Razor Brands To Avoid

This list has been compiled in response to the ever-growing number of con-artists and scammers, mostly from the East, that are currently infesting the market place with what they describe as 'straight razors' but which are either incapable of taking a good edge, made of poor quality steel, are poorly made and assembled and which do not shave well if at all - usually due to a combination of all these things. They are usually to be had for £30 or less, although brand new. Be aware that you need to pay at least double for a new entry-level razor by a reputable maker (and even then some of these have very lax quality control which leave them with defects like warps, poor grinding, etc that render them sometimes unusable).

It is high time we, as consumers, fought back. These are not old, vintage or collectable items - they are brand new and they are intended to shave with. Clearly in most cases they cannot, and this must be some sort of infringement of the Trades Descriptions Act. In short, they are not suitable for their stated purpose. These people need stamping out - if you are unlucky enough to have been hood-winked by one of these re-sellers, then report them - eg to Ebay, to Amazon, to your local council Trading Standards Officer.

This list has not been compiled lightly - the brands listed have been seen first hand and evaluated, both in this country and in America, where there is a similar 'Razor Brands To Avoid' list on several shaving forums.

The list of Brands to Avoid:

Beauty & Barber
"Best Brand" (£5.59! Distributed by D.A.CH.S Deutschland)
G. B. Buckingham & Sons (include Damascus Steel razors in their line-up - they are not damascus, they just have an applied pattern)
Enzo England
Gold Arrow
Gold Dollar (can sometimes be OK after a lot of remedial work, but best avoided if you don't want to buy five to get one half decent razor)
Golden Barber (Hawk, Sovereign and Enzo make these)
Golden Salon (Enzo)
Haryali (several lines, have an 'H' on the scales)
Hen & Rooster
Edwin Jagger (very high rejection rate, some are OK)
Master Barbers
Master USA (the last three are all made by Master USA - in China. Poorly made, and described as a 'folding straight razor knife' they can be had for as little as $7.95 on some US sites)
Menrock - poor steel, very utilitarian scales
Razoor (usually in awful, chunky, one-piece wooden scales, vary in price between £40 and £70 - an expensive mistake)
Reproduction Freemason/Masonic razors (these are brand new, originate in the east, have plastic handles and cannot shave)
Cyril J Salter (very high rejection rate - some are OK)
Sanguine Scissors Ltd
Sovereign Razors
Sweeney Todd
Titanium (rainbow coloured blade)
Timor (only the new Timors, not the vintage ones - manufacturer is still the same: Giesen & Forsthoff. Some make decent shavers, but there is a high rejection rate).
Traditional Barbers Straight Razor (from Sanguine Scissors Ltd and others)

Anything with no makers mark on tang or blade.
Anything with a multi-coloured, rainbow hued blade.
Anything made from Damascus (pattern-welded) steel that has not been made by a known, reputable maker (examples of good makers are Zowada, Livi, Buddel, etc).
Anything called a 'Razor Knife' or 'Razor Shave Knife' or 'Shaving Knife.'
Anything from Pakistan or China.
Razors with compound wood/stainless steel handles, usually marked 'China' on back of tang.
Anything described as 'German Style' or 'German Made' without the 'Solingen' stamp on the tang, but see below.
Anything brand new marked as 'buy one get one free' that is under £30.
In fact, any brand new so-called razor that costs under £30.

'Solingen' stamped on the tang of a razor is usually a sign of good quality - BUT - unscrupulous makers sometimes send their inferior goods from countries like China to Germany, to be assembled in Solingen. This is a legal-loophole. Usually the 'Solingen' mark is not stamped but very poorly etched or laser-etched. If in doubt - avoid.

Most of the high-volume sellers listed above lurk on auction sites like Ebay, but there is a trend for them to appear on other market sites like Amazon.

Most of the high volume sellers listed above bundle their useless razors with useless strops, strop dressings, shaving brushes and bowls, etc - all at a remarkably low price.

Keep in the mind the old adage - 'if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!' (ie - its worthless).

Thanks guys. It really annoys me (that's easy though!) when good people get taken for a ride. It's daunting enough learning how to use a razor - you don't need to add being conned into the equation.

Regards, Neil
Spartacus said:
You could add Imperial, they're god-awful.
Done, Steve - thanks for reminding me - I have had personal experience of this particular flavour of junk, too!

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