Post by drumzalot on Jul 22, 2014 17:04:43 GMT -6
The Shake Sharp razor was designed as a double edge razor and it physically shows. The design will lead you to believe that it is a DE razor, it even specifically accommodates a double edge blade. When it comes down to the way that it shaves everything is turned literally upside down.
The Three Shake Sharp Models
The first Shake Sharp model came packaged in a card board box (pictured at left). This early model was made with a bakelite handle and had a removable gold plated head. This early model is also pictured in the patent of April 2, 1946. A hard shell case was later produced along with two new models. The new models were solid metal that were nickel and gold plated, the head was no longer removable but fixed to the body. An early patent from December 28, 1943 shows that the Shake Sharp was originally intended to use both double and single edge razor blades.
Pictured below is my Shake Sharp which came in a plastic case. This is the first case that I have seen that is made of plastic, because of the plastic case I assume that this is a later set. There are no razor blades included in the set only the user's manual.
The Double Edge Blade Transformed Into A Single Edge Blade
The Sharp only allows you to use one edge of the blade during the shave. The opposite edge of the blade is shielded by the razor's head and is completely covered. If you wish to use the other edge of the blade you must open the razor's top plate then flip the blade to the other edge. Since you can only use one edge of the blade per shave this makes the Shake Sharp (in my opinion) a single edge razor.
The Shake & Sharpen Feature
If the double edge blade in a single edge razor isn't unique enough the Sharp has a built in metal hone. With a flick of the wrist the hone is released from the razor's handle (which is attached to a lever) and it scraps along the bottom of the DE blade.
The Shake Sharp's Shave Performance
The Sharke Sharp's characteristics might seem odd, a double edge safety razor transformed into a single edge shaver with a built in hone. The Shake Sharp attempts to do several things at once but the shave performance is what counts. The Shake Sharp succeeds in giving a fantastic shave.
The Shake Sharp weighs 59 grams and is 84.2 mm in length. My Sharp (pictured below) is in a gold finish. Apparently, the gold finish models are (as the manual states) plated in genuine 22 carat gold. I have to admit that I wonder if it is truly gold. The blade exposure is quite obvious giving the Sharp a fierce appearance. Due to the limitations of my camera I am unable to take a photo of the blade gap.
The blade gap appears to be slightly wider then my Gem open comb Micromatic. Add the blade exposure into the mix and the Sharp looks like a razor that should be avoided. The Sharp literally turns out to be a fantastic shaver. I have read that some compare it to an injector. I found the Sharp's performance to be a mixture of an injector and the Stahly Live Blade razor.
I had owned a Stahly Live Blade razor (which is no longer functional). I found the Stahly to be a superior shaver mild and comfortable. If you employ a DE angle with the Shake Sharp you are bound to have a terrible shave! The key to a soothing shave with the Sharp requires that you use the same angle as you would on a single edge razor.
All three passes were smooth and mild. The Sharp might look like a beast but it performs like a puppy. The only hint of aggression was ATG on the neck. Here I had to lay the top of the head flat on my skin literally, if I did not do this I could feel the blade cut into the skin.
The Bad & The Good
The Sharp's negative points are minor neither of which effect the shave. The head tends to collect water. When I rinse the Sharp under running water (to clear lather build up) a good amount of water dribbles from the head. You can only benefit from the built in hone feature if you use carbon steel blades. The knurling pattern on the Sharp does not give the best grip. At least for me, the handle covered with soap could slip easily if I wasn't being careful.
Does the built in hone feature work? It's hard to say I used a stainless steel blade. The fact that the hone only sharpens the bottom side of the blade's edge makes the feature limited. After a horde of uses the hone will probably not be serviceable anymore?
The Shark's positives are many. If you ever wanted to use your DE blades in a single edge razor this is the razor for you. Since there are many DE blades available you have a wide spectrum of blades to try. I used my favorite Personna Lab blades which made this SE experience fantastic. You can stretch a DE blade for quite a long time especially carbon blades.
Since you are allowed to use only one edge of the blade you can double the amount of time you stretch a DE blade. With carbon steel blades you can sharpen them for longer life (though I am unsure if this feature really does the job).
On a personal note, though my Shake Sharp looks impeccable in darker light someone decided to buff the razor's head. With direct light and up close you can see light buff swirls on the whole head, I can't reason why someone do something like this! I understand that with some paste and fine buffing these swirl marks can be removed but I don't have experience in doing this.
The Bottom Line
If you want a single edge shave with your favorite DE blade, a smooth mild shave, a hefty weighted razor, the ability to hone a carbon DE blade and stretch the life span of your blades the Shake Sharp wins on all of these counts. The Shake Sharp deserves a lot of praise more so then many others seem to get. The Shake Sharp joins the ranks of my best razors that's how good it is.
An excerpt from the user's manual.