Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by KAV, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. KAV

    KAV Well-Known Member

    The pits, and pitfalls of zamack eventually come up on forums. I will leave readers to ask wikileaks to expose it's
    flaws to the masses. Everything, even a diamond has a physical life; although that bauble lasts longer than the
    finest stainless steel. Zamack razors are plated today in chrome, a very hard metal used as the primary anti oxidant alloy in those stainless razors. It is also more expensive; again one reason for the creation of zamack.
    The Achilles heel is often an exosed thread post, indifferent QC in cosmetic finnish ( a razor's chrome plating is VERY thin) and INDIFFERENT or overzealous cleaning. Unknown chemicals and minerals in tap water ( chlorine) the popular diluted white vinegar baths can set up slow chemical reactions that lead to failure. The miracle is how few, or unreported catastrophic failures people report. I posted on another forum and one poster
    uploaded photos of a real shipwreck. It can, and does happen.
    My MERGRESS has lots of inaccessable moving parts and a few obvious thin spots in plating. I love this razor and intend to keep it around. I learned, from self discovery and Mantic the fallacy of distilled water for creating lather. I still have it on hand for a periodic good flush. I think of the first aid adage ' dilution negates pollution.'
    Exposed thread posts can be treated with a dab of vaseline, those irritating wax dots on blades or possibly best mineral oil which can be applied to the entire unit and easilly washes away in heat. I wouldn't suggest WD 40 or 20-50 engine oil.Does anyone apply chrome paste waxes?
    Lastly, check your bathroom environment. My apartment has one wall of perpetually peeling paint down to soggy drywall.The painter comes in once a year, strips it and slaps another coat on. He works fast and cheap and few people stay as long as 12 years. My bathroom is a tropical jungle clime with lousy venting. Is your bathroom microclimate an unseen enemy?
    A lot of nice razors are made of zamack. they need not wind up like the poem about Ozymandious.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  2. oldjoe

    oldjoe Well-Known Member

    I have yet to have a Zamak razor fail or fall to pieces. I suppose there are good ones and there are bad ones? As one grows old shouldn't it be recognized that lasting one lifetime is adequate? Everything needs to be handled with proper care. I have observed that most people don't take proper care of anything? All those model T's out there still and yet I have never seen one driven daily back and forth to work?
  3. KAV

    KAV Well-Known Member

    Material possessions are a waltz. If a man doesn't lead it's better just to sit down.
    Terry, gorgo2 and Herm2502 like this.
  4. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

    Not sure why Zamak razors get such a bad rap, maybe the shaving elitist have given Zamak a bad name. Stainless Steel or nothing..
  5. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    gorgo2 and RaZorBurn123 like this.
  6. KAV

    KAV Well-Known Member

    The iceman Oetzi had a copper axe. My peers in archaeology say it was a rare status symbol. I say it was just a new technology like the tiny BW television half my nieghborhood still didn't have in 1956 and were listening to Jack Benny on the radio. Everyone with a radio still listening to Jack on the radio raise your hands- I do.
    I think any elitism is a passing fallacy. Oetzi was killed with a flint arrowhead to the back
  7. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

    That's deep
    Carbide Mike and Karl G like this.
  8. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    I think that we care for our safety razors more than the guys of yesteryear,some straight razors and users being the exception (keeping these functional required straights to be cared for), hence those items should have a longer lifespan.
    But hey, if they break or get used up, the oportunity to move on to another looms. I have several of these zamak razors, the only one that shows signs of decay, did so when I got it. The inherent care and regular maintenance should keep these items safe, or at least usable past my own lifetime. I think that will suffice.
  9. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    I find zamack based razors to be an excellent value. I can get a decent razor for $30 or less and it will last years, possibly the rest of my life. If I had $100 to spend on a razor, I would go for a stainless steel one, such as the Rockwell 6S. But that is money that can be better spent elsewhere.

    Sent via mobile - Chris
  10. jtspartan

    jtspartan appropriately stimulated, via Netflix

    Did I just see a reference to Shelley's Ozymandias on TSD? If we're going to be thowing sonnett quotes around, I'm going to need to brush up...
    Terry likes this.
  11. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    "The miracle is how few, or unreported catastrophic failures people report"

    Maybe they're just not failing as much as Zamak detractors would have us believe?
    efsk, PLANofMAN, Primotenore and 3 others like this.
  12. KAV

    KAV Well-Known Member

    Guy on EBAY is selling replica copper castings and a length of rawhide to duplicate Oetzie's axe. I was all excited to add it to my collection of useless impedimentia. Then I realised in California, ranked seventh in world economies if seperate: I couldn't find a right angle piece of natural hardwood short of hiking into the mountains risking armed potgrowers, mountain lions and park rangers protecting the fauna from removal.
    There are always reasons behind what is, and isn't accessable. I like the new machined steel and exotic metal razors. I'm just short of green pieces of paper as elusive as that right angle piece of hardwood:angry032:
    Carbide Mike and Keithmax like this.
  13. KAV

    KAV Well-Known Member

    Oh hell, I missed another mispelling and grammatical blunder. I'm making an omelet, no time to correct Ozymandious:signs081:
  14. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    At the risk of irritating those from the "irritating phrase" thread, it is what it is. You buy one, you use it, if it breaks you buy another one. I'm not sure why people gripe about it so much. It isn't as if the cost doesn't reflect the difference in materials and construction of them. (At this point anyway, MIM is beginning to close that gap.)

    If you asked for my recommendation on what razor to buy if you were looking for one to bring into the bunker with you, I would probably suggest stainless. If you asked for recommendations on my favorite aggressive shavers, the R41 would be one on the top of my list.
  15. John Ruschmeyer

    John Ruschmeyer Well-Known Member

    Another possible problem for Zamac razors would be Galvanic corrosion. Take a Zamac thread with missing plating, a Brass handle which is similarly missing plating on the screw threads, add moisture, and you have a recipe for Galvanic Corrosion of the Zamac.

    I suspect this is why the Rockwell 6C has a Zamac handle to match the Zamac head.
    Carbide Mike likes this.
  16. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    I only had one fail in the last 7 years. I was using a DE89 and the razor slipped out of my hand and hit the floor. The threads broke free of the top cap and remained in the handle. If I wouldn't have dropped it, I would probably still be using it today. I don't mind zamak, but I also wouldnt pay machined SS prices for one either.
  17. Slipperyjoe

    Slipperyjoe Rusty Metal Tetanus

    Thing is ol' Zamak, Laird of Darkness, doesn't usually seem to plate his razors all that well. I've had two razors where the plating disappeared very quickly from the cap stud, some of the head and base plate. The razors never shaved properly after that...
  18. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    Off topic, but something you might find interesting, KAV. Just read this today, popped up on my FB page. Talk about synchronicity:
  19. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    Well, there's plenty of plastic razors available for those who wish to avoid the dreaded 'zamack' yet don't wish to pay the freight for stainless. ;)
    I do enjoy the occasional DE shave and have been quite satisfied with the zamack Muhles.
    I know the material supposedly isn't as durable as stainless, but since I'm not going on safari or with the peace corp, the razor has to merely survive the conditions of my bathroom.

    Straight razors and cutlery: Carbon steel blades are not as hard as stainless either and require constant maintenance in keeping the blade dry and the edge keen. But the carbon steel blades are often more plentiful (razors) and affordable than the stainless counterparts. I prefer carbon steel vs stainless.
  20. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I have had no issues with my zamack razors. I really like vintage razors, and I agree that it seems that earlier shavers were not as consistent about taking care of their razors. I have seen some pretty bad razors, but most have cleaned up well. Taking care of your zamack razor should make it last a lifetime. Almost anything man-made can be broken or ruined by neglect or misuse.

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