I received this Ever-Ready 1912 Vintage Single Edge Safety Razor from my cousin this past Christmas. She my name in our family gift exchange and apparently she knows me quite well because it really did make for great gift. Beyond the fact that it is another razor to add to my collection, it was a single edge razor, something that sadly has been lacking from my cabinet (I do have a Valet razor but finding blades has been difficult). After my first couple of shaves I can see myself reaching for this razor more than I would have imagined.
The first issue after identifying the razor, which was solved with a quick post over on BadgerandBlade.com, was finding blades for the razor. If you are unfamiliar you can’t use normal double edge razors, even if you break them in half. The razors that fit into this, and many other vintage razors, resemble a blade you may find at the hardware store with only a single sharp edge and the other side having a solid BRACE. I feel like I need to make it clear that you are NOT to use the hardware store type blades, not sure if they even fit, they are not the same thing. My search lead me to Cannaught Shaving out of the U.K. Strange that I couldn’t find a logically priced razors her in Canada, but didn’t matter really the cost and shipping really rather affordable. The razors came in these nice little spring powered boxes that make them easy to store and a little safer if they get into the wrong hands.
The issue after finding the blades was cleaning the razor, disinfecting really. The razor itself was free of any gunk, it looked like it was cleaned by the vendor. I still felt the need to disinfect it however. I don’t actually believe that anything could really live on the razor itself after being exposed to the air for a short period, but nevertheless I tossed the razor in a coffee cup, boiled some water and poured it into the cup. Empty and repeat. I’m sure that you could take this process a step further, but I use forks at restaurants that are cleaned in more or less the same manner and I don’t think twice about it.
I was really impressed with how well built the razor felt when I held it for the first time. I couldn’t help but think about all the plastic handles out there today and wonder what they would look like in a hundred years or so. The design seemed strange, with the back of the razor head jets out a bit. Overall I was very excited to try this thing out.
How to Load the Ever-Ready 1912
With the razor cleaned and the blades delivered I was ready to give this razor a roll. This was my first single razor load and it couldn’t be simpler. Lift the razor head by pushing down on the lever at the rear of the head. Drop in the blade ensuring that the blade fits behind the two hook like teeth at each end of the comb. Close the top. For a better idea take a look at the video below.
This was one of the issues that made it difficult to identify the Ever-Ready 1912. All of the images that I found matched the head of the razor but I couldn’t find a match for the handle. As I mentioned above I posted images over on BadgerandBlade and they informed me that there were more than just a few handle types made for this razor and finding a match may be difficult.
Identifying it aside the handle is short, if you have used a Merkur 1904 Classic it should give you an idea. Unlike the 1904 however this handle is more narrow. I’m a fan of my 1904 so the short handle didn’t bother me, in fact in some ways I prefer it, but a slightly thicker handle wouldn’t be terrible.
The Cutting Head
One thing I love about using this razor is that you can hear the hair on your face being sliced off, almost like a straight razor. I know I sound like a weirdo but it makes the shave feel like I am really accomplishing something. I’m thinking that it is the thicker blade that is helping with the extra sound effects. The sound makes it seem like the razor should be aggressive and it is. Not to turn you off, it doesn’t leave your face feeling raw, but you may find yourself not needing that third pass to get that ultra close shave.
As I mentioned above this razor seems to be a workhorse. A couple of passes, perhaps even one depending on your stubble, and you are good to go. The razor is lighter than many of my other razors but I didn’t find it to be an issue. The razor glides across the face with ease and next to no pressure.
Shaving did feel a little different. There is a bit of a flex in the head which for the first could of strokes was awkward but quickly became comfortable. You really need to try it to appreciate what I am trying to describe.
This design should be resurrected because I would put this razor up against any razor to come after it. My shaves were that good.
What can I say? I love this razor. The shaves were fantastic, as is the feel of the razor. You really are using a tool when you are shaving with the Ever-Ready 1912. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one. Visiting a few antique stores should score you one for $20 or so. Alternatively you could surely find one on Ebay or one of the many wet shaving boards out there.
Tools in the image: