How To Sharpen A Safety Razor? A Complete Guide
A lot has changed about shaving in the past few decades. People have shifted from the traditional method of using a straight blade to disposable ones. Then, there are electric razors. While disposable razors are a convenient and affordable option, they need to be replaced often.
As razor blades are made differently from other blades, they wear out quickly. They last shorter if you have coarse and dense hair. However, it is possible to prolong the life of a safety razor to save money and reduce the impact on the environment by having to replace them again and again.
In this guide, we see how you can sharpen the blade for your disposable and cartridge razor. The step-by-step guide aims at helping you get more shaves with the same blade.
How To Sharpen a Razor Blade?
Stropping the blade to sharpen the edges of a blade is a traditional technique. It works by realigning the thin edges of the blade by rubbing it against a piece of leather or denim. This method refines the safety razor and rectifies the tears and bends from shaving. The process removes sharp points that obstruct getting a smooth shave.
When the blade becomes dull, you can see that it is less efficient and creates painful pulling when you shave. You can have patchy hair left behind and can even experience burning after shaving. You can also feel a pinch as the blade gets caught in the hair. This is when you can use this stropping method to make your blade sharp again and save some money by increasing its life.
Step 1. Get the right stropping material
Traditionally, a piece of leather is used to strop and sharpen the razor but you can do it with old jeans or a canvas bag. Stropping the blade on the fabric can lead to deterioration over time so make sure to use an old pair. You certainly don’t want to damage your new pair of jeans.
Next, place the stropping material on a flat and sturdy surface. Clear the place so that no objects obstruct the motion of the stropping. A table, countertop or sink is a great option. The surface should also be dry and even.
Step 2. Clean the razor
Before you start sharpening the safety razor blade, prepare the razor by cleaning it with soap and water. Put some dish soap in a cup of warm water and let the razor sit inside for 15-20 minutes. You can also use the special formula designed to clean razor blades which removes hair and gunk buildup and leaves the razor clean.
Once it is cleaned, dry the razor by removing all the excess water. Use a cloth or dryer to dry it completely. Make sure there is no water left on the razor while stropping it. Remove any moisture by running it along the cloth in the direction of the blade.
Step 3. Strop the blade
Once you have prepared the razor, you can start stropping. Run it along the fabrics in quick strokes in the direction of the blade and not against it. Consider the fabric as your face and go in the upward direction rather than shaving. Repeat the stropping for at least 20 times.
You should aim at straightening out small imperfections in the blade by applying the right pressure. See that you don’t exert too much pressure and bend the entire blade. This can cause irreversible damage to the razor.
Once you have sharpened one edge, repeat the process for the other side as well. Use the same material and repeat the motion for 15-20 times again. This will make sure you have sharpened both the edges of the blade.
How Many Times You Can Strop the Razor?
Stropping your razor blade improves the longevity of the safety razor. While you can strop the razor multiple times, you will eventually reach a point when the blade will become dull and need to be replaced.
How often you strop the razor depends much on how frequently you shave, how thick and coarse your hair is and how you maintain the blade. When you find the blade feeling rough or dull even after sharpening, you can decide to discard it.
How To Maintain the Safety Razor?
Though stropping is an easy way to sharpen the safety razor, there are some ways you can make your safety razor last for a long time. Here are some of the best maintenance tips
Clean the razor after each use
The safety razor can get clogged up with shaving cream, hair and dead skin from shaving. Your skin’s natural oils can also affect the quality of your blade over time. Consider cleaning the blade every time you use it so that it stays sharp for longer.
You can use a toothbrush to scrub the razor and remove the gunk once you are done shaving. You can then rinse it under a tap to remove the dirt. Ensure that you put the razor under running water after every few strokes as you shave to keep removing the hair. This makes the blade easy to clean in the end.
Dry your razor every time after shaving
Water or moisture can make the blade susceptible to rusting and corrosion. This can make your blades dull faster. To prevent this, remember to dry the blade every time you use it. You can use a towel or dryer to remove any water or moisture from it. Make sure you exercise proper care when drying the blade. Do it carefully or you can accidentally cut your fingers.
Use a lubricant
Even if you dry the razor well, moisture from the air can damage the blade most of the time. You can use a small amount of cooking oil or mineral oil to coat the outer surface of the blade so that it is less affected by dirt and moisture which can make it dull.
This guide should help you learn how you can sharpen the safety razor to increase its life and save money. Sharpening the razor blades is quick and easy if you follow these tips and tricks. Now you can not only sharpen the blades of your disposable razor but also maintain it for a long time.