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Thread: $1000 vs $50 shave

  1. #11
    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider. Everyone goes for a name. Filarmonica, Henckels, Iwasaki, and anything with a 14 on it.

    In vintage razors, particularly Solingens, much quality can be had at little cost.
    Why?
    Because hundreds of expert maker's names are lost to history or are relatively obscure due to WWII.
    They are not the names which are foremost in the forums or those which command high prices.
    If newer guys (and SOME older ones) would learn what to look for in a QUALITY vintage razor, Nice ones can be had reasonably. As good or better than the aforementioned marques.

    An old SB Anchor razor sold by Muntz & Co. No..Not a Wade and Butcher FBU!
    Would not trade it for one. Blade cost 85 bucks.

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    A fine German blade sold by John Holler of New York.
    Not name recognition as with Henckels......50 dollar blade. Sweet shaver.
    Would not trade for a Henckels.....
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    The unknowns like this 7/8 Pattern Solingen. No idea who made it. Still looking.....
    Cleaned-up and honed. Not even unpinned. Trade for a Filarmonica? No Thanks!
    37 bucks....

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    None of these names will make someone a god on the forums.
    In fact, I own Henckels, Iwasaki, and Filarmonica.
    I like the shaves from razors such as this every bit as the big names.

    Sometimes more!

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  3. #12
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharptonn View Post
    In vintage razors, particularly Solingens, much quality can be had at little cost.
    Why?
    Because hundreds of expert maker's names are lost to history or are relatively obscure due to WWII.
    This

    you could buy 10 quality lesser known or unknown branded blades instead of 1 "big name" one and notice no difference in the shave

  4. #13
    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TristanLudlow View Post
    This

    you could buy 10 quality lesser known or unknown branded blades instead of 1 "big name" one and notice no difference in the shave
    And so therein lies the issue of knowing what to look for.
    Condition, condition.

  5. #14
    Moderator Razorfeld's Avatar
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    Do so enjoy this thread. Reflects my viewpoint exactly. Two of my very best shavers are old, beat up, no-name razors. If there was a disaster and I had to get somewhere safe I'd grab my higher price razors to use for trade for essentials if things got that bad and my two no-namers for everyday use and self-defense when needed.
    "The sharpening stones from time to time provide officers with gasoline."

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    Senior Member markbignosekelly's Avatar
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    This cheeky number came up the other week which I completely forgot to bid on. Went for ten quid! Slap Thiers Issard on it and you would've had many bids and gone for a lot more.

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    https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Fre...gAAOSwbxhaykKe

  7. #16
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    The champion is here, for EUR 2.50:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ANCIEN-CO...72.m2749.l2649
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  8. #17
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    Hot damn, and those are my favorite kind of shavers too!

    Besides recently bought Heljestrand, Soderen and Berg framebacks, I've made it a habit of buying lesser known razors for very low prices, the value is amazing.

    Depending on the state, I often don't bother to polish 'em up; get out the stones and get em ready for action; there is a lot of charm in shaving with "forgotten" brands

  9. #18
    Nemo me impune lacessit RobinK's Avatar
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    Well, it's been almost ten years since I wrote https://shavelibrary.com/w/Shopping_list_for_beginners, but very little has changed, I see.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharptonn View Post
    Another thing to consider. Everyone goes for a name. Filarmonica, Henckels, Iwasaki, and anything with a 14 on it.
    You are actually addressing three separate issues here.

    1. #14 blades were all made in Solingen, and ground by God knows whom. Everybody loves the look of these blades, but - and that's the kicker - the mass produced ones are the most boring. Such as the #14 Filarmonicas. A Hermann Mehl, or a Guillermo Hoppe ground #14 razor, however, or one of the unobtainable old #14 Revisor master pieces... that is a different story entirely. Basically, people are paying often insane amounts of money for the equivalent of a Mercedes E class, thinking they got themselves a Porsche. Nice razors, but the price/novelty ratio is surprisingly low.
    2. Iwasaki razors are rare, because they were never mass produced. And like Swedes and Germans, the Japanese tend to strive for perfection, making these razors even more interesting.
    3. Filarmonica and Henckels razors, by contrast, were mass produced. Which is why they are among the most readily available vintage razors on eBay. Along with DublDucks, the epitomy of razor hype. None of them are bad razors. In the same way that a Ford Focus is not a bad car.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharptonn View Post
    In vintage razors, particularly Solingens, much quality can be had at little cost.
    Why?
    You made solid points, but you forgot the most important one in my opinion: The production of razors was based on the division of labour. Which means that what ended up as Henckels, Puma, DublDuck or whatever could have been made by anyone. There are too many mystiques being cashed in on my opinion, especially when "large" brand names are concerned. When it comes to Solingen, a razor is a razor is a razor. Yes, there are masterpieces around. But they are unique, and you will most definitely not find any on eBay. And yes, a Meisterstück is not what one typically associates with a "master piece".

    There is another point, too, and that one is less obvious: Nostalgia. As in, people tend to romanticise the making and use of razors. Most of the production process was not performed by master grinders in prestigious workshops. Razor making was, in fact, one of the shittier jobs in Solingen, and widows, invalids, and children played an important role. Nothing nostalgic about that. Forging razors was piecework. Think of a dimly lit, unheated shed with a long conveyor belt driving a dozen or so hammers. Workers throwing finished products over their shoulders onto the floor of the shed, where someone with a wheelbarrow came to mop them up. There are guided tours of one such production facility still available if you ever make it to Solingen. It was noisy, smelly, and generally unpleasant.

    So, yes, that $50 path is the one to go, really. The market for razors is crazy, and has been for years. Beginners stand absolutely no chance of getting a good deal on a hyped razor. But there are decent razors to be had for little money still if you know where to look.
    32t, Maladroit, BobH and 7 others like this.

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    As one of the more resident newbies. I can say I have definitely spent some highish dollars for a few razors now. It wasn't a desire to get a better shave. I appreciate beautiful things. I found myself drawn to some of the $200ish and $300 ish razors. The style and looks were appealing. I'm still using the same stuff and having fun developing a taste so to speak for equipment.

    I have personally deeply appreciated the comments and guidance publically and privately from people about razors, equipment, potential buys, and all the rest. In no way have I ever felt talked down to or bullied. I'm an open over the top person and for me, it's nice to have people say "you don't need that". Thanks for the post!

  12. #20
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoman View Post
    I found myself drawn to some of the $200ish and $300 ish razors. The style and looks were appealing.
    You don't need that, Theoman!
    Come to your senses!

    sharptonn and Gasman like this.

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