Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The iKon Slant & Mystic Water

with 7 comments

SOTD 26 July 2013

I went with the Semogue Owners Club brush. As a precaution, based on my previous Semogue experience, I also soaked the Omega Pro 48 boar brush. In both cases, I wet the knot thoroughly under the hot-water tap, then let the brush sit on its base, dripping wet, while I showered.

The Mystic Water Sandalwood Rose made a fine lather, but the Semogue held only enough lather for two passes, so I went with the Omega for the final pass. I don’t think I’ll try Semogue any more. Some really love the brand, but it simply does not work for me, whereas the Omega brushes are terrific. To give Semogue its due, though, let me point out this post by a Semogue enthusiast. I am, however, puzzled by his recommendation (as an alternative boar brush) an Omega banded boar. I personally prefer the plain (unbanded) boar knots Omega offers—the dye from the band stains the first couple of lathers and really brings nothing to the party. The specific recommendation for banded over unbanded is puzzling. I would recommend an unbanded Omega boar (for the reasons already stated).

Now to the main course: the new stainless iKon Slant. Greg offered me a copy of the razor, and I accepted, so this is an exception to my “purchase-only” rule.

The razor is hefty—solid stainless will do that—and has an immediate advantage over its only current competitors, the Merkur 37C and 39C, in that it is a three-piece razor, not a two-piece razor (in which handle and baseplate are one unit—thus requiring a threaded shaft inside the hollow handle to tighten the cap, along with a friction ring to hold the shaft in place. The three piece design is simpler and packs flat when disassembled. More important, the three-piece design allows swapping out the standard handle with a custom handle from (say) UFO, Pens of the Forest, Elite Razors, or the like. This not to say the stock iKon handle is bad. On the contrary, it is a comfortable diameter and length with excellent cross-hatched knurling and good heft. But it’s nice to have the choice of a change of pace from time to time. [UPDATE: I just learned that the iKon Slant head will be made available for sale separately.]

I used a Personna Lab Blue blade, and when I loaded the razor, I noticed that the head is sufficiently wide that the blade’s ends are not exposed (as they are on many razors, digging into one’s fingers when the head is tightened or loosened—to the point that on some razors I have to grab the head with a towel to protect my fingers). This head is as comfortable in the loading as it is in the shave.

And what about the shave? In a word, fantastic. This razor follows in the iKon tradition of extremely comfortable, extremely efficient razors, with this razor’s efficiency pumped up by the slanted blade, while suffering no loss at all of comfort. I felt that in shaving normally, I simply could not cut myself, and indeed I got no nicks and no burn: just a very comfortable three-pass shave. (Note: I did not try to cut myself, but I also did not shave with extra care: just a regular workday shave.)

Three passes to a BBS result. I love this razor already. It is as comfortable as the Bakelite slant, and the extra heft of the stainless steel is not a problem and has the virtue of being much less breakable than the Bakelite, which, being Bakelite, is somewhat brittle. My own Bakelite slant has been fine, but I’ve seen reports of others that were dropped and cracked. Not the iKon: if you drop it into the sink, your concern will be damage to the sink, not to the razor.

A good splash of Booster Aquarius, a favorite—but where is my June Clover? I think I have to replace that.

Two more photos. The iKon slant disassembled:

iKon Slant disassembled

And the iKon slant in its full totemic glory:

iKon Slant

UPDATE: I posted on Reddit’s Wicked_Edge about the iKon Slant, and a couple of comments are worth noting.

First, note that you can do some custom work on your iKon Slant—for example, you could have the steel blued (contact a local gunsmith) or plated in gold (or rhodium or whatever). Sculpt Nouveau sells a variety of finishing compounds, including blue patina (the traditional blue-steel look) and black: the iKon Slant in black would be awesome.

Second, I was asked for a comparison shot—see below. Left to right: Bakelite slant, iKon slant, Merkur 37G. You might also take a look at the Wicked Edge thread, which has quite a bit of information.

3 slants

Written by Leisureguy

26 July 2013 at 9:01 am

Posted in Shaving

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I nearly whooped when I saw this post. I can’t wait to get my hands on one — do you know if there’s a firm release date?

    As for the June Clover, I believe Phil at BullGoose told me it was gone for good. Please let me know if you learn otherwise.

    Like

    middlesmith

    26 July 2013 at 9:27 am

  2. Greg told me that he had to do polishing work to finish up the razors, and I believe I received one of the first polished ones. I imagine that within two weeks they should be available. BullgooseShaving.net may be down for an early shipment: sometimes the retailers get first dibs before the Web store has them, but I don’t really know.

    Bad news about June Clover. Dang! I should not have sold that.

    Like

    LeisureGuy

    26 July 2013 at 9:46 am

  3. Good feature that the blade ends are not exposed; a point overlooked by many of the big manufacturers.
    The reason given for the blade ends being exposed is for safe handling of the blade. I often get gouged in the bridge of my nose by the exposed blade ends when doing an across the grain east-west pass. I need to
    be more careful, but why not just make the head a wee bit longer? I have raised this point with a big razor
    manufacturer, with little joy. An iKon may be the answer. Just wish they weren’t so darned hard to get.

    Like

    Chris R

    26 July 2013 at 6:02 pm

  4. Does the ikon slant keep the blade aligned nicely or is it like the Merkur slant which you have to align it yourself?

    Like

    Mah

    27 July 2013 at 2:36 pm

  5. It seems to keep the blade nicely aligned. The alignment studs are on the cap rather than (as in the Pils and the S3S and some others) on the baseplate, and that makes loading easier with the blade readily aligned. But I have to admit that I’ve not had a problem with my Merkur 37G (or with the bakelite slant). If you’re having a problem, I suspect it’s due to the Merkur two-piece design, where you can’t press cap and baseplate together and then tighten the handle, as you can with the iKon, a three piece razor. With the Merkur, the tightening shaft holds the cap above the baseplate until you can screw them together, which allows the blade to misalign.

    With the iKon, you place blade onto cap, making sure the alignment studs are engaged, then drop the baseplate onto that and hold the two tightly together as you screw the handle onto the protruding threaded stud from the cap: easier and simpler.

    Like

    LeisureGuy

    27 July 2013 at 3:07 pm

  6. Can you put a blade in the ikon slant and take a pic, so we can see how the blade sits in it?

    Like

    Mah

    27 July 2013 at 7:35 pm

  7. The post for today’s shave shows the slant holding a blade. See this post.

    Like

    LeisureGuy

    27 July 2013 at 9:28 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: