This is a guest blog by Richard Black a customer of The Executive Shaving Company.
Richard asked to be the first customer to try out The Outlaw Razor. Below are his thoughts following his five-day test period.
The Outlaw is now available in a choice of two handles, the 'Super Grip' and 'Sure Grip' handle. Click here to shop the Outlaw and accessories.
For this review, I am extremely excited as I have managed to get my hands on a prototype Version 4 (V4) of the all stainless-steel Outlaw Safety Razor. I have been watching this razor since its early announcement that it was being made and knew right away this was a razor I wanted to test and finally here is my chance. I’m going to cover the main aspects that I feel most wet shavers will base their decision on if you’re considering buying this razor.
I am going to go into quite a few details, this razor is well designed and I want to point out these details as I know many wet shavers will want to look at them, but if you just want to know overall how good this Razor shaves then jump ahead to the last paragraph where you can read my summary.
The areas I’ll cover are the more common ones like the weight, blade gap, build quality and of course price. This will make it easier to compare to other razor reviews out there as I have stuck to a similar review structure. This razor has been taken on a 5-day test; on each day I have used different blades to see how the razor blades affect the performance of this razor as a daily shaver. The 5 blades I have chosen are:
Below you’ll find how each blade performed on my daily shave and how it left my skin feeling afterwards. I will use the same Pre-Shave, Shaving Cream and Post-shave Balm each day and the one I have chosen is Castle Forbes 1445 for the Cream and Balm and Pre-Shave being the Executive Shaving Company Natural Pre-Shave Oil. I used these alongside my trusted Alpha Titanium Shaving Brush that gets the cream lathered perfectly for this type of test drive. With this razor being aimed at the medium-aggressive range. I wanted my sensitive skin to have that extra cushion.
Next, I want to look at the build quality. I only have the prototype but this is a thing of beauty to look at. It’s made from 316L marine-grade stainless steel so will probably outlast me. When you pick it up you can tell it’s completely solid as it has a nice weight to it. It measures in at 100mm from top cap to base of the handle. On my scales, it comes in at 115g. Now that a nice weight for me. On the handle it’s knurling does add character to the overall design with 5 of these points along with the handle. In between these points is a fantastic diamond grip patterned design that I love. I tested out the grip by lathering my hand with some shaving soap and then doing a few passes and also just another few general movements you would when your shaving to see how the grip preformed and I must say I was impressed, no-slip or slide whatsoever as it stays safely secure in the hand.
The handle is nice and thick but not too chubby, probably closer to the thickness of the Rex Ambassador and it makes it feel safe and secure in the hand when shaving. There’s even the logo on the bottom of the handle which is a nice touch as it’s finished with a nice smooth but subtle edge at the base of the handle. The balance point I found was at the second knurling point from the top which gives it a good bit of space between the fingers and the top cap to be able to keep an eye on where you're going next with the razor. With some razors, the balance point is so high that my big fingers are touching the top cap so there’s no room to see your face below the head. There is also a lovely more squared-off feel to the top of the handle that screws into the head rather than the standard rounded versions where it narrows at the top. It’s a beauty to look at.
The top cap is really nice and comes with a highly polished finish. It’s a standard 2-piece head with the blade going in the middle. The base plate had 2 upright ridges running the width of the plate that has a fair height on them which is what delivers the mid-aggressive blade gap. When the head and the top cap are out together everything aligns perfectly leading to in my opinion a very well-designed, low profile head. The screw on the top cap is of good length allowing for a secure connection between handle and head. There are also 2 long slots on the base plate which prevent the razor head from getting clogged up while shaving. So, just like the handle a very well-designed head and when put together one beautiful looking razor that’s extremely functional and good looking, all the little things have been thought off to accommodate us fussy wet shavers.
Ok, so day one with the Feather blade was a huge success, on the face I only had to shave with 2 passes and then and extra we half pass on my neck as my hairs grow in about 5 different directions. This razor cut through my coarse 2-day growth with absolutely no issues and no cuts or weepers. The audible feedback you hear when the blade cuts through the bristles is outstanding and really does deliver a super close shave. There’s also no blade overhang at the end of the top cap and the low-profile head allows you to get right in there under the nose so easily. For me to get Baby Butt Smooth (BBS) even with a Feather blade it’s a 3 and a half pass shave so this razor saved me that extra pass and I was super impressed with how much beard growth the razor takes off on the first pass. The size of the safety bar is great for adjusting your angle, like the majority of safety razors I found the 30-degree angle the best but the audible blade feedback is so good you’ll know if you're doing it wrong. It also doesn’t clog which is important. So, an extremely successful day 1 with the Feather blade and probably my closest shave to date.
For my second shave I moved on to Personna blades and again they performed extremely well. The relative mildness of the blade was just enough to negate any fear of cuts or weepers but still delivering that extremely close shave. 2 passes with a tidy up around the chin and neck areas but saved that third pass.
For my 3rd shave, I tried one of my favourites, the Wilkinson Sword that for my skin delivered the most comfortable shave yet. Now, I was in a hurry this morning and time was limited and for mornings like that I normally go to my trusted OneBlade Core but I cracked on with the Outlaw and I was so pleased I did. It was a full 3 passes for BBS but I had zero post-shave irritation with this blade, not that there was much with the others. Again, an outstanding shave and a blade I would recommend if you are using this razor daily and have sensitive skin. I loved the glide and the closeness of this and again the audible feedback when shaving was top notch. So that’s 3 blades thus far and The Outlaw has performed admirably each time. This razor is living up to my expectations, it competes with the very best.
Now moving on to the Tiger blade, a favourite of mine, this provided for me a great balance between sharpness and comfort. I felt the cutting power of the feather was very comparable to this blade it terms of sharpness taking the majority away in the first pass leaving very little for the second. It was also very smooth as it cut through my hairs and again left little to no irritation. I performed the second pass and then just had a little tidy up at the end around the problem areas but a very comfortable and satisfying shave with this blade. A great pairing with the outlaw razor.
My 5th and final blade on this test drive were the Gillette Platinum and this was another good shave. It wasn’t up there for me with the likes of a Feather or Tiger but it done the job in 3 passes only leaving a little irritation but still achieving BBS none the less. I did enjoy using this blade but it just wants the same as shaving with a feather blade or my go-to Gillette Wilkinson Swords but it did perform and do its job.
So, 5 blades over 5 shaves and what a week of shaving, it was like going back and picking up a DE for the first time and gave a great comfortable shave each day regardless of the blade. If I had to rank the blades in order and I know you will probably want to know and this is only my choices based on my experience and how the shave left be feeling afterwards. Firstly, it has to be the Feather, the most aggressive of them all but a wonderfully close shave in 2 and a half passes that delivers a perfect shave. Next would be the Gillette Wilkinson Sword, they need a full 3 passes but they were the most comfortable of the lot giving zero post-shave irritation and that was followed closely by the Tiger because just like the Feather, 2 and a half passes and you're done but the Feather just gives it that perfect shave. Then in fourth place is Personna, similar again to the Feather but not as aggressive but a very satisfying shave. Finally, the Gillette Platinum comes fifth, not because it’s a bad blade, the others simply outperformed it.
For me, The Outlaw is a stunning razor from start to finish and each day I shaved with it, it performed fantastically well. The build of the razor is outstanding from the deep knurling in the handle and the diamond pattern grip, the weight is fantastic and the materials of the highest quality. There are also going to be I believe another 2 handles for it, one identical to the one shown in the various images and another based on the Executive Shaving Company Braveheart Razor Handle.
The razor delivers that mid-aggressive shave that it was designed for and with the number of blades out there you can have a lot of fun trying different blades. This razor would suit daily shavers and occasional shavers alike, maybe a Feather when preparing for work and not shaving during your holiday for the full week or something like the Tiger for the daily shave or even the Gillette Wilkinson Swords for those with sensitive skin. Either way, the blade pairing with this razor can make a big difference depending on the desired outcome. I found the first pass take all the work out of the shave leaving only a second pass and my a tidy up of the awkward areas require saving you that vital time when shaving and also cutting down on the post-shave irritation.
So, from build quality to shave this razor does deliver, so the fact it’s launching at just under £100 is an absolute steal for a razor of this quality. For me, this razor is comparable to a Rex Ambassador simply because it gives you that same satisfying feeling in your hand when you pick it up as the others do. These special razors and I found this one special too. I have enjoyed taking this razor out on a test drive for a week and I think this might be new daily shaver as I know I will be adding one to my collection very soon. Well as soon as they are in stock
Written by Richard Black
An Executive Shaving Company Customer