With the ease and maintenance of using a DE safety razor you may find yourself asking, why do people even buy straight razors? In, this Dovo Straight Razor Review, we are going to try and determine the best one, but with the honing and stropping it just seems like so much maintenance, right?
Well there are several reasons you may want to grab a straight razor to add to your wet shaving lineup. As far as benefits are concerned, there is one major one, control.
If you wear facial hair as a beard or stubble and need to trim the lines you will find a straight razor to be your best friend for this process.
With a safety razor, the blade is usually at a fixed angle and the head itself limits what you can do with it. Playing with the angle of your straight razor may add more comfort.
- Dovo Straight Razor Carbon, Ebony Wood Handle
- Dovo Full Hollow Carbon Steel 5/8″ Straight Razor, Black
- Dovo “Bismarck” Straight Razor, Pearl Acrylic, 6/8″
- Dovo “Diamant” Straight Razor, Olivewood
- Dovo Best Quality 6/8″ Full Hollow Carbon Steel Straight Razor – Black Celluloid
- Dovo Straight Razor Set – Dovo Straight Razor with Wood Shave Set and accessories
Who is Dovo Solingen?
Since 1906 Dovo has produced all kinds of hair removal products like scissors, straight razors and safety razors.
It was founded by two Carl’ Dorp and Voos who combined their names to come up with Dovo.
Starting in the early 1950’s they began acquiring other companies to grow their market share.
In 1996, they acquire another well-known company you might have heard of, Merkur, the popular safety razor brand that is known for its quality German engineering.
Solingen is the town they are based out of which has come to be known as the “city of blades”.
This company is rich with history and experience which is why they are known to offer some of the best straight razors out there.
Features To Look For
While the handle can be made of many different types of materials and plays a small role in the performance when it comes to balance and weight you will want to spend most of your time looking into the actual blade.
The blade can have different point types:
Each of these types of points have their advantages or disadvantages. The round point is more forgiving as there are no sharp points.
However, the others with more defined points may give you better control with detailed line work.
Besides the point, the grind is another important aspect that will affect the weight as well as performance of the blade.
With the four different point types and the wide range of grind types you can find many different combinations of the blade.
It is said that hollow grinds are preferred their flexibility and resistance properties.
Finally, the blade is the third big factor in the blade’s performance.
The width is usually stated in eights of an inch and ranges from 3/8 to 8/8, or a full inch.
The wider the blade the less you have to rinse your blade as it can hold more lather on it. However, there is a trade off as a narrow blade will allow you to have better control and make it easier to reach spots like under your nose.
Besides the spine on the back of the blade, some hollow grind profiles have belly’s.
The belly is a longitudinal stabilizer that is cut into the blade. It is to help prevent the blade from twisting or flexing during your shave.
Depending on where the belly is located in the blade profile will determine how much the blade can flex.
There is a tradeoff between sharpness and stability. The hollower a blade, the longer it can retain its sharp edge after multiple honing sessions.
However, it is more likely to bend or flex because of how thin it is.
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in the different types of blades you should try to think about what features you might want in your own straight razor.
There are many different straight razors available but like we mentioned earlier, Dovo has over 100 years of experience and these are some of their top sellers that consistently satisfy their owners.
Have a look to see which one might be best for you!
Dovo Straight Razor Carbon, Ebony Wood Handle
At the top of our review, the Dovo Carbon is one of the top straight razors your money can buy.
It has a 5/8 inch, three-inch carbon steel blade with a full hollow grind. They also etch “Prima Silver Steel” on the blade to give it a nice design.
It also comes with a round point so it might be a good first razor and more forgiving when you are getting your technique down.
Some guys mention that you might want to either get some sharpening stones or have this razor honed professionally before your first use.
One seller even mentions in the past 10 years this is how Dovo sells their razors, not quite shave ready.
If you feel confident after doing some YouTube research to sharpen it yourself then simply grab yourself a whetstone.
You will have to do this a couple times a year anyway so you might want to go ahead and learn the process.
Otherwise you could end up spending a lot of money paying someone else to sharpen your blade.
However, there are also several positive reviews that mention this is shave ready, I guess it is all relative to the buyer.
Either way you will eventually need to hone the blade.
This straight razor comes highly rated and many guys love how well it shaves.
Dovo Full Hollow Carbon Steel 5/8″ Straight Razor, Black
If you are looking to save a few bucks this Black straight razor from Dovo has a similar blade with black plastic scales instead of wooden ones like carbon model.
This allows them to knock off about $30 on the price.
Again, this razor says it is shave ready and you might be able to use it for a couple weeks but many guys prefer to sharpen this when they receive it, either by themselves or a sharpening service.
If you are going to invest in a straight razor like one of these for Dovo it will probably be worthwhile to invest sharpening stones so you can really get a nice edge on it.
This will just help make your shaving experience more enjoyable from the start.
It may depend on your beard thickness and shave frequency for how often you should hone the blade. Some men say they get months out of one session while others go every few weeks or so.
However, once you learn how to properly maintain this razor it should last for many years.
This model is not as highly rated as the last but it seems to be mainly from the plastic scales. Guys seems to feel the wooden handles give the razor a better feel of quality.
Dovo “Bismarck” Straight Razor, Pearl Acrylic, 6/8″
If you are looking to step it up a notch in terms of appearance the Bismarck from Dovo would be a great choice.
You will be paying for the 24-carat gold plating along the spine and tang of the blade.
The blade is a little wider than the last two at 6/8 of an inch so this model could give you more efficient shaves since you will have to rinse the razor less often.
It’s full hollow grind allows it to keep its sharp edge longer and it weighs in at just under 2 ounces.
One thing to remember for all of these carbon steel blades is that you must dry them thoroughly after each use or the steel can rust or discolor.
There is even a guy who uses a fan for 15 minutes, which seems like a little overkill but, his blade has lasted three years strong with no issues.
Just like the others a quick honing session will bring this razor to life and allow you to get a smooth and comfortable shave.
Some guys feel that this Bismarck model holds its edge longer than other models. With the higher price, you usually get what you pay for.
Dovo “Diamant” Straight Razor, Olivewood
If you really want to stand out take a look at the Dovo Diamant. It has a black blade with an olivewood handle.
The blade is a full hollow grind that is 5/8 inch wide. However, go ahead and plan on honing this before the first use even though some say it is shave ready.
While some of these say, they are shave ready they usually require a bit of sharpening before the first use.
This razor only has a hand full of reviews but guys really seem to like it giving a 4.8-star rating. Several of them being experience shavers with several other blades to compare to.
Many men also mention that the price of this blade is totally worth it because of the excellent shave it gives.
This blade is well made and should last you many years and with that kind of quality there is definitely a price. However, you simply need to look at this as a long-term investment.
There is only one complaint on this razor and it is about the handle. Apparently, the picture shows a stained wooden handle and the one that ships is not stained so it is much lighter in appearance.
So, if you wish to get a darker look on the wood handle, simply grab some stain at your local hardware store and you can give it whatever color you want!
Dovo Best Quality 6/8″ Full Hollow Carbon Steel Straight Razor – Black Celluloid
If you are on a budget the Dovo Best quality straight razor could be a good option for you. It also has a 6/8-inch full hollow grind carbon steel blade.
The handles are made of a black plastic celluloid, that might be cheaper than the other wooden models but they are durable and water resistant.
This comes factory ready to shave and based on the last couple reviews we have learned that this will most likely need a quick sharpening session to get it ready to go.
This only has one review but it is a 5 star, however, you should expect similar results from this razor just like the rest of these.
Dovo’s quality is well known around the world and they haven’t lasted over 100 years by making inferior products.
While the maintenance can seem intimidating at first, in the long run this could save you a lot of money because you don’t have to buy additional blades.
Honing and stropping will keep your blade feeling new for years and years to come.
Dovo Straight Razor Set – Dovo Straight Razor with Wood Shave Set and accessories
If you are planning on grabbing all of the necessary supplies to get started wet shaving with a straight razor like these you might save money with this Dovo Straight Razor Set.
It comes with the Best Quality razor as well as:
- Wooden badger hair shaving brush
- Shaving brush stand
- Leather strop and alum block (helps stop bleeding from nicks)
- Wooden shaving soap bowl with driftwood shaving soap
This would make an excellent gift for a loved one, the only other thing they might need is a whetstone to keep their blade sharp.
There were some older complaints about the strop because it came folded several times and the bends in the leather seemed to be permanent.
However more recent reviewers stated that the strop was not as bad as others have mentioned.
Besides that, this set was purchased as gifts and the recipients really seemed to enjoy the set.
It really does come with everything you need out of the box, except for maybe a little sharpening session.
So, after reading this review, what is the best? Well that is up to you to decide my friend.
As no beard is alike everyone may have different needs or wants.
However, one of these 6 razors could be a great place to start.
Just remember to keep them dry and you may want to go ahead and also grab a whetstone and strop at the time of purchase so you can keep your blade properly maintained.