Focus Dynamic 1/2 DE Single Edge Razor!

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Shave Monkey, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ron. I don't really believe it could be a bum steer on anyone's part. Just another type of tool to get the job done. Don't worry, I'm prepared for a learning curve all its own, and I doubt I'd have trouble moving it off if that became my choice.
    From the research I've done, this could just wind up to be one of those polarizing type of items. I'm not sure if the gentleman at The Superior Shave has a US exclusive or is just the only one I've seen marketing the product States side. He just doesn't seem to be anything other than a straight shooter to me. I'm intrigued that he and another skilled individual in the open edge art have embraced it. We shall see. Bill
     
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  2. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    Whooop dare it is....
    20180321_163359.jpg
     
  3. lancelot

    lancelot New Member

    Whooop is right! We are on the edge of our seats for a shave report.
    Ron
     
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  4. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    REPORT......

    #1 Load the blade for the shave.
    I chose to use a Feather since info I gathered from successful users have described it as what I'll call mild.
    Compared to videos I've seen, I found Feathers a little harder to snap than what I observed. You almost had to crease the fold before it snapped.
    The blade had significant enough bend to require a scissor trim to allow it to assemble properly. I suspect a precut blade would go in easily and be snug. I have read the posts can adjust, but chose to leave them alone.
    I made sure it was loaded and seated properly. This took some time. I'll see if that improves. Blade parallel and sideways position were checked under magnification.
    Visually, I perceive more blade exposure and less gap than EJ DE89.
    I did a dry test on my arm to get a feel for the action and test for harshness.
    A number of folks testing this razor reported irritation. I wanted to try to avoid errors that can cause that sort of thing.
    Good Lord willing we'll be taking a whirl in the morning. Let you know how I made out in the evening.
     
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  5. lancelot

    lancelot New Member

    Sort of fun fooling with it, isn't it? I would think a precut blade would not provide the grip against the top plate the flanged one does and might move around. Let me know your results. If I adjusted the posts my OCD would kick in & I would never feel I has it straight. Polsilvers seem to break fairly well.
    Remember to keep the top of the cap pressed somewhat against your face while shaving, and I think you will have a good experience.
    Good luck & tell us how it was,
    Ron
     
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  6. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    Low angle, stretch the skin. It doesn't look any harder than old Schicks.... ;)
     
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  7. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    REPORT #1 - Equipment test (shave based on my normal routine)
    Noxzema pre-shave
    Cold Water
    Stirling Soap, deliberately sloshy
    Focus Dynamic, 1/2 Feather day 1
    Alum check
    Proraso Red AS Balm
    Brut Splash-On.......(stop laughing at me...I like the smell)
    Trumpers Skin Food

    This razor has a pivoting mechanism unlike most I've observed. The pivot point is well above/behind the cutting edge, rather than in front of to cutting edge. The 'cap' (if I may use that term) consists of 2 flat planes. The top plane needs to contact the skin flat when preparing stoke first. The bottom plane becomes the cutting plane (or cap to ride) and is supposed to move across the skin flat and provide a skin stretching action similar to their Focus AL shavette design. The moving of the razor activates the pivot to engage the lower 'shaving plane' of the cap against the skin. The bar is slightly higher than where the bottom plane would intersect it (raised slightly, if you will).

    Use of this razor is NOT naturally intuitive from my learnings on DE or a Shick injector. I reviewed the Stateside vendor's materials as well as those of other satisfied users. I did as instructed, and it worked.
    Made a wet sloshy lather to minimize potential clogging. Razor rinsing need is comparable to an injector.

    The design of this razor requires enough inward pressure on the shaving stroke to engage cutting (more than I use on de or injector). I am actually riding both the cap and the bar at this point. There is ONLY one obtainable blade angle, and it is lower than my current skills allow ME to deliver as consistently. So far I feel this equipment could be described as mild.

    I tested this razor on my arm first. It is important to engage the pivot on this razor for it to work. My first pass was WTG. I could feel the blade working, but at no time did I sense the 'toothiness' I have come to expect from a new Feather. I was pressed for time so I went directly to ATG (I can never do this). After a couple of smsll touch ups, I moved to my after shave routine.

    Today I ended satisfied and maybe a little impressed. Not the closest shave I've had, but really quite comfortable. As I move forward, I'll play with this tool and my technique to see where it leads.

    Good day my friends.
     
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  8. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Wow! Super writeup.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  9. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    Well. That covers it. Nice....
     
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  10. lancelot

    lancelot New Member

    +1
    Ron
     
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  11. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    REPORT #2- Equipment test (shave based on my normal routine).......changes
    Noxzema pre-shave
    Cold Water
    Stirling Soap, deliberately sloshy
    Focus Dynamic, 1/2 Feather day 2
    Alum check .......omitted, not necessary
    Proraso Red AS Balm .......omitted, not necessary
    Brut Splash-On.......(stop laughing at me...I like the smell) .......substituted Clubman
    Trumpers Skin Food

    3 pass shave today plus touch ups

    Suffice it to say this is a VERY mild razor for me, yet delivers nice close shaves. This has been mild enough to drop items from my normal shave routine.

    There is a low learning curve, and this is a vey simple tool to use.

    The spring loading of the pivot action design does mean that the more the head needs to pivot from its resting position, the more pressure needs to be applied with the razor to the face to get to the cutting plane. At maximum, I felt I had to mush it to my face. Using a slick soap like I was, may have helped, but it still worked without discomfort. I didn't really like pressing in this fashion, so tried to keep the action engaged at minimum amounts.

    I don't think this razor will give me the 'one pass' shave I was hoping to find, but I do like it. I intend to pursue my testing further to build my own technique and then compare different blades a little. Then, develop some feel for blade life, but for now if will be 2x. Some evaluation if crèmes will be there. I don't see a need for a rule/focus type reporting, but I will drop a note with any important findings.

    Make no mistake, this is a boring tool requiring minimal skill. IT IS VITAL TO USE IT AS DESIGNED. If you value the art with fine shaving tools, there might not be an appeal. Please know, I still WANT to use my other stuff. For anyone looking for good results at low discomfort it is a good choice. For someone coming from electric or cartridges that doesn't want to dive deeper, I would recommend it, even though some learning in the SE/DE world could be of some benefit.

    I have some early impressions which I will list below:

    Dislikes............
    The critical nature and potential for error in blade loading.
    Lack of advantages of a 'blade to skin first' type of tool. Sideburns, mustaches, under nose, etc. (contact top plane to skin, allow stroke and pressure to engage pivot for cutting).
    I usually disassemble my razors after every shave to clean. For this razor and my current injector, its more difficult.

    Likes..............
    DE blades
    Ease of use
    Comfort of shave
    Closeness of shave

    Unknowns..............
    I never need a bush hog, so I can't comment on performance on high or dense growth.
    Head shaving (gals....legs, arms), I imagine things may vary from face

    Thanks for listening
    thanks to those who have gone before
    A special thanks and recognition to Ron @lancelot
     
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  12. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    Time for an update on my test of the Focus Dynamic 1/2 DE Single Edge Razor:

    I have been using this razor every day since I got it. I get irritation free BBS shaves any time I want now. Close, but never had one before.

    To best express my thoughts; If the Good Lord wills, when the time comes for me to walk my daughters down the aisle to present their hand in marriage, THIS RAZOR WITH A CARFULLY LOADED NEW FEATHER WILL BE SHAVING MY UGLY MUG THAT MORNING!

    This razor is NOT for those who derive the deep pleasures in using fine shaving tools requiring time and practice to fully master. It may be the ONE for those like me who want a really great and easy, irritation free shave with minimal variables.

    I have tested this tool with, and used components from the top to the bottom of their categories with little change in the desired end result.

    There are simple techniques to follow.
    - Make sure the blade is loaded correctly.
    - Learn to make sure the pivot is active and you are applying the correct pressure to engage cutting.
    - Experiment using cutting strokes and moves you never before could.
    - Don't be afraid to increase the number of passes even ATG.
    - Don't be afraid test finishing wet cleanups after applying witch Hazel or splash on AS.

    I hope no one will take offense at me for bucking the 'technique trumps tools' model, because I'm really not. This is just a different tool from most traditional ones that requires its own different technique. I can still encourage anyone who wants to 'learn how to shave' to pick a traditional tool and do a 30 day rule. It will help you to understand things.

    I therefore highly recommend anyone with interest to give it a try.
    Minimal initial cost, wide variety of non-proprietary blades you probably already have, simple to use. Go for it. I love it! I may order a back up too!

    Have a great day my friends.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  13. jar

    jar Well-Known Member

    And it's cute!
     
  14. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    Not sure if I'd use the term "cute".
    20180321_163641.jpg

    How about majestic?

    I know there a few gals around here once in a while. Maybe we can get another opinion?

    Cute or Majestic?
    20180321_164155.jpg
     
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  15. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

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  16. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    Thank you.

    This tool has become the game changer for me.

    My big issue is making sure that the blade stays in the proper position when put together. I always double check with a test on my arm.

    I'm not going to give up my other tools, because they are fun. They do have a new end result standard to measure up to. Of course, that is all on my technique.

    I found it interesting that the US purveyor of this tool is a straight razor guy. He says the only thing that beats it is 'totally nailing it' with the straight.
     
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  17. jar

    jar Well-Known Member

    It's cute when it's Rag'd in Red.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    For a short term there in my love of this equipment I thought I had the R.A.D. killer.

    Then one of the siblings shows up.
    :happy108:
    20180411_205021-1.jpg
     
  19. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Sounds a lot like using a cart..... Glad you enjoy it.
     
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  20. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Well-Known Member

    I do not recall ever getting an irritation free shave with a cartridge. The pivot point on the carts I've used leads the blade.

    Proper use of this razor requires using the right pressure to allow the pivot to engage the; 'stretcher plane', the blade, and bar at the same time.

    In one of the videos I reviewed before my initial purchase, the reviewer suggested it would be better if the pivot was like most carts, (wrong!...) , then he describes how it ripped his face up. I'm reasonably sure he failed to carefully ensure the blade was correctly loaded.

    So much for self proclaimed shave experts.

    Be well.
     

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