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PILS Stainless Steel Razor...WITH RUST!

I debated posting this before I heard back from the vendor I bought it from, but for the sake of fellow PILS owners I felt I should share my experience so it does not happen to your $240 razor.

I look after all of my razors with great care, hand drying them after use, then air drying them for another 48 hours as I can only shave every other day. If I switch razors it is only then that one will go into a cabinet. However, despite what I think is sometimes obsessive-compulsive care, today as I grabbed the cap of the PILS to screw it on I was shocked to find rust on the underside. And not just one spot, but many. Needless to say I am dumbfounded.

I have only had this razor about 8 or 9 months and it has not even been my primary razor. (That would be the Cobra Classic.) The fact that it has deteriorated seemingly so fast, with relatively little use, has cast this razor in a new light.

Now I start scouring the forums to figure out how to get it off as I have never had a razor rust...until the PILS. :tongue_sm

View attachment 120491
View attachment 120492
 
Though stainless steel can still rust in an aggressive environment and the wrong material could have been taken from the shelve I suspect another reason for this (and it happens all too often).

I think that the tools used in the milling process are also used for cutting non-stainless steel. This results in minute non-stainless particles getting pressed during the milling into the base material for the razor. What you get is a zillion rusty particles pressed into a stainless surface and it looks pretty much the same as rusty steel. It just isn't but boy what a stupid mistake! For all the makers out there; seperate the tools for non-corroding materials from the steel cutters or this is what you get!
 
Odds are it's just buildup from your blades. The blades don't have to sit in the razor to deposit rust. Stainless steel won't rust under standard conditions, but can develop a tarnish. That looks like carbon steel's work there.
 
Odds are it's just buildup from your blades. The blades don't have to sit in the razor to deposit rust. Stainless steel won't rust under standard conditions, but can develop a tarnish. That looks like carbon steel's work there.
It is in the wrong places for that; it could happen on contact surfaces but it isn't. It is mostly in the curves beneath that, exactly were the cutting tools are almost standing still to take the curve and were most particles from used tools will be deposited.
 
Odds are it's just buildup from your blades. The blades don't have to sit in the razor to deposit rust. Stainless steel won't rust under standard conditions, but can develop a tarnish. That looks like carbon steel's work there.
I gather you have a chemistry background, so help me with this: I shave using Feather stainless steel blades and the PILS is a stainless razor...so where does the carbon steel come into play? I do not doubt it is there, but I am not connecting the dots.
 
It looks like a matte/blasted finish, which seems to be more prone to rust than a polished finish. I've noted this with some stainless knives before. Sometimes, the rust seems to be from microscopic contamination, such as residual oxidization from, say an old blade. Sometimes, it's just the stainless itself developing rust. It should be noted that there are many grades of stainless steel, and most are not strictly rustproof.

It would be interesting to see how far the rust advances. But the PILS makes for a somewhat pricey experiment. You could probably clean it up with some Barkeeper's Friend scouring powder and a toothbrush.
 
hi
just had a read of this thread,depends on what stainless this is made from ,
304 food grade stainless will rust with a lot of salt around .steam will find rust ,however its probably not been in a steam sterilizer, chemicals will find rust too
316l medical grade will not rust at all.the rust
could be from a blade left in .think i would use a metal polish to get rid of this . then keep a eye on it ..:thumbup:
 
I've noted this with some stainless knives before.

Sure but there is quit a difference between stainless steels that can be heat-treated (like 12C27 or the 440-steels for knives) and the non-treatable stainless steels. The latter ones are much harder to oxidize than those that can be hardened and they are much less expensive combined with the fact that a razor doesn't need to be hardened I assume that no heat-treatable steel will have been used for the Pils. So I think there is little chance it comes from the material itself.

I have seen this happen before countless times in my work and it is almost every time the previously used tools to blame.
 

Jim

Moderator
It could possibly be iron in your water, try removing it with a cotton swab and some mr bubbles..
 
Sure but there is quit a difference between stainless steels that can be heat-treated (like 12C27 or the 440-steels for knives) and the non-treatable stainless steels. The latter ones are much harder to oxidize than those that can be hardened and they are much less expensive combined with the fact that a razor doesn't need to be hardened I assume that no heat-treatable steel will have been used for the Pils. So I think there is little chance it comes from the material itself.

I have seen this happen before countless times in my work and it is almost every time the previously used tools to blame.
I agree. I think it's contamination, trapped by the matte finish.
 
Despite its moniker--stainless steel can and will rust---the good thing is that any rust can be easily removed and cleaned up. PILS will probably tell you the same exact thing.
 
It is in the wrong places for that; it could happen on contact surfaces but it isn't. It is mostly in the curves beneath that, exactly were the cutting tools are almost standing still to take the curve and were most particles from used tools will be deposited.
Well, as noted, the only time the blade is in is while he's shaving. That being said, on metallic surfaces, water tends to flow in to corners. Rust can essentially migrate from the blade (a low surface area configuration) to the sand blasted underside of the head (a high surface area configuration).

I gather you have a chemistry background, so help me with this: I shave using Feather stainless steel blades and the PILS is a stainless razor...so where does the carbon steel come into play? I do not doubt it is there, but I am not connecting the dots.
A new piece to the puzzle. I didn't know you were shaving with stainless blades. The difference between carbon steel and stainless steel is essentially the amount of chromium in the alloy. Most stainless steel has about 10-15% chromium content, if memory serves. The term "Carbon Steel" can refer to a specific high carbon recipe for steel, or it can refer to any steel which is not CRES (stainless). That being said, standard stainless steel makes poor cutting edges. The grainy, brushed characteristic of stainless steel exists because stainless steel is a stretched material. In order to minimize the concentration of impurities, stainless steel is stretched, folded, and stretched, and folded, over and over, until the impurities are stretched out to be a few thousand times as long as they are wide. This is one reason why stainless steel is a poor blade material- it tends to have a jagged edge. More simply though, it doesn't sharpen as well, especially when very thin. That is why, from what I gather, most full or extra hollow straight razors are carbon steel. It is also somewhat more brittle than carbon steel. I can tell you that from experience, being a sword collector. Anyway, what all this leads back to is that the stainless steel that DE razors are made of is not normal stainless steel. It has a lower chromium content, and a lower nickel content. They are a compromise between carbon steel and stainless steel.

Another note, which I forgot to mention, is that the mechanism in stainless steel the prevents corrosion is passivation, like bluing or parkerizing. Basically, the chromium at the surface of the stainless steel forms an invisible layer of chrome oxide, which prevents the metal underneath from corroding. Because blades have a low chromium content, it is likely that the layer of protection is likely deficient.

It looks like a matte/blasted finish, which seems to be more prone to rust than a polished finish. I've noted this with some stainless knives before. Sometimes, the rust seems to be from microscopic contamination, such as residual oxidization from, say an old blade. Sometimes, it's just the stainless itself developing rust. It should be noted that there are many grades of stainless steel, and most are not strictly rustproof.

It would be interesting to see how far the rust advances. But the PILS makes for a somewhat pricey experiment. You could probably clean it up with some Barkeeper's Friend scouring powder and a toothbrush.
You made an excellent point here, but the most important aspect to the pitted finish is that it has double the surface area of a flat surface, which is why rust would tend to congregate on the inside of the razor head, rather than the blade. Odds are that it has little to do with impurities in the razor head.
 
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Despite its moniker--stainless steel can and will rust---the good thing is that any rust can be easily removed and cleaned up. PILS will probably tell you the same exact thing.
Stainless steel will not rust traditionally. It will develop oxidation in the form of nickel oxide, or if the passivation later is physically or chemically removed, a very thin layer of rust and chromium oxide, which has a greenish hue.
 
Take a Q-Tip with a bit of oil and "rust" will be gone. it is probably polishing compound not "rust" Also if you wipe razor after use wipe with the Q-tip and the oil and no problems will ever occur again..take a deep breath and don,t worry so much. even a Rolls Royce needs OIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Take a Q-Tip with a bit of oil and "rust" will be gone. it is probably polishing compound not "rust" Also if you wipe razor after use wipe with the Q-tip and the oil and no problems will ever occur again..take a deep breath and don,t worry so much. even a Rolls Royce needs OIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to all for your input. I did attempt to clean it this morning with Scrubbing Bubbles and a Q-tip, but to no avail. (Photos were after the fact.) Now I will try Harvey's oil!
 
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