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Blackland ERA Razor Review

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The new Blackland Era razor promises to bring luxury razor technology to a more mainstream price point.  Does it succeed?  I bought one to test.

From the Blackland website:

The Era is the first production razor made from 3D-printed stainless steel. We used next-generation additive manufacturing combined with traditional CNC machining to produce the most advanced safety razor ever produced. By leveraging this technology, the Era brings CNC-level performance and precision at a fraction of the price.

The Era is uniquely versatile with ten different base plate options so you can choose the optimal setup for you. Users with sensitive skin can opt for Levels One or Two, while fans of an efficient razor will likely prefer Levels Four or Five. Level Three is the sweet spot for most users, with a just-right combination of efficiency and comfort.

Each of the five base plate levels come with the option of open comb or safety bar. Users who go several days between shaves may prefer the open comb for hacking though thick growth. Safety bar is the most common choice and it’s what we recommend for most users.

The Era’s precision 3D-printed head clamps the blade firmly right at the cutting edge, eliminating blade flex, leading to a more stable and predictable shave.

The same base plate features that give the Era great blade clamping also make the Era virtually impossible to clog. Lather and cut whiskers flow through the base plate easily, meaning you can cut through more hair and rinse less often.

Every Era comes with six nitrile grip rings that can be installed on the handle to increase grip when desired. Add as many or as few as you’d like to customize the Era handle to fit your shaving style.

What Others Are Saying About The Blackland Era

Assembly emagazine, a site that covers processes, technologies and strategies for assembling parts in industries like automotive, medical, electronics, aerospace and appliances, has an article about the Era that goes into more detail about manufacturing.

Most of the user feedback on the Blackland Era can be found on the wet shaving discussion boards (here is ATG and here is DFS)–there are very few independent reviews on non-forum websites.

 

Overall what I did find was quite positive:

Pro

  • Made in USA
  • Stainless Steel
  • Well-Built
  • Multiple Base Plate Options
  • Firm Blade Clamping
  • Smooth
  • Not Too Much Blade Feel

Con

  • A bit “industrial” looking to some.
  • A bit milder-than-expected per base plate option.

My Experience With The Blackland Era Razor

My experiences with the Blackland Era razor largely mirror other reviewers.  However I do have a few additional observations of my own.  Note that I purchased this razor and my comments here are my own–Blackland has not reviewed or approved this article.

Fit And Finish

Blackland is known for their fit-and-finish, and the Era is no exception.  The parts assemble easily and cleanly and there are no mechanical or visual defects on the razor I have.  It looks and feels like a quality razor.

Weight And Balance

Weight and balance are one of those personal preference things, but personally I like it.  The weight is heavy enough to feel solid in the hand without being so heavy as to be tiring.

The balance is biased a bit more toward the razor head than my preference (I like to hold razors near the bottom so the weight of the head does the work) but on the Era the ‘higher’ center of gravity actually seems to work pretty well for me.

Washer And O-Rings

The Era includes a washer between the bottom of the base plate and the thread screws of the handle.  It is there for cosmetic purposes for the “fussy few” who don’t want to see scratches in that area.

But as far as I’m concerned it’s a completely unnecessary bit.  And with the washer being so small and light, I can almost guarantee it’s going to get lost relatively quickly after a few blade changes.

There are O-rings included to roll onto the handle’s indentations.  I’m sure some will appreciate this attention to detail, however I find the grip perfectly satisfactory without them.

Head Options And Blade Clamping

There are a total of ten base plate heads available, five open comb and five with a safety bar.  I prefer guarded (safety bar) heads myself but I very much appreciate the number of options available.  You should be able to find a head that matches what you are looking for, though it might take some experimentation and additional cost–see my shave comments below.

Much has been made with the “blade clamping” design of the Era.  And frankly I think they’re onto something here.  A blade held really firmly will resist vibration and flex, offering a more consistent shave with less possibility of an “oops!” moment.  The Henson razor is also designed to hold a blade more securely, so I hope this is the start of a new design trend from the artisan razor-makers.

My Shaves

I prefer “mild” razors so I purchased a Blackland Era razor with the “#1” safety bar base plate.  My first shave experience with the Era was excellent over-all, but I found the #1 plate too mild, even for me.  This is a bit of a recurring theme with new Era users from what I’ve read: the base plates tend to be milder than expected, given the specs listed on the Era webpage.

Anyway, I purchased an additional base plate, a #2, and found that it gave me the over-all experience I look for!

I find the hold angle range (the “sweet spot”) quite generous and I’m sure most shavers will have no problem finding the right angle(s) for their shaving needs.

And I think the blade feel is just enough for my preference:  I know it’s there but it’s not harsh.  And as mentioned earlier the blade clamping engineering makes for a very consistent-feeling shave.

I can routinely get a “BBS” shave with three passes and perhaps a bit of touch-up, no matter what my stubble heaviness is (i.e. one day stubble or four day stubble).

Summing Up

The Blackland Era razor promises a “luxury” razor at a more approachable price point.  And I think it largely succeeds.  No double some will compare the design philosophy of the Era to that of the RazoRock Gamechanger (though personally I think the Era is more closely aligned with the RazoRock Lupo).  Maybe this will spur other razor artisans to make lower-cost-but-still-high-quality designs!

In any case I find the Blackland Era to be a fine razor.

 

 

Author

Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

6 thoughts on “Blackland ERA Razor Review”

  1. Re: Blackland Era. I have use this razor with a level 2 open comb. I am very pleased with this razor. I think it is a bargain for a USA made razor and I think the machinists deserve a lot of credit.

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