JA Henckels produces quality kitchen cutlery seen around the globe and in department stores everywhere in the USA. They’re even sold at Costco. Many years ago, they produced amazing straight razors marked as Friodur. While this line is no longer in production, JA Henckels continues the long tradition of straight razor manufacturing. These new straight razors from Hencels reflect the quality you have come to expect from their kitchen knives and other fine cutlery. These razors are stamped with Solingen Germany on the tang and come with plastic scales. Priced at just over $130 at Amazon, this razor is priced competitively with mid-level Dovos.
Packaging, Fit, & Finish
The razor comes in a tin with foam padding. Much more than can be said of most other razors. The only razors I can remember being sold in this packaging are a few top end Dovos. As you can see in the picture, its not a bad looking case. Much more than expected from the MSRP. The scales are lackluster in comparison, however. They are plain plastic scales. All function, no form. That said, they are exactly in line with what is expected of a razor in this price point. There is nothing wrong with the scales, but at the same time, there is nothing to write home about either.
The blade is the important part in this package. Crafted from stainless steel, presumably at the Henckels Solingen factory, the razor lives up to your expectations from Henckels. The grind on the blade is fairly consistent, but could be better. Without knowing more about who actually makes the razor, it appears to be made using a double wheel grinder such as those used by Dovo and Thiers Issard. Small inconsistencies aside, the grind is well done and Henckels has managed to mass produce a stainless steel hollow ground razor for the every-day man. The blade lacks any embellishments and is purely utilitarian; much like the scales that come with the razor. The tang has the same makers mark as is found with nearly all razors.
On to the actual cutting edge. The Henckels razor sadly does not live up to its predecessor’s fame and reputation. The new Henckels are not the equivalent of the old school Friodurs from decades past. Of course, comparing the $130 price tag to the ~$400+ some NOS Friodurs command on certain auction sites, the disparity in quality is not surprising. Yet, in today’s razor market, the Henckels certainly does live up to the competition. The blade is stainless steel rather than carbon steel, which is of added benefit to those who want an edge to stay sharper a little longer and would like less maintenance. Not too many stainless steel blade options are available to the modern consumer. In fact, only Dovo comes to my mind at the moment (unless you wish to go custom). In sum, the blade is very good. Certainly on par or better than Henckels top of the line cutlery. A worthy competitor of Dovo’s mid to high end lines. Certainly a worthy addition to your shave den if a modern stainless steel blade is what you seek.
In sum, Henckels ranks about the same as Dovo in terms of blade quality. The scales are nothing special, but the box that is supplied is above par.