As safety razors continue to gain popularity, new razor makers are popping up every year. While many stick to tradition without changing much, a select few have challenged themselves to create better, more effective safety razors for the modern age. One such maker happens to be based out of Edmonton, Alberta: Karve Shaving Co.
Karve has become well-known for their signature "Christopher Bradley" razor, named for their founder. This marvelous razor is expertly engineered and machined to give you the best shave possible, with various options to achieve your perfect shave. The Christopher Bradley razor takes the classic 3-piece safety razor design and enhances it through extreme attention to detail and engineering expertise. A variety of base-plates are available that allow for different blade exposures, meaning your can tailor your shave to be more aggressive or gentle depending on your preference and skin-type. The handles are beautifully knurled for a secure grip when shaving. These razors are available in various materials, most notably brass and stainless steel, guaranteed to look great on your counter and last lifetimes.
Chris, Karve Shaving Co. founder, hard at work.
I got an opportunity to speak with the folks at Karve about how they got started and what takes their razors a step above the rest!
Nathan: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. I understand you folks keep pretty busy with production. What got you into making safety razors originally, and what's been the driving force?
Karve: Before Karve Shaving Co., we were a normal machine shop making parts predominantly for Edmonton's oil and gas industry. After years of hard work, we decided to get into making Traditional wet-shaving tools. Chris got into wet-shaving through his friend and decided to take a stab at getting into the market. The machining and engineering skills carried over, and we applied the same rigor we used for oil & gas equipment.
N: That's certainly a unique background for a razor company, but it does make sense. Beyond being made locally, what is special about your razors, and why would our customers want to buy them?
K: We feel the thing that sets our razors apart from many other razors on the market is that we have a degree of artisanal love and focus, but we also have many years of experience in producing high-spec parts. These two factors have contributed to the reputation we have amongst our customers as one of the best artisanal razor manufacturers in the world.
The Karve Shaving Co. workshop in Edmonton, AB.
N: No kidding, you guys have gained a ton of respect in the shaving world. What personally drove you folks to get into this field?
K: I think wet-shaving is fairly unique. It has its utilitarian base who initially get their foot in the door to save money and have better shaves, but some are hobbyists that invest in the industry. Chris very quickly turned into one such hobbyist. Chris developed a love of wet-shaving, and with the expertise of a long engineering career, he saw this as a great path for the business to take. He started out designing and crafting small numbers of razors. Then, we started having some issues with the customer base in the oil and gas sector, and after making razors part-time for a while under the name Karve Shaving Co., Chris saw how feasible it was as our main venture. He decided to take the plunge in the last couple of years, and here we are!
We love the wet-shaving community and being a part of it, especially in Canada.
N: That's fantastic; I'm happy for you folks! We're big fans of home-grown local businesses, and we're proud to represent folks like you.
So there you have it! These razors are made to exacting standards, with the best materials, close to home. We couldn't be happier to finally be selling razors made in our home province of Alberta.
My personal favourite Karve razor, the Christopher Bradley in brass.
We currently carry two razors from Karve, The Christopher Bradly Adjustable in brass and in stainless. Both come with three base-plates designed for medium aggressiveness when shaving. This gives you a variety of settings to choose from without being too mild or too crazy sharp. Be warned; the brass razor will discolour. Personally, I love the look of aged brass, so I will definitely be grabbing this one for myself!
If you want to chat about safety razors or learn more about Karve Shaving Co., feel free to message us here or visit one of our shops. Happy shaving!
A famed cocktologist and axe man, Nathan opened the first Kent of Inglewood store in Calgary, and now spends his days writing most of what you are reading here and teaching straight razor shaving classes. Ask him about his world-famous Three Cherry Manhattan. In his spare time Nathan can be found sharpening his axe, making fermented foods, or practicing his amateur butchering hobby. He doesn't slur his words, he speaks in cursive.