Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A razor with good acoustics adds a lot to the pleasure of the shave.

with 4 comments

This iKon DLC-coated stainless-steel slant has really excellent acoustics. You can hear the tiny popping sound as it mows through the stubble, an audio experience (in a quiet bathroom — no fan, no running water, no radio) that enhances the pleasure of the shave. Tomorrow I’ll try the uncoated version of this razor just to check whether the acoustics are the same.

But before I got to the razor I used my Simpson Emperor 2 Super to make an extremely nice lather from this asses’ milk shaving soap. It’s a very nice soap, and one that (from reports I’ve had) requires that the lid be in place between shaves: left open, it loses its mojo.

Three passes with the iKon — truly an excellent slant — and then a splash of Diplomat to present me again with the puzzle of that spice note in its fragrance. It’s a very nice aftershave that somehow has a totally uninteresting label — so much so that I got it on sale when an online US vendor sold off stock that just didn’t move. Odd that label graphics have so great an influence, but they do.

Written by Leisureguy

13 November 2019 at 8:47 am

Posted in Shaving

4 Responses

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  1. The sound of a sharp blade cutting erect whiskers is sweet. I was thinking about my 43 DE razors, and which ones emanate the most sound? From memory I would nominate the Merkur Progress, Futur, and Vision 2000 as the most raucous. Is acoustical feedback a German thang? My American razors generally are strangely quiet.

    Speaking of those 3 razors, I have been using them recently trying to determine a fav. Difficult to do. These are essentially equal in efficiency and comfort for me, though if I were forced to make a judgment as to a personal favorite it probably would be the Merkur Progress. But any differences in performance would be miniscule.

    They are outstanding tools, but I confess to having a bias: I’ve never met an adjustable razor that I did not love!


    Steve Riehle

    13 November 2019 at 7:40 pm

  2. I agree. The Vision 2000 was particularly good, and I almost mentioned the Progress in the post—and the Futur is right up there is the acoustic department.

    Yes, American razors are deficient in sound. In the current edition of the Guide I write:

    A second idea, more intriguing (and challenging) is to build some resonance into the razor’s head—some sort of mini-soundbox that amplifies the faint cutting sound of the blade. A more audible razor would be appealing—and it’s something a cartridge razor cannot offer, so it would be exclusive to the DE razor (as, indeed, are things like adjustable razors and slants).

    The Merkur Futur, Vision, and Progress amplify to some degree the cutting sound, but it seems to be accidental rather than deliberate. With some thought and CAD work (perhaps with a luthier’s help) it should be possible to design a razor’s head so that the shaver can more easily hear the cutting sound, a sound he listens for in any case since it helps him find the best blade angle and is also very pleasant in a meditative way. So a sound-amplifying head would have both a practical use (making the angle easier to find) and an aesthetic use. And to sound a practical note, a sound-amplifying head requires no moving parts, just some clever design to create a cavity of the right size and shape. The amplification would be slight, but that’s fine: just a little louder is enough.

    I know: it’s odd—but no odder than designing buildings so that the reflected sunlight erases shadows between them . And it might be patentable.

    I think prototypes could be created using a 3-D printer, in which case the designer can easily and quickly iterate design ideas—the technique known as rapid prototyping. Although 3-D printed razors would not be sturdy enough for real use, one could shave enough with such a razor to see how well it amplifies the cutting sound. Once the design is debugged, the prototype can serve as a manufacturing model. 3-D printers are now available at relatively low cost, and razors, being small, are a suitable size for small 3-D printers.

    And, as I note, the iKon coated stainless slant has excellent acoustics.



    13 November 2019 at 7:53 pm

  3. Standard razor is fairly noisy



    16 November 2019 at 7:38 am

  4. The good old Standard. I had forgotten about that razor.



    16 November 2019 at 7:51 am

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