Advice on which razor to hone for the 1st time. Anyone familiar with these old school straights?

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Alexander Romer, Jan 27, 2019.


Which razor would you choose?

  1. J. R. Torrey

  2. J. A. Henckels 59 1/2

  3. J. A. Henckels 55

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Alexander Romer

    Alexander Romer New Member

    A8F578C4-F353-48DA-A184-BD86D77E6E9C.jpeg Hi,

    So this is my first post. Been in the wet shaving game for a couple years, but now I’m ready to pick up a straight. I’ve gotten decent with a gold dollar, but now I want to have some old school razors I’ve picked up sharpened. Here’s what I got:

    J. R. Torrey: I don’t see a number marked on the blade, but it looks to be in decent shape. Anyone familiar with this razor? I’ll post pictures.

    J. Henckels | Fridour Zwillingswerk 59 1/2: This one was expensive, and other than a small ding, it’s pristine, maybe even sexy I’m wondering if the edge looks like it could be saved. With one especially, if anyone knows anything about it, any information would be much appreciated.

    Henckels 55: Anyone familiar with this one? I like the feel in my hand, it’s heavy. It needs some restoration for sure, but as far as I can tell, that looks totally doable to me.

    I’ve been coming on here for years, but today seemed like a good day to join in on the conversations I read every week. I trust the gentlemen on this site, their opinions and reccomendations, more than anyone else. Thanks for your help. -Alex
    brit, Karl G, Paul76 and 3 others like this.
  2. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Torrey. Or, all three, depending on how much time you have.
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  3. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  4. Dansco

    Dansco Well-Known Member

    Definitely torrey. Henckels are quite expensive and hold their value well
    Karl G, Paul76 and Keithmax like this.
  5. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    I would give the Torrey and the Henckels 55 the wobble test. Pick one that is flattest and easiest to hone.
    Karl G, Paul76 and oscar11 like this.
  6. CastleShave

    CastleShave Well-Known Member

    Do any of the razors shave? If not, then bevel needs to be set. Which would mean you would need to do a progression 1k, 3-5k, 8-10k, finishing stone of your choice. The reason I gave you ranges is because YMMV you may feel one stone works better for you than another. Honing is very tedious work and a bit of trial and error involved. Your not going to get an amazing edge off the hop so I would recommend getting one professionally honed and keeping that as a goal setter. Bevel setting is the most important part of honing, if the bevel can’t shave your face the rest of the progressions will be less than mediocre. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Keithmax, brit, Karl G and 1 other person like this.
  7. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Flip a coin all 3 are quality razors and look to be in great shape

    Since you are sending them out it really doesn't matter ..

    Just a piece of Economic advice,, now

    Send all 3 and get them all honed up to save on shipping as it costs the same for 1 or 3

    Shave with one (Torrey) and set the other 2 aside as they have more potential value, if you like SR's and get into the hobby keep them all and have fun.
    If you decide it isn't for you then you will recoup more money by selling the razors as "Shave Ready" as it proves the edges are solid besides people not having to have them honed

    and there ya go :)
  8. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I think he plans on restoring and honing these himself. Perhaps I misread his post.
    But, if he were to send them out, then send all three, as you advised.
  9. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    I read that as he is sending them out :)
  10. Alexander Romer

    Alexander Romer New Member

    I really appreciate all the feedback, every one of you has some solid advice and your comments help a lot.

    At the moment a company close to my house is having a buy one get one on honing service for straight razors. I could send it in as wel, but it’s 10 minutes away. The service usually cost 20 bucks, but with the sale going on it ends up being 10 bucks a razor. From what I can tell that sounds like a steal.

    Sounds like I’ll give the Torrey a go first. I’d like to pick up a good whetstone and start that practice as well in the near future. At the moment, without ordering one online I’ve only been able to find 3000/8000 grit and not the much advised 4000/8000. Has anyone ever used 3000/8000 with success, or would it be better to opt for the latter when I decide to pick one out?

    Thanks again gentlemen, I appreciate your input.

    Keithmax and Karl G like this.
  11. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Ask a ton of questions

    Do you shave with a SR
    What are you planning on using to hone these with
    How many SR's have you honed

    Over the years on here and the other SR forums there are multiple threads of Nightmare honing sessions on SRs so make sure this shop hones SR and not just knives and tools You would be very lucky to have someone near to you, maybe they can help you learn

    ps: 4/8 is just a general guide 3/8 is fine too so is 5/8 or pretty much anything in that general range more important it the quality of the hone

    Grit size is only one aspect Density, Type, and the Binder also count
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  12. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    Shave yourself a lot of money buying stones and somebody to produce what they think is shave ready. Buy a packet of 3m non adhesive lapping films $30 (Amazon/eBay)and follow the progression on a marble floor tile $4 (Home Depot).
    Trigger and SevenEighth like this.
  13. Alexander Romer

    Alexander Romer New Member

    I have only shaved so far with a gold dollar I got from Anthony Esposito the “Itallion Stallion”. It was great, definitely shave ready. Maybe it’s because I am so used to using a DE (i.e. the pressure level and angle muscle memory) but I had no nicks using it the first time. Second time I shaved though I of course did the “fools pass” and “cutthroat” the hell out of myself on my neck. After that I was discouraged and didn’t pick it up for a while until recently.

    When people ask me what my hobby is I tell them “wet shaving”. It’s like art to me, which nobody would understand outside of this community. From quality soaps to preperation, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than waking up early and shaving. Since I’m not hippity dipitty, and don’t have the patience for anything else in this world, this is my way of meditating and I love it.

    Other than that, I bought a strop and razor off amazon. The razor was okay, but I had to make a lot of passes on my super short, 2” wide (had to go x pass of course) strop. I’m a single parent, so money matters for me, but I’ve got the feeling I should invest in a better strop. I’m hesitant to order one off amazon again, but they do have two 3” ones that look nice, one of which is made by parker. The other one is a company called GBS.

    Just saw that video you posted. That looks awesome. I’ll have to check that out, hell yeah.

    Thanks again gentlemen.

    Karl G likes this.
  14. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    People make their own strops. I think I could use a belt. I got a used Illinois. No need to spend money and especially when you have precious little ones. If you are in the states, I'll send you a nice razor. PM me your address.
    Karl G likes this.

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