When I first saw the Rocnel 316 on Rocnels Instagram account, I was intrigued by the Idea of a single edge safety razor which uses standard double edge blades. Machined out of solid 316 Stainless Steel and a price of 25$ + shipping, nearly sounded too good to be true, but when a group buy was arranged in one of the shaving groups on Facebook, I immediately jumped on board.
Rocnel is a Turkish based company, which according to their HOMEPAGE, started out as a non-commercial project for family members and friends. When I first saw their pictures on INSTAGRAM and the price, I tried to pre order this razor from their homepage, but never got any response. The more I was delighted, when I signed up for the group buy and the razor arrived within a few weeks.
The razor comes in a nice cardboard box with a tag and a nice wax seal on it. Unfortunately the seal was broken and I had a lot of little pieces all throughout the box and sticking to the razor. That is no big deal, but I have heard from many others that their stamps where broken too.
Wow! This is heavy!
It feels really good.
How is it possible to sell such a solid razor for 25$ ?
The Rocnel SE razor consists of 3 pieces. The head, the handle and a screw to connect them. On one side, the screw has an opening for a hex key, which is a very nice detail!
The whole razor weighs around 139 grams. (head and screw= 59g, handle=80g)
The length is 9,5 centimetres. (handle=8,5cm)
On one side of the head is the production year stamped in and on the other a “P”. Down the road, Rocnel plans to produce 3 different heads – Mild, Medium and Aggressive. The “P” seems to stand for the Medium one.
Loading the blade:
As mentioned above the Rocnel SE-Razor takes half DE-blades.
The loading is pretty easy. You can either push the blade in from the side or from the front. A quick check if the blade is correctly aligned and we are ready.
The friction and tension created by the slight curve of the groove for the blade it what it holds it in place. At first I was skeptical if this was enough, but so far it holds it securely in place.
It is very easy and safe, to cut double edge blades in half with a scissor, while they are still wrapped in paper, instead of breaking them. Also the breaking edges stay flat and will not bend.
How does it shave?
The Rocnel 316 Stainless Steel is a good razor and a bang for the buck. The single edge design is very fascinating and for me the Rocnel is a very good looking razor.
I would say it is a bit on the more aggressive side, but far away from a Mühle R41. With a bit of caution, I was able to achieve good and close shaves with near to none irritation, even on more sensitive areas, like around the neck.
While everything about this razor seems to be great, I think it just was not made for me.
I have used it now for a straight 5 days and while it shaves well, the razor still feels odd to me.
The balance is somehow off, the handling feels clumsy and there is not much feedback on the right angle.
In the future, I will try it with a lighter handle. Maybe this will improve the handling, but for now, if I want to use a SE-Razor, I go back to my trusty ones like the Damaskeene or other 1912s from Star or Ever-Ready .