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
[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.
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
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:
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
-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.
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.