Tag Archives: razor

Burns 4 Baldies

Bald, shaven brothers, do people with hair have the monopoly on sideburns?

Don’t let our thatched oppressors steal our right to have facial hair higher than our moustaches!

Bald, burns & proud! Take the sidies back!

It’s a revolution!

Burns for Baldies
“Why beards? Why perms? Why style?” no reason really apart from feeling good or being individual I guess.

I always had sidies when I had hair, so why not now?

Snake Oil!!! Razors Sharpened!!!

I am seeing snake oil salesmen out there… money for nothing… pays for itself… Bunch of rubbish.

The one I’ve spotted recently is the “cartridge razor sharpener!

Yes, this device can actually sharpen your expensive cartridge razor blades…. and no doubt will make you rich, able to fly and speak 15 languages fluently… at the same time.

You see, a cartridge style razor cannot be sharpened properly.

The reason is this:
Unless you sharpen a blade on both sides (so as to match the original blade angle), you alter the geometry – which is a mute point as you cannot get to the back of a cartridge blade without taking the cartridge apart and removing the blades….

If you did manage to sharpen the blade and retain geometric integrity, you still alter the dimensions. If you sharpen something, it gets shorter. The only way to keep the gap between the blade rows optimal is to remove each blade, profile it, sharpen it, then re-seat it in a new position!

The other key point is that modern blades have composite materials to give strength and flex. If you sharpen an edge you remove the coating. E.G: A hard micrometre thick external coating gives a sharp cutting edge. An underlying softer material allows for a flex and contour following blade.

If you sharpen that blade post manufacture, you end up removing the edge that does the cutting & are left with a soft, rapidly blunting, flexible metal strip.

NOTE: Composite doesn’t mean carbon fibre or Kevlar etc! It means it is made up of several materials or compounds. E.G: A chrome effect phone is a composite of the plastic phone body and the chrome effect surface. A pencil is a composite of the graphite core and the wooden body.

Sure, there is a way to re-life cartridge blades – but for all the effort involved in stripping the cartridge, symmetrically lapping the blades, remodelling the body to hold the changed blades, re-plating the sharpened blades (and buying all of the machinery & tools to do this), then it’s better off for you to just buy a new cartridge.

It’s engineering fact.

Raz*War – War on shaving

Okay, You’ve seen me mention how good King of Shaves razors are, and no doubt think I’m a King of Shaves fan…. well I am… BUT only whilst they make the best shave I can get.

The moment I can get a better shave, then I’ll jump ship. It’s simple really – the shave companies sell things for ME. I don’t buy for THEM. Therefore I buy what is best for me.

Raz*War has popped up on my radar and after a little communication they sent me one of their products to review.

In build quality and “coolness” it surpassed Gillettes offerings, but not the KoS Azor range. Especially the new Azor M – that will take a lot to beat in the coolness and quality race – Azor M is the Apple to the rest of the shaving worlds PC’s.

Raz*War - Better than Gillette

That being said, the Raz*War product is in a different class to the Azor. Raz*War comes across as a tricked up Japanese racer to the King of Shaves Aston Martin DB9. That doesn’t mean it is worse – just different. In the same analogy Gillette comes across as a pathetic compact car with plastic bits stuck on it and a “go faster” loud exhaust…. *yawn*.

The Raz*War “El Fidel” starter kit came with a solid block of shave soap, blades and handle, and a travel bag. A very nice little kit.

The handle felt balanced and the head was… well, it compare to Gillette in design, with multiple razors and a small trimming blade in the back. The blades lasted as long as any Gillette I have tried in the past, but Azor still outlasts them by 75%.

Although the Raz*War blades shave like a Gillette and last as long as a Gillette, the price is a whole different ball park. The blades are cheaper and there is even a special offer that can be obtained through the Raz*War web site. This really impressed me, as Raz*War actually allow you to subscribe to a years worth of blades at reduced prices!

Subscribe and Save

The soap was very good too, although I am against the use of soaps in shaving as they really dry me out. The Raz*War soap, in its defence, didn’t dry me out as much as other soaps, so that’s a good thing to note.

When it comes to the crunch for me though, I’ll stick to the King of Shaves Azor. The price per blade off of the shelf may be more, but it lasts longer and in the end that works out to cost LESS per shave than any other razor I have seen.

If you are one of those people who can’t get along with the Azor though, or are just stuck on the Gillette idea, then I highly recommend the Raz*War to you – It is everything Gillette is, but at a much reduced price (and cooler!).

Improving on perfect

BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes… they all make superb saloon cars. They are well made, refined, smooth and drive well.

So when these top marques then bring out a sport model (be it an AMG, S, M etc), then they improve on the already great basic saloon car model.

They improve the handling, they tighten up the feedback, driver involvement, road holding. They tweak the chassis, engine and suspension. They end up with the same saloon car… but different – better – each part honed to a higher level.

What they don’t do is stick on some gaudy graphics, a big exhaust pipe and a huge spoiler and then try to palm it off as a sports car…

Where is this leading then?

For the past 2 weeks I have had the pleasure of test driving an aluminium bodied (hand finished in the UK no less), tweaked and more responsive version of an engineering marvel that I have blogged about before.

Will King (King of Shaves) hasn’t sat on his backside and let the already great award winning Azor (and Azor S – Sensitive) blow away the competition, oh no, he’s been working on improving perfection.

Well, that’s a bit strong. Azor had it’s bad points for some users, and a few quirks that first time users weren’t ready for… so maybe not improving on perfection, but most definitely improving on the Azor, the best multiblade shaving hardware since the Gillette Mach 3.

The trouble some people had with the Azor is they expected it to be the same as any previous razor – but it isn’t. For one it is sharper and more responsive.

Like all things different you need to get used to it – so a couple of shaves really won’t give you the real benefit of the Azors great shave. Try it, stick with it for a month and then see how you feel. You wouldn’t expect to get into a new car and have everything be in just the right place straight away, as each driver adjusts and gets used to their new car – so you should adjust and get used to the Azor.

So anyway today, the official launch of the Azor M…. I wasn’t expecting a great improvement leap, as the first Azor was already a benchmark product.

The NEW King of Shaves AZOR M

For the two weeks prior to today’s launch I have been a tester using the Azor M and the new slimline blade cartridge. The M stands for metal – an aluminium body hand finished in the UK. The slimline cartridge is an improved version of the original, already incredible Azor blade.

The heft is good – this is down to the extra weight of the metal over the previous Azor models. It feels more controlled & has a certain quality feel about it  (Azor 1 & S have great quality & design, but to some people a light razor is seen as cheap & tatty). Azor M nicely addresses that & more.

The 3 colour look… it sounds a bit dicey, but when I saw it I was immediately impressed. No tarty chrome look like Gillette use. A subtle, almost Audi-ish brushed Aluminium that wasn’t pretending to be anything else, because it is what it is. Very stylish.

The shave… Okay, I was surprised at how different it was. Doing my head really showed the improvements. That weight made for more control & a smoother glide.

Better still – and this shocked me….the blade life is longer! I thought the first Azor blade was good, but this is still as blisteringly sharp now after two weeks of full head and beard shaves as when I first used it. This surely is the KoS standard now – Cheaper, longer lasting and far, far sharper blades.

Azor M - Perfection squared

The new cartridge design seems to be more than meets the eye. The trimmed & squared off lube section made for a more accurate trim around my goatee. Now there is a definitive squared end across the head of the cartridge that is parallel to the blades, which actually gave more confidence around the beard and that just worked better – I didn’t need to think about it so much as I knew exactly where I was shaving.

I managed to shave several areas around my ears that the previous cartridge wouldn’t touch due to the old larger cartridge – so a marked improvement there.

The reduced top end section also appeared to pull/tighten my skin slightly more than the Azor S (not in a bad way). It felt taut & controlled – referring back to my car analogy I’d say the Azor M is the sports saloon of the range – tweaked to give a firmer, more accurate & closer ride. It’s all a bit more “together”, which is amazing, seeing as the previous Azor danced over the competition without bothering to even take it’s shoes off!

The distinct but minimal packaging of the Azor

Even though Azor has one of the narrower side walls on the cartridge than other brands, I personally would like to see even thinner side walls with the blades as close to the edge as possible – but that’s a wish list thing & no complaint against any Azor.

I don’t know how many of the above improvements were intentional or just a by product of the new M design, but I can say that King of Shaves have improved on something that was near perfect anyway, and improved it more than I could imagine!

As for Gillette and the Fusion range…. remember the comment about sticking on a big spoiler (more blades) a big exhaust (shove a battery in it) and gaudy graphics (oranges, blues, greens, and chrome)……Well… there’s an old saying…

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig

Gillette were great in the Mach 3 days, in the same way the old 1980’s BMW M3 series was great… but times have moved on and things have improved.

Look at the modern designs we are seeing in cars, mobile phones, computers etc…. it’s all smooth, simple, no fuss, functional and thought out (much like the early days or race cars, aircraft etc… smooth and flowing).

Gone are the days of angular brash and loud designs that were definitely more show than go… It’s easy to see which of the two camps the Azor and the Mach 3 belong to.

Gillette Fusion yesterday

The King of Shaves press release for Azor M is HERE.

The Head Shave

It’s about a year now that I’ve had my shaven head. If it hadn’t been for Will King’s Azor razor I wouldn’t have kept it up…yup, I would have grown it back to a short buzz cut.

The thing is, I really like my baldy head! True, it was all for charity to start with (Help a London Child – HALC), but it felt good and I finally had a “hair style” that worked for me…None!

I wouldn’t have kept the bald thing going though (and as such, would not have shaken of the ghosts of previous bad haircuts!), if it wasn’t for the King of Shaves Azor.

The Azor shape means I can adopt a technique that would be near on impossible with any other razor, whilst those incredible sharp, hard wearing yet safe blades mean I can cut with & against the hair growth at speed with no problem whatsoever ever! Gillette and the other makes wouldn’t allow me to use this method as they caused rashes & soreness – I could only ever go with the hair growth direction.

To shave my head now I simply gel up (using KoS Alpha gel), then holding the Azor (as pictured below), I quickly run the blade back and forth without lifting – a bit like you’d use an upright vacuum cleaner! The design also means the Azor doesn’t clog, so can shave for longer without a rinse out. I can go from hairy to polished in under a minute (57 seconds – I timed it… Yes, I need to get out more!)

An odd thing to blog about, true, but I feel it’s worth a mention as I was never happy with my hair (I will post photo’s some day!).

I started out with crappy cuts my ‘mother’ gave me in her role as a military barber (no wonder the Gurkhas were fearsome soldiers – they had to take their dodgy haircut anger out on someone, and the Argentinians were in the wrong place at the wrong time!). From there on I just didn’t care about hair styles! My hair always was awkward to style, so buzz cuts solved a lot of issues, then the full shave liberated me from the memories of all those bad haircuts forced upon my youthful head!

For a while I sported the worst flat top in history, just because in a fit of “trendiness” my ‘mother’ bought a flimsy plastic flat top comb & believed she could use it… Luckily for the Gurkhas though she experimented on me first… It wasn’t pretty… None of the attempts were.

What goes around comes around though, and I do cut my sons hair. The thing is though I have learnt what’s good and bad, and through my own experience correcting my own dodgy experimental hair “styles” I’m pretty damned good with the clippers. I do know though, that if Alex ever wants a proper haircut, then I’ll put up the cash for a trained barber to do it, rather than put him though the parental experiments I had carried put on me.

The guy upstairs is having a laugh….

What’s white and sits in our kitchen and keeps the house warm?

If you said “Your boiler” you’d be wrong today….

Bugger it.

Yes, something you don’t want to go wrong at the best of times has gone wrong… right when we are financially razor edged….and the temperature outdoors is sub zero.

Now this can only prove the existence of a higher being, as explaining this as simple coincidence really doesn’t cut the grade….

…it also suggests that the higher being has a malevolent sense of humour….

I would pray for help, but I really don’t want to draw any more attention to myself whilst that higher being is in this frame of mind…

Luckily though, my diagnosis is a faulty thermocouple – and that is a cheap and easy fix. Gas boilers are very simple things – but so is a gun or a knife – so no matter how simple it is, you need to remember that one wrong move could kill you – and the family. As such, I will buy a thermocouple in and get my registered friend to check it over.

Now I have typed that out loud I can almost guarantee that I will need a complete new boiler and central heating system……

Kane unable, stubble and watery visions

Not a great deal to blog about at the moment…well, lots of “bitsy” stuff.

Firstly, I shall take this blogatunity to wish Jon Kane a very happy birthday. A great chap who among other things has opened up a few more computing and net options to me – all giddyingly exciting stuff! (honest!). His blog can be found in my links to the left (his blog is called “Writersbloc”).

Why is there not much going on? Well it’s my back. Getting better in leaps and bounds (not actual leaps and bounds, as that would really hurt still!). The main problem is sitting and twisting. I have reduced upper mobility and am not able to drive – even if I could sit long enough! As it is, I can passenger in a car (with only slight pain) for about the same distance I can easily walk… so I walk (much better for me and Mother Earth!).

The Leki “Speed Pacer Vario” Nordic poles are getting a fair bit of mileage, and it’s getting me in shape. If ever I get a serious injury or illness, I do my best during and post recovery to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In the case of my back, as it gets better I shall do all I can to make it better than before because I don’t want to be in this situation again.

The side effects of the bad back have been benefical – although the same results would have been obtained without a bad back! The physio and Nordic Walking are giving me cardio and fat burning exercise which has resulted in me reducing my waist line by an easy 5 inches! Yup, that much!

Over 10kg lighter and getting trimmer to go along with that weight loss – at least that’s a good thing! It’s also less weight for my back to carry – hurrah! That’s what I mean about being better than before: I am strengthening my back, but also reducing load on it. I’m not going to have this injury happen again.

I’m glad the lake is so near though, as a good view really helps with making a long walk that bit more enjoyable.

It may have been a blog entry of bits and pieces, but it does come around on itself…. You see Jon introduced me to WordPress as a blog host, and also pointed me at Twitter. He also gave Will King some internettery ideas (www.shaveforum.com), of which I play a part (I admin and/or moderate a few web spaces in my spare time). I met Will through sharing feedback about his Azor – which in turn lead to me being introduced to Jon. The King of Shaves site and my new blog home, along with my need for a new phone, lead me to the iPhone (good for web admin and blogging on the go). The iPhone in turn has kept me relativly sane during my recovery as I can use it without having to sit at a computer (I am horizontal as I write this!).. General surfing lead me to Green Tea which has been very benefical, and it also lead me to Nordic Walking and more sanity saving freedom with the ability to go for a walk…and in turn getting my blog followers 10% discount at “The Tortoise and the Hare” sports store (see top left for details).

So it’s all interlinked in a gumbo of bits and bobs. All things that if they hadn’t of happened would have me not blogging, not walking, and going insane with lack of mobility and some form of mental and physical respite from my bad back!

It’s a strange wave we surf when the butterfly flaps its wings…

“Happy Birthday” Jon!

KoS Products…

KoS Prod, originally uploaded by L.B.

Seldom do I sing the praises of products….but after the Azor came out I was impressed and had to spread the word….

Since the beginning of June I have become a shaving convert. I know when Alex reaches his shaving age he won’t have the concerns I did about taking a sharp blade to my face (yes..it did scare me as a kid!).

The beginning of June… Shaving was just something I had to do, and I didn’t care much for it.

My shower had a mortgage inducing Gillette razor and whatever gel I first grabbed from the supermarket shelf – After all, they are all the same, aren’t they?

I then tried a KoS Alpha Gel… but I ran out of blades so bought a cheap Bic….and got a better shave than with the Gillette….So I realised that the type of Gel is a major player in a good shave then… KoS Alpha gel is just that – a gel. It doesn’t turn into a massive foamy covering, it stays clear so you can see what you are doing, and the razor glides over it.

I then decided to try the oil….with great results…and then I got with the whole program – “Prime – Shave – Protect”… and have found that a good shave is refreshing, relaxing and worth having.

Finally the KoS Azor came along…and after a couple of shaves getting used to the new style blade and handle ergonomics, I became a convert!

It turns out there is more to shaving than an overpriced Gillette and a fistful of foam.

Go on….ask……”How much do I get for this advertising?”

The incredibly cheesy answer is “I just get a great shave from a product that I think more people should try”.

WWW.KMISHOP.COM for KoS products.

%d bloggers like this: