Gillette Adjustable DE Razors - A Complete Photo

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by GlennConti, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I took your photo and color corrected it with "Auto Levels". Fixes it a bit but the bulb was probably an incandescent one which has a yellowish cast to it. Still can't really tell. But yours does have a "Black Collar" below the Adjustment Dial. This suggest the Nickel type (my gold type does not have the "Black Collar".) But who knows? Gillette did some funny stuff!

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  2. LOOT

    LOOT Active Member

    Glad I could help :)

    Thanks for the info. I've been fooled by nickle razors looking gold in photos.

    If it is indeed gold, who authenticates such an item?

    What shape was your gold one in when you got it? How did you go about cleaning it?
     
  3. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Chris Smith of Idaho authenticated mine. He is also known as Captain Murphy. Mine was in great shape. I got it from Stan Hickam owner of Above The Tie.
     
  4. LOOT

    LOOT Active Member

    Ahhhh. It'll be interesting to see. If it's nickle, I'll beg Chris to Replate it. Even after plating, I'll have have maybe 400 in it. Pretty good score, IMO. I've been coveting those for a while.
     
  5. The difference between the Gillette Blue and the Super Blue was that the Super Blue was silicon coated.
     
  6. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Exactly, so what they were attempting to do is the same thing PTFE does today. It was there first stab at trying to reduce "drag" or pulling at the hair follicle. If you notice on my chart, the Blue and Super Blue get the same ratings except the Super Blue rates higher on "Shave comfort/Coating."
     
  7. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    It's interesting how all the various companies went for coatings rather than just polishing the edges more. I mean, it's not like the bulk of the blade touches the skin or hair; only the last 16th of an inch or so.
     
  8. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    It has nothing to do with polishing. The protein molecules in the hair adhere to the steel molecules. This causes the "drag" or pulling at the follicle. A coating is required to buffer or keep the steel away from the hair.
     
  9. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    So I tried to get a better source for you, just to confirm what I read in news articles.

    "Additionally, a final layer of material 350 can be deposited on the surface of the blade depending on the intended end use of the cutting instrument. For example, thin films of metallic or ceramic compounds can be deposited or hard diamond-like carbon coatings can be applied. Further, fluoropolymer filled silica can be applied to the blade edge to enhance the cleaning properties of the blade when the blade is used in surgical applications. Such a coating can reduce the amount of material, such as proteins, that otherwise adheres to the cutting instrument." - US5347887 From 1993

    Apparently, Gillette knew that the Silicon Gel coating worked in 1958 to improve shaving comfort, but did not understand why exactly.

    "While the theory of operation of the present invention may not be fully understood and applicants do not wish to be bound by the following explanation, it is believed that the reduced pull in shaving results mainly from a shearing of the organosilicon-containing polymer during cutting. The total force required to cut hair involves at least two components. One is the force needed to push the ultimate cutting edge through the hair, and the other is the force needed to overcome the friction caused by the pinching and adhesion of partially severed hair on the flanks of the wedge-shaped cutting edge. The latter is believed to be the major component of the total force required to sever the hair... Shaving soaps and creams, until applied long enough to soften the heard by wetting it, have little effect in reducing the total force needed to sever hair. The present invention is believed to reduce that force in a novel manner by interposing between the blade and the hair a material which adheres firmly to the flanks of the cutting edge throughout the shaving, but easily shears either within itself or at its interface with the hair." - US2937976 From 1958
     
  10. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    So I am trying to get at the exact mechanism of protein adhesion to steel. It is leading me to cooking literature believe it or not. "The proteins in the food react with the metal of the pan to create strong bonds, which anchor your meal to the microscopic canyons and craters in the surface of the metal. This isn’t actually a side-effect of the food being too hot, quite the opposite in fact. Once the food heats up to an adequate temperature it will start to react with something other than the metal, meaning that sticking won’t be a problem."

    So they coat razor blades with Teflon (PTFE) for the same reason they coat frying pans with the stuff. Protein/metal adhesion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017 at 4:54 PM
  11. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    So, why PTFE, and not, say, just wax? Too bad companies like Gillette won't actually release most of that research. It might be useful to other companies, after all - despite being 40 years out of date, and possibly useful to _other_ groups.

    Also, polishing _would_ reduce the effect - but who knows how much. I say that because 'microscopic canyons and craters' are artifacts that are reduced by polishing (well, large holes and scratches become smaller and smaller holes and scratches). I wonder if surgical knives are coated - I suspect not.
     
  12. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I agree - you would think polishing reduces friction so it makes sense. But there is something special going on between protein and metal - almost like a special stickiness. A stickiness that occurs at the atomic level so polishing doesn't help. A barrier is needed. Wax is no good; it wears away very quickly. You want to get a number of tug free shaves out of a blade.

    If you take the cooking example, will the protein stick to a highly polished metal pan? Yes! Polishing is not the answer. A barrier between the metal and the protein is.

    In my research just now many medical instruments are coated using the silicon, Teflon and hydrophilic coatings for the same reasons I guess.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017 at 5:32 PM
  13. Shave Fu

    Shave Fu Shavette Sensei

    I don't know anything about protein and metal reaction, but the metal shouldn't be completely smooth, hence it has higher attrition. Teflon is used mostly in medical instruments that are used in invasive manouvers (where you must enter inside the body), because it has low attrition, it is biological inert (it doesn't cause immunitary reaction) and in a dense variant, it is non porous and thus impervious to bacteria and finally, it can't be absorbed in time by the organism. For example, if someone is need of an aorta endoprosthesis, because he has an aneurism, he gets it in teflon. And it stays there fine and dandy.
     
  14. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Yes, in understanding why Teflon is used to coat razor blades for a better less "pulling" shave, I abandoned my research into the reasoning behind medical instrumentation coatings. It was much much more fruitful to understand the adhesion between Keratin hair protein and steel razor blades when looking at why PTFE is used to prevent protein stickiness in metal cooking pans. I think the situation is much easier to see common sensically - we most likely all have experience with eggs sticking in an untreated pan. Medical instruments - less so. Heck - if you don't have experience with this, try frying an egg at low heat in a highly polished stainless steel boiler (ie not a stick free coated fry pan) - you will immediately see the protein sticks to the metal. Just as your beard hair sticks to an un-coated razor blade (read old carbon steel type like a Blue Blade) causing a pulling effect.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017 at 6:50 PM
  15. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    I have to ask - in what sense are you using 'attrition'. Do you mean 'friction'? In English, I believe that attrition is

    This is not a complaint about your English - it's better than half the people I work with. It's just trying to work out the word.
     
  16. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    I looked up "medical attrition" it is basically friction and is used a lot in dentistry to describe wear on teeth. The medical instruments thing is a dead end as far as I can tell.
     
  17. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    If you want to understand PTFE coatings on razor blades, look to the fry pans man... look to the pans! Ha!

    PS: And don't get confused. Heat has nothing to do with. The protein sticks to the metal even without heat. As was said earlier, higher heat in a pan actually causes the stickiness to mitigate. But that has NOTHING to do with shaving. By the way, heat is a good thing when applied to a whisker as it increases the water absorption in the hair. The greater moisture in the whisker, the easier it is to cut.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017 at 7:15 PM
  18. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    So, if you wash your face, then set your beard on fire, you'll get a FANTASTIC shave?
     
  19. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    Ha ha! No - I recommend a hot wet towel.
     
  20. GlennConti

    GlennConti Well-Known Member

    So I was wrong. Heat definitely has something to do with it. The heat from a cooking fire causes the protein to denature. When it does the molecular bonds break causing them to become thermodynamically unstable. The surface proteins then bind to the surface of an uncoated metal pan. This is why the protein sticks to a pan when heated. Fast forward... What happens when you cut through matter? A blade concentrates its force on a single line and breaks the bonds of the organic protein at a molecular level. The breaking bonds are unstable and very reactive. The dangling ends chemically want to bond with something. That something is the blade. The hair adheres to the blade and gets pulled at the follicle causing pain. How does the PTFE solve this problem? In PTFE the cohesive force are strong, it sticks to itself, but their are virtually no adhesive "van der Waals" forces between the blade coated with the PTFE and the dangling very reactive hair end. It does not stick, just like the protein in the eggs don't stick to a coated fry pan. And there you have it. PTFE coated blades are much superior to uncoated blades and the foregoing is why.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017 at 11:01 PM

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