Rocnel SE50 Review Received a Rocnel SE50 razor in the mail today and thought it could be interesting to people to see some more photos of it and hear some subjective thoughts on it. Rocnel History/Background If you've lived under a Roc (ok, that was bad..) for the past six months or so Rocnel is a company out of Turkey that is coming out with some really interesting safety razors. There is an early (and more expensive) 'deluxe' DE razor but the later offerings seems to all have some things in common; - CNC machined out of 316 stainless steel, - Innovative blade loading mechanisms, - Priced very competitively, and - Very well machined Their first offering in this 'budget' line of razors was the Rocnel SE that took a DE snapped in half and loaded into a solid head design. It received a number of reviews ranging from 'unusable' to 'my favorite razors these days'. Me, I was very happy with mine and I think that with shipping it set me back about $35 which was, to me, an incredible value. Receiving close to 4,000 pre-orders (many duplicates as people were not sure if their order had been registered and re-did it) of their Rocnel SE razor two things became apparent to them; a) there was a huge interest w/in the wet shaving community for well machined sub-$100 razors and b) being a machine shop first and foremost they needed to outsource the actual selling of their razors due to the issues the overwhelming amount of pre-orders caused. Next in their line up are; 1) The SE50 razor that takes your Feather Problade and whatnot-kinda-blade, and 2_ The DE42 razor that will take 'full' DE blades This pre-production review is about the first out of the two: The Rocnel SE50 Some data points about the SE50; - CNC machined out of 316 Stainless steel, - Feather Pro compatible blades, - Price: Approx $85 / £60 - Availability: TBD but appears to be Aug-Sep, 2016 - Sold at: extrashaving.com Disclosure As always I try to fully disclose how I acquired the razor I'm reviewing as for some people it matters and I can fully understand that. As this razor is not yet available to purchase it was sent to me free of charge to do with as I please. There was not even a requirement to post a full review - just to let Murat at Rocnel know what I thought about it. So take that into consideration when you read the obviously subjective (I can only state what I think about it based on my own preferences and background/experience and odds are they will never be a perfect match with your own) shave reports. First Impressions "You load the blade how?" That was honestly the first thought that ran through my mind when I picked out the head out of its box. Rocnel is really setting the bar high when it comes to innovative and different blade loading mechanisms. The question is of course what price this innovation comes at - does it provide improved functionality and/or does it come across as quirky and inconvenient? The quick answer is 'yes' - but there is a longer answer as well. Design I love creativity and innovation but any design should, I believe, adhere to the old triple-F mantra "Form Follows Function" The Rocnel SE50 is an attractive looking razor in an almost industrial-design kind of way. It feels and looks like a Man's razor. If this razor was a person his name would be Mitch, 37 years old. Divorced, hates his ex-wife, likes his scotch at the local bar, works construction and enjoys fishing and cigars. Considers plastic cartridges to be for hipsters and 'other types of women'. Anyroad, let's go back to the blade loading mechanism... It's a six step process; 1) Uncscrew the handle, 2) Unscrew the head, 3) Place blade on baseplate 4) Fit the top cap into the groove and slide it across the base plate 5) Insert and twist the screw into the head until the two head pieces are securely joined 6) Attach the handle to the screw Pros: * Much easier than it sounds. There is really no risk of cutting yourself. * Innovative and rather 'fun' to see something that is not yet another Mongoose copy Cons: * The blade, when placed on the base plate doesn't have any really well defined tabs to sit securely on. It does require a tad bit of dexterity to make sure the blade stays put as you slide the top cap over it. I didn't have any problem doing it but it's possible that people with reduced dexterity in their fingers could experience some challenges here. * Every time you want to clean your razor you do need to go through these steps and the screw is a separate piece which does increase the possibility of losing it. (I assume this design was another cost-cutting decision and I don't have an issue with it. Would I had preferred to have it permanently mounted to the handle? Sure, and I think I might superglue it to it down the road) * I am not convinced yet that this rather alternative way of loading and securing the blade improves on the traditional head design but will keep an open mind and see how it works out for me over the next couple of weeks The top and base plate taken apart: (The machining is really stellar) A Feather Pro blade resting on the base plate: Sling the top cap over the loaded base plate: (The screw btw is about twice the length of the screw used in the first Rocnel SE razor. This due to the thickness of the base plate and that it's used to friction hold the top cap in place. Speaking of design, I did rather enjoy seeing the subtle pattern in the base plate. Nice touch. Quality/Machining Like the previous Rocnel SE all parts are expertly machined. Pieces are smooth, well finished and fits perfectly together. The weight of the stainless steel adds to that perception of 'quality' as well. A very fine machined piece of shaving gear. I believe this razor will appeal - or not - to people purely on the merits of its design and price point. Competition/Comparison I think the natural comparison to make is with the Mongoose razor. Below are some snaps showing some aspects of the two razors; The Mongoose head is slightly longer: Profile comparison. Rocnel on the right. Disassembled, Rocnel on the right Base plates. Rocnel on the right. Some of the usual, modern suspects in this SE sub-category Left to right: Rocnel SE50 ($85), Cobra Classic ($200) King Cobra ($240) Mongoose, SS ($180) Coming up next Shave reports. I hope this can be of use to anyone considering the razor.