Good morning, guys!
Just bought an R41 from The Superior Shave (whose legendary reputation is well deserved) and whacked the whiskers this morning with it.
I'm 64, so I learned to shave DE with a Gillette back in the "Look sharp, feel sharp, sharp" days when their ad mascot was a parrot. I also used a Hoffritz (by Merkur) slant razor for many years until the damn thing broke.
Resumed DE shaving about a month ago with a Lord L6, which is a damn fine razor, save for its ability to handle the "swirlies" on my chin and neck. Sooooo, I figured it was time for the heavy metal. Truthfully, I never did care for the slant, so I thought I'd give this thing a try.
VERY interesting shave. Just like old times--but closer. I got a couple of quick nicks until I just allowed the razor to find its best angle. From there on, it was skating. Careful skating, but skating nonetheless.
I normally shave against the grain on first pass; the R41 was beautiful at this. And, yes, the blade does "sing." It was the damndest thing. "Whingg!"
Coming down is where I have to be careful, but there wasn't much to come down on.
Then I went at my chin and neck. I pull my skin taut when I shave, which sometimes encourages pressing the razor a bit too hard. I could definitely feel the edge here (Derby stainless), so, again, I just sort of let the razor find its own way. The "swirlies" are mostly gone; with a little practice, I am sure they will be all gone in a few more mornings.
Again, save for a minor nick on my cheek early on, I drew no more blood for the day.
The diciest spot to shave was directly beneath my lower lip. I wear a Van Dyke, so there's only about a quarter-of-an-inch to shave, which is not really enough room to permit the razor to set up naturally. This took lots of concentration.
Traditionally, I've never really lathered up, but just wet my face and just rubbed in plain ole Noxzema. My dad was a practiced cheapskate (who could get a month out of a Marlin Blue Blade, and probably used the first Wilkinson Sword blade he ever bought until the day he died) and insisted Noxzema was all you needed.
It worked fine for the Lord, but with the R41, I can see a mug and a brush in my future. LOL.
Bottom line for me: The R41 is a superb razor, but very much like a fine firearm. You don't tell a good rifle how to shoot. It tells you. Same with the R41. You don't tell the R41 how to shave. It tells you.
Pay attention and you will enjoy a wonderful shave accompanied by the music of the blades. Try to muscle it around and you are off to styptic city.
JMHO, of course!