Complete Review, The Cadet Open Comb Head

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Azarius, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Azarius

    Azarius Must have had his WHEATies

    Just a few weeks ago Joe at Shave A Buck released a new line of razors including a new design open comb head that could be purchased by itself. The head immediate drew my interest for two reasons, one, it was just a head, and two, from the pictures it looked similar to my current favorite razor, the FaTip.

    The price seemed very low at $12.00 USD, but considering that I needed to order some creams from him I thought I had nothing more to lose than the cost of a cheap lunch.

    For the pictures I paired the Cadet Open Comb Head to the Edwin Jagger DE89L Handle so people could see how well the finish is on the head. If EJ was to purchase this Open Comb from the OEM supplier and did nothing but mount it to an existing handle they would probably market this razor in the $60 to $70 price range.

    Positive Aspects:
    1. Very affordable at only $12.00 USD
    2. Nicely plated in chrome that has been heavily applied.
    3. Attention to detail on buffing.
    4. No rough patches or jagged edges on any part of it.
    5. Better in quality and craftsmanship than most German made open combs.
    6. Unique design that borrows elements from various great classic and well respected open combs.

    Cons: None

    Price: 10 Stars, it is only $12.00 USD. This is a razor head that anyone can afford. Even if a person was to purchase the complete razor at $23.99 the head is worth at least double that!

    Quality: 9 Stars. The only reason I am not giving it 10 stars is due to a small amount of chrome that is applied too thick on back of base plate. This is could be a positive as it should last even longer.

    Ease of Blade Replacement: 10 Stars. If you currently own three piece razors, then you know how to put in a blade. Unlike the FaTip, blade alignment on the Cadet is a non-issue, you put in the blade, put on the base plate and screw into your handle. Done, perfect alignment, no variance in blade gap.

    Aggressiveness: 7.5 to 8 If the 2011 Mühle R41 is a 10, this falls somewhat below that. Although do not let the lower number fool you as far as whisker reduction. Unlike the Mühle this razor does not require finding that weird angle, it just fall into place naturally.

    As one of three co-founders of the Brotherhood of the Open Comb (BOTOC), I have tried many open comb razors, just to list a few:

    Gillette Old Types (both the 102 and 102a heads)
    Gillette New Improved (Tuckaway)
    Gillette NEW Short and Long Comb
    Merkur Model 41 1904 Open Comb
    Merkur 11C HD
    2009 Mühle R41
    2010 Mühle R41
    2011 Mühle R41 (although in my opinion, this is not an open comb, it is a tooth comb)
    Tradere Open Comb
    iKon S35
    Goodfella Open Comb
    FaTip Piccolo
    FaTip Grande

    The Cadet Open Comb head is unique to itself. The top cap is similar to an Old Type. The base plate has a flat bottom, similar to a Gillette New Improved, while the comb is curved similar to a FaTip/Joris. The teeth of the comb are not as long as the FaTip/Joris, but somewhere between the NEW short comb and long comb.

    There seems to be a fair amount of wet shavers that will put down any razor that comes out of India claiming the quality is cheap and poorly made, often without ever trying the razor themselves.

    I will tell all of the razor snobs that prejudge a razor based upon it's country of manufacture that they may want to reconsider their thinking. This Open Comb design if not just good, it is excellent. Joe put some serious thought into designing these heads, he himself is a wet shaver so of course he wants to make a razor that he would enjoy using.

    The Cadet Open Comb has become my favorite razor over anything I have ever owned, tried or had loaned to me on tour, be it vintage or new, or at any price point.

    This is "every mans" open comb. If BOTOC was to have an official razor this would be it.
  2. awake2shave

    awake2shave Crazy Sharp Melon Baller

    Well written and full of useful information, great job once again Arley. I may have to pick one of these heads up when they are in stock again.
    macaronus and Azarius like this.
  3. PadreTex

    PadreTex Well-Known Member

    Nicely done, Arley!
    Azarius likes this.
  4. Smoothy

    Smoothy Well-Known Member

    Excellent review, Arley, thank you for sharing. I was following with interest you daily SoS posts with the Cadet razors, and now this review has totally done it. Have just ordered one of these OCs as well from Joe.
  5. trader ron

    trader ron Well-Known Member

    Excellent review! I currently own an EJ89L and have been seriously considering trying an open comb razor. I just may have to try this one! Thanks!!
  6. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Great review! A person could attain a serious RAD when reading such reviews...
  7. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    I don't know about all of that but there have been complaints on the various shaving forums about the quality control on the plating. Some have come out with bubbled plating, generally the plating on the blade posts - and a few who have had this problem, their plating is already "peeling" off.
  8. Azarius

    Azarius Must have had his WHEATies

    That very well may be true, although I have not read of any problems, especially from this new line of Cadet razors that has just been introduced.

    I do know that I have read of many plating issues with Merkur and Parker, but I personally have never purchased a "bad" one.

    I enjoy a good razor, especially one that I can find at a good price. For me this razor performs better than what I was expecting, so I am happier than a clam :D
    Smoothy likes this.
  9. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Well, tomorrow I will try this with the Big Ben Blade! I have looked at both the handle and the head and they are both flawless in finish.

    Smoothy likes this.
  10. Ryan B

    Ryan B Knight of the Soapocracy

    It sounds like a pretty good razor. I think I'll refrain from buying one as I have 5 razors already and that one sounds a little too aggressive for me.
  11. mondoj

    mondoj Member

    how's the balance with the Parker handle, I have a 98r handle lying around in need of a head. I put the Parker head on a Weber bulldog handle and like it better. It certainly looks good.
  12. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    I plan on finding out tomorrow. Interesting it has the exact same length as the Cadet TTO-15 and weighs as much (fancy that). Now here is a photo comparing the Barbasol, Cadet TTO-15, Cadet OC / Parker 98R and the Slim.

    178-bplatoon and Azarius like this.
  13. Smoothy

    Smoothy Well-Known Member

    Blimey, that Parker handle looks seriously good attached to that Cadet head... :drool: I have ordered my Cadet head along with a Cadet handle, the black one. Am curious to see how it looks like and even more so how it shaves like...
    Azarius likes this.
  14. Azarius

    Azarius Must have had his WHEATies

    I have the black handle, the SS-26 and love it, very nice and heavy.
    Smoothy likes this.
  15. Smoothy

    Smoothy Well-Known Member

    Just nice! Yes, I remember seeing this in you SoS post and I really liked the look! Thanks for activating my drooling mechanism yet again. :happy088: I have also recently ordered the discontinued Merkur 12C which I will compare directly with this one (size and weight / heft seem similar). Of course an official comparison is not needed as they have 2 distinctly different head shapes, my aim will only be to see which one I enjoy shaving with more.
    GDCarrington likes this.
  16. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    I look forward to that comparison.
    Azarius likes this.
  17. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Well today was the test of the Cadet OC Converter Head with the Parker 98R handle. The head is as aggressive as my Old Type and New Long Comb Gillette razors and slightly less aggressive than the Gillette New Improved or the Gillette New Short Comb. Excellent two pass shave. This is also slightly less aggressive than the Cadet TTO-15 I used for the three days prior to today. The razor had an almost true center balance due to the weight of the handle. I also behaved balance and weight wise like the TTO-15 (no surprise there). If the quality of heads and plating can stay at this level then this will be a boon to OC lovers.

    Azarius likes this.
  18. Devildog

    Devildog New Member

    Based on your review I just purchased the Cadet model TP1. Can't wait to get it in the mail.
    Azarius likes this.
  19. Jaymo

    Jaymo Active Member

    I can't find these heads anywhere on the shaveabuck site.
  20. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    They sold out quickly. Joe is more than likely having to obtain more stock.

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