The Rolls Razor company made a couple razors, but the most popular was their razor in a case. It came with a built in strop and honing mechanism to sharpen the razor quite easily.
These razors are harder to come by today, but you can buy them on Amazon in very good condition. You can also find them on eBay or if you're lucky the local flea market.
Background of Rolls Razors
The Rolls Razor was the advanced razor of its time. It was promoted as "the razor that is stropped and honed in its case". It did just that!
It came in a rectangle metal box with elegant engravings. Each side of the case can come off to expose the razor and handle. On each of the two removal sides were the material needed to strop and hone the blade.
By taking off one side, you could roll the razor up and down against the material on the bottom side. Effectively stropping the blade and honing it's sharpness.
The Rolls Razor was first used in the 1920's. You can still find them today, but you'll need to search the antique store, get lucky at a yard sale, or locate one on eBay.
The Rolls Razor company made more than their razor and actually was in the washing machine business as well. The company was eventually purchased by a businessman named John Bloom who ended up focusing his attention on the washing machine instead of the razors.
Rolls Razor at one point also made a "electric dry shaver". The ad stated you could ask for the Viceroy non-electric mechanic dry shaver if you didn't have electricity. It was a razor with a mechanical handle you could repeatedly squeeze to operate.
How a Rolls Razor Works
The most popular Rolls Razor was the one that came in the metal box. Each side of the box has a removal side. You take one side off and leave the one on you want to use the razor with. It's a ingenious concept that made sharpening a blade very easy.
When your razor is ready to shave with it simply pulls off the middle bar and the razor handle will slide onto the blade. When put together it makes a safety razor complete with bar.
The fact that you can still find these today which you can still shave with, says a lot about the quality of these items made back then. It's a lot harder to find that level of quality in items made today.
It's a very great item and collectors shave piece. If you're a collector this is definitely a razor you need in your personal collection. Here's a video of the razor for some more detail.
How to Shave with a Rolls Razor
At first glance the Rolls Razor can appear intimidating to shave with. The big wedge blade looks like it could be difficult in the beginning. In essence it's a chunk of a straight edge single blade razor.
In the video below the guy uses the same technique used with straight edge razors. It works really well for him and his shave comes out smooth. For a very old razor it's surprising that it delivers a great shave even today.
If you're going to be shaving with a Rolls Razor here's the video:
Where to Buy a Rolls Razor
You'll find the best deal if you can find one at a local flea market or yard sale. While you're much more unlikely to find one there, it may not hurt to take a quick look.
You can find the very basic Rolls Razor for around $20 - $30 in decent condition. The complete packages in very good condition will run you around $150. If you're going to shave with it I would recommend getting the more expensive option.
- You may also be interested in razor restoration.
Modern Alternative to a Rolls Razor
You're not going to find another razor like the Rolls Razor. There just isn't another razor like this and that's what makes it so valuable to collectors. However, you're not out of luck if you want a more modern blade and similar shaving experience.
The next best thing for the Rolls Razor alternative is a straight razor or cut throat razor. Get yourself a complete kit and learn to use it. Take a little time to learn how to strop properly and really learn how to shave with a straight razor.
These are great razors to shave with and if taken care of can last you a lifetime. It's the original old school way to shave which has become an art of sorts in today's time. Straight razors are really amazing and a great tool to use and skill to master.