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Thread: Vintage wedge vs modern hollow ground?

  1. #21
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Mar 2012
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelW View Post
    Very interesting. I have a razor of unknown date but probably second quarter of the 20th Century which is clearly not German (it is marked "NBS Empire Made") which is flat on one side but very hollow ground on the other. It is rather cheap looking and has what appears to be a Bakelite handle.

    For me however the jury is still out on whether the very hollow grinding is a benefit. The cutting angle of the blade is the same and it would chip more easily. The one practical advantage I can see, other than shave quality, is that as the razor continues to be sharpened the honing edge will remain narrow whereas in the flatter blade it could get much wider.
    It does sound like what you have is a microtome and not a razor.

    How wide a bevel will be is usually related to the relationship between the spine width and the blade width, blade geometry. Ideally the ratio between the two allows for a 17 degree bevel angle. If the spine is too narrow the bevel will be wide and if it is smaller than optimum the bevel will be smaller. Add to that the theory that as you hone, without tape on the spine, you are removing metal from the spine as well as from the blade which should keep the ratio the same and therefore the bevel size should not change. That is the theory but in practice over a hundred plus years of use and heavy handed honing have left many a razor with a spine that is too narrow for the blade width and a large bevel as a consequence.

    Anyway, like others have said, the choice of grind is a personal preference as all grinds will shave well assuming the blade is ground and tempered properly as well as honed to the same degree of sharpness. Enjoy them all for what they have to offer.

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  3. #22
    Senior Member
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    mountainside North Alabama
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian1 View Post
    Normally I prefer hollow razors but if I go a week or two without shaving I like the wedge more.
    2 or 3 days and I grab the a wedge.
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  4. #23
    I'm a social vegan. I avoid meet. JBHoren's Avatar
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    Greenacres, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by tintin View Post
    i prefer a heavy and bigger blade myself,love the silence and stealth of a wedge. (though for some reason i find them harder to hone than a hollow grind)
    I'm with you on the "silence and stealth of a wedge", but we part company over "heavy and bigger blade". I've got a good number of 9/16" and 5/8" near-wedges, and I get a much better, more enjoyable shave with them, than with larger and/or heavier wedges or full-hollow ground razors. I include - and -hollow grinds in the "near-wedge" family. This combination of grind and size was very popular among American straight-razor manufacturers from the later part of the 19th century and on through the mid-20th century.
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  5. #24
    Junior Member
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    Camdenton, MO
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    I have near wedge, half hollow, and full hollows. I have very tough whiskers around the chin and upper lip. In my experience the flex that full hollows have makes them a little jumpy when attacking those tough beard areas, causing nicks. The half hollows are less so, and the near wedges mow right through them. This is especially true if the razors are not right off the stones and are not at optimal sharpness. So my conclusion is that your razor grind should match your beard type.
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