If after receiving it, however, you find it doesn’t perform like a TI ___ or Dovo ___ or Wacker ___ (or any other full/extra full hollow 6/8″+ European/English/Japanese/Victorian-US) razor, don’t be shocked; it is entirely a personal preference, but for some percentage of men shaving, it cannot be as comfortable as a similarly created but more hollow ground razor. Hollow grinding evolved in the late Victorian Era as not just a means towards easier home maintenance, but a massive factor toward increasing shaving comfort.
We’ve sold the 1937 ~1yr, and during that time two frequent-purchasing customers that buy various full/extra full hollow razors and always request their razors to be further honed by TSS using *my* technique (loving that characterization of the concept of concave razor bevels as an invention here…*TI themselves* told me – with tremendous condescension in their tone during the call, I shall not fail to highlight – about the “schtick” in the first place) of honing on convex hones (to make a slightly concave razor bevel) were both displeased, for the first time, with their 1937s. As those fellows are always happy and bought between them >20 razors, and neither was content with their 1937s’ performance enough to make point of emailing about it, I’d characterize that as a suspicion upon the grind issue.
Bringing up the concepts of concave razor bevels to the public domain has done nothing but harm my business, but it was *TI themselves* that were essentially the reason convex hones are “public” discourse now. In fact, the retired director Mr. Loft’s precise condescending warning/decree to me thirteen years ago now was “Americans will never understand or accept the convex hone”. We can, on the shaving forums, ooh and aah about the extremes of concavity in the hollow grind region of a razor, but if we dare to extend that concept even slightly to the bevel itself, you will certainly be castigated for blasphemy.
And upon straight razor forum echo chambers, all the but-I-like-a-non-thin-razor fellows will get together and say proudly, “look how many of us there are! that proves it is common!” Well, I’m a devout man of science, and a recovering statistics major. One must put in perspective the notion of SAMPLE SIZES as well as the concepts of silent majority versus vocal minorities. You might win at blackjack once or twice or thrice, but the more you play, the better the long term prognosis is for the house odds to take over. How many men would you suspect are alive today as we type regularly using a forged open razor to shave with as a primary/occasional tool of choice? I’d honestly be impressed if it is larger than 150,000 people worldwide. People on forums just don’t understand how small these things are. Similarly, before my damn house fire I had a great collection of vinyl and two turntables and multiple various moving coil cartridges, cartridges I’d read about on e-forums for other crazy turntable people, or on YouTube videos, etc. One such cartridge was from one of the largest producers and when I bought mine it had been on the market for six years; the serial number on the unit (they are individually numbered sequentially from production) was only in the 5000s, and the vendor is a large volume person that would never have had old stock on this particular very common item. Large hi-fi equipment mfgr from Japan. And they barely sell four units of that cartridge in a day.
Contrast this small straight razor shaving population today to the late Victorian era following the invention of the “hollow grinding machine” and prior to King Gillette’s WWI GI coup, when the sample size of men using these things was countless millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions! The reason that post-hollow-grinding-machine era and toward WWI that the various brands/razors started shouting to the rooftops and even engraving on the razors themselves about how hollow the grind, extra hollow ground, etc., concavity claims sold blades.
Does any of this guarantee YOU won’t prefer a wedge-ground razor with a slightly convex bevel set to a ~19° apex? No, no it does not. But there are probabilities and outcomes, and the honest answer is that the highest probability, if all other things are equal, is that the thinner the razor’s grind and more flexible its cutting edge without chipping/fatiguing from normal use, the more likely experienced user as average will prefer it. The thinner and more flexible piece of metal simply has a mechanically superior ability to enter a hair follicle quickly if steered ideally, rather than cleaving it off like a thicker thing, and for a some humans conscious during the act of the shave, that certainly can matter.
But, we’re happy to sell you what you want – just go into it with informed expectations.
Handmade in France
Made by hand, uniquely, “TIs” are the most hollow and flexible razors in the world still made.
Thiers-Issard has produced straight razors for nearly 100 years in Thiers, France, in the traditional methods unique to this most special of nations.
The “1937 Spécial Coiffeur” is a half hollow ground version of the basic “275” blank form, meant to emulate a historical Thiers model of razor. As a half hollow ground razor, you may as a new user find it easier to use than a full or extra full hollow ground razor, for they tend to be less picky about having an ideal angle of incidence of blade to skin. Scales are a basic but extremely high quality white resin, expertly pinned by the world’s best at it, and the razor comes with their basic black lambskin pouch.
This business is wholly centered upon the sale of one hollow ground straight razor to one shaver one at a time; “1 str8rzr alone” is ~50% of all our orders. You may elect to have your Thiers-Issard with its factory edge (which we think is exceptional, but that’s just one subjective opinion, and opinions vary) or further honed by ‘TSS’, as only you see fit; there is not a right or wrong answer. ‘TSS’ rather doubts the worth of debating this ‘Shave Ready’ concept today; anyone can bandy that term about as if objective, meaningful information (like a sprinter’s time), but in fact it is completely subjective.
If you elect for the factory edge, you’ll receive your razor exactly as its manufacturers intended…pretty simple!
If you elect for The Superior Shave to further hone your razor, this TI shall be honed in the manner taught in 2016 to The Superior Shave’s proprietor by two kind Solingen master grinders (whom did/do not work for Dovo, but do use similar 1840s grinders’ textbooks methods). Regardless of their poor refinement compared to further-honed ‘Honemeister’ edges on offer, some physical elements of factory edges remain superior to most further honing attempts. The Superior Shave will devote the extra time to your razor a dying industry cannot afford in overhead, without taking away the factory edge’s inherently advantaged geometric metrics. We’re confident we offer the materially thinnest further-honed-by-vendor edge available for purchase – you’ll need to try that to understand why it matters. Please note: in the professional opinions of German and French razor grinders, a straight razor is not properly honed unless flush to the hone, without tape, so visual evidence of honing is unavoidable when honing is performed correctly according to its makers (we add Vaseline to your razor’s faces and use compatible honing fluid to help a little).
We hone with a method best coined as “the opposite of tape“ where a hone’s geometry’s wholly catered to performance of the razor and to no other concern. Unfortunately, this topic cannot be discussed upon any English-based straight-razor-centric forum because a select group of e-enthusiasts cannot abide such open discourse. Be encouraged to think for yourself, and let your beard and sense of touch be the judge; there is a lot of misinformation out there, much purportedly from experts! We wish you good shopping, and Happy Shaving.