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Good and Bad Straight Razor Brands

General Rule

General rule of thumb, Sheffield, German/Solingen and American made vintage razors are good. Modern Thier-Issard, Dovo, Boker are good too.

Dovo vs. Thier-Issard

Most straight razor users would agree with the following rules of thumb for NEW TI's and Dovos...
  1. A Thiers Issard will often be much more difficult to hone than a Dovo.
  2. A Thiers Issard will typically shave better than a Dovo.
  3. A Thiers Issard will hold an edge longer than a Dovo.
  4. A low end Dovo will typically shave as well as a high end Dovo, where as this is not the case with TI's.
  5. A Dovo will offer the best value, in terms of what you get for the $.
  6. Dovos have better gold wash, gold plating, and pinning jobs.

The Good Brands

This list isn't all encompassing, and is in no particular order, however if listed below, and in condition, it should be a superlative shaver. Again, this isn't comprehensive, but it rather a grouping of some of the more common, high quality razors available at flea markets, on eBay and from fellow forum members to look out for.

From the USA

  1. Waterville
  2. Genco/Geneva Cutlery Co
  3. Case (W.R. Case & Sons)
  4. Winchester
  5. Sta-Sharp
  6. Craftsman (There is also a German version that is superlative)
  7. Hart Steel

From Germany

  1. Dorko
  2. Dubl Duck
  3. Dovo
  4. Bismarck
  5. Puma
  6. Boker
  7. Henckels
  8. Imperial
  9. Revisor
  10. Ralf Aust

From France

  1. Thiers Issard (LeGrelot, P. Hospital)
  2. Lecoultre

From England

From Asia

  1. Gold Dollar (Not of great quality but with some work can be made shave-ready.)
  2. Titan (have been making straight razors for the Asian market for over 100 years). Not normally shave ready when new but with normal honing can be made so.

The Bad Brands

Razors to STAY AWAY from.

By and large most very inexpensive razors, or (by and large) razors made in Pakistan, India or China. Some brands to stay away from Zeepk, Double Arrow, etc. If the razor is not stamped with a brand name, avoid it.

On auction and craft sites you will also find many RSOs (Razor Shaped Objects), usually with damascus steel blades and luridly colourful scales. Be advised that these objects are only designed for display, and not intended to be shaved with or honed.

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