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Gold Dollar 66, 100, or 208?

I am getting ready to buy a professionally JNAT honed Gold Dollar straight Razor and have my choice of the 66, 100, or 208. Which one do I choose and why? I have some experience shaving with a Parker shavette. Thank you!
 
Doesn't matter imo. The blades are the same, steel is the same. Take your pick. 66 is the least polished but none of them will win a fit and finish contest. Honed right they will shave as well any other same size and grind.
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
But if they are honed right they are a fantastic Straight, and if you wish given the right love can even look stunning. Here is my 3.

20171230_075952.jpg
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
Very nice! Did you do all that work yourself or do you have “people”?

I have a GD W59 on the way and I’m seeking recommendations.
It was all done by myself, the white one was my first time modding the gold Dollar. Then the orange one followed by the walnut and gold,
They was done for the Gold Dollar Mod contest in the novice class here on Badger & Blade.

But I found out you can do soooo much with them once you get the issue's sorted they are a good razor, and yes I will admit I have some nice razors but love my Gold Dollars the most.
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
As for the GD W59 I have not had any dealings with it but hear good reports on it one person is @Polarbeard he has used one. I have tagged him into here so he will post his views.
 

Polarbeard

Contributor
Ian My friend I'll answer and then go to sleep again. I've got high fever that doesn't seem to want to go away. The W59 is a large or even huge step up from the basic GD razors. It's a ready to use product with nice wooden scales and a well made hollow ground. Even so it's still far from the quality of western razor production. Then again you can get four W59 for the price of one basic German made razor and they shave just as good. I believe that sums it up. Now it's time for me to go back to sleep. I Wish you all a happy (and healthy) new year.
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
Ian My friend I'll answer and then go to sleep again. I've got high fever that doesn't seem to want to go away. The W59 is a large or even huge step up from the basic GD razors. It's a ready to use product with nice wooden scales and a well made hollow ground. Even so it's still far from the quality of western razor production. Then again you can get four W59 for the price of one basic German made razor and they shave just as good. I believe that sums it up. Now it's time for me to go back to sleep. I Wish you all a happy (and healthy) new year.
Thank You Arne!!!..
Hope you get well soon mate and if I don't see you before Happy New Year to you and the family...
 
Thanks for the info! Much to ponder.

This will be one of my first SRs, the other on it’s way is a WD Sight Unseen. May be a little early for me to start heavy investment an experimentation just yet. :001_302:
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
Thanks for the info! Much to ponder.

This will be one of my first SRs, the other on it’s way is a WD Sight Unseen. May be a little early for me to start heavy investment an experimentation just yet. :001_302:
Your Welcome and Welcome to the Darkside err Straight shaving and a tiny rabbit hole. And please feel free to ask any questions don't matter how silly they may seem to you but aint to us.
 
I believe all the lower end Gold Dollars are the same basic steel and stamping, what differs is the quality of the grind and finish. The 66 is rough as delivered from China,and requires considerably more work to make a nice razor than a 100, or better yet, a 208. The 208 is ready to finish hone, the 100 and 66 will need some modifications to work well, especially the 66.

That said, if you have the choice of a properly honed one, they are all about the same in actual shaving performance. A mild razor, because the edge is on the "fat" end for straight razors, but that makes the easier to learn on. Unless someone put the effort and time into thinning the spine, etc, in which case they are the equivalent of any other lower end straight.

Nothing wrong with an inexpensive, mild razor to learn straight razor shaving with!
 
Mild or harsh is the edge put on it. I have the w59 that is 15 degrees +/-. It doesn't shave any more or less than the others.
 
The higher the number the thinner the blade tends to be and a bit better finished. IOW, they put a little more work in the 208 than the 66. Less metal is usually a good thing in the GD series. My test and air travel razors tend to be 208s, they're a good balance between price, size, and workmanship. You can't really afford to rescale them unless you have some 'donor' scales on hand, but if you put decent scales on a 208 it makes a surprising difference.

Cheers, Steve
 
Eh, I have scales coming out my ears, I went nuts making wooden ones the other year. Good project if you are handy. Those plastic scales on the Gold Dollars work, but they aren't very nice.
 
The original question was about choosing between 66, 100, and 208. Personally I think that the #66 is THE Gold Dollar razor to modify. It is a big beefy blade and has a single stabilizer. Very crudely ground, but you "fix" that yourself. They can be honed straight out of the box, but they are a PITA for that. The 100 and 208 are of exactly the same steel, a bit more refined, and have the dreaded double stabilizer, meaning that to do a full on mod, you have to remove more steel from the heel and end up with a slightly shorter edge. However, they are generally much more suitable for just honing and shaving, than a #66. They cost a couple bucks more than the 66, no biggie.

As for the new "W" series, they look okay for just honing right out of the box. I very much dislike the "kewl" styling, and find it excruciatingly juvenile but that's just me and you may feel free to disagree completely on that. The fact is, this is the same steel and the same heat treating and tempering that has satisfied thousands of customers. I would prefer a SLIGHTLY heavier spine, for a SLIGHTLY more obtuse bevel angle. Unlike some users, I find that when I hone a very acute and a very obtuse blade, I can definitely tell the difference, and my preference usually runs to around 16.5 to 17 degrees as a general rule. A bigger bevel angle naturally gives a more robust edge that also is less likely to cut the unwary shaver than a more sporty bevel. A more acute bevel has more cutting power and does more of the work for you, but you will pay in blood for carelessness, and VERY acute bevel angles can be difficult to hone and maintain, depending on the steel. Different honing methods and materials very probably increase or decrease the difference between blades of different geometry and the way that they perform. I do know that my own synthetic honing regimen, either Naniwa or lapping film, followed by a progression of lapped balsa and diamond paste to .1u, brings out the ravenous beast in a blade with rather fine geometry. Some day when I don't have as many projects on my plate and the price has dropped a bit I will spring for a "W" razor and give it a go. I have no doubt that it will shave well, from the good reports already posted. Meanwhile, my absolute favorite razors in all my nearly 20 lbs of razors are my heavily modded Gold Dollar #66 razors slimmed and trimmed to just the way I like them, followed by my several Bismarcks. I don't think I have any Gold Dollars unmodified except for a few pounds of #66's waiting their turn on the sander.

Basically, any of these razors honed by a reputable member here, will shave just fine. A "regular" Gold Dollar will probably be a bit less likely to filet your face as you learn to shave with it, but will probably not give you a great single pass shave. That's okay. That's even a good thing. A "W" will cost a few bucks more. Is it worth the difference? Maybe not, but it IS only a few bucks, after all. It's all good. Just do make sure that it is ACTUALLY shave ready when you buy it, not merely claimed to be so. There are a lot of sellers on ebay who don't even shave with a straight. Some who don't even shave at all! (well, except maybe for legs, pits, and bikini area.) So, how would they even have a clue about what it means? "Shave Ready" is just the new buzz word on ebay that every seller uses if they expect to sell any razors. There are a few great sellers whose shave ready blades really are all that. Look for stores with a lot of razors along with perfect or near perfect feedback ratings, or ask on the forum. Members selling shave ready razors, and our more popular vendors, can be trusted to deliver the goods because they have reputations to think of. If you plan on just buying any old GD and shaving with it, or trying to teach yourself to hone the same razor that you are trying to teach yourself to shave with, you are in for a heap of frustration.

Below: "Dark Matter", a modified GD66 in buffalo horn scales and phosphate coating
SOTD_DarkMatter.jpg

Below, one of my "Liquid Metal" series of modified GD66, nearly complete.
LiquidMetal.jpg

Below, the "Filgolddollarmonica" which is also a GD66. Modified? You bet! 16 degree bevel angle, fine brushed finish, thumb notch of course, modified French point, prefab scales.
filgolddollarmonica.jpg

That's the real magic of the GD66: not the razor that it is, but the razor that you can create from it.
 
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