Going Dutch: the Philite razor

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by macaronus, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

    In the shaving world the Dutch brand Philips now is known for its electric razors. Being Dutch I am well familiar with the name and the Philips products. Or so I thought. For little did I know that they made bakelite DE razors as well.

    Philips was in 1923 the first factory in the Netherlands to process Bakelite. The name Bakelite however was a protected trade mark so Philips had to call its products by a different name. They came up with the 'inspired' name "Philite" which was patented in 1930. Phenol, urea (not urine! :sick007:), formaldehyde and suitable filler were the basic ingredients for the Philite press powders.

    So apart from various houseware and industrial appliances apparently Philips made DE razors as well. If I am informed correctly they started making DE razors somewhere in the late twenties and continued production until the late thirties. In Dutch second hand sites the razors are still reasonably common.

    Enough chatter. Time for some pics!

    philite razor.JPG

    philite assembled.JPG

    Sometimes the razor came with a box (which looks to me like a coffin, but that's me)

    philite doos dicht.JPG

    philite doos open.JPG

    Yes, you are correct. The second razor with the box is black while the first one is brown. Those are the two available colours. Let's take a closer look at this three piece razor:

    philite side.JPG

    philite top.JPG

    If you take a look from the front, you'll see you can look right through the razor.

    philite front.JPG

    The blade is supported by the teeth in the bottom plate.

    philite open.JPG

    And unlike most other DE razors, the blade fits completely in the head (apart from the edges, of course!). Still, it doesn't feel large or unwieldy.

    philite macro top mes.JPG

    philite macro hoek mes.JPG

    Also, not all razors were branded "Philite", possibly because some were sold seperately in gift kits. See the underside of these bottom plates:

    philite bodemplaten.JPG

    Well, that is all nice, you say. But how do they shave? I can be short about that: they shave excellent, in my view! I get consistent smooth shaves. One has quickly become my go-to-razor. Each shave an almost effortless BBS. I read on another forum that someone called it the Buffer. Because the lather builds up inside the razor and eventually exits on the other side, you can indeed buff to your heart's desire. I do sometimes. :)

    Interestingly though, they do not all shave the same. As I said: one has become my daily shaver, but the other three, while leaving me as smooth as the first one, are a bit more rough on me.

    Therefore if you are interested, pay attention in March, for two will be PIF-ed. ;) [edit: => *click* <= ]
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  2. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    THAT is cool!
    Yehuda D and macaronus like this.
  3. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    AWESOME!! Thanks for the write up and pictures! Very nice looking peice of history.
    Frijolero and macaronus like this.
  4. Yehuda D

    Yehuda D Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    Wow, does that ever look cool!
    Frijolero and macaronus like this.
  5. brit

    brit in a box

    very cool sir ..will keep my eye out..nice review of something new.. er old..
    RyX, Frijolero and macaronus like this.
  6. canoeroller

    canoeroller Well-Known Member

    I love this sort of post. It is always great to learn about something I never knew existed. One more tiny check mark in my, " Not as ignorant as before, " column.
  7. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    Wat leuk!
    macaronus likes this.
  8. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I have this one with a unbranded brass plate. It's an excellent shaver.

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    RyX, brit, Ijustmissedthe50s and 3 others like this.
  9. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    The box was reminding me of something, then I remembered what it is.

  10. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

    Neat! Looks like an earlier version. Or a Frankenrazor perhaps?
    Frijolero likes this.
  11. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

    Philite... the razor from U.N.C.L.E. :rofl:
    gorgo2 and richgem like this.
  12. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I really don't know. If it's a Frankensituation it's an excellent fit.
    Frijolero likes this.
  13. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

    And in the end it is the result that counts: excellent shaves!

    RyX and Frijolero like this.
  14. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    I have it on good authority (read it on the internet!) that Bakelite can be polished to it's original sheen using Brasso polish. ;)
  15. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    True that.
    Frijolero and RyX like this.
  16. riverrun

    riverrun Well-Known Member

    Where do you think urea got its name from?

    Frijolero, brit and RyX like this.
  17. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot


    True, true.
    But I don't think that in our modern society we still use real urine (or in the 1920's and onwards):

    Friedrich Wöhler's discovery in 1828 that urea can be produced from inorganic starting materials was an important conceptual milestone in chemistry. It showed for the first time that a substance previously known only as a byproduct of life could be synthesized in the laboratory without biological starting materials thereby contradicting the widely held doctrine of vitalism.

    Synthetic is often cheaper than 'the real deal' (I guess because its quality is at a more constant level). And then again: I'm probably wrong. Because I'm good at that.
    brit, Frijolero and RyX like this.
  18. riverrun

    riverrun Well-Known Member

    Cheaper? I make it for free!! My liver forms it by combining two ammonia molecules (NH3) with a carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule. (Says Wikipedia) :)

    You can have 25 grams of the stuff from me for free - every day!
    Enough for a razor or two.
  19. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot


    or should I say

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