Vintage v new?

Darrenj67

Senior Member
I've been straight shaving for less than a year and went down the route of vintage from ebay for the less cost or so I thought. As I've only used vintage I was wondering what the difference from new (modern) razors was or is it a case of an edge is an edge is an edge?
 
I've been straight shaving for less than a year and went down the route of vintage from ebay for the less cost or so I thought. As I've only used vintage I was wondering what the difference from new (modern) razors was or is it a case of an edge is an edge is an edge?
Have you achieved acceptable results ?
 

Darrenj67

Senior Member
There's a lot to explore I know. My best shaving razor at the moment is a 5/8 stiz that was nos. Seems I get on with the 5/8 6/8 size. Who knows as my skill level expands I might aquire some of the larger razors.
 
Well.... I'd say 95% of my straight razors are vintage, this should give you an idea about my preferences. However, that is, essentially, what it all boils down to: preferences.

It could be argued that these days razor makers have a much deeper knowledge and understanding of the steel itself; all that goes into forging a blade, grinding it, all the technical aspects of the whole process, including modern machinery, all that is vastly superior than in days gone by.


Still, one cannot ignore the obvious know-how of the blacksmiths two centuries ago, same as no one can dispute Antonio Stradivari, G. B. Guadagnini or J. B. Vuillaume's tecnical prowess in violin making. Plus, in both cases (razors and violins), the results speak for themselves. Hou can't fault the quality, you just can't.

Modern razors give you the chance to customize them, however, if the maker is willing to engage in such exercises. That is a big plus because, if you're willing to put your money where your imagination is (it can get pricey), the possibilities are endless. I have just two modern razors, both made by Drew Dick. One of them was his creation, but the other one, well that was his first (and, as far as I know, last, so far) traditional kamisori. It was something I commissioned specifically. I also had the chance to offer my input in certain aspects of the design, both of the blade and the guard, and that makes it a truly unique piece.


But you are right in one thing though: ultimately, an edge is an edge is an edge. If the steel is good if the grind is good, if it is well balanced, if it feels good in your hand and is well honed, it won't matter if it is modern or vintage.
 
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Russo

Legendary Member
Completely agreed with @Mastropiero
I own and have owned both, old and new. Its a question of preferences. In my opinion every straight razor has his own soul and his own performance.
 

UKRob

Forum GOD!
When it comes to aesthetics, it’s hard to beat a well restored vintage razor - take a look at the ‘Straight of the day’ thread and, in particular, the entries by @MarkP to see what I mean. However, many of the more desirable makes are at a premium and may also require a significant cost to restore - bringing them into the same price bracket as a custom made.

If you’re not too concerned with looks, then there are literally thousands of old razors on EBay to choose from, some of which require minimal work to make shave ready and which perform as well as any other razor.

My personal experience of custom razors has been on the negative side - an expensive Livi in particular does not live up to the hype. The only other experience was a very early effort from a maker new to razors - the quality was great but the overall balance and weight were completely out. Much as I admire the work of the well known makers, I have far too many razors to bother with any more at the moment.
 

JamieM

Hone your skills. ...
Rob, is right about the dimensions and especially the balance with some custom razors, usually made by custom knife makers who haven't quite thought through what they are actually trying to produce, having said that there is a way around this, I myself have had two custom razors made using drawings and measurements that I have made of my own vintage razor with all the small detail included, both were made by Cedric Christ, they were perfect both identical clones using modern steels, I still have one and it's a fantastic shaver, a Hoshi Tombo 6500 clone, here's the drawing I made and sent him, the drawing including finished razor, I wanted it in Suminagash steel with carbon fibre scales, here's both original and custom.

421 - GhJ100C.jpg
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107349685_10158289540051648_5640171535100121228_o.jpg
 
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