GD W59

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Robert1955, May 10, 2020.

  1. Robert1955

    Robert1955 Well-Known Member

    Gold Dollar w59, straight out the box, noticibly sharper than my other two GD's, so put it to the 12k Shapton, then the 15k Reetec then a black ark, took a great edge. I was surprised how quick this blade got there...but as I said it was ntb on unboxing, it shaved great smooth, will be using it again soon. First thing tho was to dull the point...horrible nasty blood makers. Next, there is a point on the shoulder that slightly interferes with honing, it is not a must do thing... because it is a fair bit up the blade and if you know about can easily avoid it, but knowing it is there causes me bother. It is in a strange place, if i get time I will put a photo up. Otherwise it gave a nice shave and looks a nice blade, shorter than most of my razors, and I liked that too, with the spanish point you can get in amongst those nasal spider legs
    Keithmax likes this.
  2. Slash McCoy

    Slash McCoy Well-Known Member

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    I liked the first ones I saw. I got some more and became disillusioned with them. One batch had a very thick belly very low to the edge, and so putting a proper bevel on the razors made the bevel surface very wide and took up a lot of my time to hone. One, I put a compound bevel, a microbevel really, honing to a finish without tape and then taping for a final half dozen laps on the 1u film, then with tape on the three stage balsa progression. That razor shaved like a dream. It also took like three hours to hone. I am done with that model. A skilled honer buying one for himself or as a gift, no biggie but if you are trying to sell them, you are working for chimp change. And yet some of them honed up with no drama at all. Inconsistent. The ebony scales are kinda nice and it feels good in the hand, but you have to remember, the makers do not actually know how to make razors, or even how to shave with them. Sometimes they get an easy base hit, like with the 208 or P81. Sometimes a wild swing that ought to put it out of the park but more often strikes out, like with many of the "W" series. If you happen to get a good one, you will be rather pleased with it, otherwise, not so much.

    I will say this, though. The bevel angle is lean and mean. Get a good edge on it and it will sho nuff shave. Be careful not to chip the edge on coarse media.

    Oh, and no, the appearance makes not one bit of difference in the shave, but I can't help commenting negatively on the "kewl" juvenile styling. Doesn't look enough like a proper razor, to me. Sort of a non razor shaped object that can be a razor if you hone it well. But YMMV. Here's a pic.

    I think I was nearly done setting the bevel on this one.
  3. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    It looks like there is quite a bit of wear to the spine. That could have contributed to the large bevel.
    I have one that I have used for a while, with a small bevel. It shaves pretty good, but that spiked point is something to fear.

    Steve56 likes this.
  4. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Scott said it more diplomatically than I would have. That is one ugly wear pattern for a new razor. It may shave fine of course, and I’m sure it does, but dayum!
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  5. Slash McCoy

    Slash McCoy Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't be helped.

    I just tossed the last two I had that still needed to be honed. Good riddance. I got 208's and 666's inbound, and they are easy to deal with. Got P-81's on hand, and they aren't bad. Even the humble 66 is easier to deal with than the last couple of W59's I honed. If you get a good one, you will probably like it if you like that shape of razor. If you get a sucky one, you won't.
  6. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Bottom line: If you throw out the duds they aren’t that cheap unless you’re set up to mod/remanufacture razors.

    That is unfortunately true of all Gold Dollar models. But it’s part of the Gold Dollar experience. ‘Hey I got a great razor for $5.’ Except for the other 10 that I had to buy to get it.’ I’m not complaining, finding good jnat (or other natural razor hones) razor hones is the same business model, and a lot more expensive.

    It makes me wonder who’s grinding these things though. Normally, a person gets better with practice, and normal folks try to do better. At some point you just have to take the bull by the tail and face the situation, Gold Dollar quality is getting only a little better. It’s just a gamble on the manufacturing lot and the specific razor. Want a couple of good ones? Buy 10 - that makes a really well made one cost $50 or more. That makes them really non-competitive with vintage eBay razors except that they’re new. This is actually OK, they don’t market in the west, because no dealer could stand the returns.

    You can re-manufacture them of course, this is a hobby and not a business, and B&B has an annual Gold Dollar mod competition that is astounding.

    Where they really shine to me, is because you can get a dozen razors that are all the same (if you buy them from the same dealer at the same time) - so if you’re comparing stones, strops, technique, whatever, having several identical expendable razors is very desirable, and worth paying the ‘Gold Dollar 80% premium for.
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
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  7. Slash McCoy

    Slash McCoy Well-Known Member

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    Most models that I am familiar with have a much better consistency than that. Yesterday I found the first truly bad GD66 I have seen in a very long time.
  8. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    I can send you a few. No belt sanders, lol.

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