As I wrote verbosely about a few weeks ago, everyone has a Holy Grail razor. A razor you want. A razor you idolize. A razor which, as I said at the time, most of us would be willing to kill for. For me, that razor would be the Schick Magazine Repeating Razor. And while any Magazine Repeater would do, I’ve always had my eyes on a Schick B2. I had, in fact, just purchased a Schick B2 when I wrote about Holy Grail razor. And it arrived a little while later, looking every bit as nice as I had hoped.
Now; there is a danger to lusting after a Holy Grail razor, and then finding it.
There is the danger of it not being as nice as you though.
Not having as smoothly as you had hoped for.
Not being as, how to put, mechanically interesting as you had hoped for.
In short, does the razor you been wanting for so long deliver or is it in fact a let down.
So now that I’ve used the Schick B2 for two weeks, it is time to ask those questions you may wish you never have to ask about something you have lusted after for a long while. Is the Schick B2 as nice as I though it would be? Is it shaving as smoothly as I had reasons to think? Is it as mechanically interesting as the patent would imply?
And I have to say.. no. No to all three.
Do read on though. But first, some photos of ‘my’ Holy Grail razor.
It is factually nicer than I though. The razor fits better in my hand than I had assumed beforehand. The tilting head is nice and tight, and stays open securely. And the ribbed grip is remarkable non-slippery, even with wet fingers.
Is is factually a smoother shaver than I had been lead to believe. There is a lot of sources out there on the ‘net that imply the earlier Schick razors are more aggressive than the later. And my experience prior to getting a Magazine Repeater bore this out. My Schick G4 is more aggressive than my Lady Eversharp. My Schick E2 is slightly more aggressive than my G4. So it would make sense if my Schick B2 would be even more aggressive again, but it isn’t. With the blade properly seated, my 95 year old B2 is a remarkable smooth and efficient shave.
The balance is a bit odd compared to my other injectors. Almost all the weight is in the handle, while I normally like the centre of gravity to be just under the razor head. Even so it was easy to find the balance, and once I had the angle right I was home and dry. Or rather, home and shaved. No nicks, no weepers, no shave bumps, no nothing.
And it is in fact every bit as mechanically interesting as I had hoped for than then some. While the plunger is very stiff on mine, I’m even more fascinated by the intricate construction now that I can see and feel how small the handle actually is.
The Schick B2 is in fact so nice, so smooth, and so interesting that I am getting a second one. In part because the one I did manage to score after all these years are in such good condition. It would be a damn shame if me using it would cause plate loss and general derogation of a near mint razor that is closing in on a century. So in a few days I should have a second one that is more user-grade than the first one. Seller’s photos below.
All in all the Schick B2 is a great shaver and a fantastic razor over all. While I cannot imagine it being revived, due to the mechanical complexity of the repeating magazine mechanism, I can see a modern razor copying the head. Both the geometry and the actual construction should be easy enough to copy on a CNC machine. I would pay good money for a new razor that mimics the head – and the head tilt – paired to a solid handle. It would be heavy, true, but it could easily be made out or aluminium to get the weight down. Or titanium, to lighten a shavers wallet too.
So in hindsight, it was a good thing that I did find my Hole Grail razor. It is everything I thought it was, and then some more. The Schick B2 is a great razor, a smooth shaver, and a mechanically very, very interesting piece of history. I am happy I own one. I’ll be even happier when I own two.