Thiers Issard 14 Médaille D’or Exposition Alger 1921 Straight Razor | Carbon Steel | 6/8 Size | Extra Full Hollow Ground | Round Point | Desert Ironwood Handle | Made in France


Thiers Issard 275 Médaille D’or Exposition Alger 1921 Straight Razor | Carbon Steel | 6/8 Size | Extra Full Hollow Ground | Round Point | Desert Ironwood Handle | Made in France


 “Handmade in France”

Made by hand (and uniquely so), the Thiers-Issard brand is, in this one opinion, the most hollow ground and flexible razor left in production today. They’ve produced straight razors for nearly 100 years in Thiers, France, with traditional methods confined to this most special of nations, such as lead tempering and the use of a single forging die and multiple hammer/reheat/hammer cycles versus the quicker method employed elsewhere where a progressive series of forging dies are used in sequence with just one heating cycle.

This “14” is an extra hollow ground 6/8″ of their basic form, but with decorations on both the tang and the show side which are dedicated to this historic nod, Médaille D’or Exposition Alger 1921.    Someone won a medal in 1921, perhaps they were curlers known for their beloved French brooms revered for their sweeping?

Desert ironwood makes up the scales, and at The Superior Shave this particular timber holds some special historic appeal as it was the scales of our very first custom razor long since gone to time.   These pieces are better than what we had because they posses more of that ‘unpolisheable’ recurrent pattern to the touch, no doubt about that, but we wouldn’t have gotten the deal that we did if we didn’t make that concession.

Judging in person for my little razor NFL drafts and doing gravity models as I like to do to balance desires/price, the ‘squiggliest’ ones are consistently the lookers to me, and because of this there is indeed one specimen on two images which pops with the most of that advertised minimum of the attribute that I’d assume it goes first as the bluest chip of stocks, but I don’t want to alter the prices on such otherwise drab imagery to reveal which is which.  It has always been a nightmare to photograph except one by one with very controlled lighting.

It’s a beautiful timber by any standard, and an all-American one to boot.  This version of their basic 6/8″ form with ironwood handles weighs in at about fifty-five grams.

“Shave Ready”?

If you elect for the factory edge (= do nothing, no note needed @ checkout), you’ll receive your razor exactly as its manufacturers intended…pretty simple!

If you elect for The Superior Shave to further hone your razor [plz add “note to vendor” @ checkout], your razor will be delivered to you  Guaranteed  Shave Ready!   Observe this model razor being honed by TSS here and here!   The Superior Shave hones via a method best coined (by the old Thiers-Issard director) as “the opposite of tape“, where the hones’ shapes cater to performance and little else; you begin with your coarsest stone that’s shaped as the smallest imaginary wheel, and you progress to finer abrasives shaped like larger wheels, thus honing from the spine toward the actual edge, leaving a *thin*, concave edge first and foremost.

The convex honing methods were used at Thiers-Issard for many years (they’re the ones that told me about it in the first place ~2010), though [as you can see in the video at top] today as the natural stone convex wheels once used are now commercially deceased, they use 5 pairs of ~flat discs to establish a cutting edge which is then ultimately refined with a dual-grit pasted strop.  While I’ve tremendous respect for Thiers-Issard’s method and believe many people will love its shave straight out of the box, if you don’t mind more visual queues of honing, for my own face I prefer the concaved edge, and thus that is how I hone your razor when requested.  If a commercial wheel fine and slow enough to establish a concaved bevel still existed, I believe they’d probably still use one.

There is no wrong or right choice for factory edge/further honed, but please do not believe all factory edges are never ‘Shave Ready’, that is an absurd yet common belief.  Their intention is certainly for you to only need to strop the new razor (after wiping off the factory oil) prior to shaving to receive a terrific shave.  Thanks for reading this, and happy shaving!

Additional information

Weight 6 oz
Dimensions 6 × 4 × 2 in
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