Proserpine Queensland is famous for its gold mining past and while mining may have diminished, it is still capable of producing natural treasures. A small fledgling family run business, S.K.Colling and Co, produces custom razors in Proserpine. Steve Colling has been straight shaving for 20 years and along the way has been restoring and recently manufacturing them.
Steve offers a range of razors ready to buy as well as customs. Some appealing features of his range are exotic inserts on the tang (Mother of pearl, Mammoth), scale materials (wood, acrylic, carbon fibre, G10), various points, spine work, and blade etching. In my instance I opted for a classic look, going for a Spanish point and Bethlehem olive wood scales.
The turnaround time was stunning. Having given the specifications, the razor was sent express post in under 7 days! I have read about communication issues dealing with custom manufacturers but not in this case. Steve was easy to communicate with and he sent update images of the razor as it was made.
Upon arrival I was impressed with the presentation, the coffin was like nothing I have seen before.
The box felt very smooth and had been oiled. It fits together with a crisp snap. My only minor criticism of the box was the finish, when held at the right angle you can see minor sanding striations.
The razor looks very elegant, with classic lines and a constrained design that I find very appealing. The scales are super smooth, almost feeling like plastic and pleasant to the touch. A Mulga wedge finishes the scales off, complementing the grain colour. They are super thin and the blade is nicely centred.
The 5/8” Spanish point blade had a mirror finish on both sides and was etched with my user name for a true custom blade. I really like the company’s Head Frame symbol stamped onto the jimp free tang; a nod to the razor’s heritage. The shoulderless blade is 70mm long from nose to heel, which makes honing easier, and provides an aesthetic I prefer. The thumb notch makes for easy stropping, the blade rolling effortlessly on every pass. The geometry was spot on and the grind is a bellied hollow, one I have never used before.
The shave was greatly anticipated and lived up to expectations. I stropped it on my Australian made Black Beauty strop and enjoyed the shave immensely. The razor was light and agile making it very easy to maneuver around my face. The blade came shave ready, passing the hanging hair and tree topping tests (you can see the hair on the blade in the photo!). It was as sharp as any of my collection, a baby bum smooth result was achieved. The lack of jimps didn’t bother me in the least, the razor didn’t slip or falter throughout the shave.
After four consecutive shaves I can say that the quality of the product is beyond reproach, it performs as well as any I have ever used. Having purchased from mainstream manufacturers up to this point I had never considered a custom razor. I felt that they were either very expensive or had designs I don’t care for. My mind has been changed with this company, offering classic looks at an affordable price, with an astounding turn around time. This handmade range is currently priced around that of commercial companies high end ranges which makes it a compelling consideration.
Ordering was straight forward, and the web page has now launched (post purchase) but is a bit of a work in progress and could be a barrier. You can also reach the Proserpine Razor company through their Facebook or eBay pages. The range of blade sizes is currently limited to 5/8, 6/8 and 7/8 blades will be available soon. Most custom razors are 7/8 or larger. The limited size range may put some off but smaller razors are generally less expensive and more maneuverable.
This fledgling company offers value and quality that is amazing, especially if you are buying from outside of Australia with a favorable exchange rate. The web site now also offers hand made strops and so covers all the hardware. The timeless style and quality will always be appealing to a razor connoisseur and make a fitting part of any razor collection.
Grind-Bellied hollow grind
Steel-Solingen Carbon steel 1.2210
Finish- Mirror polish
Point- Spanish point
Scales- Bethlehem olive wood
Pins- Nickel silver
Washers- Stainless steel
Manufacturer- S.K.Colling and Co