Post by SharpSpine on Sept 6, 2014 23:15:28 GMT -6
Mongoose -- Dub Legend
Well it is out in the wild and is already on fire. This is the first modern SE to hit the market since the Cobra & the only one to be stainless steel. This is a beast of a razor and the "Dub Legend" handle makes it even 'beast-ier'. At 5/8" diameter of solid stainless steel this handle alone comes in at 135g. With the head on and a blade installed the total mass is 186g.
There is currently the option for a slimmer handle, the "Dub Slim" which is 1/2" diameter and comes in at 90g; for a total razor mass of 141g.
Here is my inaugural Mongoose shave...
Razor: Mongoose + Dub Legend Blade: Kai Captain Titan Mild (1) Brush: Plisson Pearly Gray Synthetic Soap: Martin de Candre Fougère (67) AS: Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue
I was a bit rushed with this shave but I wasn't going to pass up the chance to use my new precious. I wasn't thrilled with the Kai Mild blades as they felt slightly tuggy on my ATG pass.
What was impressive though was how quiet the blade was even when tugging. In the Cobra a tugging sensation would lead to blade vibration, or chatter, and then my face would be a minefield of weepers. That was not the case tonight. I did have a couple weepers which were caused by my rushing; one on my Adam's Apple and another just under my chin.
I'm sure the sheer mass and gravitational pull of this razor helps to make it such a smooth shaver. However, the designed angle built into this razor is brilliant. It was simply intuitive to find the proper angle with the Mongoose. The only awkwardness I had was holding such a large handle as this completely blows away the Clog Pruf Micromatic that I normally use.
I have zero irritation and my two wee little weepers cleared up with a single cold water splash before I applied the vintage Velva juice.
Batch #1 is sold out as far as I know. There is no reason to panic, however, as Batch #2 is only weeks away and should be large enough to ensure that all who want one will get one. To be sure that you are on the list just send an email to [email protected] saying that you want on the list for Batch #2. The Mongoose razor costs $149 shipped to the CONUS and it is worth quite a bit more. Be sure to get in on the next round before they realize that the price should be higher.
My many thanks to Bruce Weber for his passion and drive to bring this razor to fruition. Also to Matt Glass, Paul Bombino, & David Marshburn I thank you for your hours upon hours of sacrificing your face to help bring this razor through 9 prototypes and finally to v10 for this first production run. I highly anticipate future offerings from Mongoose Razors, Inc.
What a shame that's it's so quiet, but I actually expected that and it's one reason that I don't have a Cobra. For me it could be a deal breaker. But I have no doubt I can sell it on the b/s/t if I don't like it. No I don't have on one order yet, just an inquiry out for a Mongoose head.
Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum (www.krampertsFinest.com)
Also available online at Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, Maggards Razors, and The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, in Pasadena, California
Post by SharpSpine on Sept 10, 2014 14:36:41 GMT -6
First, please allow me to thank you all for the kind comments. I do hope that my experiences will be helpful for people that are interested in this razor. I am very thankful to be a part of this initial release and I'm happy to let others see just what this razor is all about, at least in my own opinion and experience.
Today was my second use of the Mongoose. I was not rushed this time so I really paid attention to the details. I even experimented a bit with the angle to see what would happen. The main question I've been seeing from people is in regards to this handle being slippery. Despite the lack of knurling I can tell you that there has not been a single time during 2 shaves now that I've felt the razor slip in my grip.
I learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that this razor is not to be used like my vintage SEs such as the GEM Micromatics or EverReady 1914. With these razors I leave the head almost flat on my skin for each stroke. That doesn't work well with the Mongoose as there is just too much steel on latherless skin. It wanted to skip on me even though I had pretty good residual slickness from my Soap Commander lather. I only tried this on my initial pass which is mainly WTG with some XTG as well. It did give me some weepers.
On the second pass I went back the the angle that feels more natural with this razor which allows the solid guard bar to lead the razor but keeps the rest of the head off of the shaving surface. This smoothed out my stroke immediately. However, now that I was going ATG I noticed that the blade was having some trouble. I am not sure that these Kai Mild blades are sharp enough for my coarse stubble. They perform well enough during the WTG pass, start to show distress with XTG, and then during ATG they start to tug.
I felt more comfortable using the large Dub Legend handle this morning. As mentioned earlier I have had exactly zero issue with any slipperiness from it. The hardest thing with anything on this razor is keeping my fingerprints off of it for the picture. The fit and finish is second to none. I hope that is coming through as I try to show off the reflections that are capable from this high quality polish.
While I haven't changed blades yet I want to address the way in which the razor head holds the blades. There are no blade stops as they simply aren't needed. The top cap and base plate fit together precisely and securely clamp down on the blade. This feature is why I believe the Mongoose can be a smoother shaver than the Cobra. There are tabs on the top cap for the blade to sit on. Then there are matching indentions on the base plate for the tabs to settle in. There is even an audible click when they engage. With the handle screwed on that blade is not going anywhere even if it wants to. Another nice feature are the two cutouts on the top cap near the outside and under where the blade rests. These are fingernail slits so that you can slide your nail in there to get under the blade. This makes it very easy to remove the blade either between shaves for cleaning and drying or when you change blades depending on your normal razor maintenance routine. While this has nothing to do with how the razor performs I find it to be another indication of just how much thought and care went into the design of this razor.
I believe that is all that I have to report for today. I did palm strop the Kai Mild blade after my shave today so I'm curious to see if that makes any difference in my next shave with it. If not, then I think I'm going to have to call no-joy on these blades and move on to the Feather Professional blades. The Pros are the blades that I have the most experience with in the Cobra Classic. Interestingly enough, I did have a couple of Kai Mild blades that I used in the Cobra Classic and I found them utterly unusable at that time due to extreme tugging and blade chatter. While I won't know for sure, I do hypothesize that the better blade locking mechanism of the Mongoose has turned a blade that was unusable for me in the Cobra Classic to a serviceable blade in the Mongoose. Just food for thought.
Post by SharpSpine on Sept 10, 2014 14:38:42 GMT -6
Day #3 of the Mongoose Journey
This was my first use with only a day of growth. My first shave was on almost 3 full days of growth. Yes, I was excited and didn't want to shave until it arrived. I doubt I was the only one who did this. :blush: The second shave was on approximately 38 hours of growth and shave #3 was on 24 hours growth.
The shave looked like this...
09/09/2014 - Mongoose Day #3
Razor: Mongoose SB + Dub Legend Blade: Kai Captain Titan Mild (3) Brush: The Grooming Company Brazuca Soap: Catie's Bubbles Jardin D'Or (14) AS: Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue
The shock of the day came when I noticed that the Kai Mild blade was actually holding its own during the XTG and ATG strokes. This was the last thing that I was expecting from this shave. I fully intended to bin this blade and move on to the Feather Professional blade for tomorrow. Well, I am still moving on (more on that later) but I didn't bin the blade. Rather, I found one of my son's magnetic rocks that we picked up while in Gatlinburg, TN last fall and set the blade on it. This will allow me to keep it out of the way and also off of the cutting surface until I'm ready to come back to it. Perhaps the palm stropping I performed on the blade after the last shave helped to smooth it out. I know many don't buy into palm stropping stainless steel razors. However, in my experience I must say that I see a difference with the practice. GEM SS PTFE blades can be rough for the first 1-3 shaves. I now palm strop every new GEM blade before their first use and I no longer have to suffer through a few rough shaves before experiencing the really smooth shaves that they can deliver. I wonder if that is what I'm seeing with the Kai blade. When I come back to it down the road I will revisit how it performs.
Today's shave was completely blood free and smooth; absolutely zero weepers for the first time. I don't think I ever experienced that with the Cobra. I always had a couple weepers or so. The extremely close shave is the whole reason I put up with it for as long as I did. With getting this type of a result with a blade that was unusable for me in the Cobra and until today wasn't performing that well even in the Mongoose has me stoked to see how the Feather Professional and Feather Super blades will work.
In order to get some experience with all 3 blades as quickly as possible while also giving each one enough time to really show what they are capable of I am going to shave with each for 3 times and then move on. I will then come back to them so I can keep comparing them against each other while also recording the longevity of each blade.
Very similar to the Cobra, the shaves from the Mongoose are close and long lasting. I believe this to be due to the fact that they use the same blades and there is definitely something special about these blades; even the Kai Mild blade which hasn't been the best for me so far. You will be getting high quality shaves from any well designed razor that utilizes these blades from Feather and Kai. I've never tried any of the "guard" blades and will possibly try them out once I get through the 3 types of blades that I already have. I will say that the guard blades give a wicked impression in photos. They make the blade look serrated. Anyone want to shave with a serrated blade?
Post by SharpSpine on Sept 10, 2014 17:21:57 GMT -6
Day #4 of my Mongoose Journey
New blade time. The Kai has been stored instead of binned because it actually shaved better on its third use than it did on either of the first two shaves.
Enter the Feather Professional blade. Now this is where I will really start to make some comparisons to how the Cobra Classic shaved for me. I have over 100 shaves with the Feather Pro + Cobra combination under my belt. So while I won't have that many shaves with the Mongoose for quite some time, I am confident that I will be able to pull from my Cobra experience to determine the similarities and differences between the two.
Today's Mongoose Shave:
10/09/2014 - Mongoose just went Pro; Feather Pro!
• Mongoose + Dub Legend (4) • • Feather Professional (1) • • Plisson Synthetic • • Martin de Candre (16) • • Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •
The difference is immediately noticeable from the first stroke with the Pro loaded vs the Kai Mild. The Feather Pro blade is so much sharper and smoother than the Kai Mild blade for me that it didn't even feel like a blade was in the razor during the WTG/XTG pass. It wasn't until I started my XTG/ATG strokes that I could even get the smallest amount of feedback from the blade slicing my whiskers.
Now to start making a more direct comparison to the Cobra. This was the absolute first time that I have completed a shave using a Feather Professional blade with zero weepers. I used to be able to get close to a blood-free shave with the Cobra when I shaved off multiple days of growth. Even then I would get 2-3. On daily shaves, however, I could have half a dozen or more weepers. The Feather Pro blades are just so stinking sharp. I was flabbergasted at how well they could work yet frustrated at the constant weepers even on what I thought was a careful shave. It then occurred to me after changing blades one day that the blade bed could still move a tad even when locked in place. The lightbulb went off in my head and I knew then why the weepers were there. Even though the Feather Pro blades are thicker and stiffer than DE blades, they aren't quite as thick and stiff as the traditional GEM style SE blades. Therefore, they can flex easier especially if they are not locked down tightly. The blade bed sliding around like that just didn't provide me the rigid blade experience that I (and my skin) prefer.
The Mongoose's 3-piece design along with the interlocking tab/indents between the razor head and base plate ensure that the blade is clamped down securely. There is absolutely no movement coming from the blade when inside the Mongoose. This allows the blade to maintain its maximum rigidity as well as my face's maximum happiness.
Take a look at the Mongoose disassembled with a blade loaded. Pay attention to how the tab do two things; 1. They are the "posts" for the cutouts on the blade and 2. They insert into the matching indentions on the baseplate. The blade is sandwiched between the two pieces of stainless steel. Then as you screw the handle on it acts like a vice grip slowly tightening down on the blade within. That blade ain't going nowheres!
Looking forward to a couple more great shaves with the Mongoose + Feather Pro combo before moving on to the Feather Supers. Now that is where things will really get interesting for me as I've been wanting to use that blade almost 2 years now.
Post by HoosierTrooper on Sept 11, 2014 4:38:37 GMT -6
Thanks for the extremely well written review of this new razor.While I have zero interest in this razor, I'm sure your thorough testing and evaluation of it will be a very valuable resource for others considering it.
Rollin like a big wheel, and cuttin like a big knife.
Thanks for the extremely well written review of this new razor.While I have zero interest in this razor, I'm sure your thorough testing and evaluation of it will be a very valuable resource for others considering it.
Post by SharpSpine on Sept 12, 2014 9:08:39 GMT -6
Day #5 of my Mongoose Journal
This was shave #2 on the Feather Pro and it was even better than the first. I didn't say anything in yesterday's journal as I wanted to wait to see what I noticed today. Yesterday I was very cautious and didn't go for a super close shave. From experience these Feather Pro blades are "super-stinkin'-sharp" so I utilized caution. This resulted in a mostly DFS shave with some even CCS areas along the jaw. Even though it wasn't as close I feel that this was my trepidation more than anything. Today's shave is proof that it was me, and not the razor or the blade. I went for a close shave and was rewarded with it, quite easily I might add.
Here's my Mongoose shave today:
• Mongoose + Dub Legend • • Feather Professional (2) • • The Grooming Co Synthetic • • Soap Commander Passion (9) • • Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •
It is clear to me that these blades are not as rigid as I'm accustomed to with the spined blades from GEM that I use in my Micromatics and EverReady 1914. This means that I still cannot shave with the same technique that I use on my vintage SEs as I do on the Mongoose. I honestly don't expect to carry over the same technique from a vintage SE to today's modern marvel, but I'm still going to try. Once I prove to myself one way or the other I will then focus my technique to the highest potential.
I think we all know that we get better with each shave. This is one reason I like using the same hardware for long periods of time. I can't expect to be as comfortable with the shave mechanics of the Mongoose after 5 uses as I can be with a GEM Micromatic that I have hundreds of shaves with. Once I get things figured out I will then be able to move forward and experiment further. Am I over analyzing all of this? Yes, most likely. I'm an analytical person by nature so I enjoy it. I am susceptible to paralysis by analysis at times. So while others may be proclaiming BBS shaves with zero effort right away I will simply say that I'm not there yet. However, the potential that I see from this Mongoose shaving system is unmatched.
One last note before finishing up today's entry. The Dub Legend handle and all of its gravity disrupting awesomeness is becoming quite comfortable to me now. Initially it was very bulky, but as I have shown in some pictures it is very different from the Clog Pruf that I have been using most recently. During today's shave I actually had a thought cross my mind regarding the Micromatic handle and how much harder it makes my hand work to hold it. The extra width of the Dub Legend is supremely ergonomic and comfortable. It doesn't cause nearly as much opposition of the hand which keeps the carpal tunnel open and all those nerves and muscles much happier. I'll be curious to see how my hand feels when I go back and shave with the Clog Pruf down the road. For now it's just a hypothesis, but I think the Dub Legend will be better over time for those that suffer from receptive stress injuries of the hand and wrist.
Post by SharpSpine on Sept 12, 2014 16:24:50 GMT -6
Day #6 of my Mongoose Journal
Third and final shave (for now) on the Feather Professional as I will move on to the blade I've been waiting almost 2 years to try; the Feather Super Professional. I am saving both the Kai Mild and Feather Pro to use further and hopefully get an idea on blade longevity. All this is upcoming, I need to focus on the now.
Today's Mongoose Shave:
• Mongoose + Dub Legend • • Feather Professional (3) • • Cade Plisson Synthetic • • Catie's Bubbles Santal Sensuelle (16) • • Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •
I kept with my pattern from the Kai Mild blade and performed a hand stopping of the Feather Pro blade after the second shave. Once again I must say that I find this practice to improve the feel of the blade. I was able to perform things today that I wasn't able to do on my first two Mongoose/Pro shaves. Today's shave was the closest technique-wise to what I normally do with my vintage SEs. The blade felt smoother and just as sharp as the first couple shaves. I was rewarded with an extremely close shave, zero weepers once again (WaHoo!!!), and this was probably the quickest shave I've had in a long time.
I have had a few people messaging me asking how I hand/palm strop my SE blades. The Feather AC & Kai Captain blades are little different given their width, but please have a look at the video below to see how I do it. This is the video that I watched years ago to learn how to do this. It's a well done video by Dave Irving and I believe that it will answer most people's questions on this topic.
Not much more to report at this time, but pay attention over the weekend as I start to use the Feather Super Professional blades. These blades are slightly wider which will expose more blade out of the razor head. The most exciting aspect to me though is that these blades are also thicker than all of the other blades of this type; twice as thick actually. This should really increase the amount of rigidity to the blade. I'm hoping that it will give me a closer experience to the GEM blades that I use in my vintage SEs. Blade rigidity is the main factor that took my shaves from ho-hum to amazing and why I only use SEs now. The potential these blades hold for me has me excitedly scared. I'm not sure if the result will live up to what I've been building up in my head or not as I've set the bar pretty high without even using them yet.
Tomorrow morning can't come soon enough. Until next shave...
Post by SharpSpine on Sept 13, 2014 13:36:08 GMT -6
Day #7 of my Mongoose Journal
Heavens to Murgatroyd! Holy Moly! Shut the front door!
This is the shave that I made myself wait an entire week for. Bruce was teasing me earlier today saying I should have followed his advice and simply started with the Supers to begin with. Ready, Fire, Aim, right Bruce? :tongue: Well, the moment that I decided to start with the Kai Mild blade I also decided to work my way up to these Feather Super Professional blades.
So, what's the big deal with the Feather Super blades you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked. In comparison to the Feather Pro blades, the Supers are more than twice as thick (.31mm vs .15mm) & they are wider giving a larger blade exposure (1.42mm vs 1.2mm). As most people know, I love the traditional SE blades from GEM which are much thicker than the DE blades that most people use. What I didn't realize is that the GEM blade isn't even as thick as this Feather Super blade is (.23mm vs .31mm). I did think that the GEM blades were thicker but that misconception must come from the spine that is on the blade which I am sure does help to give even more rigidity. For further reference, the injector blades that I purchased from Ted Pella are listed as having a thickness of .25mm.
The bottom line here is that as far as I can tell, the Feather Super blades are the thickest shaving blade of any type on the market. Add in the extra blade exposure to all of this rigidity and you may start to understand just why I'm so stoked about this blade and all that I experienced with it this morning.
Today's Mongoose Shave:
13/09/2014 -- Super Day!
• Mongoose + Dub Legend • • Feather Super Professional (1) • • Plisson Pearly Gray Synthetic • • Barrister & Mann Fougère Imperiale (10) • • Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •
A quick summary of the shave is as follows: Super smooth, Super close, & Super bloody along my jawline; zero irritation.
Now to hopefully explain why I'm so thrilled with a shave that involved so much blood. I have a very angular jawline and this has always been the hardest place for me to get smooth without irritation or blood. When I first started with SEs years ago I got a lot of blood in this area too. As my technique improved the blood went away and I expect the same to occur with the Feather Supers in the Mongoose. There was no blood anywhere else which tells me that there was no blade vibration or chatter. I simply need to learn how to maneuver and attack my jawline Mongoose-style. The Cobra would give me weepers in places that I simply shouldn't like on my cheeks. That kind of location for a weeper is due to blade chatter or vibration. The blood along my jawline is simply a head-on collision of two different geometries.
Another sign that this is a technique issue is because my other trouble spot, my lower neck on either side of the Adam's Apple, got wiped smoother than I've ever had with no weepers or irritation. This is generally my most sensitive area on my beard map while also having some of the trickiest directional growth. DEs tore me up here, slants did better, the Cobra did great with blood, while my vintage SEs did great bloodfree but with more work. Now with the Mongoose I can get a great shave easily in a very tough spot for me.
My only area of focus now will be how I go about clearing the whiskers immediately beneath the jawline. I will most likely need to employ different stretching techniques along with different angles and directions of my strokes. Everything I've heard about a Mongoose is that they are extremely agile. Harnessing of this agility will be the critical step for me to get the maximum potential out of the Mongoose Razor.
A word of warning for those coming to the Mongoose without any vintage SE use (GEM, EverReady, Star, Schick injectors, etc) from me. Do NOT start with the Feather Super Professional blades. For those that are coming from vintage SEs but have never used either the Feather AC blades or the Kai Captain blades I would suggest starting with either a Kai Mild or Feather Pro so that you can get used to the extreme & wicked sharpness that these blades carry. Once you are accustomed to the keenness, then I highly suggest giving the Supers a try. They offer quite the ride.
I will most likely stick with the Super blade until it is done before going back to the Pro and Kai. I have a challenge in the Super blade and I am excited to take it on. Nothing in life worth having comes easy so I can't wait to put the work into this. Once I get this figured out I don't think I'll need to shave ever again. My whiskers will simply fall off in fear to the awesomeness that is Chuck Norris, err, I mean the Mongoose.
Did I just liken the Mongoose to Chuck Norris? Yes, yes I did!
9nein9: To like or not to like the like button? That is the question. Our society thrives off the like button it seems . I'm not sure if I like it or I don't like it.Just kind of got used to it .
Dec 15, 2019 20:32:06 GMT -6
carlfrommo: Hey guys. Last minute question here. What shot size should I use for flying reindeer?
Dec 24, 2019 22:11:29 GMT -6
ordinaryshaver: You want to use 3 1/2 in magnum lead shot, in size T. Problem solved.
Dec 25, 2019 19:03:30 GMT -6
ordinaryshaver: No steel, too light and use an extra full choke, unless you have a good blind setup
Dec 25, 2019 19:03:54 GMT -6
carlfrommo: Well, last night was a failure. I had one shot, and I didn't lead the red-nosed one enough. I think I ended up shooting the driver. Might have gotten him in the leg. Hard to tell because he was wearing red pants and coat.
Dec 25, 2019 21:31:47 GMT -6
carlfrommo: He turned his sled away and landed on the roof two blocks down. Out of range for a second shot. I did notice he walked with a bit of a limp though. He shouldn't be coming in my yard anyway.
Dec 25, 2019 21:34:48 GMT -6
mrconklin: Last time I hunted waterfowl. 2 3/4 shells were standard and the cool kids were starting to play with the 3 inch, but most guns weren't made for them. Steel was also just starting to be mandated on Federal and State land.
Jan 19, 2020 11:35:39 GMT -6
9nein9: Is it just me or is the site acting wonky?
Jan 23, 2020 0:12:49 GMT -6
9nein9: All good now . Was slow scrolling and freezing up earlier
Jan 23, 2020 1:59:36 GMT -6
ordinaryshaver: No issue on our end, must have been a pro boards issue.
Jan 24, 2020 18:51:19 GMT -6
wchnu: I only see this when I am not in the mobile version.
Jan 29, 2020 18:24:58 GMT -6
ordinaryshaver: Y'all, if y'all only knew what's been going on around my place. Not gone, just have had issues lately.
Feb 5, 2020 15:24:37 GMT -6
ordinaryshaver: If I hadn't gone through it, I couldn't laugh like I do now. All good, and will be back around soon.
Feb 5, 2020 15:25:06 GMT -6
ordinaryshaver: Just got done with 2nd interview with the prospective employer. It went well, so here's to hoping they finish the background check soon. I'll let y'all know when I hear more.
Feb 27, 2020 15:26:47 GMT -6
ordinaryshaver: Starting the new job tomorrow. Going to do the initial paperwork and all that jazz.
Mar 12, 2020 15:40:29 GMT -6
andy914: Congrats on the new job!
Mar 14, 2020 22:44:39 GMT -6