#1
As I was fortunate enough to be in the small initial batch of razors released I wanted to offer my ongoing thoughts of this razor for those considering one in the coming weeks or even years from now. I also don't think the SOTD thread is the best for musings on products.

Tale of the tape:

Razor: Mongoose Stainless Steel SE (50g)
Handle: Dub Legend Stainless Steel (3.9" long, 5/8" diameter, 135g)

Blades I have: Kai Captain Titan Mild; Feather Professional; Feather Super

I started with the Kai Mild blade and will use it until it's done. Then I will move to the Feather Pro & finally the Feather Super.

I look forward to any questions you may have. If there is anything you'd like to hear about or even see, then please ask. I will do what I can to help.



SEnsational. SplEndid. SpEctacular.

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My photo essay on the Mongoose + Dub Legend Handle.

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Mongoose -- Dub Legend

Well it is out in the wild and is already on fire. This is the first modern SE to hit the market since the Cobra & the only one to be stainless steel. This is a beast of a razor and the "Dub Legend" handle makes it even 'beast-ier'. At 5/8" diameter of solid stainless steel this handle alone comes in at 135g. With the head on and a blade installed the total mass is 186g.

There is currently the option for a slimmer handle, the "Dub Slim" which is 1/2" diameter and comes in at 90g; for a total razor mass of 141g.

Here is my inaugural Mongoose shave...

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Razor: Mongoose + Dub Legend
Blade: Kai Captain Titan Mild (1)
Brush: Plisson Pearly Gray Synthetic
Soap: Martin de Candre Fougère (67)
AS: Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue

I was a bit rushed with this shave but I wasn't going to pass up the chance to use my new precious. I wasn't thrilled with the Kai Mild blades as they felt slightly tuggy on my ATG pass.

What was impressive though was how quiet the blade was even when tugging. In the Cobra a tugging sensation would lead to blade vibration, or chatter, and then my face would be a minefield of weepers. That was not the case tonight. I did have a couple weepers which were caused by my rushing; one on my Adam's Apple and another just under my chin.

I'm sure the sheer mass and gravitational pull of this razor helps to make it such a smooth shaver. However, the designed angle built into this razor is brilliant. It was simply intuitive to find the proper angle with the Mongoose. The only awkwardness I had was holding such a large handle as this completely blows away the Clog Pruf Micromatic that I normally use.

I have zero irritation and my two wee little weepers cleared up with a single cold water splash before I applied the vintage Velva juice.

Batch #1 is sold out as far as I know. There is no reason to panic, however, as Batch #2 is only weeks away and should be large enough to ensure that all who want one will get one. To be sure that you are on the list just send an email to mongooseorders@gmail.com saying that you want on the list for Batch #2. The Mongoose razor costs $149 shipped to the CONUS and it is worth quite a bit more. Be sure to get in on the next round before they realize that the price should be higher.

My many thanks to Bruce Weber for his passion and drive to bring this razor to fruition. Also to Matt Glass, Paul Bombino, & David Marshburn I thank you for your hours upon hours of sacrificing your face to help bring this razor through 9 prototypes and finally to v10 for this first production run. I highly anticipate future offerings from Mongoose Razors, Inc.



Today was my second use of the Mongoose. I was not rushed this time so I really paid attention to the details. I even experimented a bit with the angle to see what would happen. The main question I've been seeing from people is in regards to this handle being slippery. Despite the lack of knurling I can tell you that there has not been a single time during 2 shaves now that I've felt the razor slip in my grip.

Here's my shave today:

Mongoose (Deuce) -- 08/09/2014

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• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Kai Captain Titan Mild (2) •
• Plisson Acetate Pearly Gray Synthetic •
• Soap Commander Respect (12) •
• Krampert's Finest Bay Rum •

I learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that this razor is not to be used like my vintage SEs such as the GEM Micromatics or EverReady 1914. With these razors I leave the head almost flat on my skin for each stroke. That doesn't work well with the Mongoose as there is just too much steel on latherless skin. It wanted to skip on me even though I had pretty good residual slickness from my Soap Commander lather. I only tried this on my initial pass which is mainly WTG with some XTG as well. It did give me some weepers.

On the second pass I went back the the angle that feels more natural with this razor which allows the solid guard bar to lead the razor but keeps the rest of the head off of the shaving surface. This smoothed out my stroke immediately. However, now that I was going ATG I noticed that the blade was having some trouble. I am not sure that these Kai Mild blades are sharp enough for my coarse stubble. They perform well enough during the WTG pass, start to show distress with XTG, and then during ATG they start to tug.

I felt more comfortable using the large Dub Legend handle this morning. As mentioned earlier I have had exactly zero issue with any slipperiness from it. The hardest thing with anything on this razor is keeping my fingerprints off of it for the picture. The fit and finish is second to none. I hope that is coming through as I try to show off the reflections that are capable from this high quality polish.

While I haven't changed blades yet I want to address the way in which the razor head holds the blades. There are no blade stops as they simply aren't needed. The top cap and base plate fit together precisely and securely clamp down on the blade. This feature is why I believe the Mongoose can be a smoother shaver than the Cobra. There are tabs on the top cap for the blade to sit on. Then there are matching indentions on the base plate for the tabs to settle in. There is even an audible click when they engage. With the handle screwed on that blade is not going anywhere even if it wants to. Another nice feature are the two cutouts on the top cap near the outside and under where the blade rests. These are fingernail slits so that you can slide your nail in there to get under the blade. This makes it very easy to remove the blade either between shaves for cleaning and drying or when you change blades depending on your normal razor maintenance routine. While this has nothing to do with how the razor performs I find it to be another indication of just how much thought and care went into the design of this razor.

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I believe that is all that I have to report for today. I did palm strop the Kai Mild blade after my shave today so I'm curious to see if that makes any difference in my next shave with it. If not, then I think I'm going to have to call no-joy on these blades and move on to the Feather Professional blades. The Pros are the blades that I have the most experience with in the Cobra Classic. Interestingly enough, I did have a couple of Kai Mild blades that I used in the Cobra Classic and I found them utterly unusable at that time due to extreme tugging and blade chatter. While I won't know for sure, I do hypothesize that the better blade locking mechanism of the Mongoose has turned a blade that was unusable for me in the Cobra Classic to a serviceable blade in the Mongoose. Just food for thought.



My old razor next to "New Hotness"!

The Clog Pruf was recently replated in bright nickel, yet it can't hold a candle to the shine of such a finely polished Mongoose.

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There is a nice blade gap between the blade and solid guard bar. This in no way makes the shave feel rough or harsh and in fact helps make the removal of my just cut coarse whiskers very efficient. There is no clogging with this razor. The Mongoose was designed to use the same blades as the Cobra. It does just that. The shave is not remarkably different than the Cobra. If you can wield the Cobra deftly, then you should have zero issue with the Mongoose regardless of the blade gap difference, if there even is one. I do not own digital calipers so I cannot measure the actual gap.

In regards to what angle to use that is too tough to describe. I highly suggest watching Dr. Paul Bombino's videos where he actually shaves with the Mongoose. He is one of the 4 testers of the Mongoose throughout its development. Not only will you see what angle he uses you will be getting info from someone with much more Mongoose experience than I.

The guard bar does touch the skin. Don't all combs or guard bars?

I have no idea if the blade is presented like they are in a Merkur HD or EJ89, but I highly doubt it. This is a stiffer SE blade and not a flexible DE blade. Those, and most, DE razors will bend the blade thus changing the angle at which you need to hold the razor. With SEs the blade is not being bent and therefore the shaving angle is much different. However, with the way the Mongoose is designed it is not difficult at all to find the correct angle. I had to purpose in my mind to try different angles in order to see if there was any difference. I can say that I find the built-in angle to be best in this razor.



Day #3 of the Mongoose Journey

This was my first use with only a day of growth. My first shave was on almost 3 full days of growth. Yes, I was excited and didn't want to shave until it arrived. I doubt I was the only one who did this. Blush The second shave was on approximately 38 hours of growth and shave #3 was on 24 hours growth.

The shave looked like this...

09/09/2014 - Mongoose Day #3

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Razor: Mongoose SB + Dub Legend
Blade: Kai Captain Titan Mild (3)
Brush: The Grooming Company Brazuca
Soap: Catie's Bubbles Jardin D'Or (14)
AS: Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue


The shock of the day came when I noticed that the Kai Mild blade was actually holding its own during the XTG and ATG strokes. This was the last thing that I was expecting from this shave. I fully intended to bin this blade and move on to the Feather Professional blade for tomorrow. Well, I am still moving on (more on that later) but I didn't bin the blade. Rather, I found one of my son's magnetic rocks that we picked up while in Gatlinburg, TN last fall and set the blade on it. This will allow me to keep it out of the way and also off of the cutting surface until I'm ready to come back to it. Perhaps the palm stropping I performed on the blade after the last shave helped to smooth it out. I know many don't buy into palm stropping stainless steel razors. However, in my experience I must say that I see a difference with the practice. GEM SS PTFE blades can be rough for the first 1-3 shaves. I now palm strop every new GEM blade before their first use and I no longer have to suffer through a few rough shaves before experiencing the really smooth shaves that they can deliver. I wonder if that is what I'm seeing with the Kai blade. When I come back to it down the road I will revisit how it performs.

Today's shave was completely blood free and smooth; absolutely zero weepers for the first time. I don't think I ever experienced that with the Cobra. I always had a couple weepers or so. The extremely close shave is the whole reason I put up with it for as long as I did. With getting this type of a result with a blade that was unusable for me in the Cobra and until today wasn't performing that well even in the Mongoose has me stoked to see how the Feather Professional and Feather Super blades will work.

In order to get some experience with all 3 blades as quickly as possible while also giving each one enough time to really show what they are capable of I am going to shave with each for 3 times and then move on. I will then come back to them so I can keep comparing them against each other while also recording the longevity of each blade.  

Very similar to the Cobra, the shaves from the Mongoose are close and long lasting. I believe this to be due to the fact that they use the same blades and there is definitely something special about these blades; even the Kai Mild blade which hasn't been the best for me so far. You will be getting high quality shaves from any well designed razor that utilizes these blades from Feather and Kai. I've never tried any of the "guard" blades and will possibly try them out once I get through the 3 types of blades that I already have. I will say that the guard blades give a wicked impression in photos. They make the blade look serrated. Anyone want to shave with a serrated blade?
>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
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#2
Day #4 of my Mongoose Journey

New blade time. The Kai has been stored instead of binned because it actually shaved better on its third use than it did on either of the first two shaves.

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Enter the Feather Professional blade. Now this is where I will really start to make some comparisons to how the Cobra Classic shaved for me. I have over 100 shaves with the Feather Pro + Cobra combination under my belt. So while I won't have that many shaves with the Mongoose for quite some time, I am confident that I will be able to pull from my Cobra experience to determine the similarities and differences between the two.

Today's Mongoose Shave:

10/09/2014 - Mongoose just went Pro; Feather Pro!

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• Mongoose + Dub Legend (4) •
• Feather Professional (1) •
• Plisson Synthetic •
• Martin de Candre (16) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

The difference is immediately noticeable from the first stroke with the Pro loaded vs the Kai Mild. The Feather Pro blade is so much sharper and smoother than the Kai Mild blade for me that it didn't even feel like a blade was in the razor during the WTG/XTG pass. It wasn't until I started my XTG/ATG strokes that I could even get the smallest amount of feedback from the blade slicing my whiskers.

Now to start making a more direct comparison to the Cobra. This was the absolute first time that I have completed a shave using a Feather Professional blade with zero weepers. I used to be able to get close to a blood-free shave with the Cobra when I shaved off multiple days of growth. Even then I would get 2-3. On daily shaves, however, I could have half a dozen or more weepers. The Feather Pro blades are just so stinking sharp. I was flabbergasted at how well they could work yet frustrated at the constant weepers even on what I thought was a careful shave. It then occurred to me after changing blades one day that the blade bed could still move a tad even when locked in place. The lightbulb went off in my head and I knew then why the weepers were there. Even though the Feather Pro blades are thicker and stiffer than DE blades, they aren't quite as thick and stiff as the traditional GEM style SE blades. Therefore, they can flex easier especially if they are not locked down tightly. The blade bed sliding around like that just didn't provide me the rigid blade experience that I (and my skin) prefer.

The Mongoose's 3-piece design along with the interlocking tab/indents between the razor head and base plate ensure that the blade is clamped down securely. There is absolutely no movement coming from the blade when inside the Mongoose. This allows the blade to maintain its maximum rigidity as well as my face's maximum happiness.

Take a look at the Mongoose disassembled with a blade loaded. Pay attention to how the tab do two things; 1. They are the "posts" for the cutouts on the blade and 2. They insert into the matching indentions on the baseplate. The blade is sandwiched between the two pieces of stainless steel. Then as you screw the handle on it acts like a vice grip slowly tightening down on the blade within. That blade ain't going nowheres!

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Looking forward to a couple more great shaves with the Mongoose + Feather Pro combo before moving on to the Feather Supers. Now that is where things will really get interesting for me as I've been wanting to use that blade almost 2 years now.



Day #5 of my Mongoose Journal

This was shave #2 on the Feather Pro and it was even better than the first. I didn't say anything in yesterday's journal as I wanted to wait to see what I noticed today. Yesterday I was very cautious and didn't go for a super close shave. From experience these Feather Pro blades are "super-stinkin'-sharp" so I utilized caution. This resulted in a mostly DFS shave with some even CCS areas along the jaw. Even though it wasn't as close I feel that this was my trepidation more than anything. Today's shave is proof that it was me, and not the razor or the blade. I went for a close shave and was rewarded with it, quite easily I might add.

Here's my Mongoose shave today:

11/09/2014

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• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Professional (2) •
• The Grooming Co Synthetic •
• Soap Commander Passion (9) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

It is clear to me that these blades are not as rigid as I'm accustomed to with the spined blades from GEM that I use in my Micromatics and EverReady 1914. This means that I still cannot shave with the same technique that I use on my vintage SEs as I do on the Mongoose. I honestly don't expect to carry over the same technique from a vintage SE to today's modern marvel, but I'm still going to try. Once I prove to myself one way or the other I will then focus my technique to the highest potential.

I think we all know that we get better with each shave. This is one reason I like using the same hardware for long periods of time. I can't expect to be as comfortable with the shave mechanics of the Mongoose after 5 uses as I can be with a GEM Micromatic that I have hundreds of shaves with. Once I get things figured out I will then be able to move forward and experiment further. Am I over analyzing all of this? Yes, most likely. I'm an analytical person by nature so I enjoy it. I am susceptible to paralysis by analysis at times. So while others may be proclaiming BBS shaves with zero effort right away I will simply say that I'm not there yet. However, the potential that I see from this Mongoose shaving system is unmatched.

One last note before finishing up today's entry. The Dub Legend handle and all of its gravity disrupting awesomeness is becoming quite comfortable to me now. Initially it was very bulky, but as I have shown in some pictures it is very different from the Clog Pruf that I have been using most recently. During today's shave I actually had a thought cross my mind regarding the Micromatic handle and how much harder it makes my hand work to hold it. The extra width of the Dub Legend is supremely ergonomic and comfortable. It doesn't cause nearly as much opposition of the hand which keeps the carpal tunnel open and all those nerves and muscles much happier. I'll be curious to see how my hand feels when I go back and shave with the Clog Pruf down the road. For now it's just a hypothesis, but I think the Dub Legend will be better over time for those that suffer from repetitive stress injuries of the hand and wrist.

Until next shave...



Day #6 of my Mongoose Journal

Third and final shave (for now) on the Feather Professional as I will move on to the blade I've been waiting almost 2 years to try; the Feather Super Professional. I am saving both the Kai Mild and Feather Pro to use further and hopefully get an idea on blade longevity. All this is upcoming, I need to focus on the now.

Today's Mongoose Shave:

12/09/2014

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• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Professional (3) •
• Cade Plisson Synthetic •
• Catie's Bubbles Santal Sensuelle (16) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

I kept with my pattern from the Kai Mild blade and performed a hand stopping of the Feather Pro blade after the second shave. Once again I must say that I find this practice to improve the feel of the blade. I was able to perform things today that I wasn't able to do on my first two Mongoose/Pro shaves. Today's shave was the closest technique-wise to what I normally do with my vintage SEs. The blade felt smoother and just as sharp as the first couple shaves. I was rewarded with an extremely close shave, zero weepers once again (WaHoo!!!), and this was probably the quickest shave I've had in a long time.

I have had a few people messaging me asking how I hand/palm strop my SE blades. The Feather AC & Kai Captain blades are little different given their width, but please have a look at the video below to see how I do it. This is the video that I watched years ago to learn how to do this. It's a well done video by Dave Irving and I believe that it will answer most people's questions on this topic.




Not much more to report at this time, but pay attention over the weekend as I start to use the Feather Super Professional blades. These blades are slightly wider which will expose more blade out of the razor head. The most exciting aspect to me though is that these blades are also thicker than all of the other blades of this type; twice as thick actually. This should really increase the amount of rigidity to the blade. I'm hoping that it will give me a closer experience to the GEM blades that I use in my vintage SEs. Blade rigidity is the main factor that took my shaves from ho-hum to amazing and why I only use SEs now. The potential these blades hold for me has me excitedly scared. I'm not sure if the result will live up to what I've been building up in my head or not as I've set the bar pretty high without even using them yet.

Tomorrow morning can't come soon enough. Until next shave...



Day #7 of my Mongoose Journal

Heavens to Murgatroyd! Holy Moly! Shut the front door!

This is the shave that I made myself wait an entire week for. Bruce was teasing me earlier today saying I should have followed his advice and simply started with the Supers to begin with. Ready, Fire, Aim, right Bruce? Tongue Well, the moment that I decided to start with the Kai Mild blade I also decided to work my way up to these Feather Super Professional blades.

So, what's the big deal with the Feather Super blades you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked. In comparison to the Feather Pro blades, the Supers are more than twice as thick (.31mm vs .15mm) & they are wider giving a larger blade exposure (1.42mm vs 1.2mm). As most people know, I love the traditional SE blades from GEM which are much thicker than the DE blades that most people use. What I didn't realize is that the GEM blade isn't even as thick as this Feather Super blade is (.23mm vs .31mm). I did think that the GEM blades were thicker but that misconception must come from the spine that is on the blade which I am sure does help to give even more rigidity. For further reference, the injector blades that I purchased from Ted Pella are listed as having a thickness of .25mm.

The bottom line here is that as far as I can tell, the Feather Super blades are the thickest shaving blade of any type on the market. Add in the extra blade exposure to all of this rigidity and you may start to understand just why I'm so stoked about this blade and all that I experienced with it this morning.

Today's Mongoose Shave:

13/09/2014 -- Super Day!

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• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Super Professional (1) •
• Plisson Pearly Gray Synthetic •
• Barrister & Mann Fougère Imperiale (10) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •


A quick summary of the shave is as follows: Super smooth, Super close, & Super bloody along my jawline; zero irritation.

Now to hopefully explain why I'm so thrilled with a shave that involved so much blood. I have a very angular jawline and this has always been the hardest place for me to get smooth without irritation or blood. When I first started with SEs years ago I got a lot of blood in this area too. As my technique improved the blood went away and I expect the same to occur with the Feather Supers in the Mongoose. There was no blood anywhere else which tells me that there was no blade vibration or chatter. I simply need to learn how to maneuver and attack my jawline Mongoose-style. The Cobra would give me weepers in places that it simply shouldn't like on my cheeks. That kind of location for a weeper is due to blade chatter or vibration. The blood along my jawline is simply a head-on collision of two different geometries.

Another sign that this is a technique issue is because my other trouble spot, my lower neck on either side of the Adam's Apple, got wiped smoother than I've ever had with no weepers or irritation. This is generally my most sensitive area on my beard map while also having some of the trickiest directional growth. DEs tore me up here, slants did better, the Cobra did great with blood, while my vintage SEs did great bloodfree but with more work. Now with the Mongoose I can get a great shave easily in a very tough spot for me.

My only area of focus now will be how I go about clearing the whiskers immediately beneath the jawline. I will most likely need to employ different stretching techniques along with different angles and directions of my strokes. Everything I've heard about a Mongoose is that they are extremely agile. Harnessing of this agility will be the critical step for me to get the maximum potential out of the Mongoose Razor.

A word of warning for those coming to the Mongoose without any vintage SE use (GEM, EverReady, Star, Schick injectors, etc) from me. Do NOT start with the Feather Super Professional blades. For those that are coming from vintage SEs but have never used either the Feather AC blades or the Kai Captain blades I would suggest starting with either a Kai Mild or Feather Pro so that you can get used to the extreme & wicked sharpness that these blades carry. Once you are accustomed to the keenness, then I highly suggest giving the Supers a try. They offer quite the ride.

I will most likely stick with the Super blade until it is done before going back to the Pro and Kai. I have a challenge in the Super blade and I am excited to take it on. Nothing in life worth having comes easy so I can't wait to put the work into this. Once I get this figured out I don't think I'll need to shave ever again. My whiskers will simply fall off in fear to the awesomeness that is Chuck Norris, err, I mean the Mongoose.

Did I just liken the Mongoose to Chuck Norris? :chuck: Yes, yes I did! Confusedhok:

Until next shave...



Day #8 of my Mongoose Journal -- Progress

I took yesterday off from shaving as I wasn't going to church and was instead sitting in some very boring CEU classes. This also gave me the opportunity to run the Feather Super blade up against 2 days of my stubbly forest. It's not like it was any contest, however, as the Super sliced through the whisker without any effort. Another amazing performance from this razor and I'm pleased with the progress I'm seeing with getting to know this wickedly awesome blade.

Today's Mongoose Shave:

15/09/2014 -- Progress

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• Mongoose Dub Legend •
• Feather Super (2) •
• Plisson Pearly Gray Synthetic •
• Martin de Candre Fougère (68) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

I used more caution in my approach to my jawline but there still was some blood, but much less than my first go with the Super. So I'm happily calling this progress. I stretched the skin here a little different by using my opposite hand to stretch rather than facial contortions. My thinking was that if I could keep the muscles underneath relaxed while stretching the skin that I might be protected from the blade better. This worked to some degree as I had zero weepers on the right side jawline. However, the left side didn't fare as well. Looks like I need to keep figuring out my plan of attack there.

After the shave I did give the blade a good palm stropping like I did for my first two blades. As a general practice I palm strop my GEM blades from the get go and it helps prevent bloody shaves. It most likely will become my regular practice with these blades as well since I noticed improvements afterwards in both the Kai Mild and Feather Pro.

I did also give myself a nice little slice just under my ear. It was not a shaving stroke, but rather a slight miscue in how far away I pulled the razor off of my face before moving it laterally. Let's just say that lateral movements combined with these blades will leave a mark.

Otherwise, my 2-day stubble was removed in 2 passes effortlessly and my face feels great; smooth and refreshed.

Shave On & God Bless!!!

Until next shave...



Day #9 of my Mongoose Journal

After this shave I will be breaking my pattern. I will have 3 shaves on each of the 3 blades that I possess; Kai Mild, Feather Pro, & Feather Super. The Supers have the highest potential of the 3 blades for me so I plan on using this blade until it's done now.

Today's Mongoose Shave:

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* Mongoose Dub Legend *
* Feather Super (3) Hand Stropped *
* GroCo Brazuca Synth *
* Soap Commander Respect (13) *
* Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue *


Once again I find that the stropping of this style blade makes a huge difference in how the shave feels on my skin. This shave was completely free of blood; not even the slightest drop from the jawline or anywhere else. I understand that many people may not feel like hand stropping a blade does anything but for me a hand stropped Feather Super blade be like...

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As I continue to get comfortable with both the rigidity and exposure of this blade I will also test its longevity. Many people equate the name Feather with a blade that is only good for 2 shaves. I guarantee you that these blades are not like their DE cousins. A Feather Pro blade in my Cobra once lasted 19 shaves while another lasted 18. I never got less than 10 stellar shaves with a single Feather Pro. I am curious to see if the extra thickness of the Supers has any impact, positively or negatively, on their lifespan.

Until next shave...



Day #10 of my Mongoose Journal

The Feather Super blade is following the pattern that I remember with the Pro blades; it just keeps getting better. I'm really looking forward to how great my next one will perform from shave #1 when I palm strop it right away.

Today's Mongoose Shave:

17/09/2014 -- Super Blue!

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• Mongoose : Dub Legend •
• Feather Super Pro (4) •
• Grooming Co Synthetic •
• Soap Commander Vision •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

During this shave I noticed a couple things which I have been pondering thanks to some great discussions lately. First off, the shave felt more like my vintage SE shaves using the GEM blades. What I mean by that was that the over the top sharpness has dulled down enough to where there is more feedback as the blade cuts the hair. Initially, these blades are so sharp that you don't feel a thing as the blade slices the whiskers off. This is what I think those who are used to DEs expect from a SE blade. However, if you throw one of these blades away at this point then I think you are missing out on some of the best shaves that you can get with a single edge razor. Even though the feedback is more noticeable, the rigidity of the blade still allows it to perform at a high level. This is what will allow it to deliver amazing shave results long after the wicked sharpness dies down a touch. It is now that you can start shaving with less focus and still be rewarded with a BBS shave.

Secondly, I needed to shorten my strokes due to the increased feedback. Longer strokes as the blade dulls can lead to what many people consider tugging. However, the blade is still sharp enough to cut, and even cut very smoothly, but the blade is being overwhelmed by either the speed or the length of the stroke. I prefer to go for shorter and quicker strokes, almost like blade buffing. I can do this in any direction; WTG, XTG, and ATG. Again, thanks to the rigidity of the blade one can still easily get the whiskers off despite the feeling of more resistance. By no means is the blade pulling the hair out.

I'm not sure if I'm describing this very well. I guess that's one of the benefits to this being an interactive journal. It may work best to try like I have to describe it and then just answer any questions that you may have developed while reading through it. The bottom line is that SE blades with their rigidity perform very differently compared to their DE cousins. While it may not make much sense and many people may not want to experience the increased feedback during each stroke, this is the reasoning behind why I can get so many shaves from a single blade. It seems that many people dispose of these blades somewhere between 5 and 7 shaves. I push close to 20. I don't bin a blade based on the extra feedback indicating a drop in the blade's sharpness. Rather, I wait until I notice that my shaves are not as close and smooth after my typical 2 pass + jawline touchup. This is when my blades get refreshed.

The drop off in sharpness is what I feel most people are using to determine when their blade is done. While that's fine I am certainly glad that I learned long ago using the GEM blades in my vintage SEs that I could get much more from these special blades. If you are coming straight from DEs to the Mongoose or Cobra, then please just be aware that the blades are quite different from what you are used to. Give them a chance to do more than you think, as long as your shave and face don't suffer of course. Even those shavers who aren't new to SEs but may only get 5 shaves or so from a blade, go ahead and push these to see what you get. You'll never know until you try. I learned that I could do this by simply experimenting to see just how many shaves I could get from a single blade. I wasn't concerned with the sensation that the blade wasn't as sharp as it was initially. I just wanted my shaves to be comfortable, close, and blood free. Please don't think that I'm recommending that you push through an uncomfortable shave. Just change your technique a little and see what might happen.

It is now about 12 hours since my shave this morning and I'm still very smooth in the ATG direction; probably DFS level now instead of the BBS it started out as. I can't wait to see just how many more shaves I will get from this blade.

Shave On & God Bless!!!

Until next shave...



Day #11 of my Mongoose Journal -- Yep, still musing!

I've got a big weekend coming up in which I want to have some really close shaves both on Friday and Saturday. So today was a simple one pass shave for work. I was very pleased with how good of a shave it was; DFS and more than presentable enough for what is my Friday of the work week.

Today's Mongoose Shave:

18/09/2014 -- Single Pass

[Image: FECB16E1-6D45-4B9A-B9ED-382A1A884F1B_zpswoeodzkc.jpg]

• Mongoose : Dub Legend •
• Feather Super (5) •
• Plisson Synthetic •
• Martin de Candre (17) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •


Not much to report with this shave. A single pass WTG with some slight XTG thrown in is a non-issue with the user-friendly Mongoose. It does still amaze at just how much stubble can be removed during the first pass with this style of blades. The Super did not disappoint at all in this regard leaving me DFS+ along the cheeks, upper lip, & neck; DFS- along the jawline and under the chin.

Shave On & God Bless!!!

Until next shave...



Shave #16 of my Mongoose Journey

It's been 5 shaves since I've been able to sit down and muse a bit. As I'm not really changing variables at this point there hasn't been much to report until today as the Feather Super blade hits its 10th shave. Shaves 12-14 were smooth as can be and super close. I've shaved both daily and on 2-days of growth with no irritation or weepers.

On to today's Mongoose Shave:

25/09/2014

Mongoose in the mist.

[Image: xyaVF9T.jpg]

• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Super (10) •
• L'Occitane Cade Plisson Synthetic •
• Catie's Bubbles Le Piment de la Vie (22) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •


This was another shave that was starting out just like the last 5 shaves. Things took a little turn, however, as I went for my ATG pass on my upper lip. After a couple strokes a felt a little 'zing'. Then on the other side in about the same spot I got another 'zing'. Finally, as I was getting those last little pesky whiskers just under my nose I get one more 'zing'. Each 'zing' developed a short-lived weeper.

I'm not sure what this was from as I don't normally feel the blade bite me unless it's something serious from a mistake that I made. The blade certainly didn't feel dull and there was no tugging. My only thought was that I haven't stropped the blade at all for the last 3 or 4 shaves so perhaps it was loosing the edge a touch. I finished the shave, cleaned up, and disassembled the razor. I palm stropped the blade thoroughly, probably 15x on each side. So my shave tomorrow should really answer some questions, at least in my mind, on the effect of palm stropping on the blade.

I've read that some people feel that stropping the blade leads to it dulling prematurely. However, from what I've read on honing and stropping straight razors I thought that proper stropping would lengthen the amount of time between honings. So to me I thought that stropping helped to maintain the edge of the blade which the honing puts onto the blade. With how much I stropped this blade today I should know right away tomorrow if I have dulled the blade. If it starts out well, then I'll continue on and see how it performs again on my upper lip during the ATG pass. I'm know I'm looking forward to getting a little better understanding on just why I seem to get such good results from this method. I hope it will give others some insight too and possibly help someone else out there.

Until next shave... Shave On & God Bless!!!



Shave #17 of my Mongoose Journey

After stropping the fool out of the Super blade following the last shave I definitely didn't feel any 'zings' this time around.

Here was my Mongoose shave:

26/09/2014

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• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Super (11) •
• Plisson Synthetic •
• Martin de Candre Fougère (69) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

Despite a great lather this blade had just reached its end. I was still able to get a close and smoother shave, however, it took me a good bit more work in my touchups to get there. The stropping did smooth the edge out enough so that I didn't have any blood from this shave. I did get some mild irritation in the few spots that I needed extra work to get as smooth as I like.

So while my stropping didn't completely save this blade it did allow me to have another blood-free shave before moving on to the next blade. Anything over 10 shaves from these blades is just a bonus for me so I'm quite pleased with 11 shaves here. I'll be curious to see how my next Super blade performs. For now though I'll be going back to a Feather Pro starting on shave #18.

Until next shave... Shave On & God Bless!!!

Shave #18 of my Mongoose Journey

Back to the Feather Professional blade after getting 11 shaves from the Super.

Here is today's Mongoose shave:

27/09/2014

[Image: Hpk0ju1.jpg]

• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Pro (4) •
• Cade Plisson •
• RazoRock XXX •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

Back to an extremely smooth and easy shave. Nothing to complain about at all. In fact, after using the stiffer and wider (more exposure) Super blade, it didn't even feel like I had a blade loaded. At one time I used to fear the keenness of the Feather Pro blades. Now that this blade is loaded in the Mongoose's stable platform and I have some practice with the Super blade, this feels so mild that I doubt I could hurt myself even if I tried.

Until next shave... Shave On & God Bless!!!



Shave #s 19 & 20 of my Mongoose Journey

3 days in a row with the thrice used Feather Professional blade makes a total of 6 shaves on it now and everything about it still feels like new.

Here is yesterday's Mongoose shave:

28/09/2014

[Image: 6wOuy5B.jpg]

• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Professional (5) •
• L'Occitane Cade Plisson •
• Vito's Extra Super •
• Krampert's Finest Acadian Spice Bay Rum •





Here is today's Mongoose shave:

29/09/2014

[Image: 18t3lXl.jpg]

• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Professional (6) •
• Plisson Acetate Synthetic •
• WSP Rustic -- Barbershop (6) •
• Vintage Aqua Velva Ice Blue •

20 shaves completed with the Mongoose now. I have not used any other razor since I first started shaving with it on September 6th. That's 20 great shaves in 24 days. Yes, I've had some ups and downs while learning this razor and some different blades. However, the end result has always been a great shave and more importantly the shaving experience is sublime. The corners of my lip subconsciously turn upward whenever I see the Mongoose with its gorgeous mirrored finish; an outright smile breaks free each time I pick it up. I'm so excited to see many more people getting to experience this razor in the next few weeks. Even though I have one already all of the Batch #2 excitement is hitting me as well.

Until next shave... Shave On & God Bless!!!



Mongoose Journey: Shave #27

Not too much to report over the last 7 shaves until yesterday and today. Today was shave #13 on this Feather Professional blade. I recently saw that someone ordered 200 of these blades. If I keep the math simple and conservatively average 10 shaves per blade, then that would be 2,000 shaves worth of blades right there. If I were to shave daily, then it would take almost 5 1/2 years to go through all of them. Considering that I realistically average about 5 shaves per week the time would jump up to almost 7 3/4 years. Yeah, these blades may cost a bit more per blade but man do they average out over time to be a bargain.

Here is today's Mongoose shave:

07/10/2014

[Image: 2rcyJ6D.jpg]

• Mongoose + Dub Legend •
• Feather Professional (13) •
• L'Occitane Cade Plisson •
• Cella Extra Extra Purissima •
• Myrsol Agua Balsamica •


As I mentioned in the introduction there was not much to report on my recent shaves until yesterday and today. Yesterday I noticed just a couple weepers and that I was feeling the edge of the blade more. After the shave I decided to strop the blade for the first time since putting it back in the razor 8 shaves prior. Today's shave was definitely back to being smooth and there was no more blood. However, it took a good bit more effort to get as close of a shave as I like in my problem spots; around the jawline and chin. Because of this decrease in performance I went ahead and binned the blade after its 13th use.

Tomorrow I will load up a fresh Feather Super and hang on for the ride. It sounds like Batch 2 is getting close to being rolled out. I certainly hope that my journal has helped bring some more information to light regarding this spectacular SE razor and the blades that it was made for. If you get your email notice and you have a lingering question before placing your order, then please post it here and I'll do what I can to answer it.

It appears that they will start to roll out the inventory as it is available rather than wait for all to be ready. Those who were on the list the earliest will get notified first. That simple. Despite the increase in production cost, Team Mongoose is honoring the announced price for all on the Batch 2 list of $149 CONUS for the entire razor and $119 CONUS for the head only. There will most assuredly be a higher price once this razor becomes a regular stock item at BullGoose Shaving. So if you want to get in on the best price possible for this razor, then you need to get in on the list before 12pm EST on Wednesday October 8th as this is when the list will close. Email your request to be on the list to mongooseorders@gmail.com.  Be sure to read the post here on the Nook or in the pinned post of the Mongoose Razors Facebook page to understand the options that will be available. It also sounds like there will be more information to come.

I can't wait to see the Mongoose in more SOTDs and to hear what even more people think about this razor. Godspeed to all of you who have been waiting; some patiently and others not so much. :winky: All I can say is that your wait will be well worth it.

Until next shave... Shave On & God Bless!!!
>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
#3
Mongoose Jouney: Summary of Shaves 28-40

I apologize for not keeping up with this as of late. With a little free time tonight I'd like to catch up especially amongst the news from Team Mongoose today that the Batch 2 emails are imminent. Lots of great information in their update today; 2 finish options, multiple handle choices, ability to purchase multiple handles, and of course the head only option. Now to tie some of my experiences together and hopefully help you Batch 2 folks decide on what you want out of your Mongoose and which blades to try first.


Blades Report:

Shaves 28-34 were 7 shaves in a row with the Feather Super blade. Most of these were daily shaves with one of them being on a 2-days growth. I'm finding that for me the Super is best for whenever I take a day or two off from shaving. It will effortlessly remove lots of growth in a minimum # of passes. As a daily shaver I was starting to develop some irritation. Over the last couple days, however, I think I may have determined this is coming from a skin reaction to a certain product and not the razor. Once I square that away I will revisit the Super blades as a daily shaver. As of now though they will remain my deforestation blade.

I then moved back to the Kai Mild for shaves 35 & 36. These shaves were nowhere near the quality of either Feather blade and I decided to bin the Kai Mild blade after 5 shaves and not look back. I've already traded away my Kai Milds for a pack of Feather Supers.

Starting with shave #37 I went back to the trusty old Feather Professional blade. Over the next few shaves this blade is convincing me of how great it is for everyday use. I was still getting some irritation on my skin but it was much less than what I noticed from the Supers and it was limited to when applying my aftershave. With today's shave, however, I stumbled upon the idea that the aftershave is what is causing the irritation and I will investigate that further starting tomorrow.


Handel Harem:

Anyone that has paid attention to my SOTDs over the last couple years will know that I have a fairly small amount of kit that I like to use regularly. I have only used SE razors for 2 years now & I can go long periods of time with using the same SE before switching to a different one. I also typically only use a single after the shave product in my beloved Krampert's. Apparently after almost 3 years of dedicated use I decided to branch out and now I'm starting to think that I shouldn't have even done that. For soaps I am about the same with having only about 4 different brands and I'll use the same one for quite some time before moving around to another one. My brushes are limited to the Plisson synthetic, Grooming Company synthetic, and every once in a while my Mühle Black Fibre synthetic. But for some reason I can't stop looking at all the different handle options that are out there to use on the Mongoose. I started with the Dub Legend, then added the iKon Shavecraft SE, followed by a custom handle by Jürgen Hempel, and most recently I was able to complete my Batch 1 set with a Dub Slim handle. The sad thing is that this is more variety than I typically have for things and yet I'm already wondering when I can add in one (or both) of the Bomber Pole handles that are available with the Satin finish.

[Image: nNG2Z9n.jpg]

Left to Right:
Jürgen Hempel Spiral: 14 x 85mm, 85g
iKon Shavecraft SE: not sure on calibre but somewhere in the 12-14mm range, 100mm length, 90g
Dub Legend: 5/8" x 3.9" (approximately 15.875 x 99mm), 135g
Dub Slim: 1/2" x 3.9" (approximately 12.7 x 99mm), 100g

Some quick thoughts on the different handles are as follows. Both of the Mongoose Dub handles as expected pair perfectly with the Mongoose head; functionally and aesthetically. Despite the smooth finish I have had zero issue with the handles being slippery. I've had most of my Mongoose shaves with the Dub Legend and now that I am used to it all the others seem small rather than it seeming large and unwieldy. There is something super comfortable and ergonomic about such a thick calibre in a razor handle. This is why I think I prefer the custom Jürgen Hempel Spiral handle the most. This handle gives me the thickness to grip comfortably but also gives a minimalistic knurling pattern for a touch of grip without sacrificing the shinier polished finish that you lose with the knurled sections in handles like the iKon SE. I also slightly prefer the shorter Hempel Handle as it allows me to maintain the proper angle on the lowest parts of my neck. The other handles (all near 100mm long) start running out of room as I try to finish my strokes at times.

Bottom line is that even though I was initially against the idea of picking up aftermarket handles for the Mongoose (I was afraid it would throw off the balance and performance of the razor), it is clear that this razor head is designed so well that you could probably shave well with it attached to a toothpick. Find a handle that you like both the looks of and the feel of and attach it to the Mongoose. You won't be sorry.

My shave tally:
Dub Legend: 29
iKon Shavecraft SE: 8
Jürgen Hempel Spiral: 3
Dub Slim: 1

That should catch us up all the way through Shave #40 and bring up today's shave #41.

Here is today's Mongoose Shave:

SOTD: 24/x/2014

[Image: 0Woivd9.jpg]

• Mongoose B1 •
• Dub Slim •
• Feather Professional (5) •
• Plisson Acetate Pearly Gray •
• Cella Crema Sapone •
• Myrsol Agua Balsamica •

As I mentioned earlier I have been noticing quite a bit of skin irritation that I couldn't understand as my shaves have all been going so well. However, with each passing shave for about the last week I have been noticing an ever increasing amount of irritation whenever I apply my aftershave. Today's amount of stinging and burning is what made that lightbulb in my head go off. My shave today was as smooth as butter with no reason for alarm or to expect any issue when applying my aftershave. Yet, as soon as the splash hit my skin I was reminded of why I will never put alum to my skin again. Starting tomorrow I will go back to the post shave products that have served me so well for years (Krampert's Finest and Aqua Velva) and see if the post shave irritation dissipates. If so, then I will have to move along what is otherwise a really fine aftershave.

I'm super excited that the Batch 2 release is ever closer and that more people will get to experience the great shaves that I've been blessed with for almost 7 weeks now. I anticipate even more amazing pictures along the lines of Ravi and Ed, especially of the new Bomber Pole handles and satin finish head.

Until next shave...

Shave On & God Bless!!!



Mongoose Musings: Shave #61 and a Revelation

The least aggressive shave that works best is the ideal setup.

Here is today's Mongoose shave...

[Image: HXFHFXO.jpg]

Mongoose (61) + Dub Slim (8) B1
Feather Super (3)
L'Occitane Cade Plisson Synthetic
Dr. Selby 3x Concentrated Cream (1)
Myrsol Agua Balsamica
Soap Commander Wisdom Balm

I say to patients regularly that the least invasive treatment/therapy, THAT WORKS, is what will give them the most favorable long term outcomes. I'm learning that the same can be true regarding the aggressiveness of my shaves.

After 22 great shaves with the Feather Pro, I am just not enjoying these last 3 shaves from the Feather Super. I have to focus too much on angle as the greater exposure from this blade actually seems to minimize the window of effective shaving angles, at least for me. I'm letting way too much blood and these are nicks, not weepers. I can feel each one when it happens.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with the Super blades, or anything else I have used over the last three shaves. I just think that the Super is more aggressive (invasive) than I require for my best long term results. I'm not completely jumping ship on the Supers yet, but I must admit my frustration these last 3 shaves when compared to the simple joy and ease I had from the 22 prior shaves on the Feather Pro blade.

It can be difficult for me at times to realize that I can't make everyone normal like me. Rather, we are all made differently and it is our job to realize these differences and account for them so that we may deal with others more productively. I realize that I more than likely fail at this more than I succeed, but at least I'm realizing that and I'm not blind to it anymore. We may joke about needing a more aggressive shave cause my beard is tougher than your prepubescent girly peach fuzz; or how grown men are utilizing glorified make-up brushes to make lather with rather than something more manly like a badger, boar, or horse. The truth is that we are all on our own journey to find what works best for ourselves and it honestly matters not what someone else thinks of it. So when others are trying to poke fun at some of the things I use or feminize what I do I can simply shake my head. While they are still caught up in what others think of their kit I can lean over my counter each morning and shave with the kit that will get me the best shave possible; feeling no desire to draw more attention to myself and glorify what I do. The glory for me is in the act of the shave, not the acting in front of a camera.

So men and women, enjoy your shaves and the journey it takes to find what works best for you. Keep in mind that as you find the different things that get the job done that the best option will be the one that is least aggressive and still works to achieve your desired results.

Until next shave...

Shave On & God Bless!!!
>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
[+] 1 user likes this post
#4
Well a new chapter to my Mongoose journal is about to begin. The blacked out AlumiGoose arrived today and I'm excited to see how an approximately 67% reduction in weight factors in to not only how it shaves, but also how I enjoy it. Will I like its increased agility or will it feel like I'm trying to shave with a toy? 

Other than being completely anodized a shiny black, this Mongoose Al also has another difference compared to my original B1. The AlumiGoose is made with the B3 enhancements which, to my knowledge, is mostly the longer blade loading tabs. These longer tabs make loading the blade easier & more secured, allow for an even more sound matching of top plate & base plate before screwing on the handle, & they will allow you to loosen the head some for better rinsing of the blade without it washing out of the razor head. I'm all for these improvements and look forward to seeing how much I make use of them & if I can really notice an improvement in my handling of the razor. 

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>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
[+] 3 users like this post
#5

Chazz Reinhold HOF
Looking forward to your review on the AlumiGoose!
[+] 1 user likes this post
#6

Member
Austin, TX
The Journal has landed- fantastic! Look forward to your thoughts on the Alumigoose.

It is definitely a beautiful looking razor. I am wondering if it will be more "vocal" being aluminum. Next installment will be a great one!
Kevin
[+] 1 user likes this post
#7

Member
Ontario
Extremely well written SharpSpine Big Grin The Mongoose is certainly a razor I'm eyeing up for the future, and this was definitely insightful as to how it shaves and everything. Thanks Big Grin
[+] 1 user likes this post
#8
(This post was last modified: 12-16-2015, 09:20 PM by Hobbyist.)
Great thread! I'm gonna finish reading thru it this evening.
[+] 1 user likes this post
#9

Chazz Reinhold HOF
Funny thing about owning a Goose. I have own and sold three of them, guess what? Just got another one, lol...This is a razor that no matter what, I freaking miss it every time I get rid of it.

The first two I helped a couple of guys that wanted them really bad, the third? I don't even know why I sold it, lol...

But I'm back on the Goose wagon. It is a great razor.
[+] 1 user likes this post
#10

Member
Greenville, SC USA
Well done, Doc.

I can see that the angle is practically automatic. Just put the flat of the razor just above the blade on your face and it's set! With that much metal on you face, however, how is it for getting up under your nose? Seems as if it might be a bit crowded up there.
Does Mean I Must Buy High End Shaving Gear?
--Roger--
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