The Berkeley Custom Shaver

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Darkbulb, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    After a lot of posh partying with the Leresches and Traderes recently I decided to cross the bridge from here in San Francisco and walk the mean streets of Berkeley....ok, that might be hard to find actually..but stay with me anyway as we take a closer look at the:

    BERKELEY CUSTOM SHAVER
    [​IMG]

    Not too long ago I decided to invest $5.10 in a Berkeley Custom Shaver because - well, it came in a wooden box if nothing else.

    These razors are actually not too rare and you see them popping up on the usual-suspect sites rather regularly.


    Without further ado here's a little bit of history and tidbits
    Starting with Waits' compendium we can learn the following;
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've seen all the different color versions mentioned in Waits' - red, black and ivory (the red one looks really neat). The one I ended up with myself is the black version.

    Using the trademark filings and information from various sources online it's fairly certain that these razors were manufactured around the late 1930's to very early 40's.

    There are basically four things about this razor that stands out;
    1) It's huge,
    2) It's an adjustable razor (see photo further down),
    3) The body opens up to allow you to store blades in it, and
    4) It's huge

    The build quality is surprisingly good - it has a nice heft to it weighing in at 118 grams. The head is very solid and a lot of weight is directed towards it as the base is all plastic apart from a metal rod running through the body down to the adjustment knob.

    Supposedly this is a very aggressive razor.

    The adjustable-part
    The "custom" part in the razor's name is referencing the fact that it's an adjustable - or as they refer to it: "variable pitch".
    The razor has a 1-to-8 setting on a turn knob at the bottom of the razor that essentially 'curves' the blade more or less as you adjust it.

    Blade at the "1" setting;
    [​IMG]

    Blade at the "8" setting;
    [​IMG]

    Finally, here's the instructions that the razor comes with:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now on to some photos of MY razor
    Mine arrived looking rather tired as you can see here;
    [​IMG]

    But it cleaned up surprisingly well
    [​IMG]

    I really like the look of the head:
    [​IMG]

    Top of the baseplate:
    [​IMG]

    Disassembled:
    [​IMG]

    The "adjustment knob":
    [​IMG]

    I hope you enjoyed the Berkeley Custom Shaver as much as I am scared to shave with it
    [​IMG]
     
    PatrickA51, RyX, AGHisBBS and 16 others like this.
  2. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    Another cool find! Do you care if I post a Jackson Five video here since there was no chance to vote for it this week?
     
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  3. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    Mean streets of Berkeley...:happy088:
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
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  4. IDuck

    IDuck Well-Known Member

    man i love you eye for razors....so many cool unique razors
     
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  5. wristwatchb

    wristwatchb wristwatch "danger" b

    Thanks for the in-depth review on another very interesting razor. Great job!
     
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  6. clint64

    clint64 Blind Squirrel

    Another great write up on a very unique razor.
     
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  7. RainmanJH

    RainmanJH Member

    That is really interesting thank you for sharing!
     
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  8. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    SCARED SAY SCARED!
    just kidding, seriously I would nog be scared. I've got a feeling that will be a lot easier to use than it's size leads one to think.
    may be a viable option for our brothers with hand mobility issues.
    cool find(as always, when I grow up), very interested to see your results.
     
    Darkbulb likes this.
  9. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Exactly what I thought when I saw it. I see myself needing (literally) one of those someday.
     
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  10. Mr. Shaverman

    Mr. Shaverman Well-Known Member

    Interesting looking razor. It seems like it would be a little awkward to shave with.
     
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  11. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    It sort of feels like holding one of those older electrical razors - same weight and size. It will be interesting to shave with it during whatever week it gets this year :)

    I can see clear benefits for people that need something more sturdy/sizable to hold during their shave though.
     
  12. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Great point and depending on how it shaves I'd be very open to send it on a little tour to people that might be in the need for something like this to allow them to try it and see if it's a razor that could benefit them.
     
  13. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    zVERYCOOL.png znice_razor.png Do nog be scared! Give it a whirl!
     
  14. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Shave Report

    Finally got around to shaving with the Berkeley Custom Shaver this morning and let me tell you - it's a great razor!! (Sorry @NCoxSTL :D )

    I started out with it set to a '4' but that felt very mild so I bumped it up to a '2' and wow - it felt great.
    The shave was efficient and smooth and resulted in a very, very clean shave.

    The handle can seem a bit large for you to hold (see photo below) but quite honestly it was very comfortable to grip and there was never any risk of it slipping.

    I am really impressed - and surprised - and would strongly recommend anyone curious about this razor to pick one up when/if you see one.
    (They do come up rather frequently for relatively low prices. I got this one for $5 w/ the wooden box.

    I am actually looking forward to tomorrow's shave :D

    Looks oversized but turned out to be a great feeling handle:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Moderator
    Nice review (as usual!) and a razor with a very high degree of coolness! :cool:
    Love the 'real' retro look of it. Hefty and efficient! :happy088:
     
  16. Mr. Shaverman

    Mr. Shaverman Well-Known Member

    Great review! It's about time you had a decent shave with one of these!
     
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  17. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Thanks, yeah I am super impressed by this one :)
     
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  18. SHAVEWIZARD420

    SHAVEWIZARD420 Well-Known Member

    that's a cool razor and a great review! its cool that it stores blades in it. I have never seen one of these.
     
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  19. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Well they do come up rather often.
    There's one selling for a crazy amount on Etsy right now..and there's one auction on eBay where it's at about a dollar right now :)
     
  20. SHAVEWIZARD420

    SHAVEWIZARD420 Well-Known Member

    I will have to check that out. I doubt it will be at a dollar for long since this post lol. have u tried it yet?
     

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