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Zamac heads

I've seen people on here that say zamac heads only last about 8 years but im waiting on my birthday razor which is an 1964 tech which I believe has a zamac top cap. Could this be down to how often it was used or how well it was cared for. I clean my razors thoroughly after each shave but im now wondering should I just shave with my tech on special occasions or would it be ok to use more often. Any help would be much appreciated as I'm new to wet shaving and don't have a clue whats the best for my razor. Thanks in advance for anyone who can help me
 
Forgive me a Stoopid Question, but is there different "quality levels" of Zamac? Or does it all come down to the outer coating integrity?

I'm afraid I may outlive my 1962 Tech, thereby lowering the value of my estate for my heirs...
ZAMAC (ZAMAK - "K" = "kupfer" in German) is actually an alloy of Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium and Copper (get it? - Z-A-M-A-C (K), along with small percentages of other metals like lead, tin, nickel and iron. It does come in different grades (generally 1-15) representing different mixtures of these alloys and having different physical properties. The most common commercial grade is Z3, used in automotive parts, zippers and appliances. Razor manufacturers' use of ZAMAK is proprietary, but commonly used grades are 7 and 12. ZAMAK is usually "die cast," meaning melted and poured into a mold, and different grades have different hardness, platability, ductility, castabilty (accuracy), etc.

Zinc (usually about 90+ percent of a ZAMAK alloy) is actually fairly corrosion-resistant, easily forming an oxide layer that protects the metal underneath (steel is commonly "galvanized" - coated with Zinc - to protect the thin steel underneath). The common weakness in all ZAMAK alloys is, however, the Zinc, and the associated metallurgical phenomenon known as zinc pest or rot, where impurities in the alloy with exposure to corrosive elements like water, acid, or caustic chemicals (think soap) cause the Zinc to undergo a type of corrosion that eventually progressively disintegrates the metal. To counteract this, most ZAMAK parts are hard-coated with another metal (commonly Chrome), which effectively seals up the die cast alloy from external elements. Once the seal is breached (as in cracked plating), the elements get in and eventually destroy the integrity of the alloy. This commonly occurs at stress points in a razor head, like the threaded post attachment, so some manufacturers use a different metal (like brass) for the post on a ZAMAK cap. ZAMAK of itself is not a poor construction material, and with proper manufacturing and care can last as long as many other materials, and in fact is used extensively in industry, but does require consideration of its limitations in design and use.
 
Forgive me a Stoopid Question, but is there different "quality levels" of Zamac? Or does it all come down to the outer coating integrity?

I'm afraid I may outlive my 1962 Tech, thereby lowering the value of my estate
I thought that Tech's were made of plated brass, not Zamac --

. . . I was wrong ?

. Charles
Apparently from what I was told on another thread it was only on or after 1963 that gillette changed the materials on the top caps
 
ZAMAC (ZAMAK - "K" = "kupfer" in German) is actually an alloy of Zinc, Aluminum, Magnesium and Copper (get it? - Z-A-M-A-C (K), along with small percentages of other metals like lead, tin, nickel and iron. It does come in different grades (generally 1-15) representing different mixtures of these alloys and having different physical properties. The most common commercial grade is Z3, used in automotive parts, zippers and appliances. Razor manufacturers' use of ZAMAK is proprietary, but commonly used grades are 7 and 12. ZAMAK is usually "die cast," meaning melted and poured into a mold, and different grades have different hardness, platability, ductility, castabilty (accuracy), etc.

Zinc (usually about 90+ percent of a ZAMAK alloy) is actually fairly corrosion-resistant, easily forming an oxide layer that protects the metal underneath (steel is commonly "galvanized" - coated with Zinc - to protect the thin steel underneath). The common weakness in all ZAMAK alloys is, however, the Zinc, and the associated metallurgical phenomenon known as zinc pest or rot, where impurities in the alloy with exposure to corrosive elements like water, acid, or caustic chemicals (think soap) cause the Zinc to undergo a type of corrosion that eventually progressively disintegrates the metal. To counteract this, most ZAMAK parts are hard-coated with another metal (commonly Chrome), which effectively seals up the die cast alloy from external elements. Once the seal is breached (as in cracked plating), the elements get in and eventually destroy the integrity of the alloy. This commonly occurs at stress points in a razor head, like the threaded post attachment, so some manufacturers use a different metal (like brass) for the post on a ZAMAK cap. ZAMAK of itself is not a poor construction material, and with proper manufacturing and care can last as long as many other materials, and in fact is used extensively in industry, but does require consideration of its limitations in design and use.
Thank you so much for the detailed reply sir
 
Nothing wrong with Zamac as long as you wash & dry the Zamac parts, as mentioned if the coating is still intact no problem. That is the how they can manufacture razors cheaper and more available for price point that a lot of folks seek. I have a few Zamack head razors and they perform very well with no issues after 4 years.
 

garyg

B&B membership has its percs
I had a Merkur maybe 10-15 years back that I bought used which snapped at the point the screw attached to the head. I've a couple other Merkurs with no problems, but they don't get used alot. They probably will outlast me - but if I wanted a solid razor to pass down it wouldn't be zamak
 
Zamak isn't as fragile and as bad as some people think it is and with proper care can last a very long time. My personal issue is that most zamak razors don't have the same precision and tight tolerance like razors made from brass, stainless steel and other types have. Zamak heads are made in molds while for instance brass and stainless steel are either made by CNC, MIM or 3D printed and the quality is more consistent and much, much better.

Also, more and more non zamak modern razors have become more affordable with prices very close and in some cases even cheaper compared to zamak razors and it's very obvious for people to choose the better material.

The shavers didn't had much of a choice 10-15+ years ago if they wanted to try modern razors, since most of them were made from zamak and very few like ATT, Weber, Fatip etc. were made out of other metals. Nowadays using a stainless steel, brass, copper or even titanium razor is no longer considered luxurious like it used to be in the past.

The only two zamak razors that I have left in my collection are the Yaqi AC and a Merkur Progress. I've got the Progress fairly cheap and since I like how it shaves, I don't think i'm going to sell it and I have to get some AC blades for the Yaqi to try it out at some point.
 
Thanks to all you gentlemen for your replies and advice. I'll use this razor a lot less than my others for 2 good reasons
1. This is my birthday razor
2. This is my first vintage razor
So this razor will have a special place for me as for it being my first vintage razor I've a funny feeling it won't be my last ;)
 
No, @Dave himself , it probably won't be your last....

I doubt that I'll ever have a "last" vintage Gillette.... THAT is one area I am almost as weak in as I am in aftershaves!

The funny thing with the vintage razors (especially Gillette's) is that no matter how many of them you've tried, there's always a specific model made in another country that is slightly different and of course, you have to try it to see what's that tiny difference.
 
No, @Dave himself , it probably won't be your last....

I doubt that I'll ever have a "last" vintage Gillette.... THAT is one area I am almost as weak in as I am in aftershaves!
The funny thing with the vintage razors (especially Gillette's) is that no matter how many of them you've tried, there's always a specific model made in another country that is slightly different and of course, you have to try it to see what's that tiny difference.
I'm already looking at slim adjustables how many rabbit holes are there around this place 🤔 I keep falling down one everywhere i turn. Guess I fell for the old OH START WET SHAVING IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY. Now I'm gonna end up like most of you fine gentlemen around here with enough razors,blades,soaps,aftershaves etc,etc,etc to last a few generations. I'm so glad I found B&B i love this place 😍
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
I'm already looking at slim adjustables how many rabbit holes are there around this place 🤔 I keep falling down one everywhere i turn. Guess I fell for the old OH START WET SHAVING IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY. Now I'm gonna end up like most of you fine gentlemen around here with enough razors,blades,soaps,aftershaves etc,etc,etc to last a few generations. I'm so glad I found B&B i love this place 😍
I just tell my wife, "B and B is cheaper than therapy."

She knows it's true!
 
I'm already looking at slim adjustables how many rabbit holes are there around this place 🤔 I keep falling down one everywhere i turn. Guess I fell for the old OH START WET SHAVING IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY. Now I'm gonna end up like most of you fine gentlemen around here with enough razors,blades,soaps,aftershaves etc,etc,etc to last a few generations. I'm so glad I found B&B i love this place 😍

I suggest you to start with the most common and more popular models like the different Techs, Old types, Super Speeds/Rockets, NEWs and adjustables and then after a few more years you can try the Aristocrats series both from US and England or perhaps a Toggle?
 
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