The Rolls Razor

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Rolls Razor..:p
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Whist this isn't a Traditional Straight Razor I thought it perhaps would Fit into the Straight Razor Section quite well because its just a Shortened Straight Edge Hollow Ground Blade on the End of a Handle..:eek:

What is a Rolls Razor ?

It is a safety razor that is based on a segment of a wedge straight razor, that's fitted with a safety bar and is held by a handle... There were several of these adaptations of straight razors to safeties that came into the market in response to Gillette's invention of the safety razor. They all had reusable blades that were honed & stropped just like straights..o_O

Brief History of the Rolls Razor

The eponymous product was a sophisticated safety-razor which promoted with the slogan "The razor that is stropped and honed in its case"..It has been Reported that King Gillette Hated the Rolls because it took away a lot his sales away into the 1950s in a lot of the Poorer States in the USA because it was so cheap to maintain..:rolleyes:

The Rolls trademark, "The Whetter," was registered in the US in 1950; the claimed first use was 1922. The US patent for the method of attaching the blade to the handle was filed in 1925 and issued in 1930. The name "Rolls Razor (1927) Ltd." was used in advertising. The razor was still manufactured and sold until 1958 when the company was purchased by entrepreneur/corporate raider John Bloom who decided to focus on washing machines rather than the razor..:rolleyes:

These are very cheap at the moment on EBay..The Rolls may perhaps offer someone the experience required to shave with a Traditional Straight because the shaving angle is exactly the same..Its really important that the Non of the Pads are Broken and or have any serious ware & tear..One that's been bought in good condition can easily be made fully functional with a Minimum amount of effort..The blade may need to be honed outwith the Rolls System to get it started due to neglect or just because its lost its edge..Once its up & running it you have a complete system here to hone & strop your blade almost indefinitely..Is an Ingenious System for Sure..:cool:

I brought some life back into the Hone & Strop by cleaning them with Baking Soda & a Soft Tooth Brush..The Hone & Strop Pads need to be absolutely immaculate & flat or you are up a Gum Tree..Any Dirt Particles will just damage the blade..The Pads can be a bit brittle after laying around for years especially the Stropping Pad..;)

I Softened it up by applying Hemp Oil a layer at a time & allowing it to soak it up..I got hold of some Red Oxide Stropping Paste & Bobs your Uncle..The Runners in the Stropping Mechanism need Cleaned & Greased as well..There is a lot of heat gets generated when using this System..:p

My Blade is Awesomely Sharp & that Dolphin Smooth Shine on my Face is the End Result..The Rolls Wedge Blades is just so Comfortable Indeed..I am Loving the Feel of Natural Steel & the Post Shave Sorta Velvety Straight Edge Razor Feeling You will all be familiar with a Traditional Straight Razor..:D

Billy
 
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182
Thanks for that Billy. I got one of these from an antiques fair a little while back. The leather bit had indentations and looked a bit tired, the stone was in good nick though, but the blade was dull. I'll follow your advice and see if I can get a shave out of it before I give up on it completely and end up selling it on eBay.
 
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Fergiebilly
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Rebublic of Scotland
Thanks for that Billy. I got one of these from an antiques fair a little while back. The leather bit had indentations and looked a bit tired, the stone was in good nick though, but the blade was dull. I'll follow your advice and see if I can get a shave out of it before I give up on it completely and end up selling it on eBay.
The Main thing that makes folks give up on them is that the blade more often than not need honed outwith the system to get it up & running..Even an NOS Blade may need Honed outwith the System because of damage with Oxidisation over time..Chromium Oxide on Balsa & or Stropping may be enough to bring it back depending on the condition of the edge..:)

Billy
 
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I think Rolls Razors are good, interesting and over engineered razors. However I can't get excellent results with it, and its not due to the blade being sharpened, in my opinion its due to design. The moustache, under bottom lip and jaw areas is a challenge especially against the grain. I have few RR blades that I honed on natural and synthetic stones, they shave the cheek area perfect.
Every shaving enthusiast should have a RR at least for display.
I managed to get a RR soap container made of Bakelite, its very well made and top quality, also I'm always on the look for Never used or NOS RR soap, soap stick and brushes. I heard really good things about RR soap as well.
 
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Fergiebilly
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5,889
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Rebublic of Scotland
I think Rolls Razors are good, interesting and over engineered razors. However I can't get excellent results with it, and its not due to the blade being sharpened, in my opinion its due to design. The moustache, under bottom lip and jaw areas is a challenge especially against the grain. I have few RR blades that I honed on natural and synthetic stones, they shave the cheek area perfect.
Every shaving enthusiast should have a RR at least for display.
I managed to get a RR soap container made of Bakelite, its very well made and top quality, also I'm always on the look for Never used or NOS RR soap, soap stick and brushes. I heard really good things about RR soap as well.
I honestly don't get the Over Engineered Bit cause it couldn't be Simpler..Its Just a Hollow Ground Blade on a Handle..I can only speak for myself of course but to me is shaves Identical to a Straight Razor..I would suggest its easier because of the handle..:D

Billy
 
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669
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Cornwall
I've got a nice one that I renovated, strop and hone in particular. Just could never get a good edge on the blade.
This was some time ago and since then I've learnt how to hone a razor effectively (just a well as that's all I use these days).

I think I'll have a go at stropping the RR blades I've got. Any advice how to proceed?
 
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Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
The over-engineered bit is to save the blade in case you drop it! It serves no purpose in shave. I remove the guards from mine, too. In fact, tomorrow is a queer day being the 29th of a month that only gets 28 days ... so it will be a Rolls Razor day for me.

I have their soap, too, which is a phenomenally good! I also have a mirror. Just missing their brush, but it was identical to the Ever Ready No.1 so that can fill in. I'll just have to turn it around for the SOTD picture.

Sound article Billy. It's a bit of a straight ... on a stick.

Keep on Rolling, guys :D
 
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Fergiebilly
Messages
5,889
Location
Rebublic of Scotland
I've got a nice one that I renovated, strop and hone in particular. Just could never get a good edge on the blade.
This was some time ago and since then I've learnt how to hone a razor effectively (just a well as that's all I use these days).

I think I'll have a go at stropping the RR blades I've got. Any advice how to proceed?
It sounds as if your blade will need honing outwith the Rolls System..This is required when the blade has lost its edge and the Rolls System cant bring it back mostly through Oxidization with laying over time or neglect or just lost their edge..:)

The Rolls System was designed to maintain a shave ready blade..Not necessarily to get it shave ready..This is a common misunderstanding.. :eek:

When you pull the handle in the Rolls system the blade gets taught and flattens against the strop..There is slight gap however between the Spine and the strop in the Rolls System because the handle mechanism holds it up..You need to tape up the spine to hone it anyway because you haven't a stropping handle..That one single layer of black tape sets the bevel exactly to the requirements for the Rolls system..:D

This Guy here explains it well..o_O
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...cpyPooV4WHkdikvuk60r4A&bvm=bv.115339255,d.bGs

After you have done that the Rolls System should be able to maintain your blade almost indefinitely..The Hone on the Rolls can be made smoother by Treating it with Vaseline & the Strop with Red Stropping Paste..I strop my blade inside the System for around 20/30 Laps as side after every shave & that's seems to do it..I only use the Hone about once in a week of shaves for about 20 laps as side..If used frequently & the blade is sharp sometimes a lot less..:rolleyes:

When you use the Rolls system for honing + Stropping don't hammer it up and down..When you get to the end of each stroke the blade should flip over just as you are starting to reverse the stroke...These blades are sensitive as you will know..That's what the Safety Guard is for..To protect the blade on the Flip Over..:eek:

The Secret is to let the blade flip over and hit the pad in-between strokes..This has all got to be done without a pause though..Its a timing thing and only comes with practice..If you pull the handle too quickly the blade with slap down and this is wrong...The blade should never slap down hard ..It should just fall under it own weight..Now that's the Secret & it takes a Bit of Sensitivity & a Bit of Skill ..I see all these Guys on You Tube Hammering them up & Down but you never see them shaving with them...:p

Hope that Helps..:D

Billy
 
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Fergiebilly
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread- But that is great advice Billy. I confess I'd forgotten about it, but came across the razor a few days ago whilst having a tidy. I'll try what you suggest- thanks!
Hi Tony

Just a Wee Tip I Found Out later..After Coming off the Hone..I Hit the Chromium Oxide for 20/30 Laps or Whatever I thought it Would Take to get a Darn Fine Killer Finished Edge..This is because the Rolls Uses a Pressurized System..o_O

On the Factual Knowledge that the Rolls Uses a Pressurized System I Used some Pressure on the Chrom/Ox Pasted Paddle Strop..I Get a Killer Edge but Still Very Smooth..Now..I Would Never Do that Amount of Laps on Chrom/Ox with any Other Blade or SR Never Mind the Pressure..But..The Rolls Blade has Been Designed to be Sharpened this Way..:)

Billy
 
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