with the shave. I see this is a very good thing. I haven't yet tried my OCMM, and I was kind of hoping someone would say the shaves are pretty close. Darn that price increase on the Cobra!
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Postby ShadowsDad » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:32 pm

Andrew, what works for one may not work for another. What works for you may not work for me. There's only one way to find out. You already have the OCMM, try it. It's a fine razor and yields a fantastic shave if you're up to it. It demands a lot of technique, and the angle used is different.

The grass is always greener on the other side, but the truth is, the grass is pretty darn green if you just use a blade. There are mild razors, and aggressive razors. The OCMM is quite aggressive and did I mention it gives a fantastic and close shave? Just don't let your attention wander or it'll bite.

Cursor down a bit and you'll find a review on the MM family. It doesn't compare the OCMM to the Cobra however.

There may be other factors involved on the closer feel to the shave yet the shave not lasting as long. Frankly, I don't know what they could be. But common sense tells you that if the hair is actually cut shorter it'll take longer to grow back.

Andrew, it's what's in the cockpit that makes the difference, the rest is just a tool waiting to be used. Or, it's not the bow, it's the Indian. Or I suppose it could be FM. :)
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Postby ltjaw » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:46 am

Right on, Brian. I used the OCMM this morning and had a terrific shave - smooth, no irritation, no nicks. It is definitely a keeper. Kind of hard to imagine how the Cobra could provide that much more enjoyable of a shaving experience, but I'm interested to hear from others that have used both.
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Postby brothers » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:58 am

Now you see my cautious approach. Let's see, a current razor already in my possession, cost $0. Or, a blind $165 purchase of an unknown (to me) razor. Believe me, though, if I try a Cobra and get a shave as enjoyable and as excellent as those currrently provided by my other razors, then you can call me a drunken sailor, because that's what I'm buying. However, recalling the OP above, if it's as nasty as the 2011 Muhle R41, then I'm simply out, and glad of it.
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Postby brothers » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:20 am

Just as predicted, once the price increased, the Cobra quickly sold out! I'm still not a buyer. I'm just being patient.
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Postby brothers » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:52 pm

itsmedave wrote:
ltjaw wrote:Thanks for the input. I'm a little perplexed, though. You say the Cobra provides a closer shave, but that it doesn't last as long as a SE or DE shave? Do you mean you can get the job done more quickly with the Cobra? If it's a closer shave (to me this means you cut the hair shorter), why wouldn't it last longer?


I'm not sure why honestly. When I shave with the Cobra or the Injector, I have to shave every single day. With my R41 or my Fatip, I can go 36-48 hours without shaving again. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's true. The Cobra does get much closer to me than the OC MM.


Dave, how's the Cobra holding up? It's been a while since there's been any conversation on this thread. Is it a keeper, after you've been using yours for a few weeks now?
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Postby ltjaw » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:13 pm

brothers wrote:Dave, how's the Cobra holding up? It's been a while since there's been any conversation on this thread. Is it a keeper, after you've been using yours for a few weeks now?


Yes. Someone please fan these flames.


Or throw some lighter fluid on them.


Need to keep this going until CS has them back in stock.
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Postby DreadPirate » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:39 pm

slantman wrote:Cobra Classic without a doubt. Shaves extremely smooth and close and you can get at least ten excellent shaves or more out of one blade. Blade choices are Feather Pro or Kai Captain Titan Mild. On the other hand the R41 is not a comfortable shave no matter how careful I was.


That's been my experience as well; my R41 is a close shave but not at all a smooth one. I have much better luck with my slant. The Cobra sounds intriguing; not sure I want to pay for the very expensive blades though.
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Postby brothers » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:37 pm

I didn't find the Cobra listed at Classic Shaving so I emailed them this morning to inquire. The Cobra is on order and should be back in stock around the second week of April. There was a gent on the forum who very kindly offered to let me try out his Cobra, but I'm thinking he's enjoying it too much and not particularly anxious to send it off again! Can't say I blame him.
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Postby ltjaw » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:52 am

The Cobra Classic is back in stock at CS.

I happened to buy one from a forum member last week and have shaved with it twice. It has already moved to the head of the pack in my shave den. I do not find it to be an aggressive shaver at all. Just efficient, smooth, comfortable, and downright splendid.

I'm thinking about buying a backup...
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Postby brothers » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:20 pm

Coincidentally, I had sent a follow-up email to Classic last night and they answered me back today with the news. Needless to say, I wasn't going to be caught sleeping a second time. In my mind, this one's going to be competing with my favorite straight razors and a couple of DEs such as the Gillette Big Boy Deluxe, and the NEW Standard, in terms of comfort and closeness of shave. If it doesn't cut the mustard, it'll be a piece of cake to pass along to someone else.
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Postby ltjaw » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:06 pm

brothers wrote: If it doesn't cut the mustard, it'll be a piece of cake to pass along to someone else.


A piece of cake indeed. PM me if you don't like it. I plan on giving one to my father and brother.

I suspect, however, you'll be contemplating the sale of one or more of your other currently beloved razors.
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