Focus R48

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by drnausheerp, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. drnausheerp

    drnausheerp Active Member


    I came across this razor in some listings online. I also saw a couple of videos.

    I'm wondering if there were any actual users here who could share their opinions on this.
    brit, lightcs1776 and Edison Carter like this.
  2. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    I have 2 of them and shaved exclusively with them for a number of months. I moved to straights in July and still pick up the R48 second choice or in a rush.

    The best blade for me is Feathers, CAREFULLY LOADED! The razor is so gentle that this blade works best for me. I load both halfs at the same time in both units and carefully inspect that they are seated in center, parallel, and full against stops. 4 good 4-5 pass shaves per 1/2 blade is reasonable.

    I used slightly thinner lathers and made as many passes as necessary to get the result I was after. It was the first tool I was able to get a BBS shave with consistently and without irritation.

    Do not expect to follow the normal wet shaving rules for its use. You must apply pressure above the blade on the top plane of the cap and allow your stroke motion to engage the pivot to bring lower cap plane, blade, and guard simultaneously to your face. Long full contact, pressing strokes are normal.

    I'm convinced that reports/complaints of poor results and injuries can be attributed to poor blade loads. I ultimately got into the habit of loading both razors once a week while carefully checking under magnification. If there were some method of eliminating the tendency for the blade to kickout while loading, it would be a great improvement.

    Using the R48 taught me the most about my beard growth because I can only get BBS going truly against the grain. Using straights taught me the most about feeling the cutting edge of a shaving tool. My shaves with everything I have has been improved by both of these tools. The Focus R48 Dynamic razor remains my "wedding razor", but it won't be for everyone.

    Be well.
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  3. drnausheerp

    drnausheerp Active Member

    Thank you for your detailed response. I have a number of questions.
    1. Do you have any experience of how secure the blade is ? Does it fit well ? I'm a bit apprehensive about that mechanism.

    2. How long is the learning curve in this for a intermediate de razor user ?

    3. What creams did you use ?
    brit likes this.
  4. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    In my opinion, the mechanism could be better. I believe Focus makes every effort to make these consistent, but variables are beyond their control. Snapped blades will leave some amount of bend inconsistently. Waxes used by some manufacturers in packaging add thickness. I think factory cut blades would be the most constsistant, but it is my understanding that part of the design is to have the small bend be the tensioning component. If you find Feather blades your choice you have to deal with it. I wound up buying one of the special spanner drivers so I could adjust my units.

    I had almost no learning curve other than making sure blades were loaded correctly. If there were stops to prevent the blade kicking out, it would be a tremendous improvement.

    I tested hard soaps, soft soaps, creams even canned foam. They all provided sufficient lubrication. My personal preference is tallow type artisan soap for all my shaves.

    I do not regret my purchase of this product, and if I must have the closest and best irritation, risk free shave I can get, it is the best tool in my possession.

    Still, I love shaving with my straights.
  5. Jenks

    Jenks Member

    I love this razor. I use nothing else and shave every work day with it. All of my other razors are sitting in a drawer and haven't been used in months. I prioritize lack of irritation over closeness of shave and can never go more than 2 passes with any razor. The R48 gives me the best combination of closeness and comfort that I have ever found. I get DFS in 2 passes and my skin has cleared up considerably since I started using it.

    I generally use MWF and I find that a thinner but slick lather gives the best results. Blade loading is tricky but once you get the hang of it pretty straightforward. I also snap the ends of the blade as well as snapping it in half and have no problems with the blade positioning or it being securely held.

    I use been using german Wilkinsons for years and find them the best combination of sharp and smooth for my face. I continue to use them with this razor with great results. I generally switch blades weekly which means I use each half of a blade 2 to 4 times depending on how many shaves I do in a week.

    All of that said, this razor requires a different technique than a regular DE and is in some respects counter intuitive if you are experienced with DEs. The key is to find the right pressure and positioning to keep the pivot engaged. It only took me 3 to 4 days to get that part figured out. Once I was comfortable with that, I started experimenting with mixing up the types of strokes I use. Nothing drastic but the pivot and the mildness does allow you to try different things with little risk. After about a month I arrived at a new routine that lets me get as close a shave as I want on all parts of my face in 2 passes.

    YMMV. But for me I will use nothing else.
    Edison Carter likes this.
  6. ChiefBoatsRet

    ChiefBoatsRet New Member

    I love mine for all the reasons listed by the above posters, it is an easy shave, almost boring after you get used to it. For me shaving is something that needs to be done, I just want to do it as painless an d as comfortable as possible. This razor accomplishes that.
    Edison Carter likes this.
  7. Jenks

    Jenks Member

    Just discovered a technique that has made blade loading 100% easier for me.
    1. Make sure your razor is dry.
    2. Put a drop of water on the top cap between the pins
    3. Place the blade on top of the water droplet and positioned properly against the pins.
    4. Slide on the razor body as usual
    I find that the adhesion of the water droplet prevents the blade from moving around and keeps it firmly pinned on the top cap. Previously, I was always taking a couple of iterations at getting the blade loaded before I was confident that it was set properly. With this new method, perfect positioning first time every time.
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  8. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Hi Jenks. I'm going to give this a try. Are you using a blade free of the wax some use to hold them to the paper? Thx.
  9. Jenks

    Jenks Member

    No wax on the blades I use (German Wilkies).

    I used to use the process where you snapped off the wings of the half blade as well in order to give me a better chance of putting the razor together without the blade moving. Find that I don't need to do that anymore and the blade feels more rigid shaving with the wings properly in place.
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  10. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    Just started with mine
    Voskhod blade
    I like a slick thin lather also
    No issues loading blade
    Rinse from the bottom, plate and often, tiny openings tend to load up easily.
    No irritation, easy DFS... zero irritation
    I thought I would be more of a learning curve.
    Pressure held to back of Face, head, while pulling a stroke is odd, But was much easier to do than I expected
    Found only one video with correct technique.
    I can see why so many were displeased with razor ... user error.
    Missed a few spots on neck, Adam’s apple. But imagine as I learn it better it will improve.
    Definitely in rotation, Looking forward to more shaves with it
    Also looking forward to a multi day growth shave
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  11. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Just curious... why are you interested in this over a real razor.
    Hembree likes this.
  12. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    What's a 'real razor'?
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  13. Jenks

    Jenks Member

    Because it works really well (he says while feeling his face).
  14. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    for me it was about experimentation

    i never completed college, missed out on some 3rd and 4th year experimentation.....

    i still prefer a real straight razor
    brit, Hembree, Jenks and 2 others like this.
  15. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Great answer! Love a open blade shave too. Just not so much on the upkeep of a straight...usually use a shavette to scratch that itch.
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  16. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    You use straights..really real razors. Safety razors..real razors.
    This one is more like cart garbage.
    brit and Edison Carter like this.
  17. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    I kind of doubt you have ever used one, but I found they can deliver really easy irritation free BBS shaves every day. And I mean ones that will pass a cotton ball test. Hardly what I call garbage.

    I have never used a cartridge that even compares on a comfort level.

    They have a technique all their own and anyone who tries to use it like a cartridge razor will be disappointed.

    One thing that a user of this piece of equipment will learn is the growth pattern of their beard. AND THAT, can help them be better with numerous other stuff.

    I load mine with Feather blades, it would be difficult to argue that they are not serious shaving components in an R48. And Focus is the Italian manufacturer of barber shaving equipment.

    You might try to be a little more open minded in freedom of shave zones.
    brit, Frijolero and Jenks like this.
  18. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    I do not need to use one. My opinion is they are garbage. I have a few modern razors. All were gifts. But none are like these things.
    These things are ugly as homemade sin..look like cart garbage..and I call them as I see them. I don't need lessons in safety razors. I know what I like and what is just silly.

    But it's ok...I say bad things about Glocks too.
    brit and Edison Carter like this.
  19. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    So for those who read this thread, you're giving your opinion that this razor is garbage because you do not like how it looks. Fair enough.
    brit, Jenks and Frijolero like this.
  20. Jenks

    Jenks Member

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. In my case, probably because I am an engineer by training and profession, I base mine on specifications and evaluated performance.
    brit, Edison Carter and Frijolero like this.

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