In this article we look at one of Dovo Solingen’s Straight Razors: the Dovo Redwood. With scales crafted from rich red American Redwood coupled with a polished stainless steel blade with gold etching the Dovo Redwood 5/8” Straight Razor is the perfect straight razor for both beginners and experienced users.
A Brief History of Dovo Solingen
Dovo was Founded in 1906 the name is an amalgamation of the two founding members Carl Dorp and Carl Arthur Voos. In the beginning Dovo focused on the production of open razors and employed 13 staff before expanding to other products. Just as Dovo were making inroads into the Western European and North American markets the 1930’s the German Government passed a law to protect the name of Solingen ensuring that it became synonymous with high quality German craftsmanship of cutting tools. As intended German made straight razors became synonymous with quality. The introduction of the electric razor however impacted sails of straight razors including those made by Dovo. The company expanded into producing hair scissors notably a range of thinning scissors with a curved cutting edge that ensured Dovo remained in business. With an influx of new youthful staff with new ideas in the early 1950’s Dovo was able increase in style and continued to deliver noteworthy products such as the Dovo Mammoth Tusk Ivory which is crafted from fossilized Mammoth Tusk.
The Dovo Manufacturing Process
Dovo blades are created from steel that is forged in Solingen, Germany – The City of Blades. The quality of steel and the forging skills of the area are similar to those of Sheffield where other reputable straight razor manufacturers such as Thiers Issard source their blanks. The main characteristic of blades originating from the Solingen area is that they have an outstanding quality which is a result of centuries of craftsmanship traditions and knowledge of material treatments and technical knowhow.
The Dovo Straight Razor blade manufacturing process begins with a steel cylinder heated in a furnace. The heated steel is then hammed through a die cast giving it the basic straight razor blade shape. After cooling slightly the blade is pushed through a second die cast that improves its shape and condenses the metal to strengthen it. The blade is then covered in graphite powder and dipped into molten lead to heat treat it and make it extremely tough and durable. As soon as the blade emerge from the molten lead they are dipped in oil which removes any residual graphite powder and molten lead. Finally the blades are tossed in sawdust that removes any oil leaving a clean and dry blade ready for the next step in the process. The straight razor blades are then placed in an oven where they are heat treated to again strengthen them. Once removed from the oven they are inspected for imperfections and those that pass undergo an initial sharpening process. At this stage in the process the blades are tested against metal, if they are able to shave a sliver of metal then they are good to move onto the next stage, etching. The blades are coated in asphalt before a laser etches the designed logo onto the blade with the asphalt reducing the potential for bleeding from the etching. A further coat of asphalt is applied to the blades before they are dipped in a solution of water and gold. An electrical current is passed through the blades causing the gold in solution to adhere to the etched blade. Again the asphalt prevents gold plating from forming anywhere on the blade apart from the etched area. Once etching is complete the finished blade is passed on for sharpening before being attached to the tangs for sale.
Dovo Pro’s and Cons
Dovo Straight Razors are extremely popular and for good reason, the stand out features with Dovo include:
- Supplier of both premium and mid-range straight razors
- Their premium razors are constructed using high quality steel for the blade and various scale materials
- The length of the blades are suited to most people generally being 5/8″ in length
- Dovo offer a 2 year warranty on all of their razors
The only potential con with Dovo is that some of their mid-range razors have plastic scales which may be off-putting to some. One example is the imitation Tortoiseshell razor which in the past used real tortoiseshell but due to laws around its use was replaced with plastic imitation.
The Dovo Redwood Straight Razor
The Redwood is one of Dovo’s mid-range priced straight razors typically retailing for around $300. The distinct American Redwood handle of the Dovo Redwood really sets this razor apart from the competition and you can feel the quality of the wood in your hand whenever you shave. The natural rich red colour of the Redwood scales is darkened with age. Redwood trees are highly prized and have been harvested for generations in North America. Redwood is typically used for applications where low moisture wood is desirable and it is highly durable, easy to maintain and lightweight. The Redwood scales used by Dovo are sealed for extra protection from moisture ensuring they will not warp or shrink with use.
The Redwood handle is matched in quality by the stunning stainless steel blade imprinted with custom gold etching. The brightly polished stainless steel full hollow ground blade has a 5/8″ inch rounded point and heel. The blade has been forged using ice tempering resulting in a hard edge that is resistance to wear.
The Dovo Redwood is a perfect beginner blade and owners can be assured of the Redwood quality which meets the high standards of the Solingen region. The Dovo Redwood is available for purchase along with a range of accessories at Orcadia, click here to order yours now.