Background: for now, I'm just going to paste in an answer to a question someone online posted, asking about Henson razors. I'll work it up into a more objective page of info at some point, I would imagine.
Coincidentally, I just shaved with an aluminum one for the first time a few mins ago. It has a "++" on the baseplate, and may be an earlier model compared to the new AL13 currently on their site.
so take this as a first impression ... but also one that has been educated by 100 other razors over the last several years:
It's very well made and gave me a good shave. The "++" here was very safe to use and has a small acceptable angle of shaving. This is like many truly mild razors.
It should be a good one to learn on; it's like a razor with training wheels.
If you take time to learn to keep the angle right, which I think is worth it, you're rewarded with a close comfy shave.
The razor puts a curve on the end of the blade, a little more severe than the main part of the blade, which gives good edge support. This I do like, normally. This is going to help reduce irritation further by preventing a lot of blade chatter that is often found with DE89 types that have less blade support near the edge.
As mild/comfy as it was, it still shaved off a week's worth of growth in three passes very easily. No open comb needed, or more aggressive razor. Sure, the second pass had to do a little more work, but by the 3rd, it was just a matter of picking up a few strays, just like usual.
I also like how Henson Shaving doesn't seem to want to fleece the customer. The 100 pack of blades they sell on their site is reasonably priced. The razor itself, as a machined piece ... of good quality... is at a proper price for what you get, IMO.
Vikings Blade -- a turd of a company that sells zamak/pot metal razors at four times what you can get them for elsewhere -- charges way more for their "own" blades... for one $10 100-pack of Henson's you'll have to pay $44 for Viking's Blade's 2 packs of 50. And one thing we know from VB is that they don't put their private label on premium stuff. They put their own spin on cheap chinese stuff. So it's not like their blades are better, at least that's my educated guess. (Note that I'm not endorsing Henson's blades. we just have so many options available to us, and not all blades work for all guys anyway. I'm just using this to show the seeming character of the Henson company)
Steps down from high horse...
I think a Henson razor might be a valid choice for some shavers who might want to get a quality item without going to the price level of Timeless, Charcoal Goods, etc. Though I personally would turn to the Karve CB instead of the Henson, even if I had to pay a little more. The feel of that shave is even smoother, while being just as effective.... while feeling like a real razor. But that's just me.
I think it also might be good for shavers who do need a razor on training wheels. Maybe they have coordination issues or physical limitations that make "regular" razors dangerous for them.
I also really like how they are not trying to scam people into buying their titanium version. They're not pitching it as being some kind of upgrade that everyone should aspire to. They are putting it out there for collectors, enthusiasts, or shaving nerds, etc.
The more I looked into this for you, and any future readers... and my own cut and paste library :-), the more I liked what I saw of Henson as a company, though this razor is probably not one I'll reach for very often.
In the end, I didn't really feel like I was shaving. Like another commenter, I'll agree that it was kinda boring. Though it is not as well made, I'd rather have a $5 vintage Tech from ebay, if I had to go on a long trip and must choose between the two. Both are lifetime quality materials, but like Etta James' vocal chords, the Tech has soul and flexibility.
The Henson had less connection with decades of men shavers. And it wasn't because it was modern. It was that flat plane being on your face and doing the work. Obviously some people don't care about that, so do with that what you will.
It turns out my comment about training wheels is holding up pretty well. They can keep you safe, but eventually, you may want to have more fun, or do more with it.
It lacks flexibility that comes with changing your angle. Sometimes you might want to do this, depending on how much growth you have, if you're trying to shave a certain area with more gentleness, or if you have a blade that differs from ones you normally use with it.
With "normal" razors, we often find that different people like slightly different angles. That's not really possible with the Henson.
Small quibble: It's a little imprecise in terms of putting the blade on your skin where you want to. Since the side face of the razor is a flat plane, with the blade somewhere in the middle, you have to guess where it is as you put it on your sideburns or trim alongside your beard/goatee/mustache.
Now, one thing to think about, as you may read Henson's site info, is that much of what they say is applicable to ALL reasonable quality safety razors, and they are mainly contrasting the Henson with multi-blade cartridge razors, and (though not intentionally) not really all the other DE razors out there. These are quotes from their site that do apply to all DEs, for example.
- puts an end to shaving irritation and cuts, while also making your skin feel comfortable and smooth. We created this to give you a whole new shaving experience unlike any other. Your skin will feel amazing after using this razor.
- Our razor works with any standard double edge blade you can buy almost anywhere - local supermarkets, shaving shops or online. No subscriptions. No proprietary blades.
- Much Cheaper to Own
- With blades that cost pennies, most people will spend $2-3 per year on blades.
- your razor blades can be recycled at most metal recycling depots.
- Save The Environment - stop using plastic razors, use metal!
As always, just my two cents. Hope this helps!