Figure 1: The Maxwell June Razor: Part of this Complete Shave Breakfast
There is a new entry to the crossover world of sustainable shaving: the Maxwell June razor. This is a fresh, new all-American engineered- and produced-shaver designed to easily and safely deliver people into the world of sustainable and comfortable wet shaving, minus the potentially steep learning curve of your traditional double edge razor. This razor accepts the ubiquitous double edge razor blades, but gives you the equivalent comfort and convenience of the store-bought cartridge with a greatly reduced long-term ownership cost and minimized environmental impact.
[Note from Mantic59: both Charles and I have been involved with testing prototypes of this razor. My impressions of the Maxwell June razor largely mirror Charles’ experiences here.]
Like so many of us here, engineer and designer Robert Glenn found the regular store-bought cartridges wasteful and expensive. Double edge razors were initially an improvement but Robert considered these to be slightly uncomfortable and rather time-consuming to use in our modern, fast-paced “get-up-and-go” world. Being creatively dissatisfied with this situation, Rob then put his engineering experience with sheet metal brake forming to work and labored on a solution to marry the convenience and speed of the cartridge with the affordability of the double-edge razor. His ingenuity paid off and thus the Maxwell June razor was born.
Here is their introductory video:
Unveiling the MJ Razor itself.
The atmosphere is one of sustainability and Maxwell June puts the best foot forward here. The recyclable cardboard mailer arrives with little fanfare but a good helping of sensible presentation. Inside the box is the razor, the assembly press unit, a small metal tin for blades, some instructions and the razor itself.
Figure 2: Gentlemen and Ladies, Presenting Your New Maxwell June Razor!
Thankfully the package includes no plastic (aside from the blade press) nor any peanuts, bubble wrap, shrink wrap, etc. Even the twine used to secure the razor to the cardboard insert is recyclable.
The razor comes in two varieties and two finishes: a long 4.5″ handle or shorter 3.8″ handle options, and your choice of either clear or black anodized finishes. Four options total, and the entire razor body is 6061 aluminum. Also included are a tuck of Astra Superior Platinum blades – with purchase options for a larger quantity should you so desire – and a small metal tin for used blade disposal.
The short-handle version of the MJ razor is very light, at ~31 grams fully assembled. This weighs less than most handles alone for any typical double edge razor, but this works surprisingly well here. The MJ razor weight seems similar to that of any store-bought plastic cartridge which we are intending to displace. The razor handle itself is smooth with no knurling but amazingly the grip does not suffer when wet.
Loading the Blade:
The magic maneuver with Maxwell June arises when the blade is loaded into the razor using the included press assembly, folding the Double edge blade into a compact twin blade shaver. The overall steps of loading a blade into the razor are illustrated below:
Figure 3: The Stages of Loading a Blade into the Maxwell June Razor
Perfectly clear, right? Well, the following short video brings greater clarity to the procedure:
Maxwell June Instructional Press Video
This might seem somewhat “fiddly” but after some practice you’ll readily gain the experience for rapid and flawless blade loading into the razor head.
The advantage of this blade loading process is you don’t interact much with the blade, aside from removing it from the tucks and the wrapper, and disposal after your shave completes. This makes it a real benefit for those who may be adverse to the sight of a naked double edge razor blade.
The MJ Shave Experience.
My Maxwell June shave experience might be summed up in the phrase: positively sublime.
The razor in practice is smooth, mild and quite forgiving. To me the heft feels much like the old vintage Gillette twin blade razors from decades ago, minus the pivoting head. You get a close, baby bottom smooth [BBS] finish when going against the grain and there is blessedly no irritation even when using a very sharp blade. For more difficult areas or tight corners you may press in slightly with the razor and not end up with nicks or cuts. There is little direct blade feel, but you can nonetheless detect when it is working the “shave magic” in action.
One prominent aspect of this razor jumps out at me during the shave: this razor is loud, almost as if the entire razor is transformed into a sharp-edged musical instrument. The blades positively sing when they effortlessly mow down whiskers and hair before them in a scythe-like fashion.
That aside, the Maxwell June razor delivers a divine shave finish with a very familiar feel for those coming to this from the world of cartridge razors. My head shave using the MJ razor came off with no major hassles, for which I was thankful. Shaving Against the grain [ATG] around my ears proved marvelously easier versus using my traditional double edge razor, so trimming under the nose will be unproblematic.
I’ve noticed sharper blades perform best with this shaver, and I’ve used typically unforgiving blades like Bic Chrome Platinum, Gillette Nacet and Wizamet Super Iridium blades with little hassle. Just like any typical double edge shaver you must hold this razor at the proper angle to get full engagement from both blade edges, yet this is easy to discover after a few passes. There is no major learning curve with this razor; You simply load the blade, lather up and get to some pleasant shaving. Easy!
This razor represents a giant leap forward for any individuals concerned about more sustainable shaving while keeping the convenience of the all-too- convenient cartridge razor close at hand. The shave is comfortable, mild, and easy once you get everything assembled and get the proper angle dialed in, plus the ladies will appreciate the long-handle option. Definitely recommended.
Stop by their webpage here.
Author Profile: Charles Smith is a mechanical design engineer, technical writer and wet shaving enthusiast, frequently suffering from the dreaded Razor Acquisition Disorder and trying to refrain from buying yet another high-end shaving instrument or another few tubs of shave soaps. He resides in northeast Ohio with his wife.