Razor blade coatings

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by dangermouse, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    I've recently become interested in the different coatings there are on razor blades and how they affect the shave. It strikes me that most blades are probably coated with something, whether they say so on the packet or not, but do you think that is true, or is a stainless steel blade just a stainless steel blade?
     
  2. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    As anyone who has shaved with a vintage Gillette Blue and then shaved with a vintage Super blue blade can tell you, that teflon coating makes a world of difference between blades that are in all other respects, identical.

    But, to answer your question, whether the blade is coated in teflon, platinum, or chromium; it doesn't actually affect the shave. The first time you shave with the blade, the coating comes off. The reason the blade is coated is so that the edge won't rust while it sits on a supermarket shelf or in a package in your humid bathroom.

    Bottom line, coating does not affect the blade's shaving ability. Where the steel came from that the blade is made from matters, as does the equipment the blades are made on, how they are tempered and how they are sharpened/stropped all determine how a blade shaves. It's why I personally prefer modern Japanese, Russian and Israeli blades over German and Egyptian blades.
     
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  3. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    I'm quite shocked by your assertion, Ryan. Is this solely your opinion or is it a cold hard verifiable fact? It seems to me, that the introduction of stainless steel razor blades in 1960, by Wilkinson Sword would be enough to stop a blade rusting in it's packet without having to coat the blade with anything else.

    I didn't know the difference between Gillette Blues and Super Blues was the Teflon coating, thank you. If you are correct, then any significant change in the quality of the shave, using the Super Blues disappears after the first shave.
     
  4. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

    I seem to get my best shaves from platinum and I notice the difference for more than the first shave.

    In particular I’ve experimented with same brand/ different coating (ie. Astra blue vs Astra green SS/SP) and for my face, platinum wins most of the time.
     
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  5. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

  6. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    From what I've read in the past:
    -The coatings will fill in the microscopic grooves left over from manufacturing, resulting in being more smooth.
    -PTFE will reduce the cutting force on beards making for more smoother and comfortable shaves.
    -Coatings like Platinum and Chrome add to the hardness of the blade.
     
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  7. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Speaking only for myself (because I'm the only guy who's ever said this that I know of), platinum coated blades irritate me without fail, no matter which brand I try or how vintage or are or aren't.

    Gimme a decent stainless, coated with teflon or not, and I'm good.
     
  8. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

    Maybe you’re platinum intolerant? :)
     
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  9. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    Don't know for sure, but it could be that you're having an allergic reaction to the platinum. As some people have using stainless blades and use carbon ones.
     
  10. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Maybe it is a sensitivity. I've used too many brands of plat over the years and always get the same mild irritation. No other blade does that.
     
  11. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    This fellow was involved in setting the Saint Petersburg plant in Russia for Proctor & gamble (Gillette) and was able to find a conversion about coatings he mentioned.

    Chrome, Chrome Platinum or DLC coatings have no effect on reducing drag.
    Chrome, Platinum are substantially stronger than Teflon. Hence why they are added to increase tip strength. Again, Teflon has no bearing on edge strength
    Teflon coatings are the prime denominator for reducing drag, tugging
    Not sure what Sputter equipment you refer to, but typically you can over sputter in minutes not hours.
    It’s possible to change the tip shape, during the etch cleaning process & not even add material to the substrate/Blades.
    Most blade coatings for a Blade suppliers are similar in thickness typically between 250-400 Angstroms

    The Teflon is NOT added to increase the blade tip strength, that is the job of the Chrome/Chrome Plat/DLC etc.
    With the improved steel properties available , finer carbide solutions, blade strength is also improved from 20-30 years ago.
    That said, blade tip strength is dependant on the Tip Shape more than any other factor. A stropped blade (by machine) has good blade edge strength due to its Gothic arc profile.
    Chrome is typically added to the substrate, due to its adhesion properties for all coatings types.
    The Teflon will push back on the 1st shave, hence why typically 2nd Shave is better performing. It does NOT get wiped off after a few shaves. The thinner you can apply theTeflon, the better the shave performance.
    DLC is not necessarily thicker than Chrome or Chrome Plat coatings, thickness is determined on process time, base metals, blade type.
    Im not sure what is meant by slicing blades, if you mean surgical blades or Stanley type blades, yes there is a big difference. Typically DE Blade are 0.0035” to 0.004” thick, a Stanley blade is closer to 0.015”-0.020” thick.
    I was involved in Surgical blades in my early twenties, although my knowledge in that area is not expert level, the Grinding process, tip shape was completely different
    1940 Blue Gillette Blade England (2).jpg
    Interesting information on blades.
     
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  12. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

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  13. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know what is meant by 'The Teflon will push back'?
    Does anyone know what DLC is, please?

    It's a very interesting read, particularly that Chromium is used because of it's adhesion properties for other coatings. It explains in part a Derby blade, for example, has lots of coatings.
     
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  14. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

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  15. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    I believe it stands for "Diamond like coatings"
     
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  16. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

    At my house it means damn lazy cats
     
  17. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

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  18. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Shocked? Were you using an electric shaver at the time? ;)

    There are many different stainless steel alloys, with varying degrees of corrosion resistance. Back when I used to scuba dive, the stainless steel back of my dive watch never rusted. My stainless steel dive knife would get rust spots if I did not rinse it off with fresh water at the end of the day.
     
  19. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

    That’s interesting and shows my ignorance.

    I always thought stainless was stainless and didn’t rust.
     
  20. dangermouse

    dangermouse Well-Known Member

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