REVIEW: The Tatara Nodachi Razor

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by nav, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. nav

    nav Active Member

    I’ve been curious about Tatara razors for quite a while.

    After having used the Tatara/Semogue collaboration badger brush, I fell in love with the Tatara design and function.

    The Masamune razor intrigued me but the mild blade gap meant I never took the plunge. So I ended up getting the Nodachi, which is a more efficient razor than the Masamune.

    I got the kit with both the straight bar and open comb plates and would like to share my thoughts about this razor with you all…


    This has to be my absolute favourite packaging! I love the cork tray holding the razor and the minimalist outer cardboard cover. Bringing it altogether is the black paper with wax seal (the Tatara logo is imprinted in the wax).

    I don’t think there is any classier packaging than this on the razor market!! Plus, it’s all biodegradable so fully environmentally friendly (not that I would ever discard this packaging!)




    The razor is finished impeccably, it’s absolutely flawless and looks great!

    There are no machining marks, no blemishes and everything fits together so smoothly.

    The bead blasted finish looks great and lends itself to the minimalist design of the overall razor.

    Underneath the baseplates, they have kept the minimalist theme going with the model name and the awesome Tatara logo engraved.





    ERGONOMICS (Weight, Balance, Overhang):

    This is an aspect of the razor that really surprised me! As you can see, the razor handle is quite long and the razor weighs in at 120 grams. This is quite a hefty razor, however, the balance and weight distribution is perfection!!

    The razor is so well balanced that it’s difficult to tell I am holding a 120g razor! The handle is also very comfortable and despite the longer handle, it doesn’t impede manoeuvrability.

    The handle is grippy and at no point does it feel slippery. The knurling is positioned well, in the area where the razor feels perfectly balanced. I can hold the razor lower down without any slippage but this does impact the balance of the razor, so I prefer to hold it where the knurling is.


    The Nodachi has aspects that have been designed to ensure the razor blade is kept as rigid as possible during the shave.

    In the pics below, I have tried to show the two aspects that achieve blade rigidity.

    The first is the base plate being recessed, which allows the top of the handle to insert into the recess, which as per Tatara reduces vibrations and blade chatter.

    The second is how the razor clamps the blade. The design of the head clamps the blade closer to the cutting edge and is supported (“sandwiched”) between the base plate and top cap. This is one of the best ways to ensure blade rigidity in my experience.

    The blade doesn’t have much of a bend to it (which is another element that increases blade rigidity), but the sandwich design achieves blade rigidity for sure!

    Blade changing is straightforward as the blade is kept centred with ease and remains that way when tightening the razor. There is no blade play and never has the blade alignment been off.






    The blade gap on the Nadachi is 0.90mm. Blade exposure is 0.13mm.

    This combination definitely makes this an efficient razor, no doubt about it!

    I tend to ride the cap a bit more on this razor in order to reduce the blade feel a little. It cuts through stubble with ease and the smoothness (lack of blade chatter) ensures the skin is looked after at the same time.

    There is blade feel given the positive blade exposure, but this doesn’t make the razor uncomfortable. Again, I feel this is due to the blade being held so rigidly that the blade never vibrates against the skin. In my experience with 70+ razors, I believe blade chatter is the skin’s worst enemy when it comes to nicks and razor burn.

    An example would be that I can use the Karve F plate (1.23mm gap and positive exposure) without any negative impact on my skin in terms of nicks or razor burn. I can of course feel the blade but it doesn’t feel dangerous or rough.

    The open comb base plate will add that extra oomph to your shave! It retains the 0.90mm gap and 0.13mm exposure, but being an open comb, the blade feel is amplified. This setting would be for those that not only want a very high efficiency razor, but also prefer knowing where the blade is on the skin.

    This is one of those razors that can give me a BBS on a daily basis but where is really shines is 2+ days growth. It just scythes through the heavy growth like it’s nothing!


    The Nodachi is aesthetically beautiful and engineered to perfection! I really like the way they have ensured minimal blade vibration/chatter, which maximises comfort whilst the largish gap with positive exposure provides a very efficient razor, with some blade feel on the skin.

    I would note that all Tatara parts are interchangeable and looking at their site, it is possible to use the Masamune top cap with the Nodachi base plate to achieve a combo of 0.90mm gap with a more neutral exposure, for those that prefer minimal blade feel.

    For those that want to retain the positive exposure of the nodachi head, my suggestion would be to have a bias towards riding the cap as this will reduce the blade feel without compromising on efficiency.
  2. rawfox1

    rawfox1 Well-Known Member

    Excellent detailed review. I agree with everything you said.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
    Hembree and nav like this.
  3. nav

    nav Active Member

    Since getting the nodachi razor, I had found myself curiously wondering how the nodachi base with the masamune cap would feel for my daily 4 pass shave (WTG, XTG, 2xATG).

    The nodachi head is a highly efficient beast. Two or more days growth get swiped away effortlessly!

    So I got a masamune cap and as usual Tatara were very easy to deal with, providing great service and fast shipping!

    Here are some pics of the head…cos we all love pics right?

    The Samurai logo on the bottom of the base plate is my favourite branding of any razor brand!





    For daily shaves, I added the masamune cap, which reduces the blade exposure from +0.13mm to -0.03mm, but retains the 0.90mm blade gap.

    The net 0.16mm reduction of blade exposure is something I could notice from the first stroke!

    The combo of negative exposure with the relatively larger gap really muted the blade feel and added comfort for my daily shaves, with a little less efficiency than the full nodachi head.

    This feels quite close to being in between Karve C and D plates...good combo of smoothness and efficiency.

    One difference I want to note when comparing to most other razors is that the tatara head weighs less than most other SS razors. I presume this is due to the thinner base plate. This means the razor needs to be pushed forward as the weight of the head is lighter. This however adds a level of maneuverability and makes it incredibly nimble!

    I would suggest this combo for anyone that want a higher blade gap without the positive exposure. Luckily, tatara allow customisation so one can choose any combination they like.
  4. Tdmsu

    Tdmsu Well-Known Member

    Excellent review!
    This razor is beautiful and well engineered.
    Ijustmissedthe50s and Hembree like this.
  5. ischiapp

    ischiapp Well-Known Member

    This is a nice touch.

    I had the Nodachi.
    A bit too strong for my tastes.
    Specially the weight is a cons for me.

    So I switched the handle to aluminium.
    Way better IMHO, and sweet enough.

    FrankenRazor Magsamune
    (Tatara Razors Masamune Nodachi Dark Edition Closed Comb
    Maggard Razors MR14 Alluminium Handle)

    Ijustmissedthe50s, nav and Hembree like this.
  6. Hembree

    Hembree Not as pretty smelling

    I love the shave from my Nodachi after I got it dailed in. The handle was too long so took about 3/4 of an inch off of it and then bead blasted the end to match the finish.
    20210311_065944.jpg 20210311_072200_1.jpg 20210310_192116_1.jpg

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