1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Rolls-65 Year Old Blade

Discussion in 'Razors, Scissors, & Personal Grooming' started by David Martin, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Rolls.jpg My Rolls with it's 65 year old blade is still giving good, close shaves. DM
     
  2. H0kieengineer

    H0kieengineer Gold Member Gold Member

    156
    Jun 24, 2017
    Please explain how to use this. I have seen them places for cheap but did not want to get one until I know how to shave with one.
     
  3. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    HOkie, look at my photo, on top of the brown leather strop is a handle with a spike, which is actually a screw. You twist the
    handle and that releases the blade. The spine of the blade has a hole which fits that spike. Insert it and give it a twist, now it's attached. Lift the handle and pull and push, this will strop the blade on the leather, flipping it to each side. The lid on the left side holds a hone / fine stone. Do the same procedure to work it on that. These razors are a engineer's dream. They last forever with everything you need. Packaged in a metal case. I have more than one and love using them. They will give a far
    better shave than a Trac II, once tuned. At no extra cost except for the soap. There is some learning curve as they are similar
    to a double edge razor. If you can find one in good shape for 70$, get it and private mail me on tuning it up. Good shaving, DM
     
  4. H0kieengineer

    H0kieengineer Gold Member Gold Member

    156
    Jun 24, 2017
    I think I can get one for $20, let me check and I will get back to you
     
  5. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    You're not buying that one--- your stealing it. ;) If all the parts are with it and maybe the case is scratched, get it. Then
    we'll get it tuned. DM
     
  6. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    HOkie, I found a video on how the Rolls Razor works. DM
     
    gotgoat and Odog27 like this.
  7. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Here's another video from Vintage Razors. It gives more information. Plus, they will hone it for you should you need their services. DM
     
  8. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    With cheap ones, watch for cracked hones. As far as I know, that isn't repairable, judging that its pretty much a given that broken straight razor hones cannot be repaired. Leather should be replaceable, but cost may be a factor trying to get good enough leather, but those would be the two factors I'd look at first. Nicks in the blade should be judged on how big they are, cracks are worse than round nicks as they can propagate more easily.
     
  9. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    The hones on mine aren't cracked. I did replace a leather strop on one which was deteriorated. This was easy and cheap. I've
    not seen a nick or crack in a blade. Guess it could happen but not from normal use. DM
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  10. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    The only reason I mention it, is I've seen plenty incomplete or slightly damaged Rolls sets in my antique hunting, and the sellers asking price doesn't always line up with it. I'd certainly defer to your expertise David, as you are an actual user. I think this thread could be a big benefit to the lurker section as there are still a lot of Rolls sets around, I always see a couple in every antique place I go to, and its good to know going in what are going to be repairable problems and which are not. I think most of the damaged ones I've seen have been restorations gone wrong, but like anything, you try hard enough, it'll break.

    How would you go about getting a new blade? is it just a matter of finding another set with a good blade, but other damage, or can they be found NOS or repro?
     
  11. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Ok, thank you. Rolls made spare blades and packaged them in a separate leather case, 2 blades. I have come across them at
    shows. The Sheffield steel is good and will give you 1-2 weeks worth of good shaves. I only need to shave every other day when using the Rolls with some touch up. I made a spare blade for mine using S60V steel. Which takes a wicked edge. It does
    not respond much to stropping. With 2 sharpened blades I can go for a month before I need to tune them. DM
     
  12. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have seen a picture of another hard leather case that held 4 blades. Which I'd like to hold and examine. Not that I need it but
    I would buy it if I came across it. I'm not certain how long 2 Rolls blades will last but it looks to easily be in the neighborhood
    of 40 years. Mine was handed down to me 10 years ago and my Step Father owned it prior to that. He purchased it directly from the Rolls factory show room on Cricklewood, London, England. As he was a Navy sailor and was at port not far from there. I know double edge blades are economical but there is something about tuning your own razor blade and getting a nice close
    shave that appeals to me. DM
     
  13. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    I think the Rolls is a good middle ground between a disposable DE blade, and trying to maintain a straight.
     
  14. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    It's closer to using a straight razor with a assisted handle. With a double edge blade you do nothing. You purchase various brands and find one you like that gives you a good shave and lasts. You don't even strop it. Some machine does the edge. Whereas using a Rolls, one must have the skill and knowledge to produce their own edge that will shave. In bending your direction it is a transition from straight razor shaving to double edge shaving. In that it has a handle with a single edge blade attached to it. But you have to do more than merely drop in a blade and shave. DM
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  15. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek

    May 19, 2007
    You are quite likely right, although I can't do a DE shave as care free as say a modern multi-blade flexy-super squeegee. But I get your point that the Rolls is closer to the straight side of the spectrum. Good to know. I'd always looked at them as sort of an in-between, patent work around in the transitional phase when straights were on the way out, but fully disposable DE blades were not yet the main market. But it rather seems that they are really their own beast, and I may have over-looked something of value. (though I need more collections like I need a hole in the head)
    Thanks for the interesting info, I've learned a few new things, always a good thing.
     
  16. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have observed guys will sharpen a knife blade to extreme sharpness only to whittle a hair and make a picture of it then put
    it on this forum. All because they like to sharpen. With the Rolls Razor here is a opportunity to sharpen a blade to perform a necessary daily life function. I use mine because it works and it connects me with my family history. Then there is that element
    of pride, that I can hone a razor blade to give a good shave. No need for me to search online and purchase double edge blades. Besides I've found some of those brands needed stropping as they gave a rough shave and nicks. So, I thought, if I need to further finish a mass produced double edge blade then I'll just stick with the Rolls. You're welcome. DM
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
    FOG2 likes this.
  17. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Here's the blade I made using s60v steel. DM
    100_2231.JPG
     
  18. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Another view. It has no guard. DM 100_2232.JPG
     
  19. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I shaved with this blade this week and it gave a close shave. I think the blade with the guard is a help as this one is aggressive.
    But still, a spare travel blade. Hope you guys find a Rolls and shave with it. DM
     

Share This Page