Dovo Bismarck Review – An Iconic Straight Razor

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This Dovo Bismarck review will comprehensively investigate what is argued to be the best Dovo straight razor.

Now we’ve all been in that position. Whether you’re a beginner with a straight razor or an expert, it’s always difficult to take the plunge with such valuable items. The best straight razor is difficult to get right.

Often you get exactly what you pay for – although there are still bargains at the low end and disappointments at the high end. Then there’s the question of availability which is no exception with rare straight razors like the Dovo Bismarck.

When it finally arrives you have the issue of factory honing and whether or not you need to pay for an extra honing service to get it shave ready. Or worse, some straight razors are subsceptible to factory defects like nicks and warping that need to be urgently solved with customer service to get a replacement sent.

The Dovo Bismarck is a comfortable way to avoid most of these problems with very little risk.

While the price puts it in the premium range above Dovo’s other straight razors, it certainly isn’t the most expensive razor. Thiers-Issard razors are often much higher priced.

Meanwhile the beautiful design, great shave and strop experience and the reliable quality control mean you are sure to be impressed with your investment.

Dovo Bismarck review

Dovo Bismarck Review


The Dovo Bismarck 6/8″ – often mispelled as Dovo Bismark – is made from premium hollow-ground Swedish carbon steel which means it is so thin it flexes as you use it. The size is 6/8″, referring to the depth of the blade from cutting edge to spine.

However, what stands the Dovo Bismarck out as one of the most hallowed straight razors is its hand-filled 24k gold decoration on the blade.

No Dovo Bismarck review would be right without first mentioning the incredible aesthetic of this straight razor.

What stands out from the Dovo Bismark is its incredibly beautiful design which seduces many shavers right away. The gold lettering features the name “Bismarck” and the statement “best German hollow ground”. The gold also runs down the spine with a luxurious pattern.

On the scales the name “Solingen” is etched into the ebony wood and also inlaid with gold.

The Cutting Edge

DOVO Straight Razor with Cellidur Black Handle Carbon Steel Blade

While these statements are bold they are based on fact. Many shavers criticize Dovo for marking their cheaper straight razor blades “best quality” when this is often not the case.

While most of the time these are great quality razors there do seem to be quality control issues with people receiving warped blades or similar problems. With a more premium price the Dovo Bismarck doesn’t seem to face these as frequently and so they are clearly subjected to a higher level of scrutiny.

While the Dovo Bismarck is roughly twice the price of the Dovo “best quality” straight razor line it does seem clear that “best German hollow ground” is a step up.

Like all Dovo straight razors, the Bismarck arrives factory-honed and so it’s not quite shave ready, although plenty of shavers manage alright with a good strop. In theory it should be properly honed before use but you can decide this when your Bismarck arrives.

The Bismarck also features a generous thumb notch which makes for easier shaving but more difficult stropping. This is largely down to personal preference.

Dovo Bismarck Scales

Dovo Bismarck review

The Dovo Bismarck straight razor is available with a variety of scales but the favourite, at least from our perspective, will always be the ebony wood with the gold inlay. Ebony is lightweight, dense and water resistant.

The fake mother of pearl acrylic is also very beautiful. Nevertheless it seems counter intuitive to combine the finest hollow-ground Swedish steel and 24K gold inlays with a plastic handle. All perform very well and can be changed at a later date if you so wish.

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