Yates 921 Experience

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by GoodShave, Jul 19, 2022.

  1. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    Hey everyone,

    I recently picked up a stock Yates 921 with M, H, and EH plates (bead blast finish) and am trying to figure out how to get the best shave this this razor. I have the standard 4" handle but I have also tried my Rockwell 6S handle on it as well since it is shorter, has more grip and the finish matches well. I used M5 washers to fill the plate gap so the Rockwell handle (or pretty much any handle with the same threads) would work.



    I only have a couple of shaves under my belt with this particular razor but I was really surprised about how much blade feel the M plate has considering that the blade exposure is rated as neutral. I am trying a variety of angles looking for one that doesn't have as much blade feel as I am having flashbacks to my Muhle R41 (ha ha). I think I am using too much pressure with this razor and maybe that is part of it.

    I have managed a BBS shave with it but I have also encountered some weepers along the way. I am using an Astra SP so far but I momentarily swapped in a Feather blade to see how different it would be (and quickly switched back to the Astra SP). I also have swapped in the H plate with the Astra SP to see if the blade feel was the same and for the brief moment that I tried it, I found the feel to be about the same as the M plate (granted, I only did a small part of a cheek with it as I didn't want to do more damage to my face).

    I am curious about your experience with this razor especially blade feel with the M plate as I want to make sure my top cap and or plate are not defective. Shaving tips with this razor are welcome.

  2. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    I decided to go with a Nacet blade tonight and focused on using zero pressure. I also went with longer and slower strokes. I also decided to keeping the handle pointed to the floor for North-South passes as steeper angles seem to be the ticket with this razor (from what others told me). That was a lot to keep in mind for one shave but that combination is working much better. I still had a little razor burn in a spot or two and had one weeper under my jaw near my ear where I had a hard time getting a good angle with the razor. I will camp out with the M plate until I am confident shaving with this razor then I will try the H and EH plates.

    I think the Nacet blade matches nicely with this razor. Maybe that is why they sent me a tuck of Nacets with my purchase. Normally I am not a fan of the free blades that have come with new razors. Usually the blades do not work for me any any of my razors. This time was different as I had already had good results with Nacets in other razors. I will revisit other blades with this razor once I have a few good shaves under my belt with this razor.

    I am surprised at how loud the feedback was from the razor on just a two day beard. Though the 4" original handle is well balanced with the razor head, I can see where you might want more grip when trying to use zero pressure so the razor does not slip. I will try some of my other handles that are shorter but have more grip for the next shave.
    Ijustmissedthe50s likes this.
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector

    Article Team
    This tip works with pretty much any razor. Place the razor with the head and handle perpendicular to the floor. Slowly start dropping the handle end towards the floor. When you hear or feel whiskers getting cut, you've got the correct angle. (Edit: this is called "riding the cap.")

    Pressure is a funny thing. In a properly built razor, the correct pressure is built into the razor's natural balance point. In most razors, that point is somewhere in the top third of the razor handle, closest to the head.

    If you are holding it in the right spot, and you have the correct angle, you should be able to shave painlessly with anything but a very aggressive razor.
    GoodShave likes this.
  4. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    Thank you so much @PLANofMAN !

    I think this razor in particular is highlighting bad habits that I have developed over the years. I used to shave with an R41 with a Feather blade as a daily shaver but over time I think I just got sloppy.

    Riding the cap is the way I would start with any new DE razor but it did not work for me with this one with the M plate.
    I tried it with this razor on my first shave. I tried riding the cap then I tried lowering the handle more to feel for the correct angle but this razor threw me off since with the M plate, the blade exposure is neutral and combined with more pressure than was necessary, I could not figure out the best angle for the razor. This is the first razor that I have owned that wants a very steep angle. I think it will be easier with the H (and EH) plates as they have positive blade exposure so it would be easier to feel the blade ahead of time.

    That is great insight! In the ten years that I have been using DE razors, I have never run across this information. Thank you so much!

    I am definitely going to start looking for the balance point!

    Thanks again my friend!
  5. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    Is the balance point of the razor the location where the razor is neither head heavy or handle heavy?
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  6. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector

    Article Team
    Correct. Though you almost always want the razor to be ever so slightly head heavy while using it.
    GoodShave likes this.
  7. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    Thank you so much!
    I am going to watch for this in my shaves going forward.
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  8. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector

    Article Team
    There's no defined "proper" way to hold a razor. Some people hold the very end of the handle, some people choke up right under the head. I find myself often using a "three finger" grip. Two fingers under the head, holding the handle, and my pinky placed near the end of the handle. The angle of shaving is not controlled by my hand, but by my wrist. Heavier razors get a pencil grip, thumb, pointer and middle finger under the head, and sometimes the pinky is placed near the end of the handle.
    GoodShave likes this.
  9. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    Thanks again!
    Just the concept of finding balance with a razor handle has led me back to having a light grip which prevents me from adding too much pressure.
    If I am using a really short handle, I let the end of the handle rest on my pinky finger to support it.
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  10. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    I had a good shave this evening with the M plate and the Feather AS-D2 handle (using M5 washers to fill the plate gap). I decided to do two passes and no touch ups just to see how it would go. I would say it was a DFS. No nicks or weepers. I think my next shave will be with the H plate to see if the additional aggressiveness will make a more pleasant shave in the mustache area with two days growth.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2022
  11. GoodShave

    GoodShave Member

    For tonight's shave, all I can say is WOW! I tried the H plate for the first time and was amazed at the shave. I used my Rockwell 6S handle (with M5 washers). I focused on a light grip with longer strokes and had a DFS with one pass on two days growth! I had one nick but I am sure it was user error again. Second pass yielded a BBS. The H plate definitely worked better in the mustache area but I still need to work on the angle there to make it more pleasant. I think I will try several shaves with the H plate before trying the EH plate. I have the Razorock UFO handle arriving tomorrow and plan to try it out later this week. I will keep rotating in other handles I have as well to see if one of them works the best with the 921. The Rockwell 6S handle matches the bead blast finish the best of all the handles I have (other than the Yates handle).
    Ijustmissedthe50s and TheBurgh like this.

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