No Such Thing as a Stupid Question?

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by Acmemfg, Mar 29, 2019.

    This possibly will be one.
    Will the edge on a razor deteriorate if left unused for a couple-three months?
    Facts: I have a contemporary razor made by one of the better respected makers.
    Bought it new; had a killer edge when delivered. Used 3-4 times over a time. Then just fell out of rotation for a few months. No reason why, just did.
    Picked it up today, stropped....very mediocre shave. Tugged, bueno. Razor had to go into the service bay for an appointment with one of the finishing rocks.
    Fact is this razor was properly cleaned and stropped before its hibernation. Kept dry, protected from external cooties. Do edges just go “stale” with lack of use?
    Like I said, stupid question? Perhaps?
  1. Honed a straight razor that for me shaved very good at the time being.
    Next time using it, felt mediocre. The third time using it shaved very well once again.
    The only explanation I come up with: prep and stropping matter.
    Also getting new edges in rotation that's very nice will raise expectation.

    An edge with bur will feel sharp and bity and when the bur fall of it's not sharp at all.
    But a bur edge is ruled out in this case as you had good shaves from start.

    Someone else used it for cutting something?

    Take a look with loupe.
    New shave with extended leather stropping and good prep?
    But you have already made touch up on hone?

    Curious what other will come up with.
  2. Polarbeard

    Polarbeard Contributor Ambassador

    Any sharp edge will deteriorate over time due to oxidation, but then we're talking many years not months. About 2200 years ago Qin Shi Huangdi the emperor of China was buried along with 8000 teracotta replicas of soldiers with real bronze weapons. When excaveted in the 1900's many of those weapons still were sharp.

  3. This is common.
    Did you look at the edge with a microscope?
    If storing for a few months its a good idea to put something on it. Unless it is being monitored for humidity like in a humidor.
    Take no chances, especially with a custom.
  4. Try tripling your stropping time, on both linen and leather.
  5. i just used a very old blade, 100+ years, that i hadnt used after honing over 3 yrs ago. it was phenomenal still.

    probably it was prep and lather related.
  6. Could have been.
    Suggestions noted and plan on the 3x strop and the slickest soap (probably CRSW Glide) I know. We shall see. Thanks all
  7. My guess would be prep, sometimes we just don't pay as much attention as we should.
    Every now and then I'll have one of those even with fresh DE blade, so I doubt your blade would deteriorate that much, especially being properly stored.
  8. I have seen blades showing sign of oxidation very fast when stored in an somewhat hostile environment or simply not dried properly. I started oiling them to avoid any troubles.
  9. Before putting them away I give them a wipe with a cloth soaked in Ballistol. No oxidation problems since doing that.
  10. Polarbeard

    Polarbeard Contributor Ambassador

    A warning though: Never put Ballistol on an etching. It'll ruin it almost immediately.
  11. Thanks so much for posting that!
  12. Polarbeard, what oil, if any, do you like?
  13. Polarbeard

    Polarbeard Contributor Ambassador

    First of all I hope that my reply wasn't offending. It wasn't meant to be.

    I find Ballistol to be a fantastic oil and I have a large bottle of it. The downside of Ballistol is that it eats its way through everything that's attached to steel and removes it, which made it to the German army's all purpose oil (guns, skin and leather) from 1905 until 1945. Unfortunately it removes etching just as easily as it removes dirt. I totally ruined the very beautiful etching on two razors to find this out.

    I live in a dry climate and I don't use any kind of oil for my razors. All I do after shaving is to dry them very thoroughly with a towel and then with a paper napkin before stropping them and putting them back into a display cabinet.

    When I once in awhile buy new razors they often come with the blade covered by some sort of fat that looks pretty much as wax to me. That's all I can contribute with I'm afraid.
  14. Not offending at all.

    I wonder if those razors of yours were old.

    I ask because I know that Ballistol any of the other CLP, CleanLubricateProtect gun oils have penetrating properties. They are designed to get underneath carbon fouling and push it up and out. Which is what you want in a gun oil.

    And if gold etching has any corner that is coming up, that is an entrance for the penetrating oil to get in and under and do its business.

    The gold etching I have is brand new and so far the Ballistol is not affecting it. But I am keeping an eye on it.
  15. @kohalajohn - I'm far from expert on the subject, but have used "camellia seed tea oil" on my blades with no side effects.
  16. Cal

    Cal Contributor


    Of course, if you want to go upmarket, forget the Vaseline and use this:
  17. Yup, vaseline would work fine.

    I like the company line that you have to buy two of their razors, so that each one can rest and recover their sharpness again. How magical :)
  18. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    :laugh: Indeed!

    upload_2019-4-11_2-13-47.png :letterk1:
  19. Legion

    Legion Moderator Emeritus

    Vaseline will protect a razor from rust, but it is a pest to get off when you want to use the razor. There is every chance you might dull the edge trying to get every last speck off, and if you don't get every last bit off it will wind up on your strop.

    Same with Ren Wax.

    Ren wax would definitely be the choice for a display razor that was not being used for shaving, but for a razor in rotation I would use either no oil, and keep it in a sealed dry box, or a little drop of food grade mineral oil.

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