Category Archives: Razor blades

Breakthrough – The Five-Year Razor Blade

bornSharp-MAIN7_self-sharpening-razor_940x392-1Early this year I quoted a columnist in the Los Angeles Times who wondered:

We can put men on the moon. We can make computers small enough to carry around in our pockets. But we can’t make a razor blade that stays sharp longer than a week?

Now comes word that a new start-up, BornSharp, has done exactly that. It has created a razor blade system that will give you around 2,000 shaves from a single blade – more than five years of daily shaving.

According to the company:

The BornSharp System consists of a handsomely designed and balanced razor, paired with the Sharpening Port, which fully automates the sharpening process while disinfecting the blade.

At the push of a button, the BornSharp System delivers a perfectly sharpened, disinfected, shave-ready razor.

After each shave, simply return the razor to its port. Push the Start button and let it do its thing automatically. The Sharpening Port locks the razor into place until the blade sharpening cycle is completed. Two sharpening cylinders spin to sharpen and polish both sides of the blade, precisely restoring the shaving edge. The blade is bathed in UV light, sterilizing and destroying any remaining microorganisms. The razor is then released and ready for your next shave. It happens in less than two minutes, with one button.

The company is seeking to raise $100,000 through funding platform Indiegogo in order to launch production.

Men’s Hair Trimmers and Clippers – The Most Highly Rated

Oster Blade LubeAmazon presents quite a useful list of its top-rated products – based on customer reviews – for many diverse categories. Here are the five most highly rated products for men’s hair trimmers and clippers.

1. Oster Blade Lube Premium Lubricating Oil for Clippers and Blades Hair Clippers Trimmers And Groomers (photo) – 4.8 stars average customer rating

2. Andis Clipper Oil - 4.8 stars

3. Wahl 84701 Professional Super Taper II Hair Clipper - 4.6 stars

4. WAHL Professional 2 Hole Precision Clipper Blade - 4.7 stars

5. Andis UltraEdge Stainless Steel Blade #50- AG Clipper Blade, 64185 - 4.6 stars

Question for the Ages – Why Can’t We Make a Razor Blade That Stays Sharp Longer Than a Week?

By Rayy Zar

It’s a question that many men have asked:

We can put men on the moon. We can make computers small enough to carry around in our pockets. But we can’t make a razor blade that stays sharp longer than a week?

This time it is columnist David Lazarus, writing in the business section of the Los Angeles Times. He continues:

It sounds trivial. But the utter lack of progress on the razor front raises fundamental questions about America’s industrial might. Has the sun set on the age of innovation in this country? Is it possible that American ingenuity has met its match in a relatively modest personal-hygiene product used by millions of consumers?

He assumes it’s a conspiracy by Gillette and Schick – who together command a 90 per cent market share for replacement blades – and he interviews a medical equipment maker, Jeff Grant, who says that it would be possible to make a ceramic blade that costs $100 and lasts for years.

Well, that sounds good. An eight-pack of Gillette Mach3 Turbo shaving cartridges — one of the more popular razors — runs $24 at Walgreens. If you figure on changing the cartridge once a week, that would mean spending $156 each year on razor blades. So, yeah, I’d spend $100 for a blade that lasts for two, three or more years.

And that, Grant told me, is exactly why we’ll never be offered such a chance by Gillette or Schick. “They’d sell you one blade and they’d be done,” he said. “It’s a business decision.”

Of course, you do not have to buy your blades from Gillette or Schick. Alternatives include the new Dollar Shave Club, cited in the article.

Or take a look at an article from Time magazine, Get an Edge on Razor Manufacturers: 8 Strategies to Save on Shaving. It suggests sharpening your blade on a pair of jeans, or even on your forearm. Seek out coupons and discount blades. And if all that is still too expensive, try Tip #8 – stop shaving.

Going bearded works for hipsters and pro athletes like San Francisco Giants’ closer Brian Wilson, and there are also indications that men are more likely to respect men with beards. Alas, unfortunately, women tend to find men with beards less attractive than guys with clean-shaven faces. But at least you’ll be saving money on razors!

A Simple Question – What Is the Best Blade on the Market Today?

By Rayy Zar

Razor Blade SamplerAn interesting conversation is going on over at the Badger and Blade shaving forum, where a member asks a simple question: What is the best blade on the market today?

He stresses that he wants a “simple answer” – a blade that works well for “most everyone.”

Several dozen replies later, there is still no consensus, with the best response probably the following:

There is no simple answer otherwise we would all use the same blades. Depends on the razor used and your personal preference. If you want to find out for yourself, get a sampler pack and go ahead. Even when there is a blade that works great for 90% (which I doubt) it still can be worthless for you. No simple answer here!

Nevertheless, plenty of shavers were prepared to attempt an answer. Here are some of them:

* If I had to have only one type of blade, should be Gillette Black (Indian Super Platinum). If I could not find this blade, then should be Astra.

Personna Reds. Sharpness & also comfort.

Voskhods seems to be liked by everyone I have heard using it. It’s the one blade that seems to work great in all my razors.

Gillette 7 o’clock Super Platinum (aka 7 o’clock Blacks). There is nothing like having 10 different blades in your rotation though.

For me, the best all-around blade is the Astra-SP. It performs well no matter what razor I put it in, and works on any and all types of beards. If I were forced to have only one blade in the den, this would be it. But even so, I rarely use it anymore. Since my two favorite blades, Derby and Feather, are available in abundance, and each will out-perform the Astra when paired with the right type of razor, these are my weapons of choice for almost all of my shaves.

Gillette Silver Blue has been the best combination of smooth and sharp for my face so far, I have many more blades to try but of those that I have the GSB is the ONE blade that shaves me the best.

Seki Edge Blades – Japanese Excellence

By Rayy Zar

Seki swordmakingI think I might have passed through the historic Japanese city of Seki just once during my 17 years in Japan, during a tour to Gifu – renowned for its cormorant fishing – and to the gorgeous antique villages of Tsumago and Magome.

Seki is famous as having once been the home of Japanese katana – sword – production. This began in the city during the 13th century when Motoshige, a leading swordsmith of the era, moved there, attracted by the fine iron sand, charcoal and water. Within a couple of hundred years more than 300 swordsmiths were active in the region.

Seki Japanese katanaToday Seki is famous for its knives, prized by top chefs around the world. It is also home to Seki Edge, producer of some of the world’s finest razor blades.

The company has announced some new razors to its line-up, under the Feather and Artist Club labels. According to a company announcement:

The three traditional razors come in either a straight or folded design. Tapping into the modern era, Feather, the manufacturer of these razors, has developed a replaceable blade that provides a traditional looking razor with modern functionality. Unlike traditional razors, there is no need to hone or strop these razors. For sanitation purposes and to best suit individual needs, four different blades were developed for the straight and folding razors. The Professional Blades are the most universal and versatile blades. The Light Blades are tailored for women or sensitive skin. The ProGuard Blades are guarded to give safe smooth strokes. Lastly, the Super Blade is recommended for shaving thick or heavy hair such as beard and moustache hair.

You can learn more at the company’s own website.

Feather bladesIt is worth noting that Feather blades attract absolutely rave reviews at Amazon. For example, a pack of 50 Feather Hi-Stainless Platimum Double Edge Razor Blades has 92 reviews, including 88 that awarded the product four or five stars, for an amazing average of 4.8 stars.

Here is an excerpt from a fairly typical review:

You WILL get the closest and best shave of your life. Longevity is excellent also, remaining laser sharp even after 5 to 7 shaves if you care to use each one that long. Each beard and shaver’s preferences are unique, so you might want to just buy a single 5 pack to give them a spin. Personally, I have no reason to try any other blade. They cost a little more that other alternatives, but like most things, you usually get what you pay for. As a former Gillette Fusion user before rediscovering double edge shaving, this shave cost less than 1/4 the price, shaves much closer, lasts longer, and if used correctly seems to leave your skin smoother and softer.

* Get the latest prices on Feather men’s grooming products at Amazon.