#1
Some time ago Shane kindly reached out to me asking if I wanted to give an early plastic prototype version of his Blackbird OC baseplate a try. As I had a very favorable impression of his SB version I readily accepted the offer.

Disclaimer:

This is a plastic, lightweight prototype and for that reason I will not, for obvious reasons, be able to comment on finish, durability and build quality. This will be more of a high-level impression "preview" focusing on design and shave quality (taking the prototype limitations into consideration). Phew.

So let's have a closer look at...The Blackland Blacbird OC
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First impressions/Design
Ignoring the fact that it's printed in white plastic ( Wink ) the first thing one notices is of course the teeth.
Counting the end-teeth there are 12 in total which is actually fewer than you normally see on a head of this size (iKon B1: 14, Gillette DR: 14, Wolfman: 16) so I was intrigued to see how comfortable it would feel with fewer teeth supporting the blade against the skin.
There's a balance, I would assume, when designing this - between lather flow-through and face-comfort.

The second thing you may notice is that the corners have received a slight design change.
Gone are the sharp edges that some users felt were too sharp during the shave.
Personally I never had any issues with the edges but I think it's a very clever design change.

Apart from the above the rest of the design is very "Blackbird" as you can see below.

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The white "Dove" next to the Blackbird for comparison.
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Loaded with a blade:
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SHAVE REPORT 1

This morning I had my first real shaving experience with the Blackbird OC.
I loaded a Personna blade into it, lathered up some Jabonman Rosas soap and had at it.

I typically don't shave on the weekend so it had about three days worth of stubble to deal with.
The first thing I notice is that it's a very, very efficient design. I angle the razor as I do when using it with its SB baseplate and the stubble is being cut down very close to my skin in a rather effortless way.

I complete one pass (WTG) and it was quite honestly 'enough' as I had achieved a very socially acceptable shave.

I believe I rated the Blackland SB as a 5-6 on a Gillette Slim.
I would, comparing it to that, say that the OC baseplate is more in line with a 7, maybe 8 on the Gillette Slim.
More aggressive but not quite 'barking about to bite' like, say, my King Cobra.

I feel it's hard to really assess how comfortable it is due to it being in printed plastic and that material does have more of a tendency to 'drag' a bit against your skin and not being as smooth as, say, a stainless steel baseplate would be. I would however say that adding a couple more teeth may, to me, not be a bad idea as the [at least perceived] wider gap between the teeth had a more noticeable feel against my face and I'm thinking a couple of more teeth could mitigate that feeling.

I'll be shaving with it again this week and will post the next shave report here as I don't think one shave is enough to get a complete feel for it.

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#2

Member
Austin, TX
Very interesting darkbulb. The comb looks deep too. I have a serious weakness for OC razors and this is a great add to Shane's offering IMHO.

I wonder if Blackland Razors will make the OC baseplates available stand alone?

Any idea of if and when full production would begin?

Looking forward to future installments as you test it out!

Blackland Razors and darkbulb like this post
Kevin
#3

Merchant
San Francisco CA
(02-01-2016, 10:41 PM)kwsher Wrote: Very interesting darkbulb. The comb looks deep too. I have a serious weakness for OC razors and this is a great add to Shane's offering IMHO.

I wonder if Blackland Razors will make the OC baseplates available stand alone?

Any idea of if and when full production would begin?

Looking forward to future installments as you test it out!

These will almost definitely be available individually so current owners can have an OC and so future owners can buy one one razor with both plates if they so choose. A little like ATT, but I don't think I want to fully copy their system, as good as it is.

No set production date. I'm thinking they might make the 3rd batch which will probably be mid-year.

Freddy, GloryUprising and darkbulb like this post
#4
(This post was last modified: 02-02-2016, 06:23 PM by darkbulb.)
SHAVE REPORT 2


Used the OC Blackbird base plate this morning again.
I wanted to take a closer look at the perceived increased aggressiveness (compared to the SB version) that I felt in yesterday's shave.
I shaved one side of my face with the SB and the other with the new OC prototype one.

Subjective conclusion: The new base plate might actually not increase how 'aggressive' the razor is/feels.
I did some back-and-forth tests and it shaves very similar to the SB when it comes to that and the key take-aways from this morning's shave were;
a) The new OC base plate is probably on par with the SB as far as 'aggression' goes (around a 6 on the Gillette Slim),
b) The new OC base plate does allow for better lather-pass-through and appears to cut down stubble more 'efficiently' (read: fewer strokes, cleaner after one pass)
c) The perceived aggressiveness that I felt in the firs shave report seems to come from
- The plastic material that doesn't ride as smooth over the face as a metal comb, and
- The relatively low number of teeth that - to me - makes it feel a bit less comfortable

I think in metal and with 2-4 more teeth this would, to me, be a no-brainer buy - especially since I believe that @ShaneS will be offering the base plates as a separate purchase option.

I'll keep playing around with it this week but I think the "conclusions" above will be fairly static.

For comparison purposes, below are, left to right; iKon B1, Blackbird OC prototype and Wolfman DC
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SOTD
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kwsher likes this post
#5

Member
Austin, TX
Thanks for the additional observations darkbulb.

I found and shared in another thread that out of the "tin" the Blackbird felt more aggressive but actually was not. The blade angle and design made it seem that way however agree with your point, that with the most efficient angle it was not as noticeable.

Sounds as if the OC will likely be similar based on the comb itself as well as general design.

Either way, I am definitely in once they go to production.

Look forward to your next installment!
Kevin


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