Does one put oil on a titanium razor?

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by ike, Mar 16, 2019 at 11:13 AM.

  1. ike


    I have a titanium razor (Timeless) on its way to me and I am wondering if there is anything special to maintaining titanium? I understand to rinse it and wipe it down, but does one oil the threads of the cap or anything other part?

  2. I would not use oil. The main thing is to avoid overtightening IMO.
  3. johnwick

    johnwick Contributor

    Oiling the threads isn’t a bad idea Ike but probably not necessary for Titanium. It’s a metal that could sit at the bottom of an ocean for a few decades and not corrode. I’ve done it for my razors, but since I take them apart for a cleaning and wipe down after every shave, I don’t know that the oil lasts long on the threads.
  4. Oil the thread only and very lightly. Otherwise it will run in your lather and handle.
  5. Titanium threads will not suffer from overtightening .
    Titanium threads will not corrode.
    But ,titanium threads are very prone to galling ,
    even at forces and velocities achieved by hand .

    Still ,most of lubricants are insufficient to prevent galling on titanium ,
    with only few exceptions which are best to be avoided ,as they have a toxicity.

    Best thing is to use caution.
    Screw and unscrew the handle as lightly and as slowly possible.
  6. No oil needed at all, especially if you disassemble your razor to wipe it down after each shave like some of us do. Just be careful when you are screwing the handle onto the top cap is all you need...
  7. ike


    Wow, you all got my attention regarding galling of steel and titanium and other metals. I did some research and understand bettter what been mentioned by you folks.

    I hadn’t really given it much thought before, so, thanks for the heads-up.
  8. I had the same concern and e-mailed Timeless! Here is their answer:

    I thought of maybe using vaseline? Also I've decided to be on the side of caution and only disassemble the razor when I change the blade.
  9. ike


    Does chrome fail too?

    Maybe chromed Zamac is not so bad?
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM
  10. The thread is a weak point in every razor, regardless of the material. Know how to care for the razor and even a Zamac razor can last a long time.

    Zamac does get a bad rep on the forums, but if the chroming was done right and you don't abuse the razor, it is perfectly fine. Just not as sexy as Titanium or Stainless Steel. ;)
  11. ike


    Thanks, that is great to hear about Zamac. I guess my beloved Edwin Jagger Barley D89 is safe for another day!
  12. ike


    Good advice, thanks!
  13. Actually, you're unlikely to see titanium galling in a razor head unless you tighten it exceptionally tight - galling occurs with heat and friction ("cold welding"), and happens more frequently with very tight, fine, precision threads, and the use of powered torque wrenches, more likely with cut threads than rounded, and isn't limited to titanium. You could conceivably lock up the threads by tightly screwing the parts together, but even that can be prevented by using a lubricant - and any lubricant will help, although for industrial use an anti-galling, high-heat lubricant like Molykote is commonly used. Ref and sort of the original definitive work on titanium galling from the '50s:
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 4:30 PM
  14. ike


    Gotta love those old reports done using a typewriter. I don’t understand it all but the bottom line is go slow, light and keep it clean.
  15. Yep, the above.
  16. What about a titanium handle in a steel or zamack head razors ?
  17. Galling can occur on dissimilar metals, but the tendency to gall very much depends on the metals themselves. Galling is probably more appropriately called friction welding, and softer metals like aluminum are more prone. Brass and bronze alloys have a certain natural lubricity, and are less prone to the problem, and in fact are used as bearings to prevent it. Zamak is usually chromed, so together with hardened steel is fairly resistant, but friction between metals of similar hardness is the chief culprit, and a difference of 50 Brinell hardness is preventative, so titanium with a softer metal is a good match. The best and easiest method to prevent galling in something like a razor head is simply light lubrication, and not cranking the head too tight.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 7:20 AM
  18. I machine medical parts from titanium, and while there are many oils that are used during machining that are not suitable for use in a razor, there are 2 common lubricants that we use to prevent galling when inspecting close tolerances.
    Sunnen Hone used to ship a product called Anti-Rust with their inspection instruments to prevent galling. It turns out it is Vick's Vapor Rub.
    The other product we use is called Lanolube and works well with titanium also, but is not at your neighborhood drugstore.
    So use a little Vaseline or Vick's and no worries about contamination.
  19. ike


    Vaseline (petrolatum) has many, many uses. Now for razors too! Thanks!
  20. But of course Molykote is not something you would want near your face! The article is very interesting and quite accurate even in today's manufacturing environment.
    I routinely machine Titanium to tolerances of +.0002" -.0000" for camera lenses. Titanium is extremely sensitive to galling even at room temperatures with light finger pressure. We use Lanolube on our inspection pins to prevent galling.
    Any similar product such as Vick's Vapor Rub or Vaseline will safely provide all the lubrication needed.

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