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Review of Shavesmith Kamisori

It took a really long time to get this razor. I ordered it at the end of December and it arrived today. I almost canceled the order but I decided to be patient. I did have a few emails back and forth regarding the progress, though I was the one who initiated them.

I did not have very many specifications for this razor. I told him I liked the forged look. I wanted it to be symmectrical. A little spine work but nothing fancy. He offered to give it this bronzy kind of finish, which I agreed to. I asked for a full hollow, though I don't think it is full hollow.

Ok, so maiden voyage....rough waters. The razor is nicely crafted but the honing is...meh. It wanted to pull. I ran a complete pass wtg on my right side cheek. Usually that pass makes it smooth wtg...this did not. I decided to stop, as I knew it wasn't going to be a good shave. I broke out my stones and started honing on the Norton 8k. After maybe 120 or so passes, I went to the Naniwa 12k. I did a lot of passes on it too. I then did my balsa I got from Larry ay Whipped Dog. I stropped for 100 passes on my poorman's strop.

Results: bbs on cheeks and dfs on neck (which is almost always the case).

While the grind isn't as hollow as I envisioned, I am pleased with how it shaved...now that it is homed properly. Overall, I am satisfied. The wait was crazy long and the honing left me disappointed that I had to get it shave ready, but I like it.

I can't say I would order from shavesmith again because of the reasons mentioned above, but this razor shaves well and should last me my lifetime.



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That as stated is not a symmetric grind like a Western razor and is honestly not even close to a full hollow, it appears to be more closely to asymmetric as pictured here but only slightly so looking at the grind I would think it would shave more like a wedge.

Kamisori-Cross-Sections.jpg
 
Ok, so it is far from full hollow grind. It did shave well after honing but I really wanted a full hollow grind. Should I contact Christopher and say something? My worries are, i'll have to send it back and wait a long time to get it made correctly but at the same time I spent a lot of money on this razor to begin with only to wait a long time and it not be correctly made.

Or should I just ask for a refund and order from someone else like Brian Brown?

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I don't know, if it holds a good edge for a while without a lot of repeated trips to the hone I would be tempted to keep it as is. Edge retention is a big deal but that's just me. The lack of symmetry may be a blessing in disguise...
 
IMG_6339.jpg BBRW's makes a wondeful razor !!, i have found out over the last few years that I prefer more of a full hollow than not, I love the feedback I get from full hollows, but variety is the spice of life.

Here is the one and only kami i own:
 
Makers have their one definition of "Full Hollow", yours is far from what most would qualify as such. 1/4 maybe.

The thinnest blades I have seen lately have been from Korat, Cedric and Brian.
 
I ordered from ShaveSmith almost 8 months ago and still have not received my razor. I was told 3 to 4 months but that’s long gone. Christopher is nice but he never initiates the emails. Did anyone else have a similar experience?
 
I ordered from ShaveSmith almost 8 months ago and still have not received my razor. I was told 3 to 4 months but that’s long gone. Christopher is nice but he never initiates the emails. Did anyone else have a similar experience?

Peterhf- sadly, Chris is quite slow on delivery, and rudimentary (at best) when it comes to customer service. To provide some perspective, I commissioned a razor with Chris (in person) in April 2016, and received the razor 18+ months later. To be fair, I told him to take his time with the work. Moreover, I wanted a Damascus blade, which (at the time) was an entirely new process for him; he made it perfectly clear he'd need time to develop a process he felt comfortable with. I was okay with that (thinking it might slow things down two or three months - a miscalculation I alone own).

IMO, Chris is a pure-play artisan. He becomes consumed/obsessed with his work, judging completion by his standards for perfection, and lets the 'business' side of his trade slack. Also, based upon what I have experienced and collected, there are times where his understandable personal concerns cut significantly into production. At no time did I feel he was anything other than true to the 'artisan model' I just described. And, again, I found him to be uncommonly and deeply conscientious towards his craft and product.

My only wish: Chris become more mindful of the business side of his trade. He needs to realize production time is finite (hard for artists to understand), develop a sober assessment of production rate, systematically manage quoted lead times based upon production rate and backlog, and when understandable/inevitable bumps occur, be more proactive in managing customer expectations. Finally, I feel he'd be far better served by significantly raising his prices, as it would help reduce the drudge work (just mentioned), while keeping revenue neutral. All easy things to do for the business minded, but all too often difficult for an artisan to manage, as this kind of stuff is often viewed as a drag.

Hope this is helpful - just my experience and opinion - should anyone be drawn to his work, it's best to keep some version of above in mind to avoid any delivery frustration

Regards,

Weston
 
Peterhf- sadly, Chris is quite slow on delivery, and rudimentary (at best) when it comes to customer service. To provide some perspective, I commissioned a razor with Chris (in person) in April 2016, and received the razor 18+ months later. To be fair, I told him to take his time with the work. Moreover, I wanted a Damascus blade, which (at the time) was an entirely new process for him; he made it perfectly clear he'd need time to develop a process he felt comfortable with. I was okay with that (thinking it might slow things down two or three months - a miscalculation I alone own).

IMO, Chris is a pure-play artisan. He becomes consumed/obsessed with his work, judging completion by his standards for perfection, and lets the 'business' side of his trade slack. Also, based upon what I have experienced and collected, there are times where his understandable personal concerns cut significantly into production. At no time did I feel he was anything other than true to the 'artisan model' I just described. And, again, I found him to be uncommonly and deeply conscientious towards his craft and product.

My only wish: Chris become more mindful of the business side of his trade. He needs to realize production time is finite (hard for artists to understand), develop a sober assessment of production rate, systematically manage quoted lead times based upon production rate and backlog, and when understandable/inevitable bumps occur, be more proactive in managing customer expectations. Finally, I feel he'd be far better served by significantly raising his prices, as it would help reduce the drudge work (just mentioned), while keeping revenue neutral. All easy things to do for the business minded, but all too often difficult for an artisan to manage, as this kind of stuff is often viewed as a drag.

Hope this is helpful - just my experience and opinion - should anyone be drawn to his work, it's best to keep some version of above in mind to avoid any delivery frustration

Regards,

Weston

Well put...100% AGREED !!!

I can definitely relate to ShaveSmiths Passion/Obsession with the craft. Being continually and very involved in Barbering craft since age of 17yo my self (now 36) I can truly say that when you’re completely indulged in ur creative work, time tends to seize quite often. With that being said, ShaveSmith is an Artist first, then a craftsman, then a business man...The guy appears to be very committed to his work and means no harm yet as we all see the business side of things starts to suffer, which is very unfortunate...
 
Peterhf- sadly, Chris is quite slow on delivery, and rudimentary (at best) when it comes to customer service. To provide some perspective, I commissioned a razor with Chris (in person) in April 2016, and received the razor 18+ months later. To be fair, I told him to take his time with the work. Moreover, I wanted a Damascus blade, which (at the time) was an entirely new process for him; he made it perfectly clear he'd need time to develop a process he felt comfortable with. I was okay with that (thinking it might slow things down two or three months - a miscalculation I alone own).

IMO, Chris is a pure-play artisan. He becomes consumed/obsessed with his work, judging completion by his standards for perfection, and lets the 'business' side of his trade slack. Also, based upon what I have experienced and collected, there are times where his understandable personal concerns cut significantly into production. At no time did I feel he was anything other than true to the 'artisan model' I just described. And, again, I found him to be uncommonly and deeply conscientious towards his craft and product.

My only wish: Chris become more mindful of the business side of his trade. He needs to realize production time is finite (hard for artists to understand), develop a sober assessment of production rate, systematically manage quoted lead times based upon production rate and backlog, and when understandable/inevitable bumps occur, be more proactive in managing customer expectations. Finally, I feel he'd be far better served by significantly raising his prices, as it would help reduce the drudge work (just mentioned), while keeping revenue neutral. All easy things to do for the business minded, but all too often difficult for an artisan to manage, as this kind of stuff is often viewed as a drag.

Hope this is helpful - just my experience and opinion - should anyone be drawn to his work, it's best to keep some version of above in mind to avoid any delivery frustration

Regards,

Weston
Yes! I have commissioned to ShaveSmith a custom twin razor set with a custom box/strop in a similar style as his 7day razor set he has posted on his page. There has been some strict guidelines highlighted that he has to follow in order to get this set done right. Chris did respond back with an idea to what can be done in order to make this project completed correctly. That was a month or so before Christmas...So far it’s been about 3mo since the order has been placed and my wild guess is that this project will take a lot longer than the original 160 day time frame. Half of the full amount quoted has been payed and the other half will be deposited at the day of competition. At this point knowing what I know now, (thanx to badgerandblade and Y’all) I’m willing to stick to the original plan and hope to recieve my blades fairly soon.
 
Yes! I have commissioned to ShaveSmith a custom twin razor set with a custom box/strop in a similar style as his 7day razor set he has posted on his page. There has been some strict guidelines highlighted that he has to follow in order to get this set done right. Chris did respond back with an idea to what can be done in order to make this project completed correctly. That was a month or so before Christmas...So far it’s been about 3mo since the order has been placed and now I also starting to have some doubts when it comes to the original 160 day time frame. Either way Im willing to wait. Half of the full amount quoted has been payed and the other half will be deposited at the day of completion. I really wish for Chris to figure out this business related issues as soon as possible before things really get out of hand and keep doing what he loves while making his customers 100% satisfied!!!
 
how that i have more knowledge about grinds and spoke with chris a few times and ordered a razor from him as well similar to your,. i believe the grind on that is not a full hollow. it looks like what i got which is a Japanese style grind meant to be shaved with only one side. the side with the stamps should be on the outside. i think you can shave with both sides but that's not how it was envisioned. i would probably keep that razor as is. like the gentlemen mentioned above, "variety is the spice of life". its a beautiful razor. when i received mine the hone was ok, i found a local guy that will properly hone it for me. there is a good chance i will purchase another kaisori style razor from shavesmith again.
 
I ordered from ShaveSmith almost 8 months ago and still have not received my razor. I was told 3 to 4 months but that’s long gone. Christopher is nice but he never initiates the emails. Did anyone else have a similar experience?
I ordered in April, 2019!!! and STILL have not received anything, and it's Feb 2021!!! Christopher completely stopped replying to my emails... So disappointed...
 
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