Thiers Issard has been making quality straight razors in France since 1884. In addition to razors, they produce other fine cutlery such as kitchen knives. Today, they are one of the two biggest manufacturers of straight razors in existence. Over the years we have honed and used many Thiers Issard razors; from older vintage razors, NOS Le Grelots (not actually a Thiers Issard blade), to modern Silverwings. Over the years, Thiers Issard has proven themselves committed to providing the customer quality cutlery. The scales on the above razor were a custom rescale job we did. We also polished the blade to bring out a true mirror finish. Yet, even with all the upgrades, you can tell this razor is a truly great piece of steel. The lack of a bolster and curved thumb holder are excellent features. This is one of our favorite razors.
The steel Thiers Issard uses on their standard razors is excellent. Thiers Issard has been called the “shaver’s razor,” and this nickname is entirely accurate. Out of today’s mass manufacturers, Thiers Issard is quite probably the best steel. Read our article on what makes a razor sharp for more information on what makes steel good. Thiers Issard normally hones up to an extremely keen edge. However, honing a Thiers Issard is not for amateurs, it is extremely time consuming and much more difficult than most other razors. Once the Thiers Issard is honed to perfection, it tends to stay that way for a while and provides a most excellent shave.
The scales and quality controls are Thiers Issard’s Achille’s heel. While Thiers Issard makes an excellent blade, the same cannot be said of their scales. For their most basic razor, the scales are just a cheap plastic with cheap pins. The pins are the same regardless of how much you spend on your Thiers Issard. It is generally said that you get what you pay for with Thiers Issard, so it is best not to buy their cheaper razors. While their pricier razors come with nicer scales, the quality does not scale with the price particularly well. The bottom line is that the scales could be better, but they are fully functional with pretty good balance as a whole.
Thiers Issard’s quality control and gold wash is not particularly good. It is sad to say that Dovo actually produces a better gold wash. Some TI’s have misaligned gold wash and in the past the gold wash has been very thin. Thiers Issard increased the thickness as of late.
For all their faults, the only real downside with buying a Thiers Issard is the price. While you generally get what you pay for with Thiers Issard, they get extremely expensive, extremely quickly. The only other downside is the difficulty in honing. This is not a DIY razor, it is highly recommended to consult a professional hone-meister.