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Razors you need to stay away from

Smythe

Well-Known Member
OK so in this thread I will list a few eBay auctions that aspiring restorers/shavers/honers/collectors should be aware of.

This is an easy one... In this example, the seller has what appears to be a nice "American Historical" piece. The add also suggests the item is "special".
However on close inspection you will notice the razor is not vintage (those blue plastic scales and the authentic looking etching are too modern), and it has no manufacturers mark (big giveaway).

At this time there are 4 bids @ $25... bidding started at $10 BTW, but even if it were $5 would not be worth your time.
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And if you do "due diligence" check out his other razors by clicking "See other items" link.. here are a couple.
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and this
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Smythe

Well-Known Member
If you are looking for a “Henckels Platinum” in good condition, then you may want to stay away from this one.

Though the seller doesn’t show much of the blade (obviously he knows the blade is worthless so the emphasis is on the Cracked Ice (Pearlescent) scales), but there is enough information to make this an intelligent decision.
For one thing the scales do not match the blade (Easy Ace is the trademark of Case, if I am not mistaken), and there is active rust at the edge near the heel.

However if you are in the market for a pair of Easy Ace scales for a lonely Case blade… then something over $19 will get you this one in pretty good condition… worth it? Your guess is as good as mine.
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Smythe

Well-Known Member
Now I don’t have anything against wide bevels or flat spots on the spine, so long as the thing shaves well… but something tells me Popeye the Sailor, honed this razor, for the neighborhood barber, so Brutus could get his morning shave.

The edge is not straight (or so it seems in the photos), and I think I see a frown, also, it would appear the blade was once a sizable 6/8th and now is somewhere around 4/8th (Brutus must have a hard beard).

If you are new to honing, and you just happen to get this one… please don’t post in the Coticule Tavern, instead send me a PM and I will reply with a link to another popular forum where you may get some help.:lol:
Humor aside, the add seem to suggest the razor is shave ready, but that wavy edge would make it almost impossible to maintain.

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Smythe

Well-Known Member
Here is another one, the rear face photo looks OK, the edge looks straight with the point slightly turned up… no big deal, but look at the front face, a huge bevel at the point end and corresponding flat spot on the spine (didn’t see that at the rear side).
This would suggest a warped blade (a really, really bad warp). The blade is “bent” to the left side (face)… since the hone is flat, the point at the left side of the blade gets the most abrasion… almost none on the rear side because it hardly touches the hone.
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Smythe

Well-Known Member
As you will probably guess when you click on the link, this was one was once a handsome square point, but somehow the tip has broken off.
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However all may not be lost, she can still be a great shaver, simply turn her into a round point. That’s right, but don’t you dare try this with a Coticule… instead, use an old sharpening stone, you can pick one up at almost any hardware store for a few dollars. Carefully grind, and round off the tip at the point (yes, you are allowed to put grooves in those stones). You may even round off the Grob at the top of the spine and make her a true round point, then polish up your handy-work.
With the great shaves you may get from that Genco you would forget she was ever a square point in exactly 4 shaves.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
This Anchor Brand (possibly manufactured by Wester Bros) has issues you would find on many other vintage razors.
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Besides what some would call excessive “hone were at the spine”, this one also has an uneven edge. If you follow the edge starting at the point, you will see a smile at the point, somewhat straight in the middle, then a frown ending at a spike at the heel. Now I really like women wearing spiked heels, but the “fetish” doesn’t extend to razors (different kind of pain I suppose).

What causes the heel spike? When the blade was “full” (before it got worn down to its present state) the edge extended beyond the 2nd stabilizing piece (that stair step looking cut at the heel of most full hollow ground razors), the stabilizing piece is what’s left of the first grind after the blade blank was tempered. You will notice the stabilizing piece is not as deeply hollow as the rest of the blade, and after many years of honing, the edge is now behind the stabilizing piece because the stabilizing piece has much more material, so it’s harder to abrade (just like honing a near wedge blade).

If you have a razor with a “spiked” heel you should grind down the stabilizing piece so it’s behind the edge (not in front of the edge) so it won’t touch the surface of the hone during honing… again a common sharpening stone will do nicely.
 

decraew

Well-Known Member
I was amazed when I saw this one:
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It must have been a beautiful razor (I own one like that) before it broke, but 50 EUR for these remnants ?????

I don't think so.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
decraew said:
I was amazed when I saw this one:
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It must have been a beautiful razor (I own one like that) before it broke, but 50 EUR for these remnants ?????

I don't think so.
Ouch! looks like the hone took a bite out of that one... but beautiful razor it was BTW... thanks for that one.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Now I won't say "stay away from this one" It's a nice razor, and probably shaves as well as any other "vintage" razor...
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However if you must have a "C-MON Cadillac", it can be had elsewhere on-line for much less... here is one such place.
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Though the photo is of a square point, I am told you will actually be shipped a round point (like the more expensive one in the auction)..

And if you don't trust a site that posts an incorrect product photos, here is another site with the correct photo...
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Hmmm... looks exactly like the one in the auction... doesn't it?
 

mitchshrader

Well-Known Member
is there any one (on this forum ;) ) that accepts donations of 'vintage' razors for practice at restoring them?

I'm offered razors as package deals with various hones, and don't yet feel up to restoring vintage razors (much less choosing which ones are worth the effort).

It would be convenient for me to know who could use 'practice' at restoration and hopefully, who would provide a few tips on what sorts of razors justify the attention.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Yes Please :thumbup:
I have quite a few restores under my belt, and a few still waiting, but time permitting I would be happy for any donations, and think it only fair that I do a write up here on 1 that you donate. damn if you send me a few worth doing I will send you one back, fully restored by way of a thank you.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Very generous of you Mitch, not many would be so willing.
Lets see those restores and write-ups when you have the time Ralfy.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Smythe said:
Now I won't say "stay away from this one" It's a nice razor, and probably shaves as well as any other "vintage" razor...
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However if you must have a "C-MON Cadillac", it can be had elsewhere on-line for much less... here is one such place.
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Though the photo is of a square point, I am told you will actually be shipped a round point (like the more expensive one in the auction)..

And if you don't trust a site that posts an incorrect product photos, here is another site with the correct photo...
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Hmmm... looks exactly like the one in the auction... doesn't it?
Just an update if anyone is interested... the C-Mon went for 102.00... almost twice what it's worth anywhere else on line.

Now to be fair, unlike the razors available elsewhere, the C-Mon in the auction is allegedly "Honed, stropped, and made shave-ready by a professional honemeister"... however if you do the math... $30+ for the service could be considered a bit much.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Smythe said:
Just an update if anyone is interested... the C-Mon went for 102.00... almost twice what it's worth anywhere else on line.

Now to be fair, unlike the razors available elsewhere, the C-Mon in the auction is allegedly "Honed, stropped, and made shave-ready by a professional honemeister"... however if you do the math... $30+ for the service could be considered a bit much.

Ah but dont forget this one has a "rounded square point" which is a bit like a full ground wedge
 

standardgewehr

Active Member
I will admit being intrigued by the modern reincarnated C-MON razor pictured within this thread... so I placed an order at Appleton and lo and behold one ended up on the tab. :rolleyes: At least now I have some Barbicide for when the Carousel o' Razors rolls into town...

Anyway, here's a pic of what I got:

Cmon1.jpg

All in all, it's nice enough considering the price. Jimps above and below, cleanly cut. Gold plated tang. C-MON silk screened on the plastic handles, which have a moulded post inside the scales in place of a third pin. Nicely ground and polished, but the logo plated (?) on the blade looks more like yellow silk screen than gold plating.

The tang is stamped (deeply electro-chemically etched perhaps?) C-MON Cadillac on one side and Peter J. Michels Made in Germany on the other. No mention of maker, just "Made by skilled craftsmen in Solingen" on the plastic coffin.

Edited to add: And so dull it won't even cut arm hair... and I can still quit buying these damn things anytime I want. :blink:
 
An excellent post Mr. Smythe.:thumbup: I feel like an applause is in order.:w00t:
In fact, I think this could make for a stand alone topic by itself. A section specifically for the purpose of educating folks about the do's and don't's of straight razor purchasing. A suggested straights and a what not to buy guide perhaps?

Just a thought...:-/

Irrevocably,
David
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Cinemaphile said:
An excellent post Mr. Smythe.:thumbup: I feel like an applause is in order.:w00t:
In fact, I think this could make for a stand alone topic by itself. A section specifically for the purpose of educating folks about the do's and don't's of straight razor purchasing. A suggested straights and a what not to buy guide perhaps?

Just a thought...:-/

Irrevocably,
David
Indeed, I have been working on and “Extended” Razor Buying Guide, This thread is the prelude to just such an article I had promised to publish earlier this year, but time and family concerns have slowed me down, but not to worry, it has not been forgotten. In fact, your post has gently reminded me of the urgency.

Incidentally, Bill Ellis wrote an excellent guide for buying razors on eBay. Though some things may have changed since it was first published (2006) it is still relevant today, and I believe everyone interested should give it a read first.
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I have said this before in another thread but it deserves repeating…
There is lots of information on “brands” of razors to avoid (such as: Zeepk… Pakistani), and of course there is much more info of the brands of vintage and new razors suitable for purchase. However not much is said about the “condition” (flaws) of those vintage razors and the consequences (or problems) of buying in those conditions. Even less is said about how to recognize the different conditions of those recommended vintage razors…Why?...

It has a lot to do with the business of “selling vintage razors”. The razor buying public reacts to “the general consensus” on the forums.

If the general consensus were to say “stay away from razors with deeply smiling edge” then most new/would-be restorers would NEVER buy smiling razors and that would upset the "razor sales equilibrium".

Another example, it is a well known fact that there is a good percentage of vintage (and new) razors have warped blades… but if you have a look at the BST/Classifieds across the forums, does anyone ever say the blade he is selling was warped? (…and you’d think every one of them would be in a position to recognize a warped blade… right?... after all, the razors are shave ready right? and we all know a warp makes it somewhat difficult to properly hone the blade right?) But of course they WILL NOT tell you, if indeed it is warped.

Now I am not in any way suggesting a warped blade is useless, in fact, a few of my most beautiful and best shaving razors are indeed warped… it’s just that they require a little more effort to get them sharp and this can be frustrating for someone new to sharpening razors, but absolutely no issue for a veteran sharpener (though it would help if he knows the condition beforehand).
I am also not suggesting that everyone knows how to spot a warp even if they have it in hand (so don’t go slamming the poor antique seller who may indeed not know what you are talking about)… however someone selling a “shave ready” razor especially if they themselves restored and sharpened it, MUST KNOW of it is indeed warped.

Now with all that said (and disclaimers) some of the links in this thread are now dead, but all is not lost, I still have the original photos from the auctions, and I may include them in the final article (or find new ones).

Also bear in mind I simply pick those auctions at random, so if anyone has any hard feelings then… I will always welcome a “civilized” discussion.

Have a good one
 
G

Guest

This is a Gold Dollar "razor", straight from eBay. I only had my wife's mobile phone camera, but I'm sure Nico will let me take better pictures if anyone requires them. Its design is obviously inspired by nature, most likely an earthquake:

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