Dovo Barbarossa Review
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As a professional, there is a limited range of straight razors that will meet your wet shaving needs. This can be frustrating. Luckily, Dovo has dedicated itself to producing quality straight razors. Some are perfect for beginners and experts alike, and others lean more towards professional experts like barbers.
The Dovo Barbarossa is a perfect example of the latter.
But the question is, does the Dovo Barbarossa deliver as the internet and Dovo claims? Well, here’s a quick review to help you decide for yourself.
For a premium straight razor brand, Dovo really drops the ball when it comes to the unboxing experience. Most Dovo products come in clear plastic packaging, while the lucky few like the Dovo Barbarossa come in a shiny blue metallic casing. Although the casing provides a great space for storage, it does very little to elevate the unboxing experience.
Aside from the somewhat disappointing unboxing experience, first impressions of the Dovo Barbarossa hit the spot. Quite simply, it’s a beautiful straight razor, and it’s evident Dovo put some thought into the design.
The razor has a straight spine and on the blade is a beautiful laser engraving ‘Barbarossa handgemacht’ along with some beautiful artwork of the Barbarossa’s head. On the shank is the famous ‘Dovo Stainless’ logo.
The olive wood is gorgeous and makes the razor bright and difficult to miss. However, we should note that Dovo Barbarossa comes in six different variations. The different options feature different handle types, including:
- Olive wood
- Red and Black Acrylic
- Stainless Steel Ebony Wood
- Carbon Steel Ebony Wood
- Faux tortoise resin
However, on this piece, we’ll focus our sights on the olive wood handle type.
Like most Dovo straight razors, the Dovo Barbarossa is made from carbon steel (1.2210), also known as silver steel. Generally, carbon steel is softer than stainless steel. So to achieve a 61 HRC hardness level, Dovo heats the material to 1000 degrees Celsius and immediately quenches it with special oil. After this, they temper the carbon steel at 200 degrees Celsius to give it some degree of toughness and elasticity.
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Although carbon steel isn’t as hard as stainless steel, it still has its advantages, including the fact that it’s easier to strop, and the edge remains sharper for longer. Moreover, its elasticity makes the blade more flexible, which helps it adapt to contours on the face better for an even closer shave.
On the flip side, carbon steel isn’t averse to rusting like steel; hence it doesn’t last as long. But before you freak out, with some care and maintenance, you can delay oxidation and extend durability. Remember to dry the blade properly after use and store it in a cool and dry place. You can also cover the blade with a thin coat of camellia oil or petroleum jelly.
Note: Bear in mind that some Dovo Barbarossa straight razor variations are made from stainless steel. These blades are rust-resistant and more durable. Unfortunately, they are harder to hone and don’t keep the sharp edge for long.
The biggest differentiator of the Dovo Barbarossa from most Dovo straight razors is its short blade that’s about 52 mm long. The short length alone provides professional experts with more control and accuracy when wet shaving.
Related reading: What are the Best Safety Razor Blades?
The short blade is coupled with a 5/8 inch blade width, making it perfect for shaping beards and contouring.
Being a straight razor for professional experts, you expect the edge to be sharp and efficient. Although some expert straight razors have half hollow grinds, the full hollow grind is the most appropriate for straight razor wet shaving experts.
Aside from being sharp, the full hollow grind is thin enough to provide subtle vibrations when shaving. The vibrations improve the shaving experience and guarantee the closest and smoothest shave. Full hollow grind designs also adapt to facial contours, making professional wet shaving better.
The downside of a full hollow grind is that the edge is fragile. One drop is enough to damage the sharp edge. And while it’s sharp, it’s not perfect for coarse beards.
Dovo Barbarossa features a Spanish point. This point starts as a tiny round tip at the spine’s edge and curves into a concave. In many forums, the Spanish point is described as a spike in training wheels. This is because the round point lessens the risk of injury. But this doesn’t mean it’s not efficient. On the contrary, the Spanish point offers a decent degree of precision when shaving around tight spots, including under the nose. The concave shape protects the skin from nicks.
Note: Other Dovo Barbarossa versions have a traditional point.
The handle is made from olive wood, a naturally beautiful and unique material. Olive wood is usually harder than beech or domestic oak wood and has a higher resistance to mold infestation. Therefore, the straight razor lasts longer despite the constant use of humid spaces.
As mentioned, you’ll come across Dovo Barbarossa straight razors with different handle materials, including ebony wood, faux turtle resin, and red and black acrylic.
Dovo claims their straight razors are shave-ready. Although this is exciting for wet shavers, the straight razors can only get two clean passes without starting to pull hair.
But this doesn’t mean Dovo is lying by making this claim. You see, Dovo sharpens the edge during manufacture. However, for a great shaving experience, you’ll need to strop the razor before use. If you are just getting into wet shaving (maybe looking for the best DOVO straight razor starter kit?), get your straight razor with a strop.
Stopping the razor immediately after purchase isn’t bad. If anything, you’re encouraged to strop your razor before every shave for the best experience.
Should You Buy the Dovo Barbarossa?
Does the Dovo Barbarossa deliver as the internet and Dovo claims? Well, here’s a quick Dovo Barbarossa review to help you decide for yourself.
Product Brand: DOVO Solingen
Product In-Stock: InStock
- Best for shaving tight spots
- Ideal for professional experts like barbers
- Multiple variations ensure you get one with the best feature combination for your needs
- Needs more care than most straight razors
- The price is high
My name is Don and welcome to Luxury Shaving Razors! The idea behind the site was born in 2016 after trying to find a decent safety razor for my own personal use. I decided to document my journey.