One of the most influential wet shaving pieces of modern times, the Weber Razor Company really needs no introduction. The company played a major part in bringing back a once thriving industry to the United States that was all but abandoned due to new designs and the need to have more blades.
The American safety razor industry all but disappeared when other shaving alternatives became the norm. A once flourishing market, the last American made double edge (DE) safety razors were produced in 1988 by Gillette. Most of the world adapted to multi-blade razors that were quicker and easier (notice how I didn’t say better) to use.
The double edge safety razor started with an idea by King C.Gillette at the turn of the 19th century. He thought of a way to shave with disposable blades that could be tossed when dull, saving the user the time, money and hassle of having to hone or sharpen the blade. His idea became a success and the design and was soon replicated by numerous makers over the past 100 years. You may remember reading about it some time ago here on Sharpologist.
Fast forward to 1988, a time when multi-blade cartridge razors were the norm and the double edge safety razor was just a novelty. Gillette decided to stop producing American made safety razors, and focus solely on their newest technology for their biggest market. The end of an era happened and it was quite possible no one noticed.
Just because DE razors weren’t produced didn’t mean that previous model weren’t being used. Many decided to keep their trusty razors. Blades were still being produced (they’ve never stopped) and a handful of foreign producers were still making DE razors, although they were difficult to find. It wasn’t until the internet became widely available that these folks found out that there were many others with similar interests as themselves. Several online shave forums formed making it easy to discuss, buy, sell or trade wet shaving gear. Soon DE razors regained some popularity and found their way back in the hands of wet shavers alike.
In 2012 the Weber Safety Razor company began to producing new DE safety razors from their machine shop right here in the USA. Originally offered at US $55, these razors saw a few price increases in their limited life but never hit the $100 mark. They received positive reviews and paved the way for other American producers to enter the industry. You may have read the original review by Leisureguy here on Sharpologist.
In an article that debuted this past March, The Tradere Razor: Another Modern Wet Shaving Collectable by yours truly I mentioned that the Tradere was the first American safety razor produced using the CNC machine process. It’s important to mention that the Weber debuted before the Tradere and used a different building process, thus making it the first modern USA made safety razor. (Just clarifying this just in case there is any confusion).
Recently, the industry has seen an increase in popularity with Weber razors and it’s common for these razors to sell for $150+ on secondary sales sites. Although Weber no longer makes the complete safety razor, they continue to produce safety razor handles. You can find them on their website, or other online retailers such as Ebay or Amazon. Retail is about $30.
The Weber is a typical double edge safety razor that consists of three pieces (Top Cap, Guard and Handle). There were three different versions of the Weber head design, and three different handles. All Weber razors were built of 316L stainless steel. The handles were/are machined and the razor heads were cast.
It’s important to mention that all Weber handles are machined from 316L stainless steel and can fit most safety razor heads.
- Classic: 3 ⅞ inches long (99 mm) and weighs approximately 2.4 oz (68g)
- Perfect for those who prefer a longer handle. Well balanced. Heaviest of the 3.
- Bulldog: 3 ⅛ inches long ( 79 mm) and weighs 2.2 oz (62g)
- Most popular model. Slightly larger in diameter. (Similar to the Ikon Bulldog handle)
- Wave: 3 ⅛ inches long (99 mm) and weighs 2.2 oz (62g)
- Similar to the Bulldog with a different knurling pattern.
The heads were made of the same (316l) stainless steel but went through a casting process rather than machining.
- DLC (Diamond Like Coating):
- Matted black finish top cap and guard. Industrial look.
- ARC (Anti-Reflective Coating):
- Untreated stainless top cap and guard. Similar to the unpolished Rockwell 6s.
- PH (Polished Head):
- Highly Polished Stainless Steel top cap, untreated guard. My favorite out of the bunch.
Although these heads have similar specs, many collectors/users have their preference. Personally, I like the PH.
*Disclaimer: The author purchased the review items through a secondary sales site and paid fair market value. The following is based on the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Sharpologist.
For this review, I used the PH head and all three handles.
Upon first inspection the Weber looks very similar to some other modern day safety razors. It actually reminds me of the Rockwell 6s. The top cap is nicely polished and very shiny. No signs of any machine marks or imperfections. The base plate though unfinished is smooth and shows no scratches. The head of the razor may lack some luster, but feels solid and ready to do its job.
The handles are well balanced and have a nice but not overbearing heft. I used all three of them but I have to admit I think I prefer the “Classic” handle to the rest. The added length and weight made the razor feel more solid to me.
Shaving with the Weber required very little attention. It’s surprisingly mild but very efficient. It’s a comfortable razor that I could see myself using everyday. With this being said, The Weber would be great for beginners.
Shaving with the grain (wtg) proved to be very effortless. The razor glided with ease and required very little skin stretching. Perfect for a beginner, efficient enough for the advanced, this razor may be considered a little too easy to use for those who prefer a more aggressive razor.
The handles are well balanced and really work well for the Weber. Both the Bulldog and the Wave felt very similar ( same size and weight) and the Classic felt more comfortable to me.
Going against the grain (atg) really simple. I didn’t have to change blade angles or adjust my technique. I like to use a very light touch when going atg, and I felt I had to use a bit more pressure with the Weber.
The verdict, a great razor that is truly a quality piece that is perfect for the beginner and can be enjoyed by even the most advanced wet shaver.
The Weber Safety Razor will always have a place in the hearts of wet shavers. Easy to use and care for, these razors can be passed down for generations and make a great addition to any rotation. If you find one of these treasures, don’t hesitate to pick one up.
About the Author:
Joe Borrelli is a long-time wet shaving enthusiast and collector. He hosts the Wet Shaving News/Talk Podcast , runs his own self-funded website http://shavestraightandsafe.com/ and operates a YouTube channel to help inform the community of new information involving the wet shaving world. Joe holds a BBA from Florida Atlantic University, and currently works for the nation’s largest wine/spirits/beer retailer. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Linda & son Anthony, reading, writing, outdoor activities and collecting wet shaving apparel. Joe has also written several dozen articles for online publications such as Sharpologist and How to Grow a Mustache. Find out more about Joe here.