Rockwell Model T Review

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Terry Williams, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    Decided to do a side-by-side comparison of the Model T and the 6S

    Razor(s): Rockwell Model T on the left side and Rockwell 6S on the right.
    Brush: Maggard 24mm Synthetic; Olive marbled handle
    Soap: Speick Stick (grated into an Old Spice Mug)
    Blade: Rockwell (not my favorite, but friends tell me the newer ones are smoother)
    Standard prep (for me): coffee first, then a shower. Duke Cannon - Smells Like Victory. Dove for Men Hydrating Face Wash.
    3 pass shave

    Set the Model T to 3 (halfway) because I wasn't sure how it would feel. I figured that if it was like my 6S, then the middle would be pretty reasonable. I haven't had much success with high settings on adjustables. I put my Gillette adjustables in the middle and that is about all that I can take. I've using my 6S as my daily driver with the #4 base. So, #3 on the Model T seemed like a good starting point. I stayed with the #4 base on my 6S (too lazy to dig the #3 base out of the display box). The adjuster action is very smooth and infinite between settings, so, you can dial in your perfect shave setting (pun intended). I didn't measure, but the settings seem to be the same as the 6S. I will try #4 tomorrow, but started with #3 today.

    Loading the blade I noticed that the action of TTO knob was really smooth. The doors closed smoothly and firmly over the blade. No need to crank down the TTO knob to lock in the blade, just twist until it stops. No alignment issues that I could detect. The blade sits nice and level on on the base and looks to have even exposure on each side. The doors on mine are well aligned and the finish very bright.

    Loaded the brush and swirled lather on. First pass; North to South. Second pass; South to North. Third pass; somewhat ATG. I started with the 6S to have a known starting point.

    Nothing new on the right side. Everything was just like yesterday. Did one pass down on cheek, then neck. Second pass up on cheek, then neck. Last pass - another ATG on my neck. Surprised by the Rockwell blade. Great shave, nice and clean and smooth; pretty much the same as every time with this razor.​
    Model T
    The handle is longer and the weight is heavier; well balanced. I like the heft and the length. It feels similar in weight and feel to my Gillette Fatboy, but it's a tad longer. I like using my Super Adjustables a little more than my Slims or my Fatboy because of the length.

    Took the blade out of the 6S and dropped it in the Model T.

    First pass; North to South, face first, then my neck; felt just like the 6S. Slightly milder because of the lower setting, but really, it was hard to tell. I can use exactly the same angle as the 6S.
    Second pass; South to North. Nice and smooth. Same angle as the 6S. Great maneuverability; especially around my jaw and my Adam's Apple.
    Third pass; Sort of ATG on my neck. This is a really a finish pass to catch what I missed on my neck and usually more ATG than just shaving upward. Great finishing pass. I always have a little stubble that I can't quite clean from my neck, but this shave felt nice and smooth. Once again, it shaves every bit as good as my 6S; and I love my 6S.
    Clean up, no weepers or cuts. Alum had the normal tingle, as did my aftershave (which today was Musgo Real Oak Moss #2). But, no burning.

    Cleaning up the razor was simple. Remove the blade, rinse and wipe dry, put it in the stand. I put a drop of mineral oil on the stem inside the blade housing, but I don't think it is necessary (just a habit). I think that Rockwell puts some sort of lube on the moving parts during assembly. Like I said, the action is very smooth.

    All in all, I love this razor. I am very pleased with the outcome. The razor seems as well built as any others that I own. It doesn't have the billet feel of an Above The Tie or a Wolfman. But, it is a third less expensive, so, I think it is very well made for the money. It feels sturdier than my Gillette adjustables. I would recommend one to someone looking for a well built TTO.

    So, this razor goes directly into a 30 Day focus. I will report back with any new impressions. But, it will probably unseat my 6S as my daily driver.
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    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  2. luv2shave

    luv2shave Active Member

    Excellent writeup and photos. The tolerances appear to be so tight that the butterfly doors seem like one single unit when closed. Will it stay this way after multiple uses would be interesting to know.

    Sent from my MI MAX using Tapatalk
    Terry Williams likes this.
  3. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    @lux2shave - The build quality of the whole unit is impressive to me. Moving parts move smoothly and without any jiggle, looseness or roughness. This will be my daily shaver for all of October. That should help me better gauge the quality and effectiveness. I shaved on #4 this morning and I don't notice any striking difference between the Model T and the 6S #4 base, but I do have the impression that it might be slightly more aggressive than the 6S. But, any difference is very subtle. I actually think that my impression of aggressiveness has more to do with the Rockwell blade than the razor. I used the same blade as yesterday's and that shave was very nice; nicer than I remember than with the ones in the black package. But, today felt a little rougher. That has certainly been my experience with Rockwell blades. Except, that in the past I had never liked that first shave. It has seemed to me that the Rockwell blade can't keep a smooth edge for very long. Tomorrow (and for the rest of the month) I will be using Gillette Silver Blue. I can use them for a good 4-5 days before I feel any difference in the blade. And, that will help me evaluate the razor.

    But, so far, so good. I really like the Model T. I hope all of the Early Backers get theirs soon.
  4. Str8on2

    Str8on2 Well-Known Member

    Good stuff amigo. Sincerely, I'm hoping that it's a success. Quality product should produce quality shaves. And so far, with the new T-Bar assembly things are looking up from most recent reviews. Perhaps Rockwell just might have a winner. Looking forward to mine coming in.

    Keep the reports coming...
    Terry Williams likes this.
  5. poikkeus

    poikkeus Member

    Nice write-up. From these remarks - and those from other users - the movement is close to the British Gillette Aristocrat and Aristocrat Junior. Clearly, the engineering and workmanship is very high, indeed!

    More impressions, please!
    Terry Williams likes this.
  6. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    Hey, I just noticed that you'd bought the Rockwell barbershop shaving soap. I think in all the time that it's been on the market that's the first time I've ever seen a post in which someone owned it. That said, for the shave in that post, you used a different soap. If you happen to have used it now, any thoughts on the soap's scent & performance?

    Oh, and maybe you were planning on it anyway, but can we get a "halfway report" from your 30 Day Focus with the T? Thanks!
    (waiting for my gunmetal)
  7. Lord Gillette

    Lord Gillette Active Member

    Nice write up. How is this compared to the rex ambassador?

    Also it's made of zamak?
  8. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    Good catch @DanielB. So, the Rockwell soap is actually pretty nice for glide and lather. My nose thinks the scent is very much like TOBS Luxury or Mr Taylor's Aftershave. The scent is pretty strong and has staying power after the shave. It kind of reminds me of Tabac, but it is not as powdery. My nose seems to catch some anise in the scent. Plus, whatever they put in this stuff that makes it smell more like cologne and less like soap. It is a hard soap and not a cream. No harsh chemicals that I can sense or see in the ingredients list. Whoever manufactures it for Rockwell seems to extrude a log of the stuff from which they then cut pucks; it's not poured into the tin. All that means is that the puck will be loosely set in the tin and you can just drop it into your mug or bowl, if you want. I have decided to put it in my rotation, but I have only used it for about 3 shaves since starting with the Model T. So, onto that.

    My focus is to use the Model T with known favorite blades, known favorite soaps and the same brush for, at least, 30 days. I have been using Gillette Silver Blues for 4 shaves each; Wet Shaving Products Mahogony; Maggards 24mm Synthetic with the synthetic marble handle. I finish with alum and Proraso Blue balm and an aftershave. I always start with coffee and a shower, then shave.

    So, the Model T has not disappointed in this last 2 weeks. I have shaved everyday, except 2, in the last 2 weeks. My impression that it is somewhat more aggressive than the 6S has proven to be true for me. I started on #4 because I use the #4 base with the 6S. Even with the GSBs my first week of shaves left me feeling slightly more raw than with the 6S, so, after the first week I've dialed it back to #3. I didn't notice the aggressiveness while I'm shaving on #4, but I did notice that the alum and aftershave stung a bit more than tingle. Also, I'd noticed that my face felt a little itchy and burny later in the day. In the past that was an indication of a super sharp blade (can you say, Feather?) or a rough one, but I was noticing this same effect with #4. With the razor dialed back to #3, I don't notice the alum and my aftershave is refreshing instead of stinging or burning. However, so far the #3 setting doesn't shave as close, so I am noticing longer stubble at the end of the day. This week I have bumped up the setting to 3.5 to see if that makes much of a difference. All of this the could be due to the difference in handling and, possibly, some difference in geometry; everyone who uses a Model T will have to figure this out on their own.

    My shaves, so far, have been very pleasant. The razor handles nicely and I really, really like the weight. The TTO action is still very smooth and still feels very precise. Though, it's only been 2 weeks and time will tell. If there is one problem with handling, I would point to the finish. It can be slippery, even with the knurling. A little water and soap on my hands and I have to pay attention to holding the handle. It took me a few shaves to get used to it. This might be due to more aggressive finish sanding after the handle has been knurled or because of the amount of electroplated chrome. Mostly likely the brushed finish will not have this problem. I have one of each coming in the second round (purchased before the price increase). They were intended to be gifts, but you know, it is impossible to hoard too many razors; might just have to keep them or try them out first. Don't tell my brothers. :)

    I can't say how it compares to the Rex Ambassador because I've never used the Rex. The Rex looks like a very nice razor; made of stainless and infinitely adjustable. It is not a TTO razor, but a 2-piece much like the Merkur Progress. To my mind this is a very different razor than the Model T. It is also twice as expensive. But, to each their own.

    As to Zamak. I don't believe entire Model T is made of Zamack. Otherwise it wouldn't be as heavy as it is. I haven't yet taken it apart, but I would guess that the doors and T-bar are Zamak, but the handle, knobs and blade bed are brass or stainless (I think brass). I will probably take it apart at the end of my focus. I take pictures and we can discuss the componentry then. Right now I am just focusing on using it.

    I still really like this razor. It still feels well built and it I am enjoying the shaving experience that I get. More later.
  9. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    Thanks for the soap review and razor followup. The T will be my first adjustable and I like aggressive razors so things are sounding better and better to me. I typically find the first shave on a fresh blade can be harsh so I plan on dialing it down for fresh blades and ramping it up after a shave or two.
  10. leitmotiv

    leitmotiv Well-Known Member

    Hey @Terry Williams, great review of the Mod.T. What are your thoughts on the balance of the razor and its ease of cleanup? Is it easy to change out the blade?

    Wasn't part of the original design and plan of the Mod.T for it to be all stainless, until they found some of the components to be too difficult/expensive to make in SS? That would lead me to think the non-zamack parts are SS. It's been two and a half years, so I could easily be off. There was the brief discussion from them about making an all SS version that was pretty quickly dropped.

    I ordered the gunmetal version of the Mod.T, so I suspect I'll be among the last to ship out. Looking forward to getting my hands on it though.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  11. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    @leitmotiv clean up is pretty much the same as any Gillette TTO. I open up the razor, remove the blade and rinse under warm water. Towel dry and use a Q-Tip if I see any gunk in crevices, put the blade back in. But, the razor rinses off very easily; you don't have to do what I do. (I'm trying to keep the thing looking like new, not a museum piece, but new).

    So, it looks to me that the handle, TTO knob and the blade adjuster are brass or steel (pretty sure they are brass). I have to correct myself from my earlier notion in that I thought the blade base was brass or steel, but it has flash marks from being molded. I am pretty sure this is from the MIM process that Rockwell uses on the 6S. So, it could be steel, but now I am thinking that it is Zamak. The doors are Zamak also. I've dropped it in my sink full of water (a tad slippery, as noted before) and it seems to have survived. I can't see any nicks or scuffs. But, time will tell and if I notice any defects. I would bet that Rockwell will send me replacement parts if I notice anything amiss.

    One very nice attribute is that Rockwell has an o-ring for the TTO knob that makes the twist action really smooth. Once my 30-day focus is complete, I'll post some disassembly photos to describe a deep cleaning. I want to see how much gunk gets down in the internals even with my over zealous cleaning routine. I might try to do a focus where I just rinse and see how much crud there is after a disassembly.

    You asked about balance and, so far, I like it. It is handle heavy to me, but easy to maneuver. The length is just right for me. I like my Gillette SAs and this one is a little shorter, but it fits well in my hand. I can hold it at the end or I by the adjuster knob and it feels good. I really like is the ability to ride the cap. It is really easy to make small adjustments during your shave. The 6S, by comparison, seems to shave about the same with fairly wide differences in angle for a given base. The Model T seems to allow you fine tune the shave much more than the 6S. At least that is what it is like for me. I have the razor set on 3.5 now and if I increase the angle I get about the same shave as I did with #4; if I decrease the angle then I get about the same shave as #3, in terms of comfort and closeness. So, more like a luxury sport cars; great handling and power when you need it, but good comfort on the freeway or in traffic.
  12. Kypros Christodoulides

    Kypros Christodoulides Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the thorough review, looking forward to receiveing mine in Decembre. It will be very interesting to see how the thing comes apart, but there might be adjustments, tolerances, that have to be adhered to, like the FatBoy.
  13. PatrickA51

    PatrickA51 Well-Known Member

    That was a great review. When did you receive your Rockwell T Razor. I have several of their razors and I backed this razor but have not received it as of yet.
  14. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    I was early bird backer #2234. I got mine around September 29. I also ordered a couple more before the price increase. I expect to get them in the December timeframe.
  15. PatrickA51

    PatrickA51 Well-Known Member

    I was an early bird backer also, my backer number was #1689 I have yet to receive any thing from them. :shocked002: I backed 2 sets of the Rockwell T razors and two sets of the 200 razor blades as I was going to give one to a family member as his birthday present. I also own two Rockwell 6S Razor Sets. I am going to use your message when I contact them at Kickstarter. If that is alright with you?
    Being as you're in the SF Bay area and I'm in the San Diego area, I should have received my razors by now I would really think.
    Thank You
  16. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    Well, what finish(es) did you order? Only White Chrome has been shipped so far. You can check your order here:
    by entering the email address you used for KS and it will then send you an email with a direct link to the order review page. Email arrives within seconds, might go to Junk folder.

    One thing I never saw stated by Rockwell or reported by any backer was how they planned to handle multiple-razor orders - for example, if someone ordered a WC and a gunmetal, would the WC be shipped separately in advance of the later finish or be held until both were ready? And for that matter, if multiple of same finish (only) are ordered, do they ship separately or all in the same shipping carton?
  17. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    Hi @PatrickA51, I would send a message straight to He has always been very responsive to me. As @DanielB stated, Rockwell has only been shipping white chrome razors to date. So, if you ordered something else, the message is that it should ship in December. I have 2 others on order; one gunmetal, one brushed. I expect to get those in December. They were not Kickstarter Backer orders, but were directly to Rockwell before the price increase. But, you may use my message if you like.
  18. Kypros Christodoulides

    Kypros Christodoulides Well-Known Member

    I live in Cyprus and I bought through Indegogo. I asked the same question via their FB messenger and I got the answer that I'll be receiving it in December if this is of any help.
  19. PatrickA51

    PatrickA51 Well-Known Member

    I have already looked here I know they have my order. Earlier this morning I sent a copy of my order sheet that can be found at the link you posted to send a message to Rockwell Razor link
    @Terry Williams
    I ordered two Brushed Chrome Rockwell T Razors also ordered some other accessories.
  20. john zeiger

    john zeiger Well-Known Member

    Thank you much for your great review Terry.

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