DOVO Inox 5/8″ Straight Razor Review (Model 41)
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Today’s article is a DOVO Inox review.
The Dovo Inox is a very popular straight razor and has more or less stayed unchanged for more than 40 years. This razor is considered to be DOVO’s ‘bread & butter so to speak.
The Dovo Solingen brand has existed for 100+ years. They are known for quality, hand-crafted straight razors, some of the best safety razor blades (via their sister brand Merkur), and top-quality shaving soaps and have remained a favorite for many wet shaving enthusiasts.
The beauty of using a Dovo straight razor is that you benefit from the following:
- A longer edge translates into fewer passes hence reducing the chances of skin irritation.
- A clean shave so you’ll have fewer infections in case of cuts and nicks
- High-quality steel that’ll serve you for years
These qualities manifest in the Dovo Inox. But don’t take our word for it; below is a quick DOVO Inox review and guide on what to expect.
Like most Dovo straight razors, the Dovo Inox 41 arrives in cardboard packaging. It’s not the most beautiful packaging we’ve seen, and for the price, they could do better. However, with Inox 41, Dovo added a metallic blue aluminum box that you can use when traveling. There’s some polypropylene padding, and the straight razor inside is wrapped in plastic paper to absorb excess oils.
The basic packaging protects a gem of a straight razor inside.
The first glance at the Inox 41 will have you falling in love. Granted, it’s not as mind-blowing as the Dovo Bismarck, but beautiful nonetheless. The shiny mirror finish on the blade beautifully contrasts the olive wood handle, matching the 24k Gold ‘Dovo-Inox’ and ‘Tiefgekühlt-Rostfrei’ etching on the face perfectly.
The double shoulder design is quite noticeable and is intended to stabilize the razor despite its full hollow grind. Finally, the curved scales provide a comfortable grip on the razor. You won’t have to bend your wrist more than you need to when shaving.
The Dovo Inox is made from grade 1.4034 stainless steel resistant to rust. Stainless steel is an alloy of chromium, nickel, molybdenum, and other metals. Together the metals react with water and oxygen in the air to create a special film on the surface, which protects the straight razor from rusting.
Even better, the sharp edge on the Dovo Inox lasts longer, courtesy of the stainless steel construction. Unfortunately, since the steel used is highly tempered, stropping this razor takes a little more effort than the Dovo Bismarck constructed from carbon steel.
We think this is a fair tradeoff to have a long-lasting sharp edge.
The Dovo Inox sports an olive wood handle securely attached to the blade. Why did Dovo opt to use Olivewood? For starters, Olivewood is hard, extremely strong, dense, and water-resistant durable. Its durability complements the stainless steel construction to guarantee an all-around and reliable straight razor.
Also, Olivewood has a deep and rich color, fine texture, and a beautiful grain texture that’ll draw you in at first glance. The fact that Olive wood is lightweight provides you with better control of the razor. This means going through the learning curve with minimal cuts and nicks as a beginner.
Different straight razors vary in thickness and shape. Some have a flat face, and others like the Dovo Inox are curved. This cross-sectional shape determines the grind of the straight razor. While some companies prefer flat blades (wedges), Dovo prefers hollow grinds on its razors. On the Dovo Inox, they went with the full-hollow grind.
With a full-hollow grind, the blade has a concave shape. Since Dovo removes more steel, the blade is thinner, which means it’s sharper, lighter, more flexible, and forgiving on your skin. This helps in reducing irritation and nicks. Because of the thinness, Inox 41 has better feedback. You can feel how the blade slices through hair and behaves. If there’s more resistance when shaving, you’ll feel it more than you would use a wedge blade. This feedback helps you know when your blade needs a round with the best honing stone and stropping.
Unfortunately, the Inox 41 blade is a little more fragile than most blades since it’s thin. You’ve got to exercise caution when honing to avoid damage.
DOVO Inox features a round point (also known as a Dutch point), making it (in my opinion) the best beginner straight razor. While the round point isn’t as accurate as square point tips, it’s more forgiving for beginners and protects you from cuts and nicks. Unfortunately, if you need to trim your goatee or any other tight spot in your face, the round point on the Inox 41 will disappoint you since it doesn’t get close to the skin.
Straight razor blade sizes affect your shaving experience. If you want to be thorough, you need a large blade since it’ll shave large patches of stubble with minimal strokes. Moreover, wide blades are perfect for heavy beards. But if you need to trim your beard, a narrow blade is ideal since they offer more control and are safer for wet shaving beginners. With a narrow blade, you can maneuver hard to shave spots on your face like under the nose and the earlobe with ease.
But what if you need a straight razor for trimming and shaving? In that case, Inox has got you covered. With the 5/8-inch blade size, it’s perfect for both uses and serves beginners and pro wet shavers well.
Dovo markets its blades as ‘shave ready,’ meaning they leave Dovo factories with a basic working edge, so honing isn’t immediately necessary. But while the DOVO Inox is sharp, it may not give you multiple passes with clean cuts. For best results, you should strop the razor before use. Because of this, we recommend beginners to get a strop together with their Dovo Inox purchase. By the way, DOVO Inox is included in one of the best straight razor shave kits (that also includes a strop and more).
Remember, for a great wet shaving experience; you’ll need to strop your razor before every shaving session. The razor will need honing after every 2 or 3 months (this depends on how course your beard is, how often you shave etc. Some only hone once a year, some even less than that). You can opt for professional honing or purchase a wet stone and learn how to do it yourself.
Should You Buy the DOVO Inox?
Where to Get It
The DOVO Inox straight razor is available at several online retailers. Some might be temporarily sold out, but since this razor is still in production the shortage is temporary.
The price doesn’t seem to vary that much from store to store. There don’t seem to be any seasonal changes regarding the price.
Some online stores (think ‘Boutique’ kind) offer a pre-honing service as well.