A Review of The Muhle Rocca Double Edge Safety Razor
I enjoy working at Executive Shaving, it’s a demanding job but it does have its perks. The best perk is getting to try out new products sometimes before they are available for sale. I was given a Black Handle Muhle Rocca code R96 by Muhle in November 2016 and I have used it 100s of times since then. The Rocca was withdrawn from sale around January 2017 and supplies were very limited throughout 2017 but now it seems that Muhle has ironed out whatever initial issues they had with the Rocca and currently we have no problems getting stock from them.
This is the first all stainless steel razors Muhle have produced, they are known for their huge selling R89 and R41 razors. The R89 is often criticised for being too mild while the R41 is known for being an exceptionally close shaving razor. The Rocca comes in halfway between the R89 and the R14 in how it shaves.
The first things you notice when you take the R96 Black Rocca (pictured) out of the packaging are the generous dimensions and weight. The razor is heavier than most safety razors but not too heavy at 60g. The handle is made from hollow stainless steel which keeps the weight down. It feels good in the hand, the handle is 95mm long with a 14mm diameter; it benefits from a matte black coloured, honeycomb structure on the handle and a plain, matte finish on the head. The head has rounded, chamfered corners and edges and a low profile head. Bulbous heads make shaving under the nose a chore; the low profile Rocca head, by contrast, makes shaving under the nose and shaving sideburns easy.
Loading and unloading a blade is so simple thanks to two raised slots inside the top plate of the head that stand 3.5mm proud, they hold the blade secure and guarantee absolute perfect blade alignment.
The head is made by a process that is similar to injection moulding; the heads are not investment cast.
The process used gives the head precisely uniform dimensions accurate to .25mm and a faultless matte finish.
The black handle version has an electroplated finish, the finish is not painted on, it is metallic. In electroplating the deposited metal becomes part of the existing product, the black finish will not peel off. It’s robust, durable and beautiful.
So how does it shave?
What struck me about the Rocca from day one was how easy and intuitive it is to use. I didn’t have to think about what I was doing, the weight, balance and blade exposure combine perfectly. This is a razor that simply feels right in the hand and on the face and neck.
After two passes I was left with a nice close shave, after three passes I was baby butt smooth. Post shave I suffered no irritation, no redness and no razor bumps.
This is a razor that the vast majority of men can use daily. In terms of closeness, it is halfway between the R89 and the R41 and a few notches above the Merkur closed comb range which includes the 34c, 33c and others. When using my Rocca I generally now do two passes only, one across the grain and one against the grain. I suspect most men will find the Rocca only needs two passes for a smooth finish.
The Wood Version – the R95 Rocca
The Wood version has a laminated real birch wood handle which has been treated so it will remain free from stains and remain waterproof for the entirety of its life. See the R95 here. It shares the same head and shave experience as the black version. It's a stunning looking razor. Hats off to Muhle for being brave enough to produce something so different to the usual matte and shiny chrome plated fand the bland bare stainless steel finishes that are common today.
The Rocca range is enhanced with the addition of matching shaving brushes available in Silvertip Badger Hair and Muhle patented synthetic Silvertip Fibres©. Having used both over the years my preference is for their synthetic brushes, they are wonderfully soft on the face and far more durable than badger hair.
Rocca Jet Series
Muhle will launch an all-black Jet version of the Rocca during 2018. The Jet is coated in Diamond-Like-Carbon priced at £92.00. Join the waiting list here.
The black handle version comes in at £75.00 while the Birch Bark version is more expensive at £94.50 (prices correct at 9th February 2018) excellent value for money!
Written by Brian Mulreany
Sales Director at The Executive Shaving Company
If you have any questions, please get in touch:
T: 0141 880 3040 (0041 880 3040)