10-30-2015, 05:34 AM
#1
User Info
For some reason in the review section I never could get my review to post!  So here is my review on a razor I have.
[Image: uoqK8I2.jpg]


Lets talk brass tax as I say on this artisan razor.  I bought this razor because Jerry's work looked very good and the product in hand is nice.  The micarta scales are durable looking and very presentable.  They are installed by Jerry using a T6 torx screw which on the surface seems simplistic for retightening when they work lose like any razor over time whether with pins or not will do.  Here lies the problem with this razor and I cannot comment on all of Jerry's handmade razors.  They come lose each time of use!  This is a problem and really to me is frustrating.  I do think maybe if Jerry likes the torx solution to building a razor maybe look into a bigger set than a T6 since his razors are rather robust and have weight, I think they will accommodate them well. 


Now to the initial edge when I received this razor.  Fairly shave ready minus the toe which was quite honestly pathetic for it would not even pluck a arm hair or barely depending on angle one placed the razor in opposition to the hair.  I touched the razor up after the first use thinking hat maybe Jerry just did not get the toe as well as the other length of the edge.  Well, no such thing for I could not get the toe much better.  My next step with be resetting the bevel to get the entire length of the razors edge hopefully on the same plane so it will be uniform the entire length.  Now is that indicative of all Jerry's razors?  I cannot comment on that nor will I even assume.  I hope not and I really hope he just failed to get the one I bought not up to exact par with the rest of the edge which is decent but really needed more work even though brand new.  Maybe I am a anal retentive on this issue but we all know, shave ready is shave ready and anything else not acceptable.



So to the shaves so far I have done.  In a word even with working around the toe issue, BBS!!!  Yes, BBS.  Now that is with a 3 pass system of WTG; ATG; and XTG shave.  I do this and have always with my shaves for that is how I was taught by men doing straight shaving for 5 decades or better!  It works simply put.



The discontent is the flimsiness of the pivot point of Jerry's razors from a small T6 screw.  I really think if he made the scales a bit wider for such a big razor and used a bigger T screw it would maybe solve the issue of each use working lose. 



Grind!  Well Jerry claims his razor is a full hollow.  Folks, if this is a full hollow or even half I will eat the razor like that in a horror movie!  It is 1/4 best and may lie between that and near wedge.  No feedback what so ever like a true full hollow German razor.  None, and from what I have read and talked to others that have true wedge razors, more indicative of that.  Almost but not quite squeegee like.  But I have no issue with non full hollow razors.  I have a PRC razor that I had built that is 1/4 hollow and it is a dream to shave with.



Now Jerry has a policy if your not happy send it back for a full refund.  Some may ask why I don't.  Well, because I am not totally unhappy and think this razor can be made to be as good as my others in their ability to remain several shaves with a edge and get the entire edge on par and not just the 4/5th below the toe.  Now will the scale issue be solved by me????  No and that is the issue but I can live with that and if it becomes a real frustrating thing I may shelf the razor or sell it down the road but I hate to because the resultant shave even with a bad toe is awesome!



Now to the shave.  Nothing but praise as indicated above.  The closeness has been superb each and every time I shaved and I have not really concentrated on that.  The blade is very hefty and will go through your facial hair for sure.  So not much left to comment here folks other than if the toe can be fixed by resetting the bevel it will be even better for plucking single hairs.



I rate on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being perfection.  I like this because it gives a wider ability to rate while taking away points than on a 5 point scale.  So how do I rate Jerry's razor I received?  Well as follows on the points I consider most valuable to me......



Edge: 5

Materials quality: 8

Build quality overall: 7

Ability to maintain: 4

Overall rating: 6



So as you can see it just get over a 5 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best.  In all do I discourage one from trying a JS razor, well, I guess not really knowing however you go into it with the expectation of I may have to do some fine tuning.  Would I buy another JS razor given my experience?  Probably not given my experience with a USA artisan builder like PRC and knowing the superb quality that razor has brought to the table. 



I think Jerry can make these razors of his a bit better and if he will pay more attention to edge if in fact this is a pattern.  I have no way of knowing if this is pattern from other buyers for I have not had the time to reach out.  I solely comment on my razor.  Hope this review helps a bit.

0 413
Reply
 10-30-2015, 05:44 AM
#2
User Info
Wow that is on wicked looking razor!

0 858
Reply
 10-30-2015, 05:55 AM
#3
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
User Info
Thanks for the review. I've never heard of Jerry Stark razors. There are quite a few razor makers that produce very good razors, and it sounds like he needs to improve his product if he's going to stay in business.

38 5,115
Reply
 10-30-2015, 06:12 AM
#4
User Info
(10-30-2015, 05:44 AM)EJaggerMan Wrote: Wow that is on wicked looking razor!

It is a beauty.  If I can get the edge uniform and maybe the looseness issue solved it will be a winner.  Thank you.

0 413
Reply
 10-30-2015, 06:13 AM
#5
User Info
(10-30-2015, 05:55 AM)evnpar Wrote: Thanks for the review. I've never heard of Jerry Stark razors. There are quite a few razor makers that produce very good razors, and it sounds like he needs to improve his product if he's going to stay in business.

True evnpar!  I think he is on the right path, just needs to back up and address some issues and hopefully he will do so.

0 413
Reply
 10-30-2015, 06:59 AM
#6
  • Entasis
  • Atop the Razor's Edge
  • Southern California
User Info
(10-30-2015, 05:34 AM)Str8shaver Wrote: The micarta scales are durable looking and very presentable.  They are installed by Jerry using a T6 torx screw which on the surface seems simplistic for retightening when they work lose like any razor over time whether with pins or not will do.  Here lies the problem with this razor and I cannot comment on all of Jerry's handmade razors.  They come lose each time of use!  This is a problem and really to me is frustrating.  I do think maybe if Jerry likes the torx solution to building a razor maybe look into a bigger set than a T6 since his razors are rather robust and have weight, I think they will accommodate them well. 

I've has the same issue with other razor makers who use micro fasteners. I love the micro fasteners as they allow me to completely disassemble the razor to clean, polish, protect, and lubricate the razor assembly. However, you can run into the issue you've stated—even worse is when the micro fastener loosens while shaving. My solution is simple, resulting from years of motorcycle riding where fasteners come loose or fall off altogether:

ThreeBond 1342 anaerobic threadlock, low strength, frequent repair type.

This product works wonders on issues like this while still allowing you to easily take the fasteners out when needed. A bottle last a very long time.
Warning: Micarta material is crushable, and I purchased a beautiful razor where the previous owner took it upon himself to over-tighten the micro fastener (likely owed to it coming loose all the time) crushing in the Micarta. I had to painstakingly repair the area with clear epoxy mixed with the Micarta material.

13 611
Reply
 10-30-2015, 08:10 AM
#7
User Info
(10-30-2015, 06:59 AM)Entasis Wrote:
(10-30-2015, 05:34 AM)Str8shaver Wrote: The micarta scales are durable looking and very presentable.  They are installed by Jerry using a T6 torx screw which on the surface seems simplistic for retightening when they work lose like any razor over time whether with pins or not will do.  Here lies the problem with this razor and I cannot comment on all of Jerry's handmade razors.  They come lose each time of use!  This is a problem and really to me is frustrating.  I do think maybe if Jerry likes the torx solution to building a razor maybe look into a bigger set than a T6 since his razors are rather robust and have weight, I think they will accommodate them well. 

I've has the same issue with other razor makers who use micro fasteners. I love the micro fasteners as they allow me to completely disassemble the razor to clean, polish, protect, and lubricate the razor assembly. However, you can run into the issue you've stated—even worse is when the micro fastener loosens while shaving. My solution is simple, resulting from years of motorcycle riding where fasteners come loose or fall off altogether:


ThreeBond 1342 anaerobic threadlock, low strength, frequent repair type.

This product works wonders on issues like this while still allowing you to easily take the fasteners out when needed. A bottle last a very long time.
Warning: Micarta material is crushable, and I purchased a beautiful razor where the previous owner took it upon himself to over-tighten the micro fastener (likely owed to it coming loose all the time) crushing in the Micarta. I had to painstakingly repair the area with clear epoxy mixed with the Micarta material.

Thanks for the tip.  Yes while the micarta can be a bit more forgiving than wood it is a resin epoxied material in the end.  I will look into ThreeBond for sure!  I even thought of a low bond adhesive if it existed in the brand Loctite as well.  But I think your suggestion is best.

0 413
Reply
 10-30-2015, 08:22 AM
#8
  • Entasis
  • Atop the Razor's Edge
  • Southern California
User Info
(10-30-2015, 08:10 AM)Str8shaver Wrote: Thanks for the tip.  Yes while the micarta can be a bit more forgiving than wood it is a resin epoxied material in the end.  I will look into ThreeBond for sure!  I even thought of a low bond adhesive if it existed in the brand Loctite as well.  But I think your suggestion is best.

You're welcome. If you want it fast, try calling a motorcycle dealer near you. Harley-Davidson dealers usually carry it.

13 611
Reply
 10-30-2015, 08:46 AM
#9
User Info
(10-30-2015, 08:22 AM)Entasis Wrote:
(10-30-2015, 08:10 AM)Str8shaver Wrote: Thanks for the tip.  Yes while the micarta can be a bit more forgiving than wood it is a resin epoxied material in the end.  I will look into ThreeBond for sure!  I even thought of a low bond adhesive if it existed in the brand Loctite as well.  But I think your suggestion is best.

You're welcome. If you want it fast, try calling a motorcycle dealer near you. Harley-Davidson dealers usually carry it.

Matter of fact we have a HD dealer right here in town!  Thanks for the heads up.

0 413
Reply
 10-30-2015, 09:43 AM
#10
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
User Info
Do you mean heel instead of toe? Just wondering as the grind seems off on the spine near the tang and the edge seems to fade out before the heel on the blade. Hard to tell from the photo though. 

Yes, I have read many people complain about the same problem when adjustable pins are used. You have the solution which seems to be what everyone resorts to that has that problem.

I don't think it is too uncommon for artisan razor makers to use heavier grinds than the full hollow or extra hollow found on some Solingen razors. I think they are very tricky to do. I can't recall ever hearing of an artisan made straight razor with an extra hollow bellied blade either. Not a thing wrong with the heavier grinds if they are honed shave ready. They will do the job just fine. 

Bob

0 1,694
Reply
 10-30-2015, 10:56 AM
#11
User Info
(10-30-2015, 09:43 AM)BobH Wrote: Do you mean heel instead of toe? Just wondering as the grind seems off on the spine near the tang and the edge seems to fade out before the heel on the blade. Hard to tell from the photo though. 

Yes, I have read many people complain about the same problem when adjustable pins are used. You have the solution which seems to be what everyone resorts to that has that problem.

I don't think it is too uncommon for artisan razor makers to use heavier grinds than the full hollow or extra hollow found on some Solingen razors. I think they are very tricky to do. I can't recall ever hearing of an artisan made straight razor with an extra hollow bellied blade either. Not a thing wrong with the heavier grinds if they are honed shave ready. They will do the job just fine. 

Bob

The toe.  The picture is deceiving and the toe not in the photo.  The rest of the razor to the heel is just fine.  I think a reset is what it will take and plan to do so this weekend.  Ye I don't mind those heavy grinds like you stated Bob if they are truly shave ready.  Really the biggest complaint are the scales constantly loosening up.

0 413
Reply
 10-30-2015, 11:59 AM
#12
User Info
A very honest in depth review I personally don't like the look of the razor and it as one of my biggest dislikes that a lot of modern custom razors have a heel with a square finish, the torx screw should also be slightly counter sunk with loctite screw thread lock.

11 1,940
Reply
 10-30-2015, 12:34 PM
#13
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
User Info
(10-30-2015, 10:56 AM)Str8shaver Wrote:
(10-30-2015, 09:43 AM)BobH Wrote: Do you mean heel instead of toe? Just wondering as the grind seems off on the spine near the tang and the edge seems to fade out before the heel on the blade. Hard to tell from the photo though. 

Yes, I have read many people complain about the same problem when adjustable pins are used. You have the solution which seems to be what everyone resorts to that has that problem.

I don't think it is too uncommon for artisan razor makers to use heavier grinds than the full hollow or extra hollow found on some Solingen razors. I think they are very tricky to do. I can't recall ever hearing of an artisan made straight razor with an extra hollow bellied blade either. Not a thing wrong with the heavier grinds if they are honed shave ready. They will do the job just fine. 

Bob

The toe.  The picture is deceiving and the toe not in the photo.  The rest of the razor to the heel is just fine.  I think a reset is what it will take and plan to do so this weekend.  Ye I don't mind those heavy grinds like you stated Bob if they are truly shave ready.  Really the biggest complaint are the scales constantly loosening up.

Could you post a photo in better light of the blade only? It would be interesting to see what the bevel looks like the full length of the blade. Thanks.

Bob

0 1,694
Reply
 11-05-2015, 02:57 PM
#14
User Info
(10-30-2015, 10:56 AM)Str8shaver Wrote: The toe.  The picture is deceiving and the toe not in the photo.  The rest of the razor to the heel is just fine.  I think a reset is what it will take and plan to do so this weekend.  Ye I don't mind those heavy grinds like you stated Bob if they are truly shave ready.  Really the biggest complaint are the scales constantly loosening up.

Have you tried a drop of Loctite on the screw? I have a number of bench made knives which tend to loosen up at the pivot, a schmuchton of Loctite addresses this, just need to make sure you adjust it correctly before it sets. It is a (small) commitment to put Loctite on it but I believe purple is low strength and would be the easiest to undo if you want to adjust or disassemble in the future. I use blue (medium strength) and have not had any issue breaking this bond.

Scott

4 105
Reply
 11-06-2015, 12:29 PM
#15
User Info
I have a JS razor in his D2 steel, and can say with confidence that the edge is insanely finicky.  I can get an "OK" edge on it, but for reference, I typically hit HHT4-5 off a coti with my razors.  This one hits a HHT1-2 at best, even after three bevel resets.  I also have an odd issue with JS's "hollow" designations.  Mine was supposed to be half hollow, but it's definitely quarter at best.

Shaveable, much more so than my Livi, but that's not a terribly high bar.  It's not nearly as comfortable as my Robert Williams, Joe Edson, PRC, Hart, Shavesmith, or Max Sprechers.  It will get the job done, but not without some tugging.

For the price, I'd steer folks in other directions.

16 249
Reply
 11-06-2015, 02:35 PM
#16
User Info
(11-06-2015, 12:29 PM)explodyii Wrote: I have a JS razor in his D2 steel, and can say with confidence that the edge is insanely finicky.  I can get an "OK" edge on it, but for reference, I typically hit HHT4-5 off a coti with my razors.  This one hits a HHT1-2 at best, even after three bevel resets.  I also have an odd issue with JS's "hollow" designations.  Mine was supposed to be half hollow, but it's definitely quarter at best.

Shaveable, much more so than my Livi, but that's not a terribly high bar.  It's not nearly as comfortable as my Robert Williams, Joe Edson, PRC, Hart, Shavesmith, or Max Sprechers.  It will get the job done, but not without some tugging.

For the price, I'd steer folks in other directions.

I would too after wrangling with this beast now.  I still have issues with the looseness of the scales and even if I applied a liquid fastener to the threads it just will not tighten enough.  I may just sideline this beast for sale at a loss and buy another PRC which has been simply awesome!

0 413
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)