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. 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:

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

This will be the last day to place an order for built-to-order straight razors to guarantee shipments will be received before Christmas. For those of you keeping track, that’s next Monday! Orders for built-to-order razors placed after this date will be shipped in 2019. As always, there is no guaranteed delivery date for custom razors.

DECEMBER 17, 2018

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 2019.

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 tutorial, sample soaps and aftershaves, 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!

 

Introducing the Professional Line

We are excited to introduce the Portland Razor Co. Professional Line Straight Razors! The Professional Line Straight Razors can be fully sanitized due to their unique blade and scales materials, improvements which make them the ultimate shaving tool for professional barbers and stylists. We believe that conventional straight razors not only out-perform disposable razors in many categories, they also offer a waste-free solution to practitioners in search of green alternatives.

The Problem

" --In reality, conventional straight razors can be used in most states with proper sanitary technique."

For decades, disposable razors have been commonplace in shops across the United States. Used properly, disposable blades are perfectly safe and sanitary. That said, blade changes take time, pose an added risk to the professional handling them, often barbers will have to throw out unused blades because they are simply not sharp, and they end up in our landfills as hazardous waste. Students are often told in barber school that there is no alternative, that conventional straight razor use is illegal or unsafe. In reality, conventional straight razors can be used in most states with proper sanitary technique. (We have checked rules & regs in many states including OR, CA, WA, PA, FL, TN, NY, NJ… In fact, the only state we have confirmed prohibits Conventional Straight Razor Use is Rhode Island!)

Even knowing the proper sanitary technique is not enough, unfortunately. Existing razor manufacturers never changed their design or materials to keep up with evolving requirements. For example, all sharp implements which may come in contact with the skin must be fully immersible in a high-level disinfectant. This means the whole razor, scales and all, must be fully immersed to be sanitized. Products like Barbicide do a very good job of destroying organic matter, which makes them great for killing contagions (yay!) and bad for plastics, wood, horn… everything traditionally used to make razor scales. It’s also brutal on most blade steels, causing rust or deformation of the edge.

With these problems in mind, we were ready to get into the shop and find the solution.

professional line straight razors-7411.JPG

Design Process

Our first and most obvious task was to find materials that are easily sanitized. Our Cascade Steel has the perfect chemistry and edge-retention characteristics to survive prolonged exposure to Barbicide with little to no change in sharpness or surface finish. It’s also easier to clean and maintain than carbon steel blades(such as our O1 razors from our Classic and Artisan lines) without sacrificing cutting performance.

With the blade accounted for, the scales posed our next challenge. We wanted something durable, non-reactive with Barbicide, and easy to work with. This meant metal was out of the question, being either too flimsy or too heavy for our purposes. We settled on resin-based materials, being widely available, lightweight, and easier to work with. After exhaustive testing, we went with a high-impact, chemical-resistant fiberglass and resin composite.

In thinking of how professionals tend to put more mileage on their tools than hobbyists, we decided to upgrade the rest of the hardware while we were at it. Stainless pins and washers replaced the usual brass, making the razor more durable overall.

Once we found all the appropriate materials, we began vigorously testing them in a real-world environment: Portland Shave Shop. Each of our barbers was equipped with a prototype razor, instructed on its care and use, and given license to test them however they saw fit.

It makes sense that a razor designed for use on one’s own face might not be ideal for shaving others. The barbers would work with the razors for a few weeks and come back to us with their feedback, and we would take the razors into the shop for modifications. We started from scratch more than a few times, deciding that we needed two different razors to tackle most jobs in the barbershop. The resulting designs were worth the effort. They come with some obvious changes, a few less-so: we extended the jimps and made them barely deeper to improve grip, and the overall length of the razors was shortened so they would fit in sanitation jars from common manufacturers. The taper of the tang and balance point of the blade were altered to make the razor more comfortable in pinch grips and when held back-handed, grips more common in the barbershop than in the bathroom at home.

Performance

The barbers testing our razors had great feedback. The first thing usually had to do with tactile feedback, or how they could feel the hair and skin by holding the razor. Picture a disposable-blade razor for a moment; a thin piece of metal (the blade) is inserted into a metal or plastic housing with several moving parts, and is fastened together with pins, springs, or magnets. This creates several degrees of separation between the hair being cut and the hand of the barber. All that plastic and hardware absorbs the force of the hair against the blade and it never makes it to the barber’s hand! By contrast, conventional razors are a single piece of steel with only one degree of separation between the client's hair and the barber's hand. This results in an immediate difference in how much the barber can feel on the skin through the razor, allowing them to make adjustments on the fly more naturally than with a disposable blade. This has resulted in fewer nicks, closer shaves, and greater overall comfort for the client.

Second, conventional razors tend to be less aggressive. While some may see this as a drawback, most find that it allows them to give a closer shave that is less irritating to the client’s skin. Our theory is this: you want a razor that is sharp enough to cut the hair with no resistance, but not so sharp that it removes more than the topmost layer of dead skin. The blade should pass effortlessly through hair but glide over the surface of the skin without irritating it.

Third was ease of maintenance. Cleanup is a cinch thanks to the stainless blade, as the whole razor can be rinsed under running water without fear of rust. Sanitation is also simple as with any other sharp in a barber’s toolkit. Because the blade steel and scales materials are non-reactive, they can be fully immersed in Barbicide Plus--or other high-level disinfectants--without the material deteriorating or harming performance. One drawback of course is the need to strop, but this is far outweighed by the benefits of a non-disposable blade. Once the technique is mastered, stropping can be done at the chair while the client is enjoying a hot towel or while your next razor is resting in disinfectant, allowing you to multitask.

On the topic of stropping: we find the edge is durable enough to forego stropping between every client if the blade is only used for neck shaves. Basic lineups don’t seem to put as much wear on the blade, so barbers in busy shops need not take the few extra minutes between clients to strop; only sanitizing is necessary.

Finally, there’s nothing to throw away. We care about our planet and our impact on it, so finding ways to reduce waste is important to us. Switching to conventional straight razors at Portland Shave Shop has allowed us to do away with disposable razors entirely, meaning we both generate less waste and help our barbers save time and money.

1.75-inch Professional Straight Razor // "The Lineup"

With a shorter blade and a familiar profile, this razor is ideal for line ups and detailed razor work around the ear, or in creative cuts. The blade still has enough weight behind it for a full face shave, but if you are a specialist and are shaving faces every day, we recommend the 2-½” model.

2.5-inch Professional Straight Razor // Barber Special

This razor most strongly resembles the vintage blades used in barbershops for over 100 years, and brings traditional barbering hurdling into the 21st century. Longer than the Line Up razor, this blade is for barbers whose practice is built around the traditional straight shave. The added surface area allows you to make more strokes before wiping the blade, and the added weight carries the blade through whiskers with less effort.

specs

  • Handmade in Portland, OR
  • 5/8 Round Point Straight Razor
  • 2-1/2" cutting edge
  • Can be fully submerged in high-level disinfectant
  • Durable scales
  • Stainless pins and washers
  • Lower and Upper Jimps for Added Grip and Control
  • Quarter-Hollow Ground Stainless Cascade Steel
  • Hardened to 62 HRC
  • Shave-Ready: Hand-Honed to 12K grit and Stropped Before Shipping
  • Pinned by Hand

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.

cascade steel razors.jpg

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.

Cascade Steel Straight Razor-4797.JPG

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!

Cascade Steel Straight Razor-5530.JPG

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

Introducing Portland Shave Shop

The Portland Razor Co. team often discusses the need for physical spaces where wetshavers, beard lovers, and barbers can hang out and share in our mutual engrossment with all things grooming. When we realized the lobby of our workshop was begging to be that place, we figured the extra work on the weekends and evenings would be well worth it! We are excited to announce that Portland Razor Co. is expanding into “Portland Shave Shop.” Portland Shave Shop is a retailer of fine shaving and beard care products, features a single-chair barbershop, and is conveniently located a few feet from our where we make our straight razors and strops. This means that we can manufacture, sell, and give personalized instruction on the use of our product all under one roof!

The "Work Together" Mural in the ADX Woodshop.

Better Together

The early days of Portland Razor Co. were spent in a 10x10 studio at ADX Portland where the motto is “Work Together.” There is even a mural of raccoons on the wall of the ADX wood shop that touts such a philosophy. As subscribers to this idea, we are always looking for ways to collaborate with those courageous enough to see eye to eye with a group of people who spend all day every day making straight razors! Portland Razor Co. sees the shave shop as aligned with the “work together” M.O. in that we can stock our favorite shaving goods from other companies making killer products and we can share our shop with customers and other industry pros for events and meet-ups. As we continue to densify life in the city, it is important to learn how to share and optimize a scarce commodity: space! Portland has an urban growth boundary (as do all cities in Oregon), so our fair city isn't getting much bigger, just denser! It is also important to find those moments where you can take a break from such packed-in city life. We had a friend who would drop-in to visit Portland Razor Co. in it's early days because he needed to, in his words, "Zen Out" before getting back to busy life. Portland Shave Shop makes good use of Portland Razor Co.’s extra space and offers it to you because we all need a reliable escape in which to "zen out" every once in awhile.

Portland Shave Shop

Portland Shave Shop is about giving wet shavers, barbers and beard lovers alike an inviting space to talk shop and enjoy a personalized retail experience. Located at 3207 SW 1st Ave, the shave shop is walking distance from downtown Portland and the Southwest Waterfront MAX. Customers can enjoy shopping in a classic barbershop setting, schedule a relaxing shave or haircut with our barbers, and receive instruction on how to use their new straight razor, safety razor, badger bristle brush, beard balm, etc. Portland Razor Co. straight razors and strops will be available for purchase, along with carefully-chosen products from our favorite brands.
Looking for a gift, but don’t know anything about “traditional wet shaving”? Not to worry: we are happy to give recommendations based on the giftee's existing routine and preferences. We don’t expect you to think about shaving all day every day, just know that we do and are more than happy to share in our knowledge with you. The Shave Shop carries an array of great products for wet shavers of any experience level, and is equipped with the facilities to see them in action.

Behind the barber chair at Portland Shave Shop

The Barbershop @ Portland Shave Shop

Centered around an ultra-classic 1920’s Koken barber chair, the barbershop is a throwback to slower, simpler times when the relationship between barber and client was about more than just getting your hair done right. Being a single-chair barbershop removes the stress of getting clients in and out of the chair as fast as possible, allowing both the barber and the client to relax and enjoy. You can swing by for a quick trim, or stick around and luxuriate in a hot towel shave. It’s an opportunity to unplug, enjoy some music, have a beverage with friends, and when you’re ready (and only then!), go about your day feeling clean, calm, and collected.

Portland Razor Co. Workshop

Portland Razor Co. will continue to manufacture high-quality straight razors and strops in-house, in our workshop behind Portland Shave Shop. We may eventually switch to having limited hours for shop tours, but for now all are welcome to schedule an appointment to come see us and learn how our strops and straight razors are made!
As we expand our product offerings, so too are our services! Our team is available to service your straight razors, strops, scissors, clippers, pocket knives, and other gear. Inspections are free, and our team of knowledgeable bladesmiths and makers is available to answer any questions you may have. Sharpenings, cleanings, restorations, and some repairs can be handled in-house. However, some products with warranties should be sent to the manufacturer, and we are happy to help with that process as well.

See you soon?

We’re always working on something new and exciting, and we’re constantly seeking ways to better serve our customers. Whether you seek clean-shaven perfection or bearded beau ideal, care to relax with our barber, need a gift for the hairy one in your life, or want to see how our products are made here in Portland, we are happy to accommodate your visit however we can. We’re a pretty relaxed crowd and we love making new friends. Please don’t be shy, we’d love to see you in here! If you are planning a visit, know that our building is undergoing a facelift at the time of this post. Our owners assure us that the work is progressing well and that we will soon have a whole crew of other makers and artists to keep us company! In the meantime, know that we will be here (hardhat zone or not!) on the second floor.

As always, thank you so much for reading and for your continued support of Portland Razor Co. (and affiliates!).

View of Portland Razor Co. & Portland Shave Shop building from the street entrance on SW 1st Ave.

Portland Shave Shop is open regular hours Wednesday-Sunday

3207 SW 1st Ave #204
Portland, OR 92739

Portland Shave Shop Website

Source: https://portlandshaveshop.com/

Straight Razor Care and Honing Classes at Portland Razor Co!

From the beginning we set out to make heirloom-quality straight razors and strops here in the US. In addition, we make it our priority to provide our customers with all of the tools and knowledge they need for a great shave. When we first started straight shaving, we read countless posts and watched endless hours of videos on the Internet. We found these resources helpful, but who couldn't use a few moments (or days, weeks, months!) away from a screen? It has always been our intention to bring the online wet shaving community offline, to give it a physical space here in the Pacific Northwest.

With these goals in mind, we have organized a skill-building class at our SW Portland workshop to teach our customers how to maintain their straight razor. We hope to build an inclusive community around wet shaving and an appreciation for the straight razor as the best shaving tool out there.

Each class will be held on a Saturday 10:30-12:30 and be lead by a Portland Razor Co. bladesmith. There are no gear requirements; you don’t even have to be the proud owner of a PR straight razor yet! Students are welcome to bring their own honing stones and razors if they wish. Most importantly, bring yourself, be ready to learn, and prepare to make some friends

As a student, you can expect to leave the 2-hour class with a new Norton 4k/8k stone, a 1.5 oz can of ballistol, and the know-how to care for your straight razor all on your own. Class size is limited, so sign-up while space is available.

2017 Schedule:
1/21/17 10:30am-12:30pm
4/29/17 10:30am-12:30pm
7/8/17 10:30am-12:30pm
11/11/17 10:30am-12:30pm

Thank you for reading and for your continued support of Portland Razor Co. as we gear up for this exciting new offering. We hope to see you here in 2017!