Poll: When using a smooth-handled razor with wet (but not soapy) hands, do you find the handle slippery?
This poll is closed.
Yes: I have to dry my hands to grip the razor.
20.00% of votes
No: no problem with slipperiness with wet (but not soapy) hands.
80.00% of votes
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 06-08-2012, 07:34 AM
#1
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A guy recently said that his lined-chrome Edwin Jagger razor handle was extremely slippery when his hand was wet and soapy. Totally understandable, and the same thing happens when hands are wet and oily (e.g., from using a pre-shave oil). But with the soapy hands, I suggested, just rinse handle and hand to remove soap, and Bob's your uncle: wet hands don't slip on a wet handle (unless, I suppose, the razor is quite heavy): knurling is a decorative treatment, for the most part, as evidenced by the great number of razors with no knurling.

He responded that for him, the handle is slippery even when only water was involved. This was new to me, so I ran an experiment. (The experiment also included a comparison of the $20 silvertip badger brush from WhippedDog.com with a Morris & Forndran brush, picked at random as a representative high-quality badger brush.)

The experiment revealed to me that my hands are wet pretty much the entire shave---something I hadn't realized---and that, in trying three different smooth handled razors, I experienced no slipperiness at all. Indeed, my wet skin felt sort of tacky on the handles.

Of course, brushing one's wet fingers across the alum block provides a nonslip grip, but he doesn't wish to do that for fear the alum would damage the chrome.

But it made me curious: I've not heard of this problem previously, and the number of smooth-handled razors suggests that the problem is rare, but who knows?

I thought a survey is in order.

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 06-08-2012, 08:02 AM
#2
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For me it's not a simple black and white answer. Some smooth handles have given me no trouble at all when wet, but the Pils 101 definitely was slippery, which was one reason I ended up selling it.

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 06-08-2012, 08:09 AM
#3
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Very interesting. Odd that one smooth handle is slippery and another isn't. I wonder whether the heavy head of the Pils contributed. But good to know, and strange to hear.

I have that razor and I'll try it tomorrow, but I had mine gold-plated which may change the slip quotient. Thanks for the tip.

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 06-08-2012, 08:09 AM
#4
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I can't say I've noticed my smooth handles to be any more slippy than my other razors.

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 06-08-2012, 08:11 AM
#5
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I haven't had any issues with smooth handles. Yes, if my hands get lather over them then they'll slip, but that's what a towel is for.

I remember that Squire (over on SMF) once pointed out - "If your razor handle is slippery when your hands are wet - dry your hands."

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 06-08-2012, 08:14 AM
#6
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Drying one's hands is certainly one solution, but right now I'm trying to discover whether there's even a problem. I was surprised when I did my experiment to discover that my hands (and the razor's handle) are wet throughout the shave---I forgot that I rinse my hands frequently (in rinsing my beard before each pass), so I was interested to see that, with the razors I tried, wet (but not soapy) hands were not an issue and the handle never seemed slippery.

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 06-08-2012, 08:19 AM
#7
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Michael -

Like you, when my hands are wet (but not soapy) I don't have an issue with razor slippage - even on the EJDE89 or the Pils Palladium. However, I tend to keep a hand towel around and dry my hands after splashing my face with water, so I rarely have wet hands when I handle my razors.

Incidentally, it's not even an issue with straights.

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 06-08-2012, 09:00 AM
#8
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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To me the DE89's (unless it's a Barley or Octagonal) are unusable without a third party handle or a lot of alum on my hands.

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 06-08-2012, 09:03 AM
#9
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Interesting: obviously YMMV applies even here.

One question: have you noticed any damage to the handles (specifically the metal handles) from using the alum? That was a concern the guy expressed when this solution was suggested.

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 06-08-2012, 09:23 AM
#10
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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Nope never noticed any damage to the handles, but I didn't hold onto the 89 long once the handle was slippery. I used the DE89 and DE89L once before using a 3rd party handle with them. I love my DE89's. I have 2 with one more on the way. I have a Barley, an Octagonal and an 86 Octagonal on the way. I find that the Octagonal and Barley handles provide a usable grip where the DE89 and DE89L are really slippery.

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 06-08-2012, 09:48 AM
#11
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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As usual to each their own..the only razor that gave me trouble was the Futur and Bob (may he rest in peace) did a custom grooving like his new improved and solved the issue. personally I have no problem with the Pils but some of the handles I bought were just for the look. Creating interesting hybrid designs was just for fun. For some people a couple O-Rings help and for others heat shrink tubing...so as we have all discovered just keep buying and testing razors until you feel like you have the perfect selection.Cool

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 06-08-2012, 09:52 AM
#12
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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the futur gave me problems as well

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 06-08-2012, 10:07 AM
#13
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i have never had an issue with my razor handles. However, most of them have some kind of knurling; a bit of alum would easily alleviate the problem as stated.

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 06-08-2012, 10:13 AM
#14
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(06-08-2012, 09:52 AM)Dave Wrote: the futur gave me problems as well

Interesting: I have the satin finish (no problems)---I'm assuming you have the gold or chrome?

(06-08-2012, 10:07 AM)celestino Wrote: i have never had an issue with my razor handles. However, most of them have some kind of knurling; a bit of alum would easily alleviate the problem as stated.

Yes, knurling would prevent the problem, and alum would solve it, but what I'm trying to learn is the frequency of the problem: using smooth-handled (not knurled) razors without using alum, is the handle slippery when wet? That's what I'm trying to learn.

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 06-08-2012, 10:20 AM
#15
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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The only razor I've had problems with being slippery was my EJ DE89L. The more I've used it I don't recall having as many issues. However, when I first got the razor I too had problems with only water and it being slippery.

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 06-08-2012, 10:27 AM
#16
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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(06-08-2012, 10:13 AM)Leisureguy Wrote:
(06-08-2012, 09:52 AM)Dave Wrote: the futur gave me problems as well

Interesting: I have the satin finish (no problems)---I'm assuming you have the gold or chrome?

(06-08-2012, 10:07 AM)celestino Wrote: i have never had an issue with my razor handles. However, most of them have some kind of knurling; a bit of alum would easily alleviate the problem as stated.

Yes, knurling would prevent the problem, and alum would solve it, but what I'm trying to learn is the frequency of the problem: using smooth-handled (not knurled) razors without using alum, is the handle slippery when wet? That's what I'm trying to learn.

Yes on the PILS mine is the satin stainless..no problems and only the polished chrome gave me problems on the Futur..not the satin finish. My other PILS is the polished HEX cut handle and it does not slip ..probably because of the shape.

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 06-08-2012, 10:31 AM
#17
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For safety reasons (my own) I like to keep my hand dry as much as possible. Of course some reasons have better grip then others so a little wet won't be a problem.

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 06-08-2012, 10:49 AM
#18
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(06-08-2012, 10:20 AM)tgutc Wrote: The only razor I've had problems with being slippery was my EJ DE89L. The more I've used it I don't recall having as many issues. However, when I first got the razor I too had problems with only water and it being slippery.

That's extremely interesting. Do you have any ideas why? For example, perhaps some polish on the new razor that gradually wears away to the bare metal, which becomes "grippier"? Or did you somehow learn how to hold it when wet so that it doesn't slip?

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 06-08-2012, 11:24 AM
#19
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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I experience varied situations. For instance, the standard handle on the R89 was unusable to me. It just didn't feel "right" I've replace it with a knurled handle. All is well.

The new R41 handle was completely unnerving. I didn't even try it. Immediately replaced it with the Tradere handle.

Part of this issue may be varying skin textures and user preferences coupled with the actual handle materials.

I have a non-metal octo Muhle handle. It is satisfactory.
Why it is different, I haven't determined.

Seems like a LOT of YMMV is involved.

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 06-08-2012, 12:03 PM
#20
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I have a chrome Futur and an EJ DE89. The Futur has zero problems, but I have experienced occasional slipping with the DE89. I am not sure if my hands are only wet, or wet and soapy when I experience problems with the DE89.

eric.

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