Interesting note on zinc-aluminum alloys

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by gorgo2, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

  2. blashe

    blashe Well-Known Member

    ah well I breeze read trough it and nothing new. After all none us shaves either with spring water or drinking water, so the PH and rest of chemicals will immediately attack the zinc and degrade it. Sure there is a higher quality of zinc that will be great to use in razor productions, but the higher quality means higher quantities of aluminum, brass, copper mixtures etc which will equal in not being able to mold a razor top cap and base plate.... Either way zinc is crap but that's why we have the new companies on the market selling them dirt cheap, except if one is willing to shell out big dinero for Muhle or the other overpricec zinc razors, to each its own
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  3. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    You're welcome.
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  4. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    If a Zinc razor get the youth the try DE shaving then keep making them! The serious ones will help fuel the the markets for the better razors.
  5. jar

    jar Well-Known Member

    Lots and lots of 50+ year old Zinc Head Gillettes still in daily use.

    Nothing wrong with zinc.
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  6. Redrock

    Redrock Well-Known Member

    Interesting video. Straight from the Razor Emporium.

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  7. Redrock

    Redrock Well-Known Member

    What are the models of the vintage Gillette razors that have a zinc head?

    Thanks much........
  8. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    The point of the OP is that it makes me feel a little better about using an unplated zamac head.
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  9. John Ruschmeyer

    John Ruschmeyer Well-Known Member

    Personally, I'm of the belief that the big issue with Zamac razors is Galvanic Corrosion between the Zinc cap screw and Brass handle thread.
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  10. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    I think your absolutely correct in your statement. The time I've seen the worst failures is where it (zamak) is contacting dissimilar metals.
  11. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    I agree and I have read that Edwin Jagger has had some limited issues with the threaded part of their caps breaking. I also read that Jagger has been very proactive with their customer service and has replaced the caps involved.

    The fact that a razor has zamak parts wouldn't really put me off a nice EJ or a Merkur. I suspect that if these razors are treated with at least a modicum of care they'll probably last a long time and personally I'm in my mid-60's and have no need of a razor that will outlast me!
    Frijolero likes this.
  12. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Good thing the Clix fat bakelite handle has an aluminum thread socket.
  13. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. My 2 pence worth coming.

    My old man is 85 his DD has a Hoffritz slant and his travel razor is another Hoffritz but an open comb. Anyway they've been shaving him since the early 60's (the slant) and I believe before that for the OC. As they were made by Merkur....would they be brass or the hated zamak? I ask as they both looked immaculate last time I saw them. Does it matter :). Prior to that he had a Gillette but lost it in case anyone wonders.

    Honestly, I tend to the view there's a massive amount of metal snobbery going on and that in turn leads to over priced SS and Titanium razors. I've seen Ti razors going for daft money at times and even SS, well I don't get it so won't buy one (admittedly the word "yet" needs to go on the end of that sentence). I did however buy a couple of SS handles as they were decent prices and I like the weight.

    End of the day, Zamaks are more vulnerable to being dropped and plating cracking than brass. Galvanic corrosion, I don't know about but maybe that's one to watch though it reqires water, ergo dry razor gets rid of the issue. None the less, one can acquire how many Zamak ...say 34C razors for the price of one Feather / ATT/ Whatever SS. Assuming said zamak lasts 10-15 years (i.e care taken razor, dried post shave and not dropped) then 5-6 of them makes for more or less a lifetime....or one SS. In all likelihood however a well cared for Zamak could last longer.

    Don't get me wrong here, I love beautiful engineered pieces and I get SS or brass but I really do not go for scare stories and never really have. If SS razors dropped to a more sensible (IMO) price range that made the longevity>price equation make more sense I'd change but not until then. Thus right now I'd look at Fatip (brass) as the pricing is sane, but I draw the line at most off the SS stuff as it's silly money imho.

    BTW I also drool over some of the lovely razors in pics in this forum as they amazing but I don't have that kind of wonga (cash) to chuck about :)

    Last of all , because it's Friday and I feel ready for a beer.....

    Brass is a metallic alloy that is made of copper and zinc. The proportions of zinc and copper can vary to create different types of brass alloys with varying mechanical and electrical properties.

    Zamak is a family of alloys with a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium, and copper

    So they are relatives

    Blue touch paper duly lit.....I shall sidle off to the beer fridge :duel:
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  14. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    Tech from roughly 1964. Not sure about late Superspeeds.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
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  15. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    I don't think Super Speeds were ever made with anything but brass, not including the last Superadjustable or some handles.

    The times I've come across those Techs I always wondered what was wrong with them. Now I know
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  16. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    The Korean War era Super Speeds did make some use of steel for base plates, and not just for the Black Tips with their plastic TTO knobs and steel or aluminum handles.

    And I believe the last all-brass Gillette was the Slim.
    RyX likes this.
  17. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    True true.
  18. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Titanium is also a weird metal - it's like aluminum. Nymphomaniac - it'll bond to anything.

    For a long time, I wondered why they didn't make gun barrels from titanium alloys. Turns out that titanium is 'sticky', and has higher friction. So to me, a titanium razor head is also a 'I wonder' - will it bind more? Not like people will make a set of titanium, steel, zamac, aluminum, and brass heads to test the matter :)

    Galvanic corrosion - Our razors are sacrificial anodes. I can see that. The fix would be to use an old zinc handle - I have one that's a Gillette DR clone handle. Does not appear to have ever been plated. It's just heavy gray metal.
  19. John Ruschmeyer

    John Ruschmeyer Well-Known Member

    The sad part is that we often *want* our razor with its Zamac head to have a Brass handle because it adds class, or weight, or something.

    BTW, if I recall correctly, the Rockwell 2C/6C has a Zamac handle specifically to avoid corrosion.
  20. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that galvanic corrosion can only occur in the presence of an electrolyte.

    A dab of dielectric or silicone grease on the threads of a zamak cap should go a long way to keep the water out and prevent such corrosion. My EJ DE89L is now about 5 years old and looks as good, and works as well as when I bought it.
    KenH likes this.

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