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Razor Makers on the Decline

I love my Ralf Aust and PRC razors—but they are somewhat plain compared to customs I see. I love the custom razors, but the high prices and small market of straight razor users will always limit how many these artists can sell.
 
I love my Ralf Aust and PRC razors—but they are somewhat plain compared to customs I see. I love the custom razors, but the high prices and small market of straight razor users will always limit how many these artists can sell.
True. There is a very limited market for the things i make, at the price i make those things for. I don't mind because for me it's just a hobby that pays for itself and nothing more. It's no coincidence that the people who need to make money target the lower cost carbon steel market. That is a much bigger pond, so to speak.

Plus they are more cost effective to make. I once measured and analysed the various actions involved in making different types of razor. Carbon steel razors with basic scales have the highest per-hour profit margin. The more expensive it gets, the lower it goes. The most expensive razors i made were 2000 usd and they were probably the lowest in profit (also because of materials)

These days it's also a lot less easy to break into the market. When i got into razor making, straight razor just happened to get into a massive upsurge in popularity and demand for customs. I was able to surf that wave and establish myself.

Someone starting today as a maker will have to work a lot more to sell enough to pay for sll the equipment you need, work at lower margins than we did 6 years ago, and need more luck to attract customers for high end pieces because that is a chicken and egg problem.

I discussed this with Howard Clark last year in texas where i showed him a beautiful 4" damascus kitchen knife and i told him what i charged. He said are you sure? That looks like a 550$ knife to me or more. And i said yes, but I'm not going to get that because in the kitchen knife world i am noone. But if this was a razor with my name, then 700 wouldn't be a problem. Or if you sold this knife, 700 would be fine too because people pay that for a howard clark knife.
 
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