[UPDATE: July, 2017. This appears to be a dead project. There have been no updates for some time.]
After its successful crowdfunding campaign, the Beluga razor is now available for pre-order. I was able to get several shaves in with a prototyle.
Beluga Razor Prototype
The Beluga razor incorporates the one design feature of “modern” razors that I think is useful: a pivot. I think pivots can give a more consistant, faster shave (albeit at the cost of control over the blade angle). To accomodate a razor that uses double edge blades and a pivot, the Beluga has an unusual head that might take some getting used to. Luckily I had the razor long enough to get a good impression of it.
Loading a blade is reasonably straight-forward. Simply unscrew the bottom of the head, unhinge the razor holder, mount the blade, then reverse the process. The location of the blade edge is shown by little notches on each side of the razor. This can give a decent indication of where the blade will be when shaving sideburns or getting into detail work:
Shaving with the Beluga razor feels unlike any other razor I have used. The large, flat area of the side with the blade edge feels like, well, a large, flat area. I don’t even feel the edge of the blade. But it does shave well, particularly with thick stubble. The test shave I made with multi-day growth was very comfortable and effective. It didn’t feel like I was shaving but the stubble just disappeared anyway. Shaving detail areas like under the nose was a bit of a challenge because of the size of the head but I was able to adjust my technique to compensate for it.
And speaking of technique, I found the best way for me to shave with the razor was by angling the razor so the head pivots just a bit, then let the pivot do its work around corners.
Shaving strokes made with the Beluga tended to have less of a clean-looking track compared to other double edge razors, probably because lather would skim a long the shaving side of the razor. But hair is definitely being cut.
I think the razor has a really nice heft and balance, with the long handle giving the entire unit a solid feel. The handle has been described as warm and organic, even though it is made out of plastic. In the hand it feels more like wood.
Beluga Razor Crowdfunding Project