Top positive review
A 15 week review of the Rockwell 6C adjustable razor.
Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2019
Unboxing: The razor is nicely packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with a plastic molded insert to hold the razor parts along with a two sided instruction sheet explaining how to use the adjustable bases. Despite not being stainless steel like its sibling 6S model, the 6C is still impressive and hefty due to being made of solid Zamak metal parts. Don’t let the use of Zamak turn you off this razor, the finish is quality and I doubt I’ll ever use the included lifetime warranty. My scale reports it weighs in at a respectable 97.4 grams (almost double the weight of my G Slim Adjustable). The finish is perfect, I could find no flaws in the finish on the handle, cap or the included bases.
The razor not only looks nice, but feels great in my hand. The handle has just enough knurling in the grip to provide traction for wet fingers while not biting into your fingers. The handle length of 85mm / 3.35in is, in my opinion, neither too long nor too short which keeps it nimble when shaving. The side of the base-plate you face outward during assembly will determine the razor’s blade gap. While there are only three bases included, each side of the base-plate is designed to provide a different gap setting. The Base-plates are paired as follows: (R1/R3), (R2/R4), (R5/R6) - with R1 being the least aggressive, and R6 being the most aggressive blade settings. The razor's cap (top of the razor that secures the DE blade in place once attached to the handle) uses a post type system to secure the DE blades - there is no wobble or play anywhere in the razor once assembled.
My prior razor weighed only 58.5 grams, so I had developed a habit over 30+ years of applying some pressure while shaving. I had to quickly unlearn that habit as the natural heft of the 6C is all that is needed. I was immediately impressed by how easily the entire assembly glided across my face - absolutely zero drag/friction from the cap was experienced. The base plate design also includes three generous channels on each side that allow the shaved slurry of soap and hair to easily exit the gap space between the blade and base plate. A quick pass under the faucet removes any remaining remnants of shaving. Once dialed in with the right base-plate for your face, it's very smooth sailing with this razor!
Base-Plate Selection Process:
During my initial research, I had incorrectly assumed that the R6 base would probably be the only one I used since all the blade gap data I could find online indicated it was a bit less of a gap (aka less aggressive) than my Slim Adjustable on the “7” setting. In fact, I was actually worried it would not be aggressive enough to remove the barbed wire I call facial hair and that I’d ultimately regret my purchase. I also vaguely remember reading somewhere on one of the shaving forums not to go by just the blade gap for comparisons - and after months of use I completely agree. I found that both the R6 and R5 bases resulted in nicks and weepers despite having less gap than my Slim on the higher settings. I also re-confirmed this result by using the R5 base-plate again after using the razor for a couple of months to eliminate that my early technique was the cause of my weepers. The second attempt with the R5 base produced similar outcomes, although admittedly not as many nicks. It would appear that the blade gap alone is not the complete story on this design. Ultimately, I have found that for me, the R4 base resulted in a very consistent and forgiving BBS shave when using the three pass method (with, cross and against grain). Un-rushed, with the R4 base I get no weepers, and only occasionally experience any skin scrapes/irritation when the aftershave was applied. I can also get the same with the R3 plate and shave much faster, but I typically have to do a few spot clean ups if I go down to that base-plate.
I really encourage anyone who purchases this razor to go ahead and start with the R1 base and then progress to the next base only after completing a full 3 pass shave. When you hit that base that causes weepers and discomfort, go back down and you’ve probably found your sweet spot. After you have been shaving with this for several weeks, check again and adjust up & down at least one more time to be sure you’re still on the right one. Keep in mind the goal isn’t to see who can survive the most aggressive razor, but rather which setting results in a great shave with minimal discomfort/damage to your face.
Conclusion: IMO, this was money well spent! I have absolutely ZERO complaints about this razor, how it performed once dialed in, or the quality of the product. I did invest into three minor accessories that were not included. A good storage case (I’m not a fan of storing things in a cardboard box near wet areas), a blade cover, and a razor stand to keep it handy and neatly stored out of the way when not in use. I agree with Rockwell’s decision to not bundle them in and raise the cost as not everyone wants these things. Thankfully, they are all available either through Rockwell or a third party, I was able to purchase the matching gunmetal grey base from Rockwell via Amazon, the razor leather protective sleeve from a 3rd party since Rockwell didn’t have theirs available on Amazon (*Hint hint), and I purchased a 3rd party Large storage tin on another site for small vendors that functions as both a storage place for the unused bases and it will also work as a travel case for my razor the next time I hit the road <- Something I do wish Rockwell produced.
While this will not replace my straight razor, I do find myself using it in rotation with it and much prefer using this Razor over my straight to shave my neck. Self-shaving your own neck with a straight razor is.... exciting...
Unless I find something better (I'm considering also picking up the 6S), this razor will also be my trusty fall back when I get old enough that my hands betray me and can no longer use a straight razor. If you were on the fence about trying a DE razor - this is a great choice that will spoil you due to the adjustable bases (which MOST DE razors do not have). If you’re an old DE veteran like me (G Slim Adjustable on “7” for decades), you also won't be disappointed. If you’re frugal, and spending two times the cost of this razor for the Rockwell 6S is out of the question - you'll be happy knowing you got the same build (different metal) at half the price.
Update 23 Nov 2020 - The Year of Covid19 and unemployment – In just a few months it will have been two years since I purchased the Rockwell 6c (back in March 2019), and I can still say with confidence it was a great purchase that I would do again if I somehow lost my current 6S. Since using a straight razor requires a lot more prep time, I’ve found in the last year I use the Rockwell 6S for at least four out of five shaves these days. It still works just a well as it did on day one, and I’m still very impressed with the design details like the generous exit channels in the base plates. I have swapped out the base plate on that rare occasion where I have switched to a different Mfg DE Blade if it was nicking or just not cutting close enough, but had I stayed with one brand – that would not have been necessary. I’m just glad it included so many plates so I could still use the blades once dialed in again.