After a long wait, and several attempts I was finally able to purchase the famous “RazoRock Hawk”! I’ll admit, I missed the first two releases due to my poor reaction time. Let’s just say I waited for its arrival in the typical fashion that most wet shavers do. Impatient. When it finally arrived, I counted down the minutes before I could leave work. As I pulled up to the house I rushed the mailbox like I was sacking the quarterback in a playoff game. If you’re smiling right now, then you know the feeling.
The Razorock Hawk is a razor that was a long time coming. The team at Italian Barber (Razorock and Italian Barber are affiliated with each other) really put their time into developing this piece. Their goal was to build an affordable “Artist Style” SE (single edge) razor that would provide a great shave at a fraction of the price of “similar” style razors. They did just that!
Before we get into the actual review, it’s important to understand what type of razor we’re dealing with here. The Hawk is classified as a single edge razor but differentiates itself from the more common vintage razors that take the conventional “box cutter” style blades. The Hawk requires the larger, more limited “artist style” single edge blade which are packaged in an “injector “blade case. These blades tend to perform very well in my experience. They can be a little costly compared to other disposable blades but I can assure you they’re worth it. We’ll get into the blades a little later on in this article.
There are two versions of the Hawk. The “Chrome Hawk” retails at $19.99 and has a chrome plated finish, as the “Black Hawk” features a black anodized finish and retails for $24.99. Both razors are made from CNC machined 6061 billet and rod aluminum and weigh approximately 1.4 oz. each.
Once I finally opened the shipping box I found my new treasure. The packaging consisted of a sturdy yet simple box that fits the bill of quality and affordability, nothing flashy or excessive. The razor was neatly wrapped in tissue paper to prevent damage during shipping. For a razor at this price point, I feel the box was sufficient and did the job it was designed to do.
I purchased the Black Hawk so this review will be based on the performance of that particular model, although both models are extremely similar and only differ from the final finish and color.
As previously mentioned, the Hawk is composed of CNC machined billet and rod aluminum, and is very light. Some wet shavers may find the light weight to be a drawback, but I find it to be a plus. It’s common to hear people say how they enjoy the heft of a custom razor and handle, but to this wet shaver I enjoy more of a balanced piece.
Both Hawks are composed of a 3 piece design with a handle, baseplate and top cap. All fit together precisely and the blade lines up perfectly. You can tell even with its simplicity, there was some serious time spent on the development of this razor. The handle is machined just enough to assist the user with grip but not overly to where your fingers dig in to the handle and find it uncomfortable.
At 1.4 ounces the razor is easy to maneuver and requires a very light touch. It’s very important not to use added pressure to compensate for its light weight. This is a common mistake when using a lighter razor and can lead to nicks and irritation. Let the blade do the work and just guide it. We’ll get into the shave a little later on in this article.
The finish on the black hawk is durable and not overly shiny. The semi-gloss anodized finish proved itself to be durable, and did not fade, chip or crack the few weeks I used this razor. It’s easily washed with soap and water and because this razor is composed of aluminum, it will never rust.
There is one word of caution when using an aluminum razor. It’s important not to over tighten the handle to the head when installing a blade. Those who work with aluminum parts on a daily basis know exactly what I’m talking about. While steel is very forgiving to over tightening, aluminum is not. Too much force could strip the threads sending your beautiful razor straight to the trash can. Just go easy on it and this razor will be passed on to the next generation looking the same as it did when it came out of the box.
For the performance part of this review I used the same blade type the entire duration. I wanted to really learn how this razor worked and felt that alternating blades may change results. For this challenge I used Feather Professional Artist Style Blades.
Shaving with this razor reminds me of using a straight razor. The longer blade eliminates several strokes when shaving, thus completing your passes in less time. Going with the grain was extremely effortless and I noticed the less pressure I used the better this razor performed. As previously mentioned, it’s extremely important to use light pressure when shaving. I cannot emphasize that enough. I finally found the sweet spot with the Hawk as soon as I incorporated some straight razor skin stretching techniques. Using it like a straight razor really enhanced the experience. It glided over my chin and neck with ease and I noticed I didn’t have to go over the “tough” spots twice. It almost felt like I was using a vacuum for removing stubble.
When going across the grain (ATG), it’s important to go slow and lightly glide the razor over your face. The larger blade requires a different approach than a Double Edge (DE) razor. Again, I used the same stretching technique as I would with a straight razor during this step and found it to work remarkably. Although many wet shavers prefer a 3 pass shave, I would skip this step until you’re fully comfortable with using this razor.
This is where it gets a little difficult. Shaving against the Grain (ATG) requires the user to use…wait for it…“Light Pressure!” I tend to overcompensate when going against the grain, and this razor did a good job reminding me why that’s a bad idea. Use light pressure and a good lather and you’ll be fine. Remember that it’s all about beard reduction rather than removal. By the time I get to this point of the shave 90 % of my stubble is gone and I’m going for the smooth face. The razor glided over my face with ease, and I did have a few nicks on my neck the first few uses. I started using a slighter angle, almost no pressure and the nicks went away.
I really enjoyed my experience with the Hawk. The learning curve is not nearly as long as I originally anticipated and I find myself using this razor very often. It’s well built and is offered at a price that fits into anyone’s budget. It looks great too.
The only down side is availability. This razor sells out quickly when it’s in stock making it difficult to acquire. HINT: Razorock tends to advertise a lot on Twitter.
Overall, you can’t beat the value for what you get with the Hawk. For more information check this out.
Joe Borrelli is a long-time wet shaving enthusiast and collector. He hosts the Wet Shaving News Podcast and runs his own self-funded website http://shavestraightandsafe.com/ to help inform the community of new information involving the wet shaving world. Joe holds a BBA from Florida Atlantic University, and currently works for the nation’s largest wine/spirits/beer retailer. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Linda, outdoor activities and collecting wet shaving apparel. Find out more about Joe here.