Goodfellas’ Smile razors have been making a bit of a splash in the wet shaving world and they just got a US distributor. I’ve shaved with a Valynor razor so far and here are my impressions.
Italian Wet Shaving Continues To Improve
I have mentioned before that I think the Italian wet shaving brands seem to be evolving and improving generally, while still remaining faithful to their heritage. Meanwhile the performance of many of the old school, traditional English brand name products have dropped noticeably over the past few years.
From Goodfellas’ Smile US distributor (Super Safety Razors) website (affiliate link):
Entirely designed and developed in Italy, the Valynor safety razor is the latest creation by The Goodfellas’ smile…. The handle is made from silver anodized aluminum, while the head and the base are in machine-polished, uncoated brass*….
The Valynor razor is a unique product, where details of light, shadows, and contrasts merge to delight the eye. However, the real magic reveals itself during shaving. Made up of 4 detachable parts (base, handle, plate, and cap), the Valynor razor provides a gentle, yet effective shaving experience, thanks to its neutral gap of 0.8 mm. This is an excellent razor for both men and women to shave all body parts.
The head of the Valynor razor is flat, making it ideal for the mustache area as well. The four corners of the plate are rounded for a perfect feeling on the skin. The grooves are wide, allowing optimal expulsion of the cut hair. The handle measures 85 mm in length, with a head thickness of 7 mm, for a total razor length of 92 mm. The head has a width of 43 mm, which allows the cap to hide the edges of the shaving blade.
Brass is a long-lasting material, known for its aesthetic charm, resistance to corrosion and oxidation. However, over time, brass parts can tarnish and lose their shine. To preserve the beauty of brass, it is necessary to treat it carefully and clean it periodically with specific brass products.
- Razor Type: Four-Piece Closed Comb Safety Razor
- Weight: 2.75 oz./78g
- Length: 3.62 in./92mm
- Material: Brass & Aluminum
My Experience With The Goodfallas’ Smile Valynor Razor
While the Goodfellas’ Smile Valyor razor comes in an unremarkable cardboard box, I think the look of the razor itself is quite attractive and images don’t do it justice. There are actually four parts to this “three piece” safety razor, with a brass insert inside the outer handle. To me the combination of colors and platings is a combination of traditional and intriguing at the same time!
While the total length is stated at 92mm the length of the handle itself is about 85mm (about 3.3 inches). That should be adequate for all but the meatiest hands. The razor’s head fully covers blade tabs.
The 78 gram (2.75 ounce) weight is not in the “heavyweight” class of safety razor in my book but it is certainly heavy enough for a good grip. Removing the inside brass insert drops the weight by 37 grams and, as you might suspect, moves the razor’s center-of-gravity dramatically toward the razor’s head.
My very first shave with the Goodfellas’ Smile Valynor razor was an interesting experience. Overall I thought it was very good but I thought the “sweet spot,” the range of hand-hold angles for a good shave, was a little narrower than other razors I’ve used. My shave was not quite as consistent as I was expecting.
I was wrong though: it turned out to be related to the slightly thinner top cap, combined with the near-neutral blade exposure and a very modest blade feel (though audio feedback is quite pronounced for me). Once I compensated for those issues I started getting fine shaves–but you might have to pay a little more attention to hold angle compared to other razors.
I would characterize the shave aggressiveness as relatively mild: perhaps a 4 on a 1-10 scale. I prefer mild razors so I enjoy using the Valynor. Lather flow and rinsing is easy and drama-free for me.
As an experiment I removed the brass insert for a few shaves. The lighter weight and head-forward balance made for quite a nimble razor! I can see where some might prefer this way if they were used to other very lightweight razors.
Bottom line is the Valynor shaves very well though it is relatively mild and you might have to experiment with it a bit to find the right combination of parts for best results.
Italian shave brands continue to impress me with their ability to innovate products while at the same time remaining true to their heritage. The Goodfellas’ Smile Valynor razor is a good example of this trend.
The Goodfellas’ Smile Valynor safety razor is available from these vendors.