07-13-2012, 02:04 AM
#1
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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This is the fourth interview in a series with the artists,craftsmen, and vendors who make wet shaving great. Todays interview is with Greg Kahn from iKon Razors

[Image: ikonrazor-logo-5.png]
Stainless Steel Safety Razors have become rather popular in the wet shaving community and one craftsman that has been making stainless steel razors for quite some time is Greg Kahn, the founder of iKon Razors. Greg has been turning out quality razors and handles since 2010 and continues the process today releasing new models each year. Greg has also perfected the dual action head, with an open comb on one side and a safety bar on the other side.

It’s perfect for shavers who enjoy both an open comb and a safety bar razor and don’t want to have to choose over the course of a shave or use multiple razors. Many shavers will use one side of the razor for a pass, then switch to the other side for a second pass. Greg’s current models are the S3S, OSS, and the SK9, and more models will be released later this year.


I’d like to thank Greg for taking the time for this interview

First of all Greg, tell us a little bit about yourself and what is your ideal shaving setup?

 I am basically just another guy who stumbled upon wet shaving and developed a serious case of RAD and took it to another level.
As an American expatriate lucky enough to live in SE Asia, I often would see DE razors and blades for sale, out of interest I purchased one and had a surprisingly decent shave.  The razors were not that great so ended up buying a vintage piece from eBay – needless to say it has gotten more interesting thus far.
My ideal setup would be a good stainless steel razor (iKon), Personna blue pack blades, probably a British manufactured badger hair brush and nice hard soap like Mitchell’s wool fat. But honestly I could never narrow it down to just a few items as enjoy the hobby too much.

 
What made you decide to start designing and manufacturing razors?
 
The simple desire to have a DE built to my own specs.
 

 
Can you give us a brief summary of how each razor is made from start to finish?
 
Depends on the manufacturing process, but can say each razor – or every razor involves a series of production steps. If I were going to give lessons on how not to make a safety razor, I would use my earliest iKon examples as a case study.  It was real trial and error; using an industrial bending brake to form the base and top caps, wire cutting the teeth of the combs, arc welding in the posts, final grinding of the edges.  Saying these early razors were ‘rustic’ would be nice, but it was a start.
 
The process for a Gillette open comb head made 50 years before that were so refined in comparison; extrusion, gang milling, cold forging the top cap – they were produced in mass and done so well with dedicated machinery. Our razors definitely have evolved since those early attempts and we constantly research every modern technique available to keep us on the cutting edge.


 Can you update Nook Readers on the status of the Rotbart, the New OC Bulldog, the new Standard model, as well as the new dual action head models?

 I am really bad with predicting once a razor will be on the open marketplace as often juggling many designs and ideas at once. For example the Rotbart head variation,  test pieces were machined in T6 aluminum via CNC process after creating very exacting revised CAD files, once trying to machine them in much harder 316L stainless it was not really working out well – the long 18mm center post of the top cap is just really cost prohibitive to manufacture via this process as each post is fully milled down from a solid billet of stainless.

[Image: IMG-20120511-00008.jpg]

 Personally I love this design and actually really like T6 aluminum as a material, so if these are to be made it would be similar to my now phased out H20 model, using a heavier solid stainless steel handle matched with an aircraft grade aluminum head.
 The original open comb bulldog deluxe head is being made once again using a more modern process like that used on the OSS model.
 


In the Shave Nook forums, you’ve posted a pic of an iKon head that has been DLC Coated.  Is this something we might see on a future iKon Model ?

 It is a good coating for the industrial purposes it was created for, but not particularly attractive.It could be possible.

Greg many of your models are made in limited numbers and become highly collectible.  How do you determine how many of each that you’ll make?

Unless running serial numbered pieces, there is no set production amount.
The earlier pieces were still evolving so once a better idea or manufacturing method was determined they became phased out.


 Your handles have become quite popular and show up with many different heads.  How many hundreds of handles do you think you’ve made over the years?

 Handles were the earliest iKon product and are still being made, now with the worldwide and continually growing list of authorized iKon dealers,  conservatively there are at least 1000 iKon handles out there and hopefully being used regularly.
 
Greg’s website is http://ikonrazors.com/ .  You can purchase both handles and razors from his site as well as many Nook Vendors.  Thanks so much Greg for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for Nook Readers and we await the new iKon Models in the fall with great anticipation.

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 07-13-2012, 03:26 AM
#2
  • VTMAX
  • Banned
  • Woodstock, Vermont
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Ikon Bulldog Barrel. Best handle in the business. Really enhances an EJ89 head.....any head really. Keep it up Greg!

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 07-13-2012, 03:39 AM
#3
  • Philbo
  • Member
  • West Midlands, UK
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Another great interview, thanks to Greg and Dave.

I have just put the iKon S3S on my wishlist, I like the concept of having two choices in one razor and of course it looks the business also. I think a handle is on the cards also!

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 07-13-2012, 03:59 AM
#4
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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The S3S is a truly amazing razor. I think you'd enjoy it Philbo. I currently own an iKon Standard, iKon OC Bulldog, and a Modern. I have owned an OSS and an S3S and loved them both but they needed to be sold to finance other iKons. I also own 2 iKon Bulldog handles as well.

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 07-13-2012, 04:22 AM
#5
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
User Info
Thank you Greg, Thank you Dave!
Biggrin

I enjoyed reading this to start my day out... Day Dreamer, dreaming of iKON DLC, Burnt ORange!!!
Tongue

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 07-13-2012, 04:24 AM
#6
  • biggiej42
  • Looney for Rooney
  • Stony Point, NY
User Info
Excellent interview Dave! I can attest to the quality of these razors, i've owned the Modern, and currently own the S3S. They're works of art, and shave just as great as they look.

The bulldog handle is fantastic, and versatile. I currently swap the handle (until I can purchase more) between a few of my razors. The bulldog handle can amp up the feel and control of the simplest razors, and make them feel like super high end quality razors.

I look forward to more news from Greg, and more of your fantastic interviews!

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 07-13-2012, 05:45 AM
#7
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Great interview. I own 5 iKon razors and another 3 iKon handles teamed with other non iKon heads. I love Greg's product and I'm eagerly awaiting his next generation of razors...

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 07-13-2012, 05:49 AM
#8
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Thank you Greg and Dave for creating this great article. I can't wait for the new models to go on sale.

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 07-13-2012, 06:00 AM
#9
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Great interview.

I'm another ikon fan and can't wait to the next generation of razors.

Keep it up Greg!

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 07-13-2012, 06:17 AM
#10
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
Great interview Greg and Dave. The iKon Bulldog OC is one of my all-time favorite razors. I am excited to see that it will be re-released!

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 07-13-2012, 06:43 AM
#11
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Dave, another great interview and write-up. Greg, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.

Now, design a stainless steel injector.Smile

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 07-13-2012, 07:06 AM
#12
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
Thank you Dave and Greg for the interview Thumbsup

Greg, a couple of questions if I may...
  1. Is there a story behind the name iKon?
  2. As a possible alternative to CNC have you looked into 3D Printing of metal parts, or do you feel 3D "Metal" Printing hasn't developed enough (yet) to make it a viable alternative to CNC?
Take care, Mike

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 07-13-2012, 07:24 AM
#13
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I enjoyed this one!

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 07-13-2012, 07:28 AM
#14
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I too have a question, could you tell us more on the manufacturing process of the OSS?

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 07-13-2012, 08:06 AM
#15
  • iKon
  • Vendor/Mfg.
  • NYC
User Info
Greg, a couple of questions if I may...
  1. Is there a story behind the name iKon?

    It is a play on my last name and I thought the logo was pretty cool
  2. As a possible alternative to CNC have you looked into 3D Printing of metal parts, or do you feel 3D "Metal" Printing hasn't developed enough (yet) to make it a viable alternative to CNC?


    3D Printing is really fascinating , the technology is not geared for production - yet.

    But the process when done in metal is a very basic form of sintering .








    To answer Dipesh's question about the OSS , the heads are produced
    using a very advanced form of stainless steel sintering , the exact same process is also used on the Feather AS-D1

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 07-13-2012, 08:14 AM
#16
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
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Fascinating.
I've been eyeing the iKons for a while. I just have to figure out which to get--they all look great!

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 07-13-2012, 08:15 AM
#17
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Thanks for answering that Greg Smile

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 07-13-2012, 08:36 AM
#18
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Iv,e been a fan since I first heard about IKON and have been lucky enough to collect and use and never sell any of them. If Greg ever needs to visit his offspring I keep them in my cave. I also have a Jade brush, a mini protype brush,2 stands and one long handle Progress knob as well as the Rotbert.Continued success and innovation..great article !!!!CoolLightbulbSmile

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 07-13-2012, 09:38 AM
#19
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Fantastic interview, fantastic product line

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 07-13-2012, 10:39 AM
#20
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
User Info
Another great interview. Thanks to both Dave and Greg. I own the OSS and my only complaint about it is the double duty head. I just find it annoying rather than helpful and wish both sides had been open comb. Of course, this is just a personal opinion and others love the versatility of the dual head. Everything else about the razor is absolutely superb from craftsmanship to style.

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