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Why shouldn't I. Gold Dollar

Hi all,

As it says in the title. Why shouldn't I buy a gold dollar that has been properly sharpened. You can find reputable sellers doing them for under £20 on ebay. I have watched shavers who have Dovos and Bokers etc who also use gold dollars compare them favourably. What would I be missing out on exactly? Is it a law of diminishing returns thing?
 
no reason why not to. a GD can be very serviceable, and the nicer the model or fix, the more nicer the GD!

depending on the model, you'd be thinking about the grind, the finish and perhaps scales.. otherwise it'll shave fine once the the bevel angle is a-ok and bevel is set, might not be the prettiest once the bevel angle is good to go, but again it's 20 pounds and not much to lose.. I think the diminish returns amount is way over this, in terms of quality of grind, finish, etc, but if all you want to do is shave satisfactorily, should be ok.

tell us which model you are interested in.
 
Not much really, except the craftmanship. Most gold dollars come with really crappy plastic scales, whereas you can get Dovo in Olivewood, Cocobolo or even Mammoth ivory.
The Gold dollar properly honed with shave fine. However, the feel of the blade won't have the softness of an old sheffield or the sing of a Filarmonica, or whatever differences each grind and steel quality brings.
 
no reason why not to. a GD can be very serviceable, and the nicer the model or fix, the more nicer the GD!

depending on the model, you'd be thinking about the grind, the finish and perhaps scales.. otherwise it'll shave fine once the the bevel angle is a-ok and bevel is set, might not be the prettiest once the bevel angle is good to go, but again it's 20 pounds and not much to lose.. I think the diminish returns amount is way over this, in terms of quality of grind, finish, etc, but if all you want to do is shave satisfactorily, should be ok.

tell us which model you are interested in.
I think the model is the 66
 
Not much really, except the craftmanship. Most gold dollars come with really crappy plastic scales, whereas you can get Dovo in Olivewood, Cocobolo or even Mammoth ivory.
The Gold dollar properly honed with shave fine. However, the feel of the blade won't have the softness of an old sheffield or the sing of a Filarmonica, or whatever differences each grind and steel quality brings.
Well like you said. I don't think the potential crappyiness of the scales will effect the shave, unless they are poorly balanced? Also I might get something fancier if I end up liking it. Just figured its a good stepping stone instead of starting with 80£ on a base level boker/dovo. I can get this and if I like it go for a razor thats a step up from entry level.

I understand that the grind of the whole blade would effect the sound it makes while shaving. Not sure how the softness of the shave would would be impacted exactly though? Surely that's more a characteristic of the edge- which we established here is properly sharpened. What other factors of the blade could impact it?
 
Well like you said. I don't think the potential crappyiness of the scales will effect the shave, unless they are poorly balanced? Also I might get something fancier if I end up liking it. Just figured its a good stepping stone instead of starting with 80£ on a base level boker/dovo. I can get this and if I like it go for a razor thats a step up from entry level.

I understand that the grind of the whole blade would effect the sound it makes while shaving. Not sure how the softness of the shave would would be impacted exactly though? Surely that's more a characteristic of the edge- which we established here is properly sharpened. What other factors of the blade could impact it?

Of the older models, my fav is the 66, easily mod-able, and imho the black plastic scales are the least offensive to me outside of the w59s scales, but i don't like that razor.

the gold dollars can suffer from grinds that are not symmetrical on both sides.. is it that a death knell, no but it's not optimal...
it can also suffer from grinds that do not symmetrically go all the way to the same horizontal line across the spine, which can lead to some bevel reveal differences from point to heel as well. is that the same as the first, kinda but not exactly.
but if i understand correctly, the 66s are better than they used to be, especially re: shoulders. the wonkiness of the scales may require you to guide the blade into the slot very carefully. but you should be doing that with note anyway..

i wouldn't avoid them at all, in fact i have a dozen or so for messing around with..

i say go for it.. the grind is not so much the sound, but the flex of the blade and usually ease of honing, usually the thinner the grind, the easier to hone, but also easier to muck up.. some like a heavier grind due to their "heavier" beards, but ime it's not so much an issue.

make sure the vendor is really hones the gold dollars, i feel like i heard some say they are shave ready, but perhaps not so much. $30 seems to be a pretty average cost iirc for the 66 ready to go.
 
Of the older models, my fav is the 66, easily mod-able, and imho the black plastic scales are the least offensive to me outside of the w59s scales, but i don't like that razor.

the gold dollars can suffer from grinds that are not symmetrical on both sides.. is it that a death knell, no but it's not optimal...
it can also suffer from grinds that do not symmetrically go all the way to the same horizontal line across the spine, which can lead to some bevel reveal differences from point to heel as well. is that the same as the first, kinda but not exactly.
but if i understand correctly, the 66s are better than they used to be, especially re: shoulders. the wonkiness of the scales may require you to guide the blade into the slot very carefully. but you should be doing that with note anyway..

i wouldn't avoid them at all, in fact i have a dozen or so for messing around with..

i say go for it.. the grind is not so much the sound, but the flex of the blade and usually ease of honing, usually the thinner the grind, the easier to hone, but also easier to muck up.. some like a heavier grind due to their "heavier" beards, but ime it's not so much an issue.

make sure the vendor is really hones the gold dollars, i feel like i heard some say they are shave ready, but perhaps not so much. $30 seems to be a pretty average cost iirc for the 66 ready to go.
Guy runs a honing service and has over 150 sales and no negative reviews so looks good to me.
Thanks for your input. So the main disadvantage is that if I get an old bad one is that the grind- not of the edge but the whole blade- could be wonky so every time you need to sharpen it, it would be a challenge. Am I understanding correctly?
 
You should. They make a great first razor which you can gague your interest in continuing to use a straight. Later they are a great way to learn to hone or use it as a travel razor. I have 6 of them and use them regularly, and while the craftmanship is lacking, they work just fine.
 
There is nothing wrong with a properly honed Gold Dollar razor. One of my first straight razors was a Gold Dollar 208 that I purchased shave-ready from Wet Shaving Products. It will give an excellent shave, but the steel is soft, so the edge does not last long. The current price for the razor is $44.99 which is around 32 British pounds at the current exchange rate. Razor Emporium has a slightly higher price of $50.

Thus, I am a little suspicious of a razor selling for 20 pounds. Although you claim the seller is reputable, be aware that there is no official definition of "shave ready". It takes time to do a full bevel set on a new razor and bring it to shave ready status. One reputable razor honing service in the UK is Invisible Edge. They charge 29.16 pounds for honing including return postage. Thus, if you pay 20 pounds for a razor, while it may be sharp, it might not have the best edge for shaving.

We have the same situation here in the States. The typical cost to hone a razor is $25-30. I have seen posts from those who have purchased Gold Dollar razors advertised as "shave ready" at a low price only to have to send them out to someone else to have them properly honed before they could shave with them. Thus, do some research to make sure the vendor you select is able to hone the razor to your satisfaction. It may well be that the vendor is offering the razor at an attractive price in order to secure you as a potential customer for future purposes (a marketing strategy known as loss-leader). It this is the situation, the razor may be a bargain. Then too, there may be those who enjoy honing razors and they are willing to do it without making a profit. However, if the vendor has taken shortcuts in the honing process to be able to offer a low price, the purchase will be a poor value. Buyer beware!

If your initial experience with a straight razor is not good, you might well give up altogether. That would be tragic. That is why I typically advise getting something other than a Gold Dollar razor as your first razor. Remember that a straight razor is a lifetime investment. There are many razors well over 100 years old that still give a great shave.
 
There is nothing wrong with a properly honed Gold Dollar razor. One of my first straight razors was a Gold Dollar 208 that I purchased shave-ready from Wet Shaving Products. It will give an excellent shave, but the steel is soft, so the edge does not last long. The current price for the razor is $44.99 which is around 32 British pounds at the current exchange rate. Razor Emporium has a slightly higher price of $50.

Thus, I am a little suspicious of a razor selling for 20 pounds. Although you claim the seller is reputable, be aware that there is no official definition of "shave ready". It takes time to do a full bevel set on a new razor and bring it to shave ready status. One reputable razor honing service in the UK is Invisible Edge. They charge 29.16 pounds for honing including return postage. Thus, if you pay 20 pounds for a razor, while it may be sharp, it might not have the best edge for shaving.

We have the same situation here in the States. The typical cost to hone a razor is $25-30. I have seen posts from those who have purchased Gold Dollar razors advertised as "shave ready" at a low price only to have to send them out to someone else to have them properly honed before they could shave with them. Thus, do some research to make sure the vendor you select is able to hone the razor to your satisfaction. It may well be that the vendor is offering the razor at an attractive price in order to secure you as a potential customer for future purposes (a marketing strategy known as loss-leader). It this is the situation, the razor may be a bargain. Then too, there may be those who enjoy honing razors and they are willing to do it without making a profit. However, if the vendor has taken shortcuts in the honing process to be able to offer a low price, the purchase will be a poor value. Buyer beware!

If your initial experience with a straight razor is not good, you might well give up altogether. That would be tragic. That is why I typically advise getting something other than a Gold Dollar razor as your first razor. Remember that a straight razor is a lifetime investment. There are many razors well over 100 years old that still give a great shave.
I'd like to get a peggies before I make a 100 year investment. As I stated earlier. It would be nice to try out straight shaving then invest in a razor that is above entry level (about 80 pounds here)

As For honing they said they started on a 4k, then 8k and finished with a Belgian coticule. Is that good enough?
 
I'd like to get a peggies before I make a 100 year investment. As I stated earlier. It would be nice to try out straight shaving then invest in a razor that is above entry level (about 80 pounds here)

As For honing they said they started on a 4k, then 8k and finished with a Belgian coticule. Is that good enough?
That will get the job done, but it is more about the skill of the honer than the stones.

For twenty quid you are not risking too much. You will also need to get a strop, though.
 
Im with Ray on this.
A GD gets the job done but not for long. The edge doesnt hold up as long as a standard razor. Here in the States you can buy vintage straights shave ready for around the same cost if you look around.

Spend very little more and get a razor that will hold an edge, hone up without having to do tricks to get it sharp. Then there is the Coticule. Ive never, NEVER, found a coticule edge i like. They are never keen enough. Thats just my opinion. The person doing the honing has to know how to hone. Not sharpen knifes. The stones are only half of what is needed to do the job.

And before anyone says anything about coties, ive tried edges from some of the best cotie users. Nope! JMO. YMMV.

I have a GD. It gave me something to learn to regrind and reshape. Not hone on. Vintage American blades are best for honing schooling.
 
If you are unsure about shaving with a straight then yeh. If you think it is something you will stick with I'd get a vintage from griffith shaving goods
 
One more thing to think about...
If you buy a G.D. and find you're just not going to get into Straight Razor shaving, you spend the 30 bucks and there it sits. If you buy a vintage American razor from a real reputable person, Like one from this or other forums that hone by hand, You could sell it for about what you paid if you don't like S.R. shaving. OH, I guess you could use the G.D. to open envelopes. :001_tt2:
 
The lowest cost item from china is just that, made as cheap as possible. Some people do delight in having the cheapest stuff in all categories, anything to save money for them, and all the power to them. GD might be an OK option if your learning to hone and won't sacrificing a few in the name of your honing progressing/education purposes

I'm of the opinion a cheaper vintage is better value over the long haul, especially one pre-prepared by someone. The standard quality is what comes out of europe, usa or japan, and it gives you better historical perspective and some authenticity. To me that is what you will miss. If you tired of it, you will easily be able to get rid of it due to resale value.
 
Guy runs a honing service and has over 150 sales and no negative reviews so looks good to me.

Thanks for your input. So the main disadvantage is that if I get an old bad one is that the grind- not of the edge but the whole blade- could be wonky so every time you need to sharpen it, it would be a challenge. Am I understanding correctly?

it would mainly be a challenge once to get the initial shaping of the bevel right. thats about it.

There is enough going on for a straight razor to make something that looks simple, complicated. Lots of 66 specimens come with a geometry that could be better. A asymmetrical grind and/or too fat or too skinny a spine affects that geometry and the initial bevel set needs to be done correctly. Not hard, but part of the craftsmanship that people are talking about with better made razors.

to make a long story more short, if the honer does a good job of checking geometry, great! If they just hone it up and its got too big a bevel angle, you might not think it’s good and too thin and you might not think its good, either. Will you even notice as a new shaver and attribute correctly, probably not that much, but its a lot harder than slipping in a new blade in a DE to address.

regardless of the issues above, GDs and other straight razors are awesome and just be an informed consumer. Hopefully the positive feedback is merited and you’ll get a great razor to start out a great way to shave!! Btw, i’d get one GD and one vintage in decent shape. Thats the way to go!
 
@Karlahn there are Gold Dollar razors and there are Gold Dollar razors. The cheaper ones have scales of one-piece ABS plastic. The scales are so light that the balance point (when opened 180°) is at about the shoulder. Most better SR's have their balance point at about the pivot pin.

Balance point of a SR is a personal preference thing. All my SR's (except for my cheaper GD's) balance near the pivot pin. When I shave with a cheaper GD, I do notice the difference and this tends to put me off my shave a bit. Others do not mind the difference in balance.

For a relatively cheap well balanced first SR, I would recommend a Titan ACRM-2 T.H.60 available on AliExpress for under £15 including shipping. This comes with a factory honed edge so it will need professional honing before first use. The T.H.60 is also a bit harder than most GD's so it holds its edge better.

IMG_20210928_120224.jpg

As others have said, whatever you do, do not shave with a SR that does not have a truly shave-ready edge. We would hate for you to be put off SR shaving and miss out on the enjoyment that this gentlemanly art will give you.

If you end up in the SR rabbit hole, there are always matching seven-day sets to aspire to.

IMG_20210804_142632.jpg
Every gentleman of (at least modest means) should own a matching seven-day set of straight razors. The set above will set you back about £900.
 
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“I don't think the potential crappyiness of the scales will effect the shave,”


Oh yes they will.

Get it out of your system, but buy one with good scales. Yes they have blade issues, but floppy scales make the razors difficult to strop well, and you will be stropping it daily. Your edge is only as good as your stropping.

You are grossly under estimating the role of properly made and fitting scales.

A few dollars more are an excellent investment. They can be made to shave… but, there is shaving, and there is Shaving…

This morning I shave with a razor that is close to 150 years old. Kinda the same thing as a Gold Dollar… no not really.
 
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