Pass Around: Tatara Masamune Razor

#1
Thanks to the generosity of @Paul from Connaught Shaving I can offer a pass around of a Tatara Masamune razor by Tatara Razors


This is an exciting opportunity to try this new razor. It has been discussed here.

The pass around is for the razor with both open comb and solid bar plates and the stand.

Please read and agree to the following rules and remarks before joining the list:

If you are new to pass arounds, please read this article on how pass arounds work first.
This pass around is available to members of both the ATG and TSR forums in the UK. If you don't want to post your reviews on both forums (please do), I might post a link to or copy and paste your review on the other forum.
The pass around is limited to 26 members. I’ll restrict the pass around to members who have been around for a while. Don’t apply with your first post. UK based members only. I might move long standing members up in the list, so we get relevant feedback early on.
Because of the value of the razor I recommend sending it by ‘Royal Mail Special Delivery by 1pm’ or equivalent. You send the tracking number to the recipient and to me.
The razor is your responsibility from the moment you receive it until the next person receives it. You break it or lose it - you buy it. If Royal Mail lose it, they’ll pay for it.
Don’t hog the razor. A week should be enough time to form an opinion.
Let us know what you think about the razor. Post your thoughts on this thread and if possible on the other forum as well.
Make sure the razor is shave ready for the next person, i.e. cleaned and disinfected using for example Barbicide.

Who is interested?

  1. sɐǝɹpu∀/riverrun (ATG/TSR)
The list is open.
Legend: Waiting, Currently with, Completed
 
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#12
The Tatara Masamune razor has just arrived. Thanks, @Paul
First thing I had to try is to put the head of my 1912 on the Tatara handle.
Just as expected, this looks gorgeous.
I'll report back later.

  1. sɐǝɹpu∀/riverrun (ATG/TSR)
  2. Blademonkey (TSR)
  3. carbold (ATG/TSR)
  4. Rowlers (ATG)
  5. Salv (ATG)
  6. Holyzeus (ATG)
  7. Barry Giddens (TSR)
  8. ajc347 (ATG)
  9. p.b (ATG)
  10. Mikey J (ATG)
  11. Tomhstorey (ATG)
  12. Wayne Pritchard/2hot 2trot (TSR/ATG)
  13. Wayne (ATG)
  14. Boru62 (ATG)
  15. ManicDee (ATG)
  16. Andymc133 (ATG)
The list is open.
Legend: Waiting, Currently with, Completed
 
#14
First impressions

The razor comes in a fairly plain wooden box with a Samurai logo on the top.
The box opens by rotating the lid around one corner of the box. In the diagonally opposite corner of box and lid are two magnets that hold the lid in position when closed. That's a nice detail and I like how the lid snaps into closed position.
Unfortunately that's all I like about the box. I'm not a fan of big or heavy boxes for razors. I don't see the point. The box with razor weighs in at just over 400g. That's more than I would like to carry with me when traveling. I wouldn't store the razor in the box between shaves, especially as this one comes with stainless steel stand (which does not fit in the box). So the only purpose of the box is to take up space I don't have.
The bottom of the box is a block of wood with some cut-outs:
There is one cut-out for the razor and one for blades, instructions and the second base plate. Then there are two cut-outs for your fingers, so you can remove the razor. One of them is blocked by the slot for blades/instructions/second base plate and the other one is too small to get my thumb in there. Small issues, but worth noting before I chuck the box in the bin. Wait, it's not my razor... I'll hang on to the box for a while..
Enough about the box, let's have a look at the razor. I like what I see. The handle looks very elegant and modern. There is no logo on the top cap (good!). At the bottom of the base plate are engravings of a Samurai and a serial number. That's where they belong.
It's a regular three piece razor. When unscrewing the handle I immediately notice that it takes a bit longer than normal. The screw of the top plate seems a bit longer than normal and the top of the handle enters the base plate. Something like this:
I tried another stainless steel handle and a handle from Gillette Tech - they won't fit because the screw is too long. Not necessarily an issue, but something you should note if like to swap out handles. The Tatara handle does fit on other razors though. I looks really great with the head of a 1912.
Overall I'm not disappointed. The razor is well made and looks great. I'll give it a go later today. @Paul has included 100 Dorco Titan blades. I don't know them, so I'll use a blade I do know.
 
#18
Day 1 - Shave 1
  • Tabac Original shaving stick
  • Mühle 25mm synthetic brush
  • Tatara Masamune OC
  • Voskhod blade (1)
  • Alum block
  • Tabac Original ASL

I opted for the open comb plate for two reasons: it was already attached to the handle and when I reach for a DE razor I currently go for the Seygus brass OC.
@Paul has included 100 Dorco Titan blades with our Tatara razor, but I don't know them and I try to keep the number of unknowns to a minimum when testing a new razor. There are also three Feather blades included in the box, but I hesitate to use a Feather as the first blade in any razor. Out of my favourite DE blades I picked a Voskhod - for me they work in pretty much any DE razor.
With my left wrist still in a cast, loading the brush from a tub of soap is awkward, so I have been using sticks lately. I picked up a Tabac stick when I went to Germany just before Christmas. Just like their regular soap, this is divine. Rich, thick, protective lather with a lovely scent. The best head start any razor can get.
With the open comb base plate there is plenty of blade feel. This normally does concern me, but when "riding the cap" the razor had a level of aggressiveness that didn't bother me. I couldn't actually ride the cap like I can with some other razors, but trying to keep the blade angle shallow made for a very decisive but pleasant stubble slicing action.
Four passes later (yes - I do four passes - I need to - I'll explain another day) and I'm pretty clean shaven without incidents. I don't get the immediate impression that this will be a very long lasting shave, but It is. Not up there with the best, but hours later my face is still reasonably smooth. The alum block and ASL give a bit of feedback, but it's not bad.
That was a very nice shave.
I suddenly realise that I hadn't paid attention to the weight or balance of the razor. I pick the razor up again and I know why: they are perfect for me. Nothing to complain about. Weight, length, balance - they are just right to the point that I didn't notice I was holding a razor. All the action happened at the business end of the razor and the rest of the razor was like the perfect waiter in a restaurant - always there for you, but you don't notice.
The first shave with the Tatara Masamune was quite successful. It may be slightly too aggressive for my taste, but not by much. Tomorrow I'll have a go with the closed comb plate.

To be continued...
 
#19
Day 2 - Shave 2
  • Tabac Original shaving stick
  • Mühle 25mm synthetic brush
  • Tatara Masamune CC
  • Voskhod blade (2)
  • Alum block
  • Tabac Original ASL

For shave #2 I used the closed comb base plate and left all other elements of the shave unchanged.
On the Tatara web site they claim (if you look very closely) that the OC has a blade gap of 0.73mm, while the CC has a gap of 0.63mm.
There is indeed less blade feel with the closed comb base plate. And that changes the shave from "pretty good" to "Wow! Excellent!". Very smooth, yet efficient. Just what I need for a four pass shave.
Who in their right mind does a four pass shave? I do. If I don't go ATG I'm not smooth and if I don't do at least three passes WTG/XTG/GTX before going ATG I get razor burn. Four passes are the least irritating for me. I tried dropping one of the XTG/GTX passes, but alas! - ATG is rough. I don't mind - I get additional me-time.
Back to the Tatara. Why is it so good? I think it's a matter of weight. At 86.6g for the CC and 88g for the OC it's much lighter than most stainless steel hunks. The Feather AS-D2 comes close at 91.0 g, but most stainless steel DE razors weigh in above the 100g mark.
Talking about the AS-D2 - the best looking DE razor ever - the Tatara Masamune is up there in the same looks-league. It's also considerably more expensive than an AS-D2, but I won't discuss pricing until my final verdict.
Shave #2 was extremely good. Even closer than shave #1, with even more pleasure. I could write my final verdict now and pass it on right now, but I'll try a few more blades with the Tatara. At least Feather and the Dorco Titan found in the parcel.
I certainly won't be hogging the razor, as Igor (pronounced Eye-gor) is on his way to me and his two Bunny sisters. (Don't worry if you don't know what I'm talking about).

To be continued...
 
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