This is your ticket to self sufficiency and manliness. America's greatest generation used straight razors and no you can experience the closeness, the daring, and the satisfaction of using a real razor. The 6/8" blade is easy to maneuver & see. The bottom jimps gives you a good grip and the round tip is forgiving and sleek! Made Shave Ready by our very own in-house honemiester, with sexy masculine custom acrylic scales handcrafted for each blade, this straight was cared for no different than our most coveted straight razors. And at 1/3 the price for the same quality shave as a Dovo, it cannot be beat. And, if you really don't like it, we'll take it back.
Posted by Max Walker on 13th Mar 2017
I bought the GD 208 in shave ready condition ("even stropped!"). I tested right out of the box. It shaved, but not comfortably. I took it to my hones to rework it. Second shave better, but I wanted more. To strop this time, it did more than 100 rounds on flat newsprint, a dozen or more rounds on flat leather loaded with CromOx, and finally on clean flat leather. The third shave tonight was much better. It behaves now like a razor and no longer like a scraper. I enjoy working my own razors, but if I buy shave-ready, I expect shave-ready.
I don't like the rounde point on this razor. There is still a "point" at the end of the cutting edge, and it is hard to judge where it is mid-shave. I may reprofile the tip to a flat or Spanish tip for better maneuvering.
For that, perhaps I should return this one and buy it elsewhere for $15-$25 since I know I'll have to do the same work on it and can still save some coin.
Posted by Jason on 4th Dec 2016
I’m not new to wet shaving, having converted from cartridges to DE safety razors about 10 years ago. I am, however, new to the world of straight razor shaving. After researching everything I could about straights, I decided the best bag would probably be a cheaper straight that I could learn on, not only using it on my face, but maintaining it, because chances are there are going to be some stumbles.
Ordering at Razor Emporium (RE) was easy. It took a week for my order to arrive. I can’t attribute that to RE, though. They did drop the shipment in the mail the day after I ordered, and I did go with the free shipping option. It took the US Postal Service 6 days to deliver it. (It was the week of Thanksgiving, though, so there was 1 federal holiday during the delivery time.) The items I ordered came very well packaged, with the razor stored in a plastic pouch and really well-oiled.
I’m half a dozen shaves in with the Gold Dollar straight. Between being new to straights and questioning the overall quality of the razor I chose, I think the first couple of shaves were probably a combination of my newness to shaving with a straight and having not stropped the hell out of the blade.
It does seem the blade did come honed; however, “Ready to shave out of the box” does not mean take the razor out of the box and begin scraping your face. You will be happiest if you strop the blade first. Today, after 5 or 6 shaves and having stropped the blade in about 8 stropping sessions of 40 to 50 laps each session (I stropped the blade even on days I didn’t shave), my technique finally seemed a bit better and the blade seemed much more keen to shave than scrape.
For the reasons I chose this straight, I was tempted to give it 5 stars. It does the job; it’s a good learning tool.
The reasons I gave it 4 stars: This razor is mass produced in China with cheap materials and cheaper labor. You can buy a beautifully handcrafted vintage straight for about what this Gold Dollar costs. I’ve seen Solingen, Wade and Butcher, and Paul Waldmin vintage razors, in beautiful condition, for sale for not much more than $50. Why did I decide on this then? Because no matter how careful you think you will be, no matter how many videos you watch and think, “I can do that….” You can’t. Not without a lot of shaves and practice. I’ve got water on the scales, in the scales. I’ve accidently misapplied alcohol with an inexperienced squirt of the atomizer. I want to make sure I can apply oil and store it correctly to avoid oxidation. While a vintage costs about the same or a few bucks more for a very-good-condition straight, when and if I decide on a vintage, I want to take care of it well and let it last my lifetime and be handed on in as beautiful a condition as I purchased it.
Reason number 2 for 4 stars: I’ve seen the same Gold Dollar for sale new for about 20% less than I bought it at RE. That said, I don’t know if the sources selling them were as trustworthy as RE, so I did choose to buy from here.
All of that said, this was a good purchase, and I’m happy to have bought from RE. No regerts! Eh. Regrets.
Thanks for the razor, and, Matt, thanks for all the videos out there. They helped me a lot as I looked into straight razor shaving and stropping.
Posted by David G on 28th Jul 2016
Firstly, I can only compare this to a shavette as I've never bought a straight razor before. I decided to buy this from Razors Emporium since it was advertised as "shave ready" - something that's quite hard to find in the UK. I was really impressed with Matt's YouTube videos - such a good communicator with tons of experience. Despite being sent from Arizona to Scotland, the delivery time was pretty quick. It was advertised as "shave ready"...and it was..up to a point. I did manage to get a fairly decent shave straight out of the box but it wasn't nearly as sharp as my shavette, so I had to buy a strop after a couple of uses. Frankly I think I've made it worse due to my lack of strop experience! The condition and appearance of the Gold Dollar was pretty good and its got a good weight and balance to it making it pleasurable to shave with. If it was only a bit sharper then I'd have given it more stars. I wonder if they spend a little more time honing/stropping their more expensive straights? All that being said, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another razor from these guys - price permitting. I haven't contacted the Razor Emporium to complain as I don't feel I the sharpness issue merits a complaint....plus it would cost me too much money,time and effort to send it back. Furthermore, I don't feel I could part with my first straight razor. As I've already said, these guys are experienced, knowledgeable, friendly and conscientious and happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks guys.
Posted by email@example.com on 8th Jun 2016
Not shave ready at all. Will send it to be sharpened Pleased with the scales wish it was sharper
Posted by Clint Ashmead on 28th Mar 2016
I stopped in the Shop at Razor Emporium to get advice on getting started with a true straight edge. I am shifting from a shavette.
I bought the Gold Dollar 208 Shave Ready and am very pleased. Like the other reviewer indicates, "I can't compare to a Dovo, etc." because I have not shaved with one. However, if you are somewhat skeptical as to whether you will like straight edge shaving and you want to introduce yourself....then this is a great place to start. The 6/8 may seem a "tad" big but it certainly is manageable and I wouldn't let that stop me from buying. Because the GD 208 has been good so far, I am interested in upgrading to a Dovo when the money is in hand. I will use the 208 as a traveler. The scales and look appeal is pretty ordinary, however, respectful.
You simply can't beat this price for an inexpensive straight edge.
Make sure to get a strop (full size)and take care of it just like you would with any sharp tool that you would trust on your face.
Keep some mineral oil on hand to keep it oily to prevent any rust that could develop over an extended use of time w/o use.
I do wish it came with a case versus zip-lock baggy. But hey, what do you expect? No frills at a no frills price. I say go for it...you will like it and you can always upgrade to a German blade in the future.
Posted by Bruce on 14th Sep 2015
I've been shaving with my Grandfather's Straight Razors for some time and when I travel I end up resorting to plastic disposables since I won't risk losing the straights to the TSA. I was in Phoenix on a trip and ran across Razor Emporium on the web and stopped by to pick up one of these to be my travel razor. It is a Gold Dollar, so the grinding on the blade is not up to Dovo standards, but with the custom scales and a good hone, this is a respectable razor. In fact, the quality of the hone showed my just how bad my honing technique is. Guess I need to work on that. The staff are great here and good to talk to, I highly recommend their shop.
Posted by Bob on 1st Aug 2015
This straight razor is my first attempt at using a straight razor, so I want to be completely honest and say I have nothing to compare this to. I have shaved with it about a dozen times now and yes it works! I have been shaving with a DE razor for a year and I have to say the straight razor shave is not as close as the DE shave, and not as smooth. I have gone slow, watched several videos and have cut and nicked myself a few times but getting better. I joked one time that my sink looked like a Civil War surgeon's table! I have had a few veteran straight razor shavers tell me to invest more $ for a Dovo or Ralf Aust straight razor and the shave would feel much smoother and closer. But I have also been told to become proficient at straight razor shaving it takes about 100 shaves so you have to count in the beginner factor as well. If I do purchase one of those (I probably will) and am allowed to edit my review I will do so to compare with something else. At this point I can't say don't waste your money on this and go right to a more expensive straight razor, nor can I say you really need to start here!
I will say that I like having an inexpensive option to give straight razor shaving a go and this is exactly that and allows me to learn a little about it and make a more educated guess to keep going. So I want to thank Razor Emporium for that option! I think I have already been afflicted with R.A.D. (Razor Acquisition Disorder) since starting DE shaving and I think it is just going to continue through with straight razor shaving as well!
I would definitely say if you are eager to try straight razor shaving but don't have the money for the more expensive razors then by all means give this a try!!