The History Of Double Edge Razor Blades And How They Are Made

The double edged razor more years back than you can imagine. They may not have looked like your conventional razor blades. They were designed for the same functions and purposes as the present ones. The first double edged razors were somewhat thicker than the present razors. They were almost rectangular and had lesser holes than the current blades. They actually date back to prehistoric times. The first razors were made from stone and shells. The double edge razors saw their patent and introduction in the 1800s. They were first designed to be used as shaving razors. That explains the holes that were created to hold the double edged razor onto a hoe like small tool for shaving. It was created with a protective guard with a comb like structure for the purposes of shaving. The double edged razor was then made for disposable purposes by King Camp Gillette in 1901. This allowed the barbers to maintain the handles and change the blade. It was not as easy then as it seems now. Only professionals could change blades then.

Photo of Sahara de Luxe old razor blade.
Sahara de Luxe old razor blade. Image via be-cause-blog.

The blades have since then seen the materials and makers change. In the 1960s Wilkinson Sword produced stainless steel double edged razor blades. These were not prone to rust as compared to the previous carbon steel blades. Gillette had to get into the trend to compete. It meant that the blades could be used for longer until they were blunt.

How Are Double Edge Razor Blades Made?

Photo of Gillete's factory in Boston, Massachusetts.
Gillete’s factory in Boston, Massachusetts.

Double edge razors have been made for the last over 100 years. Factories have been bulit to produce them all over the world. USA holds Gillette at Boston. Egypt and India have blade factories at Alexandria and Bombay respectively.

There are simple but intricate steps to making the blades. First, the steel is made into steel strips of the right size for the blade. Stainless steel can be bent easily. The steel sheets come in the thickness require to make the blades. The stainless steel is a combination of a number of elements that allow it to withstand stretching and heat. The strips are rolled onto fixed rotors that spin at a very high speed. There are punching machines with the slot designs that punch the intricate design on the razor. These holes are used for anchorage when using shavers. The machines are very precise while punching thousands of blades in a minute. The belts then go through a series of heating and cooling in furnaces for the purposes of hardening. This gives the steel the tough but flexible quantities. The belts then go through a varnishing process as the brand name is etched on them. This helps keep the blade from corrosion and keeps it smooth to touch. The blades are then broken into individual blades. The edges are then honed making them finer. Then, they are smoothened out and made sharper with a fine finish using animal leather. The blades are then sprayed with compounds of titanium nitrate and platinum to give that quality feel and finish. This however depends on the manufacturer for the sake of quality. The blades are then checked for quality. Four or so will be checked per batch for any errors on them. The blades are then packaged for shipment. They are slim enough to package a big number in one shipment.

The blades are yet to see more evolution with the coming technologies and needs. Their uses in the domestic arena will see to it that the industries are in business for a while to come.

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