Homelike Shaving Start DE Razor DFS Raffle. Read more here!!

(This post was last modified: 05-12-2019, 06:07 PM by Dragonsbeard.)
Hello Gentlemen

As the title of the thread states I'm going to be doing a Shave review of the Janus Adjustable safety razor first and then a series of 3 Shave Off where I put it up against a vintage F4 Toggle to see how this modern razor that was inspired by the Gillette Toggle matches up in a side by side Shave Off. I will be using a low, medium and then a max setting on both razors to not only see how they compare overall but also how they compare on different settings as I've found in my experiences with a few razors and Shave Offs that sometimes a razor behaves one way on lets say a low to medium settings and then the overall shave experience and shaving characteristics change quite a bit when the razor is on max setting.  So I figured by comparing a low, medium and max setting on both razors it would give each razor a chance to show all of it's shaving abilities.

Before getting started I'd like to state that I'm not getting paid for this nor am I receiving a free razor for doing this review and Shave Off. Heck I'm not even getting a pack of blades LOL!  Seriously I have been somewhat intrigued by this project since I first heard about it and I signed up for newsletters and updates etc as I'm sure a few of you have. It wasn't till last week when a friend of mine and member on here Shavemd Mark told me that he had talked to Eric the owner/founder of Janus and he told him that I would be a good candidate to take this newer improved prototype for a spin and do a review and when Eric called me I mentioned I was curious as to how the Janus would compare to the Gillette Toggle that inspired it so he liked the idea and said he'd send it out to me.  I have to say I'm pretty excited about this series of Shave Offs.

I know from reading posts on the Janus that there are many that feel the razor is way to expensive and it is and there's no denying it. Some people would never think of spending this much on a razor and others would have no problem if they really liked it.. I know in my years of collecting razors if you would have asked me like 5 or 6 years ago if I'd spend more than $50 bucks on a razor I would have said no way but throughout the years this became a hobby and so I've bought and sold many razors from inexpensive DE's and SE razors like Superspeeds, Techs and Gems etc all the way up to rare vintage and modern artisan razors. Heck I've recently spent more on two razors than this Janus cost with my Wolfman Titanium & Stand and a Brand new never opened never used BBS1 ( I'm gonna open and use it ) so I've bit the bullet more than once on high end or rare razors.  I guess the point is whatever a person is willing to pay is their business not mine.  In my couple of talks with Eric I can say he's a really nice guy and he's done everything himself as far as creating the razor and overlooked all the machining as well.  He works full time at his daily job so this was a labor of love as he has been putting in some serious hours to get the project to this point and I myself wish the man well on this project! in fact I talked to Cap ( aka Captain Murphy about this project and he was impressed that anyone would even tackle such a difficult project as many of you know he's had a lot  of experience with Toggles and he's told me many times they are a nightmare to work on. Eric told me he's tried to improve on the mechanism and other issues  that the Toggle is known for like the Toggle itself.  

Eric sent me some current photos on all the different various configurations that the razor will be available in and he's up to 8 different ways a person can order the razor.  There are 3 basic colors, White gold, Gold and Black and each can have ether silver trim, Gold trim or just painted numbers on the dial. I happen to like the all Silver one and I like the all black one with the white lettering although the black with the silver trim is pretty cool to but that's just me. The prototype that came to me today as you can see in the photos is the silver with the gold trim.  The production will have knurling on the handle and I'm glad as it's pretty slick the way it is right now but that was taken care of by using a little alum on my fingertips on my shaving hand. All and all the razor looks very cool in person and it's no lightweight with it coming in on my scale at 124 grams although it's listed in the brochure as 122 grams. The head is kind of large and in fact the whole razor feels large and it's total length in inches is 4 and a quarter. My good ruler is at work and I can be more precise if anyone wants to know the milmeters. I noticed the balance point is high up on the handle and it's just a hair under the gold trim line but once found it was fine.

Erice sent me an email with a lot more info on this razor that I will share with you as I get further into this thread. I haven't had time to read it all yet which maybe is a good thing going into a first time shave with not knowing to much about the razor other than what I see and feel.

So I have uploaded a few photos of how the razor came to me in the box. In case anyone is wondering Eric said he didn't want to add any more cost to the this razor so although he looked into other case options it would have driven the cost up and he likes the Kraft look for his razor which I respect.

So Let's get to the first Shave/first impressions of the Janus!

Gear used:

Jamus prototype adjustable razor
Hand honed new Feather blade
MDC Fougere
My homemade version of MDC Fougere AS
Declaration Grooming 24" brush
Thayers unscented - not shown.

As some may know like many I've developed my own technique which I call the " Skin Stretch Short Stroke Technique " or SSSST for short in case I bring it up during all of the Shave Offs and copy I write. Of course I'll be using it in this Shave review and all the Shave Offs moving forward.

I decided to do a 2 pass shave going both WTG and ATG as it's my most standard shave routine.  I also decided to start out on setting 5 for the first pass and see how that goes.  I took a nice hot shower as I don't use any pre shave products very often. I lathered up the MDC and I really enjoy the scent so much and that is why I have been playing with some essential oils trying to duplicate it and the one I'm using in this shave is almost there. I was just a little heavy handed with the lavender. MDC is still one of my favorite soaps and I know it's a simple formula but seems like 6 months of curing it makes it a special soap for me. I hand honed a brand new Feather blade as I find it takes the slight harshness that sometimes I've felt with a new Feather on the first use. So it's still very sharp but smoother using this method. At least for me. I'd also like to thank one of the members Jared for sending me the DG brush. It's a fan and I've never used one before as I've always used a bulb knot and I have to say I like it a lot.

1st Pass  WTG - So I started on my right side under my sideburn began my N to S pass and I noticed right away that this razor is very smooth. I stopped and looked at the high polished SB and this to me was a good move on Erics part as the razor has really good glide. I went back to the shave and noticed one more thing you have to rinse the razor a little bit more often than some other razors I shave with and the lather seems to get a little hung up in the razor but again nothing I can't live with if I were to own one someday. You just have to rinse more often. A note to Eric on that.  Blade feel is there bit it is minimum but I will say it stayed pretty consistent throughout the entire shave. Audible feedback was also there but this razor sings a soft song.  Again I'll say the glide on this razor is one of the best I've ever felt on a modern day razor before and it almost feels soft against the face sort of like a titanium razor would. The heads a little big so I had to adjust slightly going under my nose by moving my shonze over to the side a bit and giving the skin a bit of extra stretching. It was what I'd call excellent around my mouth though and where your skin on your face meets your lips is where it excelled as I felt this razor wouldn't cut my lips even if I were to actually shave right on them. So my confidence at this point was building up using this razor for the first time. Again balance or where I had to hold the razor was way up the handle right under the gold trim so I had my pinky almost on the end of the Toggle but once I got used to it there were not issues. Doing as many Shave Offs as I have done using all kinds of razors I've learned to adjust quickly. Maneuverability is somewhat hindered by size of both the head and the razor itself when comparing it to some of my other very manuverable razors but I would not say it's terrible by any means and again I had to adjust to that fact.  Going down my neck I scooted right over my adams apple like it wasn't there. I thought the razor may get hung up on my nasty cowlick on the right side of my neck but surprisingly it didn't. Went over to the other side of my face and this is my easy side so the razor performed great on both my face and neck on my left side. Honestly I thought to myself at this point this razor is so smooth it must have left a good amount of stubble on this pass. So I rinsed before relathering and I did a quick face feel and I was like WOW there was less than I thought there'd be! I will note skin stretching does tend to take down stubble a lot more on a pass than when not doing it and very rarely do I have to do more than two passes with a razor. So this pass is finished and for the first time using the Janus I'd say a very good pass!

2nd Pass ATG - Relthered up and at this point the room just smells awesome from the MDC along with feeling good about how the first pass went I started to get into my groove so when I started my ATG pass at the base of my neck I pulled out my hand towel to give my skin a good stretch and I began my journey North. Being on my right more difficult side I really wanted to see how this razor handles my nasty cowlick and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised as it didn't get hung up or lose momentum like a razor I had shaved with a couple of shaves ago did.  So now I'm starting to get really impressed. I know that the Sharpologist has shaved with this razor and he was the one that made suggestions to Eric to make some changes and whatever was wrong at that point ( didn't read the article yet ) must have been taken care of because this razor was taking down what little remaining stubble was left even on my difficult right side. Getting to my jawline I continued upward and as I got up close to my sideburn I noticed the weight of the razor more than anywhere else in the shave so I better hit the gym a soon! LOL After doing my cheeks I once again went under my nose and to me this is a big test on how a razor performs going ATG under my nose. Some razors I have to just switch and go XTG or do a reverse skin stretch WTG pass again under my nose to match the rest of my shave. Not with the Janus it was so smooth it gave me no problems other than the big head couldn't guite go right up to my the base of my nose so I just did a quick XTG going east to west. finished up the other side of my face and neck which was even  easier amd this shave was in the books!

Post Shave:

Rinsed with warm then cold water and splashed a little Thayers witch hazel on and let it dry while I cleaned my gear.  After that I splashed a little of the homemade AS on and my skin felt great! No nick or irritation whatsoever.

Summary:  Something came to me as I just was finishing wiping off the razors that Cap had told me about the Toggle and I thought I'm going to mention it to Eric when we talk the next time. Cap had told me before moving the Toggle give it a slight pull down and then move it to one side and I did it with the Janus and sure enough it was even easier to open and close it. So I found something new about the razor.  I have to say what started as a bit of a nervous shave as I hadn't used this very expensive razor before turned into a very good shave experience and I have to say it exceeded my expectations so I actually can't wait to put this up against one of my Gillettle Toggles in the next 1 1/2 days. I'll start with the low setting as I'd like to see how this performs as a daily shaver on a low setting and of course how it compares to the Toggle on the same settings.  Oh and I forgot to add that I ended up with what I call a level 2 BBS on some parts of my face and a solid level 1 on all the rest. I did a cotton test to confirm my findings and now I'll monitor how long the BBS lasts.

Thanks all and Great Shaves!


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brit, Standard, Clouds and 13 others like this post
Great initial review my friend I look forward to trying it when your done and comparing it some razors in my collection
Nice write up! Smile

Dragonsbeard likes this post
Very informative shave. On this single use on setting 5 can you comment on what modern or vintage it compares with in regards to efficiency or smoothness ? Your size and weight description reminds me of the Merkur Vision. Looking forward to the comparison shaves and again with those I think readers would like comparisons as well.

As far as efficiency goes regarding this particular shave I have to say 15 hrs after the shave that I’m surprised at how long the BBS lasted . I mean on setting 5 it’s not an Ikon Tech or Charcoal Level 3 but I’d have to start a long list of razors that this Janus compares to on efficiency and I’m the type that likes to do side by sides to be accurate in my statements. Now on smoothness I can make a couple of comparisons based on this shave. RS 10 on the mild plate, Paradigm Ti 11 and 17 4 in moderns as examples off the top of my head and if I have time with it after the Toggle comparison shaves I may put it up against a couple of razors before shipping it to Mark where he’s going to compare it to some razors like the Fatboy and slim and a couple of moderns. We can use it up until the Maggards meet where we will bring it back to Eric. It will be nice to talk to him in person as I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions by then about the razor.
Thanks for the input my friend!
(This post was last modified: 05-12-2019, 03:17 PM by Dragonsbeard.)
Thanks Mark!

I think your going to be surprised by the smoothness! I can’t wait to shave with it again to confirm what I felt in yesterday’s shave which was beyond normal smooth. Efficiency was deceptively good. You know it takes a lot to impress me so honestly I’m a little taken back by the Shave I got and I’ll stick to the low and medium settings comparison to the Toggle but what’s in my mind is I’d like to just go to max setting and run it up against the Toggle and then a couple of other razors to see what this razor is capable of.

That’s my gut feelings!

jmudrick likes this post

That's really something special if it's comparable to a RS-10 mild in smoothness.

AJSharp likes this post
I'm actually hesitant to make such a strong statement like that until I do a side by side but what I felt yesterday was not a normal smooth and the first thing I thought about was the RS 10 with the mild plate. Can't wait till tomorrows shave to confirm what I felt yesterday wasn't just a one time thing.

Thanks for the input my friend!

shaveSymptomatic likes this post

Decided after yesterday's first shave results with the Janus to skip the low setting comparison with the Janus vs the Toggle so I'm going right to the medium settings on both razors. My thoughts were why waste a Shave Off on the low settings when I'd like to compare it to a couple of other razors after the Toggle comparison. I'll use setting 4 on both Janus and Toggle for the first Shave Off tomorrow ( need more stubble ) after that Shave Off I'll wait until Friday Morning to do the Shave Off using both Toggle and Janus on Max settings.

Also if you have any suggestions on what other razors you'd like compared to the Janus please post them up as I have one razor in mind but I'd like some other suggestions also.

Thanks all
It seems to me your task is to sell 73 razors in 3 weeks....if you have that much time with the razor. Among my many concerns is efficiency and smoothness. If I can't open it up far enough, it stands no chance in my rotation. Skip the pleasantries and get to the meat. Put it on 9 and run it against your WR1 94...or preferably the Ti135SB. If it comes close to matching either in smoothness and efficiency, you'll get more attention. After that shave, you'll know where better which direction to head with the comparisons.

Your beard is only going to grow so fast, that is going to limit your face time. Make the most of it. 94/135 match-up should first. Then you can drop back 10 and run it against the T95 on a medium setting maybe. You know it's smooth at 5, tell us what happens at 9. I think most guys are more interested in it's traits on the upper end of the turret.

Personally, I'd like some focus on the length , weight, and maneuverability. At 4.25" it's danged near as long as a long handled Black Beauty. Tipping the scales at 122g...the Janus is only 9g lighter than the heaviest WR1 I have in the solid 100mm WRH1 handle. Which, BTW, I know you and Mark both hate for it's length and weight. The Janus has GOT the be a behemoth in hand.

TheHunter likes this post

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