Are Antique Stores A Good Place To Buy Straight Razors?

When you first get into straight razors it can be hard to find places that sell them.  Straight razors are a unique, specialty item and it’s something that you won’t find in your major, brand name stores.  Unless you live a high-population city the chances of finding a brick and mortar store front that sells straight razors are pretty slim.  However, one place that you can usually find straight razors are at antique stores, but just because you can find them there doesn’t mean they are worth buying.

I’ve gone to quite a few antique stores looking for straight razors.  I’ve gone in numerous antique stores only to discover that they don’t sell them.  HINT:  Call ahead and ask if they have them, so you don’t waste your time.  At the very least call to see if they are open when you plan on visiting them so you don’t waste a trip.

Of the antique shops that I found that have straight razors for sale, the straight razors are in varying degrees of disrepair.  Some have cracked or chipped blades, others have broken scales(handles), and almost all of them have some amount of rust on them.  On top of that, the antique shops usually want far more for the straight razor than it really is worth.  They think of it more of a relic from past times when it really is just a shaving implement that is in disrepair.

If you want a straight razor that you can buy and shave with the same day then antique shops are horrible places to buy straight razors from.  For the average person it will be cheaper to buy a new straight razor online that is shave ready than it is to refurbish a straight razor that you have found at an antique shop.  If you buy a straight at an antique shop you will have the following costs:

Having Someone Else Restore It

  • purchase price of the straight razor
  • cost to ship to someone to restore it, if you’re having someone else to restore it
  • restoration costs to restore it(usually looking at $30-$40 at a minimum)
  • honing costs(might be included in the restoration costs

DIY Restoring

  • purchase price of the straight razor
  • cost of whet stones, oils, etc…
  • Hand/power tools

These costs will vary depending on the antique store you are buying it from, where you live, distance to the person you are sending it to to restore, condition of the straight razor, etc., so I’m not going to list exact figures.  However, if you are looking at buying a straight razor from an antique store I urge you to look into the above costs.  If you do this, you will probably find you can find a decent, new straight razor for the same amount as it would cost you to restore an old straight razor.

When Is It Worth It To Buy A Straight Razor From An Antique Store?

There are a few instances when it is worth it for you to buy a straight razor from an antique store.  The first instance is if you are the hardcore DIY type of person who wants to get your hands dirty.  If you are this type of person then by all means purchase a straight razor from an antique store.  You will definitely learn a lot by restoring a straight razor.

The second reason I can see for most people to buy straight razors from antique stores is if they clean them up and sell them as a business.

Final Words

In short, buying a straight razor from an antique store and restoring it can be more expensive than buying a brand new one.

Meet the Author

Thomas got into wet shaving in 2010 when he bought a Dovo Shavette and would go on to buy a straight razor four months later. Since then he has purchased many other types of razors including feather and safety razors. He reviews their performance on this blog.

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