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Ever used a cheap straight razor you've really liked?

A 'Comoy's of London' straight razor, that suspiciously looks like a Gold Dollar.
I re-scaled it in Jarrah wood as the plastic scales it came with were cheap cheap rubbish.
The blade is not stright but that's the loveable charm of a Gold Dollar blade!
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So even though it is a $30 razor of questionable heritage, poor quality, reasonably ugly, it shaves really well. So bang for my buck, it's a champion. Don't let my other razors hear that, they'd be heart broken.
 

Lefonque

Even more clueless than you
Not using any names or brands but it is galling when a cheap razor out performs an artisans razor worth a silly amount of money. Both razors are long been gone.
 
I have 6 razor cases/wallets and make a point of shaving with every razor in a case before putting it to the bottom of the pile and moving on to the next one. The case I always look forward to is my Fili/Koraat case.

The one I always feel tempted to slip to the bottom of the pile is the Gold Dollar/Titan case. Why? I can honestly not say, because every time I use one of them they impress me with a great shave.

Maybe it's more than the shave that's important, other factors can add too or subtract from the enjoyment of using a razor.
 
I have a few cheap ebay purchases (under €20) that are fantastic shavers and hold an incredible edge. These are mostly Solingen razors by presumably small companies as information on them is hard to find.
 
I have a few cheap ebay purchases (under €20) that are fantastic shavers and hold an incredible edge. These are mostly Solingen razors by presumably small companies as information on them is hard to find.
You would probably find they are lesser known brand names, made in the same factory as the expensive, hyped brands. A lot of great bargain razors are found this way.
 
You would probably find they are lesser known brand names, made in the same factory as the expensive, hyped brands. A lot of great bargain razors are found this way.
That is what I'm leaning towards given the edge these razors take. I originally bought them as beaters to practice honing and to be honest, they are among my best shavers.
 
You would probably find they are lesser known brand names, made in the same factory as the expensive, hyped brands. A lot of great bargain razors are found this way.
The factory that made Dorko straights made a number of other brands. They would have used the same steel blades in each one, just different stamps and scales.
 
The factory that made Dorko straights made a number of other brands. They would have used the same steel blades in each one, just different stamps and scales.
I had a DD Goldedge and another razor called a Gold Bug, and they were exactly the same blade. The scales on the DD were nicer, but in a blind test you would never know one from the other by shaving.

Then there's razors like Gotta, Blue Wonder, Long Life, and others, that are all pretty much identical. It happened in Sheffield as well, but is most commonly seen in razors from Germany.
 
It's my understanding that much of the grinding and polishing was done by homeworkers in Solingen. So the same person would have ground blades for several different companies, to their specs. Also, the number of forges dropped off precipitously in the first half of the 20th century. Solingen blades tend to be very consistent within a certain timeframe. It's just a matter of finding the grind and blade profile you like; it will be very similar across different brands.

Like @Legion said, you see it to an extent in Sheffield too. Also Eskilstuna, for that matter.
 
Most quality razors shave well.

It is 99% about the edge.

I chuckle when people say something like "those are great shavers"

You can get a great or bad shave from anything, depends on how it is honed
 
Most quality razors shave well.

It is 99% about the edge.

I chuckle when people say something like "those are great shavers"

You can get a great or bad shave from anything, depends on how it is honed
True, but there is a big variety in grinds, quality control, and steel.

So if two razors have edges that are equally well honed, they will shave as well. But different razors will require more or less work to get them that way, and they will vary in how long they stay that way.
 
@Doc226 suggested to me long ago to get some cheapie ST8’s to practice honing on so I did not ruin any of my nicer ones so I picked up several ZY ones I think they are called, about the same as a GD razor, anyway I paid like $6 a piece for them and the edges looked like crap but after spending some time on a 1k and bread-knifing them several times I was able to get them finished and yes they shaved just as well as most of the razors have.
 
It's my understanding that much of the grinding and polishing was done by homeworkers in Solingen. So the same person would have ground blades for several different companies, to their specs. Also, the number of forges dropped off precipitously in the first half of the 20th century. Solingen blades tend to be very consistent within a certain timeframe. It's just a matter of finding the grind and blade profile you like; it will be very similar across different brands.
Any proof for the first statement?


This is the first time I hear this and I grew up less than 60 km (37 mi) from Solingen.


There is actually a museum in Wuppertal where people can see how knives were ground at the beginning of the industrial age.
Check out this 1961 video: Wipperkotten 1961 | Förderverein Schleiferei Wipperkotten e.V. - https://schleiferei-wipperkotten.de/video-upload/wipperkotten-1961


The grinding wheels were originally driven by water, later by steam and then electricity, and I doubt that the average razor maker had that kind of arrangement at home.
Rather, there was a multitude of ‘manufacturies’ (workshops) where people produced knives and razors from blanks, sometimes under their own name and sometimes for larger companies, but they were nothing like ‘homeworkers’.

The idea that workers picked up razor blanks in the factory and then ground them at home is absurd.
One of the reasons that Solingen razors became so successful is that they developed in the late 19th century the ‘Hexe’ (pictured below) that allowed small factories to grind uniform, symmetrically ground, full hollow razor blades. While we may feel attracted to hand-made razors, it was this kind of mechanisation that allowed workshops to consistently turn out high quality razors.

One of the persons who still owns a ‘Hexe’ is Ralf Aust and he grinds his razors on it.
And you may have guessed - not in his home either. ;)


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Some of these workshops became renown factories, like the C. Friedr. Ern factory below, and I just do not see armies of workers trudging in through the main door delivering the razors that they had ground at home.


1631714967903.jpeg


One of the few (if not the last) companies that produces razor blanks is Hugo Herkenrath, who turns out most blanks for razor knives ground in Germany.
Heat treatment and grinding is then done by some small (Aust, Wacker, Böker) and not so small (Dovo) companies.



B.
 
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Any proof for this?


This is the first time I hear this and I grew up less than 60 km (37 mi) from Solingen.


There is actually a museum in Wuppertal where people can see how knives were ground at the beginning of the industrial age.
Check out this video: Wipperkotten 1961 | Förderverein Schleiferei Wipperkotten e.V. - https://schleiferei-wipperkotten.de/video-upload/wipperkotten-1961


The grinding wheels were originally driven by water and I doubt that the average razor maker had that kind of arrangement at home.
Rather there was a multitude of ‘manufacturies’ (workshops) where people produced knives and razors from blanks, sometimes under their own name and sometimes for larger companies, but they were nothing like ‘homeworkers’.

The idea that workers picked up razor blanks in the factory and then ground them at home is preposterous.
One of the reasons that Solingen razors became so successful is that they developed in the late 19th century the ‘Hexe’ (pictured below) that allowed small factories to grind uniform, symmetrically ground, full hollow razor blades. While we may feel attracted to hand-made razors, it was this kind of mechanisation that allowed workshops to consistently turn out high quality razors.

One of the persons who still owns a ‘Hexe’ is Ralf Aust and he grinds his razors on it.
And you may have guessed - not in his home either. ;)


View attachment 1328596


Some of these workshops became renown factories, like the C. Friedr. Ern factory below, and I just do not see armies of workers trudging in though the main door delivering the razors they had ground at home.


View attachment 1328595


One of the few (if not the last) companies that produces razor blanks is Hugo Herkenrath, who turns out most blanks for razor knives ground in Germany.
Heat treatment and grinding is then done by some small (Aust, Wacker, Böker) and not so small (Dovo) companies.


B.
Here's a thread where it's discussed, the screencap is a book from around the turn of the 20th century.
Ran across some interesting historical tidbits today... - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/ran-across-some-interesting-historical-tidbits-today.610676/

henckels WFH.PNG

Revisor alludes to it as still being a practice in the 1950s on their website:
It‘s notable that around 1950 in Solingen there were circa 600-700 razor manufacturers in the market. The razors were mostly produced by homeworkers for the manufacturer.

Here's a fascinating thread from SRP about Paul Drees and a Werner Breidenbach (with some cool video links):
So why this? It helps to understand to know something about the organisation of the working and factory business in Solingen in the 19th and 20th century. In Solingen a lot of workings have been done by homeworkers in one-man-business units. The grinders had their little workshop – in Solingen called „Kotten“ – with all necessary equipment, often in the basement of their homes or in barnes in the neighbourhood. Sometimes a couple of single homeworkers shared a workshop. Paul Drees was such a homeworker. As many others, he worked for different companies as straight razor grinder. He got the blankets from the companies, took them home to the workshop, ground and polished them and returned the finished razors to the factories. Sometimes the grinders also mounted the razors in scales and honed them. But in general, the job of scale-mounting and honing of the razors was a different business and teaching profession.

Take it for what it's worth.
 
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