X3 Slant Head on 90mm Matte Special Edition Handle
Our Newest Slant design fitted on a very detailed matte finish special edition handle
Neil – February 16, 2017:
The Ikon X3 and the Maggard Slant: A Side by Side Test and Review
I chose to test these razors against each other, because they are direct competitors. The two razors are readily available, with the Maggard being a little easier to get (I bought my Ikon head from Maggard!) and the Ikon being about $20 cheaper overall.
The Ikon X3 was screwed to their own OSS Ikon handle and the Maggard Slant Bar to their own MR5 Handle. So both were paired with appropriate handles. Handle choice is a matter of personal comfort, and to some degree balance, but in my opinion does not affect performance as much as some claim,
For this test I chose a Baili Platinum Super Stainless. Why? Well the Baili is not, in my opinion, a premium blade. It’s an OK blade. It’s readily available. I wanted to see how both razors performed with an average blade. I’ll run the test again with what I consider a premium blade. Also, though some blades and shavers clearly pair better, I am reluctant to keep a razor in my rotation that is excessively blade fussy. I believe that a well designed razor should be able to give you a very good shave with a variety of blades, although one may finally settle on a preferred brand.
I always wash my face and soften my beard with two washes in very warm water with a glycerin soap. Then I use a pre-shave oil. For all my tests, for consistency, I use an Arko shave stick and my Stirling Kong synthetic brush.
24 hours growth. My previous shave had been with a razor I like a lot. The PAA Prismatic, one of the most underrated shavers, in my opinion; but I digress! No not Mergress or Progress!
A three pass shave: WTG, XTG and ATG, plus touch up and buffing. Beard growth is pretty even for me, so I shaved the left side of my face with the Maggard the right with the Ikon. This was my first shave with the Ikon, but I’ve used the Maggard about six times.
Both of these slant bar razors were smooth on all passes. However the Ikon X3 was smoother and more comfortable on all passes than the Maggasrd, and especially ATG. One of my key tests is how I respond to the razor when shaving ATG is, the area between the upper lip and the nose. In this area I’m very conscious if I feel that the razor is going to bite me. I got this feeling with the Maggard. I felt much more comfortable with the Ikon in this, often problem, area.
Also the neck and jawline was smoother and easier to shave with the Ikon, which surprised me, because the head is marginally bigger.
After three passes and touch up, a little buffing, both razors gave me a very good shave. No cuts nicks or weepers with either razor. Both gave very good shaves.
The feedback from the alum block was minimal for both sides of my face, but the side shaved with the Ikon X3 gave almost no feedback; an indication it produced less irritation than the Maggard
First let me say that I am happy to have both razors in my rotation. I’m comparing two very good razors. They are both efficient and smooth. Both can give you a good shave, and both are streets ahead of most other razors. I have over 53 DE safety razors and I would put both in my top 10.
But I have to declare (at least for this blade pairing, and probably others) the winner is the Ikon X3.
Why? It’s smooth and efficient, and very forgiving in use. It buffs better that the Maggard. Can I get smoother shaves than either razor offers? Yes. My Wunderbar produces closer shaves. My Mergress does too, if I increase the aggression with each pass. But the Wunderbar requires a very light touch, or it will cause weepers and irritation if you’re careless. The Mergress is pricier, rarer, and some don’t like adjustable razors.
If I needed to shave fast, and close, I would choose the Ikon X3 over the Wunderbar, because it’s more forgiving and less likely to produce weepers.. I would also add that I own the Ikon 102, and I feel the X3 is more efficient. The 102 is extremely smooth but a little too mild for my taste. It requires more passes and a lot of buffing, though I will admit it’s probably the smoothest slant I have ever used.
Some people have reported blade alignment issues (even Maggard themselves to their credit say so on their website) with the Maggard. I’ve had none. Also the Maggard is more competitively priced: You can buy the head alone for $20. With the MR5 handle it’s $20 cheaper than the Ikon even when the latter is on sale, for $60. By the way, Ikon razors have come down in price markedly in the last few months, though supply remains spotty.
Either razor is a very good buy, and you can get a very fine shave, even if you are new to shaving with a DE safety razor. Don’t let anyone tell you slants are all aggressive. These two razors are on the milder side, yet very efficient. Give them a try and let me know what you think.
I’ll probably do a test with either the Polsiver Super Iridium, and/or the Gillette Nacet.
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