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

  1. HUF

    HUF Active Member

    This is a picture of my first safety razor. It was made in Leningrad USSR in early 1970s. Served me well for many years until I switched to disposable BICs. Then my Dad used it for years. Some 20+ years of service. Great shaves. And yes, it was 100% Zamak.

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  2. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    The 'Zamac fear' lead me to buy a back up for my 2011 R41 and then through a plethora of razors and ultimately to straight razors to find a replacement for my 2 R41s. In the end life will go on if these razors fail.

    I look at this way; If you are married pretend you are single. A beautiful exchange student moves into your neighbourhood, would you pass on a relationship with her just because she may move away and disappear in a year????
    Carbide Mike likes this.
  3. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Very nice.
    Carbide Mike likes this.
  4. KAV

    KAV Well-Known Member

    Is she 18?
    Juno, PanChango, Primotenore and 3 others like this.
  5. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    Those two bits of wisdom should not be combined. Never cross the streams. IT WOULD BE BAD.

    Total plutonic reversal
    BigMike and Keithmax like this.
  6. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    Of legal age in your local of course.
  7. Eeyore

    Eeyore Well-Known Member

    I don't think my wife would take the "pretending" very well.

    I hope the relationship with my wife lasts a lifetime. I hope my razors will do as well.
  8. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    I am sorry you took post to imply people should cheat on their wife even metaphorically. I should have phrased my post more specifically, you are 18 again, prior to being married...
  9. RaZorBurn123

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

    You proved the point, nothing wrong with Zamak.
    DesertTime likes this.
  10. subvet

    subvet Well-Known Member

    Zamac is in the category of "it's your money, spend it where you want". I'd rather put a few dollars more on a razor built for the environment in which it works; hot, soapy water - that ain't Zamac. I equate a Zamac razor to a wax covered cardboard canoe; just a matter of time after the slightest bump before it's a goner.
    Screwtape likes this.
  11. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    I am in the camp that has had zero issues with my Zamak (aka Zamac) razors. When I purchased my R41, I had no clue what Zamak was. BTW, I am a carbon steel knife fan. They take an amazing edge!
    DesertTime and mrchick like this.
  12. BigMike

    BigMike Well-Known Member

    Both my 34C and my Progress became unusable due to the plating peeling off the cap. It's pretty common for that to happen near the tight bend radius where the cap meets the blade. But I got a good 10 years of daily use out of each one before that happened. That means that, on average, those razors cost me about 4 bucks a year, making it the least expensive aspect of my shave.
    Screwtape likes this.
  13. Screwtape

    Screwtape A Shaving Butterfly

    I have a couple stainless steel razors, many vintage brass razors and a few zamak razors. They all work equally well as razors. However, I am not going to go around pretending that they are all built to equal standards of quality with equally good materials, because the fact is, they are not. And yes, I have had zamak razors fail on me; I have never yet had a brass or steel one disintegrate.

    Oh, and I am a big fan of carbon steel knives too - in their place. Which would not, for example, be as a survival or heavyduty work tool in a jungle or saltwater environment...
    clint64 likes this.
  14. HUF

    HUF Active Member

    I agree - nothing like a carbon steel knife!
    Primotenore likes this.
  15. subvet

    subvet Well-Known Member

    My large butcher knife is carbon steel, it only cuts meat. My other kitchen knives are higher quality stainless and they are used for everything and anything, acidic fruits and vegetables included. Using that analogy I guess I'd never get my Zamak razors near hot-soapy water, dry shave only.
    Screwtape likes this.
  16. KAV

    KAV Well-Known Member

    Somehow the natives of the Amazon and South Asia archipelego manage with carbon steel machetes and the family of knives collectively called parangs. My carbon British Admiralty issue rigging knife marked 1941 went through WW2 and then six years USCG duty as my primary blade on duty from Alaska to the Antarctic. It is covered with 76 years of use and not one speck of rust allowed by it's two owners.
    OBVIOUSLY there are superior qualities to a proper stanless steel tool. But a zamack razor is not Dorian Grey at risk of disintegration shunned like the Y2K panic where computer generation people ran around screaming the internet sky was falling.
  17. Screwtape

    Screwtape A Shaving Butterfly

    Well, obviously, if carbon steel is what you have then carbon steel is what you use, even in the tropical jungles or at sea. And you had better hope you also have access to copious amounts of oil and then you had better use it regularly to clean and protect the steel. And the sheath and the handle too, if it's made of compressed leather disks like on the Kabar or the WW2 USN shark knife...

    Btw, I don’t ever remember running around screaming that the sky was falling and all my zamak razors were going to disintegrate:. I just noted that obviously zamak razors weren't as good as the brass and steel razors that didn't corrode or break, and I moved all the zamak ones to permanently dry collector status -- and then haven't bought any new razors if they were made of it.
  18. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Bump, but worth it given the opening post.

    My all metal Clix is 100% zamac. It's from the '40s and it's raw metal; all plating is long gone. Prime candidate for self-destruction according to conventional wisdom...should have long turned to powder already.

    But I've used it exactly as I do nickel plated brass. Same water, same soaps, no preferential treatment.

    There is no hint of failure anywhere. No cracks, no pitting, no "rust," nothing.

    I did recently coat the whole thing in gun blue. Maybe that will initiate the alloy's self-destruct, or maybe it'll help preserve it so it outlasts me...or maybe it would have outlasted me anyway. If anything fails, I expect the thread post to snap off or threads to strip. Disintegration? Nah, not like I've seen Gillette zamac turning to crap.

    Does any of this prove that Z razors can't fail? Of course not. It does suggest that it can be tougher than conventional wisdom would have you believe - that not all zamac is hydrophobic, inherently fragile, and born dying.

    The precise alloy formulas (some better, some worse) is probably the answer to why some Z razors don't fail while others do. But that factor is usually overlooked in every zamac discussion.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
    Keithmax and Edison Carter like this.
  19. brit

    brit in a box

  20. John Ruschmeyer

    John Ruschmeyer Well-Known Member

    Personally, I continue to maintain that the issue is not with Zamak, per se, but with Galvanic Corrosion between a Zamac cap screw and a brass-threaded handle.

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