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Near Wedge = 1/4 Hollow Grind?

Is a "near wedge" the same thing as a "quarter hollow" grind? Or is this one of those things some people will say yes and others no?
 
To me there is a distinct difference between the two. A near wedge looks like a triangle where two of the edge are slightly concave. But essentially you can see the thickness of the blade decreasing all the way to the edge. A 1/4 hollow as a much smaller radius on the faces and comes to the thinnest point somewhere just before the edge. In other words a 1/4 hollow will have a short section before the edge that seems uniformly thin. In contrast on a 1/2 hollow the point where the edge reaches minimum thickness will be about 1/3 to 1/2 way back from the edge towards the spine.

I put some photos below. In order, wedge, near wedge, 1/4 hollow, 1/2 hollow, full hollow. This is my view, others may disagree. I will say it is really hard to get a good photo of a full hollow head on.

433E4DE9-A79A-48D0-8E62-11015754E46F.jpegE2BF800F-AB7D-4D08-BDC8-BE222D02DC31.jpeg9F8A2EC5-5D64-40D3-BB06-BC2CD1B266E5.jpegF0BAE386-8843-49A0-ACD5-5204FE712774.jpegC9CB4A67-1A6B-464F-A112-F07DD21BDE9D.jpeg
 
The difference between a wedge and a near-wedge is only material when you hone it. A wedge is hell. A near-wedge is still hell, but a much lesser hell. The feeling on the skin while shaving is not different in my experience.

but there may be a weight/mass difference between a near wedge and 1/4 hollow that does lend a bit of a difference in face feel. it does me, negligable as it may be. it also helps to compare the same sizes against each other.

If you can be happy with a 1/4 hollow, they'll likely be cheaper than a comparably sized near wedge in a similar condition. I prefer 1/4s, but I don't have the thickest, heaviest beard.
 
but there may be a weight/mass difference between a near wedge and 1/4 hollow that does lend a bit of a difference in face feel.
Agreed, the feel is different between 1/4 and wedge/near-wedge. My comment earlier was that wedge and near-wedge do feel the same to each other however.
 
The best, most intuitive explanation of the different grinds that I have seen was from @bluesman 7:


In theory we could talk about 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, ..., but my old eyes have trouble seeing differences finer than full, 1/2, 1/4 and wedge, so I have just been lumping 1/4 and near wedge together. But I can definitely see the argument that for a near wedge less than 1/4 of the span has been removed.
 
Full or True Wedge has no hollow at all. Some might even be convex.
Grinds with a shred of concavity, those showing a hint of daylight on a straightedge, some will call that a 'wedge' and others might call it a 'near wedge'. I might say it's a 'wedgy' grind.
1/4 hollow has a lot more 'scoop' in the hollow, not really wedgy.
If I was pressed to draw a line in the sand, I'd say 1/8 hollow or less could be 'near wedge'.
But then someone will say only 1/16 hollow or less is a 'near wedge'.
 
I feel like most of my near wedges had a softer feel than my 1/4s.
I have noticed this as well. I think it might have to do with the era their were made which favored softer metals. Also, all the wedges/near-wedge I have are French. I have seen British ones too, but I've never seen a Swedish, German or Japanese one.
 
I have noticed this as well. I think it might have to do with the era their were made which favored softer metals. Also, all the wedges/near-wedge I have are French. I have seen British ones too, but I've never seen a Swedish, German or Japanese one.

My Swedish near wedge is here:

 
I have noticed this as well. I think it might have to do with the era their were made which favored softer metals. Also, all the wedges/near-wedge I have are French. I have seen British ones too, but I've never seen a Swedish, German or Japanese one.
Most Swedish razor makers came into the game when true wedge razors no longer were made. Then again I do have a wedge Hellberg in my restoration drawer... its been there for years and I guess it'll stay there.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
It’s good to keep in mind that there are no clearly defined grind profiles, it all depended on the maker and grinder at the time that a particular razor was made. It’s also good to remember that the makers are mostly long gone now, so people who are using the terms (1/4 hollow, near wedge) have nothing to do with the makers or grinders, the grind description is the opinion of someone 100-200 years later who may not be knowledgeable.

The Japanese made a LOT of 1/4 hollow and heavier blades, they’re easy to find.They preferred heavier grinds. A singing Japanese almost doesn’t exist, the Cape 2000 and Tanifuji Favorit are about as close as you’ll get to a thing singing Japanese-made blade.
 
It’s good to keep in mind that there are no clearly defined grind profiles, it all depended on the maker and grinder at the time that a particular razor was made. It’s also good to remember that the makers are mostly long gone now, so people who are using the terms (1/4 hollow, near wedge) have nothing to do with the makers or grinders, the grind description is the opinion of someone 100-200 years later who may not be knowledgeable.

The Japanese made a LOT of 1/4 hollow and heavier blades, they’re easy to find.They preferred heavier grinds. A singing Japanese almost doesn’t exist, the Cape 2000 and Tanifuji Favorit are about as close as you’ll get to a thing singing Japanese-made blade.
This is true, I think the differences are pretty subtle. For instance, the two Koraat grinds (1/4 hollow and near wedge) are very similar. If you lay a straightedge from the spine to the edge you can see a very slight difference in the way they're curved.
koraat grinds.PNG

But then look at a Heljestrand 42, which is considered 1/4 hollow (photo from zenrazorjapan):
Helje 42.PNG

Versus a Henckels 72V, which most people call a near wedge (zenrazor's photo again):
Henckels 72v.PNG

Maybe there are differences that I'm not seeing, but they're all in the same ballpark to my eyes.

A razor by any other name would cut as keen.

Edit: this was mostly a look at 20th century takes on 1/4 hollow, especially Ulrik's, as presumably he knows exactly what he means. Obviously the older Sheffield near wedges were a lot closer to wedge than quarter hollow, as the spine and bevel reveals shows.
 
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I think this summarizes my view. To a given person, there is a difference between a 1/4 hollow and a near wedge. But different people have a different view of where the cut-off is. And this may vary over the centuries.

My view may be a little off. I would call everything in @Darth Scandalous above post a near wedge, with the possible exception of the Koraat 1/4 hollow - I’m somewhat struggling to figure out what precisely I’m looking at for that with the darker and lighter areas. To me a 1/4 hollow has a small but visible area right behind the bevel where the blade is a uniform thickness and the blade face surfaces are parallel. A near wedge is getting progressively narrower right up to the start of the bevel. But that means that the modern TTFFC (James Arman) 1/4 hollow that I recently acquired would really be a near wedge. As I said, my view may be a little off :)
 
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