December & January Impact | Outside In

For the months of December & January, we are donating proceeds from Honing Services to Outside In, a Portland-based non-profit helping homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self sufficiency.

There are an estimated 1,500-2,000 homeless youth in Oregon. These young people experience homelessness for a  variety of reasons including family poverty, violence, mental and physical illness in their families, sexual minority issues, unemployment, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. Without a home or medical care, these young people are forced into difficult lives and on average must be independent a full decade before their peers. Outside In, with its team of trained medical professionals and volunteer network, works tirelessly to step in and change the life path of these at-risk youth for the better. They offer a wide array of services including: housing, education, employment, counseling, medical care, healthy meals, and safety off the streets.

From Outside In:
For 49 years, Outside In has been a grassroots social justice organization supporting disenfranchised members of the Portland community.  Our mission is to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency.

We are...

  • Service providers and advocates.
  • Experts in understanding adolescents.
  • A Federally Qualified Health Center.
  • A licensed Mental Health Agency.
  • Leaders in serving LGBTQ youth.

How It Works

Portland Razor Co. will donateº $10 from each Straight Razor Honing Service sold during the month of December 2017 and January 2018, in support of OutsideIn. These donations will continue through the end of January. We hope to aid those in need as much as we can and thank you for your support.

If you would like to make a donation on your own accord, you can donate directly to Outside In here.

 

ºIncludes sales to Portland Razor Co. retail and web customers, and authorized retailers. No portion of the purchase price is tax deductible.

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Introducing the 5/8 Cascade Steel Straight Razor

We are proud to introduce our newest product, the 5/8 Cascade Steel Straight Razor! It is handmade in our Portland, OR facility (just like the rest of our straight razors) and it features a vintage profile. It is also our first production razor to ever be made of stainless steel! The 5/8 Cascade Steel Straight Razor is available in both square and round points and launched last week with 4 scales options.

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CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT AND UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY

With the Cascade Steel Straight Razors, we set our sights on making our best production straight razor yet: a razor with classic style and the quality of old American craftsmanship, with the best modern materials available to us. Since our founding we have worked to make modern straight razors worthy of handing down to future generations. To us this means making an heirloom quality product that honors the tradition of the straight razor and utilizes modern advancements in materials and technology to make something that is truly at the forefront. For this straight razor we wanted to make something that would step up our game and be our most useable grooming tool yet. The 5/8 Cascade Steel Straight Razor fits in the hand, has excellent balance between the blade and the scales, and is our first stain-resistant razor model.

Stainless steel razors are somewhat disreputable in the straight razor community. Many stainless razors seem brittle, difficult to maintain, and just don’t shave quite as smoothly as their high-carbon steel counterparts. On one hand, high carbon steel straight razors work very well. On the other hand, high carbon steel is hard to take care of and is unlike other blades most of us have in our lives - pocket knives, kitchen knives, scissors, garden shears - the majority of these cutting tools are stain-resistant and in 2017 we expect that our metals don’t rust. It would be a shame not to try and make a stainless razor ourselves that we found to be comparable if not higher-performing than high-carbon steel razors. Stainless straight razors get a bad rap and we attribute these negative characteristics to unwanted chromium carbide formation, a common tradeoff in stainless blade steels. So, if we could find the right stainless steel and heat treat it optimally to minimize chromium carbide formation, we suspected we could make a superior razor steel.

It took some time, but we believe our persistence paid off!

Fueled by our obsession with performance and finding the right tool for the job, we experimented with a number of new blade steels and heat treatment processes to find the ultimate razor steel. Not only did these experiments result in a new product, they lead to marked improvements to our heat treatment protocol across all of our straight razors. Our Classic Line and Artisan Line blades also leveled up as a result of our experimentation with heat treating the Cascade Steel blades. All of our blades now in production are harder, thinner, and sharper than earlier production models and we aren’t afraid to say that these are our best production razors yet.

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As for the look of the razor - you all are very vocal in your requests for a more vintage-looking razor from us -- we hope this razor shows that we take your comments to heart! With this in mind, we turned to our favorite vintage straight razors for inspiration. Familiar lines, a lick of our signature style, and cutting edge materials have made this a fast favorite around the shop; we are all very excited to finally have it in production!

WHAT SETS THE CASCADE STEEL STRAIGHT RAZOR APART?

In short, it shaves effortlessly and it’s easier to maintain. Here’s why:
Smaller Carbides = Improved Sharpness.
We used a modern steel engineered specifically for use in delicate cutting instruments which, with optimal heat treatment, results in the finest cutting edge available. The edge is more aggressive and shaves with less effort and more audible feedback, improving the overall shaving experience by reducing resistance.
Increased Wear-Resistance = Improved Edge Retention
Nobody likes having to strop mid-shave. Harder, more wear-resistant steels result in longer-lasting edges that glide through coarse beard growth with ease.
Increased Chromium Content = Improved Stain-Resistance.
A slightly higher percentage of chromium balanced with the right amount of carbon makes this steel more stain-resistant without creating unwanted chromium carbides. One usually has to compromise carbide size for stain-resistance, but not in this case; the Cascade Steel edge shaves at least as well as O1, if not better!

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Specs

  • Handmade in Portland, OR
  • 5/8 Round or Square Point Straight Razor
  • Lower and Upper Jimps for Added Grip and Control
  • Choice of Back Acrylic, Ivory Acrylic, Arizona Desert Ironwood, Ebony
  • Quarter-Hollow Ground
  • Cryo-Treated Cascade Steel Hardened to 62 HRC
  • Shave-Ready: Hand-Honed to 12K Grit and Stropped Before Shipping
  • Brass Pinned by Hand

How to be Sure You Will Receive Your Order for the Holidays

As you all know, each and every one of our straight razors and strops are handmade to order. This is a process that takes a lot of work and time. We know that this season can be stressful when it comes to considering lead times and shipping times. To give you certainty that your orders will be received in time, please take note of the following dates and plan accordingly:

DECEMBER 1, 2017

This will be the last day to place an order for production straight razors to guarantee shipments will be received before Christmas. For those of you keeping track, that’s next Friday! Orders placed after this date will be shipped in 2018. As always, there is no guaranteed delivery date for custom razors.

DECEMBER 18, 2017

This is the last day to place orders for any in-stock products and strops in time for a December 24th arrival. Orders placed after this date will be shipped in 2018.

If you are reluctant to make a decision before these cutoff dates, we do offer gift certificate codes and have an assortment of razors and shaving accessories in-stock at our brick-and-mortar location, Portland Shave Shop. While you’re at it, you can schedule a shave demo, sample soaps, learn how to strop, and even get a haircut or straight shave with one of our barbers to look extra sharp in time for your big holiday party!

Thanks for your support and we hope you all are enjoying a happy and healthy holiday season!

November Impact | Movember 2017 Part II

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This Movember, be the difference in a man’s life. We’re teaming up this month with the Movember Foundation to help raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Last Saturday, we hosted a party at Portland Shave Shop to do just that, and we couldn’t be prouder of how our customers came together to make it a success!

Movember Party @ Portland Shave Shop Recap

Thank you all for spreading the word, showing up, and joining us in supporting men’s health. Spending time together and looking out for each other is at the heart of the Movember message, so to have everyone come together to support one cause feels like a victory on its own.

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We kicked things off last Saturday with a straight razor honing class. Many of our students stayed afterwards for a shave or generously contributed to our donation jar. Thank you honing students for traveling from far and wide not just to learn from us, but to celebrate and support Movember with us, too.

Local barbers Eric and Jeramie were booked solid with cuts and shaves and donated 100% of proceeds. We are so, so grateful to be working with such talented, hard-working, giving people. We have to thank our customers as well for filling the books and keeping these guys busy for a good cause!

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Our thanks also go out to Hi-Wheel Wine Co. and New Basin Distilling Company for their generous donations and for bringing some warmth and life to the party. If you are visiting Portland, head north to Hi-Wheel’s tasting room in the historic Woodlawn neighborhood! As for New Basin, they distill “pioneering” spirits in Madras, OR, “one way, and only one way: our way. Otherwise what’s the point? In everything we do we’re driven by the same pioneering spirit that made Oregon what it is today." Additionally, many small business owners were in attendance on Saturday. We say it all the time, but the collaborative and supportive nature of the small business community here in Oregon played a part in deciding to start the company here, and we want you to know how much your friendship and support means to us. We look forward to learning and growing alongside you all in the coming years.

Ongoing Fundraising Efforts

Though the party is over, we will continue fundraising throughout the month with our honing service fees. We are donating proceeds from each honing service, and of course you can always make a direct contribution to the Movember Foundation.

Where Does Your Donation Go?

The Movember Foundation funds over 1,200 initiatives in 21 countries, focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. They do a great job of reporting where the money goes and how it’s being used. Last year the foundation raised $16.3 million, with 74.8% going directly to the initiatives and partners they support. You can read a more detailed report on their website.

Other Ways to Get Involved

Perhaps the best thing you can do for men’s health is to reach out. That may look like growing a mo and starting conversations about men’s health with strangers, or checking in with a friend to see how they’re doing. Don’t forget to look after yourself, too! Set a goal to be more physically active this month; walk instead of drive, ride a bike, play catch, try a handstand! Have fun with it, maybe even invite that friend you’ve been meaning to call!

Signal Boost!!!

Again, thank you all for your support and for helping make our fundraising for Movember such a success. If you like the work we’re doing and want to spread the word, please share this post on social media or with someone you care about. Likewise, if you’re hosting a fundraising event for Movember and want to let others know, feel free to leave a comment with a link to the event page or shoot us an email!

What are some other ways you are supporting men’s health this month? Let us know in the comments!

November Impact | Movember 2017

This Movember, be the difference in a man’s life.

We’re teaming up this month with the Movember Foundation to help raise funds and awareness for men’s health initiatives.

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Our Personal Story

As you may already know, our founder Scott was diagnosed with stage II testicular cancer in mid-2015, barely a year after starting Portland Razor Co. It goes without saying that cancer is serious business, but Scott’s prognosis was good and he was expected to make a full recovery. And, well, he is! Last month marked his second year cancer-free, he competed in a 24-hour mountain bike race a few weeks ago, and he is able to play Taiko regularly… Let’s just say we’re damn grateful for life to be pretty much back to normal!

Reflecting on Scott’s experience, his positive outcome was undoubtedly influenced by the fantastic organizations that support research and outreach related to men’s health issues. This month, we’re teaming up with the Movember Foundation to give back, raise awareness, and help fund over 1,200 awesome initiatives in support of men’s health.

The Movember Foundation

Movember has built a formidable reputation for raising money and awareness on behalf of men’s health. Their stated mission is “Stopping men dying too young,” which they do by funding initiatives to fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer, as well as mental health and suicide prevention.

Movember makes a couple of great recommendations on their site for living happier, healthier, longer lives:

  1. Make man time. Stay connected. Your friends are important and spending time with them is good for you. Catch up regularly, check in and make time.
  2. Have open conversations. You don’t need to be an expert and you don’t have to be the sole solution, but being there for someone, listening and giving your time can be life-saving.
  3. Know the numbers. At 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and whether it’s right for you to have a PSA test. If you are African American or have a father or brother with prostate cancer, you should be having this conversation at 45. Know your numbers, know your risk, talk to your doctor.
  4. Know thy nuts. Get to know what’s normal for your testicles. Give them a check regularly and go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right.
  5. Move, more. Add more activity to your day. Do more of what makes you feel good.

Our Fundraising Efforts

This month, proceeds generated from honing service fees will be going directly to the Movember foundation. This has proven to be an effective and meaningful way for us to donate consistently to causes with immediate need, and we thank you all for making it possible.

We are also hosting an event on November 11th at Portland Shave Shop and will be updating our facebook page with additional details. With the help and exceptional talents of barbers Eric Tolento @et.thebarber and Jeramie Armstrong @oldscoolnewblood, we are donating all proceeds from barbering services on select days to the Movember Foundation. There will be food and drinks, and it would be great to see you (come party with us!). Book your appointment for this special event HERE.

Please Share!

If you don't intend to participate in wither of our initiatives, we encourage you to donate directly to Movember Foundation and help spread the word about this great cause by sharing the event with your friends and family. We thank you for your help and we wish all of you a healthy beginning to the holiday season!