A few weeks back I was approached by John of Black Tie Razor Company about doing a review of thier new line of shave soap and shaving oil. To be honest I hadn’t heard of them, so I did a little digging around and asked John what the company was about. It turns out they are a brand new shaving company put together by a few wet shaving friends who wanted to try and make something better for the community. Turns out they are off to a pretty good start!
Today’s product review is the shaving soap and shave oil offered by Sudsy Soapery. Sudsy Soapery is run by Jonathan and Kaycie Cook, a husband and wife team based out of St. Louis, MO. They have developed a line of soaps and bath products that are all natural and only use essential oils for thier scents. I had the opportunity to try thier Twice Mint Shave Oil, Sandalwood and Myrrh shave soap, and thier Lavender and Peppermint shave soap.
Awhile back I had the opportunity to interview the owner of Blackland Razors, Shane Swartzlander, which had an active kickstarter (see Kickstarter here ) campaign going to produce the Blackbird Safety Razor. If you like, you can check out the past interview. In the interest of full disclosure, I backed his successful Kickstarter campaign and have been very pleased with the razor.
I wanted to touch base with Shane and and see how things had gone on his end, if he would of done something different, what users are saying, plans for the future…. generally pump him for all of the information I could 🙂
I would like to introduce you all to Tom White. Tom is the man behind a possible new injector razor he designed and machined in his spare time. Thinking to share his tinkering with some forum friends he seems to have inadvertently started a small movement to try and produce his new razor. I asked Tom if he would be willing to share a few words on his new injector model and he kindly agreed.
1) On the off chance that readers don’t know who you are, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you fit into the wet shaving community?
My name is Tom White. I am 53 years old. I am married and have 2 kids. A girl and boy. Actually they are adults now. I live in the same city I grew up in.
I have been a Machinist for 36 years now. Never really wanted to do anything else. I love making stuff.
As for hobbies I only have a couple. My favorite one for the past 10 years has been making telescopes and going out to schools and Libraries. We show people the stars. I have ground and polished 6 so far. They are all reflector type telescopes. Also, a few years ago I started flying dual line and glider kites.
My newest hobby is shaving and collecting razors.
2) Can you tell the readers anything about your struggles when starting wet shaving or anything you struggle with now?
I need to clarify my wet shaving here. 3 years ago my wife bought me a Futur razor and AoS soaps and balms for my birthday. I used this setup for my shave exclusively until September of this past year. That is when I found The Shave Den Forum. I lurked around there for a week or so. Then I had a few questions so I joined.
I have always had trouble getting a nice clean shave under my jaw. Sure enough I soon had tons of very useful advice. I was able to get far better results with my DE’s, but still not to what I wanted. In mid November I purchased my first injector, a Schick E2.
My first shave with that and I was sold on injectors. It was the first shave that I did not have to struggle getting my jaw. It is still the only place that gives me trouble but a bit less as the months go by.
3) What is your current go to shave set up?
My current setup consists of obviously; Razor – My Bunny V3 or (B-V3) as most people are not to keen on Bunny for a name for a manly piece of equipment.
Brush – I am partial to Boar. I have a WhippedDog 24mm set in a handle of my own making.
Soap – I rotate between MWF and Tabac. I love the slickness of these. The smell is great too.
After Shave – I prefer the cheap stuff. VIBR, Aqua Velva and Brut. I have good stuff for when I want to make the wife happy.
4) How has the wet shaving hobby changed since you started?
As I have only been at it for 6 months. Not much has changed in the hobby. For me personally. I started off getting old Gillettes. I prefer the open combs. They are smoother shavers for me.
Once I found the injectors and SE’s I was sold on them.
5) When did you start thinking about creating your own razor?
As stated earlier I tried my first injector in mid November. I promptly bought several other models. Repeaters B and C’s. I found them to be great shaves. Also had a M that when dialed up gave me a nice shave. By mid December I was thinking about trying to make one.
I started asking some questions on the Forum trying to get useful intel. I decided I would just incorporate the best features of my stand out razors. After all it was just for me. So I thought. By January 1 of this year I made the first post of my injector.
6) What features were you looking to incorporate?
When I first decided to make the Bunny I only had a couple of things I wanted. First was an open comb. The second was a design that was easy to machine. To have as few parts as possible. I ended up with 5 components total.
As I was designing the first version V1 I realized that my comb design was easily adaptable to be adjustable. Talking with Billyfergie, he told me that moving the comb forward and back was an efficient way to make it adjustable. So I made a slight change in the head design to allow the comb adjustment.
I tried to figure out a simple way to make a true adjustable. I soon realized that I would have to make many more components to achieve that. So I settled on the interchangeable combs.
I am sure there will be more refinements to come. I am waiting to get feedback from the pass-arounds. Then I can evaluate the true relevant changes that need to be made. As everybody has their own ideas for aesthetics, that is less important than making a really good shaver.
7) What do you feel makes the Bunny Razor stand out / makes it unique?
To me it is simply my creation. I wanted to see if I could make an injector that would actually shave and not maim me. I posted the progress thinking it would make for some interesting reading nothing more. To my amazement people were actually interested in trying it.
8) What is the story behind the name Bunny razor? Is it permanent?
This is a silly story. There was a Repeater type C on Ebay. It had Bunny Kelman engraved on it. I won it so the name stuck with the repeater club. That is it.
9) What are the technical specifications of the Bunny?
Material used is 6061 Aluminum for the body and comb. Full hard spring Bronze for the springs. Stainless steel thumb screw.
Razor overall length is 109 mm
Weight is 61 grams
Razor will take the standard single blade and also the twin injector blades.
10) Would you like to give anyone in particular a shoutout or a honorable mention?
First and foremost there are 3 that stand out. I will list alphabetically by TSD names.
- Billyfergie – for agreeing to be the first to test my razor. He is the SE and injector guru. His opinion and feedback was incredible.
- Darkbulb – For being the driving force in getting me to to make a few to pass around.
- Karl G – For being so incredibly supportive. He gave me great input for the B-V3. Also for his keen input for the possible direction to take.
The entire TSD Forum members. They all have had nothing but positive suggestions and input. The razor is really a family creation in my opinion. Thanks guys.
11) For someone new to this community, how do they get the most out of it?
That is an easy one. Do not be shy. Ask tons of questions. You will get very sound advise The people here will soon be your family.
12) Has anything surprised you about producing a product, or the response of the wet shaving community?
Yes, I am blown away by the positive responses from people. The willingness to try the razor and give feedback good or bad.
As for the razor. I am stunned as to how fast this all came together. I had my first razor done in 2 weeks. Right out of the box it did what I was hoping it would do. It was a smooth and efficient shave.
13) Where do you hope to see the Bunny Razor, and yourself, in 5 years from now?
This is a hard question. As it is in its infancy still. There is no telling what if anything will become of it. In the perfect situation I would love to be able to be making a few hundred a year. Injector users are a very small subgroup of shavers. There really is not a large market for them as I see it. It would be more of a cool hobby being able to make them. Not a new career.
As for me, maybe I will have thought of something else to try and make in the shaving world. I really don’t know. I kind of take things as they come and enjoy that.
14) What are some of the challenges you foresee in the near future as far as producing the Bunny Razor?
First there is the issue of seeing if I am legally allowed to be making these. As there are several designs of razors that I took inspiration from. The obvious can I afford to even produce them. That is a huge leap for me and my family. I need to think of them first.
15) Where can we go if we want to keep up to date on developments of the Bunny?
I am posting on 2 Fora (Forums) your choice.
The Shave Den under SE and injector. There are several threads now following the pass arounds. There are razors in the following. UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, and two in the US. One in the Western and one back East. You can also follow it on The Shaving Room This is a UK based Forum. They are the main group for the UK and European pass around.
Well, I know my interest is peaked and I am on the North America West Coast pass around list. Can’t wait to give it a go! If you have any questions about the razor, head over to Communities page and find The Shave Den forum. Some good folks who will steer you the right way.
As always, if you found this to be helpful or interesting please pass it along.
Until next time, Have a great day and a smooth shave!
In today’s world of wet-shaving, there’s a tremendous value and quality in choosing to use a vintage made razor for your daily use. Companies like Gillette, Gem, Schick and many others produced extremely well made double edge and single edge razors for decades before today’s resurgence and popularity in traditional shaving methods.
However, safely using and restoring a 50+ year old razor can mean hours of research online and conflicting opinions and techniques. And more often than not, you’ll be left confused and unwilling to even take the plunge and try a classic shaver.
Worry not, restoring and using a vintage razor can be carried out with household products you may already have. In today’s article, we’ll break down the do’s and don’ts of razor restoration that will leave your prized shaver sparkling and ready for daily usage.
This weeks post is an interview with Shane Swatzlander from Blackland Razors. Shane has developed a prototype stainless steel safety razor called The Blackbird Safety Razor. I have been following his updates on developing the Blackbird and reached out to him for an interview. Shane was kind enough to accept and the result is below.
This weeks post is another wet shave interview featuring a well known contributing member of the shave community. This weeks post features Mr. Steve Faragher. Steve is well known for his YouTube shave videos and established the Facebook group The BIG Shave. The BIG Shave Facebook group currently has over 3000 members and features a large contingent of shaving brethren from Europe. Steve was kind enough to do an interview for the blog and sent me a recording of the interview. The full audio recording can be accessed here: