Blackland is a respected razor artisan known for their high-end razors, particularly those that use single edge blades. But they also have a lower-cost double edge razor, the Blackland Dart. I decided to pick one up to see if its quality stands up to the rest of the line.
Blackland Dart Background
From the Blackland website:
“The Dart is a modern, double-edge safety razor designed, machined, and finished in the United States. We designed the Dart from scratch to be an efficient, smooth shaver at an approachable price point. The Dart has just the right amount of blade feel while still being comfortable enough to be a daily driver. Each of the Dart’s three pieces is machined from solid 303 stainless steel to astoundingly tight tolerances, delivering exceptionally close and consistent shaves.”
Blackland Dart Specs
- Aggressiveness: 6/10
- Weight: 99.5g, Head: 29g, Handle: 70.5
- Handle length: 92mm
- Material: 303 Stainless Steel
- Machining: Illinois
- Finishing: California and Ohio
- Packaging: Indiana and Ohio
There are two finishes available, a machined-finish version and a polished-finish version:
“The machined finish Dart proudly shows off the markings created during the process of machining each razor. The intricate, carefully-planned patterns left in the surface tell the story of the Dart’s journey from solid steel to finished product. “
“The polished finish is truly timeless. Each piece is painstakingly polished by hand and buffed to a mirror shine. The result is a piece of functional art that you will want to keep on display.”
My Shaving Experience With The Blackland Dart Razor
I’ve tried other Blackland razors, and from the fit-and-finish perspective they’ve all been excellent. Personally I’m not a big fan of the design of their two single edge razors, the Vector (admittedly it was a short-term loaner from another shave nerd so maybe I didn’t get enough time with it) that uses the wide barber blades (e.g. Feather Pro) and the Sabre that uses GEM blades. Actually I’m generally not a big fan of a three piece razor design for single edge blades because I find blade changing too fussy. That’s a personal preference thing so of course YMMV. I do find the rectangular threaded top cap post an interesting design element though.
The Blackland Dart, like their flagship Blackbird razor, uses double edge blades and while it is also a three piece design it is more “classic” and blade changing is pretty much like changing the blade with most other three piece designs.
And here again I find the Dart’s fit-and-finish excellent and comparable to Blackland’s higher-cost razors. The parts fit together flawlessly and screwing the handle into the head feels smooth and hefty. I bought a machined-finish version.
Speaking of hefty, at almost 100 grams (~3.5 oz) there is a fair amount of weight to throw around but I find the balance excellent, weighted close to the head where I like it. And while the handle shaft isn’t heavily textured (it’s essentially smooth but for the shape of the handle) I don’t have any trouble holding the razor in a wet hand.
Of course, where the rubber meets the road is the performance of the razor against the skin. Again, my personal preferences show through here. I like relatively mild razors. I knew I might be getting into trouble with the Dart because Blackland says up front it’s a “6 out of 10” on the scale. I would prefer a 3-4 myself.
And while it is a bit more “aggressive” than I would like, as long as I’m a little more mindful of my shave technique and letting the weight of the razor do the work, I get excellent shaves out of the Blackland Dart. I think it has enough blade feel and audio feedback to keep track of the shave and avoid damage.
Blackland set out to make one of their razors with a more approachable price point and I think they have succeeded. The design is classic with some innovative elements, I find the fit-and-finish beyond reproach, and the shave predictable and consistent. If Blackland offered a base plate with a milder blade exposure I could see it in my regular DE razor rotation. If your razor preference is more “middle of the road” or perhaps a bit more, I think the Blackland Dart double edge safety razor is well worth consideration.
Maggard Razors and West Coast Shaving also offer the Dart (WCS affiliate link).
Do you have a Blackland Dart? What do you think of it? Leave a comment below!