I was asked recently why it is I choose to craft straight razors.
I had to think about that for a moment. I knew when I started this journey that the straight razor was the one type of blade I was determined to make. But why?
The answer was simple really. There is nothing sharper than a straight razor. When a person wants to define something as sharp, they call it, “razor sharp.” Hell, we even describe surgical scalpels as razor sharp!
The razor is the epitome of what it means to be sharp. The straight razor pushes the very limits of what steel can do. It is the sharpest of all types of blades. The straight razor is the absolute best that you can possibly get when you want the sharpest possible tool.
If I was going to be one of the very best Bladesmiths in all of the world, I simply had to be able to make the very best type of blade in all the world for sharpness.
A straight razor, when properly forged, ground, and heat treated, takes pure carbon and modern super steels to the very edge of their capabilities. The steel must be made to become its absolute hardest possible, but without shattering when it's put onto a counter or set down into a hard surface.
This is part of the reason why vintage blades are so sought after. A vintage blade that has survived for the last 100 years is almost certainly guaranteed to be of the quality of steel and quality of craftsmanship that will make a superb shaver. So many of today's modern razors are simply not built with as good craftsmanship. Their steel is substandard to save costs. Their grind angle is not correct. Their weight is off. When they are so badly manufactured they not even fit to be called a razor.
It takes a craftsman who understands his steel and the process for which it is heat treated properly to create not only the kind of steel that is necessary for a straight razor, but also craft that straight razor with the correct grind angle and spacing for fingers and though in the size of the scales and weight of them, as to make it a perfect blade and one that will do its job flawlessly.
These craftsmen are hard to find and today, very few.
I chose to craft a straight razor not because it is the easiest of blades to master, but because it is the hardest.
~ John Glueck
Craftsman Knives & Razors. Handmade. With No Compromise.