#1

Member
Peachtree City, GA
This is my second exposure to Haircut & Shave; many members are aware of, and in many cases signed up to participate in, the P076 passaround currently underway.  For those that haven’t read the previous H&S review, please permit rehashing a quick bio of its owner and history of the firm: 
 
H&S is a company encountered on various fora over the past year with increasing frequency and a growing reputation amongst cognoscenti for outstanding craftsmanship thanks to the vision of its founder Aji Sunjaya.  Prior to entering the shaving hardware business, Aji had been in the men’s grooming business for 19 years and has owned/operated a couple barbershops in Eastern Maryland for the past decade.  2018 marked the year he began work on his now famous N075 DE razor (originally produced from a hybrid of 303 Stainless Steel with Black Hardcote Al baseplate) eventually evolving into the N075 ALL Stainless Steel version possessing a user friendly combination of 0,75 blade gap and neutral blade exposure - appealing to a wide audience upon which his reputation was built.  The success of the original razor inspired Aji to consider a more efficient razor to keep pace with the trending desire among DE enthusiasts for closer shaves while maintaining a focus on smoothness with the increased efficiency.  Thus, the P076 design concept was born, adding an ever so slight blade gap increase with slightly blade foreward presence to shave closer whilst yet retaining everyday smoothness/usability.  Further differentiating the new razor, Aji decided to pursue the harder and more difficult to machine 17-4 Stainless in BOTH straight bar and OPEN COMB design – yes, OC in a 17-4 razor!  Haircut & Shave is committed to a strategy of sustainable growth, increasing the company’s presence by adding products and services over time, positioning the company as a reliable full service provider for the wet shaving community both online and in person at his brick and mortar facility.
 
Had never undertaken the pleasure of trialing the N075 Hybrid Al Hardcote version of the original razor that launched Aji’s business and to be brutally honest, didn’t much care.  My predilections lean to using single metal razors based on experience in bicycle, motorcycle and auto racing where mixing metals in prior years led to disastrous, and sometimes deadly, results when galvanic corrosion resulted in failures.  While recognizing there are simple precautions to mitigate against such deleterious outcomes, including coating the metals, have always found it best to side with reliability and longevity given the choice.  Thus, with much hubris, had shrugged off the rave reviews of this special razor.  This anecdote is related as an admonition to prevent others making a similar bad decision based on unfounded prejudice in the hopes those seeking an efficient yet smooth razor will participate in this passaround.  For those impatient, allow me to state it plainly: this is THE single best mild shaver completely lacking in feel and feedback ever used including the Wolfman WR2 0,95/1,05 and OneBlade Genesis V1 - which is incredible praise!!
 
Aji reached out about 2 weeks ago asking if there was interest in conducting a passaround of the revival of the original N075 Hybrid Al Hardcote and SS Head razor.  To be completely honest, responded quickly in the affirmative but ONLY because Aji is such a good guy and really enjoyed his 17-4 prototype.  The anticipation was that the razor would be trialed quickly and moved out to the public with a gentlemen’s neutral review and supervision to keep the passaround flowing to all that might have interest. 
 
As expected, it arrived well packaged in the H&S signature blow molded plastic case reflecting the perspective of the owner that razors are as much precision instruments as the product of precision instruments – a small matter but as the Japanese, state: “Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.”.  Folk, this is a character issue and character does matter.  Opening the case reveals beautifully cut and dense padding securing the razor and a possible alternative head assembly with slit for blades or other ancillaries.  A beautifully logoed microfiber cloth covers the razor, as is de rigeur these days for high-end razors. 
 
Upon removing the razor from the case, it was immediately apparent it was not polished as with the P076 but rather was executed in a lightly smoked satin finish reminiscent of that used on higher end EU wheels for sports cars.  It also had a decidedly different weight distribution, at least in perception, feeling very head light.  The handle knurling is more subtle than the P076 perhaps the result of a metal easier to machine.  Admittedly, the cosmetics initially were a little disappointing as the expected high polish of the P076 was not used for the N075 Hybrid Al Hardcote but upon handling the razor in person and taking in the visuals under light, it is not only appropriately finished but also damn sexy.  Whereas a highly polished handle and cap would have screamed out in contrast to the black Hardcote baseplate, the lightly smoked satin finish complemented while still accentuating the colouration difference.  Even being extremely conservative regarding colouration in shaving hardware, found it beautiful and that coming from a person willingly paying premiums for extreme polishing on his collection from the premiere high-end, cost no object razor manufacturer.  One could also rightly suggest that 2 razors from the same manufacturer yet so different, should bear distinctive colouration to differentiate them for the owner desiring to maintain both in his rotation.  The handle is of the same design as the P076 and while there is a theme present, have not been able to place it; perhaps Asian but unlike any encountered to date – yin and yang vibes ring throughout: the complexity of the various interacting curves, heft and lightness, capricious extravagance and Bauhaus simplicity all interplay in a way to evoke a unique impression that eludes pinning a theme upon.  Kudos to this new generation of boutique razor manufacturers comprehensively changing the rules of the game regarding design themes and elements – end users are blessed for the diversity of design they bring.
 
Cutting Edge has supplied 2 tubs of their latest soaps: Citrus Wood and Lemongrass & Lavender for this passaround.  David Foulkland AKA dfoulk of soap passaround fame is the latest celebrity artisan on the scene and proprietor of Cutting Edge.  His experience with literally many hundreds of soaps over the past 4 years has inspired him to develop a soap possessing the best elements encountered industry wide.  His first soap base release is a classic soap possessing the balance of glide and cushion missing in many of the new formula soaps that have shifted to a preference for glide above all else.  David was the person responsible for my soap education, imparting an emphasis on post shave conditioning as a critical element of soap performance.  Prior to his tuition had been paying up to $100/tub for classic EU soaps and yet having ongoing post shave irritation issues due to serious facial injuries accrued over the years and just plain bad & sensitive skin.  He was personally responsible for helping whittle my soap providers down to Grooming Dept and Wholly Kaw with MUCH improved results whilst saving a small fortune in the process.  My conclusion is his maintaining the classic balance of glide and cushion along with world-class post shave conditioning has resulted in expanding my soap manufacturer rotation to 3, placing him squarely ahead of Wholly Kaw as the second preferred vendor!  Congratulations David!  Passaround trialers are strongly encouraged to remove a sample from the tubs Cutting Edge has provided and to bowl lather a couple shaves – can 100% promise you will be impressed.  Despite his advice to add water slowly during lathering, have found the soap to be pretty insensitive to ham fisted preparation.  In a word, Cutting Edge soap is brilliant!  Those unfamiliar with these soaps, please do use them and comment in your reviews but AGAIN: exercise the courtesy to scoop samples for loading and lathering OFF THE PUCK as this is a passaround and there is a flu outbreak – exercise discretion in considering your fellow shavers.
 
In total, I used the H&S N075 for 6 3-pass shaves: first pass With the Grain: second pass Against the Grain: and third pass Across the Grain.  Having learned H&S responds well to the Gillette Nacet, used them exclusively from the first shave with excellent results.
 
As stated, came to this passaround with a prejudice against hybrid razors and Al as a razor material but endeavoured to confirm my prejudices through usage.  However, it didn’t take but a very few strokes of the first pass of the first shave to marvel at how efficiently, effortlessly and without feedback this razor performs.  It reminded me immediately of the Wolfman WR2 and OneBlade where one has sometimes to stop midshave to assure a blade is loaded before proceeding.  By the end of the first pass, the results were mimicking the second pass of most razors but there was absolutely zero irritation of any sort, which is unprecedented.  The rest of the shave went equally as positively uneventful and resulted in one of the best BBS shaves ever.  So encouraged was I by the results, endeavoured another 3 pass shave 36 hours later with equal results.  Thus feeling flush with confidence, decided to undertake a 4 day straight 2 pass shave regimen that again yielded perfect BBS shaves with zero irritation.  Hitherto, had never been able to BBS shave more than 2 days in a row without terrible reddening and skin issues – this razor is magic for those seeking BBS shaves on a daily basis particularly if afflicted with skin issues!  While the WR2 is all the rage, I am keeping this razor after the passaround as find it preferable to my favourite artisan making razors in Canada, haha. 
 
In conclusion, I could RAVE endlessly about just how freaking great this razor is, it provides the smoothest, most feedback free shave ever PERIOD and at a price that is a bargain.  Typically, I prefer a razor with a lot of feedback but this razor really spoke to me – with all the facial and skin issues, shaving is not a hobby to me; rather, it is a chore that given an opportunity would be abandoned.  I have finally found a razor absolutely dead to feel and mindless that appeals.  The H&S N075 is akin to driving a Porsche 996/7 or Ferrari Italia – it makes you perform better than ever imagined without punishing mistakes.  Daily shaves that never could have been imagined hitherto are made boring yet perfectly BBS first time, every time.  My only criticism is that magnificent daily drivers like H&S demand an equally elegant garage: Aji please develop a suitably simplistically stylistic stand to complement these razors!


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shaveSymptomatic, ehsa, Marhos24 and 6 others like this post
Just an old slow fat man
#2
I've communicated with Aji my intent to purchase.  This is the only DE shaving related item I currently plan to buy in the foreseeable future.


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DanLaw, ExtraProtein and Calm_Shaver like this post
#3
My first N075 was the stainless steel/aluminum base plate razor. When the second version of the stainless steel razor was released, I sold the SS/ALU version for the all stainless model. The SS/ALU model was a great razor that was both efficient and smooth but I never compared the two together. I assumed the ALU and SS plates would shave the same. Boy, was I wrong! 

Currently, I own the all stainless version of the N075 and was given the opportunity to try out the aluminum plate from this pass around. I don’t enjoy writing reviews and I don’t like comparing razors so I will be very brief here.

To me, the razor feels completely different when wearing the stainless steel and aluminum plates. One is not better than the other, they are different. So much so to me, that I plan on buying the aluminum plate when Aji releases it. 
The SS plate feels more aggressive to me. I have to be careful when using it as I have had it bite me. This does not happen with the aluminum plate. With the aluminum plate installed, I can put the razor on autopilot and get an amazingly close shave with zero worries of blood being drawn. Both plates seem equally efficient but the face feel is where they are different.

shaveSymptomatic and Marhos24 like this post
#4
Great reviews guys! I look forward to trying this plate out soon.

DanLaw likes this post
#5

Member
Peachtree City, GA
Sending the N075 Al Hardcote out tomorrow but just can’t resist getting one more shave in. This time using Cutting Edge Citrus Wood. The nice thing about scooping and bowl lathering is it really opens up the scent profile. Unmolested, the soap had an OK woodsy scent vibe but scooping just opened up the citrus! What an absolutely lovely scent.

FloridaCreekIndian likes this post
Just an old slow fat man
#6

Member
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2020, 09:15 PM by DanLaw.)
Per Aji, the Al Hardcote baseplate is fully compatible with Barbicide. Unlike anodizing and other Al treatments, the Hardcote doesn’t dissolve. Good to know for those wishing to disinfect the razor.
Just an old slow fat man
#7
(04-06-2020, 11:30 AM)DanLaw Wrote: Per Aji, the Al Hardcote baseplate is fully compatible with Barbasol. Unlike anodizing and other Al treatments, the Hardcote doesn’t dissolve. Good to know for those wishing to disinfect the razor.
Dan Do you mean Barbicide?  If this is the case that would be great as I ruined an anodized aluminum razor soaking it in Barbicide, it got all streaky
#8

Member
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2020, 09:15 PM by DanLaw.)
For those of us stupid, yes “Barbicide”. Thank you!
Just an old slow fat man
#9

Member
Peachtree City, GA
Had the last perfect shave with this beauty - really hate to let it go and can't wait to get it back. This one staying in my rotation permanently

The Cutting Edge Citrus Wood is an odd scent that was only slightly appealing at first but has really become a favourite. Of course the lather is traditional perfection balanced evenly across the spectrum of metrics with a superb post shave conditioning effect. Something to look foreward to passaround participants!

Shavemd, Marhos24 and Dragonsbeard like this post
Just an old slow fat man
#10
Had my first shave the the Al hardcoat plate today. Have noticed the same as everyone else! Razor is less balanced now, being handle heavy. This helps put less pressure on your face and in turn gives a softer face feel (IMO). I never felt like I was going to get bitten while shaving, where the SS baseplate did give me that feeling. I was having issues with the SS baseplate causing irritation and nick's, so I stopped using the razor. Since this was the first time using it, I can't fully state that won't happen, but the first shave was very promising. It was a very smooth three and a half pass shave. Usually I can only do a two pass shave before experiencing irritation, but this baseplate allowed me to. I used a new gillette platinum blade, and NO barrbarr. It's been about an hour since I shaved and I have some slight irritation on my neck and under my jawline (probably due to more passes than I'm used to). This is usually where I get irritation. Other than that, super close and comfortable! Look forward to shaving the rest of the week with it! [Image: moSc5vc.jpg]

Shavemd, DanLaw, ExtraProtein and 1 others like this post


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