Just received the 2012 Sabi T3 thought that I would weigh it and take it out for a spin.
The first thing I noticed was the exceptional high quality of the plating, especially on the handle. The handle is better plated than any Merkur, Parker and even replates that I own.
Next was the handles weight. OMG, this thing is a BEAST. With a length of three inches, it is about the same length as the 1904 OC and 97R, but more than doubles the weight of the Merkur and about a 45% increase over the Parker. According to the Shave A Buck site, they say that the handle is solid stainless steel, which upon inspection, and just the weight of this beast, I would say that it is.
The head is both good and bad, I will explain. The head design is the same that you see on the NYSC Mariner and even Weber. The plating is very good, the attention to detail, not so good. I am a perfectionist, I like attention to the fine details which makes something go from good to great. The pot metal that all modern companies use is not a great material, but higher end companies do a better job at polishing the corners, ends, lip of top cap, and the comb. These are nothing more than minor comestic flaws that you can clearly see from the images on Shave A Buck. If these do not bother you, and for the price, it shouldn't, this is a non-issue.
Although the bottom of the comb is different, again like the Weber and NYSC, it is a virtual clone of the R89/DE89, just a slightly larger blade gap, similar to the Parker 97R.
The shave was OUTSTANDING. I used the Vie-Long Sardinero 13800 Horse Hair from Bullgoose, loaded brush with VDH and Derby Cream for an über lather. Loaded the T3 with my go to blade, the SuperMax Super Platinum. This is my evening shave, which I usually use my Merkur 1904, so I was a little reluctant to use an aggressive razor. Do two passes, light buffing and had a BBS. Some mild burn after Alum, but nothing bad.
Overall shave impressions was very impressive. But I will be honest, what impresses me the most are the fine handles that Sabi is precurring from their OEM supplier. In my razor weight I show this handle on a GEM 1912 (thanks to 3 piece handle design) and 2010 R41, you can check it out here.
Would I recommend this razor? Yes. It provides a great close aggressive shave at a great price.
Do I think the razor is worth the price for the handle alone? Hell Yeah! Just look at it!!!
I love these new Sabi handles so much I want to buy the T1 and T2 once they get back into stock.