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How To Cork A Razor Blade – With Video

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You have found that “perfect” blade to go with your razor.  One that gives you that “baby’s butt smooth” shave every time.  Well…almost every time.

Is the very first shave with that new blade kind of…harsh?  Almost too sharp?  But then all the successive shaves are great?  A lot of people have this issue with Feather DE blades, but it can happen with any brand, really.

The answer to that problem might be to “cork” the blade.

It is as simple as running the new blade’s edge through the top corner of a bottle cork (like a wine bottle or a champagne bottle), once (and only once) on each side of the blade.  Some suggest running the blade up to three times, but start out with just once and add if necessary.

That will remove microscopic burrs that may be adhering to the blade and “dull” the edge just enough to get past that too-sharp point, without effecting the life of the blade too much.

In a pinch you could also use a Styrofoam cup edge if you don’t have a cork lying around.

(Actually some people prefer Styrofoam, believing that cork is too dense and may reduce the over-all life of the blade.)

Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you!


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

5 thoughts on “How To Cork A Razor Blade – With Video”

  1. I have another suggestion. Anyone who wants to try improving the edge of a de blade or extending its life might try this: glue a piece of denim from an old pair of jeans to a 3” x 6” strip of plywood. You now have a strop. Take your blade and stroke it (away from the direction of the cutting edge) lightly against the strop four times – once for each surface of the blade. This should polish off any burrs. I can’t promise that you will notice a difference, but then again you may. This is a better and safer technique than corking or palm stropping.

  2. This is a really terrible idea! The more time you spend handling razor blades the more likely you are to cut yourself. Does anyone really want to don protective gloves just to condition a 12 cent blade? If you really want to remove burs from a blade a better technique would be to lightly strop it against a piece of denim or even your palm. Stroping polishes an edge. Corking dulls it. I think that both are dangerous (unless you place the blade in a holder) and a waste of time. If Feather blades are too sharp for you, switch to a blade that isn’t as sharp.

    1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

      I also hand strop the blade. But isn’t that handling it as much as pulling it through a cork? And I agree it seems odd to be purposefully dulling a blade. I typically only use a blade once—or sometimes twice. The first shave off a blade is almost always the best/smoothest for me.

      But YMMV. There’s no one “right way”. If some like a sharp blade a bit dulled with a cork, then why object? Maybe they like the longevity, or feel, of a certain blade better than one that just happens to be less sharp to start.

      1. Stropping should be less risky than corking because stropping requires almost no force. You are right of course — Each to his own. But I maintain that neither method accomplishes much or anything, and that playing with razor blades is risky business.

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