Modern Razors - Dovo

Modern Razors - Dovo

Postby dappershaves » Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:54 am

Modern razor has changed little in the past 100 years with regards to design, grind, steel and materials. Only manufacturing techniques and heat treatment processes in some cases changed.

Most of the cutlers today have their roots embedded as deep as the history of straight razors themselves. JA Henckels, Dovo, Boker, Dorko, Puma, Thiers Issard and others has been around for more than 100 years. Henckels as example registered their trademark in 1731. They survived the plague, revolutions, 2 world wars, great depression, stock market collapses and even covid19.

Dovo
Dovo started operations the beginning of the 1903 and made razors until 1939. On 18th January 1939 and dissatisfied, Carl Dorp withdraws the business management from his son and makes a deal to sell the company to the trained straight razor grinder and manufacturer Fritz Bracht, the sole owner of the company Fritz Bracht Cutlery Products in Wald near Solingen. Fritz Bracht had already spent 20 years visiting retailers in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria and Switzerland, selling the straight razors of his own brand (Bradrei). Fritz Bracht became an owner in 1940.
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On 16th August 1944 Carl Dorp dies. Fritz Bracht purchases the last piece of company property from Dorp's son Paul on 30th January 1945. Fritz grew the company and brand name before acquiring more razor brands struggle after WWII that included the famous Bismarck brand and others listed below.
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More lately Dovo filed for bankruptcy early in 2020 I believe. Since then now further news is available but what I do know is that their online store and trading channels is still operational meaning that they somehow managed to keep going in the short term. I’m not sure if German investor stepped in to rescue the famous brand, or if Merkur (DE fame) which Dovo acquired in the 1990’s lend a helping hand. Guess we will have to wait and see what transpires.

So let me show you some examples of what Dovo has to offer. Their modern lineup start with the Best Quality range of razors. They are offered in 5 and 6/8 sizes all forged and grind in Solingen with German steel with the exception of a 5/8 model thats available in either Solingen steels, or Swedish carbon steel.
5/8 Swedish Carbon Steel
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Here the 6/8 BQ. When you search for information and reviews around Dovo razors you will find opposing reviews, some like myself enjoy them like, others will tell you how bad they are and that there’s quality control issues. As you will see I own a couple, so no complaints here.
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That said I’ve not experienced any serious QC issues and owned/honed more that 15 or so of these razors over the years. Most complaints are in the sharpness department, with that said it’s important to understand that NO mass produced straight razor will be shave ready from the factory, not Dovo, Dorko, Boker or any of the others. They make thousand of razors and getting razors shave ready requires a lot of skill, time and equipment. In this regard they only set the bevels that requires the user to refine the edge for shaving.

Moving along the product lineup which is extensive you will find traces back to models that was extremely popular back in the day, reincarnations if you may. First up Dovo Special model 1516 that was a razor that Fritz designed to establish Dovo again as a innovator back in the 40’s, here the vintage version followed by the new.
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Bismarck was as big as the name back them and if you wanted to name something powerful you called it a Bismarck. First a vintage 7/8 Bismarck before the acquisition with an America point followed by another vintage 6/8 round point and finally amodern version in 6/8. All these razor are exceptional shavers.
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Up until now the razors presented all have plastic handles, either black or faux tortoise. More expensive/desirable materials and decorative features are added to blades creating bespoke upmarket version for those that demand them. The skill level to manufacture also increase and only the best workers create these. Here a 5/8 Bergischer Löwe with buffalo horn scales, reworked and gold etched spine, ultra thin grind, titanium pins and a Spanish (concave) point. This razor is for the experienced shaver.
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Please add photos of your Dovo razors here.
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dappershaves
 
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