The Matador’s provide a great shave from start
I guess you could say that I’m officially addicted to safety razors. In fact I could honestly tell you that even if I stopped wet shaving today I would still collect safety razors. I love the mystery and excitement of trying a new safety razor for the first time. The what if questions are always fun to ask. What if the razor has a lot of heft, or, what if I decide to use a certain DE blade, what would the shave be like? These are all questions I ask myself before I try a new safety razor for the first time. Imagine my excitement when I received two safety razors in the mail from Razorbladesandmore.com It was like Christmas day in this Bald guys house.
Razorbladesandmore.com sells more than just razor blades. Their website sells a wide range of items from DE blades to Beauty Profession and Barber Tools. Their website also carries different shaving creams and soaps to after shaves and shave sets. Razor Blades and More carries a variety of products to satisfy any wet shaver no matter if new or seasoned. If you have not visited their website you should take some time and look around. The one section of their catalog that I like best is the Double Edge Razor section. There you will find the Matador razors which are the razors I had the chance to review. The Matador razors are products that I consider to have added value to my shaving routine and once you try them for yourself I’m sure you will agree.
The biggest problem in the beginning was the decision to which razor I was going to try first. I had to choose between the Matador Toro Mastiff and the Matador Elgante. Both of the Matador razors are closed comb. Both the Matador Toro Mastiff and the Matador Elegante have a lot of heft with a well-balanced handle that is thicker in width. Both the Matador Toro Mastiff and the Matador Elegante safety razors have a nice and comfortable knurling on the handle to help prevent slippage during shaving especially when the handle gets wet. There is some difference between the Matador Toro Mastiff and the Matador Elegante that sets the two safety razors apart from each other.
The Matador Toro Mastiff comes in a long and short-handled (Corto)version. The style and design between the short and long-handled are no difference. The knurling on the handle is also the same. The bottom of the handle comes with a small extension that screws on and off that does change the length of the handle and the weight. This extension can also be used for better storage. The very end of the extension flairs out so you can hang the razor upside if you would like. That’s a nice touch! The short-handled version of the Matador Toro Mastiff weights in at 3.5 oz and is 3 inches in length. The head of the razor is engraved with the Matador and bull. The bottom of the handle of the razor is engraved with the Toro Mastiff name. The long-handled version (Largo) weights in at 4 oz and has a length of 3 7/8 inches. There is no difference between the short and long-handled version other than weight and length. The Matador Toro Mastiff has a nice deep well on the bottom of the head of the razor that’s perfect for used shaving cream and hair to accumulate during your nightly shave keeping the razor from getting gunked up preventing a smooth and comfortable shave. The used shave cream or soap and hair that’s accumulated in the well on the bottom of the razor head washes away effortlessly with water. The Matador Elegante comes in one size but also comes in open and closed comb. The Matador Elegante weights in at 3 5/8. The well-balanced handle of the Matador Elegante provides you with a smoother shave. The girth of the handle is on the thicker side and the deep knurling also gives this razor a good non slip handle. The razor head is mildly aggressive so is perfect for a beginner as well. The Matador Elegante does not contain a well on the bottom of mildly aggressive razor head. There are a lot of safety razors available that contain no well. This is not a deal breaker to me, it just means you have to stop more often to clean it. Make no mistake the Matador Elegante even though mildly aggressive and no well will get the job done and still give you a fantastic shave.
The heftiness of the handles as well as the girth allows the razor to do most of the work during shaving. The heavier the razor the less pressure you need to get a close and comfortable shave. The level of aggressiveness the head of the razor possesses and the skill level of the wet shaver can predetermine what DE blade to choose. If using an aggressive and hefty razor you may want to choose a DE blade that’s more milder since the razor itself is heavier. Less chance of razor burn, cuts and nicks. If your skill level lands you in the category of a seasoned wet shaver then maybe a more aggressive blade with the same razor is right up your alley. Either way you look at it the Matador razors are a great razor for any wet shaver to use.
Wet shaving your head takes a lot of time and practice as well as patients. You have to be willing to accept that it’s like learning how to shave all over again. It’s practice makes perfect and a lot of practice is what you need. The experience comes along with all the practice you’re doing. Eventually you learn what safety razor you like best and what size in length, girth of the handle and heft of the razor suites your fancy. The next aspect to master of a great head shave with a safety razor is what DE blade works best for you. To figure this part out you first need to know if you like the head of your safety razor to be aggressive or mildly aggressive. Once you figure that out than you can move on to what DE blade you want to use. In my opinion and experience I will tell you that an aggressive safety razor with an aggressive blade works best for me to achieve the Baby But Smooth (BBS) feeling. I do use multiple safety razors with multiple blade choices but aggressive works best for me.
The Matador Toro Mastiff and the Matador Elegante are both hefty razors but the Mastiff has more of an aggressive razor head compared to the razor head of the Matador Elegante. Since the heads are different in aggressiveness my blade choice is different but the angle is still the same. No matter what Matador razor I’m using for my nightly head shave I always start at the top hair-line on my fore head and shave from front to back against the grain in small strokes. Pressure and angle are key points to a successful head shave with a safety razor. To much or to little of angle or pressure may lead to cuts and nicks on your head or maybe even worse. It’s important to take your time with learning the different aspects of a great and successful DE head shave. After the first pass on the top of my head is done I lathered again and made a second pass with the Matador Toro Mastiff to get that extra smooth feeling. With the Matador Elegante it was two and a half passes since the Elegante has a milder razor head. I then moved on to the sides of my head.
I found out through trial and error that the best angle that works for me is to start and work my way from back to front at an upward angle. With this angle you are dragging your razor across your head instead of pulling it so the right amount of pressure is very important. With the Matador Toro Mastiff it took one and a half passes. The Matador Elegante was two passes and a couple of touch ups. The second angle I use when shaving the sides of my head is starting at the bottom and working my way straight up to the top with my razor upside down at a thirty to thirty-five degree angle. With the Matador Toro Mastiff it was a two pass shave, with the Matador Elegante it was two and a half. I save the back of my head for last. On the back of my head I start at the top and work my way to the bottom and then turn my razor upside down and work my way back up. Once again I’m dragging instead of pulling my razor. I cant say this enough, be extra carefull when dragging the razor instead of pulling. If your angle and amount of pressure is off its very easy to cut your self or get razor burn. The back of my head takes the longest since there is a lot of real estate to cover. Getting a smooth feeling on the back of my head is very challenging and time-consuming. The Matador Toro Mastiff took three passes and the Matador Elegante took four passes.
The face shave with the Matador razors were just as fantastic. I’m a clean-shaven guy so I don’t have a lot of hair on my face to shave. The Matador Toro Mastiff took one pass and my face was smooth. The Matador Elegante also took one pass for a smooth shave. Both the Matador Toro Mastiff and Matador Elegante were great shaves from start to finish. The biggest difference between the two safety razors were the level of aggressiveness that makes a big difference in how they function during a head shave.
With both of the Matador razors I used several different blades. The Persona brand DE blade comes with the Matador razors and is more on the aggressive side which is right up my alley. I also tried the Feather DE blade and Sputnik blade as well. The Feather blade is truly aggressive but performs very well and is the number one choice for a lot of wet shavers. The Sputnik brand is not as aggressive but I’m starting to use that brand more. The Sputnik blade even though mild compared to the Feather and Persona has a great feel during shaving and is proving to have some longevity compared to the Feather and Persona blades. I had a great two weeks of shaving with the Matador razors and I look forward to more time with each razor.
So what are my final thoughts on the Matador Toro Mastiff and the Matador Elegante safety razors from Razorbladesandmore.com? A truly fantastic shave with both safety razors. The Matador Toro Mastiff and the Matador Elegante are both razors with a lot of heft and well-balanced handles making each shave smooth and comfortable. The heftiness of the razor keeps each stroke steady and fluid without skipping across your head and face. Both razors have handles with girth and a deep knurling giving both razors a non slip grip during shaving even when the handles get wet. The Matador Toro Mastiff has a more aggressive razor head than the Matador Elegante. Each night with a Matador razor is a great shave no matter what Matador razor you decide to shave with for the night.
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