If you appreciate intricate engineering the Stahly live blade will certainly trigger your curiousity. The razor was produced from the 40's to 70's, given the time span I am quite surprised they are so hard to find, especially in good working condition. This is a mechanical razor that winds up like a watch by turning the fatty end clockwise until tight, it then vibrates away for about 3 minutes to prevent the blade from 'catching onto anything' that could cause your shave to be uncomfortable. I am not sure if they also claimed a 'slicing action' on account of the sideways movement of the blade. Because of it's bulk, weight and price point it was also dubbed the Cadillac of safety razors, and deservedly so I think. the razor uses standard double edged blades.
If you buy these razors in used condition there is a good chance the wind-up function is not working, and even if folks say it is 'vibrating' it may not do so as effectively as it should. This however is should not be your main concern as the razor will still be perfectly useable without the 'live action' With ones we have purchased we often found the connecting plates or rivets connecting the safety guard to the inner plate to be badly rusted and some of them even broke right off when we handled it, needless to say this will render the razor useless until such time you can buy another as 'spares'
The shave was actually very good, this is one of the few safety razors I have used in the last year that has given me a 'new experience' and I would love to use it again for this reason only, so much so that I would even consider getting some without a working action. The shave was very close, I am mostly a 1 pass shaver and this razor did a great job in getting stubble short in a very effective manner. Did it shave closer while in motion? I dragged it a bit slower over my cheeks on the one side of my face while in motion, and then /normal speed on the other side in stationary condition. I did seem to feel a closer shave on the harder parts of my face (cheekbone) and then the very soft part of my neck near my collarbone, doesn't make sense and it might be my imagination...but there you have it.
I think the safety bar plays an important role in the effectiveness of this razor, the slots are very thin and deep and have acute angles, and I get the impression this will force the hair to be at the right angle for perpendicular cutting as they are guided through the slots, most other safety razors has gentle scallops or teeth that are far apart, and I don't think they help much for the orientation of individual hair. It's a theory, so I'll use them a bit more and gain more insights.
This razor is in great condition and comes in its original case that is also in good nick. The red plastic has a tear along the top edge, apart from this the set is in great condition, it even has the plastic cover that was used to keep the razor cozy and tight when shipped to shops and customers. The cap is realistic indicator of a use a razor has seen, and this one is the best we've seen to date. Grab this one quickly if you want a collectable razor in very good condition!
By some miracle this razor stands on it's own without a stand!
The razor stands 92 mm and weigh a whopping 163 grams.