When is a Razor not a Razor?

Answer: When it doesn’t shave!

Over the years, a lot of guys have sent me straight razors to hone.  They have bought the razor online via a popular auction or retail site, or in a physical shop, tried to shave with it and found that the blade edge drags across their skin without cutting hair.

Prices range from a few dollars, to upwards of $100 and some of these ‘razors’ are, at first glance, well made and quite intricately decorated.

The issue

Either the steel is of unknown quality (not high grade tool steel) and/or the heat treatment process has not been precise enough to create a blade that will take and maintain a cutting edge that is sharp enough to provide a comfortable shave.

I really cannot understand why a company or maker would go to the trouble of manufacturing something that is not fit for the purpose for which it was made. 

If the makers of these objects tried to hone and shave with them prior to selling, they would quickly realise that they have made nothing more than ornaments.

If you are dipping your toe (or maybe chin) into the world of straight razor shaving, it’s always best to buy a high quality razor that will last a lifetime.


Go with respected brands like Thiers Issard, Dovo, Revisor or one of the highly skilled small artisan makers.

ARC offers a bespoke Straight Razor making service and we also stock a good range of reasonably priced new old-stock and restored vintage straight razors that are guaranteed to provide a close, comfortable shave for many years.


Write Comment