#1

Member
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2019, 05:22 PM by DanLaw.)
Was fortunate to trial a Wolfman WR2 SB in 0,95 gap thanks to Sean Kehoe who was also kind enough to tolerate being without the head for nearly a month due to being quite ill yet wanting to conduct as rigorous a review as possible.  The trial consisted of shaving for a week every 36 hours (as per normal routine) side by side switching sides every shave versus a BBS-1, another week paired against a WR1 DC in 0,54 gap (based on being the closest in aggression to the WR2 from the previous week's shaves (possess 0,48-0,67 DC WR1 razors)) and finally solo for 10 consecutive days to assess if it was possible for a person with extremely sensitive skin to use a WR2 SB 0,95 as a truly daily shaver.  Prior to returning the razor, compared the WR2 SB 0,95, BBS-1 and WR1 DC 0,54 using Mitutoyo Digital Calipre to determine critical dimensions.  The attached photos document as best possible the laughable attempt at metrology.

General Impressions:
1, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is a definite step milder than the BBS-1 without ANY question

2, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is a very slight step milder than the WR1 DC 0,54 and nearly identical in shaving results

3, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is a great daily razor that gets within a hardly detectable smidgeon of a perfect BBS shave without causing irritation whilst mowing down even the most wiry of facial hair over extended periods of daily 3 pass shaving

4, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 (and by extension all gaps of this razor head) is slightly less maneuverable than the original BBS-1 and WR1 due to the head thickness and inability to reach complex curvatures particularly on those with disfigurements

5, The standard WR2 SB 0,95 is much more robust than the original BBS-1.  Although have never encountered a report of the BBS-1 breaking when dropped or hit, it appears the new design would suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune much better for wear.

Side by Side Razor Comparison:
Throughout the trial, kept shaving routine as consistent as possible:
1, Washed face pre shave with phisoDerm, warm rinsed
2, Applied Grooming Dept Unscented Preshave for 1,5 minutes
3, Used Grooming Dept. Frankensoap comprised of equal parts Pekin, Asinus and 0,5 part Agnus applied with a Kent BK2
4, Used equally aged Timor blades corked before each shave and rotated between the razors so as to mitigate against individual blade quality
5, Employed 3 pass shave: first pass Superiour to Inferiour, second pass Inferiour to Superiour and final pass lateral to medial
6, Post shave routine comprised of applying lather and leaving on face during clean up of hardware, cold rinsing, applying Grooming Dept Postshave Serum and ABC Balm

WR2 SB 0,95 vs BBS-1:
The first thing one notices is just how much more robust every element of the WR2 is versus the BBS-1.  It is amazing to witness side by side how an evolution of a design can retain all the design elements yet be so totally different and, despite stating it repeatedly, is the foremost element that confronts the new user no matter how much one tries to ignore it.  As will be revealed during shaving, the design philosophy has consequences both positive and negative.  The robustness also adds to the perceived heft of the razor which may be a positive or negative: enjoying heft and being able to rely on the weight of the head to aid shaving is a good thing from my perspective so this was a positive the WR2 head enjoyed over the BBS-1 and WR1.  Another element of the robust head design of the WR2 is that it renders a perception of the blade disappearing contrasted with the BBS-1 and the WR1.  Finally the base and cap appear bigger in every dimension on the WR2 v BBS-1 including the slots.

Shaving:

WR2 v BBS-1

Side by side there is an amazing difference between the 2 razor heads regarding feel, feedback, efficiency.  Were one a sportscar driver, the best analogy is comparing the 2 heads to generations of Porsche 911s: the WR2 is a 991 watercooled variant ultimately forgiving of errant technique and comfortable while still high performing whereas the BBS-1 is a 993 pure and simple giving precise information as to every imperfection in one’s skin, lather quality and bad technique – done right it is ultimately rewarding and wrong in any element: punishing (bearing in mind this is not to suggest it is as pure a shaving experience as using a straight razor).  To use a skiing analogy, the WR2 is a Doctor’s ski and the BBS-1 a Slalom racer: a pilot’s analogy would be the WR2 is a Bonanza and the BBS-1 a Mooney: motorcyclists would compare the WR2 to a Yamaha R6 and the  BBS-1 to a Ducati Panagale – one could go on ad infinitum but hoping most will get the picture.  An area where the WR2 redesign is incontrovertibly superior is in shedding lather – the head design just doesn’t clog no matter how thick one prefers their lather and is a welcome improvement for those of us having gotten accustomed to loosening the head multiple times throughout a shave when using the BBS-1.  However the shear bulk of the WR2 head does make it tough to get into nooks and crannies, particularly for those of us with facial injuries.  Getting the area where the hair line meets the ear (for those of us preferring no sideburns) or under the nose is virtually impossible and requires either using another razor or tweezering to effect a clean shave in those areas.  While the ultimate fine maneuverability of the WR2 may be in question, there is absolutely no doubt that this is the smoothest DE ever used and is even nearly on par with the OneBlade in being able to effortlessly shave across the neck in any direction without fear of irritation nor knicks; for those with super sensitive skin, there is no finer DE razor.  Shave quality with the BBS-1 is outstanding and equal to any straight ever used but there is irritation such that it can not be used as a daily razor, requiring at least one day rest between shaves.  The WR2 delivers as close to a BBS shave without actually accomplishing it as is possible, for one the tiny spots that are inaccessible require follow-up and for another, a spot at the uppermost hollow of the right cheek that never could be completely perfectly shaved irrespective of number of passes and touchups.

WR2 v WR1
These are simply completely different approaches to designing a DE and the photos illustrate this clearly.  My perspective is that EVERY razor should use the 4 post design to secure blades – period full stop.  There is no more brainless way to assure every blade is loaded and secured perfectly no matter how incompetent the shaver – in fact it should be an international treaty provision.  Further, while the WR1 doesn’t suffer lather jamming as badly as the BBS-1, it does accumulate somewhat in the lower gaps by shave’s end and the WR2 is a noticeable improvement in this regard.  The maneuverability of the WR1 is the equal of the BBS-1 and again noticeably superior to the WR2 in the same areas aforementioned.  Side by side the difference between the 2 razor heads regarding feel, feedback, efficiency is less pronounced than with the BBS-1 with the WR1 being a compromise between the BBS-1 and WR2 leaning to the BBS-1.  Were one a sportscar driver, the best analogy is comparing the 2 heads to generations of Porsche 911s: the WR2 is a 991 watercooled variant ultimately forgiving of errant technique and comfortable while still high performing whereas the WR1 is a 996 being somewhat purer and simpler in giving more precise information as to the general imperfections in one’s skin, lather quality and bad technique – while one can feel an improvement when executed properly, there are no real consequences for failure in any element.  To use a skiing analogy, the WR2 is a Doctor’s ski and the WR1 a Giant Slalom racer: a pilot’s analogy would be the WR2 is a Bonanza and the WR1 a Trinidad: motorcyclists would compare the WR2 to a Yamaha R6 and the WR1 to a BMW RR….   Shave quality with the WR1 is outstanding and almost equal to any straight ever used but with far less irritation than the BBS-1 such that it can be used as a daily razor providing one’s technique is spot on.

So Which Razor is Best?
Ha!  It depends.  All of these razors are absolutely the pinnacle of machining perfection and of motorsport quality in design and execution – there are no better crafted razors on the planet of any type period end of sentence.  Rather than think of these as representing perfection on a scale, one would be better advised to consider them as equally perfectly machined yet different tools for different jobs.  
• If one wants absolute precision with rewards and punishment for technique, the BBS-1 is the choice.  
• If one wants a razor possessing most of the design elements making the BBS-1 so unique among modern DE razors but with the ability to shave daily even using less than ideal technique, it is the WR2.  
• If one wants a compromise between ultimate precision and some forgiveness for less than stellar technique then WR1 is a great choice.

I have in the past and will continue in the future to reach for the WR1 0,54 DC for every day shaves and the BBS-1 for those occasions when desiring a special shave but not willing to risk cuts using a straight.  Currently do not own a WR2 but would be excited to add a DC 0,95 if a slot became available at Wolfman.  Thank you Sean for the loan of your razor!

Way too many photos:

WR2 v BBS-1

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WR2 v BBS-1 v WR1 (tried to keep these logically grouped but....)


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IanG153, Marcos, Andrei and 7 others like this post
#2

Living on the edge
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2019, 06:46 AM by Tester28.)
Well thought out and brilliantly articulated. Nice amount of detail.
A must read for anyone contemplating these two heads.
My own conclusion is that at least one of each must be procured.
I have been fortunate to snag a WR2 1.15 and it is everything you say it is.
It still does a stellar job above the upper lip but it slows me down and I have to get a bit creative
with angles under the snout.

Based on your review, the WR1 would seem to be a more zippy yet temperamental cousin
to the WR2. Cant wait to have one soon.

Your summation was great....Im taking the liberty of pasting it here as the TLDR version,
in case I want to re-vsit it again:

Begin quote:

• If one wants absolute precision with rewards and punishment for technique, the BBS-1 is the choice.

• If one wants a razor possessing most of the design elements making the BBS-1 so unique among modern DE razors but with the ability to shave daily even using less than ideal technique, it is the WR2.

• If one wants a compromise between ultimate precision and some forgiveness for less than stellar technique then WR1 is a great choice.


End of quote
#3
Nice write up, Dan. Very helpful and thank you for your efforts.
#4

Member
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2019, 04:58 PM by DanLaw.)
Photos (Cont'd)

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crpearson and shaveSymptomatic like this post
Just an old slow fat man
#5
DanLaw this is a great review and summation of the 3 razors created by James Dufour. Fantastic job!


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