Getting It Straight About Collectible Straight Razors

Razors have been used for shaving purposes for centuries in the home and barber shop. Although straight razors are still one type of razor used for shaving, vintage straight razors are available on eBay. They come in a variety of styles and materials to help you complete your collection.

What features make vintage straight razors collectible?

While some blades have more recent interpretations of classic straight razor blades and designs, the vintage versions of the same razors are important pieces. Knowing what features make these razors desirable is the key to choosing the right blades for you.

  • Type of steel: The type of steel used in a barber straight razor can make each razor highly sought after. Sheffield steel, Solingen stainless steel, or carbon steel are just a few of the more common types of antique straight razor blades.
  • Grind of the stainless steel: The grind of the stainless steel during the production of the blade is another feature in older straight razors and one that you may wish to use as a guide. Most straight razors used a thin, hollow grind to achieve a closer shave job.
  • Make of the handles: The handles, also called scales, are another piece of the razor puzzle here. They are often made from materials such as wood or metal, and some have various finishes or shines put to them. You can find shaving razor scales in both original and restored condition, with either one being collectible.
What are some straight razor brands?

Many vintage or antique straight razors come from brands that have continuously made more barber blades, thus they've become trusted names in straight razor production. Some of the common ones for collecting include:

  • Boker - A company that makes general purpose knife products, cutlery, and blades, as well as straight edge razors
  • Wade and Butcher - Their shaving blades include barber shave-ready products with Sheffield steel blades
  • Black Levering - Features razors with special hollow ground barber blades
  • Dovo - Makers of the Dovo Straight Razor
How long do collectible shaving blades typically last?

Whether you intend to use or display your straight barber razors, proper care and maintenance is a must in order to make the straight razor last. You'll need a leather strop to clean the blade after several months of shaving to give it a better edge, thus improving your shaving experience. A hone or sharpening stone will keep your blade sharp for an effective shave. You may want to clean and polish the handle scales of the razor after multiple shaves.