03-27-2014, 02:38 PM
#1
User Info
Most of the razors we buy are made from Zamak or pot-metal of some kind. (The head anyways.) It seems from what I’ve read; once the plating gets chipped or worn off, the razor will soon disintegrate. Some people say this can happen in less than 3 years on a razor you use 4 times a week.
I was wondering if anyone has had a razor that this happen to? Just curious how much of a problem this really is.

5 1,562
Reply
 03-27-2014, 04:23 PM
#2
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
User Info
I personally do not think they're worth it. Sure, they can last a lifetime, but they're brittle, and one small drop or smack on the sink, compromising the plating, and it's only a matter of time.
Some may argue they're so cheap you can just buy more, or the manufacturer will replace it...Edwin Jagger is particularly outstanding regarding this. However, I'd rather pay the extra for something like the Weber,
which is the lowest priced stainless out there and not have to worry about buying another one. There are the higher end stainless razors, of course, but after trying many of them, I just don't see the justification for the increased cost..but that is a matter of preference and opinion.

There is also the vintage route, but I am assuming your main interest is in new razors.

31 1,510
Reply
 03-27-2014, 04:56 PM
#3
User Info
(03-27-2014, 04:23 PM)Arcadies Wrote: There is also the vintage route, but I am assuming your main interest is in new razors.

I am just curious how long a razor made from plated pot-metal will last if used every week.

5 1,562
Reply
 03-27-2014, 05:09 PM
#4
User Info
As long as the plating holds up, forever. The good news is that chrome is just about the hardest plating there is.

Realistically I think you're talking about years, if not decades. So long as what Arcadies pointed out doesn't happen, i.e. major falls or some other compromising event.


- Josh -

84 1,505
Reply
 03-27-2014, 05:13 PM
#5
  • Triad
  • Triad Razor Handles
  • Texas
User Info
Theres a lot of vintage hoffritz razors still getting used.

118 1,708
Reply
 03-27-2014, 05:37 PM
#6
User Info
(03-27-2014, 05:09 PM)jpakstis Wrote: As long as the plating holds up, forever. The good news is that chrome is just about the hardest plating there is.

Realistically I think you're talking about years, if not decades. So long as what Arcadies pointed out doesn't happen, i.e. major falls or some other compromising event.

- Josh -

I guess a lot depends on how good the plating job was done. I understand they can rot from the inside out sometimes.

5 1,562
Reply
 03-27-2014, 05:44 PM
#7
User Info
I like my R41. If it only lasts a few years, so be it. I will enjoy the shaves while I have it.

I have vintage razors as well.

18 591
Reply
 03-27-2014, 05:52 PM
#8
User Info
well - any kind of materials used in razors can/will eventually deteriorate. if you like the performance of a particular razor - i would say: keep it and use it. i wouldn't think too much about its future. most likely it can perform well the rest of your life Wink

7 1,624
Reply
 03-27-2014, 07:25 PM
#9
User Info
I have read a few reports of users noting worn away coating on the threads of 3 piece Merkur razors. That post weakens and breaks well before a year. Compared to longevity of older z-metal razors, if well plated - thick plating - of quality nickel or chrome, sure they will last forever. But these screws are losing coating just from normal usage, so the coating QC or specs or both can't better than average. Surely no more than a low percentage of razors are involved. Still, I can see how it might give some folks pause….

18 194
Reply
 03-27-2014, 09:10 PM
#10
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
User Info
The chrome plating on Edwin Jagger and Muehle razors is of very high quality - much better than than on Merkur razors. Even so, if Merkur razors were routinely failing within a year, we would be hearing a lot more about it and they wouldn't be so popular.

- Murray

4 1,150
Reply
 03-27-2014, 09:31 PM
#11
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
User Info
Pot metal as in what EVERY Gillette razor was ever made with? I have a pre-war Tech that looks like a previous owner dropped it in a vat of acid...still shaves fine.

74 1,523
Reply
 03-27-2014, 11:30 PM
#12
User Info
no. vintage gillettes are generally made of a copper/brass alloy - and can easily be replated.

7 1,624
Reply
 03-28-2014, 07:39 AM
#13
User Info
Not many guys have said they have had a problem with the pot-metal razors. So maybe it is not really a problem after all.
It may be the exception rather than the rule.

5 1,562
Reply
 03-28-2014, 09:18 AM
#14
User Info
(03-27-2014, 09:10 PM)CMur12 Wrote: If Merkur razors were routinely failing within a year, we would be hearing a lot more about it and they wouldn't be so popular.
- Murray

This is a very good point. I think I will stop worrying about pot-metal razors.

5 1,562
Reply
 03-28-2014, 03:41 PM
#15
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
User Info
I think a big part of the decision would come down to the actual performance of a given razor. I was negative about Merkur razors for a long time because of fit and finish and because I found their three-piece models too aggressive. I have bought and tried a lot of razors over the last eight years.

I bought a Mergress within the last year, I use it at the lowest setting, and I get the best combination of gentle-to-the-skin and effective shave of any razor I have yet purchased. It is probably made of pot metal and the chrome finish is decent, if not on the same level as an Edwin Jagger. With this razor, I feel that a long hunt for the best tool has finally come to an end. I would not want to have missed this one and I wish I had tried it sooner! If at some point it fails, I will replace it.

- Murray

4 1,150
Reply
 03-28-2014, 04:59 PM
#16
User Info
(03-28-2014, 09:18 AM)shave/brush Wrote:
(03-27-2014, 09:10 PM)CMur12 Wrote: If Merkur razors were routinely failing within a year, we would be hearing a lot more about it and they wouldn't be so popular.
- Murray

This is a very good point. I think I will stop worrying about pot-metal razors.

I stopped worrying about pot-metal razors looong ago.

My Mühle is one of the razors that I use more, I bought it ~4years ago, and no problems.
I also found some vintage Merkurs, including a Progress from the end-1970's and a 41c and they look wonderful.

2 5,548
Reply
 03-28-2014, 05:04 PM
#17
  • Manning
  • Member
  • Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
User Info
I've had several Merkurs for years with no issues at all. I'm not too concerned.

I did buy several Progresses and have them on reserve just in case, though. The shavepocalypse is nigh....

13 154
Reply
 03-28-2014, 06:44 PM
#18
User Info
I will continue to use my Merkur 34HD. I think it was an excellent purchase.

3 93
Reply
 03-29-2014, 06:54 AM
#19
User Info
I'm aware of the issues with pot metal razors and never had any problems. However, I switched to stainless steel razors because I felt it is a superior material. The Weber stainless razor is an amazing value, costing less than some Zamak razors.

50 6,428
Reply
 04-01-2014, 08:52 AM
#20
User Info
When it breaks buy a weber... till then - enjoy.

6 861
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)