"The Beast" Rages On? The Muhle R41 Gets A Tweak

Muhle has apparently tweaked the design of their R41 razor that is nicknamed “The Beast” due to its aggressiveness that was causing problems for many, including myself.  The end result is reportedly still aggressive but less harsh than the previous incarnation of the R41.  I just bought a “new” R41 to compare the two.

The top plate on the head has been widened to 20.2mm from 18.8mm, decreasing blade exposure

I first tried a shave using the R41 with my bog-standard, middle-of-the-road blade, an “Israeli Personna” (AKA Crystal brand), a blade that I use quite often.  I found the razor still very aggressive and I had to be careful of pressure and angle, but I was able to go against the grain without blood (though I did have a small patch of redness in the right side of my chin).

I gathered my courage and for the next shave I tried a high performance blade, an “old style” Iridium, a few of which I still have lying around (I find them as sharp as a Feather but smoother on my face).  I had to be even more careful with blade angle and pressure, but I was able to get a three-pass shave without the bloodshed I endured with the previous version (I did get a tiny nick on my upper lip though).

The “new” Muhle R41 razor is still very aggressive. “The Beast” may be caged, though not necessarily tamed.

Related Posts:

(Video) The Muhle R41 Razor

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  1. Dr. K says

    I did find this slight modification to be helpful. I did three shaves (3 passes each) with the new R41. With the old head, you can get amazingly close shaves but there is very high risk for irritation and nicks. Even if you’re being careful, you can get into trouble on occasion. The newer head is still a very efficient cutting tool, but I managed to avoid any nicks and had less of a feeling like I was walking on eggshells with it. This is still definitely not a beginner’s razor and not one you’d want to be shaving with bleary eyed or hung over, but with close attention you can get an excellent shave and it is a little more forgiving than the first rendition. I’ve also found less of a need for spot touch ups with this razor compared with others. And one you could also get away with a two pass shave (if three is your norm) if you’re not too picky. It’s very efficient, the most efficient of the twenty plus razors that I’ve used regularly.

  2. Josh says

    I have only experienced the old R41 and in my opinion it really is the closest thing in my shave drawer to a straight razor. I like the large blade exposure, makes it more like “driving a a manual car” as Mantic would say.

    I’m sure a lot of people will be jumping for the new R41 and its only a matter of years before the old version starts becoming a collectors item. I’m glad I got my hands on one!

  3. JD says

    Firstly, thanks to mantic for the articles and videos.

    I was hoping someone could help out with another R41 option. It’s been suggested that using the cap of the (properly) open comb R41 (same as the Merkur 15C?) on the out-going tooth-comb R41 results in a close approximation to the new R41.

    From photographs, it appears to me that both of the tooth-comb variants have a flatter underside to the cap than the open-comb R41, thus changing blade curvature. I’d have thought this could have a significant effect.

    Any thoughts? Has/Could anyone try the hybrid versus the refined R41 and report back?

  4. Nick says

    I am looking for the more aggressive r41 (2011). If anyone has one or knows where I can buy it from would really appreciate it. Thanks

  5. William says

    How does one know if they are buying the new Muhle R41 or the old one? Sellers I’ve looked at don’t differentiate.

  6. Rejean D. says

    This is really a beautiful razor. Be gentle with it otherwise it will leave some traces. Aggressive razor but when you find the good angle, you’ll be happy with because it does a pretty good job. Remember, let the razor do what it’s meant for. It will soon be one if my favorite.

  7. Lloyd says

    Hi. The more I look into steep vs shallow angles, the more variables people seem to consider when describing it and contracdicting figures come along. When you say you used a more shallow angle with this razor, that means the end of the blade oposite to the end touching your face is? A. Closer to you skin or B. Further away from your skin? Thanks!

  8. Phillip Screwdriver says

    I’ve got an “old” 2011 aggressive R41 and love it. It took awhile to really learn how to use it (after using a 1967 Gillette), but it is very close to my straight razor shaves. It is my go-to daily shaver, especially when I’m in a relative hurry and can only get by with one pass.

    Sounds like the new version is a good compromise between too aggressive and not enough.

  9. Andrew says

    Well. I’ve always been a bit of a thrill seeker and have been hearing a lot of buzz about the aggressiveness of the Muhle R41..so I decided to buy on and try for myself.

    I tried the approach like a regular DE I have been using, but on pass 2 (ATG), I really started to feel some discomfort on my skin.
    After rinsing off and applying balm, I felt this burning sensation for the rest of the day on my face.

    Now I was using the 30 degrees blade angle and don’t believe I was applying any pressure…but would like peoples thoughts on whether my technique needs to change to make this work for me?

    It obviously does not perform like your average DE.

  10. says

    Mark im desperately in search of the muhle r41 2011 version would be happy with head only any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, ur only one with credibility imo.

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