This hand forged/hammered Daishi straight razor is in very good condition. There’s minimal hone wear and it centres well between the scales. The faux tortoise shell scales are in great shape, with an inset brass seahorse logo. The bottom of the tang features jimps, to improve your grip while shaving. It’s taken a very keen edge and is a real pleasure to shave with. (As is very common with many hand forged Japanese kamisori and Western-grind razors, what appears to be pitting on the show side of the blade is actually hammer marks that weren’t polished out completely.)
Daishi western (folding, symetrical grind) style straight razors are among the finest ever produced in Japan, hand forged to compete with high end Iwasaki and R. Saito razors shortly after WWII. The Yasuki Tamahagane (Jewel Steel) ‘Iron Sand’ steel was hardened to over 65 HRC, without becoming brittle. Tamahagane is produced from iron sand, a source of iron ore, and traditionally has been used to make the finest Samurai swords, like the legendary katana. A different smelting process is required for Tamahagane steel, to deliver the exceptional hardness, without making it brittle. The Japanese took blade steel and tempering to a whole new level. The ultra-hard steel takes longer to hone, but it then holds the edge appreciably longer. It was typical for Japanese barbers to shave more than 10 clients a day with a Tamahagane steel razor, day after day, without another blade in rotation.
The blade has a gentle smile. Since the 1800’s, many barbers and home shavers have preferred the Sheffield smiling wedge blades, because a ’round’ edge better conforms to the contours of our ’round’ faces. This 13/16 smiling blade provides a similar shaving experience to the Sheffield smiling wedge blades, but without the weight and bulk.
The razor includes an extremely rare Japanese convex block strop of the same era, in like new condition, with its original box. The leather strop surfaces are 157 x 48mm (6.18 x 1.89″); there’s a flat side and convex side. It’s a convenient size for home or travel use. Our research suggests they used Japanese walnut and premium shell Cordovan on these strops. Cordovan is an equine leather made from the fibrous flat muscle (or shell) beneath the hide on the rump of the horse. The leather derives its name from the city of Cordoba, Spain, and is considered my many straight razor enthusiasts to be the finest leather available for stropping a razor, with the perfect draw.
All straight razors we sell are fully shave ready. This razor was given a JNat finish, on an Ozuku Mizu Asagi Lv 5++ stone (above 16,000 grit). We use a progression of nagura slurries: Botan, Tenjyou, Mejiro, Koma and finally Tomo. Honing this exceptional razor has been a labour of love. JNats (Japanese natural stones) are known for the exceptionally comfortable shave they provide. It’s been fully stropped, sanitized with alcohol, coated with a thin film of Dovo paraffin oil, and is ready to shave as soon as you remove it from the package. Carefully wipe the oil from the blade with a tissue and it’s ready to use.
IMPORTANT: This is a well used razor and is sold as is. The photos are part of the item’s description. Please look at them carefully. There may be scuffs and scratches, faint traces of dirt remaining between the scales, some scale warpage, modest hone wear, mild pitting of the metal and a patina commensurate with a razor of this age. Any other shaving or honing items in the photos are props and not included with your razor purchase.
Due to the risks associated with bloodborne pathogens, potential honing and/or stropping damage, and scuffs and corrosion resulting from daily use or storage, we cannot accept returns of used straight razors. All sales are final.