The Fine Accoutrements Superlite Slant is a plastic razor which is both affordable and high quality. But it’s also so much more than that. For lovers of slants and vintage razors, the Fine Slant is a faithful homage to a razor from an earlier time.
Bakelite Slant Recreation
When Mr. fine set out to make the slant, he chose one of the most revered examples to honor. This safety razor is a faithful recreation of the famed bakelite slant.
The white Bakelite slant was made in Germany decades ago, but enjoyed a resurgence in 2013 when Italian Barber discovered a hidden cache of them and made them available once again. Stock quickly ran out, and the only option a fellow had for trying the well-regarded razor was to buy one of Italianbarber’s aluminum Stealth Slants. But those razors weren’t faithful recreations, and had been modified to the Barber’s preferences. (This wasn’t a bad thing, but it was not faithful to the original.)
While the baseplate on Mr. Fine’s slant lacks the box that gave the bakelite stability, it copies the essential geometry of the head in every other respect. This is the closest thing to shaving with the Bakelite razor, without having to risk a fragile and irreplaceable example.
The Fine Superlite consists of the torqued blade, a slanted edge, and it’s made of a lightweight, modern polymer instead of the more fragile bakelite of the original. I suspect the polymer is a UV-stable ABS plastic, which should hold up for years to come. The threaded rod in the top cap is metal, and the plastic handle has a metal threaded insert. The thread is the common metric M5x0.8 thread, which works well with a variety of handles.
Who is it for
If you’ve never used the Bakelite razor, this is your opportunity. If you’ve had one and broken it, now’s your chance to have its direct descendant back in your life. If you use one at home and want one that’s safe to travel with, you may have just found what’s missing in your life.
However, if you’re new to safety razor shaving, or new to slants, this may not be the very best choice for you. Read on, to see why.
What problem is it solving
Why would you want a slant? While some don’t think there’s an appreciable difference between using a slant and a non-slanted razor, others find they can get trouble spots like their neck clean-shaven more easily.
The number of recently available slants on the market today are few, compared to the number of available safety razors as a whole. There are, in no particular order:
- Above the Tie S1 and S2 (bar and comb)
- iKon Shavecraft 102
- iKon Slant (in B1 finish)
- Merkur 37C / 39C
- The Holy Black SR-71 slant
- iKon Shavecraft X3 (coming soon)
- RazoRock Stealth Slant (retired, new slant model coming at some point)
It’s important to note that the Fine Superlite Slant is the most affordable slant razor available. The next most affordable are the Holy Black, Merkur (which is very similar to the Holy Black) and the iKon Shavecraft 102.
How did it shave?
I used the Fine slant for these past two weeks, both on its own, and comparing it to other razors close at hand, and found it to be an excellent shaver, with some of the same caveats Mantic59 found for the original Bakelite.
Compared to some other slants, it feels more aggressive. There’s more blade feel. This could be because it’s an exact copy of the original Bakelite model. The RazoRock Stealth Slant was based on the Bakelite, but with modifications that made it milder. the iKon Shavecraft 102 has mild amounts of blade feel, and is quite comfortable. With the Fine Superlite, it’s important to experiment with angle as you hold the handle in relation to your face. I found that it worked better for me with a slightly steeper angle, with the handle closer to my face than I naturally arrive at.
I used it with a variety of blades, including Feather, Gillette Nacet, Polsilver SI, Astra SP. I found it worked well with all of them, for me.
This is a very audible razor. It growls as it shaves off the follicles, where other razors whisper. I shaved with it by itself, and in comparison with the iKon Shavecraft 102 and Dorco PL-602 on successive days. The 102 is understandably heavier, quieter, and was definitely a bit milder. The Dorco was used because they’re similar in weight, and the Dorco is far milder, unless the handle is loosened 1/2 turn – then the Dorco takes on the same aggressive blade-feel and audible characteristics of the Fine Slant. In terms of face feel, I was always very aware that there was a blade in it, and treated it with great care. This is not a razor you fool about with. The side of the box claims, “You Never Feel It,” but I think this claim is overstated. You absolutely do feel it.
I nicked myself with it a few times, although by the end of the week as I write this, I’ve had several shaves without so much as a weeper. It lives up to its name, it’s Fine, and it’s Superlite, but I have a difficult time recommending it as ‘My First Slant’ to a new shaver, or a shaver new to slants. The blade feel is more aggressive than I feel comfortable recommending to a new user. Seasoned users may like it very much, although some won’t enjoy it due to it’s light weight. I think it’s great that it’s a faithful rendering of the original in every regard, weight included, and I’m confident if you find the right angle and are mindful of pressure, it’s going to reward you with great shaves.