The Wunderbar in a new light, with Eufros shaving soap
The brush shown is a model once offered by Chiseled Face, and I like it a lot: knot feels good with just the right loft, and its handle is both attractive and comfortable. I got an immediate very fine lather from JabonMan’s Eufros Tierra Humeda, a vetiver soap.
I had an insight about the Wunderbar that I explored in a thread started by cvoss11 on Wicked Edge.
Leisureguy: Thanks to your post I returned to my Wunderbar this morning . Up to now the Wunderbar has been, say, challenging. But today I used the same highly pressure-sensitive approach—consciously reminding myself to use light pressure and really focusing my attention on on pressure—I got a flawless shave. Well, flawless except for having to be hyper-sensitive to pressure, but that is the sort of thing you learn, and fairly soon it moves from the conscious to the unconscious, so the razor “shaves well”—i.e., requires no conscious thought, “feels natural.”
That said, for me the iKon 102 and the prototype X3 slants did not require the hyper-sensitivity stage—i.e., they were (for me) comfortable from the start. And, shaving being what it is, I imagine for some people it will be the reverse.
The production X3 should be available soon, possibly by the weekend—the iKon on-line store now has a placeholder catalog listing for it (“out of stock”), so I think it will be within days. And that version is not quite the same as my prototype. I’m going to buy a production version so I can compare.
The prototype X3 and the 102 have the same feel and performance, though the prototype X3 has a different feel, as if the razor hadn’t been loaded with a blade: zero blade feel. In efficiency the two are the same, though it seems that the prototype X3 has a wider range of good cutting angles than the 102. Some have said they had to experiment a bit to find the 102’s optimal angle, and I do know what they mean. Fortunately, for me that turned out to be my natural angle with that razor, so it worked well for me from the start.
Probably more than you wanted to know, but these have been on my mind. 🙂
cvoss11: I agree. The wunderbar is amazing, but it does require flawless technique. I have found having the right angle and using no pressure is more crucial than any other razor I’ve used. It’s not a razor for noobs, but I think most experienced wet shavers will love it.
Leisureguy: That’s a good way to view it: it’s a tool that works extremely well, but (or: and thus) requires skill to make it work: ultra-high-performance vehicles, for example, or—to bring it closer to home—straight razors. Certainly there are many who derive great enjoyment from using a tool whose great results happen to demonstrate exemplary skill. It’s not exactly humble-brag, but I think it’s in that ballpark. 🙂
Whatever the reason, many like a tool that works perfectly and find the requirement that one must learn a skill to use the tool properly is perfectly understandable and thus expected: when you push the boundaries of performance, it’s usually understood that you must have the experience and thus the skill to reach that level, whether it’s a Formula 1 race car, a straight razor, or the Wunderbar.
I again consciously used very light pressure and got a fine shave, though I did get one nick in the XTG pass on my lower lip. Not bad, and My Nik Is Sealed closed it up immediately. It was due to bad angle rather than two much pressure.
I have now ordered a production version of the X3, so I’ll be able to compare it with the prototype. I imagine that by Saturday, the X3 will be available from several sources.
A good splash of Fine’s Clean (now “Green”) Vetiver, and the day begins.