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I have to Choose One of these Three! Please Help!

Good evening Gents.
My name is Tom and I have been busy trying to put together my very first straight razor setup. I went to the local antiques store and found a small collection of Straight Razors, which I narrowed down to three candidates. I have handed over $40CA and the guy allowed my to take all three on the understanding i bring two back to him on Monday. My question is which one of the three do you think I should keep??? Obviously I plan to polish it up and hone it before use. I will attached pictures and list any markings below. ANY suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated! Cheers!

1.jpg

ORBA (Black Scales) - "Silver Steel Extra Hollow Ground Germany" & "Schoepp-Germany" Blade width: 6/8ths
2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg

Muller Bros & Co (Plain cream scales) - "Diamond Edge Trade Mark Registerd" Blade Width: 5/8ths
5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg

Challenge Razor Works (Figured Cream Scales) - "Bridgeport" Blade width: 5/8ths
8.jpg 9.jpg
 
I am not an expert on SRs and have only tried them a couple of times. Though I do know a fair bit about cutting tools, sharpening from knives, chisels and more. So take this for what it is worth...

If I were to choose one of these to use, keep and maintain it would be the Orba. I look at the shape of the knife, the spine and importantly the heel. I don't like cutting tools like knives which is what a razor is, with heels and think the only knife that benefit from them are utility knives that cop a lot of beating. Having a razor without a heel make it's less complicated to manage and maintain. Delicate knives like razors, scalpels and most chef knives use for detailed work are far better without heels, you can use the entire edge as well. For me it's the Orba.

Sharpen with a heel btw brings in far more complication than without.
 
Thanks for the quick reply John. The heel is a really good point. I remember reading somewhere that guys even grind it off their razors. I really like the general shape of the Orba and it is slightly wider, which i think is a plus. The only reservation i have is that it states "extra hollow" (which from what I understand is not great for beginners). Mind you it does not look that much more hollowed than the other two. Cheers!
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I would keep all three and NEVER return to that store!

Then spend the rest of my life lookin' over my shoulder, waiting for the authorities to slap the cuffs on me!

Or: I would wait till someone besides me answers your inquiry!
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
I will go with ORBA!!! as it has the least hone wear and being shoulderless is a bonus, plus it looks like the great razor called Ator from ERN.

The best thing is it should clean up real nice and being nimble to use that's just my thoughts. :pipe::pipe::pipe:
 
Thanks for the quick reply John. The heel is a really good point. I remember reading somewhere that guys even grind it off their razors. I really like the general shape of the Orba and it is slightly wider, which i think is a plus. The only reservation i have is that it states "extra hollow" (which from what I understand is not great for beginners). Mind you it does not look that much more hollowed than the other two. Cheers!
Ok in razors it's called a shoulder rather than a heel, though that's what I was referring to... the shoulderless aspect of the heel of the razor is what to go for.

As for the "extra" hollow... to me that means a thinner finer razor for longer, if sharpened well, it would be a very keen edge and it would stay keener for longer throughout its life because there is less metal thickness throughout the blade.

There are far more people expert here than me on here, especially when it comes to using them.

My thoughts would be to get it anyway as it is to me superior than the others. Sure it may require a little more finesse and for you to be more specific however it is a razor for me that is superior in its nature. I think the orba razor would last someone a very long time and could certainly deliver throughout its life albeit probably a bit less forgiving in the begining.

At the end of the day, a good edge is an edge is an edge and you have to learn somewhere, I don't mind, besides if no one told you it was difficult then you'd simply master it if that's all you had. Whenever I teach someone something difficult, I never say it's difficult instead I tell them, a lot of people can pick this up fair quickly if they follow these steps. And low and behold they pick up quickly. The most damaging thing to teach someone is that something is so difficult. You just need to do things right and respect the process, if you can do that then I'd personally get the orba and not over think it. You can cut yourself with all three of them, and although there is probably a difference, I would ask how much? They are all razor edges and I think the angle of attack is the most significant thing. Orba has far more practicality to me.

That's my 2 cents, others may disagree and remember I don't use SRs just know a bit about sharp things.
 
Ok in razors it's called a shoulder rather than a heel, though that's what I was referring to... the shoulderless aspect of the heel of the razor is what to go for.

As for the "extra" hollow... to me that means a thinner finer razor for longer, if sharpened well, it would be a very keen edge and it would stay keener for longer throughout its life because there is less metal thickness throughout the blade.

There are far more people expert here than me on here, especially when it comes to using them.

My thoughts would be to get it anyway as it is to me superior than the others. Sure it may require a little more finesse and for you to be more specific however it is a razor for me that is superior in its nature. I think the orba razor would last someone a very long time and could certainly deliver throughout its life albeit probably a bit less forgiving in the begining.

At the end of the day, a good edge is an edge is an edge and you have to learn somewhere, I don't mind, besides if no one told you it was difficult then you'd simply master it if that's all you had. Whenever I teach someone something difficult, I never say it's difficult instead I tell them, a lot of people can pick this up fair quickly if they follow these steps. And low and behold they pick up quickly. The most damaging thing to teach someone is that something is so difficult. You just need to do things right and respect the process, if you can do that then I'd personally get the orba and not over think it. You can cut yourself with all three of them, and although there is probably a difference, I would ask how much? They are all razor edges and I think the angle of attack is the most significant thing. Orba has far more practicality to me.

That's my 2 cents, others may disagree and remember I don't use SRs just know a bit about sharp things.
Really good comment about not letting things get into your head. Learn the process and put in the time. Cheers
 
Not familiar with the brand but I would have the shoulderless Orba. Best condition, and the shoulderless type is to me, more ergonomic and way easier to hone. Get it and send it out to a honemeister recognized and recommended by this or another forum, not just some guy who claims to know how to hone.
 
Actually you might throw in a lowball offer on the Muller, too. It has a lot of meat left on it. If those are bone scales, definitely. The third one I would not be interested in. It seems to have issues and I have a bad feeling about those celluloid scales.
 
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