Rockwell Razors recently added another razor to their line, an upgraded addition to their T2 razor in Stainless Steel! I’ve been using it and have been thoroughly impressed with this razor.
Rockwell And Sharpologist
Rockwell has been acquainted with Sharpologist pretty much since Rockwell’s inception. Sharpologist has been able to follow the evolution of Rockwell’s product line from the venerable 6S razor (which started the trend of optional base plates for double edge razors, though Rockwell remains the only brand to offer “flippable” plates), through the lower-cost 6C razor, and the fully adjustable T2 razor. Sharpologist even has an sponsorship relationship with Rockwell.
Through those years I have been privy to a number of Rockwell’s plans and I have been lucky enough to provide feedback on some of the razor prototypes. But the Rockwell T2 Stainless Steel razor caught me by surprise! Right after Rockwell’s announcement Gautam, Rockwell’s General Manager, emailed me and asked if I would be interested in trying the T2 Stainless Steel (which I’ll shorten to “T2SS” for this article) for feedback.
Of course I would. 🙂
My Experience With The Rockwell T2 Stainless Steel Adjustable Razor
I think the T2SS is a study in contrast. Your expectations are going to be colored by different aspects of the razor and what your own preferences are:
- Shave quality?
- Adjustment range?
I’ll try to answer these questions.
The T2SS is presented in the same type of box the standard T2 comes in: a monochromatic gray/black box and foam insert. It is well-protected against the vagaries of shipping and handling. It contains the razor, five Rockwell blades, a leather razor head cover, and an instruction sheet.
The T2SS is presented in a matte finish, different from other Rockwell razor finishes and other Stainless Steel razors I have seen. Build quality of my T2SS is excellent–this thing is built like a tank. To me it gives off a distinctly “industrial” feeling–almost like it’s saying “this is a solid, long-lasting tool” rather than just “this is a shaving razor.”
Weight, Balance, Materials, And “The Feel” Of The Razor
The T2SS is 3 grams heavier than the stock T2 (other dimensions like handle length are the same, see below). But to me it “feels” more, well, dense in my hand. It’s hard to describe accurately but to me it re-enforces that feeling of a quality industrial tool.
- Razor Weight: 106 grams
- Razor Length: 95mm (3.74 inches)
- Handle Length: 89mm (3.5 inches)
- Available finish: Matte
- Adjustability: Fluidly adjustable shave settings from R1 to R6 (and anything in between!)
The balance of the T2SS seems to be just a bit higher on the handle (toward the head) compared to the regular T2 to me. It’s subtle but since I prefer “top-weighted” razors in general in the first place it’s a welcome tweak for me.
Blade Loading And Adjustment
Blade loading and adjustment of the T2SS is very much like the standard T2: turn the bottom dial until the “butterfly” doors open, pop in a blade, set an initial adjustment with the upper dial if necessary, turn the bottom dial the opposite way to close the doors.
Like the standard T2, and unlike other twist-to-open (TTO) double edge razors, the bottom dial requires several extra turns beyond “closed” to fully secure the blade in the razor head. I was a bit perplexed about those extra turns when I first tried the original T2 but soon realized that it made blade-clamping much more secure compared to other TTO razors. I discovered that TTO mechanisms (particularly in the lower-cost razors) can occasionally work themselves loose and create an undesired blade movement.
The action of both dials is very smooth and fluid-like. And both dials are somewhat “tight,” requiring a bit more force to turn. Again, I’m sure this is to avoid a dial loosening during use.
[Note: like other TTO adjustable razors, you should loosen the “butterfly” doors before making an adjustment, then re-tighten.]
My Shaves With The Rockwell T2 Stainless Steel Adjustable Razor
[Note: Rockwell and geni.us links are affiliate.]
In my hand the T2SS is very comfortable to me, despite its size. The weight, balance, and that hard-to-quantify “denseness” I described earlier combine for a pleasant, secure feel for me.
I find that the T2SS has a generous “sweet spot” for finding the correct angle to hold the razor/blade at. While I assume the T2SS will be mostly used by wet shaving aficionados it should also be suitable for beginners (as long as they don’t “dial up” to a too-aggressive setting).
For my first few uses with the T2SS I couldn’t help but compare it to the regular T2. The first thing I noticed was the T2SS’s adjustment “window” seemed to be biased a bit milder than the regular T2. My subjective experience is born out by the data Rockwell supplied to me later:
|Setting||Regular T2||T2 Stainless Steel|
Realistically this shouldn’t make any difference for the vast majority of wet shavers. The few who enjoy turning adjustable razors “up to 11” should be aware of it, though.
My usual shave routine with an adjustable razor is counterintuitive to most shaver’s expectations: I shave my first pass with a fairly low setting then dial up a bit for successive passes. I dial back down for any needed “touch & cut” cleanup. With the T2SS I start off with about a “2” then dial up to about a “3.” Your Mileage May Vary, of course.
I find that the head dimensions of many “butterfly” style adjustable razors (and indeed some fixed-head TTO razors as well) can make shaving tight areas like under the nose a challenge. I have not had this problem with the T2SS: I have been able to do “detail” work without any problems.
The bottom line here is that my shaves with the Rockwell T2 adjustable razor in Stainless Steel are excellent! It usually takes me a few shaves with a new razor to learn its quirks and get a good shave. But I became accustomed to the razor very quickly and I routinely get comfortable “baby’s butt smooth” shaves out of it.
Other Reviews Of The Rockwell T2 Stainless Steel Adjustable Razor
Since the T2SS is a recent addition to the Rockwell razor family there are not too many reviews out. I did find a couple Youtube reviews:
Rockwell T2 Stainless Steel Adjustable Razor
Sneak Peek – The Rockwell Stainless Steel T2 Safety Razor – Full Shave and Review
I’ll update this section as more reviews come out.
Gripes From The Peanut Gallery
There has been some grousing on a few of the shave forums about the price of the T2SS. For me it’s a non-issue when you compare “apples to apples.” Consider other Stainless Steel adjustable double edge razors:
- T2SS: $250
- Rex Ambassador: $295
- Tatara Murasmasa: $400
- Rocnel Sailer: $550
By that benchmark I think the T2SS price is quite reasonable.
There have also been questions on some of the shave forums about how much of the razor is Stainless Steel. You can find the answer to that on Rockwell’s website:
|Component||T2 Stainless Steel|
|Safety Bar||316L Stainless Steel|
|Thrust Plate||316L Stainless Steel|
|Clamshells||316L Stainless Steel|
|T-Bar||316L Stainless Steel|
|TTO adjustment knob||316L Stainless Steel|
|Dial Adjuster||316L Stainless Steel|
|TTO End Cap||316L Stainless Steel|
|TTO Housing||316L Stainless Steel|
|Internal Spring||304 Stainless Steel|
|Internal Screw||304 Stainless Steel|
|Internal Gripping Assembly*||Brass + NBR50|
|Internal Threaded Nut**||Brass|
|Internal Dial & Knob O-rings***||NBR70|
*This internal assembly consists of a retaining ring, insert, press fit washer and a cap o-ring that grips the twist to open mechanism. Using a combination of brass and NBR50 increases structural support, prevents over-tightening and maintains tension within the assembly.
**The threaded insert firmly holds the bottom screw that’s located inside the twist to open mechanism. Brass threaded inserts are corrosion resistant and have efficient machinability.
***The internal working of the T2 involves multiple moving parts and nitrile o-rings are considered the best for dynamic applications.
I get good results with the standard T2 too, but the Rockwell T2 Stainless Steel safety razor feels better to me. I think this razor is an heirloom-worthy addition to those looking for a premium-quality addition to their shave den!
I was part of the crowdfunding when the original Model T was produced. I was under the impression that the razor was going to be stainless, but they kept delaying the release and finally admitted that it was NOT going to be stainless due to production difficulties, so I feel somewhat cheated that they now have a stainless steel version after all.
I also have a 6S (also crowdfunded) and I much prefer the shave it gives. The Model T only appears to support the blade on the top side and it allows for a lot of blade flex and sounds “tinny” when shaving. Not optimal for me.
Enjoyed your review of the T2ss but what is NBR50?
Nick I. says
Thank you for the excellent review. I backed Rockwell’s original crowd-funded campaign for the S6 razor (version 2), then backed the original T1, and purchased at T2 at a discount when it was released. I continue to use the S6 but I rarely use the T2. Perhaps I am a bit of an outlier because I prefer to shave with a non-adjustable razor. When I use an adjustable razor, I find that I rarely change the setting… set it and go.
I do agree with you that the T2 is a very good razor and I am glad a stainless option is now available with subtle changes to the aggressiveness.
I own a Model T (1st generation).
Would the purchase of a T2SS offer me any advantage ? Thanks for your answer 🙂
I think if you own a 1st gen T a standard T2 would be a good idea. The T2SS is a great razor (IMHO) if you can afford it.