11-02-2016, 04:49 AM
#1
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Why is one metal preferred over another for a de razor?  Aesthetics and weight are two obvious answers, but is there anything else?  In my experience lighter is not necessarily better.  Also, when comparing two identical razors, for example one in stainless steel, while the other is in titanium, is there an appreciable performance difference?  Thanks in advance for the insight.

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 11-02-2016, 05:14 AM
#2
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I think you need to make some distinctions between mass-market and Artisinal(?) razors.

In the mass market, nickel-plated brass was the norm for decades, but ultimately fell out of favor due, primarily, to cost. A few companies, however, do still make plated brass razors.

Zinc alloy (a.k.a., Zamak) is probably the most common material used in mass-market razors. It is inexpensive and easily cast. Zamak razors must be chrome-plated, however, to minimize corrosion. (Most common failure is having the plating wear off of the cap threads leading to Galvanic Corrosion between the Zamac cap screw and a brass handle thread.) Unfortunately, this has led to Zamak having a reputation as being an inferior metal.

Stainless Steel, OTOH, has picked up the reputation for being a long-lasting metal. Due to material and production costs, however, it is largely used for higher end and/or Artisanal razors. Metals like Titanium continue in this vein.

The major factors which should affect a razor's performance are geometry and weight. Assuming geometry is the same, the heavier razor will seem more aggressive (or efficient, depending on your point of view). For this reason, it will be interesting, for instance, to see comparisons of the Rockwell 6S (Stainless Steel) and 6C (Chrome-plated Zamac).

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 11-02-2016, 05:26 AM
#3
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Thanks for your insight.  Let me be more specific.  In another recently started thread an owner is displaying his titanium BBS-1.  While a very pretty razor, is there any benefit to having a BBS-1 in titanium over stainless steel?

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 11-02-2016, 06:22 AM
#4
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I'm all about durability (material), weight and of course quality. I want to be able to have my razors passed to my kids and grand kids. Almost all my razors are nickel or gold plated brass except a 68 Gillette Tech. My newest razor is a Fatip Grande, and this was due mainly to its materials, weight and quality. I've thought about the Rockwell 6S for a for a future purchase, because it fills my requirement. There are razors out there that I won't purchase due to the material used are, IMHO, inferior; but their weight and quality are great. Others razors material, weight, and quality are great, but due to price point (can we say CRAZY). In the end, it's each to there own.   Smile

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 11-02-2016, 07:24 AM
#5
  • gagarin
  • Student of Stainless
  • Pelotillehue
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(11-02-2016, 05:26 AM)Never2Close Wrote: Thanks for your insight.  Let me be more specific.  In another recently started thread an owner is displaying his titanium BBS-1.  While a very pretty razor, is there any benefit to having a BBS-1 in titanium over stainless steel?

It seems to me that some of the large, thick handles may benefit from the lower weight of titanium vs. stainless.  I like a moderately-heavy razor, and the svelte profile of the Wolfman WRH7 stainless handle hits my sweet spot with its combination of weight and agility.  Any lighter wouldn't work for me.  For the BBS-1 or the larger Wolfman handles, titanium may be an enhancement.

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 11-02-2016, 07:56 AM
#6
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In short, there is no inherent advantages to Ti over SS (well maybe in aviation, but not wet shaving). But if you like lighter or heavier razors, then there may be an advantage for you. However, don't overlook brass or aluminum- these are both sufficiently durable as well (of course so is bronze if not more expensive) and offer different weights as well. Who knows maybe we'll see a zirconium razor in the future. Not sure I'd want to see the price tag though Wink

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 11-02-2016, 02:39 PM
#7
  • gagarin
  • Student of Stainless
  • Pelotillehue
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(11-02-2016, 07:56 AM)NickMach007 Wrote: In short, there is no inherent advantages to Ti over SS (well maybe in aviation, but not wet shaving). But if you like lighter or heavier razors, then there may be an advantage for you. However, don't overlook brass or aluminum- these are both sufficiently durable as well (of course so is bronze if not more expensive) and offer different weights as well. Who knows maybe we'll see a zirconium razor in the future. Not sure I'd want to see the price tag though Wink

Well said.  While James' wonderful brushed stainless is my favorite metal, others may prefer different materials and finishes.  I'm also very fond of my polished BRW fluted bronze handle crafted by the late Bob Smith.  Its warm bronze color and hand feel are awesome, and it keeps getting better over time.

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 11-02-2016, 03:00 PM
#8
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Ah yes, patina! Did anyone mention that? Bronze and copper certainly fit that bill.

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 11-02-2016, 03:01 PM
#9
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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Ti offers a number of advantages.  It's strong, light, and will not strip like aluminum (especially threading).  It can radically change the way a razor handles and balances.  I find that with a lighter razor, I use a lighter touch which means less irritation.  Plus it's different and just plain cool.  Smile

Eric

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 11-02-2016, 03:53 PM
#10
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(11-02-2016, 03:01 PM)EricM Wrote: Ti offers a number of advantages.  It's strong, light, and will not strip like aluminum (especially threading).  It can radically change the way a razor handles and balances.  I find that with a lighter razor, I use a lighter touch which means less irritation.  Plus it's different and just plain cool.  Smile

Eric
I'll give you the coolness factor!

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