Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Aesthetics of Razor-Handle Combinations

Many users of three-piece double-edge razors use a non-original-equipment handle with their razor head for reasons of heft, balance, length, girth, grip or some combination of those characteristics.

I am on record as not caring much about weight or balance, the importance of which in the minds of others I tend to attribute to a lack of awareness of true razor-design characteristics that actually matter in determining the quality of a shave. (I could be mistaken, however, in that attribution; but that is still what I tend to believe.)

My current razor drawer: I like both the tidiness of it
and the variety in color and visual textures.

I choose my handles only on the basis of their grippiness in wet, soapy fingers and one other, as-yet-unnamed characteristic: aesthetic appeal.

I have to admit a certain affinity for the drama of contrasting intensities of color; I really like combinations such as black and tan, dark brown and beige, navy-blue suits with brown belt and shoes (a classic combination rapidly disappearing from public awareness) and, as it turns out, gold and chrome razors. Since I acquired my first vintage, gold-toned Gillette Tech razor (I own two) and began using its handle on my chrome-plated razor heads, I found that combination strangely appealing. So for no other reason than that I think it looks good, I will combine, as my whim dictates, a chrome-plated razor head with the gold-toned handle of the vintage Tech. I will also on occasion combine the gold-toned Tech razor head with the classic, knurled, chrome-plated handle of the Merkur 33C or 15C or, less frequently, with the chrome-and-black handle from the Maggard MR3B razor.

One of my favorite combinations: a chromed razor head on a gold-toned handle.
This open comb is the Merkur 15C and the handle is from a Gillette Tech c.1948.

This one goes the other way: the gold-toned
Tech head on a classic-sized Merkur handle.

Another visually-interesting combination is the lithe Tech head on
the massive, heavy, chrome-and-black Maggard MR3B handle.

Happy shaving!

1 comment:

  1. Knurl and line details determine my matches. The crudely cast Rimei handle, for example, blends with the texture of a Cadet open comb guard. Can't stand mixed metals, unless one of them is aluminum, or something has shone through from wear. Even nickel and chrome is a no- no.