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Razor Makers on the Decline

Acmemfg

Ambassador
Sadly it appears custom razor craftsmen are dropping out of the trade.
Tim Zowada, Brian Brown, and Ulrik Beyer (Koraat) have all indicated they are no longer making razors...at least for the foreseeable future if not for good.
I know little of other makers who are even smaller producers. Guys like Charlie Lewis, Joe Edson, Mastro Livi, Max Sprecher....I have never even seen one of their blades in the flesh.
Thankfully I have been fortunate, acquiring razors from a number of world class artisans.
Is anyone aware of other quality custom makers currently producing razors?
 
Tim Zowada is still making razors just not taking custom orders

Brian Brown has taken a break but commented on a post recently he would still be making razors

Charlie Lewis is also taking a break but says he will be making razors again.

Joe Edson doesn't take customs but is still making razors.

Devin Thomas is on break from making knives and razors but said he was hoping to return.

Guys taking custom orders:
Jenes Sandor, Art Razor, Snailforge, Drew Dick, Shave smith, Alex Jaques, Max Sprecher



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Ed Brice razors are phenomenal. I have two.


Snailforge razors are beautifully made and Bruno also makes wootz steel razors. I have three of his razors.


@bluesman7 makes a very fine razor - possibly the most elegant on the planet right now.

 
Bluesman7 blades are just simply gorgeous. It is my dream to own one of those razors. Seems like every time I think I will be able to get one something happens and I end up not being able to get one.
 
I am relieved I was able to purchase a Koraat last year before he closed the doors. Fantastic craftsmanship.

Another option is Rigarazor. I would consider his razors as semi custom. As far as I know, they are all 1/4 hollow. I have emailed him and he will make changes to blade design like adding a barber's notch and point type. His prices seem very reasonable. I have owned a Rigarazor and the Bohler steel remind me of Sheffield steel.
 

Acmemfg

Ambassador
I remember some other guys are out there. Jerry Stark is seemingly still making razors. Robert Williams I heard moved to Ireland and is off the grid. Michael Waterhouse I have not heard of for some time.....
Perhaps some new talent will show up on the horizon.
 
Koraat said on Facebook 3/3/2020:
"Since there are rumors circulating that we are out of business: that is not true. We only cannot accept new orders for important private reasons at the moment. I hope the problem will resolve within some weeks. Anyway we will continue to produce straight razors for many more years ;-)

best regards
Ulrik"

So, I'd say he will be back at it soon.
 
Ed Brice razors are phenomenal. I have two.


Snailforge razors are beautifully made and Bruno also makes wootz steel razors. I have three of his razors.


@bluesman7 makes a very fine razor - possibly the most elegant on the planet right now.

your such an enabler. :pipe:

So, I'd say he will be back at it soon.
indeed. i just got one in the mail today.
 
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I am relieved I was able to purchase a Koraat last year before he closed the doors. Fantastic craftsmanship.

Another option is Rigarazor. I would consider his razors as semi custom. As far as I know, they are all 1/4 hollow. I have emailed him and he will make changes to blade design like adding a barber's notch and point type. His prices seem very reasonable. I have owned a Rigarazor and the Bohler steel remind me of Sheffield steel.
Love my Rigarazor, I have a 7/8ths. Very good value for money!
 
Ed Brice razors are phenomenal. I have two.


Snailforge razors are beautifully made and Bruno also makes wootz steel razors. I have three of his razors.


@bluesman7 makes a very fine razor - possibly the most elegant on the planet right now.

@bluesman7 makes beautiful razors! I recently saw some of his works in process at the Denver Meet. Beautiful work!
 
Making razors is a passion thing. The effort in making them are seldom reflected in the price, its many many hours.
Late to the party but I just saw this thread: yes.
There are 2 things to consider. Firstly, compared to e.g. making kitchen knives, a lot of effort goes into making a straight razor. And when I make complex damascus, I spend several afternoons making each step of the billet, cleaning up, cutting, stacking, forgewelding, ... As you say it's hardly reflected in the price in a realistic way. I have said in the past: if I include the investment in handle materials and steel inventory as cost, I am still a small car's worth in the hole.

The second thing to consider is something I have discussed with several razor makers: the market has changed. Go back roughly 10 to 8 years. The straight razor world got an exponential influx of shavers, and there was a ton of interest in handmade razors. The demand was high, and everyone who put in their dues to learn to make them, could become successful. But that has changed. The straight razor hype has passed. And with that, demand for handmade razors has dropped noticeably.

It makes perfect sense that the list of people making razors is going to drop. First, anyone who needs to actually use the money to pay bills is starting to experience that the razor market is just not that profitable anymore. Second, people who love knifemaking in general and also love doing other type of knives, will switch focus to that.
 
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The second thing to consider is something I have discussed with several razor makers: the market has changed. Go back roughly 10 to 8 years. The straight razor world got an exponential influx of shavers, and there was a ton of interest in handmade razors. The demand was high, and everyone who put in their dues to learn to make them, could become successful. But that has changed. The straight razor hype has passed. And with that, demand for handmade razors has dropped noticeably.
I would never have guessed the market has changed like that. Interesting 🤔
 
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