The company Zwilling J. A. Henckels was one of the best known and largest razor manufacturers in Solingen. It is still a high-quality address for Solingen cutlery, but the company no longer produces razors. The Zwilling J. A. Henckels AG is located in Grünewalder Str. 14-22 at 42657 Solingen.
The founder of the company was Peter Henckels, a knifemaker from Solingen, who registered the company under the name Zwilling in 1731. Starting from a small water-powered grinding workshop, a factory was built and then a global corporation with branches, among others in Paris and New York. Innovative ideas, comprehensive know-how in all areas of cutlery production, and even steel production and processing in all relevant areas, have established the worldwide reputation of Zwilling. Thus the company owned its own foundry and steel factory early on and was thus independent of external steel supplies. The development of its own hardening processes and the production of blanks in the company's own drop forges quickly made it a leading player in the Solingen steel goods industry.
The company was also one of the first to produce cutlery on a larger scale from stainless steel - Inox. In 1939, the development of a special hardening process for just this stainless steel, the so-called ice hardening, whose name is still known today under the well-known term „Friodur";, was a pioneering step in this direction.
For the production of razors, the blanks were manufactured at Zwilling, but a large part was outsourced to other companies in Solingen for the grinding work. Well-known names of companies that worked for Henckels as razor grinders had been C. F. Ern, Paul Drees and others. Not to forget the countless number of self-employed homeworkers who, according to the old Solingen principle, did such work as homeworkers in their grinding cottens.
The famous trademark, the twin, has undergone certain modifications over the years, which can be used as a guide for the chronological classification of old cutlery.
(Quelle: Produktkatalog Fa. Henckels, undatiert)(Quelle: Produktkatalog Fa. Henckels, undatiert)
(Source: Catalog Fa. Henckels, dateless)
Probably the most famous razors are the Henckels Friodur, made of stainless steel. Here, the Henckels company was probably the first to succeed in manufacturing a razor made of stainless steel using the special hardening process, which is not (or almost not) inferior to carbon steel knives in terms of sharpness and blade life. Although Friodur knives only have a hardness of around 56-57 HRC, the steel is very fine-grained and can be ground very thin and sharpened well.
To this day, Friodur razors are considered by many enthusiasts to be the best stainless steel razors ever.
Most of the razors offered here in the following are from the years from about 1950 to 1985 and are partly NOS, partly restored.