Vintage Blades LLC is a 100% Veteran Owned Business. The owner is a veteran of the US Army. Having served on active duty during the Vietnam era and then completing his years of service with the Army National Guard, he retired in 1997 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Vintage Blades was born with the goal of restoring the age-old tradition of shaving as a pleasurable ritual using straight shaving razors or safety razors.
Welcome to Vintage Blades! Our focus is exclusively on men’s grooming and shaving, and we’re pleased to bring you the best selection of wet shaving products available.
We believe that shaving doesn’t have to be a curse that you have to bear on a daily basis almost every day of your life if you prefer to have smooth looking skin both for appearance and for comfort.
For a comfortable and pleasant shaving experience, straight razors, safety razors, skin care treatments, shaving brushes, shaving creams and dozens more high-quality products are manufactured for traditional, enjoyable shaving.
Our website went live in 2005, and the business is maintained by owner and wet shaving enthusiast Jim Ayars, plus two other employees. If you have questions about our straight razors, safety razors and wet shaving accessories, contact Jim by email or phone.
A perfect shave is a ritual that men across the world set out do each and every morning. At Vintage Blades, we believe the tools of the trade should make the shaving ritual trouble-free and pain-free … to the point where shavers actually enjoy it.
Our Promise to You
We’ve carefully chosen our products and accessories to help you restore your shaving experience to an enjoyable ritual using the best quality products available.
Vintage Blades was “born” in 2003 when owner Jim Ayars was forced into early retirement as a result of one of the many acquisitions and mergers in the pharmaceutical industry. After his 30+ year career in sales and marketing, he was left with an unfulfilled desire to have his own business.
The idea of Vintage Blades started with, of all things, Jim working part-time for a friend who owned a gun shop at monthly shows in the area where the shop would have 40 to 50 tables. Jim explains,
“In the past, I was really into fine shotguns. So, I would work the shotgun tables at the shows. Tough duty… getting paid to hang out for the weekend and handle Parkers, Purdeys, and the like, and talk to guys about them. The guy who owned the shop knew that I collected vintage straight razors and folding knives and that I was selling a few on eBay. He offered to let me have a table for free next to the shotguns to sell them at the shows while we were there.
One Sunday, a customer who had bought several straight razors from me asked why I didn’t sell razor strops, shaving brushes, and other shaving supplies. I looked at him like he was crazy. ‘Why?’ I asked naively. (This is what you call ‘the watershed moment’.) ‘Because I restore those razors I bought from you and shave with them.’ he replied. That show was in October of 2003.
Over the next few weeks, I started to do research and saw the business opportunity I had been searching for those many years.
At first, I just started selling shaving supplies at the shows in the MD/VA/PA area, some 20 shows a year. When it became obvious that my inventory was just sitting in storage most of the time, someone mentioned that Al Gore had invented something called the Internet.
So, I launched the Vintage Blades website in 2005. Soon, the website sales kept me so busy that I could no longer manage doing the shows. So, in February 2006 I stopped doing those completely.
I came into this totally from a business perspective. Before starting the company, I had never used a double edge razor or a shaving brush, yet alone a straight razor. I was a typical disposable twin blade razor and ‘foam in the can’ guy. I’ll never forget receiving that first shipment of Merkur razors and saying to myself, ‘Do I really have to shave with this stuff?’ Ha! Was I ever in for a surprise. Talk about an awakening.
That first shave (it was a Merkur Futur) was simply amazing. Using a basic Vulfix brush, which was all I had in those days, and some Col. Conk soap I went at it with shaking hands… seriously. When I was done, I just couldn’t believe the shave. I went down to my wife with such a grin that the first thing she said was, ‘What did you do now?’ I just stuck my face out and said ‘Feel this.’ I remember being so proud. Like I had just scored the winning TD in the Super Bowl or something.”
Jim’s Current Shave Setup
“Personally, I use a Merkur 38C with a Feather blade most days. However, I also use a straight razor. I have a wonderful assortment of Dovos, TI’s, vintage straights, and now some beautiful customs from Livi and Zowada to choose from.
I use a variety of shaving creams, but they are always followed by the unscented balm from The Gentlemens Refinery. I use a different cologne every day; usually one from either Penhaligon’s or Castle Forbes.
Best Entry Level Straight Razor Set
Our Dovo "Black Best Quality" Straight Razor Set, like all our straight razor sets, includes a professionally honed straight razor, a Rooney Pure Badger brush, a free acrylic drip stand, a Vintage Blades Brand Latigo razor strop, a shaving mug of your choice, and free shaving soap. You also have the option of upgrading the brush and other components of the set if you desire.
Best Hanging Razor Strop
We have worked with some veterans in the straight razor community to develop our own line of Latigo leather strops. The Vintage Blades Latigo Hanging Razor Strops are hand crafted using only premium hides. They are available in a 2” and an extra wide 3" that allows stropping without the traditional “X” pattern. These strops are included in all our straight razor sets.
Best Safety Razor Set
Our Merkur “Heavy Classic” (34C) Set includes a Merkur 34C Safety Razor, a free 10 Pack of Merkur DE Razor Blades, a Rooney Pure Badger brush, a free drip stand, a shaving mug or cup of your choice, and free shaving soap. You also have the option of upgrading the brush and other components of the set if you desire.
Best Entry Level Shaving Brush
The Rooney Style 3, Size 1 Pure Badger brush has the same lathe turned handles as the more expensive Rooney brushes. Most entry level brushes use injection molded handles. The badger hair fill is an excellent grade of Pure badger, is very dense per mm of knot, and is scrubby but not overly so.
Best Shaving Cream
Our Vintage Blades Brand Luxury Shaving Cream is formulated with natural and certified organic ingredients to produce a thick creamy lather to soothe and nourish even the most delicate skin, while providing the cushioning and lubrication necessary for the closest of shaves. One of the key ingredients is organic shea butter. Any fragrance or essential oil used in their preparation is done so with a light touch, so as not to conflict with any other fragrance to be used as part of your shaving routine.
Best Milled Shaving Soap
Our Vintage Blades Brand Triple-Milled Shaving Soap is a high quality shaving soap made for us in the UK. While not tallow based, it produces a rich lubricating lather that rivals many competitive brands costing twice as much. It has a light pleasant scent. It is available in Lavender, Sandalwood, and Coconut.