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Best of the old English Makers

For those that have had the pleasure to try both honing and using some of the old English razors I ask you this,

Have you come to any conclusion as to which Maker seems more consistent in steel quality?
Which have surprised you and become regular shavers?
I'm talking of the bigger makers, W&B, Wostenholm, Joseph Rogers, Frederick Reynolds...
I have only had 5 W&B's over the years and only one, which is "cast steel" full hollow, is a quality razor IMO.
I recently picked up a Frederick Reynolds and am very impressed will its steel.
I have one other English razor, a King William, that I think is the finest English Razor I've ever used.
I know there are many small makers and some may be great razors, but of the big names from long ago, what is your opinion?
 
I think all the English guys made some great blades. I think the W&B are nice enough, but the name seems to evoke emotion in a characteristic that doesn't align for me.

I don't have enough exposure to multiple examples of those top makers to really have an educated guess on consistency of quality, but the ones I do have, i am pretty sure I've got at least one of them each, to say that the steel is nice and eventually take an easy hone, those near wedges take a while!!
 
Hey steve, just really notice the difference in the 2 blades, I love 'em, reminds me of my "David Gatey" set.

Do you think this is a strong beard/light beard set? or is this just a contemporaneous set? either way, fab set!
Hey Jon,

I actually purchased the razors separately at different times though they have the same ivory scales and are obviously using the same blank although as you’ve noted, one has a stabilizer, which is more hollow, like 1/2 hollow while the other one is more like 1/4 hollow. The box was also acquired separately, though it is period and held two badly worn ivory Rodgers. But yes, they’re like a ‘light/heavy’ pair.
 
I dont have enough or experience to justify making a judgement; however, I will say that I like my WB's, Wosty, and McLellan very much. to me they are really good steel.....and smell different when honing.

my first WB just seems to hold its edge very well.

time will tell.

camo
 
I think all makers have got it right at some point in time. Its really more of a time period question as much as a quality question.
Mid 1800- late 1800's/early 1900.
Never owned a Joseph Rogers. I have a Wostenholm IXL that is a very good razor (I just remembered).
I have never heard of McLellan. Do you have a picture?
 
I think all makers have got it right at some point in time. Its really more of a time period question as much as a quality question.
Mid 1800- late 1800's/early 1900.
Never owned a Joseph Rogers. I have a Wostenholm IXL that is a very good razor (I just remembered).
I have never heard of McLellan. Do you have a picture?
shaved this weekend with her.

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belfast England

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internet search reveals T. McLellan......a Cutler. directory in 1901 lists 4th bldg from the corner of castle place and donegal place. this was the last razor I sent off to be honed......before i started successfully honing myself.

camo
 
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Thank you.
I did see that in SOTD but thought it was a Westby.
I like the grind on that. I bet its a great shaver.
I find the heavier pattern full hollows (still with a belly in the grind) are about the nicest pattern to shave with.
I think that is the only razor I have ever seen with Belfast as origin.
 
Thank you.
I did see that in SOTD but thought it was a Westby.
I like the grind on that. I bet its a great shaver.
I find the heavier pattern full hollows (still with a belly in the grind) are about the nicest pattern to shave with.
I think that is the only razor I have ever seen with Belfast as origin.
thanks

with the glory of internet research.......the big site still holds treasures you want to click the buy button on.

I'm very fond of this one.

camo
 
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I bought this pair a few months ago. They were, as far as I could see, in mostly unused condition.
They had some serious rust around the pivots, so I had to take them apart, clean them up, and I gave them a light polish to avoid removing any etching. Information I could find, indicates that they are about 150 years old.

They are George Butler's "Prince of Wales" razors. I would love to know what "Willans, Arnold and Colley's GEM steel" is, but can't find specific information about it.

First two photos were from the advertisement and the last one after some cleaning and polishing.

Honed very easily and took a great edge, a testament to their makers. Clearly high quality razors and a pleasure to use.
 
I'm quite the fan of marshes and shepherd pondworks razors. I haven't had a chance to shave with many examples but all (3) examples I've come across have been quite nice.
 

totorlekiller

Contributor
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I bought this pair a few months ago. They were, as far as I could see, in mostly unused condition.
They had some serious rust around the pivots, so I had to take them apart, clean them up, and I gave them a light polish to avoid removing any etching. Information I could find, indicates that they are about 150 years old.

They are George Butler's "Prince of Wales" razors. I would love to know what "Willans, Arnold and Colley's GEM steel" is, but can't find specific information about it.

First two photos were from the advertisement and the last one after some cleaning and polishing.

Honed very easily and took a great edge, a testament to their makers. Clearly high quality razors and a pleasure to use.
Very nice specimen.
I had forgotten about George Buttler's Trinity Works.
I have a different model, but also with attitude
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Joseph Elliot, Greaves, and Marshes and Shepherd are all outstanding. I love the aesthetic of a lot of the big Rodgers blades but the steel is pretty typical sheffield in my experience.
 
I have owned a lot of frederick reynolds over the years (over 30 easily...) and they have probably had more warped blades (I know a lot of sheffields have warps, but annoyingly warped) than any other major sheffield maker that I have had similar numbers of.
 
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