Later On

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

Beginning the slant/nonslant test: Above the Tie R1 and S1

with 3 comments

SOTD 27 Nov 2015

Some men cannot detect differences apparent to others—colors, tastes, DE blades, and razors. The slant razor, for example, cuts more easily than a regular razor because the shearing cut of a slanted blade encounters less cutting resistance than the chop of a regular blade. This is well known—with a regular blade the Gillette slide, which presents the blade at an angle, is a common technique favored by men with thick bears and regular razors. (You can see the Gillette slide demonstrated in a video by Mantic59.)

Although the Gillette slide works well in some circumstances, there’s a reason it’s always shown being done on the cheek. Trying it on the neck—with, across, or against the grain—is more challenging. The slant razor, by slanting the blade, in effect packages the Gillette slide into the razor itself, so that in using the razor in the usual manner reaps the benefits of the Gillette slide without requiring any new skills or techniques, and the slant razor works easily wherever a regular razor works: neck, point of chin, upper lip, whatever.

Since the slant overcomes cutting resistance, its advantage increases along with the cutting resistance of the beard. Men with thick, tough, wiry, coarse beards very much appreciate the slant, particularly if they have sensitive skin (since a good slant is very gentle on the skin when used with light pressure). Men with beards that do not offer much resistance to cutting doubtless do not find much advantage. My own beard is in the normal range, though, and I can detect easier cutting and also find I more easily/frequently get a BBS result with a slant.

Of course, one’s own experience is so vivid that it is difficult for some to believe that someone else may have a different experience. Thus those who cannot detect a difference in the performance of a slant compared to a regular razor often go to some lengths to attempt to establish that there is no difference: that those who detect the difference are “wrong”: deluded, perhaps, by confirmation bias. (Similarly, I suppose, those who experience no differences between different brands of blades might believe that everyone is pretending that such differences exist; or a person who finds Brand X wonderful (or bad) might dismiss the experience of someone who finds Brand X bad (or wonderful). “YMMV” is easy to say but hard to internalize, despite quite clear evidence that YMMV holds in many areas: cilantro, for example, tastes wonderful to me and awful to my daughter (“like soap!”).

So those who can’t tell the difference between a slant and a regular razor argue mightily that, since they cannot detect the difference, it must exist and those who do detect it are being fooled somehow. They often will admit that the Gillette slide cuts more easily, but cannot believe that a slant also benefits from a slanted cutting angle.

So I decided to run a test, alternately using a slant and a regular razor for the next week or so. I’ll try to match the two in terms of overall format—e.g., the Above the Tie R1 (regular) and the S1 (slant); or the Merkur 34C (regular) and the 37C (slant). Initially I’ll try using the razors on alternate days, but I may switch to using both razors in a single shave to get a better feel for the differences.

Today I’m using the Above the Tie S1 slant, and tomorrow I’ll use the ATT R1 regular razor. Both are pictured above, both on UFO handles. you’ll note the degree of the slant slant is not very great. I’m running this little test to reconfirm to myself that I can feel a real difference between the two razors.

This morning I used my silvertip badger brush from the Copper Hat, which has a Delrin® handle of a pleasant shape, and Tim’s Soaps Greek Peach shaving soap. The soap makes a fine and fragrant lather. I did add a couple of driblets of water as I loaded the brush and had no problems at all in lather quality or quantity.

Three easy passes with the S1 left me with a BBS result, though I was not especially trying for that. A good splash of Penhaligon Blenheim Bouquet finished the job.

Written by Leisureguy

27 November 2015 at 9:54 am

Posted in Shaving

3 Responses

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  1. Besides those with heavy beards, slants excel at problem areas too. Like my senior wrinkle where the whiskers grow towards one another in the furrow, or the curve on my upper lip up to the vermillion border (kissing lip) where a nick is likely. If I had gotten my slant as a second razor I’d only have 2 razors not eight!

    Like

    Larry

    27 November 2015 at 10:11 am

  2. Does the ATT slant twist the blade or does it have a tilted head like the SC 102?

    Like

    Larry

    27 November 2015 at 10:45 am

  3. Initially I though it did not twist the blade, but when I bought one, I see that it does. The #102 is the only current slant that does not twist the blade.

    Like

    LeisureGuy

    27 November 2015 at 11:09 am


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