Avoid a razor with rust/pitting along the edge or close to it.
The pitting will make it impossible to develop an edge.
Avoid a cracked blade by running your thumbnail under the blade along the edge. Patina can easily conceal a cracked edge.
Avoid major rust/pitting along the bottom half of the blade if it is thinly ground. Taking out the pitting could make the steel so thin it will be like tin foil.
Expect to make mistakes. Therefore do not pay to much.
Avoid a razor that is tapered and/or has well developed/uneven wear on the shoulder of the blade.
I hope others will add to this list.
Hope this helps,
Last edited by randydance062449; 05-06-2007 at 08:43 PM.
Randy Tuttle, a resource for straight razor users in Minnesota.