PDA

View Full Version : Need a recommendation for a very nice straight razor



Zeno
03-03-2012, 01:23 PM
I have a barber I've been going to for almost ten years now. He's a great guy, very traditional barber. If any of you have a great barber, you'll appreciate how much of a friend a good barber can become.

He uses a straight razor, and I haven't gotten a good look at it, but I believe the one he has is probably a fairly nice, but unexceptional, standard production model razor of some sort. Most of his tools are nice, but I seriously doubt his razor is hand made or hand forged.

So, I'd like to get him something a little more special. Devin's damascus razors look pretty nice, and I will be sending him a PT to get an idea of how much it might cost and how long it might take to get one of those.

In the mean time, can you guys give me some recommendations for a really nice straight razor that I might be able to get a little more quickly than a DT custom damascus? Whatever I get has to be special, and preferably be a little "flashy" (hence the damascus idea) so that my barber knows immediately that it is something special just by looking at it. This is a guy who takes his hair styling products and barber tools seriously, so I am pretty sure he would recognize and appreciate something special.

Let me know what you guys think I should get!

ThEoRy
03-03-2012, 01:30 PM
Just a heads up you may be looking at around 400-500 bucks for a good razor. Well worth it though.

Johnny.B.Good
03-03-2012, 01:35 PM
Just a heads up you may be looking at around 400-500 bucks for a good razor. Well worth it though.

I'm looking at some of Butch's new work here (http://www.classicshaving.com/harner.html), and $400 to $500 seems low. Beautiful stuff though.

I don't know anything about straight razors Zeno, so can't offer any real help (except what I think looks good!). I'm sure you will get some good recommendations here, and that your barber/friend will be touched by your generosity.

Zeno
03-03-2012, 01:43 PM
Thanks. I realize I may be looking at some serious cash for a good razor. I wouldn't be considering DT damascus if I wasn't serious! After I get an idea of what you guys would recommend, I'll decide what I'm willing/able to spend and go from there.

The hekler
03-03-2012, 01:50 PM
I don't know if your looking for something he can use for personal use or for customers but as a heads up, straight razors are illegal for professional use in the vast majority of states I believe California is on the list. Instead many barbers use disposable straight razors with interchangeable blades. That said there are many great artists in the straight razor world, if I had to pick one I'd say Tim Zowada, but that would be well over $400-500.

Zeno
03-03-2012, 02:03 PM
I don't know if your looking for something he can use for personal use or for customers but as a heads up, straight razors are illegal for professional use in the vast majority of states I believe California is on the list. Instead many barbers use disposable straight razors with interchangeable blades. That said there are many great artists in the straight razor world, if I had to pick one I'd say Tim Zowada, but that would be well over $400-500.

He uses a straight razor for customers, but his list of customers has been private and closed for many years. The chief of police of one of the local towns here is one of his clients. I doubt he's going to jail any time soon for using his razor professionally.

Thanks for the recommendation, Zowada's work is verrrry nice looking!

Pensacola Tiger
03-03-2012, 02:12 PM
He uses a straight razor for customers, but his list of customers has been private and closed for many years. The chief of police of one of the local towns here is one of his clients. I doubt he's going to jail any time soon for using his razor professionally.

Thanks for the recommendation, Zowada's work is verrrry nice looking!

There is a nice Zowada for sale over at SRP. $750 may seem high, especially for a used razor, but Tim's new razors, assuming you could get one, are $1100 +. This one is a very good deal, as the last two that sold were $800 and $950.

http://straightrazorplace.com/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=13635&title=zowada-6-2f8ths-damascus&cat=3

Rick

http://www.classicshaving.com/i/Z%20razors/zlacewood.jpg

Zeno
03-03-2012, 02:24 PM
Very nice looking. After I hear some more recommendations I might pull the trigger on that Zowada. In the sale ad it says that the current owner honed it from a double bevel to a single bevel. Is this something I should be concerned about?

Pensacola Tiger
03-03-2012, 02:35 PM
Very nice looking. After I hear some more recommendations I might pull the trigger on that Zowada. In the sale ad it says that the current owner honed it from a double bevel to a single bevel. Is this something I should be concerned about?

It's not like knives. The "double bevel" referred to is a microbevel. In the straight razor world, this is termed double-bevel or two-bevel. Tim used to put this type of edge on his razors. Some like it, some don't care for it. So all that has been done is honing to remove the microbevel.

You can read about it here:

http://www.tzknives.com/twobevel.html

The hekler
03-03-2012, 02:48 PM
He uses a straight razor for customers, but his list of customers has been private and closed for many years. The chief of police of one of the local towns here is one of his clients. I doubt he's going to jail any time soon for using his razor professionally.

Thanks for the recommendation, Zowada's work is verrrry nice looking!

Sounds like a great barber and you must be a lucky guy to be on such a select list. I'm sure he will recognize and appreciate your gift. There are lots of great razor makers out there. Many of the better known guys have waitlists longer than some of the knifemakers here so you might want to get on a list sooner rather than later. Another custom maker that I can personally recomend is Philip Dobson he is a relative new comer to the custome razor scene and as such is quite a bit cheaper than some of the more known makers. Here is the razor he made for me http://straightrazorplace.com/custom-builts-restorations/70703-kamisori-redwood-burl.html that's a kamisori but I know he has done regular western versions in the past.

Zeno
03-03-2012, 02:51 PM
It's not like knives. The "double bevel" referred to is a microbevel. In the straight razor world, this is termed double-bevel or two-bevel. Tim used to put this type of edge on his razors. Some like it, some don't care for it. So all that has been done is honing to remove the microbevel.

You can read about it here:

http://www.tzknives.com/twobevel.html
Got it, thanks for the info! I am purposefully not researching this too much because I don't want to be pulled into a new obsession.

Looking around it seems like your $1100+ estimate for a new Zowada damascus seems actually quite low. I've sent a PT to the seller of the one you linked to with a couple of questions. I might pull the trigger if the answers come back the way I expect, but I'd still like to know if there are any other ways people think I should spend ~$700-$800 before I buy it.

Zeno
03-03-2012, 03:00 PM
Sounds like a great barber and you must be a lucky guy to be on such a select list.

Not trying to make myself out to be a big shot or anything, I am lucky. My uncle was his client and an old friend for years before me, and he got me on the client list. As usual, it's about who you know, not what you know!

Pensacola Tiger
03-03-2012, 03:23 PM
Got it, thanks for the info! I am purposefully not researching this too much because I don't want to be pulled into a new obsession.

Looking around it seems like your $1100+ estimate for a new Zowada damascus seems actually quite low. I've sent a PT to the seller of the one you linked to with a couple of questions. I might pull the trigger if the answers come back the way I expect, but I'd still like to know if there are any other ways people think I should spend ~$700-$800 before I buy it.

I'd bet your friend wouldn't mind one of Butch's razors. They're not damascus, although Butch has made damascus, but they are nice looking, and good performing. Fit and finish are exceptional. http://www.classicshaving.com/harner.html

Here's a pic of my Harner:

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/Pensacola_Tiger/ROTD/bfab7414.jpg

Crothcipt
03-03-2012, 03:27 PM
I am impressed with Butch's razors. I def. can't afford one atm but will be looking more in the future.

The hekler
03-03-2012, 03:33 PM
If I had the money I would pull the trigger on the Zowada, he is one of maybe two or three custom makers that really are at the top of the field. I do have two hart steel razors which is a production run that Zowada helped collaborate with for the creation of their razors and have to say the man knows what he is about. There are other quality makers out there but then you would have to put up with a substantial wait, I don't know when you plan on gigging the razor but if your going to be commissioning a razor the wait would be something I'd worry about.

The hekler
03-03-2012, 03:39 PM
If I had the money I would pull the trigger on the Zowada, he is one of maybe two or three custom makers that really are at the top of the field. I do have two hart steel razors which is a production run that Zowada helped collaborate with for the creation of their razors and have to say the man knows what he is about. There are other quality makers out there but then you would have to put up with a substantial wait, I don't know when you plan on gigging the razor but if your going to be commissioning a razor the wait would be something I'd worry about.

ThEoRy
03-03-2012, 08:32 PM
I suppose I was being a bit conservative in my pricing. I wasn't untruthful however. A "good" razor will run you up to $500 easy. A "superb" one as shown in this thread will be considerably more. Wish I could have one of those bad boys one day. Lucky barber.

Johnny.B.Good
03-03-2012, 09:32 PM
I suppose I was being a bit conservative in my pricing. I wasn't untruthful however. A "good" razor will run you up to $500 easy. A "superb" one as shown in this thread will be considerably more. Wish I could have one of those bad boys one day. Lucky barber.

I was going to say that I see a lot of beautiful razors for less than you originally stated, just not anything like a Butch, Devin, etc. I'm sure the recipient will be pleased and flattered no matter what the expense, and certainly it seems one could have a very nice razor for less considerably less than $500.

Pensacola Tiger
03-03-2012, 09:41 PM
I was going to say that I see a lot of beautiful razors for less than you originally stated, just not anything like a Butch, Devin, etc. I'm sure the recipient will be pleased and flattered no matter what the expense, and certainly it seems one could have a very nice razor for less considerably less than $500.

For a bit under $300, the Hart Steel is the "mid-tech" of razors. As mentioned in an earlier post, Tim Zowada trained the artisans that craft Hart Steel razors and they put their initials on each razor. I have one, and it compares very favorably to a custom Zowada in the area that really counts - the shave.

Rick

l r harner
03-03-2012, 09:46 PM
i had a major oops the othe dayb and left a dammy razor blade in the etch over night (that ones D E D dead ) tho the other half the bar looks liek i ll get a nice one finished (if so it will be at classic later this month or the next ) its some of dels O1/L6 and is a big lazy twist so that it has stard in the middle

one thing i will say tho is im not sure i woudl want that razor that was rehoned to such a odd set of angles cause to bring it nicly back to the proper 50/50 hone you might also need to have it ground thinner to keep the edge bevele from getting overly wide

Pensacola Tiger
03-03-2012, 09:55 PM
i had a major oops the othe dayb and left a dammy razor blade in the etch over night (that ones D E D dead ) tho the other half the bar looks liek i ll get a nice one finished (if so it will be at classic later this month or the next ) its some of dels O1/L6 and is a big lazy twist so that it has stard in the middle

one thing i will say tho is im not sure i woudl want that razor that was rehoned to such a odd set of angles cause to bring it nicly back to the proper 50/50 hone you might also need to have it ground thinner to keep the edge bevele from getting overly wide

Butch,

It only takes about 10-15 laps on a 1k hone to remove the secondary bevel if one has been put on. No more metal is removed than when you reset a bevel.

Rick

l r harner
03-04-2012, 09:21 AM
this is the part that worried me
"so I’m the second owner. The original owner had difficultly honing it, so when it arrived I removed what was left of the double bevel and honed her to a single bevel using tape."
so first guy had problems and then 2nd completely reset for stock the edge angle. then cause of using tape there is no spine wear (how many tape layers did he use? )
so now to reset you you would put one layer of tape on and even things out (thinning behind the edge if the 2nd honer used more then 2 layers )
just liek a knife that is sharpened to 90/10 then when you got back to 50/50 you end up with athicker edge profile (less you thin it) so it all becomes how much chance and how much work you might have to put into it

ThEoRy
03-04-2012, 02:19 PM
For a bit under $300, the Hart Steel is the "mid-tech" of razors. As mentioned in an earlier post, Tim Zowada trained the artisans that craft Hart Steel razors and they put their initials on each razor. I have one, and it compares very favorably to a custom Zowada in the area that really counts - the shave.

Rick

Hey, thanks for the tip. Those look right up my alley as I was looking to upgrade from my dovo this year.

quantumcloud509
03-09-2012, 02:38 AM
Aaaw sh*t i knew my next paycheck was gona be in trouble...i shave my head every other day and have been concidering and scared of straight razors. How long on a decent razor before resharpening?

quantumcloud509
03-11-2012, 07:59 PM
Very nice looking. After I hear some more recommendations I might pull the trigger on that Zowada. In the sale ad it says that the current owner honed it from a double bevel to a single bevel. Is this something I should be concerned about?

Did you pick that thing up?

K-Fed
03-11-2012, 10:43 PM
Don't know if this has been posted but mike brandosino does some nice restorations and are worth a look. I got a cheapish razor out of the "budget" selection and it arived in great shape, mirror polished and shave ready.

http://www.therestoredrazor.com/