Why are Safety Razors Made with Titanium?
Titanium was named after the Titans of Greek mythology. The element was discovered in Great Britain in the late 1700. Titanium has 2 key properties that make it great for a safety razor for a number of reasons including:
It is extremely corrosion resistant, almost as much as platinum
We use Titanium wire to dip our Stainless Steel Damascus in Muratic and Ferric acid during etching. It is frequently used in the military applications in hostile environments
It has one of the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal.
It weighs about ½ the weight of stainless steel.It is often used in airplanes for this reason.
It is a relatively inert metal
For this reason you often see a special grade of Titanium used in the medical industry.
The material is extremely hard making it dent resistant.
Also a benefit to the military as it is often used to bullet proof aircraft. It is machined very slowly and with a special coolant due to its hardness and combustibility(Yes the chips will catch fire during machining!)
It is very abundant on the earths’ surface however mining it can be expensive depending on the ore.
Greek Spartan Soldier
Most razors in the market use a grade 5 Titanium also called 6AL 4V. Grade 5 Titanium is a Titanium alloy containing 6% Aluminum and 4% Vanadium...grade 2 Titanium is the purest (99%). Grade 5 is significantly stronger. Despite Titaniums’ strength its biggest downside in a knife or cutthroat straight razor is it does not hold an edge as well as carbon steel. Titanium is extremely attractive with divers and the US Navy because of its extreme corrosion resistance, lightweight and it is non-magnetic. It does require a lot of sharpening. What makes a blade hard is the ability to form carbon bonds with the metal. Titanium doesn’t lend itself to this bonding as a result it is not as hard as some heat-treated steels. Most cut throat razors or straight razors are made from carbon steel.
Cx-Titan safety razor(Limited Edition)
Machining A Titanium Safety Razor
This material is used extensively in the aerospace industry and military industries, the Russians were the first to use it extensively in military applications however by the 1950’s it was used in high performance jets including the SR-71 Blackbird made by Lockheed in the 60’s. The material is also very inert and bio-compatible which makes it commonly used in the medical industry as implants. Machining Titanium is difficult and slow, special equipment and coolant is required to machine the material. The speed of machining Titanium is slower than Stainless Steel. The material price for Titanium is also significantly more than Stainless Steel. What makes this material particularly dangerous to machine is the chips can catch fire very easily, hence one of the importance of using a special coolant.
The famous titanium cockpit of the A10 Warthog
As with machining Titanium, polishing is also more difficult and requires more steps and more time to reach the same finish as our 316L Cx Razors. The material as mentioned is extremely hard...the finish on titanium is a more of a metallic white when compared to Stainless Steel...it explains why Titanium is used to make intensely white color pigments in paints and coatings.
The web plates further reduce weight of our titanium safety razor
Shaving With a Titanium Razor
The shave of our Cx-Ti models are very unique, what makes the most magical characteristics of a Titanium shave is the lightweight of the razor. We have periodically offered Carbon fiber and Titanium razors with a weight of 31 grams...this is about a 1/3 the weight of our Stainless Steel version, the Cx-316L. The feel or slickness on the face is similar to Stainless Steel however the lightweight gives you a more “gentle shave” and allows you to control the pressure. If you have sensitive skin a Titanium Cx will be much softer on your face using just the weight of the razor. We also offer 4 different plate levels in this material depending on your preference ranging from a mild to a more efficient shave.
We most recently added a DLC (Diamond-like Carbon) coating to our Cx Titanium line. Carbon is a unique element, what makes carbon unique is the way it is able to bind with itself in numerous unique ways, for example Graphite (Carbon) is one of the slickest surfaces yet Diamonds (Carbon) are also one of the hardest materials.
We use a TaC graphite based diamond coating on our single edge Titanium safety razor, the Cx-Graphite. This coating is considered the purest form of the Diamond-like Carbon coatings and is used extensively in the space and car industries. If it is good enough for a F1 or a NASCAR crankshaft to reduce friction and add slickness then it is good enough for our Cx DE safety razors. Luxury watch makers use this on their high-end models to reduce scratches on the surface. By applying the DLC coating we add the unique qualities of the element Carbon to the Titanium surface making it hard and slick! We couldn’t find anything to make our razor surface harder or slicker.
Cx-Graphite with R3 Carbon Fiber Handle - DLC coating on Titanium
At carbon shaving Co. we only use USA sourced titanium, we machine and finish our titanium in Minneapolis Minnesota. Contact us if you have any questions or just want to talk about shaving....