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Review of the Ralf Aust Razor Manufacture 6/8 Spanish point razor - a new star from Solingen is born

March 23, 2013 — R

Ralf Aust 6/8 prototype

We are pleased to announce that a new brand of Solingen made straight razors has become available in the US market that excels in terms of functionality, elegant design, and price: Ralf Aust Razor Manufacture.

Having known Aust razors and their legendary quality, we had the distinct pleasure of testing a prototype. We would like to share our first impressions with you.

The more inquisitive types among you will probably notice the odd shaped scales. Suffice it to say that there is a reason for them. More later. 

The razor arrived in an attractive, branded box - a very nice touch. Also nice was the cover letter with written usage and care instructions in German and English. Top service.

The razor arrived shave ready. Apart from our Revisoren, this is the first razor we received directly from the manufacturer that could immediately be deployed. A quick comparison of the razor's performance out of the box vs the razor after 100 rounds on linen and leather revealed no difference. Apparently, it had not only been properly honed, but also stropped. You couldn't possibly ask for more. In fact, certain other manufacturers should take a leaf out of Mr Aust's book.

Ralf Aust Razor Manufacture Solingen 6/8 PrototypeThe razor has jimps that are excecuted to perfection and reach into the back of the blade. They are reasonably wide (ie easy to clean should lather get stuck in them), and deep enough to allow for a perfect grip.

Notwithstanding the slightly oversized scales, the razor handles very well. Its balance is perfect, and its manoeuvrability very good because of the shank/tail ratio.

Stropping the razor is easy, again thanks to the good grip and well balanced design.

The craftsmanship is immaculate. The matte finish is flawless, as is the etching. The razor is optically well balanced with clear, flowing lines, and no distraction from goldwash or other gimmicks. It is one of those blades which speak for themselves. Personally, we would not even add the regular scales with silver bolsters but a 1/8 smaller version of the ones it currently has.

In the meantime, we also had a chance to hone the razor. It was first dulled, removing the edge completely. Then a bevel was set with a Coticule. The final edge was also established with a Coticule. The Coticule used was a vintage hybrid, and a medium fast cutter. The entire endeavour lasted about 15 minutes. The resulting edge was en par with the one set by Aust themselves. We therefore consider these razors straightforward to hone, if you pardon the pun.

Edge retention can be expected to be the same as any other modern Solingen razor for obvious reasons.

Overall, we are once more impressed with an Aust razor. It is subduedly elegant, handles well, and comes shave ready. If we had to pick a new production razor with an outstanding price/performance ratio, it would have been a Revisor so far. Now, it would be a Revisor or an Aust.