Razor Brands To Avoid

I got one of those artamis razors as a best man gift.

Out of the box the edge was useless. I've never shaved with a straight razor before, I do sharpen my knives up with a slate wet stone to the point of been able to shave with them so I have a rough edge idea.

Anyway I re honed it on a vintage razor hone I use for my kitchenware I suspect it's about 5K. Then honed it on a green stainless polish on a glass block, Before stropping with a little more of the green stainless polish.

The edge has actually come up pretty well. It's not an easy steel to sharpen I suspect it's high carbon steel or a monkey metal mixture, It has chinese stamps on the inside of the scales. It does however seem to be holding an edge, and the point definitely has a ring to it.

The first shave I had (single direction) with it I got 1 tiny cut just under my nose, Second time (2 directions on face) no cuts at all. I'm up to shave number 8 with it and still no problems, Just doing a glass block strop before each shave on the green paste. The next shave I have I'm going to attempt a full 3 way shave on the face. I'm not brave enough to do that on my neck yet!
The flesh was weak. Went for the 10$ Gold Dollar. Honed and stropped it tonite. Will be trying it in the morning! Will let you know what happens. (I hope:)-)
(10$ included postage)
Johnus said:
The flesh was weak. Went for the 10$ Gold Dollar. Honed and stropped it tonite. Will be trying it in the morning! Will let you know what happens. (I hope:)-)
(10$ included postage)
Which model was the $10 gold dollar? 100? 200? I think 208 is a little more expensive again.

Did you need to grind down anything off the shoulder or heel before you could hone it?
I have the 66 and the 208. Bought the 208 because I thought the scales would be nicer. (Design ok quality???).
Both needed honing, didn't grind anything. Think I like the 66 better.
Wish I had found this site sooner! I bought a cheap razor from Amazon (£26), stropped it up and it made my face look like I had lost a fight against a cheese grater! A mate, and fellow member, mentioned this site and hey presto, the thing has gone in the bin and I am awaiting the arrival of my new Dovo! The moral here is clearly "buy nice or buy twice!"
Alas i found this site too late and have recently bought a rubbish Enzo England razor but on the other hand the honing stone is not too bad. Time to look at Dovo and Boker I think. Glad i found you guys.
Neil Miller said:
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)
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).

First time here, I am looking into buying my first straight razor... thanks for this post it will help alot and stop me getting scammed, very informative...
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