Why Are Razor Blades So Expensive?
The blade is the most essential part of a razor, and creating the highest-quality one is an intricate, complicated, expensive process.
Published by Naked Armor
Investing in a good straight razor with a precise blade is a rational decision to achieve a close shave.
Are you the type of person who likes to invest in high-quality grooming products such as razors? Other than you can afford to get them for yourself, one apparent reason why you want to invest in a luxury shopping experience is that the products it provides happen to be the most effective and will last the longest. You also have proven this to be accurate, and you know it is worth it that you keep targeting them to put in your cart.
Quality straight razors are known to be one of the most expensive razors you can buy in the market. If you own one that you have purchased for a high cost, maybe you’re wondering too how it was precisely being crafted and manufactured. Well, you are spending on a razor that costs not lower than a hundred bucks, and it’s quite usual wanting an answer to how it is made to be any man’s excellent grooming possession.
There is a high-level difficulty in making something so precise and small in the form of razor blades. It is the reason for its high value, other than the craftsmanship of skilled die makers and artisans who are experts in shaping a blade and putting a refined edge to it.
Dr. Kristina Vanoosthuyze, a scientist at the Gillette Innovation Centre, told Boston magazine that, “The complexity, length of time, and the cost of the research and development process is what factors into the cost. It looks so simple and intuitive, yet it is so complex in its design and development process. The small details and dimensions go far beyond what the naked eye can see.”
The exceptional craft costs by the hour. As far as we are concerned, the less work invested in making a product, the cheaper it will cost. Thus, you will get an inferior quality blade and razor. You do not want a razor with an edge that will not last for long. You aim to have one that remains functional for a long time—even for generations, and to be frank with you, you can’t expect much from one with an overly low price.
When you decide to choose the best blades for your shaving routine, one of the points you must consider is the price. The higher quality edges are those that even get five times more expensive than the other low-priced ones. It’s a no-brainer to point, which can last longer and has the right sharpness that is efficient to use.
So, if you can afford to get one, there’s no reason not to go for a luxurious razor with a fine blade. Besides, no money is ever wasted for good grooming.
In this article, you will learn:
Investing in your grooming is being kind to yourself. I will always choose a luxurious razor with a sharp and precise blade over a low-priced razor with a blade that doesn't deliver a smooth and close shaving experience.
— D'Rock, Naked Armor Founder
What Makes A Good Razor Blade?
There are essential aspects that must be considered in manufacturing strips for razor blades, such as close dimensional tolerances, high accuracy on straightness and flatness, and metallurgical compositions’ exactness.
Even slight non-metallic inclusions will affect one’s shaving experience, so the strip must be cleaned from impurities. To ensure that the cut is smooth, the razor manufacturer cuts, dies, hardens, grinds, and coats the strip with Teflon.
From melting steel to the finished product, its whole production chain must be controlled precisely and accurately. The entire process demands cutting-edge metallurgical expertise and in-house strip production.
How Are Razor Blades Made?
“Razor blades are really, really difficult to make,” said Jeff Raider, co-founder of Harry’s, an online shaving company. “It actually starts with buying really fine razor steel. You have to grind steel so that it’s very sharp at its tip and very strong at its base. That gives it both stability and a really crisp cutting surface.”
Had consumers knew the process of making the blades, many of them would not have complained about their monetary value in the market. These listed steps explain why razor blades are tagged with a high cost.
The stainless steel material for razors is challenging to rust as it contains chrome. Chromium is a powerful alloying element in steel. It is an indispensable industrial metal because of its hardness and resistance to corrosion. A few percent of the carbon is also present, which hardens the blade. This stainless steel material will be rolled up after using a pressing machine to cut holes. More than hundreds of razor blade pieces are stamped out.
Using an electric furnace, the stainless steel is hardened by heating and then cooling it rapidly. It will be cooled again at a lower temperature, which makes the material harder. The stainless steel becomes more difficult to break by heating it again, and its elasticity also increases, all of this while maintaining its initial appearance.
Edging the blade
The next step is the blade edging process. This process includes grinding the material with a coarse whetstone, then grinding it at an acute angle using a medium whetstone, and finally grinding the blade’s tip using a finer whetstone. This sharping thin flat material technique contains the know-how that KAI’s factories have gathered for years.
At this point, burrs can be seen on the ground blade tips. In metal manufacturing, a burr is the formation of rough edges on a metal piece. These burrs will be polished using special strops. This step makes it possible to produce blade tips with refined shapes for shaving and correct sharpness.
It does not end after polishing as they will be separated into individual pieces and skewered. The blade’s tip appears black and does not reflect the light, but the blade’s back has evident luster. The product is defective and does not have enough sharp angles if the tips reflect light. The razor blades are individually inspected this way.
Coating or burning is the final step of making razor blades. The layer is done to make them difficult to be worn away and the blade tips difficult to rust. Fluorine resin is used for the coating to make them glide smoothly across the skin. This is known to have been used in various applications like a non-stick frying pan, semiconductor, OA equipment, automobiles, and general industrial machinery.
Straight Razor Blades
The traditional straight razors have blades that are never replaced and only sharpened. This is fine for personal usage but is not a good option to use in a professional setting where it is used for more than one person during the course of a single day. For that, a shavette straight razor is more appropriate to use as they use replaceable blades.
Another good thing about straight razors other than their blades is that they are earth-friendly.
Of course, stainless steel is the most prevalent metal for razor construction. You can find single-blade razors as well as those with more than one blade. You will even find straight razor blades used for thinning.
Naked Armor Straight Razor
Naked Armor straight razors come with Japanese steel. Why Japan? Are you familiar with Samurai and the power of katana? Well, Japan makes the best steel in the world, and they provide the sharpest blades in the market. Naked Armor’s straight razor legendary blades are perfect for thick stubble and expert shavers and will provide the cleanest shave possible. We guarantee an excellent and luxurious shaving experience with our straight razors.
Purchase one from any of our straight razor line-ups here:
Naked Armor Reads:
Why Razor-Sharp Grinding Is Important For A Straight Razor
Carbon Steel VS. Stainless: Which One Is Best For Shaving?
Why Straight Razors Are Earth-friendly
There is no comparison to a shave obtained with a straight razor than one obtained with anything else. The smooth feeling last longer and it just feels better to the skin.
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