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Heljestrands, comparing models

Been reading a lot about Heljestrands and everyone seems to like the MKs. I understand that this is their top of the line model. Then there is the BK which are a step down. Then there is a CV which was made for the French market.
Is this the same as the BK, just rebranded or is this totally different beast? I know there are also just heljestrands without any other markings. How do these compare to to the MK, BK or CV?

I just picked up a CV Royal Kindal and I like to know what I own.
 
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One of my good friends Bosseb is fairly knowledgable about the Helje line of razors. Here is some of what I have learned from him.

There were unmarked and unnumbered CV Heljedtrands that were sold in Sweden. For the most part they were 5/8 or smaller in size and had synthetic scales. The MK series were an export line that were the brain child of Moris Kindal (MK) that had a specific metal composition. Though I have never heard if that was any better or worse than what was produced for the domestic blades. It was likely more of a marketing ploy. The major differentiation on the MK line was the introduction of the thumb notch. Which is what differentiates the razors in most peoples minds from the other Heljestrands. As for the rest of the styles of razors, for the most part they were just branded slightly differently for the country they were sold in.

Bosseb might stop by with better info.
 
I've got a MK No 30, 31, 32, and a No 24. Other than thumb notch/blade design, or scale material, I think the quality of blade material, fit and finish, and honability/quality of edge are similarly above par. I can't claim any expertise beyond that.
 
The "M" in MK is for Master, so the most experienced and qualified made the MK series. The "B" in BK is one step below, I guess Master in training :D

Honestly there is no difference between the MK and BK. I have owned identical blades, one with MK and one with BK and there was no difference in performance. I actually liked the BK better because of the tortoise scales.
 
The "M" in MK is for Master, so the most experienced and qualified made the MK series. The "B" in BK is one step below, I guess Master in training :D

Honestly there is no difference between the MK and BK. I have owned identical blades, one with MK and one with BK and there was no difference in performance. I actually liked the BK better because of the tortoise scales.


So what are the CVs?
 
Then there is a CV which was made for the French market.
Is this the same as the BK, just rebranded or is this totally different beast? I know there are also just heljestrands without any other markings. How do these compare to to the MK, BK or CV?

You have it almost right here. Here's what I have managed to find out about the markings.

The origin of the marking 'MK No XX' on the Heljestrand razors is from the Heljestrand agent in Paris, Magnus Kindal. He was a Swede who moved to Paris in 1875 and opened a bookstore there. He also sold knives and bought them in Eskilstuna, Sweden. He was a very talented sales rep and later bought the Heljestrand factory.

The markings on the razors are MK (Magnus Kindal), BK (Berte Kindal) and RK (Rickard Kindal). Berte and Rickard were children of Magnus Kindal. The razors were produced at different time periods. The quality is the same. The shop in Paris is today run by Makie and Caroline Kindal on 23 BIS Rue de Constantinople in downtown Paris.

The marking CV on the razors are from CV Heljestrand, the founder of the company and the guy who learned to forge razors in Sheffield,UK in the 1870's. He then made use of this knowledge on the steel from the mines in Sweden. The three crowns on the razors indicate that the factory was delivering to the Swedish Royal Court.

Some pics (or it didn't happen, I know) :001_smile :


$CV Heljestrand.JPG
The founder


$Sköldpadda.jpg
NOS 7 day set in tortoise


$elfenben.jpg
Ivory scales


$7 dagars set.jpg
NOS 7 day set in ivory


$MK logo.jpg
The MK logo

According to my main source (an old guy who had worked as an apprentice in the factory in the '30s Magnus Kindal was not very popular because he forced the smiths to only make one kind of razors at a time. Kindal (and his children) knew what the customers wanted; the smiths wanted to show off their knowledge!

The razors were sold via Paris in Europe and via Hoffritz in the US. All were marked with the MK/Heljestrand logo and sometimes rebranded for big customers.
 
I should also add that the lesser unnumbered (and non - MK) razors were sold domestically and in some countries in Europe. They often represent a quality that the Kindal family didn't want to export to the big markets because of different steel , grinds and tempering of the steel. This made the razors unfamiliar to the clientele who bought the top end products.


$Heljestrand1.jpg
Different numbered and unnumbered razors


$Heljestrand3.jpg


$Heljestrand2.jpg
 
I have the frameback CVH that was pictured in that little write up. It says underneath the pic is from 1880-1890 but I couldn't find anymore any info on it. It's got the thumbnotch as well. Did they make a lot of framebacks?
 
I have the frameback CVH that was pictured in that little write up. It says underneath the pic is from 1880-1890 but I couldn't find anymore any info on it. It's got the thumbnotch as well. Did they make a lot of framebacks?
They did make some framebacks. There was the famous one that won a medal in the 1870's and started the Kindal operation in Paris. It was the door opener for the world market.

That frameback was forged like it is because the smiths didn't know how to properly grind a hollow razor. The material and know how was not there yet!
 
So the Royal Kindal was for domestic sales then?
No, all razors marked Kindal were made for export. At some point even the Heljestrand logo was removed but the Kindal logo was there, especially on rebranded razors in the US.

The razors marked with only 'CV Heljestrand - Eskilstuna' without any numbering were for domestic sales. Even these did get exported at some point.
 
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