Pass around: Option Five - Finished.

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riverrun
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The pass around has now started in earnest.
  1. sɐǝɹpu∀ / riverrun (ATG/TSR)
  2. p.b (ATG)
  3. Rowlers (ATG)
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Option Five - my final verdict

Looks
The looks of the Option Five razor will divide people. It's very modern. It's unlike any other razor on the market. I'm not normally a fan of space-agey razors (Merkur Vision - meh), but the Option Five looks nice. The look of the buttons below the head works. I'm not a fan of logos on the cap either, but the rather abstract logo doesn't bother me. I guess I don't like text on the cap. Overall the design works for me.

Blade loading
The blade loading mechanism is very unique. Option Five have come up with a unique design here and it works nicely. Removing the blade felt a bit awkward for me at first, but I got used to it. It can easily be done without danger to life and limbs. I still prefer razor heads that have the blade tabs sticking out of the head. Most people don't. I just find that shaving close to the nostrils (the way I do it) is easier with such razors. I use the very ends of the cutting edge and in a razor like the Option Five these ends are too far from the sides of the head. Having said that, I did manage and I don't think its a major problem. I just like what I'm used to. You can't teach an old leopard new spots. :D

Weight and balance
The Option Five is heavy. It weighs in at 116g. I have weighed a few razors in my time and it comes in as the fifth heaviest out of 45. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I liked the brass Hone 15 which weighs a whopping 164g. The Option Five is very top heavy though. The balance point is about here:
That's were I think the razor should be held. Hold it further down and the weight of the razor will cause too much pressure. Holding it there also seems to improve grip on the razor. Even with oily hands I had no problems when holding the razor at its narrowest point. It didn't bother me, but some might not like a razor that is so top heavy.

Shaving
The proof of the pudding is of course in the shaving. I found that the Option Five consistently gave me excellent shaves. I'd say it's mid-aggressive - I can feel the blade, but not excessively so. It also gives very good audible feedback. It's one of the more noisy razors. The angle was easy to find. Make sure to use NO PRESSURE and the Option Five should give you great shaves.

Price
Now here is the surprise. It's reasonably priced. The current price is $64.90 with free shipping from Switzerland. That's currently about £52.80. Switzerland is not in the EU though and if customs feel like it you'll need to add VAT (£10.56) and Royal Mail ransom (£8), so you might end up paying £71.
£52.80 is a very good price for a razor of this quality, while £71 is still very reasonable compared to other new razors. However - if I didn't have more razors than is reasonable , I'd rather go for a Merkur Progress for less money. Or a Merkur 45 for much less money. Now, if the Option Five was adjustable...

Room for improvement
  • The Option Five is of nice quality, but I think it's a bit heavy. Aluminium maybe?
  • Don't show me tiny screws and expect me not to want to fiddle with them. Cover them with superglue or allow me to look inside... (hey, there's an idea... a see-through head.. :D)
  • Make it adjustable. No idea how, but hey, I'm not an inventor.
  • The plastic inset in the cardboard box is rubbish. Use foam instead, or better still - moulded cardboard for the environment.
  • Make it available in pink and increase the price by 50%. On second thought - don't.
  • Make the blade tabs stick out of the head - then wait for everyone except me complain. Maybe not.
As you can tell, I have run out things to criticise.

Summary
Pros: It's a nice razor - if you like the futuristic design and if you like your razors heavy. It shaves well and the price is reasonable.
Cons: minor.

The razor is now on its way to @p.b - second class signed for will do for this pass around.
Option Five - my final verdict

Looks
The looks of the Option Five razor will divide people. It's very modern. It's unlike any other razor on the market. I'm not normally a fan of space-agey razors (Merkur Vision - meh), but the Option Five looks nice. The look of the buttons below the head works. I'm not a fan of logos on the cap either, but the rather abstract logo doesn't bother me. I guess I don't like text on the cap. Overall the design works for me.

Blade loading
The blade loading mechanism is very unique. Option Five have come up with a unique design here and it works nicely. Removing the blade felt a bit awkward for me at first, but I got used to it. It can easily be done without danger to life and limbs. I still prefer razor heads that have the blade tabs sticking out of the head. Most people don't. I just find that shaving close to the nostrils (the way I do it) is easier with such razors. I use the very ends of the cutting edge and in a razor like the Option Five these ends are too far from the sides of the head. Having said that, I did manage and I don't think its a major problem. I just like what I'm used to. You can't teach an old leopard new spots. :D

Weight and balance
The Option Five is heavy. It weighs in at 116g. I have weighed a few razors in my time and it comes in as the fifth heaviest out of 45. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I liked the brass Hone 15 which weighs a whopping 164g. The Option Five is very top heavy though. The balance point is about here:
That's were I think the razor should be held. Hold it further down and the weight of the razor will cause too much pressure. Holding it there also seems to improve grip on the razor. Even with oily hands I had no problems when holding the razor at its narrowest point. It didn't bother me, but some might not like a razor that is so top heavy.

Shaving
The proof of the pudding is of course in the shaving. I found that the Option Five consistently gave me excellent shaves. I'd say it's mid-aggressive - I can feel the blade, but not excessively so. It also gives very good audible feedback. It's one of the more noisy razors. The angle was easy to find. Make sure to use NO PRESSURE and the Option Five should give you great shaves.

Price
Now here is the surprise. It's reasonably priced. The current price is $64.90 with free shipping from Switzerland. That's currently about £52.80. Switzerland is not in the EU though and if customs feel like it you'll need to add VAT (£10.56) and Royal Mail ransom (£8), so you might end up paying £71.
£52.80 is a very good price for a razor of this quality, while £71 is still very reasonable compared to other new razors. However - if I didn't have more razors than is reasonable , I'd rather go for a Merkur Progress for less money. Or a Merkur 45 for much less money. Now, if the Option Five was adjustable...

Room for improvement
  • The Option Five is of nice quality, but I think it's a bit heavy. Aluminium maybe?
  • Don't show me tiny screws and expect me not to want to fiddle with them. Cover them with superglue or allow me to look inside... (hey, there's an idea... a see-through head.. :D)
  • Make it adjustable. No idea how, but hey, I'm not an inventor.
  • The plastic inset in the cardboard box is rubbish. Use foam instead, or better still - moulded cardboard for the environment.
  • Make it available in pink and increase the price by 50%. On second thought - don't.
  • Make the blade tabs stick out of the head - then wait for everyone except me complain. Maybe not.
As you can tell, I have run out things to criticise.

Summary
Pros: It's a nice razor - if you like the futuristic design and if you like your razors heavy. It shaves well and the price is reasonable.
Cons: minor.

The razor is now on its way to @p.b - second class signed for will do for this pass around.
Very interesting write up!

We are really glad to see that our razor left a good overall impression on you. You actually pointed out a few details that we are working on right now such as making an adjustable Option Five razor. More info later on.

We wish you a very pleasant first day of the week!

Your Option Five Team
 
OP
riverrun
Messages
4,862
Location
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@p.b's thoughts on the Option Five from over at ATG (original post ↪here.)
p.b said:
I like my razors, nimble, precise and light. I found the Option 5 bulky, but not too heavy, it's disguises it's weight well, but it is large and bulbous. It reminds me a lot of a Gillette Fusion type razor: big but comfortable and well designed. As Andreas has said one naturally holds the razor at the neck and at that point the razor is beautifully balanced and that's why I didn't notice the weight.

The head design is interesting too. It looks bulky bit I found absolutely no issues with it, in fact it reminds me of the Hone in its geometry (which is a good thing in my book). For me the shave is just slightly too mild but then that means it's very comfortable and I can still get a very nice finish which is more than close enough until at least midday.

Blade changing / head removal is neat, as Andreas described however this is the problem for me. The first two shaves with a Voshkod were lovely, the next two with my favourite Gillette Silver Blue were not impressive: I had several blood spots and a few missed hairs. Shaves 5 & 6 were with a Feather and were OK, again some blood spots and a few missed hairs. Today's shave, with the Treet Carbon steel, was good but mild which is as I would expect with this blade.

Most razors use a screw thread to clamp the razor blade in place and the very best DE razors I've used hold the blade very rigidly at the end and this stops the blade vibrating. The top plate of the Option 5 clips into place to secure the blade. Voshkods have no glue spots on them, GSB have a lot, Feathers have some and Treets have a tiny amount. I found hitting the top plate with my finger tips with GSB and Feathers in produced a tapping noise - the glue is holding the top plate off from being 100% in position and it's very slightly loose allowing the razor blade to vibrate too much and I think this is what is causing the small cuts producing the blood spots. In my opinion the top plate needs to clamp the blade tighter to stop this movement. No other DE razor I've tried has had a top plate that could be tapped and make a noise!

Even if the top plate clamped the blade very securely I wouldn't buy it as the aesthetics don't do it for me. However, I would buy it for a 20-something who had previously used only multi-bladed Fusion type razors as I think it's an excellent razor (clamping aside) and a similar size to a Fusion so the bulk of both the head and the handle would be familiar and therefore an asset and the blade changing is pretty cool.

Once again thank you to all who have made this pass-around happen. I really enjoyed using this razor despite the looks (for me) and the very minor cutting I received with some of the blades. It's a fun razor to use, comfortable in use (cutting and holding) and really well designed and I can see the looks appealing to a lot of people especially those who haven't previous used DE razors.
 
OP
riverrun
Messages
4,862
Location
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The razor is now with @rowlers
The pass around is still open btw...
  1. sɐǝɹpu∀ / riverrun (ATG/TSR)
  2. p.b (ATG)
  3. Rowlers (ATG)
  4. Blademonkey (TSR)
  5. Mr Bigmem (ATG/TSR)
  6. Mr_Smartepants (ATG/TSR)
  7. Whosthedaddy (TSR)
  8. Les Dupondt (TSR)
  9. You?
The list is open.
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I would love the opportunity please.
I figure by the time it comes around to me I would have gained enough experience to compare it to my Merkur 34c and give a comparison from a novices point of view.
Many thanks in advance.
Wayne
 
OP
riverrun
Messages
4,862
Location
London
I would love the opportunity please.
I figure by the time it comes around to me I would have gained enough experience to compare it to my Merkur 34c and give a comparison from a novices point of view.
Many thanks in advance.
Wayne
Sure.
  1. sɐǝɹpu∀ / riverrun (ATG/TSR)
  2. p.b (ATG)
  3. Rowlers (ATG)
  4. Blademonkey (TSR)
  5. Mr Bigmem (ATG/TSR)
  6. Mr_Smartepants (ATG/TSR)
  7. Whosthedaddy (TSR)
  8. Les Dupondt (TSR)
  9. Wayne Pritchard (TSR)
  10. You?
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Blademonkey

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image.jpg The razor was recieved in good order from @rowlers, thank you very much........I will shave with Robby the Robot tomorrow and give my first thoughts .....I may have done already!!!
Thank you @rowlers for the blades, I may use some and add some of my own to pass on to the next recipiant .
I wish to thank everyone involved in making this pass-around possible .
 
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