Collectible Straight Razors
Razors have been used for shaving purposes for centuries in the home and barber shop. Straight razors are folding razors that feature sharp, blunt-tip steel blades. Although straight razors are still one type of razor used for shaving, vintage straight razors are available, too.What features make vintage straight razors collectible?
While some blades have more recent interpretations of classic straight razor blades and designs, the vintage versions of the same razors are important pieces. Perhaps you intend to collect classic versions of some well-known models such as Dovo, Boker, or Filarmonica straight razors, or you'd like to use these blades from day-to-day shaving routines. Whatever the case, knowing what features make these razors desirable is the key to choosing the right blades for you.
- Straight razors can come from any well-known brand. Their handles and styles are classic but the blades on these razors are typically ready for use right out of the box. These razors are a great option if you're collecting straight razors to use.
- The type of steel used in a barber straight razor can make each razor highly sought after. Sheffield steel, Solingen stainless steel, or carbon steel are just a few of the more common types of antique straight razor blades.
- The grind of the stainless steel during the production of the blade is another feature in older straight razors and one that you may wish to use as a guide. Most straight razors used a thin, hollow grind to achieve a closer shave job.
- The handles, also called scales, are another piece of the razor puzzle here. They are often made from materials such as wood or metal, and some have various finishes or shines put to them. You can find shaving razor scales in both original and restored condition, with either one being collectible.
Many vintage or antique straight razors come from brands that have continuously made more barber blades, thus they've become trusted names in straight razor production. Some of the common ones for collecting include:
- Boker - A company that makes general purpose knife products, cutlery, and blades, as well as straight edge razors
- Wade and Butcher - Whose shaving blades include barber shave-ready products with Sheffield steel blades
- Black Levering - Features razors with special hollow ground barber blades
- Dovo - Makers of the Dovo Straight Razor
Whether you intend to use or display your straight barber razors, proper care and maintenance is a must. Follow these steps to ensure your razors are well-maintained.
- You'll need a leather strop to clean the blade after several months of shaving to give it a better edge, thus improving your shaving experience.
- A hone or sharpening stone will keep your blade sharp for an effective shave.
- You may want to clean and polish the handle scales of the razor after multiple shaves.