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Question on blow drying straights

quijas23

Contributor
so I just purchased a new revisor straight razor, and going through the paperwork they send you with the razor, they say to never blow dry the razor...
Well, I've been blowdrying my razors for many years now and wondering if I am somehow damaging my razors (instructions say to only dry by hand and also to never put in hot water). Has anyone ever heard of this? I am wondering if this could be messing with the temper (I asked a knife expert friend of mine and he said he seriously doubts that the temper on a razor could be damaged with a blow dryer but he wasn't sure).
What would be the reasoning behind them saying this?
Anybody out there ever think that you may have damaged your straight doing any of the above? I often use hot water to clean off the razor (its on the left side of the sink and I am right handed) so maybe I am doubly damaging my razors.
Looking forward to hearing others think.
Regards
Joe
 
so I just purchased a new revisor straight razor, and going through the paperwork they send you with the razor, they say to never blow dry the razor...
Well, I've been blowdrying my razors for many years now and wondering if I am somehow damaging my razors (instructions say to only dry by hand and also to never put in hot water). Has anyone ever heard of this? I am wondering if this could be messing with the temper (I asked a knife expert friend of mine and he said he seriously doubts that the temper on a razor could be damaged with a blow dryer but he wasn't sure).
What would be the reasoning behind them saying this?
Anybody out there ever think that you may have damaged your straight doing any of the above? I often use hot water to clean off the razor (its on the left side of the sink and I am right handed) so maybe I am doubly damaging my razors.
Looking forward to hearing others think.
Regards
Joe
I’ve never used a blow dryer on a razor but they certainly don’t generate enough heat to ruin the temper of steel. I just give my razors a half dozen strops after a shave to
Make sure the edge is dry and leave it open for a couple of hours. I’ll put a drop of oil in the pivot from time to time. Never had a problem.
 
I use a hair dryer on all my razors, never had a problem and I run the blower very hot. Then use a microfibre cloth to clean, polish and then strop.

Ensure the blade is clean of soap residue before using the blower as some soaps and heat can stain the steel (patina). With horn scales I dial the heat down to a low temp.

Oil the pivot twice a year. Caveat, I am landlocked in a warm climate with lowish humidity.
 
Some of the razors Revisor sells use thermoplastic scale material among others. I think they are warning you that your scales may warp. I’ve never used a blow dryer. I just have never fussed that much.




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Actually a blow dryer can generate a lot of heat under the right circumstances. And while the body of the blade is not particularly sensitive to heat, since there is enough steel to soak it up, the edge can overheat pretty quick. Still, to push the temper even on a very thin razor it would have to be an awfully powerful dryer held very very close. I can't see it, under normal usage. If you really try to ruin the razor with a powerful blow dryer, you could well succeed.

The scales are another matter. Horn, and most types of plastic, can be softened by the heat of the dryer, and some will shrink or warp. Hot water that you can stand to keep your hand in for more than a couple of seconds should be okay if it is not a long soak. Boiling water, all bets are off. Same with a blow dryer. Don't go there. It's not the blade that is really vulnerable, it is the scales.
 

quijas23

Contributor
Along those lines I wonder if you could lose the temper at the very tip of the edge because it’s so thin?
 
Along those lines I wonder if you could lose the temper at the very tip of the edge because it’s so thin?
The steel temp needs to get up to around 350f before there could be any push on the temper. If the edge touches you without burning you it is probably okay, right? Yeah well, at the very apex where the steel is only a few microns thick, your skin would act as a heat sink and immediately cool thin steel quickly enough to not burn. Right? Right. BUT, all the thick steel in the belly and spine of the razor would also act as a heat sink, anyway. So to push the temper and the blade not be too hot to touch for more than a second, the heat source I think would have to be extremely hot, and exposure very brief. Some engineer will probably work out the numbers here, but I doubt you could dry the razor and push the temper with a hair dryer. Water boils at 212f. So after the razor is dry, you would still need it to get 138 degrees hotter. So I am gonna say maybe, but probably not, on hurting the blade as long as you only dry it until it is dry. The scales are a whole nother critter.

Simply standing off a foot or so with the hair dryer, and stopping when all traces of water are gone, and protecting the scales from the heat, should be okay. Anyone who is concerned about it, ought to just not use a hair dryer, and sleep easy at night.
 
Actually a blow dryer can generate a lot of heat under the right circumstances. And while the body of the blade is not particularly sensitive to heat, since there is enough steel to soak it up, the edge can overheat pretty quick. Still, to push the temper even on a very thin razor it would have to be an awfully powerful dryer held very very close. I can't see it, under normal usage. If you really try to ruin the razor with a powerful blow dryer, you could well succeed.

The scales are another matter. Horn, and most types of plastic, can be softened by the heat of the dryer, and some will shrink or warp. Hot water that you can stand to keep your hand in for more than a couple of seconds should be okay if it is not a long soak. Boiling water, all bets are off. Same with a blow dryer. Don't go there. It's not the blade that is really vulnerable, it is the scales.
If you really want to use a hair dryer to dry why not just use the fan with the heating elements turned off. Can there be any harm in that. The moving air dries between any nooks and crannies without potentially warping anything.
 
If you really want to use a hair dryer to dry why not just use the fan with the heating elements turned off. Can there be any harm in that. The moving air dries between any nooks and crannies without potentially warping anything.
Indeed. That would be the logical thing, if there were concern about damage to the razor.
 
Waving a blow dryer around would also introduce the possibility of a colliding with the edge. That probably would not happen to you, but if 100 guys tried that for 100 days in a row it seems likely.

But I do think the warning has more to do with the scales.
 
Waving a blow dryer around would also introduce the possibility of a colliding with the edge. That probably would not happen to you, but if 100 guys tried that for 100 days in a row it seems likely.

But I do think the warning has more to do with the scales.
Not sure why you would be waving a blower at the edge, always the spine... Waving it not needed, just a little direct windspeed and heat.
 
Heat from hair dryer can’t oxidize carbon steel, you need to go beyond 700 degrees for that.
Thats not what I said and I agree with you that much higher temps are needed to cause thermal oxidation. What I said was that heat causes carbon steels to oxidize more rapidly. For example, when I blue or patina steels, heat (just warming the metal) sure makes the process go more quickly. Maybe it would have been more clear if I said heat encourages oxidation.
 
Not sure why you would be waving a blower at the edge, always the spine... Waving it not needed, just a little direct windspeed and heat.
I was just thinking how it might happen if I were to use our handheld blow dryer to blow dry my straight or shavette. To dry it quickly, I would probably try to direct air along the face of the razor, maybe tilting the face at a slight angle,...holding the razor steady in one hand, holding the blow dryer with the other. But the blow dryer would not move in a perfectly flat plane, as the arm/wrist naturally moves with a slight arch, meaning the nozzle would dip a little closer and further from the razor while drying. One day when in a hurry, tired, distracted, etc a collision would probably result. But I would not try to use a blow dryer to start with.
 
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