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Thread: How Do I Know???

  1. #1
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    Default How Do I Know???

    Being new to straight razors how do I know the worth/value of older razors? Yesterday at a flea market I picked up a Shumate Anticeptic that was in good condition for $20. How can I know that I am not paying too much?

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    Whether it's use able and you like it or not. Just in case you didn't know, valuations are not permitted on the forum. It seems the only razors that go for real money are NOS or ones that fashion has picked up for no good reason. W & B go for silly money but are no better than any other Sheffield razor of the same period.
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    "Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."-Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782)

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    Moderator Razorfeld's Avatar
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    The value of a razor (or anything else for that matter) is dependent on how you feel about it. Antique stores, flea markets, estate sales and garage sales are the venue of bartering on the price. If you like something, feel the price is too high see if they will take a little less. Asking for a big price reduction is bad manners. Value is in the eyes and mind of the beholder.
    "The sharpening stones from time to time provide officers with gasoline."

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    I love Burls....... and Acrylic HARRYWALLY's Avatar
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    Go onto ebay and see what different brands are being sold for. That's the best way to give you a ball park on what a specific razor is worth. That being said, There are also things you need to look for, and if any of the following are present, you may want to walk away from the blade.

    Number 1 thing I look for when I find a blade at an antique store is rust on the edge. If there is any rust along the shaving edge, you need to walk away unless you're very certain that it doesn't go deep into the metal. Once you clean rust off the edge of a straight razor, there will be pits, or craters. This can lead to all sorts of problems.

    Number 2 is hone wear. I would say 70-80% of all the blades I find at antiques stores have major honing issues. Back in the day, these razors were tools, and guys use to hone the crap out of these blades. If there's too much hone wear on the toe, or too much hone wear on the heal, you may need to walk away as well. Too much hone wear in general can also be a red flag, even if it is even across the length of the blade.

    Number 3 Cracks and chips. Don't buy a razor with a crack or a chip, unless it's very small and you know for certain it can be honed out.

    Cracked, broken, cell rot scales are a grey area. If you can replace the scales, or pay to have them replaced by a professional, then this isn't an issue. Many antique store razors will have broken scales. Don't let this deter you, they can be replaced. But, most times one of the above will be an issue as well. Also, a warped blade is also something you should look for. I've found many in good condition that were severely warped and were a pain to hone.

    Hope this helps. I love searching for razors at antique stores. Sometimes I think they are begging to be found and put back into use again. Happy hunting!
    Burls, Girls, and all things that Swirl....

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    Fatty Boom Boom WW243's Avatar
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    I would add this quote from a poem by Rudyard Kipling to help you on your path:

    "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same"
    "Call me Ishmael"
    CUTS LANE WOOL HAIR LIKE A Saus-AGE!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    I have been at this for a while and have never figured out why some razors sell for what they do, both high and low. It is first and foremost about the general or overall condition, because for me the most important factor is that the blade will shave again. As long as it is a razor that pleases you, you are not financially inconvenienced by the purchase, and it causes no problems with your spouse because it's another razor, the price is right.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Great info, thanks. What is cell rot in scales?

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    Nemo me impune lacessit RobinK's Avatar
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    The site has a search function, and a Wiki (ineptly labelled "Library", and equally comatose, yet still useful) that will answer the cell rot question, along with many others. I think you will find this useful, too: Straight Razor Magazine: The Straight Razor Magazine's eBay Purchasing Primer

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  11. #9
    I love Burls....... and Acrylic HARRYWALLY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atsandan View Post
    Great info, thanks. What is cell rot in scales?
    Cell rot is something that happens to old celluloid scales. The scales actually start to give off a gas that inevitably, will start to rust the blade.

    Here is a blade in the early stages of Cell rot.
    Name:  IMG_20151115_123349.jpg
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    You can see a bit of fine rust forming on the heel of this blade. Blades like this can sometimes be saved, but it can take a lot of elbow grease to remove the damage it has caused. The scales need to be removed immediately in order to save this blade from any further damage.

    And here is a picture of a blade that has been completely destroyed by Cell Rot. I keep this blade around specifically to show what it looks like. No amount of TLC will make this razor shave again.

    Name:  IMG_20160103_171709.jpg
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    Any razor that you might have that is off gasing like this, should be kept separate from all other razors.
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    Burls, Girls, and all things that Swirl....

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