05-11-2015, 05:13 AM
  • Johnny
  • Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Anyone had experience with C.V. Heljestrand Straight Razors?

189 26,346
 05-11-2015, 05:30 AM
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Oh yes! I've had many - from the highly regarded MK31 blades to the large Mk133 and 134. 

They're all excellent razors that take and hold a great edge. They're made well and are of high-quality steel. 

The downside is that they have a bit of a cult following at the moment, and the prices are greatly inflated. For example, I think a Mk31 in great condition is worth about $110, but you may have to pay close to $200 for one now. What I mean by this is that a Mk31 is great, but does not take a better edge or shave better than any other $100 straight that's been maintained well and is honed well. 

Anyway, there are several excellent Swedish straight makers that all make equally good razors that are much more reasonably priced. 

If you're buying a razor for a user, buy a non-CVH Swedish straight and you'll get the CVH experience at a much lower price. If you're in it as an investment, then the CVH razors are an excellent choice, as they hold their value well. 

39 1,750
 05-11-2015, 05:56 AM
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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Excellent razors. I currently own the large MK133, and a smaller MK9, and always get a comfortable shave with them. Many people feel that there is nothing like Swedish steel. 

39 6,300
 05-11-2015, 08:55 AM
  • geezer
  • Senior Member
  • Menomonie, Western WI
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The guys have said it all. Swedish steel. Good razors and smooth shavers! The framebacks are as good. All the Eskilstuna brands are of high quality. If you buy one, get it professionally honed!

8 1,194
 05-11-2015, 10:41 AM
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Swedish steel.....from what I hear it is among the best for a smooth shave!

10 399
 05-11-2015, 11:28 AM
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I have to wholeheartedly agree. I have over two dozen Heljes in my collection from the diminutive little No.2 @ 4/8th's to the MK 133 & 134, most all in ivory.
Fantastic steel and when well honed some of the smoothest shaving razors made.

5 45
 05-12-2015, 06:00 AM
  • Doc226
  • edge snob (and proud of it)
  • Smallest State
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Horrible razors-send them all to me, I will dispose of them for you.

JK of course, the MK 32 or 33 are one of the best razors made, likely my second favorite behind the Filarmonica 14

10 130
 05-12-2015, 06:26 AM
  • RobinK
  • I like things that work.
  • Munich, Germany
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Decent, but vastly overpriced. I would buy an SSA, Söderén or Berg instead. Preferably from Sweden where they are still affordable. These brands can still be had for something like USD 50. I have an 8/8 SSA which cost me USD 45. Same blade as an Heljestrand, by the way. Friend of mine went to Eskilstuna and spoke to one of the last remaining craftsmen. Also bought "a few" ivory scales. Did not buy a few hundred semi finished blades (4/8 and 5/8) . Someone in England is now selling those...

0 197
 05-12-2015, 09:21 AM
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(05-12-2015, 06:00 AM)Doc226 Wrote: ..............
JK of course, the MK 32 or 33 are one of the best razors made, likely my second favorite behind the Filarmonica 14

This may be true - I've had a Filly 14 (several of them) and many CVH razors, and they've certainly been among the best razors I've used. 

However, Torrey, Shumate, Case, SSA, Tornblom, Berg, Le Grelot, and countless other razor brands also made blades that were 'among the best' I've ever used. 

Basically, when it comes to most decent vintage razor brand, I think figuring out which grind and size of the blade matches your preferences is way more important than the brand itself. There were probably some sub-par makers, but most of the blades that have survived until today are generally all equally good. 

If I'm looking for a user, I decide on a grind and size and then look for a razor that fits those requirements for as little as I can pay. 

The last time I bought a Filly 14 (NOS) I got it, honed it and loved the shave. Then I shaved with my Bengall which had the same size and grind and the shave was indistinguishable. The Bengall was cheaper, so I sold the Filly. Smile

Finally, as we all know here: you cannot buy a good shave. Just because you pay more for a razor, doesn't make it a better shaver than a cheaper one. 

I have had a custom Tim Zowada Damascus, and it was a wonderful 1/4 ground razor - it cost close to $1000. Was it any better than my old TI 1/4 ground razor? Nope. The TZ had the cool factor of being made from scratch by a master, but apart from that and the aesthetics of the Damascus steel, it was pretty much the same as any other razor. 

At this point, I consider the CVH razors to be overpriced beyond the point that I'm willing to buy any more. I still have a couple, and they're good, but I still prefer using other razors over them. 

39 1,750
 05-12-2015, 09:56 AM
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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I had an MK31 for a short while...  I found it way too small for my mitts, though it shaved wonderfully.  And while it was 'wonderful' I can't say it was 'better'.  I am strongly biased to Bengall's and I don't think the CVH shaved better or worse.

[Image: 2013-08-07%20SoD%20CV%20Heljestrand%2008-M.jpg]

33 917
 05-12-2015, 11:30 AM
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Nice razors but no better then most of that era. I still think the hollow grinds on pre-war Solingen are the bee's knee and shave the best for me, followed by the turn of the century Upper NY makers

4 854
 05-12-2015, 12:11 PM
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I've owned a few not one of my favourite razors if I'm honest good steel all the same, but after all is said and done I wouldn't turn my nose up to a matching pair of NOS MK 32's with either Ivory or Tortoiseshell scales.:-)

17 2,183
 05-14-2015, 11:56 AM
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I recently picked up a virtually NOS MK 31 for a little over $150 and have zero regrets about paying that price for it. Fit and finish are outstanding, and the balance in hand is excellent. This is the most important factor for me in deciding how much I enjoy using a razor outside of grind and edge quality. Shaves like a dream too! 

3 268
 07-07-2015, 10:09 AM
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[Image: uPU7del.jpg][Image: 2npdkya.jpg]

Hi !
I just finished with a MK 31 with buffalo horn, I have many, too many Heljestrand but personally I think Erik Antonberg is better !

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