October 19, 2013

My Wetshaving Life: Micro Touch One Razor Review

(Note: A complimentary razor was provided for purposes of review. Special thanks to Fuel My Blog for their assistance)

Ever since I took up traditional wet shaving over a year ago, I have been curious to try other razors. Not that I don't like my dad's old Merkur Progress, but razors are a lot like cars: sometimes, you just want to hop behind the wheel of a sports car and cruise without feeling tied into the reliable transportation that gets you around from day to day.

Although my "other" razor is a Gilette Super Speed purchased via eBay, I had an opportunity to try out the Micro One Touch safety razor. (I wasn't the only one - mantic59 of Sharpologist, who influenced my decision to cross over into wet shaving, also provided a review). But I decided to perform this in the most scientific method possible:

My goal would be to use the razor twice in two days - an equal amount of stubble, and using Proraso, my favorite shave cream. One day saw shaving with one of the Dorco blades that comes in the introductory package (Dorco blades do little for my stubble), and another day with my personal favorite blade, Shark Super Stainless (which does a really good job with minimal effort on my part). Both shaves would consist of the same passes I made: with the grain, across the grain, against the grain. And now, for the fine details of my shave:

Handling & Weight: Although the Micro One Touch asserts itself as a well-made razor, it sure doesn't look that way - in fact, visually it looks....cheap. But once in my hand, I have to admit - there's a nice weight to it. Not as heavy as the Progress, but not as light as the Superspeed. It's a simple butterfly (twist and open) mechanism - in fact, it reminded me of how frequently I would break my grandfather's safety razors as a child. But in terms of handling and opening, this is a really surprising feel and felt rather effortless.

Shave One - Dorco: After properly washing and lathering my face, I shaved with the Micro One Touch loaded with a Dorco blade. Surprisingly, the shave was better than I was used to with the Dorco, but there was still a bit of residual stubble. Handling the razor was surprisingly effortless, and gratefully, I was able to avoid the cuts and nicks that come when I use the Dorco with my other razors. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Micro One Touch handled with a cheap blade....but with my preferred blade?

Shave Two - Shark Super Stainless: This was much, much better in terms of shaving again the next day, and loved the results. (Had I shaved again with the Dorco, my face would have ended up cut and bloody, but your mileage, as always, might vary).

My skin was much smoother than the day before (given the same amount of stubble), the shave handled well, and was as close to "baby butt smooth" as I might get with the Merkur Progress with a Shark blade. In fact, I ended up shaving with this combination

Verdict? - Although I wouldn't necessarily switch over from my Merkur Progress (it's probably the greatest shave I've ever had, and why Dad stopped using it I'll never know), it is safe to say that the Micro One Touch would be a great inexpensive starter razor for someone looking to switch to traditional wet shaving.

(My only caveat would be to consider ordering a blade sampler pack from Amazon.com and trying a variety of blades - yes, you will cut yourself when starting but different blades work better with different faces. Plus, if you catch the wet shaving bug (like I know you will), please consider investing in a higher quality safety razor at a later point). Also, check out mantic59's YouTube channel for all sorts of great videos to get you started (they were very helpful when I transitioned). Although I expected the Micro One Touch to be an OK shave, I was pleasantly surprised - and delighted - to find myself contemplating using it as a backup razor.

It really is a pretty good shave, and is worth purchasing for those looking to switch....but don't expect this particular razor to become an heirloom.

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