The Tradere

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Darkbulb, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    The Tradere

    It feels a bit odd to do a write-up - even a short one like this - of a razor that was in production so recently but I figured that with wetshaving becoming increasingly popular over the past years there might well be some people that don't know about this late - and shortlived razor.

    It's actually such a recent razor that it's not covered in Waits' compendium.

    On a personal level I truly respect the founder Richard Mason for what he did, how he did it and why he did it and I am thrilled to finally be an owner of one of his razors - and be able to share some of it with you this way.

    A little bit of history
    Launched in 2012 out of Reno, Nevada, by founder Richard Mason, Tradere had an immediate - and quite a bit before the launch - following on various shaving sites. The product hit on a number of things that resonated well with a lot of wetshavers - it was fully made in the US, solid stainless steel, an original take on the razor head design, great aesthetics, made out of 60-80% recycled material, etc. Each razor was laser engraved with a unique serial number (starting with "OC" or "SB" depending on the model).

    Initially the company came out with only the handle but as a result of how well that was received they continued with their plans and launched both heads - first the OC and later on the SB model.

    The company came out with two models - an OC and a SB version where the OC version had a second manufacturing batch with some minor improvements. The OC was marketed as more aggressive than the SB version.

    OC version:
    Photo by Westcoastshaving

    SB version:
    Photo by Westcoastshaving

    Both razors carried a price of about $170, weighed in at about 118gr (4.1 ounces) (the handle alone weighs 2.3 ounces and is 3 5/8" long) and were made out of pure, solid, uncoated stainless steel.

    But, unfortunately, already within less than two years of launch the company was plagued by production issues as their original, local manufacturer had to drop them. For years - still? - people had hopes that production would pick up again but at the time of this writing that has not happened and the prospects that it ever will are fairly poor.

    Mr Mason stated early on as this was a project that was born out of his love of wetshaving and something that he wanted to do as he got closer to retirement. His primary reason behind it was to do something fun and not so much for profit. It has been argued that the delay/change in manufacturer might have been the reason this effort was eventually put to rest as the "fun" part of it eroded with increasing challenges.

    - The word "Tradere" is latin for "To pass on to posterity"

    - Richard Mason's favorite DE blade was Personna and there were always two Personna blades included in the box along with the razor.

    - The first generation OC razors ends with serial number 207.

    - How many Tradere razors were made? I don't think anyone truly knows for sure but best estimate at the time of this writing is approximately 1,100 OC razors and 700 SB razors - making this a rather rare razor in any way you look at it with less than 2,000 complete razors ever made.

    - There were plans for also making a Tradere slant.

    - The Tradere 2012 trademark application here

    As always - I welcome any additions/corrections to any of the above :)

    So, will this razor go down in wetshaving history as a collectible people will seek out 50 years from now?
    I have no idea - but I can tell you I am really looking forward to next week as this will be my 'razor of the week' :)

    Here's a video of me fidgeting with the razor and also showing it next to a Gillette slim

    I was lucky enough to be able to buy a NOS/NIB razor - it even came with the two Personna the bottom of the box. It made my fan-boy heart skip a beat... :)

    And some photos of MY Tradere OC, 2nd gen razor:




    The razor is of a rather typical three-piece design:

    Loaded with a blade:

    For a bit of size comparison here it is next to a Gillette Slim:

    For some fun - here's the handle with a EJDE89 head on it:

    Tradere Razors - Where tradition meets today
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
    PLANofMAN, ninjack, Jorvaljr and 19 others like this.
  2. Mr. Shaverman

    Mr. Shaverman Well-Known Member

    Great write up and pics!
    Darkbulb likes this.
  3. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Thank you sir, I appreciate it.
    Douglas Carey and Mr. Shaverman like this.
  4. mrchick

    mrchick Odd, Terrible Avatar

    That is a beautiful razor. I'm such a Noob that I wasn't even aware it existed. I can't wait to hear how it shaves!
    Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  5. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Almost pulled the trigger on a Tradere several times over the past few years—but opted out every time. Lovely razors with a dedicated following.
    Excellent write-up, by the way. And the photos are great—as usual! :happy088:
    In hindsight, maybe I should have bought several and watch 'em go up in value!
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  6. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Well, looking at the whole safety razor period as a whole this razor really only did exist during the blink of an eye.
    That - and I know you're a Waits-guy and this isn't in Waits ;)
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and mrchick like this.
  7. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Knowing that you favor aggressive DEs with larger, heavier handles this one might had been just up your alley.
    Karl G and Douglas Carey like this.
  8. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Those are reasons I found it so attractive! Plus I've read where users just love the handle so much they actually bought additional Tradere handles to used with other other heads.
    I think the price per scared me off and at the time, I was getting the itch to go straight begin to use straight razors.
    Karl G likes this.
  9. Boojum1

    Boojum1 Valet Parking Available Here

    Great research. Thanks for sharing. :happy096:
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  10. IDuck

    IDuck Well-Known Member

    man the history behind these things is so awesome sometimes....thanks for the education
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  11. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    love it.
    nice write up
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  12. clint64

    clint64 Blind Squirrel

    Great find and write up.
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  13. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

    Thanks for the history lesson. Fantastic write up! Fantastic razor.
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  14. wristwatchb

    wristwatchb wristwatch "danger" b

    Dark, I always enjoy reading your in-depth razor reviews. Great job and thanks!
  15. Jasman

    Jasman Well-Known Member

    Nice review. The baseplate on the Tradere looks really unusual, to my eye, with no curvature to speak of.
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  16. Spud

    Spud Well-Known Member

    Very interesting write-up. Thanks for posting.
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  17. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    I have always wondered about the design and styling of traditional baseplates on DE razors.
    Often the older (non-adjustable) Gillettes have the curve of the top plate mimicked by the base plate. New models, such as the Muhles, are convex (see pic). As far as functionality, it probably makes little difference so long as the top plate allows for the proper angle and blade exposure.
  18. CyanideMetal

    CyanideMetal Wild and crazy guy

    Great review.

    I remember exchanging emails with Mr. Mason before he launched the razor. I was interested in buying just the head. I always hear great things about them, but never tried one.
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.
  19. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    I'm always a bit 'worried' that when I shave with a razor for the first time, that I already have some expectations for, that I won't be able to be completely objective.
    With the Tradere I, admittedly, had quite some expectations and I didn't "want" to be disappointed.
    I did my very best to put it all out of my mind and try to think of it as 'Razor X' and went to work.....

    First impressions:
    The handle is really heavy...but it seems balanced...
    Did a few downward/WTG strokes...and was immediately impressed by the feel.
    Completed my WTG pass and I was almost clean-shaven.
    This is a very, very efficient razor and I truly enjoyed the first pass.
    My one concern is that the handle does feel almost too heavy - and that's from someone who loves long, hefty handles.

    Did my second pass - ATG.
    Just a fantastic feeling - the razor cut through the remaining stubble built up over the weekend with little to no effort.
    It's hard to describe how aggressive/mild it is. I never one feared it would nick me - and it didn't - but at the same time it was able to work its way through my two+ days beard with ease.
    Finished my second pass - and I was clean, smooth and with no need for any touch-up passes.
    I will restrain myself from trying to 'rate' this razor until the end of the week when I have more experience with it but..for now...the one word is "wow".

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
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  20. clint64

    clint64 Blind Squirrel

    Fantastic write up. I love the looks of the razor. Too bad they are no longer making such a fine razor.
    Karl G, Douglas Carey and Darkbulb like this.

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