Blackland Brotherhood (BB)

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by PLANofMAN, Dec 17, 2015.

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  1. Troy M

    Troy M Prep: Mephitis mephitis musk

    I'm not sure if I understand the concept of "aggressiveness" in a razor. I am finding the Blackbird to be extremely efficient but pretty mild and smooth on my face. Can someone explain the whole aggressive/mild idea to me?

    How are you finding your Blackbird - aggressive or mild?
    clint64 likes this.
  2. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    I agree that there are a lot of terms being used that are not well defined and/or very much up for different interpretations.

    To me, once again highly subjective, these terms mean:

    Aggressive: the feeling of how likely it is that the razor will 'bite' me and how much I can relax while shaving with it.

    Efficient: how close a shave does it give me and in how many passes.

    Mild: somewhat of a combination of the two terms above. If the razor is not efficient and/or aggressive its - to me - a mild razor.
    The thing is that they can be combined - meaning a razor can be mild yet efficient for instance.

    But yeah...this is such a YMMV minefield

    The Blackbird is, now after a number of shaves - rather mild yet very efficient :)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
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  3. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Re-reading that I start to think that I will stop using the term 'mild' going forward.
    I think aggressive, non-aggressive, efficient and inefficient will actually cover all that I want to say about how a razor shaves.
  4. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    This is my in-depth Blackbird review.

    Some interesting things happen when someone with no experience making razors makes a production razor with very little outside influence or input.

    One can wind up with a nice looking dud or a razor that pushes the boundaries of previous razor design.

    The Blackbird is definitely the latter.
    It stands conventional razor design on it's head. That is it's triumph, but also it's shortcoming. Some people do not understand how to use this razor. Some are finding their way instinctively, but others are struggling.

    Conventional DE razors have a shave angle that follows the line between the lower part of the top cap, blade, and guard bar.

    The Blackbird ignores convention. The shave angle follows the line between the top angle of the top cap, and the blade. This shave angle leaves the guard bar floating about a millimeter above the skin.

    Experienced shavers can run into difficulty at first, because the instinctive reaction is to try to ride the angle between the top cap and guard bar.

    When that happens, the razor drags, because of the amount of metal on your face, plus the blade feel is very prominent, and the guard will tend to poke and scrape. The razor will feel very aggressive.

    If instead, you ride the top of the cap where the angle starts, the razor becomes a precision instrument limited only by your skill...and skill is required. There is no doubt about that. The correct angle is determined by you, not mechanically determined by a shave angle built into the razor.

    That means that the Blackbird shares it's initials with it's cousin, the improbably named "Barbe Bleue BB Model X doubled-edge straight," a guardless razor that has been nicknamed by forumites, the "Devette"-a combination of the words DE and shavette.

    Both razors offer a smooth and mild shave to those who master them. Riding the top part of the top cap's angle makes the Blackland Blackbird feel light on the face, with an almost non-existant blade feel. The result is an exceptionally close, smooth, and irritation free shave.

    *hopefully I can get the pictures edited and uploaded tomorrow.*
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
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  5. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    An interesting take/analysis on the BB. Thought provoking.

    [Inside baseball]
    Should be shared with all female shavers in Singapore.
    [/Inside baseball]
    Papa Roy, Robyflexx and PLANofMAN like this.
  6. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Here's those photos I promised.
    I was using my fingers to draw, so please excuse the somewhat shaky lines. I think this conveys the idea fairly well though.
    The wide red bar is the contact area, and the thin line represents the shave angle.
    Here's a more or less end on view of the angle.
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  7. MattCB

    MattCB Well-Known Member

    I think you are dead on in your assessment. I performed a full three pass shave instead of my usual two and a touch up and was very pleased. Besides one pimple mowed down I had no weepers and only a touch of irritation on the neck.

    I found that if I start looking for the correct angle with the top of the head of the razor on my cheek and bring the handle down to where the blade just starts to generate feedback that it is the perfect angle.

    I did have to correct myself a few times when I automatically adjusted the BB to where the optimum angle would be on one of my Gillette's, but I figure that is more of a muscle memory issues that I will unlearn quickly enough.
  8. Boojum1

    Boojum1 Valet Parking Available Here

    Tuesday, January 12, 2015

    Blackland Blackbird
    Gillette Silver Blue #1
    Rubberset 400 #3 Omega 10066
    MDC Original
    Witch Hazel + Menthol, Whipped Shea Butter
    Fine Platinum

    I began shaving with much trepidation today due to the mixed reviews of this razor. This is a solid razor with good weight. It’s heft did most of the work and I had no trouble keeping a light touch. The long handle is a perfect fit and has a great grip even when soapy. My shave today was two passes +clean up, closeness A and irritation A+. The razor left very little stubble for clean up. The angle was easy to maintain throughout the shave. The Blackbird is one cool razor and a great DE shaver. The honeymoon period has officially begun. Finished with a splash of Fine Platinum. Have a terrific Tuesday you all.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  9. Troy M

    Troy M Prep: Mephitis mephitis musk

    Very Nice Mark!!
  10. Boojum1

    Boojum1 Valet Parking Available Here

    Thanks Troy!
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  11. Troy M

    Troy M Prep: Mephitis mephitis musk

    The Blackbird continues to impress and amaze me. 2 passes on a 6 shave blade and the results are outstanding! The blade still feels nearly new. The razor head almost "suctions" itself into the correct shaving angle and the balance of the long handle helps me keep that angle as I navigate over and around my jaw and onto my neck. My neck is as clean shaven as I've experienced in my time of DE shaving.
    BeShaved, Bosoxfan, Boojum1 and 5 others like this.
  12. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Shave of the day:
    Blackbird Razor
    Astra SP
    Saponificio Varesino Felce Aromatica in custom Thuja wood bowl
    Shavemac Silvertip D01
    Small Batch Shave Tonic Winter Reserve AS by Derby City Chop Shop
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  13. ShaneS

    ShaneS Well-Known Member

    Supporting Vendor
    So cool! Love the manual clippers.
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  14. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Got a few of those. The one you see in the photo is available here:

    It comes with an attachment that gives you a couple different lengths to play around with.
    BeShaved and ShaneS like this.
  15. Troy M

    Troy M Prep: Mephitis mephitis musk

    I've completed 7 shaves with my Blackbird. It is likely too early to make any drastic announcements. I am almost ready to push ALL of my other razors to the back of the drawer. Dramatic? Perhaps, but I've only used 1 blade so far with it and will withhold my final evaluation until I have tried several other blades. In the mean time, please allow me to share my thoughts.

    I've pared down my razor stable to several that could easily be my one and only. The first to earn that respect was my Weber PH. I really like how smooth and consistent this razor is. The quality is top shelf and I really like this USA made razor. It presented itself as my go-to head shaving razor and really works well at that job. The second razor to win over my desire to abandon others is my Gillette New Short Comb with a common bar handle. It was my first open comb razor and it always does a great job with consistent outstanding results. I've shaved with it almost as many times as I have my Weber. My third definite keeper razor is a Gillette New Long Comb I received as a Christmas present from my son. Remarkably smooth and efficient and has seen much duty for extended periods of time.

    The Blackbird has joined this group of outstanding razors and is moving its way right to the top of the list. My first shave with it was a full head shave with nearly a week's growth of scalp stubble. The BB had no problem taking care of that. It also seems to really do a nice job getting into a few of those wrinkles on the back of my scalp and cleaning out those areas well. Face shaving with it has been equally effortless. The head design appears to be nearly perfect for my method of shaving and allows for a consistent low angle on all parts of my face and neck. I think I've had one minor weeper in the past week and it easily stopped with the cold water rinse after I was done shaving.

    I wasn't sure that I would really like the longer handle with this razor. I can honestly say that the longer handle really make the balance of this tool be just right for me. This is rather surprising as all of my other razors have a bulldog or common bar handle length and I thought that was the perfect handle for me.

    The design of the razor head and handle just looks right to me. Definitely not traditional, but extremely modern and unique. I like it.
  16. clint64

    clint64 Blind Squirrel

    Great write up Troy. I have experience with some of your other go to razors and this comparison helped me better understand where the BB fits.
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  17. Number six

    Number six Well-Known Member

    Great report. I might have to agree with you. Got to give it a few more shaves. In the past I've gotten a new razor and used it almost exclusively for a while to really get a feel for it. Right now I have several razors that I like so I probably won't be going solo with the Blackbird, but I already know it's a winner. I've got a second on the way already. Yeah, it's that good.
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  18. Number six

    Number six Well-Known Member

    Two Blackbirds, better than one...
    Two Blackbirds.jpg
  19. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Very nice. Are you gonna Zebra them up sometimes? :)
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  20. Number six

    Number six Well-Known Member

    Heck yeah, why not?
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