I’m lucky enough to live within driving distance of OneBlade’s headquarters. So when their new Core razor was announced I twisted their arms and I was able to score one of the first units off the assembly line. Here is my unboxing and impressions of my initial shaves with the OneBlade Core razor.
It wouldn’t be fair to compare the packaging experience of the Core razor to OneBlade’s original, stainless steel razor (now called Genesis). But I think the presentation is pretty nice. It comes in a heavy-duty cardboard box with a small information sheet and foam inserts for the razor, a pack of blades, and a razor stand.
The Core razor itself looks very much like OneBlade’s original stainless steel razor. However the Core razor is much lighter and it’s center of gravity is much further down the handle. If you have a OneBlade Genesis razor and get a Core razor, maybe as a travel option, you should adjust your expectations accordingly.
Core’s plastic material actually looks and feels pretty hardy. It can probably take a fair amount of abuse gracefully.
Core takes the same Feather blade as Genesis. Inserting a blade seems to be a bit more snugly-fitting in the Core razor for me compared to Genesis, but that may be just be a friction characteristic of the plastic they’re using.
I suppose it’s only natural to compare the performance of the OneBlade Core razor with that of the OneBlade Genesis razor, but it’s really an unfair comparison. While the two razors look very similar the shaving experience has been different for me so far.
The first thing I noticed when I started shaving with the Core is the feedback–there’s much more of it, both by sound and by blade feel, than shaving with a OneBlade Genesis razor.
The second thing I noticed is, if you’re already used to shaving with a OneBlade Genesis razor, you may have to subtly re-learn your technique with a Core razor. Since the weight and balance are so different you will have to adjust your grip for best results.
And you also may be tempted to push down a little more on the razor. This would be a mistake though.
So Genesis is like a good waiter in a fine-dining restaurant, anticipating your needs and being unobtrusive. Core is more like Maybelle at the local diner yelling “Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it!” to Don, the short-order cook in the kitchen. The food may still be great, but the experience is different.
Core does take a little more work for me to get a really good shave, compared to Genesis (DFS is quite easy though), at least with just a few shaves under my belt: it seems to be even milder than Genesis even though the two razors have the same blade angle/exposure/gap specifications. But to be fair, Genesis was that way for me too: after a few shaves the angle and pressure needed just sort of clicked in and I was off to the races.
On the other hand if you’re coming from the cartridge world, using a OneBlade Core will probably feel pretty natural: it’s a mild, forgiving shave at a price point that’s comfortable for most people who want to upgrade their shave.
There’s been some discussion about the use of de-spined GEM blades in OneBlade razors. I can report that I tried a de-spined but otherwise unmodified stainless steel, PTFE-coated GEM blade (these may not be the blades you might find in your local drugstore!) in my Core razor and got a very nice shave.
Since I live so close to OneBlade headquarters, I’m arranging a visit with the CEO, Tod Barrett. I hope to post that interview soon!