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Great American custom straight makers??

Hi All,

hope you can help but I'm struggling to find a good American custom blade maker that will actually reply to my emails or be willing to ship to the UK.
I usually buy 2 blades a year and as my favourite English guy has retired I had to resort to a couple of German Bokers. Don't get me wrong, they are lovely, just not personal.
So,I'm on the hunt for reliable, good American craftsmen that can ship to the uk.

Thanks
Lucas
 

BigFoot

It was a Stratocaster with a whammy bar!
Moderator
I don't know if Max Sprecher ships to the UK, but I will own one some day. Not really the answer you were looking for.
 
Max Sprecher is great, as is Alex Jacques. I’ve also had good luck with Portland Razor Co. That being said I still tend to prefer vintage stuff and think they perform better than any of the modern razors I have, except for my Tim Zowada razor.
 
I don't know if Max Sprecher ships to the UK, but I will own one some day. Not really the answer you were looking for.
Thanks but Max is a bit out of my league. although if I don't buy another razor for 5 years I may be able to afford one.
 
I have a Shavesmith FOR BARBERS USE and an Osiris...they are both neat blades and fun shavers!

Vr

Matt
 
Price is mainly dictated by whether the maker is forging the blanks, or buying ready made ones. In other words, it's the cost of labour and the (exotic) materials that makes the difference between the full process VS only stock removal (grinding). Scales can impact the cost significantly, as well.

You may want to look into Brian Brown's entry line razors. Check the website for any available stock. There was one for sale in the BST recently, not sure if it's gone...

My favorite has been Joe Edson, I've handled a few and do own one. I'm pretty sure my next one will be a Max Sprecher.

Osiris - Alfonso Terones - is on Facebook and will reply to you there. I have yet to receive one of his blades though, so can't speak for the quality personally, but a good sign is that you don't see many of them for sale second hand. He has been at it for several years, and has improved significantly. I have been following his work from the start.

I have exchanged a number of emails and messages with all these guys, on various subjects, and they have all been very responsive.

One thing to understand about customs is, if they aren't replying, they are probably too busy, out of stock, or just can't make what you're asking... Or just have things going on in their lives. You just gotta try them again - being a one-man operation isn't easy sometimes. Anyway none of that is an excuse for not replying, but I'm just saying it's not anything personal.

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Price is mainly dictated by whether the maker is forging the blanks, or buying ready made ones. In other words, it's the cost of labour and the (exotic) materials that makes the difference between the full process VS only stock removal (grinding). Scales can impact the cost significantly, as well.

You may want to look into Brian Brown's entry line razors. Check the website for any available stock. There was one for sale in the BST recently, not sure if it's gone...

My favorite has been Joe Edson, I've handled a few and do own one. I'm pretty sure my next one will be a Max Sprecher.

Osiris - Alfonso Terones - is on Facebook and will reply to you there. I have yet to receive one of his blades though, so can't speak for the quality personally, but a good sign is that you don't see many of them for sale second hand. He has been at it for several years, and has improved significantly. I have been following his work from the start.

I have exchanged a number of emails and messages with all these guys, on various subjects, and they have all been very responsive.

One thing to understand about customs is, if they aren't replying, they are probably too busy, out of stock, or just can't make what you're asking... Or just have things going on in their lives. You just gotta try them again - being a one-man operation isn't easy sometimes. Anyway none of that is an excuse for not replying, but I'm just saying it's not anything personal.

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The cost isn't really an issue, although a Max is $1500 plus duty plus shipping it would probably be more like $2000 . Generally I pay the equivalent of $500 for my blades and I do have some beauties.
Ed Brice (Kent, England) used to be my go to guy but I believe he has stopped making customs so would rather put money in the pockets of our cousins in the US than the Germans.
 
Not American but you might check out K.M. Designs in the UK. Kym is a great guy and is on many of the Facebook groups.
 
Not American but you might check out K.M. Designs in the UK. Kym is a great guy and is on many of the Facebook groups.
I don't do FB but from what I can see he does outdoor knives more than razors. Do you know if he has a website?
 
What's 'Instagram"?
Are you serious? I'm happy to explain it, unless you're joking ;)

As for the Sprecher razors, the basic ones start at $485 and the premier line at $575. Customizing the premier line 8/8", I got to $690 (monkey tailed, no fancy file work, with abalone shell scales) and that's the max I'd do... Honestly, I'd probably do basic acrylic scales, which is cheaper (no extra cost). How do you get to $2K from that?

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Are you serious? I'm happy to explain it, unless you're joking ;)

As for the Sprecher razors, the basic ones start at $485 and the premier line at $575. Customizing the premier line 8/8", I got to $690 (monkey tailed, no fancy file work, with abalone shell scales) and that's the max I'd do... Honestly, I'd probably do basic acrylic scales, which is cheaper (no extra cost). How do you get to $2K from that?

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Hi and thanks for getting back to me.
The price I came to was based on the average of his online 'for sale' razors. Plus duty and shipping.
Once Biden sorts out a trade deal with the UK the duty hopefully will come down from the exorbitant rates we have been paying whilst in the EU.
Shipping will probably be the same but still going to be about $40.
I'll have another look at the Max Sprecher blades based on what you have said.
While you're there, what would you say is a typical American design of razor?
If I'm going to buy from USA I'd like to have something authentic.
Thanks
 
http://instagr.am/p/B3-qe5onD0p/
Here's an "American razor", and a look at Instagram at the same time - Two flies with one stone, so to speak.

Next, Joe Edson:

http://instagr.am/p/BnZnRTuBdsU/

I don't think there is a particular American style. However, you may want to look at some vintage American makers, such as Case or Robeson, for instance. When I think about those, I think square points, double shoulders..

Maybe some barber notches on full hollows? Super usual.. Here's an example (apologies for the rather esoteric images - it's a Wade&Butcher Improved tang, made for an American retailer, it's 6/8" wide)

http://instagr.am/p/BLGTfg9jlYa/
http://instagr.am/p/BLHXCoUjFTM/

If you do speak to an American maker, ask them what they think. I'm sure they will be able to help - hopefully some of their inspiration is rooted in the national history, too.



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