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Wet Shaving Talk For 24 May 2024

  • Joe 
Sharpologist Wet Shaving Podcast Network
Sharpologist Wet Shaving Podcast Network
Wet Shaving Talk For 24 May 2024

You’re listening to Wet Shaving Talk powered by where we’re dedicated to preserving the art and skill of classic shaving. I’m your host Joe Borrelli and today is May 24th,2024.


Today on the Show:

May Is Single Edge Razor Month !!

Auto Strop Razors and How They Work

Injector Razors: Schick was a Major Competitor

Modern Artist Club Style Razors 

May Is Dedication to Single Edge Safety Razors 


Valet Auto Strop Razor

Personally I love Auto strop razors.  I think the design and stropping system is unique and fun to use. Auto strop razors were only produced for about 40 years or until the 1940’s but still have their place in the wet shaving hobby.  With about 10 models or so these razors were designed to use disposable blades that could be stropped inside the actual mechanism, thus prolonging blade life. 

The older models take a despined Gem blade and the newer models take the Feather FHS-10 blades, so they still can be used.  Personally I have a VC1 and VC4 in my collection and love using them. 

______________________________________________________________________________Injector Razors 

Injector razors were actually quite popular and were considered a competitor to Gillette’s Double Edge razors.  Although never surpassing Gillette in sales, there were alot of men who preferred the Schick injector so much that Gillette made attempts to create their own version which didn’t work out.

Although there is quite a store behind the Schick injector, it debuted in the 1920’s and was in production until 2001 when the model “O” was discontinued. 

Schick still produces an injector for veterinarians. It uses the same injector blades, but the razor lacks a guard bar so I wouldn’t try it.  Schick still makes blades which are readily available online and in some stores ( I found some in a drug store locally ) There are many homages to this razor, which will be discussed in the modern razor segment. 

______________________________________________________________________________Modern Artist Club Razor  

The modern Artist Club Style razor was extremely popular from 2014-2018, and still relevant for today.  These razors take the larger Professional Blades that were designed for hair shapers and shavettes alike. 

The Cobra Razor as seen in the image is the first of this design, and several others have emerged such as the Mongoose and Colonel.  These razors shave great and are fun to collect. 


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Special Thanks to:

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Most of All……….YOU!!!!

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Next Show: 6/3/24

Until then… Shave Straight and Shave Safe!! 

Please check out my book: “The Modern Guide to Straight Razor Shaving”

Transcript (Machine-Generated)

You’re listening to Wet Shaving Talk, powered by Sharpologist dot com, where we’re dedicated to preserving the art and skill of classic shaving. I’m your host, Joe Borrelli. And today is May 24th, 2024.

Hey, guys. Welcome back to the podcast. Uh, first and foremost, I have to formally apologize as I completely lost track of time this last week. I am a week late with the podcast a little bit over a week late. Uh, mainly because I, I thought that I honestly thought that I did the podcast that week and I was only a week behind. I didn’t realize that it was two weeks. So usually I like to do the cast every other week by week, you know, bi monthly, bi weekly, whatever. And this month I just was like, yeah, I did it, I did it, and I looked at a date and I could not believe it’s already the end of May and I missed the show.

So I have all the content here, guys. So I do apologize for being late, but I have everything here. Uh, to continue on with the momentum of the podcast, uh, from the previous show with the, uh, single edge, uh, Razor Month. So I apologize again, guys, for being a little late. Uh, really? That’s I think that I don’t even know if that’s happened to me before, to where I’ve actually forgot or missed the whole week and thought I was on the schedule differently. So I’m sorry, guys, getting my act together a little bit more. Uh, and we will make sure I, I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again.

But, uh, a little bit on the lighter note, uh, today on the show, we are going to continue with single edged razor month with, uh, we’re going to talk about the auto strop razors and how they work. Uh, this is made by the valet company. A couple other companies made an auto strop type razors as well, but we’ll go we’re going to use them as the main is the main. Uh, focus for that, for that segment of the show, we’re going to talk more about another single edge razor that’s probably the one at one point was one of the more popular ones, the injector razors, like how do they work and how Schick was a major competitor and others as well.

And then finally we’re going to talk about modern artists, club style raisers. So or at least what I call artist club razors. I’m not sure if there’s an actual name for them or category, but they are very cool. They’re very popular and they were very popular at one point. They’re still popular and they actually shave really well. So we’ll talk about those types of razors today, and we’ll get on to the, um, the finale of it will be on the next show, the finale of Singular Razor Moth. So, guys, without further ado, let’s get on with the show.

So talking a little bit about some of my favorite. Are safety razors in general. And one I really do enjoy single edge razors. And I keep forgetting about them because we have so many different versions of Double Edge out there and straight razors and stuff. I think sometimes a single edge razors get put to the corner and we forget about them, although they’re like, as I’ve mentioned before in previous shows, there are several groups and guys out there, a lot of people out there that are very, very passionate about these, this form of shaving, and they use them primarily and collect and everything.

So they’re much more knowledgeable than I am on it. But moving along to the valet auto strop razor, you know, as we’ve talked about, we on the previous show, we talked about the shovel heads and we talked about the lather catchers. Right. For those nicknames. Those those are the those are the guys that started off with single edge razors. The Valley auto strop brought a little bit of technology and a little bit of everything to their actual form of shaving.

So basically this is a razor that takes disposable blades, but the ability with the ability to drop them in the actual razor itself. So it’s got a little mechanism inside where you have a little switch to where you can actually take the blade out, and then you like have a switch on them, not a switch, but maybe a lever that you can pull down a little bit, which will allow the, the, the actual top of the razor, the top cap of the razor to flip when you drop it. So when you put the razor in, it’s hard to kind of mention this on on a podcast instead of doing it in person on a video, but you put the razor in and you can go back and forth on a custom strap like a smaller strap, the straps about an inch wide, maybe about seven inches long, and you go back and forth with it.

And what it does is it flips the razor back and forth on the actual leather, strapping that disposable blade, keeping it sharper, longer. Right. So auto strap, the valet company saw that, hey, we saw single edge razors. Saw double edge razors. This is about in the 1920s. And they said, you know what? Maybe if we can do this, prolong the life of the blade, use a different blade, then our razor will be the best in the world. Well, it really wasn’t it. It lasted about 40 years with several different versions.

I think they went all the way up to the VC four, VC five, which is the final one that came out. And the design of it was very actually very simple, but it looked really complex. So if you look at these old razors here in the picture, this is from a collector on badger blade. This is every single version of Valley Auto Strop that came out all the way from the beginning, versions where they didn’t have a number to the VC five, the final one, which is about 1940s. So you have the open comb version of them. Then you have a solid guard bar coming to the end of it and keeping it just a really honestly, the design didn’t change very much, but the blades kind of changed too.

So with these blades, um, with these excuse me, these razors. First off, I think the design of the strapping system is very unique, and I think it’s also fun to use. I think it’s really an interesting form of wet shaving. You can have a lot of fun with them, right? You get a nice strop, you get a strop, you start dropping them. You can, you know, it’s kind of a conversation piece if you go to a meet up and, and it’s they’re fun to collect and stuff. One they’re also very I mean sorry two they’re very affordable.

All right. You can get a new old stock I got a new old stock VC five still in the box. Never used with the strop and everything. I think I paid $25 for it. So the really affordable to get into this hobby of this part of shaving. They’re really good. There’s there’s a. There’s about ten models, as you can see, about ten of them ourselves. They’re pretty simple to collect. They’re all readily available online, with the exception of some of the older ones. So you can get to the whole collection yourself really quick. So those are some of the pros. Some of the cons of this razor is one blade selection. They the older ones take better blades. They take the they can take a d spined gem blade like a single edged blade. You take the guy to take the spine off and you can put it in there.

They fit fine works if you also they also take the feather f s ten, which is the same blade that’s used in the one blade. This blade is the only blade that can fit in the in the newer ones, the ones that say valet on it. So the the VC five, I think the VC for those are the only ones that can take those. That’s the only blade that will fit it. So you luckily, as long as feather is making those that that style blade, you’re good. Or you can get vintage blades and try to hone them. But guys, I’m going to be honest, I’ve used vintage blades before and razors. I do not like them. I don’t find them to be very good, and I guess for me to hone a disposable blade, I feel like almost like it’s a waste of time, I guess. Or it’s just something that it’s effort that I can use elsewhere. So I usually just don’t use vintage blades.

Now, there’s some guys out there that have very good success with them. I actually have a safety razor blade hone like a special. It’s like a curved little hone that’s meant for that. But I’ve never had very good success messing with them, and I don’t really spend too much time on it. So I mainly spend my time on on blades that need to be honed, like a straight razor blade or a fixed blade for like a, you know, rolls razor or something like that that needs to be honed, like. So I would just, I would purchase those feather blades and use them. They’re very, very high quality blades. I think they’re probably some of the best blades out there. So you have nothing to worry about there.

So that’s come to the cons. Is that just no blade selection for it. And also the strop you’d have to build a custom strop. I would need to be very thin and able to fit into the mechanism. If your original strop is bad. Now now remember guys, you’re losing using a valley auto strop. Strop. They are now. 85 years old, 8080 years old when you pick one up. So yeah, the leather doesn’t really go bad. You can condition them, you can use them. But if you need to make a new one, obviously Valli is not making, you know, replacement straps anymore. So you’re going to have to find somebody to do it or buy some leather and try and do it yourself. So that’s something that you got to also look at as well.

But really fun razors and shaving with them is there. The older ones are a little bit more aggressive and the newer ones tend to be a little mild, a little bit milder. They shave great, especially with a good blade in them. And I think they’re really fun to collect and just and just have and and they also come with some cool, uh, boxes. You can get a seven day set I’ve seen out there. I’ve seen some other, uh, nice, uh, wooden boxes, I’ve seen leather boxes, I’ve seen metal boxes. So I mean, they’re really they’re nice and, you know, they’re a piece of wet shaving history that will always be there. Just wasn’t there very long.

So from 1910 to about 1940, 19, I’m sorry, 1920 to about maybe about 20 to 40 years really it was around and that’s it and that’s it. So if you get a valet auto strap razor, good chances, about 80 years old, maybe older when you get one and you’re using a piece of history. That was some modern technology at the time and was probably pretty cool. Now another thing people ask is, oh, how come there’s so many of these in the in the box? Because if you look at it, if you go on on eBay, there are a lot of them in the box never used.

And this is kind of something where I mentioned a long time ago on the cast, we were talking about the Gillette toggle and how so many people had them in a box, and they got it as a Christmas gift, and they put it in a drawer and kept it. You hear that story a lot with some of the barnyard. Find razors that you see, like, you know, you’ll see against a double ring or not. Not so much a double ring, but more along the lines of the of the toggle or a bottom dial razor. And they’re like, oh wow. I my, my grandfather had this in the, in the, in a sock drawer for over 50 years.

I think this is kind of the same thing. Uh, the Valley Auto Shop was like a little modern technology at the time. Somebody might have purchased it for a gift. Remember the fourth quarter around Christmas time is always the busiest time for for shaving devices to be sold. And they probably just left in a box because they like to their own form of shaving. Right. You know. Well, it’s one thing I again, I’ve mentioned that before. It’s very personal for a man’s razor. Right. It’s something that you want to pick out and use if you find something that works. In the past, people would use that for years and years and years and possibly not even ever switch or state of that form.

So they might have gotten it that it was nice, left in a drawer and said, you know what? Someday I’ll get to it. And then they never do. And eventually it ends up on eBay and in the hands of some of us that will use it. So moving along to injector razors. Injector razors happened to me. Some of the most fun razors to use, and also was an actual threat to Gillette at one point. So there are actually quite popular. And they were considered Gillette’s, I guess, uh, competitor to the double edge razor. We’re talking about the Schick injector.

So the Schick injector blade, it’s a single edge razor that takes a blade through the mechanism without taking the razor apart. It uses a a loader to load the blade in. I mean, you can also put the blade in without it and to take the blade out so you don’t even have to touch it. The blade itself, you can put it in and take it out all in one move. And it allows it the the user to not get cut right. It just goes right in, right out. You don’t have to worry about anything, right? You don’t have to worry about putting the blade in, taking it apart or anything like that. So the technology was really, um, it really caught on to a lot of people.

And although it never surpassed Gillette in sales, it did give them a little bit of a run for the money and to the point where even Gillette tried to create their own injector, but just didn’t on several occasions, but it just didn’t really pan out for them. It didn’t work out for them. So they kind of said, hey, you know what? We could either try to buy these guys, which they did with like the American Safety Razor Company when they did with the gems, and they have already and stuff. Or they can say, hey, you know what? Just let him be and we’ll just we’ll just we’ll just get them with something else. So it was pretty competitive at one point to the to where the Schick injector stuck around.

So out of all of the other razors companies that were out there in the United States and all over the world that fought against Gillette, I get I’m going to say fight because it was a fight to get anything into that, to that market. They held the market share for years and still do. They, um, they fought and they they stayed alive for up until, um, really until the year 2001, which is when they the final Schick injector was produced. Right? It just didn’t it just didn’t work anymore. It was just getting the point where, hey, you know what? Nobody’s buying this. At least in the United States, it’s hung around in the foreign market for a little bit longer. But the last one was made. Uh, yes, it was made for the Japanese market in 2001 was when it was done.

So it went from the 1920s to 2001. So about 80 year run. And it was a very, very readily available Razr. I mean, you could see it still see today. Schick is still there. You go to you can go to a drugstore right now. You’ll see Gillette razors and Schick razors right next to each other. Still there, the hydro and all. That’s still very popular, but they, uh, the same thing for the injector. So this is a very popular, uh, millions of people use this razor. And the way it works is when you you load the blade in, it’s just like, kind of using a, almost like a cartridge razor, but with one blade that’s a little bit of a higher quality. Uh, they still produce, uh, blades for this. So Schick, you can still buy Schick branded blades very, very easy online.

There’s on Amazon there on websites. I actually went to a drugstore in a few towns over for me one day and found them on the shelf and bought them. I had a drugstore. I couldn’t believe they had them. I even asked the guy said, why do you have the Schick injector blades? And the person behind the counter was one of the managers. He said, well, we have a customer that a few customers that buy them. And then he mentioned something to me that I thought was and I said, oh, people still shave with these. He’s like, oh no, no, I don’t think they’re used for their face.

But it’s a veterinarian razor that that’s out there that takes these blades. I go and he showed it to me. It’s uh. And then I looked it up online. It’s legitimate. They’re actually. Schick does produce a razor for veterinarians. And in the town that I was in, it’s, um. If I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Wellington, Florida. It’s actually where I grew up in Florida. It’s very much it’s a horse area, like they do a lot of polo. There’s a lot of horse, uh, storage and stuff in the parts of Wellington. So there’s a lot of vets and, and veterinarians in the area, and I guess that’s why they sold it, because for the veterinarians use it. So basically it is a chick injector that’s used for like does use the same blades. And actually it’s the same razor style razor just doesn’t have a blade guard on it. So probably wouldn’t recommend using it on your face.

There’s no guard, so I guess it’s used for bulk shaving or something, I don’t know, but there’s still, um, they’re still out there, so they’re still producing a razor for vets. Uh, there’s also very homages, uh, to it. So you have lots of other razors. Uh, we’re going to talk more about these on the next show when I go about modern single edge razors. So but one of them is the supply company. They have an injector style razor as well, and it’s very similar to that. And there’s still many clones, replicas and stuff that are being made right now that are very readily available. But I always like going with the originals. Uh, a simple eBay skirt scan will get you pretty much any version of the Schick injector you can find, and you can definitely, um, readily, readily available.

You can get them used, they can get new old socks, still tons of them in the packaging if you wanted to get one. So you can have your own very brand new one. Again, I don’t know about using the old blades. I think that they got oxidized and dulled out over the time, so you would have to maybe re strap them, whatever. But again, Schick makes blades brand new so you have nothing to worry about there. So Schick injector we salute you and you standing up toe to toe with well, maybe not toe to toe, but standing up to Gillette and sticking around for over 80 years. The Injector razor is probably the second most popular single edge razor that we’ve talked about, uh, let alone the the gems and stuff. At least in the wet shaving world and in sales wise, I think the Schick is the most probably sold more of these than any other single edge razor out there today. So Schick injector, we salute you and you have a special place in our in our hearts for the single edge razor fan.

And finally, guys, for this week, the Modern Artist club raiser. I call this and this is a name that I’ve heard other people call them. I call them this as well. I guess it fits. I don’t know, you tell me if you have another name and maybe I’ll use it later on. But we call this the Artist Club because it’s like an artist club style, Chauvet style razor that uses those professional blades that you use that were used for Chauvet and hair shapers. Now this razor was extreme. This type of razor considers a few of the designs are the Cobra, the Cobra classic. Uh, you have those and then you have the mongoose. Now you’ve heard if you’ve heard my some of my work or some of my of some of the stuff that I like. Mongoose is always up there with single edge razors.

With razors in general. I love the mongoose razor. I love the Cobra razor. I think they shave nicely. And basically with these razors do is they take those larger blades and they’re usually a three piece razor. Right. And they take the top cap off. You load it. Now these larger blades, there’s a little bit more um, of a selection of them out there. But feather does make the pro guard. Uh, I forgot the part number on it, but they’re really good. And it comes in like an ejector style injector mechanism. Like you, we talked about the Schick injector, uh, comes in that you can just take it out and take the old ones, put it in. These blades tend to last the longest out of any disposable blade that I’ve ever tried. And, I mean, I can usually get 10 to 15 shaves out of them easily. I don’t know why. I think they’re because they’re very nice, very rigid and thick. I think they’re very good and they shave nicely. And I that’s why I’m a big fan of this style. Razor. So the Cobra razor came out in about 2012, 2013, really starting to, to, to show the world that this is a form of shaving that we can use.

They’re much larger than your usual safety razor, uh, with the blade being about having about another almost close to a three quarters of an inch, uh, several, uh, maybe even closer to an inch. Bigger than a double edged razor in terms of, I guess, square footage on your on your face, it’s a wider blade, gets more of it and tends to be a larger razor in general. They’re they’re bigger the to fit in that bigger blade. Also, the mongoose came out right after that and kind of took that design a little bit differently. And and what they did with mongoose is they did different colors. They did different. They did different versions. They did aluminum, they did stainless steel, and they were around for several years until now. They’re no longer existent. Deal. I do believe you can still buy the Cobra Classic, which is still around and several other razors are being made. The Colonel is Me is one of them. I think, uh, razor Rock makes one as well. I mean, there’s a lot of them out there affordable as well. S

o these razors are honestly, they’re really fun, the Cobra being the one launching it and then the mongoose coming out, and then a bunch of other different versions coming out right after that. Now, this is a totally new form of shaving. This is not based on a vintage design. So that’s why I also find this innovative is when they built these razors. And I’m going to really say the innovators for this is Cobra and or classic shaving and and mongoose. They they took a completely different design to fit this blade in it and came out with a completely different category of razor, which was then replicated dozens of times. So it is innovative. It is cool.

They’re really the only cons on this. Razor is again, blade selection. They’re hard to find. Uh, different styles of blades is only about six different types of blades out there, and and they’re not readily available. You do have to purchase them really, you know, through Amazon. Through what? Mostly through wet shaving vendors that have them, you know, they’re the only ones that are going to have the right ones. Or if you want to go to a beauty supply shop, you might get lucky. Lucky there, uh, for the hair shaper blades as well. But there are a lot of fun guys. I really love them. There was also a huge boom with these razors from about 2014, 2017, 2018, where some of these razors, they were going, they were selling out like crazy. Everybody wanted them. They were going for five times retail. I remember mongoose razors were going for like a thousand bucks for a long time.

And I remember how much I wanted one. And I finally got my hands on one. And it was it was great. I have I still have the two mongoose razors that I own. I still use them. And it was just it’s, um, you know, it’s a great it’s a great style, style razor. Now, if you wanted to do more affordable, they have some aluminum versions from razor Rock from different companies. You can get there under 50 bucks. So you can really you could try it and have a lot of fun with them and collecting them as great too. So I mean, this is also another area. There’s a lot of wet shavers that just collect these as well. There’s like a little niche for this and a niche. So that’s right. Yeah it’s a single edge razors I guess we’re going to call them modern artist club or professional razors. And if there’s another name for them and I’m messing it up guys, just feel free to send me an email at your earliest convenience, and I will definitely update the notes and update the podcast on the next show. Update our listeners.

All right. Well, that kind of, uh. That’s it for this week, guys. Again, I apologize for being late. I totally lost track of time. That’s terrible. But I guess it happens here and there. Uh, remember, our show is powered by Sharpologist dot com, which your father didn’t teach us. Teach you about shaving? Special thanks to you guys, the listeners. Uh, Mark 50 Mantic59 for everything that he does for the wet shaving community, our next show will be. I’m keeping. I’m going to keep it to the calendar. I’m writing it down right now. It will be June 3rd, and that will will conclude a single edge razor month with modern single edge razors. We’ll talk about all the modern ones out there, in depth brands and stuff and what styles they are and where you can get them. Until then, guys shave straight and shave safe. Bye bye now.

Joe Borrelli

Joe Borrelli

Joe Borrelli is a long-time wet shaving enthusiast and collector. He hosts the Wet Shaving News/Talk Podcast, runs his own self-funded website and operates a YouTube channel to help inform the community of new information involving the wet shaving world. Joe holds a BBA from Florida Atlantic University, and currently works for the nation’s largest wine/spirits/beer retailer. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Linda & son Anthony, reading, writing, outdoor activities and collecting wet shaving apparel. Joe has also written several dozen articles for online publications such as Sharpologist and How to Grow a Mustache.View Author posts

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