At first glance, the No. 105 “En Vogue” Ivory Micarta Straight Razor looks like any other quality straight razor produced by Dovo. It is a standard size and shape, and the ivory color scales have a traditional grain. However, on closer inspection, this razor has a hidden surprise. The ice tempered frozen steel is decorated with a beautiful swirl on the blade that loosely mimics a Damascus steel pattern. More imporantly, the high-quality stainless steel maintains a very sharp edge. The No. 105 is classic with a contemporary twist.
Since 1906, the Dovo Company from Solingen, Germany, has produced precision cutlery and remains one of the few manufacturers that offers traditional straight razors, as well as a broad range of other grooming tools, such as scissors, nail clippers, and other manicure accessories. Dovo straight razors are fairly basic in design, mostly traditional 4/8 - 6/8 widths with rounded points. Straight razors and grooming tools from Dovo are consistently high quality and precision instruments.
Although the Dovo No. 105 is the common 5/8 inch width with a full hollow ground blade, the design of the blade makes this razor unique. Not only is the Damascus-like swirl pattern on the blade beautiful, this blade is one of the few Dovo razors in my collection that required very little honing out of the box. Most Dovo razors have a basic factory edge established on the blade, but typically require additional honing before they are sharp enough for a comfortable shave. The No. 105 only required a few passes on the 8,000 and 12,000 grit honing stones, followed by a thorough stropping, and it was perfectly shave ready.
(Note: If you’re new to honing your own razors, stainless steel can be difficult to sharpen because of the hardness of the material. You may want to have your razor professionally honed until you become familiar with the process.)
The Micarta wood grain pattern of the No. 105 scales complements the blade design. One drawback of the scales is that the wood is very bulky. The scales are thicker than materials on most straight razors. It is still comfortable to maneuver around the face, but it has a different feel than other razors. If this is a nuisance, the wood could always be replaced with custom scales at a later time. The Micarta scales are basic in design with a simple brass wedge at the base.
Because it is stainless steel, the No. 105 is priced slightly higher than a carbon steel razor, but the material is worth the investment. The ice tempered frozen steel blade holds a great edge that is durable and long lasting, and can provide many shaves without needing to be rehoned. This razor gets very sharp -- and stays sharp -- to provide countless comfortable shaves. The quality of the blade and the contemporary swirl design make the No. 105 “En Vogue” Ivory Micarta Straight Razor one of the best that Dovo has to offer.