Decent Straight razor that is under $100? I need a non shave ready but in good shape.

Jun 6, 2012
Typing on my tablet cause my computer is on the fritz. Have mercy!

I have a good aquantance with a old school trained barber. This barber knows how to hone and strop a straight razor. And he has the tools to do so. He is willing to show me how, too. I just need to come up with a razor. I don't mind to pony up money for a nice razor but I would kinda like to find a decent vintage razor to practice on first. It has been a while but the last time priced vintage razors on the bay, it seems like they were running around $100 for a specific brand. I don't remember the brand though. Is it bad that I think $100 is out of line for a vintage razor that can't shave? I plan to troll the local flea market for solingen razor per the barber's suggestion.
If you watch the auctions and are patient, you can find a decent razor for less than that in probably a week or two max. Don't try to get a hugely popular brand name and you can probably get a decent vintage blade for closer to $20 or $30. Off the top of my head a few with good quality steel to try are Clauss, Imperial, maybe Henckels, and Tidioute. There are plenty more too.
Depending on where you are, some brands are more likely to turn up, but that's alright. 100$ would be my budget for a very good condition highly desirable razor, not a random one. There is a good list on SRP of razor brands to avoid, it helps because a lot of blades are marked vintage, when they really are not.
buy a Sheffield steel razor, I tend to like them better.wade and butcher, joseph rogers, joseph Elliot and wolstein all are good
The steel in vintage Solingen and Sheffield razors is very good (for the most part).
Known brands are nice, but you can get a great razor and a great price with lesser known razors.
You can get a bucket full of these on ebay for $10 each.
However, there are issues beyond where a vintage razor was made.
The edge needs to be parallel to the spine - ie not worn down at the point or dished-out to a "frown" at mid-length.
There should also be no hone wear on the spine - or at least mild hone wear that is symmetric -not just at the point.
I'd add US made vintage razors to the list of possibles too. They seem to have as good steel as any others and might be less expensive as a lot of people are after Sheffies, Solingen, Japanese, Swedish and Spanish blades. I guess domestic just does not carry the same allure. I have some vintage American made razors in my rotation and they are no slouches.

When you are trolling the antique/junk stores, ebay, yard sales and flea markets you had better know what defects to look for. There are some good points in the previous post.

I think the US ones are less focused on since every hardware and farm supply store seemed to have some branded for them, and the quality is wide ranging. As well they probably were bought by folks who used them to death, then converted them to scalpels for vet work, and they have been lost to time. However if you were able to find any, they would be worth while, I guess that most folks wouldn't bother with them as far as finding a value, so they are likely to get tossed rather than sold.
I'm a big straight razor enthusiast, if you just want something cheap to practice on and learn go with a gold dollar from China they cost about 10 bucks and actually give great shaves. For cheap vintage listen to the other guys, wapienica are easy to find for less than 100 in great condition. Of you look hard enough you can do pretty well I recently found a thiers issard for $65 and a new stainless dovo for right around 100
I forgot if you search for, "sight unseen straight razor" you can find one shave ready and good to go for under 50. I've heard good things about them, there's no bad ones there
The consensus seems to be that gold dollar razors have good steel but horrible quality control (geometrically challenged comes to mind) and may need honing, reprofiling, rebeveling etc.... It is very important that if you get a gold dollar you buy from a business that will actually make sure it's good and/or does any work on it that needs to be done before shipping it shave ready.

There are some businesses out there that take to time to repair any issues on the gold dollar razors they have in stock before selling them.

This may raise the price above $10.00 but buying a gold dollar straight from the factory or an internet warehouse stocker can be risky.
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