Friday, November 14, 2014

My Caliper Micrometer for Taking Razor Measurements

Tired of trying to eyeball blade-bar gaps on razors and unable to be the least bit precise in discussing aspects of razor design such as blade reveal, I finally broke down and purchased a little digital micrometer for measuring aspects of razor-head design.

This is my new digital caliper micrometer for better assessing razor-head-
design aspects to better understand razors' shaving characteristics.
After taking some initial measurements, I can say that this activity is as much art as science because, even with precise measuring tools such as this micrometer, it is very difficult to be totally precise. This is due to the various dips and curves of the razor head as well as even just the smallness of the areas being measured. For example, to measure the blade gap, it is easy to get the caliper blade against the edge of a (used-up) razor blade, which is indicated by point A in the example razor-head close up below. But finding the precise point B is a challenge -- very difficult to measure to the hundredth of a millimeter.
An example razor-head close-photo. Points A-B determine the blade gap,
but it's difficult to determine the exact location of point B.

In other words, measuring a blade gap or reveal is not the same as measuring the outside diameter of a rod or the inside diameter of a pipe, where one can snug the caliper blades tight against the dimension-defining surfaces. The razor measurements are much more subjective as to where the start or end points of the measurement actually lie. So these measurements should be considered estimates, not precise dimensions.

However, despite the lack of absolute precision, measurements with this device will be in the ballpark and can begin to quantify for comparison some of the design characteristics that have been previously discussed only in qualitative terms. The new data may be approximate, but now we have some numbers to discuss.

I'll be including new data in upcoming posts so we all can get a better grasp on razor design and the process of matching razor and blade to our own beards.

Happy shaving!

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