Above the Tie ATT Atlas M2 DE Safety Razor Review

Posted by the dood on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Above the Tie ATT Atlas M2 DE Safety Razor Review
Price (At Time of Review): $185
Handle: 303 Grade Stainless Steel
Head and Base Plate: 303 Grade Stainless Steel
Weight: 56g (Handle), 94g (Total)
Length: 3″ (Handle), 3.25″ (Total)
Made in USA

Above the Tie Razors are produced in the USA by Above the Tie, or ATT for short. They are precision crafted, high tolerance machined stainless steel Razors that perform among the best available. Available in several configurations, they are perhaps the most versatile stainless steel razor on the market, with 6 different head configurations available and three different handle styles available, not including all the aftermarket choices out there.

The model I am reviewing is the M2, which is the Mild Open-Comb version of the razor. It is definitely a mild razor, but with an open comb twist. My biggest qualm with this open comb design is that it traps a lot of stubble and shaving cream between the blade and the base plate where you can’t see it, so it really must be disassembled and cleaned between each shave if you’re as anal as I.

att-atlas-m2-01

The back of the base plate is machined with “Made in USA” and “Above the Tie” followed by the year of manufacture, which in this case is 2013 even though I purchased it this year (2014). I have seen some 2014 manufacture base plates recently, though I don’t believe there is any difference. It also has the head model (M2) machined on it.

att-atlas-m2-02

This ATT is the Atlas handled version, which features the shorter bulldog style handle with the Barber Pole knurling. Overall finish on this razor is a satin finish, with a slight polish to it. The handle has a typical shape, with a thicker base, and a knob on the end, also featuring the same knurling.

att-atlas-m2-03

Here’s a closeup of the knurling on the handle, which shows some machining marks still, but is still quite well done. This is probably my favourite of all the the current handles out there that I have used. It measures 3″ long and weights 56 grams.

att-atlas-m2-04

The head is one of the more interesting parts of the Above the Tie razors, in that it has a fairly different shape/curve than just about every other DE razor out there. If you look closely, you will notice that the curve on the top of the head is more severe than a standard razor. I’m not sure how this affects the shave directly, but its an interesting design. The blade gap is only 0.25mm since this is the mild version. Blade gap more than doubles moving to the regular versions.

The ATT also has the heaviest base plate on the market, with a very solid ultra-thick construction. Very little material is removed from the base plate, putting its weight at 38g.

att-atlas-m2-05

The top of the razor head is smoothly satin finished, but better than the finish inside and on the back of the head, which is a rougher, manly-looking machined finish. As you can see, the razor head does not cover the sides of the razor blade, which was a bit of an oversight on ATT’s part. I think covered the sides would have given it a more polished look. The razor cuts very well and naturally, and is quite mild. Comparing it to the solid bar M1, it is similarly mild.

att-atlas-m2-06

Here is a shot of all the pieces, with the inside of the razor head visible. As you can see, the machining is a bit rougher here inside the head when you look at it, but it doesn’t take away from the precision of the razor, everything is fitted perfectly, and the razor shaves like a dream. Finishing on the base plate is a bit rough as well, but still presentable and has a cool manly machined looked.

att-atlas-m2-07

The construction is the typical 3-piece design, with the handle screwing into the top plate, securing the base plate between them. The precision is superb, and the feel and balance of the razor is excellent. Due to the heavier razor head design, the ATT razors take to heavy handles better than other razor heads I have found. Overall a superb razor that gives you tons of versatility in head choices, even though I am reviewing the milder M2 Mild Open Comb version here. The price point is very high, and puts it at the top of the stainless razor price range, if you’re not counting the PILS.

Above the Tie ATT Atlas DE Safety Razor Ratings:

Handle Comfort: 9
Uncomfortable Comfortable
Aggressiveness: 3
Mild Aggressive
Weight: 5
Light Heavy
Balance: 9
Unbalanced Balanced
Finish Quality: 7
Poor Excellent
Value: 4
Rip-Off Steal
Overall: 8
Mediocre Excellent
Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply