The Copper Safety Razor

We only make our razors in small batches...our copper collection is no exception, infact we can't make many at a time. We use C110 copper grade, this grade is 99.9 pure copper. A number of these were released...we did 2 releases in addition to a few custom pieces for our customers. The first release was in the summer of 2021, we named them after the NATO phonetic alphabet, we named them Cx-Alfa, Cx-Bravo through Cx-Zulu.

Prior to 1956 and during World War 2 every Allied military branch had its own words to clearly communicate a letter over the radio. We named our 2nd drop after some of these words, including Cx-Ack, Cx-Easy, Cx-London...we can’t make many of these copper Cx models at a time and can only release them in very small runs.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet names of Cx Copper single adge safety razor for shaving 1956 NATO phonetic alphabet

 

Some of the earliest wet shaving blades, cutthroat razors (straight razors), knives, and axes were made from copper. The earliest use of copper has been found in the old copper cultures of native Americans within the Great Lakes region of North America (10,000 BC). Copper is one of the few metals that occurs naturally as a metal in nature. As a result, it was likely gathered in solid form and cold worked prior to smelting. The word copper comes from the island of Cyprus where it was mined in ancient Greece.

Copper is a high conductor of heat, soft, and is recognized for its antibacterial properties. It is a red/orange color when polished, it is considered a trace element and is essential to life. Copper is heavier than stainless steel by just over 10% and our Cx copper is the heaviest of all the Cx single edge safety razors we have offered. Copper is also a high heat conductor (20 times over Stainless Steel Safety Razors), when in the shower the contact with hot water will be a heat sink as it glides over your face.

Copper Cx single edge safety razor for irritation free shaving

What makes copper unique is the patina that develops over time. It is what is considered a “living” metal because it will develop an evolving patina in an effort to prevent its corrosion. This chemical transformation will happen as a result of its environment. It will continue to evolve for years and even decades.

Copper patina on tea potCopper patina that has been applied on a tea pot


A patina is a form of corrosion that develops on the surface of the metal. It can be thought of as any aging or discoloration of the surface, and can come in many varying colors, however green is the most stable. The patina is what is considered a cuprite or copper oxide...this patina generally starts as a brown and ultimately turns black depending on the environment. In a coastal area, the salt air adds chlorides to the patina…copper is found in numerous compounds and minerals giving them vibrant colors. Turquoise is a good example of a colorful mineral that is high in copper levels.

Blue and green turquoise rock with high copper levelsAztec turquoise stone mask with blue and green turquoise


Later the brown and black color will develop a green or bluish color as the layers form on the initial patina...this can take years or even decades to develop and will be impacted by the environment and the frequency of use in the case of a DE safety razor. Copper can form many compounds found naturally on earth, often these colors are red, blue, green, and black. Verdigris is a term used for the bluish, green patina that forms on copper...see Statute of Liberty! This coating can happen naturally or be applied. As early as the middle ages, this verdigris has been applied on copper plates to create the green color.

Copper patina on statute of liberty with salt air


The rate of corrosion decreases with time as copper grows its patina...some jewelers will coat their copper surfaces with wax or lacquer to preserve a patina but these will not last and will eventually wear off, especially where warm water is used frequently as in shaving.

Copper has been used to line the hull of boats to protect from marine growth. It is also known for its antibacterial properties or “contact killing”.

“...copper has recently been registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first solid antimicrobial material.”
Source: NCBI


As mentioned the added weight of the copper Cx shaver adds a unique feel to the shave, very little added pressure is needed as a result. I am not able to quantify this but the copper, unlike the polished surface of a stainless steel safety razor or a Titanium razor exhibits more drag. Copper tends to have additional drag across the face adding to its feel on the face. I have also heard this from the Cx-Copper owners.

Cx-Cu Copper single edge safety razor for no ingrown hair shave


Your copper piece is easy to maintain if you enjoy the patina. It is a lot of work if you enjoy a polished surface. A soft scrub using dish soap and a soft toothbrush followed up by soaking in alcohol is enough to keep your copper Cx clean with a patina. For polishing, soak the Cx-Copper in vinegar or lemon juice to shine the knurling and hard-to-reach areas for 10 minutes, follow up with a very fine or mild polishing compound, we suggest Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths or Simichrome polish with a very soft towel.

Natural copper patina on Carbon shaving co single edge safety razor Natural patina on copper after 1 year - Photo/Instagram: @agravic1331


We only make a few copper pieces per year primarily because we use dedicated polishing tools for finishing the material. It requires numerous steps to get to a high polish finish...each piece is hand polished. They will begin to patina immediately and will patina different depending on the environment, use and age.

We don’t have a date for our next copper pieces but here is the link if you want to sign up to be notified. No timing yet, we can't make many of these but feel free to contact us if you are looking to get one.

 

Misc. At CarbonShavingCo notes: Wet shaving is a bit of an art form. It is personal to your skin type, which dictates the type of soap and shaving brush you will be using. Opting between a straight razor or safety razor (disposable razors won't be the best of experiences at all). Use of some hot water to open up your pores and soften the facial hair is a good thing. When it comes to skin conditions, such as sensitive skin, dry skin, razor bumps, and at times hair growth in multiple directions extra care and consideration must be taken to avoid razor burn caused by dry shaving, lack of lubrication, wrong direction, etc. At CarbonShavingCo, the construction of our razors aims to be bacteria-free as much as possible to help avoid allergic reactions by being polished with easy to clean surface, the design maximizes the flow of debris, the pinch design reduces gaps for collection of debris and germs, we aim to help people with sensitive skin and prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs. and irritation caused by shaving. We believe that wet shaving is the best approach with a good shaving soap as opposed to using men's disposable razors. Keeping your gear clean is so important if you are sensitive. Join the community of wet shavers today to learn more so you can enjoy your personal spa experience.

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