Back in 2014 I wrote about a Kickstarter for an all-brass double edge razor, Hone. I was able to try one of the prototypes and it looked promising. Now the Hone razor has been in production for a while and I got one to try. The Hone “Type 15” razor is a CNC-machined, solid brass, three piece double edge (DE) razor. It looks quite “minimalist,” belying the technology behind it. How does the production razor perform?
Hone Type 15 – A “Sculpture?”
The first thing that is obvious about the Hone is it’s color. Rather than go with the typical mix of materials for a metal razor–combinations of copper, zinc, and brass with a chrome plating–this razor is all brass with the typical brass coloring…and patina if you leave it alone (more on that later).
The second is the razor’s shape. At first glance the Hone Type 15 looks like a love child from a gold-plated Merkur Futur and a Standard Razor. But there is more to it than that. I think it looks elegant and minimalist at the same time. The Hone website says the razor looks “sculpted” and I have to agree. The visual impression is that of something very…solid. Plus the fit and finish on my razor is exceptional.
The razor is also heavy, weighing in at a hefty 165 grams on my digital kitchen scale. The weight is balanced way up by the head (where I like it) and when combined with a middle-of-the-road aggressiveness in the head give it an good “feel” on the face when shaving. Although the finish looks smooth the razor actually does have a very finely textured finish, similar to the “satin” finish of some other razors. It will never be confused with a deeply textured handle but holding onto the razor has not been a big problem for me (though I can see how it might be problematic for some with large hands). Finding the correct angle for the blade edge was not particularly difficult for me. The combination of the blade gap and the head design make this a “forgiving” razor in my book, despite its weight.
Unlike the vast majority of razors being made today, the color of the Hone Type 15 razor is designed to visually wear and discolor. In computer terminology “it’s a feature, not a bug.” 🙂 Leave it alone and the mineral content of the water you’re using will react with the react with the razor’s surface, subtly changing the razor’s color and texture. Cleaning and maintaining the razor more carefully will slow down the reaction. I have been pretty “casual” with maintaining my razor and after a few months it looks like the image at the top of this article. If I used it more often the results would be more dramatic.
Whether the surface changes are desired is going to be a matter of personal preference…some will like the look, some won’t. I suspect if you like the look of antique metal surfaces (like lamps for example) you will be more drawn to the Hone Type 15. If you like the look of “pristine” surfaces then you may have to pay more attention to drying and maintaining the razor more carefully.
But as a shaving instrument the Hone Type 15 is a very heavy, sturdy, well-built razor that’s not too aggressive and should provide many years of service.