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OneBlade Core Unboxing And 1st Impressions

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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 Razor

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.

First Shaves

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.

GEM Blades?

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!


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

27 thoughts on “OneBlade Core Unboxing And 1st Impressions”

  1. I can’t imagine paying hundreds for a razor. I just checked and you can now get the core razor for $19.95 which they claim is normally right at $400. The Genesis is listed on Amazon for almost $300. One customer of the Genesis claimed he droped the razor and it bent. The company would not replace it. A number of customers of the Core razor gave it bad reviews on Amazon. I’ll stick with my Harry’s brand razor and blades. They will replace the razor at no charge if defective. I can purchase a LOT of blades for this razor for the price I’d pay for either of the other brands razors alone.

    1. You read the ad incorrectly: The Core normally sells for $50. It uses the same technology as OneBlade’s more expensive razors.

      1. Thanks for the response. I saw the ad at Amazon. The One Blade Genesis (As they show it) sells for $399. Must be a different razor attempting to impersonate the Core.

  2. After using a Genesis V2 and core v1, V2
    I tend to prefer a clipped gem in the Genesis and a feather in the Core V1.
    Due to the plastic Blade guards i find gems to tricky in the core.
    But since a lot of people this Side of the pond seem to buy and dump (still wondering why they not ask a refund) the one week used core, i now have 4 cores. Jup i like them! Not for the bbs finish. That is more a task for my Genesis, qshave, Parker variant or Ikon x3.
    But for that sleepy automode decent shave they are very hard to beat with a fresh feather. Even if you burn those feather Blades so fast. Even trying to modify a core V2 to safely accept preferably still spined or at least unclipped gem Blades (it is plastic much easier to remove lock pins, but replace uhhh).
    Imho the only drawback is that the core is so forgiving that it makes you slack and you might Pay the Piper next time you use Another razor.
    I would love a future gen steel or duraluminium oneblade with a gap adjustable head and interchangable Blade locks for gem and Feather Blades. maybe even a moveable weight in the handle to influence Balance. An adjustable spring for the head and non slip handle would be Nice too. Is it going to Be expensive Sure, Will it piss people of you betcha!

  3. Based on the feedback they received, Oneblade have redesigned the head of the core to open the blade gap and be more aggressive and they have also taken steps to address the reports that the pivot hasn’t functioned properly on some units.
    They’re going to allow anyone dissatisfied with the level of aggression of the core to upgrade to the new version for free.
    I’m going to opt in for the aggressive version, while i am able to get a DFS with the current head, I don’t like having to apply the amount of pressure required to achieve it. It leaves my neck feeling scratched but not seriously irritated.

    1. Update: One blade responded to my request to upgrade to the Core V2, and said as I am an international customer they would forgo requiring me to return the Core V1 to save me from incurring excessive shipping costs. That’s excellent customer service as far as I am concerned.

  4. I have allmost the same experience as mantic
    The core is a lot more forgiving and mild as the Genesis 2. You realy notice it after a week Shaving with a gem in the core and putting that Blade in the Genesis. A lot closer shave is the result. Next switch it back to the core and it still performs… so mantics Blade oil trick seems to work (7 shaves on my clipped gem and counting).
    So it is definitely my idiot proof mode razor, so easy even with my sensitive skin/heavy beard. It is also a bit more grippy in the shower. Quality wise i like the Genesis more though

  5. I share some of the other commenter’s disappointment in this review, and am concerned that Sharpologist’s commercial relationship with the manufacturer is exerting significant bias.
    I have been traditional shaving for many years. I have shaved with and own several dozen DE razors of all designs, and a few single edge razors as well. These razors vary greatly in style, design, and cost (ranging from $10 to $300). I have a much higher threshold for purchasing new razors these days, as I need them to offer something substantially different from what is already a comprehensive collection. While I liked the design, pivot, and hand feel of the OneBlade Core, it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a close shave at all with it in my hands.
    Most of my current collection of razors will get me a DFS or BBS in two passes. I rarely bother with a third pass, as the time and potential irritation isn’t worth the slight improvement in stubble reduction to me. After daily shaving with the OneBlade Core for a week, it would take me four passes to get what one pass with any of my other razors can achieve. It additionally required extensive buffing over the chin after those four passes. Even with the extra passes and buffing, my beard still resembled its typical appearance 12-24 hours after a typical shave, and felt rough to the touch with lots of residual stubble.
    This razor is very forgiving – no nicks or irritation whatsoever, but that’s not surprising given how ridiculously mild it is. It’s hard to injure yourself with this, but also impossible to get a good shave. I think if this were my gateway into traditional shaving from cartridges, I would have likely gone back to cartridges. The blade gap and exposure on this razor are woefully insufficient, and I will be returning mine for a refund, which I haven’t done with over years and dozens of purchases since the Merkur Vision 2000 (which shaved well enough but was so fragile it broke after just a few days). If they can widen the blade gap and increase the blade exposure, I would happily give this another try, but in its current design, it’s unbelieveably and frustratingly ineffective.

    1. I would add that I tried all different angles and degrees of pressure to no avail. This morning I put it away and shaved with a Muhle R41 and got a closer shave with one pass than I did with four passes with the OneBlade.

      1. I would like to soften my above comment suggesting commercial bias. While this is possible given the relationship between the two entities, it is also possible that with the plastic components involved in holding the blade with Core, the manufacturing tolerances may not be as tight as with the stainless steel Genesis model. Perhaps Mantic59’s model was not as mild as the one I received and had a larger blade gap and exposure. Regardless, whether a design or manufacturing issue, the results are not acceptable for anyone wanting a close shave. If I had to pick a razor I could use with my eyes closed on no sleep without fear of cuts and irritation, maybe the Core would do, but if I want any decent shave results, no. I am in the process of returning mine. I am now 24 hours post my Muhle R41 shave and still have way less stubble than after four passes plus buffing with the Core on any of last week’s shaves with it.

  6. I’m glad to hear in follow up reviews from you and others that your all started getting better shaves after getting over the initial learning curve.
    Mine hasn’t arrived yet and I was starting to get nervous because there’s been a lot of hate for the razor initially with people sending their razor back after one shave and some wet shaving “purists” having it in for the razor before it even shipped and piling on the negative opinions in hopes that it flops.

  7. I received my Core yesterday. I shave in the evening so I gave it a try last night.
    It was a very underwhelming experience.
    The first pass left considerable stubble behind but I wasn’t concerned. I assumed the second pass would clean up most of what was left and provide an acceptable shave. I was wrong. After four passes I still had visible stubble, especially on my neck.
    I’m not giving up on the razor. I expect a bit of adjustment time but based on my initial experience I don’t have high hopes.

    1. My first couple of shaves were underwhelming too. Give it about a week–that is how long it took me to tweak my technique. Now I get an easy DFS shave and BBS with a little touch-up. 🙂

      1. After the amount of time you’ve spent with the Core, would you say it’s even comparable to the Genesis?
        I have the Core and I’m not impressed with how many passes it takes to achieve BBS. I’m possibly looking at trading it in for a Genesis but before doing so, I’d like to know if you still feel the upgrade is something to consider?

  8. I received mine today, and shaved with it tonight. I was very pleased, and it is a keeper. I do not have any experience with the earlier models. I have never used Gem Razors before, but I have used Injectors and Feather AC Safety Razors. I inserted the blade in glue spots upward. The blade was in the familiar Feather wrapper that I see with their DE Blades which work well for me in mild razors. The OneBlade Core was a mild shave, and it takes some getting used to with the angle of attack. However, I did not get any nicks or irritation. The post shave face feel is great. I got a BBS shave in two passes with some touch ups which is commensurate with my other mild razors. It reminded me in looks of the Wilkinson Bonded Cartridge Razor from many years ago. I am going to try for four shaves with the first blade, using it twice, and then flipping it for the other two. I thought the packaging, presentation, and quality were all top notch. I thought the heft was satisfactory. All and all, I feel like I got a great razor at a fair price, so I am a happy camper!

  9. Joseph McCullough

    Core razor shipped. Should be here Thursday. I love my V1 Oneblade razor. IT works like no other razor for me with the Feather Blade on the 1st shave. 2nd shave is great but not like the 1st. My razor handles Gem de-spined blades fine and shaves great. But, not the same as the 1st shave with the Feather. Feather blade 2 shaves. Gem blade 3-4 shaves. That’s my experience. Definitely a great razor. Hard to cut yourself!! I hope the Core razor is as good? I think your assessment is probably right on point!!!

  10. So what’s the best way to de-spine those orders blades? And doing it that way, is there likely to be any advantage to the OneBlade Core over a Gem Jr. (for example?) I would think the point really is the Feather blades these razors take…

  11. Getting replacement blades not that easy. As far as I know it requires a special blade.
    Standard DE blades I can even get from local beauty supply. My local grocery store/pharmacy all carry DE blades. I looked at the online store I usually order from they do not carry it. Who knows if others will carry it in future.

    1. Actually my latest shaves have improved quite a bit! I’m getting used to the razor’s weight and balance.

  12. It seems that you’re trying to be kind to the razor since it’s naturally compared to it’s bigger brother.
    So is it fair to say that it’s “only” an acceptable razor (based on your experience so far)?
    Mind you, a$50 razor doesn’t have to be exceptional to be worthy of the price.

    1. So far I would classify it as a good $50-$70 razor. But I’m anticipating an improved experience as I get used to the different weight and balance (the same experience I had with Genesis). BTW, I think the ‘grip’ of the Core handle may be a touch better than Genesis!

  13. Great review. I bought the Core hoping the performances were similar to the Genesis.
    Just out of curiosity, compared to the Supply single edge razor, how did the core work?

  14. Thanks for the review. I’ve not tried the Genesis so I am going in with no expectations when my core arrived in the next few week.
    So what’s your final verdict Mark, will the core see more use or are you going to stick with the Genesis only? If it does get more use, I’d be interested in a follow-up review down the line to see if more shaves change your opinion for better or worse.

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