Thursday, November 20, 2014

Now With Measurements: Lord L.6 Vs. Merkur 33 Redux

A short while ago I looked at and compared the respective razor-head designs of the Lord LP1822L DE razors, also known as the L.6 or just the L6, and the Merkur 33C Classic razor.

Now with my newly-acquired micrometer, I can add some quantitative data to supplement my earlier qualitative analyses.

In the photos below, point A is the orange dot that highlights the edge of the blade. Distance A-D represents the blade reveal. For the Lord razor, distance A-C gives the illusion of a smaller blade-bar gap due to the design of the baseplate cross section, but as the shave-plane line shows, actually distance A-B represents the blade-bar gap in both razors.

For emphasis in this article, the dimensions are preceded by a tilde (~) to indicate that they are approximate -- in the ballpark, but hardly accurate to the nearest hundredth of a millimeter. This is because in any given razor dimension there are usually not two hard points against which I can snug up the micrometer as one would when measuring the outside diameter of a rod or the inside diameter of a pipe. Even the blade angles are approximate because those measurements depend on photos, which may not be perfect side views of the blade, thus affecting the appearance of the blade angle.

Merkur 33C razor head
Lord LP1822L (L6) razor head
Below is a table comparing some design-aspect dimensions of both razors

                                            Blade Angle     Blade Gap     Blade Reveal    Blade Exposure
Lord LP1822L (L.6)              ~30 deg         ~2.1 mm (A-B)      ~1.3 mm       Slightly Negative
 Merkur 33C                         ~30 deg            ~1.3 mm           ~1.3 mm            Negative

So comparing relevant measurements:
  • Both razors have approximately the same blade angle.
  • Both razors have about the same blade reveal. 
  • The 33 has a more negative, that is, more mild, blade exposure.
  • The LP1822L has a larger blade gap (A-B), although its actual blade gap (A-B) isn't quite as large as it may seem -- another potential illusion. The way to roughly judge this is to use the blade exposure as a rough gauge. Using dividers on the hard copy photos, they reveal that the Merkur blade gap is about equal to its blade reveal. The Lord actual blade gap is about 1.5 times the length of its blade reveal. So since the blade reveals of the razors measure about the same, the actual blade gap of the Lord razor is about 50% larger than the gap on the Merkur.
So this further explains the difference in the shave characters of these two razors. The larger blade gap and closer-to-neutral blade exposure of the LP1822L creates a more aggressive shaving character in this razor, offering a closer but riskier shave as compared to the Merkur 33.

Happy shaving!

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