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Thread: Buying my first straight razor--question about damascus steel and HRC Cutlery

  1. #21
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    FWIW (I've been away for a while) --

    If you want to shave with a straight razor, buy a new _basic_ round-point Dovo or Boker, shave-ready, from any of a number of vendors (including Straight Razor Designs, or "thesuperiorshave.com"). It'll be plain -- no romance -- but it'll be made of good steel, properly-tempered, properly-sharpened. Your cost should come in at around $100.

    Get into the vintage and "fancy razor" market (which can be addictive and expensive) after you know that straight-razor shaving is really for you.

    . Charles
    Last edited by cpcohen1945; 06-21-2015 at 03:31 AM.
    . . . . . Mindful shaving, for a better world.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwco View Post
    I would be very suspicious of anything advertised as Damascus Steel. The original method of forging Damascus Steel was lost to history in the 1700s. Various attempts have been made over the years to reverse engineer this process (by examining antique blades) but to date none have reproduced it completely. It;s probably just cheep steel with a wavy pattern etched on it.
    Even if it does not meet the criteria needed to impress the razor users here, it is not simply a piece of cheap steel with a pattern etched on it. I'm going to suggest you do a little more research into the subject (pattern welding). Although, inexpensive compared to other modern steels, 1095 and 15N20 by themselves can make a good blade if all the other necessary conditions are met.
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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrElkaholic View Post
    Thanks so much for the feedback, guys. I will steer clear of this, and similar blades. I will keep an eye on the classifieds here and do some more research. Razor Emporium is 10 minutes from my house here in Phoenix, so I may end up buying a razor from them or having them hone one for me if I find one in great shape otherwise. They just don't have anything under $110, and I was trying to stay a little less expensive for my first one. Do any of you have experience with them? Razors - Straight Razors - Razor Emporium

    Again, thank you!
    Classifieds and more research would be a good idea. Regarding your local option, their straight razor honing is done by a banned former member here who couldn't remember if he had honed hundreds or thousands of razors in ten years all in the course of two years. There is not much that is true about his honing.

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    Senior Member DennisBarberShop's Avatar
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    Didnt read the entire thread but the first clue should be in the words on the pic, thats more of a knife
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    I got a few CHEAP items to practice my honing skills. Just nice to keep the talent sharp...lol.
    Got one of these KNOWING it was too good to be true however, I like the challenge. Been a few hours on mine and "ALMOST" have an edge on it. Probably like the other member(s) said...rubbish, paper weight, or letter opener...oh...forgot Axe.

    True Damascus costs about 100 bucks an inch. Even they can't get the fine edge needed for a razor. Not sorry for the purchase (40 bucks) but its nice to know how to mess up a crappy piece vs the true items. Davo so far (to me seems the bomb right out of the box. I got a Heckles (had it for 20 years as a gift from an OLD barber) so I don't know how old it is, but stropped it a couple gentle times and shaved better than disposable persona's. Quality is quality and junk is JUNK. Please be advised.

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    DaBarber.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrElkaholic View Post
    I am looking to get started with a quality straight razor, and have been reading some great forums on here and learning a lot. I've been looking at vintage, German-made razors primarily, but I came across HRC Cutlery from Utah on Ebay and wondered if any of you have experience with their damascus steel straight razors? I am suspicious that their product looks too good to be true at about $70, but they have excellent reviews and sound legit. Here is a description of their handmade blade design:

    "Blade Material: Damascus Steel 15N20 & 1095 Hand-Forged
    Blade Hardness: 58-60 HRC on Rockwell scale
    Total Layers: 512 (8 folds German 1095HC / Swedish 15N20)"

    Attachment 204404

    Thanks for any feedback you can offer! I am new to the forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhensley View Post
    For a first razor it would be wise to go for the standard look and not bling. Dovo Boker are good razors and you can find many other names too many too mention that would serve you well. If I were you I would pick out a standard type razor learn to use it and study the different makers and get some time under your belt. some times the pretty doesn't cut it. just my thoughts on the subject.
    HRC is the name of an old Sheffield brand in UK. Handsworth razor company. Looks like Utah brand has taken the name to give it vintage kudos. I have a genuine HRC blade

  8. #27
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    One of the local barbershops had these on display, they are HEAVY and made more as a Pocket Knife. Very cool looking, but NOT A RAZOR!

    I know this is a really old thread, but just in case any other newbies were considering one of these.

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    you know...others say...what is "standard look"? Well, I know how to sharpen...from way back FYI, so personally, if you never sharpened shit before, get a piece of this steel stock and PRACTICE! I (we) can help you get through the tough times. But if you can put an edge on something that will cut you, you can put an edge that will give you the shave of your life!!!

    I ended up picking crap from ebay and re-did the edges on things that should have been thrown away...I use them regularly. if and edge is sharp...its good to go. don't worry about "BLING" but the Cavo <sp> for 250 bucks is the bomb...however, my "throw away" "piece of crap" shaves just as nice...PRACTICE your sharpening.

    There is no magic bullet here...and don't listen to "I did this and I did that" crap. You are the judge of your sharpening skills. Work it man (girl). We are all here to help you over the "hump".

  10. #29
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    dr elk, I should post my "Damascus" knock off on here, very similar blade with a different handle. Rip off IMO. I would stick to (and again IMO if you wanna really shave yourself or anyone else) something main stream ready (especially if you're new to shaves). I think I misplaced a post here regarding sharpening, but...I found it and maybe it can help, (its about sharping steel).

    This is the post....
    you know...others say...what is "standard look"? Well, I know how to sharpen...from way back FYI, so personally, if you never sharpened shit before, get a piece of this steel stock and PRACTICE! I (we) can help you get through the tough times. But if you can put an edge on something that will cut you, you can put an edge that will give you the shave of your life!!!

    I ended up picking crap from ebay and re-did the edges on things that should have been thrown away...I use them regularly. if and edge is sharp...its good to go. don't worry about "BLING" but the Cavo <sp> for 250 bucks is the bomb...however, my "throw away" "piece of crap" shaves just as nice...PRACTICE your sharpening.

    There is no magic bullet here...and don't listen to "I did this and I did that" crap. You are the judge of your sharpening skills. Work it man (girl). We are all here to help you over the "hump.

    End of post.

    ok...lets go back to the Damascus steel, like I said before, my researched pulled (as well as a friend who has knives {Damascus}) said its about 100 bucks an inch. "Cheap" Damascus "look-a-likes" are acid etched and not really the "REAL" thing.

    You might wanna call this guy and he might get you straight on Damascus steel.

    https://raysknives.netfirms.com/
    http://raysknives.netfirms.com/aboutdamascus.htm

    HIGH PRICED...REAL DEAL.

    Do your research before you spend hard earned cash on junk.

    If you wanna shave...many great alternatives.

    All the best and stay in touch.

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBarber View Post
    All the best and stay in touch.
    You do realize that you've jumped onto a thread that's been inactive for a couple of years and are giving advice to a guy who hasn't been on the site for well over a year?
    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." -H. L. Mencken

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