The Berkeley Custom Shaver

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

  1. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    I used my Berkeley today. it was the first time using this unconventional razor.
    it has a nice feel in the hand. it's size made holding on to it very easy, without sacrificing maneuverability(after ashort learning curve).
    I used mine at 4, and got a super close shave. it felt as if it had no blade in it, although I could hear the stubble being cut away. I ended up with two small weepers. these probably my fault.
    this razor would be of great benefit to guys with hand issues (arthritis and so forth).
    I disassembled the razorafter use to see if the water got in the storage compartment, it appeared to be dry. the storage and the dial down feature make this a prime travel razor candidate.
    I'm very happy with the Berkeley Custom Shaver. thanks dark, another fine razor in my collection because of your commentary.
    Darkbulb likes this.
  2. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Happy to hear you like it! I ended up getting some outstanding shaves from it and was quite honestly 'surprised' :)

    I absolutely agree that this could be a very good razor for people that due to various reasons have difficulties gripping a smaller razor but still want something that shaves great and have a way to adjust how aggressive the shave is.
  3. Dave in KY

    Dave in KY On second thought, Buttercup

    WARNING - Thread Resurrection !! :D

    Sunday October 31, 2021
    Razor: Berkeley Custom Shaver (Setting 8)
    Blade: Wizamet
    Brush: Trotter Handcraft Coral Oscuro
    Soap: A&E NYC
    AS 1: Humphrey's Alcoholado Maravilla 70
    AS 2: A&E NYC
    Fragrance: John Varvatos Dark Rebel
    Consecutive Daily Shaves - # 1,089

    Great 1st shave with the Berkeley Custom Shaver (Patent 1937) wide open on setting 8 and a fresh Wizamet blade. Smooth, refreshed and smelling good for the day. Hope all have a great day !!

    Clouds, IAmTheJody, ewk and 3 others like this.
  4. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master Staff Member

    Dave in KY likes this.
  5. Dave in KY

    Dave in KY On second thought, Buttercup

    Thanks Jody
    IAmTheJody likes this.
  6. ewk

    ewk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the resurrection and video. The original pictures no longer appear. Neat looking razor.
    IAmTheJody and Dave in KY like this.
  7. Dave in KY

    Dave in KY On second thought, Buttercup

  8. Aztecmike

    Aztecmike George

    Great video Dave. I have a cream colored version which I also found to be an excellent shaver although I believe I've only used mine in the 5-6 setting range. It really does feel quite comfortable in hand considering how bulky the handle is. I was watching a burgundy one up for bid recently, but it went for well more than I was willing to pay. 20211031_172629.jpg 20211031_172712.jpg 20211031_172728.jpg 20211031_172744.jpg
  9. Dave in KY

    Dave in KY On second thought, Buttercup

    Nice set Mike :happy088: I'd love to get the booklet some day but that'll be a long shot.......
    Aztecmike likes this.
  10. Aztecmike

    Aztecmike George

    Thank you Dave. I can bring the booklet to work & make you color copies for a reproduction booklet if you like.
    IAmTheJody and Dave in KY like this.
  11. Dave in KY

    Dave in KY On second thought, Buttercup

    I hate to trouble you but that would be awesome if you could Mike and I'll send you a PM
    IAmTheJody and Aztecmike like this.
  12. Aztecmike

    Aztecmike George

    No trouble at all Dave. :)
    Dave in KY and IAmTheJody like this.
  13. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    After finally trying this razor, I have to say that on setting 1, it shaves much like a tech. On setting 3, like a superspeed. On setting 8...

    I've heard this razor described as "a 2011 R41 on steroids." I cannot disagree. Of course I've never tried a pre 2011 R41, but it's been years since I've gotten 3 weepers in one shave, and decades since that happened with any blade loaded other than a Feather.

    The spring tension plate is unique and really sets this razor apart from other DE razors. It's like having a shim, but also using that shim to make your razor adjustable. Simple and effective. The combination of chrome and bakelite, both in liberal quanties, remind me more of vintage kitchen appliances than a razor, and the shape of the razor makes it look more like a modern (or vintage) electric razor.

    It is extremely ergonomic, provided you hold the razor properly, and holding it properly is going to feel very weird, since the proper grip is on the sides of the razor, not the usual front to back orientation most people adopt for shaving. It's also quite top heavy, but not heavier than a typical razor.

    I've always considered this to be a 'travel' razor, due to the waterproof blade storage in the handle. I wonder if that capability was the driving force behind the design?

    Berkeley also manufactured (or had made) a 3 piece razor that adjusted between a mild and an aggressive setting. Those share the same handle design as the Krect slant razors, and Cooper is also involved as well. I'm not sure how a New Jersey based company ended up sharing razor handles with a Portland, OR based company in the 30's and 40's. That must have been quite the story.

    As a side note, I've heard this razor recommended for people with disabilities that make regular DE razors hard to hold. Arthritis, missing digits, Parkinson's, etc. While I agree in principle, twisting the adjustment knob is a workout if you wish to shave in the lower number register (1-3ish), and could be a challenge for people with mobility issues to manipulate.

    I think a modern reinterpretation of this razor would find willing buyers, especially if it kept the same basic profile. If cast zinc was swapped out for titanium or aluminum, it would improve the razor's balance, and durability.

    All in all, an interesting razor, and one I'm pleased to add to my collection.
    Clouds, mrchick, brit and 1 other person like this.
  14. twhite

    twhite Peeping Tom

    I just picked up a Berkeley. I cleaned it and loaded it with a Bic Chrome Platinum blade. I set it at 6 and went to town on a 4 day growth. I was pleasantly surprised as to the quality of shave. I messed around with different settings. I must say it has a nice wide range.
    The handle is very unique to say the least. More like an electric. The handle is pretty easy to manage. All in all this is a very nice razor. It is a keeper. [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    brit, PLANofMAN, Aztecmike and 3 others like this.
  15. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    I'd planned on sending you mine to look at the next time I had a shipment going your way, and here I see you snuck out and bought one when I wasn't looking. :)

    They really are better shavers than you would expect from looking at pictures.
    twhite and brit like this.

Share This Page