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Weight

DE shavers have an obsession about razor weight that mystifies me. Isn’t heavier razor weight an advantage in WTG shaving only, irrelevant to XTG and counterproductive when ATG?
 
Granite I get the weight distribution thing. But physics would tell us that the heavier razor will pull away from the face more than the lighter razor on the upstroke. That’s what “weight” is.
 
A heavier razor can absorb the sensation of cutting hairs, thus feeling smoother. Never knew this until a kind shaver loaned me his aluminum ATT. I felt like I we having to pull it through the hairs. But it felt very nimble.

So it just depends on what kind of feel you want.

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An interesting question. It does seem to me that mass or weight (or the combination thereof) increases the aggressiveness and the effectiveness of a safety razor.

The downside is mass and weight can be counterproductive if the shaver has a painful arthritic hand.

I also agree with the points in the original question: that weight is good on a downstroke, irrelevant on a sideways stroke, and counterproductive on an upstroke.

I'd like to hear more discussion of this question, especially from any physicists on the forum.
 
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Over time, I've come to prefer lighter razors. I find that heavier razors require more effort to maneuver. Thicker handles are also preferable to me.

The benchmark for me (and my favorite overall razor) is the Muhle R108, which weighs in at 64 grams. I have some Aristocrats that are very nice as well.
 
Granite I get the weight distribution thing. But physics would tell us that the heavier razor will pull away from the face more than the lighter razor on the upstroke. That’s what “weight” is.
Except that the razor isn't just floating in the air; you are supposed to be guiding/steering it to where you want it to be, the angle you want it to be, and the amount of pressure you want to use.

The razor doesn't (to use a Southern expression) have a dog in the hunt! It's an inanimate object. Unless it's so heavy that you can't lift it, even a heavy razor is perfectly fine for ATG passes.

Weight and balance are completely and totally subjective factors when it comes to shaving. They have no actual bearing on the shave itself except for how easy it is for the user to maintain the pressure/angle he wants and how pleasing it is for the shaver to hold and use. Physics doesn't enter into it.
 
What weight does that a lot of people miss is it stabilizes the razor. The heavier it is, the less small movements of unstable hands are translated through the razor. So you get a steadier, more stable razor regardless of the direction of your shave. Weight also makes it hard for the stubble itself to move the razor. Sometimes aluminum razors without pressure can skip when they hit hair because they are so light. It’s not that hard to get a great shave with a razor of any weight, but some heft can help.
 
Depends on the razor design and balance.

My Timeless .95OC in stainless is my heaviest razor but has great balance and I have no issues whatsoever with maneuvering.

My Super 84 and Gibbs are a little top heavy but still balance well and I think being a tad top heavy improves the shave respective to design.

My Standard Razor Aluminum is extremely light but shaves very well on all passes. I just make it a practice to not shave with a much heavier offering before the Standard in my rotation.
 
I consider myself as a heavy handed shaver ie I grasp the razor mostly high on the handle, so the questions of balance, extension and control is moot. I also prefer short handles with sharp knurling about 5/8" diameter. However, I will use light razors, such as Schick injectors and use a high on the handle grip and not experience a difficult shave.
 

Esox

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Weight also makes it hard for the stubble itself to move the razor. Sometimes aluminum razors without pressure can skip when they hit hair because they are so light.
Thanks for saying that.

Mass = inertia in that case. A lack of mass leads to a lack of inertia which in turn can lead to skipping that can be overcome by increasing pressure.

I personally find a heavier razor that has a balance point at the neck the easiest to maneuver in use with a minimum of pressure needed to keep it in contact with the skin without skipping, but its easy to adapt to either a light or heavy razor.


Is the weight of a hammer counterproductive on a ceiling?
It depends how long you're swinging it lol.
 
The only thing that matters is if the razor works for you. I love my stainless steel razors with good weight and balance but my Gillette vintages razors aren’t heavy and work great also.
 
Weight and balance are completely and totally subjective factors when it comes to shaving. They have no actual bearing on the shave itself except for how easy it is for the user to maintain the pressure/angle he wants and how pleasing it is for the shaver to hold and use. Physics doesn't enter into it.
I think that's spot on. I've seen a similar range of preferences expressed over cameras and lenses, pens and most other hand tools.

My preference is for a heavier razor with a fair chunk of that weight in the head itself, for the following reasons:
  • a bit of heft encourages me to make slower, smoother whole arm movements
  • I can feel the razor generating its own pressure during the WTG pass and that puts me in "don't press" mode for the following XTG and ATG passes
  • for whatever reason heavier implements always suggest solidity and quality to me
 
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