Wow, this thing is SOOOOO efficient.
I got this around a week ago and have done three shaves with it in this time.
On my first shave, apart from a couple of tiny weepers and a tiny bit of razor burn under my chin (through lack of experience with this razor) the shave went well. But by GOD this thing is brutally efficient, you can certainly feel the blade on your face. The faux open comb design of the head, means is slopes off very sharply, resulting in a lot of blade exposure. This thing takes more off in one pass, that my usual razor (Rockwell 6S plate 6) does in two passes and a touchup. You could certainly do one pass with the R41 and be clean shaven enough to go to work, or out and about.
The primary reasons for me wanting to add another razor to my collection, was to give me something more efficient to what I was used with, and also, to simply have another razor to choose from. On looking around on the various wet shaving forums and asking advice, the R41 Grande sounded right up my street, and I'm glad to say it has more than certainly lived up to my expectations and then some.
I paired the R41 with an Astra SP blade, and I think these will be my blade of choice in the R41 for the foreseeable future. I want to gain more experience with this razor, and the last thing I want to do is confuse matters by putting different brands of blades in.
The only criticism I have of the R41, is that it eats blades. I'm finding with the Astra SP blades, that I get one shave with them, and if I try to use them for a second shave, they are too dull for my liking and tug and need more work to remove growth that would have been removed more easily on the first shave, but when you think about how brutally efficient this razor is, and with it been like that it takes more growth off, it's only natural it will dull blades more quickly. Of course, YOU may find the blade lasts longer (as stubble growth can be softer or coarser on different people) and obviously different blade manufacturers can differ in their sharpness and longevity. But with that been said, razor blades cost pennies when you bulk buy, so the amount of blades used is not important.
The chrome on the R41 Grande is absolutely flawless and is up to the usual excellent quality from Muhle. For me, I find the extra length and weight of the handle that comes with the Grande version of the R41 make it easier to apply ZERO PRESSURE when I'm using it, and I will point out that I have small hands, and have no problem with the extra length of the Grande handle. The knurling on the handle provides a good grip in use, but I would advise you to wipe the handle, when it gets soap on it (as I would advise with any razor).
I'm looking forward to getting some more experience under my belt with the R41. It definitely demands respect, but rewards with the closest shaves you'll probably ever get with a DE razor.
Lastly, I want to thank Agent Shave for their usual excellent service and their prices were cheaper than anywhere else that I'd looked at on the internet.