08-06-2015, 06:13 AM
#1
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Might seem counter-intuitive, but I've found through experimentation that I actually prefer the head-heavy balance provided by lighter-weight handles.  I first realized this when using a Gillette NEW for the first time, which has a hollow brass bar end handle that weighs 21g according to my scale. 

Does anyone know of a manufacturer that sells lightweight handles, probably made out of aluminum as opposed to stainless steel?  I prefer handles that are in the 75mm length range.

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 08-06-2015, 06:54 AM
#2
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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There are a good number aluminum and titanium handles on the market. Aluminum is about half the weight of titanium, so if you're looking for something really light, look for aluminum. Titanium, however, is much stronger, so it will look nice basically forever. Aluminum is very soft and will pick up lots of micro-scratches, which makes it look dull over time.

Both metals also form an oxidation layer when exposed to the air, which affects their appearance. Aluminum forms an oxide layer immediately upon exposure to the air. This oxide layer protects the aluminum from further exposure and seals it off, but every time the aluminum is scratched, a new layer re-forms. Titanium also forms an oxide layer, although it takes about 4 years at "normal" temperatures to get to its full thickness. (around 25nm.) If you can keep your bathroom around 600° - 900° C, it will significantly accelerate the process. The titanium oxide layer is crystalline, more or less clear, and very hard. Both oxide layers can be polished off to make the metal very shiny, but will re-form. Finally, the oxide layer on both metals can be anodized at different voltages to give them color.

Please keep in mind that I could be wrong about anything above. I'm a trombone playing IT geek, so hopefully, if I've said anything that's too wrong, some resident metallurgist will correct me. Biggrin

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 08-06-2015, 06:56 AM
#3
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(08-06-2015, 06:54 AM)chamm Wrote: There are a good number aluminum and titanium handles on the market. Aluminum is about half the weight of titanium, so if you're looking for something really light, look for aluminum. Titanium, however, is much stronger, so it will look nice basically forever. Aluminum is very soft and will pick up lots of micro-scratches, which makes it look dull over time.

Both metals also form an oxidation layer when exposed to the air, which affects their appearance. Aluminum forms an oxide layer immediately upon exposure to the air. This oxide layer protects the aluminum from further exposure and seals it off, but every time the aluminum is scratched, a new layer re-forms. Titanium also forms an oxide layer, although it takes about 4 years at "normal" temperatures to get to its full thickness. (around 25nm.) If you can keep your bathroom around 600° - 900° C, it will significantly accelerate the process. The titanium oxide layer is crystalline, more or less clear, and very hard. Both oxide layers can be polished off to make the metal very shiny, but will re-form. Finally, the oxide layer on both metals can be anodized at different voltages to give them color.

Please keep in mind that I could be wrong about anything above. I'm a trombone playing IT geek, so hopefully, if I've said anything that's too wrong, some resident metallurgist will correct me. Biggrin

you sounded like my chemistry professor.. and you are an IT guy?

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 08-06-2015, 06:57 AM
#4
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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Hehe yeah - I'm awful at chemistry, but I've been doing some casual experimentation with metals recently for a potential future razor handle project.

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 08-06-2015, 07:03 AM
#5
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(08-06-2015, 06:54 AM)chamm Wrote: There are a good number aluminum and titanium handles on the market. Aluminum is about half the weight of titanium, so if you're looking for something really light, look for aluminum. Titanium, however, is much stronger, so it will look nice basically forever. Aluminum is very soft and will pick up lots of micro-scratches, which makes it look dull over time.

Both metals also form an oxidation layer when exposed to the air, which affects their appearance. Aluminum forms an oxide layer immediately upon exposure to the air. This oxide layer protects the aluminum from further exposure and seals it off, but every time the aluminum is scratched, a new layer re-forms. Titanium also forms an oxide layer, although it takes about 4 years at "normal" temperatures to get to its full thickness. (around 25nm.) If you can keep your bathroom around 600° - 900° C, it will significantly accelerate the process. The titanium oxide layer is crystalline, more or less clear, and very hard. Both oxide layers can be polished off to make the metal very shiny, but will re-form. Finally, the oxide layer on both metals can be anodized at different voltages to give them color.

Please keep in mind that I could be wrong about anything above. I'm a trombone playing IT geek, so hopefully, if I've said anything that's too wrong, some resident metallurgist will correct me. Biggrin
Thanks, funny enough I actually did all that research myself lol.  Aluminum is about a third the weight of SS, and titanium is a little over half the weight of SS.  I'm basically looking for specific manufacturers that offer aluminum handles for sale because I can't find any.  Do you know any brands off hand? 

I'd be interested in titanium as well but it seem the Jurgen Hempel are the only ones I found, which are hard to come by and expensive.

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 08-06-2015, 07:50 AM
#6
  • Entasis
  • Atop the Razor's Edge
  • Southern California
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Take a look at Toby's (he's an artisan here at TSN) fantastic work:

Triad Razor Handles Customs

Triad Razor Handles In Stock

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 08-06-2015, 08:18 AM
#7
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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I've been enjoying aluminum handles recently with both SS and aluminum razor heads .. Wolfman.

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 08-06-2015, 08:47 AM
#8
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Wolfman Aluminum handles are excellent.

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 08-06-2015, 08:54 AM
#9
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(08-06-2015, 08:47 AM)celestino Wrote: Wolfman Aluminum handles are excellent.

I have James making me an aluminum (and possibly also titanium) WRH2 in the short version.  I have the SS version of this handle paired to my WR1-OC currently and it's just too heavy in such a compact design (for me).  I was looking for a cheap alternative handle while I'm waiting for James to make me the new ones, but that is my plan for a long term solution.

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 08-06-2015, 11:36 AM
#10
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Well, then, if you want a cheaper option, the Merkur 23C or 25C long handles, along with the shorter version the 33C, are very light and even lighter than my Wolfman WRH3s handles. Granted, the pot-metal/zamak isn't my preferred material for razors, but they definitely will work for the short-term.  Smile

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