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IFRs (Petroleum) (OP)
24 Apr 03 8:20
What is the best way to keep razor blades sharp?  I read somewhere that most modern razor blades dull from corrosion long before they get dull from cutting beard hair.  If that is true, how can I keep them from corroding?
sciguyjim (Chemical)
24 Apr 03 10:01
I don't know what kind of metal they are made of, but assuming you don't have a dessicator, or other dry place to store them, perhaps a thin layer of baby oil on the edge would protect it from moisture in the air.  I assume they are kept in the bathroom, a relatively humid room.

If you don't like the oil idea, try putting them in a zip-lock baggie, squeeze out the excess air, and store them in the freezer.  The cold will slow any corrosion reactions.
dik (Structural)
24 Apr 03 12:28
The querie may not be out of the blue because the tip potential at the sharp edge might hasten corrosion.  Other than keeping them cool and dry as sciguyjim noted, would you consider galvanizing? <G>
Helpful Member!  IFRs (Petroleum) (OP)
24 Apr 03 12:35
How about imersion in some liquid?
If so, what liquid would be appropriate?
Alcohol?  Baby oil?  Soap?

The freezer is far from my bathroom....
dik (Structural)
24 Apr 03 12:45
You didn't like the HDG...

I'd stay away from soaps and oils; many oils do not displace moisture.  A good grade of gun oil or sewing machine oil.  There may also be some oils that are used for machinery that will provide water displacing benefits.  You also have to be careful about removing a coating as not to damage the blade greater than the expected corrosion.  Is it possible to 'rig' a small impressed current using a battery to provide some type of cathodic protection?
Helpful Member!  Metalguy (Materials)
24 Apr 03 14:55
I never told anyone about this before, afraid they'd think I was either real cheap or just nuts, but I tried putting the whole razor head in alcohol to stop corrosion.  Don't know why, but it made them corrode even faster (Gillette "Blue" blades, plain high-carbon steel, sharpest available years ago).  Now they use a stainless-probably 440C.

I don't use this (really), but WD40 will probably prevent corrosion.
sciguyjim (Chemical)
25 Apr 03 12:27
Metalguy,
I'm sure submerging the razor in alcohol accelerated the corrosion because of the water in the alcohol.  Instead of just atmospheric moisture being in contact with the metal, now a lot of water was in contact.  Leaving the blade in the handle could have also promoted corrosion if the dissimilar metals created a battery.

They say WD40 displaces water, but I wouldn't want to get it into any cuts.  I think any oil should be washed off before use, but baby oil would be the safest.

Dik,
I like the idea of using a small battery to provide some cathodic protection.  I don't imagine it would be too hard to rig up a battery, anode, and a couple of steel alligator clips.  Don't use copper clips and if copper wire is used, seal it up well with silicone glue.  I'd add an adjustable resistance too because a 1.5 V battery could supply way more current than was needed (depending on the electrolyte.)  

IFRs,
Imersion in a liquid is fine, but it would have to be baby oil.  The idea is to use a liquid that won't absorb water from the air and will prevent water vapor or liquid from touching the blades.  The oil would also seal the blades from oxygen.  Oxygen and water together cause corrosion to occur easily.  Alcohol or soap would not give this protection.  Complete immersion wouldn't be necessary, just an unbroken coating of oil on the blade edge.
CdotS (Materials)
25 Apr 03 17:05
I could not undertand why these elaborate arrangements - alcohol, baby oil, WD40, cathodic protection, etc.  Why do not use just wash, dry (possibly blow dry with or without alcohol) and leave it in a cool, dry place? I suppose you are living in a humid place (near sea) and/or your bath is not well ventilated.

The newer blades come with a number of coatings (some of them are advanced PVD or CVD coatings) providing wear-resistance and corrosion protection.

Check with Gillete's technical people what they say.
dik (Structural)
26 Apr 03 8:59
CdotS:
You forgot to include the HDG <G>!  It would be interesting to see what sort of wisdom a Gillette tekkie could offer!

I was hoping that sciguyjim was going to elaborate on the cathodic protection... control systems, that sort of ilk.
AlanD (Materials)
26 Apr 03 19:25
Why not treat them like a metal sample mounted for microscope work.

Wash them in pure ethanol or methylated spirits and then blow dry them. You will then need to store them in a dry location.
TTT (Petroleum)
28 Apr 03 4:25
Proper usage is important, try leaving the blade up when finished, that way moisture will run away from edge, not onto it in drop form
metlsmith (Materials)
30 Apr 03 16:40
Cathodic protection may not be such a good idea.  Since the blades are SS, you might push the potential from the passive range into the active range and end up with higher corrosion rates.  However, if someone wants to try CP, why not couple the blade to a strip of zinc instead of messing with impressed current?

BRT549 (Chemical)
2 May 03 16:34
why not swap to an electric razor?  They stay sharp longer.  Why does Braun recommend changing out their cutting heads only on an annual basis?  It sees the same beard.  They have a new self-cleaning system that uses alcohol to float out the little hairs and mulch.  Don't know what type of alcohol is recommended.  
metman (Materials)
5 Jun 03 13:25
Hmmmmm-Ain't none youse guys heard of "Pyramid Power"?
I used to work for a chief engineer that ACTUALLY had a self-made plastic pyramid setting on his drafting table and had put corroded razor blades under the pyramid.  "Pyramid Power" was supposed to heal the corrosion!

Jesus is THE life,
Leonard

Helpful Member!  knobhead (Aerospace)
5 Jun 03 15:39
This thread isn't at all stereotypical engineer talk eh?

Wiring up a cathode to stop your razor going dull? Blimey.

Someone please, design an utterly ridiculous over-the-top razor protection system.  With a brushed alu finish and at a whole bunch of flashing LEDs, one of which must be blue, with a cool backlit LCD screen.

I'd buy it.

Reminds me of that 'Dilbert' comment: "An Engineer is someone who can't look at his TV remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a ray gun."

Excessive accuaracy is a sign of poor breeding. -Socrates.

metman (Materials)
5 Jun 03 16:19
Rube Goldberg would probably try something like the following:
When you finish shaving and lay the razor on the sink counter it lands across the tail of a mouse.  The mouse scampers off and claws a towel hanging from a rack.  The towel falls and hits a hairbrush estended over the edge of the counter and falls to a teeter totter on the floor which projects a ball towards the ceiling where it releases a vacuum chamber with a rubber suction cup which falls over the razor, pulls a hard vacuum and voila.....

Jesus is THE life,
Leonard

KnifeKnut (Materials)
5 Jun 03 22:01
What if you stored the blades in Everclear, AKA maximum proof grain alchohol?
Helpful Member!  aybee (Mechanical)
5 Jun 03 22:28
maybe you could drink the Everclear then you wouldnt care or notice the state of the blade
IFRs (Petroleum) (OP)
5 Jun 03 22:29
Since blades get dull from corrosion, not whiskers, and corrosion is typically a form of oxidation, it would seem that the best thing would be to keep oxygen from the blade edge.  I'm not sure if imersion an a liquid does that.  How about carving some soap or wax with the razor after each use?  Would that coat the blade and keep out moisture and oxygen?
KnifeKnut (Materials)
6 Jun 03 16:57
Highly reactive metals are often kept imersed to prevent oxidation.
Wax sometimes is used for long term cutlery storage. However, the wax would prevent the blade from slipping smoothly across the skin unless removed first.
Eureka!
How about food grade light mineral Oil. It is usually labled as wooden cutting board dressing.
Coats the blade, and excludes moisture and oxygen.
sciguyjim (Chemical)
7 Jun 03 13:58
Here's a question, possibly related to old blades.

I use an electric rotary shaver, I've never used any straight blade.  Now and then, I get little nicks, usually on my neck, which almost bleed a tiny bit.  These are not from the whiskers getting snagged and being forcably pulled out, that's a very different feel and they do not bleed.  I think it happens more when the whiskers are short.  I can see how a straight blade can possibly nick the skin, but I don't see how the rotary, with such tiny gaps in the screen, can possibly grab any skin.  Anybody have any guesses how this happens.
diamondjim (Mechanical)
8 Jun 03 0:30
I always rinse the blade with the hottest water
I can find and then give it a rugged shake to
rid the water.  Lasts more than a month.  I
know guys who dispose of ss blades everyday.
I do use the 3 blade type imbedded in a plastic
cartridge.  I do store the razor in its original
holder with the blade down rather than up.
Up does make more sense, but 30 days is not bad.
Anyone here ever strop a straight edge razor?
Almost that old!
HardMetal (Materials)
9 Jun 03 13:50
Blades are made from various materials: see http://www.specialtyblades.com/

I use individual razor blades for several weeks with no special care.  So why the concern with corrosion?  I've never seen corrosion on razor blades.  Maybe your water has low pH.  

IRFs: It is not only oxygen that you need to keep from the blades, but also moisture (electrolyte).  

If anyone has used rubbing alcohol to keep moisture away, remember rubbing alcohol has about 3% water.



IFRs (Petroleum) (OP)
14 Jun 03 23:15
I ran across this Thread330-58901 which suggests that cryogenically treated blades have a longer life.  So, in the interest of science, I bought a set.  I may try to combine information gleaned here with the new blades and see what happens!!!  You will be the first to know!!!
apiguy (Mechanical)
17 Jun 03 12:21
I spend about $16.00 a year on razor blades. Why worry about corrosion rates, impressed current gadgets and other things that will probably hurt your skin far worse than a little nick every now and then. This discussion kind of reminds me of the TV commercial that gose like this:

           Three guys are driving down the road in this new car. One of them says " What do they put on your driver's license for hair color if you are completely bald?"

The APIGUY....

twalicia (Chemical)
18 Jun 03 2:35
Hey, if you guys have problem with your blades, try one of the razor blades for women. Mine lasts more than 2 months w/o any care at all. Its called Gillette Venus.
Skogsgurra (Electrical)
30 Jun 03 3:59
aww, twalicia...

Can't do that. Would be like visiting the ladie's room.

Better grow beard and cut with a pair of scissors - or with an axe and a log. But be careful! Head is also easily chopped off!
gvh (Materials)
30 Jun 03 10:48
It's not only like going to the ladie's room, there is a profound quality difference too. I used my wifes blade once when I had forgotten mine on a camping trip. These blades are deffinately made for very fine hairs, unlike beard hears. I personally don't understand why women need special blades since they pay more for less.

Anyway, how about putting the blades under parafine-oil. This way Na is kept, isn't it?
Metalguy (Materials)
30 Jun 03 15:00
I presently have a controlled experiment underway to settle the corrosion or edge wear question.  It's SO simple--I took a BRAND NEW (unused) razor and have been wetting it and then letting it dry.  The diff. is that I am NOT using it to remove the shaving cream (gels are better) from my precious face!  It also isn't cutting anything but air right now.

You will read the results right here in about 2 weeks-the normal time it takes for my razors to start pulling out hairs (ouch) instead of cutting them.

So lets line up the bets on what will happen.
Skogsgurra (Electrical)
1 Jul 03 2:15
Metalguy,

We are - of course - very grateful that you undertake this scientific investigation. But, while you are at it, couldn't you also throw in cathodic protection as well? There are many questions that remain to be answered and your research will certainly add valuable knowledge to the engineering community. Thanks for the initiative!
Metalguy (Materials)
1 Jul 03 2:33
We have to take things one-at-a-time.  Too many changes and I'll get lost.  Also, these Gillette razors (the exact one to follow shortly) aren't exactly cheap (like me).  We may find out that corrosion isn't even a factor.

But I am accelerating the test by wetting/drying the razor several times a day, so we'll get the results soon--and I assume I'll be receiving MANY red stars!
gvh (Materials)
1 Jul 03 6:03
You will, if the blade gets really dull!
I really admire your sacrifice for science and mankind!
Metalguy (Materials)
2 Jul 03 4:31
IFRs,

Any results on your cryo blade test yet?
IFRs (Petroleum) (OP)
2 Jul 03 6:34
Well, I bought them, got them and am using them.  It's too soon to tell if they last longer.
tomwalz (Materials)
2 Jul 03 11:32
You have to store them under a pyramid.  Do a search.  You'll find a long history of razor blades and pyramids.

Tom  
metman (Materials)
2 Jul 03 11:40
A number of recommendations in this thread have included different kinds of oil to coat the blades with.

How 'bout SNAKE OIL?

Jesus is THE life,
Leonard

dik (Structural)
2 Jul 03 12:58
Snake oil is hygroscopic... wouldn't work!
metman (Materials)
2 Jul 03 13:00
OOps!

I guess were back to pyramid power.

Jesus is THE life,
Leonard

Metalguy (Materials)
2 Jul 03 22:17
I've heard that "fish oil" is/was used in Rustoleum dark red primer, and IMO that's pretty good stuff.

'Course here in Italy one can still buy real "red lead" paint-so loaded with lead a liter of it weighs a lot.
IFRs (Petroleum) (OP)
2 Jul 03 22:35
metman - did Jesus shave?
Metalguy (Materials)
3 Jul 03 2:00
He had some close ones, especially after he went to Burma.<g>
metlsmith (Materials)
3 Jul 03 9:28
Metalguy,
Interesting experiment.  One more variable to consider though - does crevice corrosion/underdeposit corrosion contribute to failure?  It seems that no matter how long I rinse the blades or how hard I shake them I still end up with whiskers trapped between the blades (I use Atra blades, a new one every Monday).  I'll try to remember to bring my old blades in on Monday and look at them under the microscope to see if there's pitting or wear.

Knobhead,
I like the idea of the razor blade protection gizmo.  You could sell it in one of those gadget catalogs right beside the cathodic protection systems for cars and the clip-on magnetic water softeners!
tomwalz (Materials)
3 Jul 03 11:37
Sorry about the pyramid power post.  I forgot to wear my aluminum foil hat that day.  http://zapatopi.net/afdb.html

Or, plan B, just feeling silly about the holiday.

Have a good weekend.
tom
metman (Materials)
3 Jul 03 12:20
IFR's,
Is that a philosophical or religious question?  Either way I guess my hands are tied since this is a TECHNICAL forum.

tom,
psycotronics eh?  Maybe that's the ticket.  If we all put on our AFDB's and place our razors under pyramids, we can delude ourselves into believing the red stars on our cheeks are from an attempt at mind control via the forum that got deflected off our brain and fell on our cheeks.

Jesus is THE life,
Leonard

Helpful Member!  Sodha (Materials)
4 Jul 03 5:12
I stopped using blades a while back but reading through all the postings, it is odd that a couple of guys have had little problem with using the blades over extended periods. Perhaps corrosion is not the primary driving mechanism for the dullness experienced. Perhaps it si purely and simply mechanical damage that occurs during handlign, such as when putting the blade down on ceramic washbasin. Perhaps some of you can change your handling habits and give us some feedback.

kind regards
Sodha (Materials)
4 Jul 03 5:14
I stopped using blades a while back but reading through all the postings, it is odd that a couple of guys have had little problem with using the blades over extended periods. Perhaps corrosion is not the primary driving mechanism for the dullness experienced. Perhaps it is purely and simply mechanical damage that occurs during handling, such as when putting the blade down on ceramic washbasin. Perhaps some of you can change your handling habits and give us some feedback.

Metalguy (Materials)
4 Jul 03 6:35
After ~25 wetting and drying cycles, I looked at the new SS razor with a good 45X stereo microscope.  No sign of any corrosion so far.

I suspect that you are correct-corr. isn't involved at all.

Another interesting--a sharp razor makes a different sound than a dull one while being dragged across your face.  
Skogsgurra (Electrical)
4 Jul 03 8:03
"Under a pyramid"?

There are some comments and questions to that:

1  The Egyptian government does not allow anyone to dig under the pyramids anymore. It was in the 19th century that such excavations could be undertaken without legal penalties.

2  IF you are permitted to dig a tunnel under a pyramid and put your razor blades there, you should think about the humidty level in such a location. It is true that the desert often is an extremely dry place, but keep in mind that there is a vertical RH gradient, which means that humidity goes up as you go down.

3  Is it really worth the trouble?

4  Should this posting be red-flagged?

5  Or, perhaps, red-stared?
gvh (Materials)
4 Jul 03 8:08
Metalguy, do you really meen the sound the blade makes, or the sound that you make as a result of using the sharp, versus the dull blade?
Metalguy (Materials)
4 Jul 03 11:44
I mean the sound the blade(s) make while shaving.  A sharp razor makes a different sound than a dull one that tends to pull hair out rather than cut it cleanly.  When I go to a   barber who uses a very-well sharpened straight razor it  makes a similar sound.

I suspect some of the sound is transmitted right thru the skin.
drwebb (Automotive)
11 Jul 03 9:10
I was astonished I had to drill through 30 posts to see a magnet suggestion!

Actually, I saw a gizmo in one of the gadget catalogues a few years ago that was a stand for safety razors that immersed the head in a special oil ($7.95/bottle).  It showed some pretty dramatic microscopy shots in the copy- (as one would expect!).

So I started storing my razor immersed head-down in baby oil.  It did seem to improve longevity and performance marginally, probably by keeping shaving detritus (especially hard water deposits) from drying and adhering to the blades.  You have to use a razor without the 'lubricating strips' because the oil will start to dissolve the low HLB surfactants they're made of, and the resulting rough leading-edge will plow your face pretty effectively.

BTW, nothing sets up your whiskers for a shave like a genuine boar's hair brush (available for about $7 on the bottom shelf at most drug stores, and will last 5-10 years).  These are still popular in Europe- where Men take their toilet more seriously than most convenience-minded Americans.
JimMetalsCeramics (Materials)
12 Jul 03 19:07
I doubt that you can improve on anything Gillette is doing. When a blade corrodes it actually (initially, at least) makes for a better shave. The corrosion splits open the grain boundaries in the blade metal and gives it some flexibility. If you made a razor out of a perfectly sharp, non-corroding blade, you would cut your face up. If you take a dull razor and wet it and leave it out for a few days it will often sharpen itself.

Possibly the only option would be to corrode the blade and then sputter coat a very thin layer corrosion resisnt metal over it like chromium or gold.
Metalguy (Materials)
14 Jul 03 3:13
We're about to see what happens via corrosion.  At the time I started the wetting/drying cycles on a new Gillette 2 blade razor, I also started using another new one for shaving.  This one is just about due for a date with the trash can, and I'll try the test razor.  It now has ~60 cycles on it-many more than the one I've been shaving with.

My bet says it will shave just like new.
Skogsgurra (Electrical)
14 Jul 03 5:55
KUTGW Metalguy! We can hardly contain ourselves.
Metalguy (Materials)
14 Jul 03 8:13
Viagra helps me keep it up. <g>
drwebb (Automotive)
14 Jul 03 9:42
"Possibly the only option would be to corrode the blade and then sputter coat a very thin layer corrosion resisnt metal over it like chromium or gold."

Or lay down a layer of non-stick Teflon- readily accessible technology, comparatively economical, and brand-differentiating marketing potential.  Who says Gillette has a monopoly on new ideas?
JimMetalsCeramics (Materials)
14 Jul 03 14:08
Actually Gillette does have a Monopoly. The materials work they have tried is impressive, including sputtering Cr and coating Teflon on relief surfaces.
Metalguy (Materials)
15 Jul 03 4:09
This morning I put the test razor to the test-my face.  Result was that
BRT549 (Chemical)
15 Jul 03 9:52
Metalguy - are you shaving in the Castle of "ARRRUGGG"? Is the Holy Grail on the windowsill? What a cliffhanger!!
Metalguy (Materials)
15 Jul 03 11:06
Oops, another computer screw-up!  So sorry.  Anyway, the razor shaved just like new!  AFAIC, that's the end of any corrosion concerns, at least with SS blades.

Last one to leave this thread please turn out the lights!
Skogsgurra (Electrical)
15 Jul 03 12:31
Metalguy

The test razor. Is it the one that that you cycled wet/dry/wet etc? And you tell us that nothing happened to it? No corrosion? No rough edges? No build-ups?

I start to think that there should have been another test run parallel to the wdw cycling. One where a razor were just taken out of the protective packaging and left like that. So, if you don't mind; please run that test once again. I leave the light on for you.
IFRs (Petroleum) (OP)
16 Jul 03 8:41
Metalguy - I think your test methodology is slightly flawed as it does not control for the abrasive effects of shaving and possible corrosive effects of the shaving cream, etc.  

I think I will try shaving every other day with a standard blade and with a treated blade.  That way, the conditions will be identical or nearly so.

Unfortulatly, I'm going on holiday next week (and I don't shave on holiday!!) so I can't start my testing until the week after.  It will take a couple of weeks after that, maybe more to get one result.  

Good results will only come after repeating this test several times.

Any volunteers?

Also, I seem to find variations between blades.  Some brand new ones nick right away and I pitch them while other new ones shave really nicely and I keep them as long as possible.  So, I will make sure that I get similar initial shaves from my two test razors before continuing with a test.
taylorg (Mechanical)
16 Jul 03 8:57
I wonder if Gillette are monitoring this forum - maybe they should be sponsoring all this good research!?!
Metalguy (Materials)
16 Jul 03 11:47
Right, I've got about 47 seconds invested so far-plus a few hours typing all these messages.  I am a VERY slow typist!
drwebb (Automotive)
17 Jul 03 10:49
I've noticed razor-to-razor variability as well.  I wonder if it has to do with the alignment of the blades in the head instead of the edge finish, which I would suppose would be easier to control.  Does Gillette also have a monopoly on QC processes too?
Metalguy (Materials)
17 Jul 03 15:28
The particular Gillette razors I use now are consistanty excellent, compared with some real junk being sold.  I saw what appeared to be glue holding the blades to the plastic.

I get about a month from a razor.
JTribbianiCO (Electrical)
20 Jan 05 1:44
I used to shave with a straight razor before switching to the Mach3 Turbo which I use now.  All of the information I read on straight razor shaving said to keep Mineral Oil (i.e. "Intestinal Lubricant") along the edge of the blade inbetween shaves to prevent corrosion.  Straight razor, high-carbon blades are very prone to corrosion, even over a period of just a few days.

Mineral Oil works great for both short and extended (3+ months) time periods and is easily removed with a light dabbing of isopropyl alcohol right before the shave.

You also might want to check out greatrazors.com, which sells cryogenically tempered packs of the most common blades sold today.  I have personally found that these last about twice as long as a regular, untempered blade from Target.  The only problem is, with the extended lifetime the lube strip tends to wear out after about a week (on a Mach3 turbo), and the blade is still useful for a reasonably good shave for another few days.  This isn't a total loss, however, as the blades are the same price as in a store and the 7 days of shaves I do get before the lube strips jumps ship are far better anyway since the blade is sharper for longer.

By the way, I think eng-tips.com is the only place on the internet where you'll find a serious conversation about using a cathode charging technique to preserve the lifetime of a razor blade!  Yup.  This site is awesome.
metman (Materials)
20 Jan 05 4:47
IFRs

Read Bush's lips.

It's

Jesus Saves

Not

Jesus Shaves

JTreglio (Materials)
20 Jan 05 11:14
Back in the early seventies, researchers at Harwell in England worked with Gillette to improve razor blade performance by ion implantation.  The process worked extremely well, doubled or tripled blade life.  Gillette then patented the application and sat on it because it would cut into their blade market.  I worked with Gillette engineers on this in the states a few times, and each time the engineer wound up employed elsewhere when his management got wind of what he was up to.

Current Gillette blades are coated.  They have a layer of platinum for corrosion protection and a layer of diamond-like-carbon (DLC) for friction reduction.  They are not on the blades to increase blade life, only to improve performance in the near term.

Panasonic deposits TiN on the foils for their wet-dry electric razors.  There is no reason this very hard coating can't be put on razor blades for extended life as well -- we put a related coating on scalpel blades, and ours are the sharpest and longest-lasting on the market by far.

Jim Treglio
Molecular Metallurgy, Inc.

EdStainless (Materials)
20 Jan 05 11:37
The single edge injector blades that I use are CS, they do corrode if I am not careful.  They come oiled with mineral oil.

The commercial blades that are used for chopping fibers used in reinforced plasitcs are made from 440C.  They are shaped, heat treated, honed and then TiC ion implanted.  They are slightly dulled durring the TiC process.  In the long run it is very helpful.  The harder surface resista abrasion better and they are less effected by the residual acid on the fibers.

I am still convinced that corrosion is a factor in the dulling of blades.  Most soaps contain chorides, some as much as 4%.  It may be the soap residue that is the source of the corrosion.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Corrosion never sleeps, but it can be managed.
http://www.trenttube.com/Trent/tech_form.htm

unclesyd (Materials)
20 Jan 05 17:27
One thing not mentioned that is included in the corrosion equation is the skin oils.  Not very much there but very corrosive to blades.
My father kept his blades sharp, corrosion free,  by using a light coat of lanolin/lanolin oil or during WWII after careful cleaning stored his razors in a sodium bicarbonate solution.  
Helpful Member!  moltenmetal (Chemical)
21 Jan 05 10:26
Unbelievable to see so much discussion when the obvious solution is to simply shave less often!  I guess most engineers find the technological fix easier than sociological one!  As the famous TV pop pseudo-psychologist says, "If you're worried about what other people think about you, you'd probably be surprised by just low infrequently they actually DO think about you!"

I shave (weekly) with an electric razor and I clean up with a DRY dual-blade disposable razor- that helps catch the few long hairs that take forever for the electric razor to completely catch.  The primary difference in effectiveness between brands of these disposable two-blade razors haz ZERO to do with edge sharpness or metallurgy and everything to do whether or not the razor has a mechanism for cleaning out the detritus (whiskers, skin and skin oils, shaving cream etc.) which gets stuck between the two blades and renders them BOTH effectively as dull as a garden hoe.  No amount of washing with ordinary tapwater will remove this junk sufficiently and eventually you get frustrated and throw them out.  If the cutting tool has no edge exposed, it won't cut no matter HOW sharp it is.  One or two brands, names of which escape me, have a little plastic device connected to a button at the back of the shaving head which permits you to eject this trapped detritus after every use.  These shavers last maybe 10x longer for me than the others, and they work even longer (i.e. 6 months to a year each) if you shave dry.
digitalzen (Chemical)
22 Sep 05 13:31
Back in my undergrad days, a prof showed us photomicrographs of a razor edge with tiny mineral crystals on it.  He said the crystals were the reason for "razor burn," as they created an irregular edge.

He said the way to avoid it was to rinse the blade in COLD water only, dunking it in alcohol immediately after rinsing for the last time and placing it to dry with the edges facing up.  He said that the old "razor strop" was just a way of clearing the crystals off the edge of a straight razor.

I've been using his technique for many years.  It worked with the older stainless blades, but works even better with the newer ones.  I routinely get fifteen to twenty really good shaves out of one blade, and in one case on a job in Central America I managed to push one somewhere over thirty.  (That one actually did get dull.)

Corrosion engineering is well and good, but it pays to color outside the lines sometimes. ;)
SMF1964 (Materials)
23 Sep 05 10:33
Moltenmetal has my vote for the proper approach.  I shave to bare skin once a year (respirator fit testing), trim using a pair of electric clippers once a month.  My disposable razor is effectively single-use because the plastic cracks and falls apart before the next use.  My snake-oil filled, magnetic aluminum foil pyramid thinking cap was instrumental in coming up with this solution.
Pressed (Mechanical)
28 Sep 05 2:22
For what it's worth, probably zilch: that pyramid thing was on the mythbuster tv show and I think is was busted, but if one really wants to know; they have a website.

Other than that I would like to add that if you shave with a relatively new razor and are getting razor burn then reduce your pressure.  Else, figure out which way your hair grows and cut with the grain.

I used to cut against the grain my entire life and normally had cuts or burns.  Now I cut with the grain with reduced pressure and get a visually clean shave without nicks or burns.  The smoothness quality is reduced tho.

_______________________________________
Feeling frisky.........
www.tailofthedragon.com

metman (Materials)
8 Nov 05 23:27
A few months ago I finally broke down and did the numbers.  The fancy three blade variety with replaceable heads is actually cheaper than the single bladed totally disposable vairiey.

After using these new,fancy puppies for some weeks, I noticed a dramatic difference in the life of one head vs another. I thought maybe because when I skip a day of shaving that the heavier beard was causing the blades to wear out in two shavngs.  Some mornings when I am running late, I don't bother to warm my face with a hot washcloth.

One morning I had a two-day beard but before lathering, I did the warm up procedure:  place a wash cloth in the sink (basin) and soak it in hot water.  Hold the hot cloth against the cheeks as hot as you can stand it.  Smooth shave and the blade lasted several days more.  Now I take the time every morning to warm my beard before shaveing and the head has lasted over a week and the shaves are still smooth.

So now we have two more variables to add to the matrix;  frequency of use (or vairable beard length)vs life and temperature of face vs life.  Maybe I should just get a life !

diamondjim:  Yes I have used a straight razor and strop but as a sort of macho experiment.  I got lazy and reverted to my safety razor until later swithcing to disposables.  Hey -- it's the American way!

tomwaltz:  I had a neighbor who had Aluminum foil on his car windows to keep out the beta rays.

nbucska (Electrical)
10 Nov 05 17:21
Wilkinson had a "platinum" blade -- wasis plated with Pt ?

If one side ofthe blade were plated with TiC or diamond
(diamon-like carbon ??) you could actually sharpen it by corroding the metal away.


<nbucska@pcperipherals DOT com> subj: eng-tips
read FAQ240-1032

bonzoboy (Chemical)
17 Nov 05 12:31
Stick vasoline on the blade.  It will displace water, and move out of the way when you want to shave....
metman (Materials)
18 Nov 05 22:22
Quick update.

Still using the same 3-blade razor head and warming my face with a hot washcloth like the old-timey babers.

Appears to me that if corrosion is an issue, it is a long-term issue.  I wore out a 3-blade head in two shavings by cutting a two day old beard without heating my face.  Monday I shaved a three day old beard and have been continuosly using the same 3-blade head for more than ten days.  Usually  a 3-blade head will last 3-4 days or shavings.

metman (Materials)
27 Nov 05 21:13
Petroleum) 24 Apr 03 8:20  
What is the best way to keep razor blades sharp?  


Answer:  Heat your face with a hot wash cloth before applying lather.

My triple blade head lasted more than four times as long as when I do not preheat my face.

davidtb (Industrial)
27 Dec 05 11:03
Cheap, cheap, Cheap

a good rinse
a dunk in water-free alcohol
and submerse in baby oil to cover the blade(s)

trip. blade will stay sharp for over 30 uses.



an indestructable toy is great for breaking other toys..

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