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In priase of Rolls

(I'm posting here because I'm a straight shaver and the Rolls is a straight on a stick. If anyone's offended, I'm happy for a mod to move it.)

I inherited my grandad's Rolls a couple of weeks ago. The hone was in good condition and the strop, although a little dry, has suffered only one small nick. However, it hadn't been used for decades and the blade, which I though had only light surface rust, proved to be quite pitted once cleaned.

After several hours of manual attention, comprising four grades of grit-impregnated rubber block, both sides of a coarse oilstone and all three Spyderco hones, it felt ready for a shave.

I wasn't sure how it would shave, as I've read varied opinions. Now, having just used it, I'd have no hesitation in recommending one to anyone familiar with a straight. The grip is obviously different, but the shave feels very similar. That's no great surprise, I suppose, since it really is just a short piece of hollow-ground blade with a handle. The blade guard sets an upper limit on angle, but I didn't find it limiting. I did suffer some very, very minor razor burn (I never suffer with straights), but the two-pass shave (WTG + ATG) was closer than I normally achieve.

It's impressed me enough to guarantee it a place in my travel bag, not least because it saves carrying a strop. I'll almost certainly use it in leiu of a straight occasionally, too.

Try one, if you get the chance.
My Grandfather had one that my Granny showed me after he passed away. She's passed now, and I'm waiting for my Father and Aunt to go through everything. They have both promised that I could have it. Very cool to hear that it works well, and is closer to a straight. I will definitely be shaving with it once I have it.

Very cool write-up! I had wondered about those Rolls Razors, but neverbtook the time to read much about them. It sounds like a good alternative for a travel razor, and the fact that it is a family treasure makes it infinitely cooler! Nicely done sir! :thumbup:
A shave ready Rolls is a joy to use. If it's not shave ready it can be a disaster. I think that is the reason for the varied results.

Congrats on bringing your "family" razor to life and getting a satisfying shave. I am sure your grandad is quite proud. :001_smile.
I've used my rolls a couple of times but was a bit disappointed with the results. Anyone here know where I can have it made shave ready?
I'd suggest that anyone with the tools and knowhow to make a straight shave-ready could do the same for a Rolls. With the blade guard removed (it can be sprung out with care), the blade is just like a straight.

It's a little fiddly to hold, but I found that I could push it along the the hone with my thumb and third finger on the spine and and my first and second finger in the top hollow to control pressure. At the end of the stroke, I gripped lightly across the ends with the thumb and forefinger I'd just used to push, lifted the blade well clear of the hone, then used the forefinger on my other hand against the underside hollow to flip the blade over for the next pass. I'd guess it's about three to four times slower than honing a straight, but I find honing quite meditative, so that's fine.

For the sake of you finger and the blade, be very careful when coaxing the blade guard back in. It's probably worth a couple of practice fittings before honing. It'd be a shame to damage the edge after so much effort. Note, too, that the guard only fits one way, as one side has a longer pin which fits into a hole, whilst the other has just a small bump which provides the detent feature.
I have honed a rolls blade, and like weevil, i would advise you to take care with the blade when re fitting it to the gaurd:w00t:


Moderator Emeritus
I find it easier to hone the Rolls blades with the guard attached. Plus its a whole lot safer that way.
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