Bevel

bevel kit

Bevel is a new brand of shaving products, including their own DE razor, that is specifically targeted to men of color but is useful for any shaver.  They sent me a sample set to try.

Background

Tristan Walker was a Wall Street trader and business development guru at Foursquare before founding Walker and Company.  His flagship brand is Bevel, a line of shaving products aimed specifically at men of color and others who, like him, struggle with ingrown hairs and other shaving irritations made worse by multi-blade razors and mass-market shaving products (if you would like to more about Tristan’s background take a look at the linked articles and the bottom of this post).  Given Tristan’s background you would think he would be strictly focused on the financial aspect of his product.  But it is obvious that great care has gone into the “look and feel” of Bevel, from the design and packaging of the products to the follow-up and support of the customer’s experience.

The company is also doing a twist on the recent trend of “subscription” service by offering quarterly auto-shipment of their products (though the subscription can be paused at any time).  Think of it like the “razor and blades business model” on steroids.

Bevel Design

bevel razor

That experience begins with the package, their “Starter Kit.”  Based on looks alone I would be pleased to give or receive this package as a gift.  Lifting the cover off the box the first thing you see is the Bevel razor, presented as the star of the show.  It is a reasonably heavy three piece razor with a long handle and an interesting razor head design.  To me the razor is elegant, with a modern-with-a-nod-to-retro (or maybe retro-with-a-nod-to-modern?) look.  One interesting aspect of the head design is that it is engineered so that it is almost impossible to get an asymetric exposure off each side of the blade.  A niftly little feature.

Lifting off the top level presents the balance of the kit: a pure-grade badger shaving brush, a bottle of “priming oil,” a tube of shave cream, a bottle of aftershave, and a pack of razors.

bevel

The shaving brush is well-made.  While it may not have the highest grade of badger hair, I found the performance entirely acceptable with a fairly stiff backbone but without the “scratchiness” that some pure hair brushes can have.  And someone on the manufacturing team was on the ball here: no badger “funk” and only a couple hairs shed during the time I have used it!

I admit I am not a big fan of pre-shave oils generally (personal preference, your mileage may vary) but the Bevel “Priming Oil” seems to do its job without fuss.  It has a mild lavender scent to my nose.

The Bevel shave cream is a solid, if not luxurious, product which gets the job done.  It works acceptably well by itself and performs a bit better in tandem with the Priming Oil.  The shave cream does not have a scent that I can detect with my admittedly poor sense of smell.

The aftershave is quite good–moisturizing without being greasy–and contains a bit of menthol for a mild cooling effect.  Again, I detected no significant scent in the profile.

The double-edge (DE) blades are unbranded though I am told they are “German engineered.”  It might be my imagination but they seem to be thinner than many other DE blades I have used.  I have nothing to measure it with though so I can’t quantify that feeling.

The bottom line is that this is a good, solid shaving kit with quality products.   Priced at under $60 the “Starter Kit” is worth considerably more in my opinion.

The Shave?

I have been using the Bevel kit for several weeks now.  My first few shaves were a bit of a struggle because of the razor’s center-of-gravity and head design were different than the razors I normally use.  However after I found the correct razor angle I have been getting excellent shaves!

But I have been shaving with DE razors for a few years.  What about those who haven’t?  Bevel is trying to make the transition as easy as possible, with a website full of videos, tips, and encouragement.  It’s a very engaging, “blog-like” experience.  I find it encouraging that a start-up can not only “sell the sizzle” with well thought-out and produced marketing and information, but back up that sizzle with a juicy steak in the form of well-designed, solid products as well.

Bevel deserves your attention.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for your review, Mark. Must say from the start, the products look great and clearly a large marketing budget has been thrown at these products. However, as we all know, ‘the proof is in the pudding’ as they say and your review would suggest that the actual production quality goes some way to match their appearance.
    I am intrigued by the curvature of the DE but I do like the design and look of it.
    As any of my customers will tell you, I’m a huge fan of German engineering, especially when it comes to scissors, blades, etc. and therefore, if the actual razor blades that come with the set are German – they WILL do the job!
    Looking forward to (hopefully) seeing these products being available over here in the UK soon……

  2. Rick says

    I just got an email for the Sharpologist special- where newsletter subscribers can just purchase the razor on its own. I love that idea, however they’re still charging $69.95 for the razor. After learning that its basically a brass handle with a pot metal head, I think that’s way too much- considering you buy an all-stainless Weber for the same price. If they lowered the cost for the razor to $30, I’m sure there would be a lot of takers! I do love the aesthetics of it, though.

    • Larry says

      Modern Zamak alloys are physically similar to brass, but can be managed like pot metal, with lower environmental impact than brass smelting. Strictly speaking though Zamak is NOT pot metal. That said, I have reservations about plating two different and unalloyed metals. Zamak, brass, and the plate will all have different coefficients of expansion/contraction with heat.
      In theory, it may have an adverse effect of the plating longevity. In practice it may not matter. I’ll refer to Yogi Berra’s quote about the differences between theory and practice!

      • Rick says

        My main point is that this razor is essentially made of the same materials as EJ and Parker razors. Those razors sell between $20-40. Why pay $70 for a similar quality razor (albeit unique), when you can get a much superior all-stainless razor for the same price? In my research, zinc is considered to be a pot metal. It could be better than other pot metals, but it is still no where near on par with stainless steel. I really like the looks of the Bevel razor, and would like to try one. But I’m not willing to pay that kind of money for something that is of moderate quality.

        • Larry says

          Agree. If it is a good product it will survive the initial round of reviews to become accepted. There will be time to add it to a collection if it is well received.

        • aaron says

          I think it’s because you’re paying for more than just the razor. It’s the whole system. If they sold the razor separately I believe it would cost less…

          • Andrew says

            I agree as well. I love my ss ATT Kronos but, the Bevel kit is marketed for people new to DE shaving. I don’t think it’s a bad price for what you’re getting. It would make a good gift too.

  3. Ty says

    I have been shaving with this razor for the last week and a half. I must say that I am very impressed…finish, craftsmanship, aesthetics, and most importantly, the shave. I believe that this razor is definitely on par with all of the more popular razors discussed in various shaving fora. It could probably be a little less expensive, but Bevel hasn’t been around for 40 or 50 years either. For guys like me who require a less aggressive razor, this will be money well spent.

    • Omar says

      IS it still working for you. I am interested but extremely scared due to very sensitive skin. And how ofter do you shave?

      • says

        As a matter of fact I shaved with the Bevel razor this morning. I shave almost every day and when I’m not testing something specific I have a “rotation” of favorite products. The Bevel razor is in my rotation. I may not use it every day but it is not collecting dust in some drawer either. :) I think the Bevel razor would be fine to use for someone with sensitive skin.

    • says

      Personally I got 4-6 full shaves out of a Bevel blade but your results will vary depending on things like the thickness of your stubble and the mineral content of your water. Of course, you don’t have to use the Bevel blade: any standard double-edge razor blade will work so it will be useful for you to find the brand(s) that work best for you.

  4. Tim B says

    I think the design for the razor is brilliant, as well as the two layers in the box. The head encloses the sides of the razor blade, making it easier to change the blade. If there was a UK stockist I would definitely think about getting a Bevel razor.

  5. Joe says

    Feels like marketing hype to me. Sure it “looks cool” but its apparently base level product for premium prices, targeted at people who don’t know better. That or he works the “shave for people of color” angle as if that somehow makes the shaving materials different.

    Not saying this looks like a “bad” product,

    But for the same 60$, You can easily pick up a stainless steel Merkur handle, a cup of Proraso shave soap (will last months), a better quality brush (at least a “best” badger one) and a pack of Merkur blades (which I like, good quality, sharp for at least a week or more, but not as ninja katana sharp as the feather brand).

    So… “bevel” looks ok, but nothing special.

  6. Mike H. says

    I’m very leery of their billing practices. Sounds a lot like the controversial billing practices of Proactiv. I know Ohio at one point even opened a criminal case against them for this style of billing. I just want the kit and be done with it. Why can’t they just simply offer that?

    It’s almost as if they’re counting on these billing practices to make them a profit. No thanks until they change…

  7. Mathew says

    No doubt, the design of the razor and the package etc. are stunning and beautiful.

    That being said, I doubt if this razor and equipment is better than an average set, like a drop of olive oil from your kitchen (if you believe in pre shave oils), a good shaving soap or cream of your liking (if you want it cheap something like the Palmolive or the Speick stick or some Italian soap and alike), a normal shaving brush, a more mild DE razor (again, if you want it cheap, get the RM2003 by Rimei for under 4$ – very mild, very efficient), a razor blade of your liking (e.g. Astra green SP) and an Aftershave Balm (like Nivea Sensitive) or even just a moisturizing cream.

    I am sure that a set up and after shower shave with an Omega S-Brush, Speick shave stick, a Rimei with an Astra SP, two passes without pressure with the grain, and then a finish with cold water splashes topped of with some Nivea Sensitive will provide an equal “close” shave (meaning: close as possible for guys with ingrown hairs), better skin and reduction of ingrown hairs as the Bevel system.

    The winning part for guys with Pseudofolliculitis barbae (real ingrown hairs) in my opinion is – again – abstaining from canned goo, abstaining from multi-blade razors, as well as abstaining from too sharp blades and too agressive razors, and abstaining from too close shaves esp. passes against the grain. Whether you use a nicely designed system for 60$+ or a cheap solution for about 15$ or less doesn’t matter in my opinion.

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