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Proof Razor Review – An Updated Design And Another Shot In The “Cartridge Killer” War

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proof razor presentation

Proof razors recently launched an updated version of their original “High Proof” razor that uses half double edge blades and a front-facing head pivot. I recently picked up a new Proof razor to put through its paces and compare it to the previous version.

My Experience With The New Proof Razor

proof razor in stand

[Note: I purchased my Proof razor. Highproofrazor.com links are not affiliate. The opinions below are mine and have not been reviewed or approved by Proof.]

Using the new Proof razor has been a study in contrasts for me. On the one hand I think they’ve taken a step backward with some design elements. On the other hand I think the shave with the new razor is better than what I got with the old razor.

Presentation

Packaging of the new razor is not quite as elegant as the original model back in 2022. Instead of a cut foam insert the new packaging is smaller and filled with strips of cardboard packing, with the razor in a nice fabric bag. This was no doubt a cost-cutting measure. The overall look is still attractive though, and I think would make a nice gift presentation.

A small magnetic razor stand is also included.

Design And Construction

proof razor comparison old and new

The look of the new Proof razor is reminiscent of the original razor, though slightly heavier (30 grams vs. 21 grams) and longer (10.5 cm vs. 9.5 cm…head adds 2cm) by my kitchen scale (I did not see specs on the Proof website). The new razor’s material is aluminum, as was the original razor.

I think the most significant design changes with the new razor are in the head:

proof razor head comparison
  • The top cap is now ridged, similar to self lubricating open comb razors, though the ridges are much less dramatic. This design is supposed to reduce friction of the razor on the skin.
  • The pivot action is now based on a spring, vs. the opposable magnets of the original razor. Personally I am a little concerned about the long-term durability of the exposed spring, but of course only time and use will tell.
proof razor pivot comparison

There is a magnetic assist in the pivot base to facilitate blade loading (the original version had this feature too) and securing the razor’s top cap. According to the Proof website the magnets are stronger in this area.

Speaking of blades, the Proof razor can accept double edge (DE) razor blades snapped in half, or pre-cut blades. Some razors that use half DE blades can only use one or the other.

The Shave

proof razor closeup

For my shaves I did not use either the included Derby Premium blades (which were in a small envelope marked “mild”) or the unbranded blades (in an unmarked black envelope which I assume were more aggressive) but rather my “go-to” blade, a Parker DE blade snapped in half (this is not a knock on Derby, I just prefer the Parker. Your Mileage May Vary). Blade loading was reasonably simple and secure, given the small size of half-DE blades.

The additional weight and length of the new Proof razor is appreciated and makes it feel more secure in my hand compared to the original razor. I still prefer a heavier and more knurled razor but the new Proof is certainly acceptable to me.

I think the new Proof razor is slightly less aggressive than the original razor: if the original is a “5” on a 1-10 scale I would say the new razor is about a “4.5.” I think there is a bit less blade-feel and general feedback as well.

I noticed the razor track is not quite as clean as other razors: it can leave just a bit of visual residue on the skin, particularly if I’m rocking a heavier, multi-day stubble, compared to a DE razor leaving nothing behind the shave stroke. Thinning out my lather just a bit usually takes care of that, though.

Rinsing and water flow-through are good.

The pivot strength of the new razor is noticeably less than the original razor to me. That is, it requires less pressure to get the pivot to engage with the spring compared to the opposing magnets of the original razor. The new Proof razor feels more like a modern cartridge razor in this respect–I can be a little sloppy with my shave technique without worrying too much about drawing blood.

However the looser pivot strength makes “riding the head” or “riding the guard” a little more difficult for the shave enthusiast. The razor’s head design makes getting into the tight area under my nose a bit of a challenge. Generally though the Proof razor’s pivot gives me a close, consistent shave!

Background

From the Proof website:

Proof Razor started out as a passion project for David Ellig, a razor that he personally wanted to make, own and use. David figured he’d live a long and happy life only ever producing a handful of these things.

The way David prototyped it is just as interesting as the innovative design. David has spent the past few years helping develop an automated robotic CNC manufacturing cell. In layman’s terms, this machine helps small businesses rapidly prototype and produce machined parts, even at small batch quantities. It’s so fast to try stuff out that David made the parts effectively production ready off the bat.

David made a couple for some friends, and one of those friends is Andy Auble, who figured the world could use more than just a couple of these things.

We want to use this platform to show that it’s possible for two guys in a garage in the middle of nowhere Montana to make a globally relevant product. Manufactured using cutting edge robotic automation thats designed to make it possible for more people to see the potential for the future and start their own businesses.

Description

-What’s new and different?-

  • Magnetic Mastery: Upgraded with even stronger magnets for a secure blade fit every time.
  • Extended Grip: A longer handle designed for that perfect balance and ease of use.
  • Hefty & Solid: Experience the premium, weighted feel with our solid handle.
  • Flow-through Design: Bigger slots at the back, ensuring hairs glide right through without clogging.
  • Smooth Operator: A new ridged cap design to minimize friction and give you a smoother shave.

Summing Up

The new Proof razor joins a few other single blade razors aimed squarely at the cartridge razor consumer looking to get out of the “walled garden” of patented multi-blade cartridge designs and willing to pay a bit more for it in the short term, knowing that blade cost is the long-term benefit.

Author

Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

14 thoughts on “Proof Razor Review – An Updated Design And Another Shot In The “Cartridge Killer” War”

  1. I bought this razor in early February, so I’ll add my review here:
    Background – I’m 42 and have a soft beard. I learned ‘wet shaving’ during the pandemic on a Rockwell 6S, and prefer Plate 2 with that razor. My hands are a recent trouble point for me, and the weight of that heavy stainless razor has been an issue for me. I bought this razor looking for something both good and light weight to help solve that problem. It was this or Henson Al13 on my short list, and I decided to try this one first. I’ve had it now for 2 weeks and think that’s enough time for a full review post.

    I think the shave is great. I think the blade feel is pretty comparable to Plate 3 on my Rockwell. The spring-loaded head makes it easier for me to put up with this feel because it’s more consistent and less prone to nicks than the traditional rigid DE design. Overall, this is what I was looking for in making this change, so this razor is a keeper.

    I agree with the article that the under-nose shave is a little more challenging with this design. Being completely flat above the blade edge makes it harder to get the razor tight to my nose.
    I disagree with the article statement on the ‘good flow-through’. The area in the center 1/3 of the blade is completely blocked from behind by the pivot mechanism, and doesn’t always rinse clean. Maybe I should take shorter strokes? It’s not functionally bad, but it’s not good flow either. I can see how this may have been an issue on the first version, and I think there’s still room for improvement on this design.
    One correction on the article above that’s not a complaint – the stand is not magnetic, and the handle has no magnets to interact with it. It’s just a shaped piece of aluminum with a sticky pad on the back that can attach to your bathroom mirror, or sit on the countertop. It works well in either setup.

    1. As a long time traditional shaver, I generally have a negative opinion of pivoting razor heads. Where is the art of shaving in that? If someone needs that, just stay with cartridge razors.

      1. I disagree.

        The (High) Proof razor has similar benefits to other safety razors and for those reasons is far better than cartridge razor.

        If some people like pivoting heads, what’s wrong with that (YMMV).

        I use mine only for head shaving and it’s excellent for that purpose. And for head shaving, a pivoting head is very useful and (imo) in that respect better than non-pivoting DE razors.

        Using a cartridge razor for head shaving gives me razor bumps btw.

        In short, each to his or her own.

          1. Thank you!

            Btw, I face shave with the Rockwell 6c (6 plate), the Razorock Lupo, and the Design 94 Aviation aluminium razors.

  2. I bought the high proof razor recently and had a couple of shaves with it including a head shave and I must say it the beast razor I have shaved up to date, I have most of the high end razors feather, twig three blade and the single blade one, Rex razor and many others but this is the one for me, my only complaint is that it isn’t stainless steel.

  3. ich habe den Rasierer jetzt seit 4-5 Wochen. Ich bin absolut begeistert von der Rasur. Ich verwende überwiegend Volkshot Rasierklingen. Die Funktionen bei mir am besten . Sie bescheren mir eine sehr saubere und glatte Rasur, ohne Hautreizung. Auch sind sie sehr langlebig.
    Einen kleinen Kritikpunkt hätte ich doch noch. Er könnte etwas schwerer sein. Meine bisherige Rasierhobel wiegen zwischen 80-140 g da ist 21 g ungewohnt leicht.
    Grüße aus Deutschland 🇩🇪

    1. Wenn Du in einem englischsprachigen Forum schreibst, wäre Englisch vielleicht eine gute Sprache. So verstehen dich die Wenigsten.

  4. I am on the fence about this one. I love the OneBlade Hybrid that I have, but I hate the cost of the blades.

    I am about convenience, so having to snap your blades in half sounds like I am not cut out for that (yes, I went for the obvious pun)

    So I guess I will take a plunge and worst case: I have to return it when I don’t get along with it?

    1. I agree about the high cost of the proprietary OneBlade blades.

      It’s actually very easy to snap DE blades in half and takes only a second or two – but you have to do it with the wrapper on.

      You can buy half DE blades, but there doesn’t seem to be much as it’s so easy and cheaper to do it yourself.

      And unlike the OneBlade hybrid, you can choose whatever DE blade works best for you.

      I use Nacets, as they are sharp and (for me) smooth.

      The High Proof in my experience is also the easiest and quickest razor for loading blades.

      I hope this helps.

      1. The question is more, can I justify spending money on yet another razor?
        I guess for now I have to use up all the blades I have. 😉 I still have Defender cartridges (inexpensive, work great for the dome), a ton of OneBlade blades (best, but quite expensive shave) and a few Supply SE injector blades (this did not really work for me, but I am too cheap to throw them out)

        1. I’m with you on the not throwing out blades. Waste not, want not, as they say.

          The High Proof is very expensive.

          On the other hand, DE blades are very cheap, so over the medium term the extra cost of the High Proof is outweighed by the saving on blades.

          I buy Nacet blades in packs of 100, which cost £7.80 plus postage, which works out at 8 pence per blade (or 1 pence including postage).

          For comparison, a pack of 4 Gillette Sensitive Guard cartridge blades costs £13 (£3.25 per cartridge).

          If my math is correct, I can get 41 Nacet blades for the price of one cartridge a bid saving.

          That said, buying any new razor is a gamble.

          If you can borrow someone else’s High Proof that would take away the gamble.

  5. Many thanks for this excellent review of the High Proof razor.

    I’ve ordered one and am looking forward to trying it out.

    It mainly interests me as a head shaver, though I will also see what it’s like for shaving my beard.

    The OneBlade razor doesn’t work for me because I find the FHS Feather blade too harsh. It’s such a pity it’s possible to use only one blade with it, not least because the razor itself is very nice.

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