What's new

Robert Williams 8/8 Damascus Swayback

Item Description

I have over 100 straight razors and in threads posted asking "if you could only have one" I have always answered that it would be like asking a mother which of her 10 kids she loved the most. That was until I got with Robert Williams and asked him to build a custom razor for me. I had gotten a Case Brothers Springville swayback and an Engstrom. I found that I liked shaving with that unusual blade shape and I wanted my custom from Robert to be a one of a kind.

As far as the ratings, the price for this beauty was very reasonable considering the ivory scales and the hand forged Damascus blade. I know intellectually that blades made with the stock removal method are just as good but emotionally I just think there is something extra in a blade that was hammered on an anvil.

Craftsmanship is impeccable. I don't give a 10 for anything hence the 9 is about as good as it gets for me. The razor was not easy to sharpen but it does have a lasting edge. I have done half a dozen shaves simce dialing it in and it is still sharp and smooth shaving. I am confident it will be easy to maintain.

Robert was very receptive to the idea and he was very patient in working with me on the design. I sent photos of the two razors and a drawing of what I wanted mine to look like. I asked for the point end to be exactly like a Wade & Butcher Bow razor and sent a photo of that. When Robert was done I had this magnificent specimen you see in these poor photos. ( sorry, best I can do)

The 8/8 razor is perfect in fit and finish. The pre-ban elephant ivory scales are gorgeous with the subtle figure both unique yet typical of the material. I wasn't sure about the shape of the scales and told Robert to go with what he thought would work the best for the shape of the blade. If you've seen Robert's gallery you know that he is not only a master smith but an artist as well. The scales compliment the design of the blade perfectly.

Robert told me that he would shape the bevel before etching the Damascus. I knew I would have my work cut out for me in setting a bevel and honing this baby up. Here is a photo from Robert as the bevel was when I received it.
proxy.php

Honing this beast was difficult. One of the three toughest I have encountered out of a hundred or so. Because of the radical swayback I couldn't use circles or paint brush strokes in setting the bevel. It had to be rolling x from start to finish. I set the bevel on a DMT 1200 continuous diamond plate. It took time but it was a labor of love. I used the Norton 4 & 8 single grit 1 1/2 X 8 hones and finally the Shapton 16 and 30K. Shave testing and back to the hones a few times to dial it in.
proxy.php

proxy.php

proxy.php

proxy.php

proxy.php

The shave is great. It looks a bit intimidating but once you get it on the whiskers it is smooth as silk and for me it is really an efficient design to shave with. This isn't the sharpest razor I've got but it is sharp enough and it is the coolest. If I had to choose one razor out of the bunch this would be it. I give Robert my highest recommendation for the go to guy if you want a custom razor. Here is a discussion thread if you have any comments.

Latest reviews

I have over 100 straight razors and in threads posted asking "if you could only have one" I have always answered that it would be like asking a mother which of her 10 kids she loved the most. That was until I got with Robert Williams and asked him to build a custom razor for me. I had gotten a Case Brothers Springville swayback and an Engstrom. I found that I liked shaving with that unusual blade shape and I wanted my custom from Robert to be a one of a kind.

As far as the ratings, the price for this beauty was very reasonable considering the ivory scales and the hand forged Damascus blade. I know intellectually that blades made with the stock removal method are just as good but emotionally I just think there is something extra in a blade that was hammered on an anvil.

Craftsmanship is impeccable. I don't give a 10 for anything hence the 9 is about as good as it gets for me. The razor was not easy to sharpen but it does have a lasting edge. I have done half a dozen shaves simce dialing it in and it is still sharp and smooth shaving. I am confident it will be easy to maintain.

Robert was very receptive to the idea and he was very patient in working with me on the design. I sent photos of the two razors and a drawing of what I wanted mine to look like. I asked for the point end to be exactly like a Wade & Butcher Bow razor and sent a photo of that. When Robert was done I had this magnificent specimen you see in these poor photos. ( sorry, best I can do)

The 8/8 razor is perfect in fit and finish. The pre-ban elephant ivory scales are gorgeous with the subtle figure both unique yet typical of the material. I wasn't sure about the shape of the scales and told Robert to go with what he thought would work the best for the shape of the blade. If you've seen Robert's gallery you know that he is not only a master smith but an artist as well. The scales compliment the design of the blade perfectly.

Robert told me that he would shape the bevel before etching the Damascus. I knew I would have my work cut out for me in setting a bevel and honing this baby up. Here is a photo from Robert as the bevel was when I received it.
proxy.php

Honing this beast was difficult. One of the three toughest I have encountered out of a hundred or so. Because of the radical swayback I couldn't use circles or paint brush strokes in setting the bevel. It had to be rolling x from start to finish. I set the bevel on a DMT 1200 continuous diamond plate. It took time but it was a labor of love. I used the Norton 4 & 8 single grit 1 1/2 X 8 hones and finally the Shapton 16 and 30K. Shave testing and back to the hones a few times to dial it in.
proxy.php

proxy.php

proxy.php

proxy.php

proxy.php

The shave is great. It looks a bit intimidating but once you get it on the whiskers it is smooth as silk and for me it is really an efficient design to shave with. This isn't the sharpest razor I've got but it is sharp enough and it is the coolest. If I had to choose one razor out of the bunch this would be it. I give Robert my highest recommendation for the go to guy if you want a custom razor. Here is a discussion thread if you have any comments.
Price
4.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
4.00 star(s)
Craftsmanship
4.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
4.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
4.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
4.00 star(s)

Item information

Added by
JimmyHAD
Views
1,055
Reviews
1
Last update

More in Straight Razors (Reviews)

More from JimmyHAD

Top Bottom