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Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 06, 2020 07:51PM
Despite their occasional weirdness, I've loved all the MIT guys I've met, especially the friends of a former roomie.

article includes microscopic video of hair being cut and chips resulting.

Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly?
[www.wired.com]

That’s the thinking behind a recent experiment by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who tried to find out why steel razor blades go dull so quickly, especially when they are just cutting soft human hair. By observing and recording the cutting process under a scanning electron microscope, the team noticed that the hairs created small chips in the blade surface. These microscopic chips wreck the blade’s ability to cut hair, according to Cem Tasan, professor of materials science at MIT and an author on the study published today in the journal Science, a finding that nobody expected.
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His idea is to make a harder blade that will last longer by compressing the metal, instead of heating and sharpening it through tempering. That process would lead to a more uniform microscopic structure, with less cracking and chipping, Roscioli says.

The MIT team has already filed for a patent for this new razor manufacturing process, he says. “I really believe we can build a better blade,” Roscioli says. A better blade would be more expensive, he points out, but because longer-lasting blades would mean fewer get tossed in the trash, “it would reduce the impact on the environment.”
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: August 06, 2020 07:58PM
Let me get this straight: The hair causes "chips" in the blade which make the blade duller. Do I have that right?
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 06, 2020 08:04PM
With the exception of electron microscopes requiring the objective to be in a vacuum chamber, I am wondering why nobody did this before. Think different worked in this case. smiling smiley



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 06, 2020 08:07PM
Yes. Serrated blades do well when drawn across the item, but not by being drawn over the item. And a microscopically chipped blade is essentially serrated. And "stainless" steel isn't rust free, it just rusts less. Technically, it is CRESS Corrosion RESISTANT Stainless Steel. So using in a wet and humid environment, and not rinsing any chemicals off it, and shaking it dry well, will hasten its demise. Unless you use a pyramid.

Really good engineering problem solving. Maybe one of the powdered metals?



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 06, 2020 08:09PM
Somehow I doubt razor makers want blades that will last longer and cut into sales.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 06, 2020 08:16PM
HAHA.

How about ceramic blades?
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 06, 2020 08:17PM
Quote
Ombligo
Somehow I doubt razor makers want blades that will last longer and cut into sales.

if they can make them last 3x as long and charge 5x more, I can see them being interested
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 06, 2020 08:35PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
Ombligo
Somehow I doubt razor makers want blades that will last longer and cut into sales.

if they can make them last 3x as long and charge 5x more, I can see them being interested

They already charge 10x more for blades than they should, so you need an order of magnitude adjustment....
==
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It ain't rocket science.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 06, 2020 09:44PM
I guess it is news that the blade chips.

But we always knew it wore down somehow, and like Cougar, lost the edge.

As do knives.

Being able to observe the process is trés cool, though.

Without this knowledge, wouldn't it still be possible to conclude 'what if we compress the metal, making in harder, instead heating and sharpening it through tempering!'.

Or was it necessary to know the exact mechanism of wear first?

Yes, we pay too much for blades already, but getting that new blade close shave longer making the replacement interval longer might take some of the sting out of shaving.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Drew
Date: August 06, 2020 10:16PM
I'm so impressed with Dorco blades. Used Gillette for years, but became so frustrated with quick dullness and expense.

[forums.macresource.com]
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 06, 2020 10:17PM
I recall that someone discovered that freezing metal (steel I believe) at extremely low temperatures annealed. (Or whatever the opposite is) the metal in a way that made it last for years.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2020 10:18PM by mrbigstuff.
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: August 06, 2020 10:23PM
Is this why ceramic blades stay sharp?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2020 10:24PM by anonymouse1.
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: SteveO
Date: August 06, 2020 11:08PM
Doesn't seem very earth-shattering. I can look at my blade even with my now-51-year-old eyes and see chips in it. "They" say to upstroke it across a piece of leather belt, or jeans, or your arm, to repair it. I do this on occasion and it seems to help a bit.
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 07, 2020 12:19AM
Quote
mrbigstuff
I recall that someone discovered that freezing metal (steel I believe) at extremely low temperatures annealed. (Or whatever the opposite is) the metal in a way that made it last for years.

Yeah. Its called cryo-tempering. They do it to rifle barrels too. It aligns the structure of the crystals and makes the steel harder and less prone to stress cracks. They used to do it to race engine parts, like connecting rods. Now I think the high end stuff is powdered metal, so it doesn't do as much.

But still used on many knife steels and rifle barrels.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 07, 2020 01:00AM
Its called cryo-tempering.


It had a lot of similar names.

I remember when this became popular.

Ok, limited popularity.

People were freezing everything metal to reduce the stresses ingrained in its creation.

There was real world benefit along with the predictable cures all ills claims.

Pretty cool application of science.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: RgrF
Date: August 07, 2020 01:05AM
My beard laughs at Gillette and MIT!
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 07, 2020 01:22AM
What about one of those propane weed burners? Or a gas powered weed whacker with carbide-edged hacksaw blades grafted on?



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 07, 2020 03:41AM
this_thread_is_useless_without_pics




[news.mit.edu]
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: August 07, 2020 06:04AM
Quote
Ombligo
Somehow I doubt razor makers want blades that will last longer and cut into sales.
agree smiley

MIT researchers might benefit by looking at Masamune's work?



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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So how did Superman shave?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: August 07, 2020 07:37AM
?



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: d4
Date: August 07, 2020 07:46AM
I thought the preferred method of blade longevity was to keep it submerged in oil? Maybe the lubricated blade is more resistant to these microscopic chips as well as corrosion resistance?





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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: August 07, 2020 08:59AM
I make one of those 5 blade Gillette blades last for about a year. I shave in the shower. I hone the blade on my wet forearm. Shave. Hone it again. Put it away. No fancy drying or oiling or anything. I bought a set of blades in one of those Christmas sets three years ago. I still have two left.

My adult sons tell me I'm 'gross' and should 'change blades every month'. They get a frugality lecture at that point.
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: August 07, 2020 10:32AM
Quote
SteveO
Doesn't seem very earth-shattering. I can look at my blade even with my now-51-year-old eyes and see chips in it. "They" say to upstroke it across a piece of leather belt, or jeans, or your arm, to repair it. I do this on occasion and it seems to help a bit.

I cut the leg off an old pair of jeans and use it to strop the blade.
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Re: It ain't rocket science.
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 07, 2020 10:35AM
.....Blades......of Glory.....???



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 07, 2020 10:48AM
Quote
Lux Interior
Quote
SteveO
Doesn't seem very earth-shattering. I can look at my blade even with my now-51-year-old eyes and see chips in it. "They" say to upstroke it across a piece of leather belt, or jeans, or your arm, to repair it. I do this on occasion and it seems to help a bit.

I cut the leg off an old pair of jeans and use it to strop the blade.

I just whip out the leather belt...makes 'em nervous...
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Z
Date: August 07, 2020 10:51AM
I only shave part of my face - allows my Dorco and Feather blades going for some time. If I shaved less... they'd go forever!
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 07, 2020 11:06AM
.....you can also save blades by not shaving......down there.......or your armpits......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: August 07, 2020 12:00PM
Quote
NewtonMP2100
.....you can also save blades by not shaving......down there.......or your armpits......

but you'll need to post the appropriate warning notice...





39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 07, 2020 01:08PM
After use, clean the blade super well, strop, rinse, blast w/ canned air, hit blade w/ a couple of drops of light machine oil, shake and/or lightly blast w/ canned air after blades are coated, put razor in toothbrush holder until next use. Cleaning seems to be a very important step in this process, as failure to do so, ASAP, seems to contribute to blade failure. As others have noted, when treated properly, blades can last a long time.

Another big help is softening up your beard (steam, hot water), and lubing your face before shaving. Doing so will add years to your blade life, and give you a better shave; though it may make the post-shave cleaning job a bit more difficult, so pay attention. There's always trade-off's, and for reasons only embellished by the blade manufacturers, every little nuance, if left unchecked, seems to shorten blade life. So, as many have noted, you gotta outsmart them manufacturers, and keep as many or your shaving dollars in your pocket, not theirs.
==
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 07, 2020 03:05PM
Quote
Buzz
After use, clean the blade super well, strop, rinse, blast w/ canned air, hit blade w/ a couple of drops of light machine oil, shake and/or lightly blast w/ canned air after blades are coated, put razor in toothbrush holder until next use.

I thought this was a joke. Is it really worth doing all that? I never use a blade to shave so I'm legit not sure it's worth the time or not.
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: pdq
Date: August 07, 2020 04:38PM
Quote
Buzz
After use, clean the blade super well, strop, rinse, blast w/ canned air, hit blade w/ a couple of drops of light machine oil, shake and/or lightly blast w/ canned air after blades are coated, put razor in toothbrush holder until next use.

What, no little cardboard pyramid? wink smiley

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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 07, 2020 04:58PM
Quote
mikebw
Quote
Buzz
After use, clean the blade super well, strop, rinse, blast w/ canned air, hit blade w/ a couple of drops of light machine oil, shake and/or lightly blast w/ canned air after blades are coated, put razor in toothbrush holder until next use.

I thought this was a joke. Is it really worth doing all that? I never use a blade to shave so I'm legit not sure it's worth the time or not.

I like pdq's pyramid idea, but no joke, the "treatment" stretches blade life almost infinitely. I have the shaver oil in the vanity drawer for the Norelco shaver and trimmer, and the closer cutting Wahl trimmer as well, and the canned air is on top of the chest of drawers just outside the bathroom door. I like Oral B Pulsar, battery operated, toothbrushes, and their handles are too big for my ancient toothbrush holder.... so, presto change-o, many years ago the old toothbrush holder became a razor holder when I got a bigger-holed toothbrush holder for the Pulsars. The "treatment" gets ingrained into the after shave routine pretty easily, and it doesn't seem like any hassle at all. The toughest part is the super-cleaning, which you should do anyway, regardless of anything else; unless you're made of money and use a fresh blade/cartridge every time.
==
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 07, 2020 08:00PM
Quote
pdq
Quote
Buzz
After use, clean the blade super well, strop, rinse, blast w/ canned air, hit blade w/ a couple of drops of light machine oil, shake and/or lightly blast w/ canned air after blades are coated, put razor in toothbrush holder until next use.

What, no little cardboard pyramid? wink smiley


hey, I mentioned pyramids!



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 07, 2020 10:26PM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
pdq
Quote
Buzz
After use, clean the blade super well, strop, rinse, blast w/ canned air, hit blade w/ a couple of drops of light machine oil, shake and/or lightly blast w/ canned air after blades are coated, put razor in toothbrush holder until next use.

What, no little cardboard pyramid? wink smiley


hey, I mentioned pyramids!

Mentioned, yes, but didn’t provide the much needed visual. But still, props for the well intentioned mention. old fogey smiley (only smiley with a beard)
==
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Re: Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly? (MIT has the answer)
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 08, 2020 10:37AM
Seems as good as any time to Google, "razor blade disposal in wall" for a slice of how life used to be.

I've never shaved in the shower because I don't want to use all that extra water. And after years of going back and forth at various times I've apparently settled on showering at night anyway.

I'm happiest with double edge setups but never had the time or money to get into the hobby aspects of trying out the various razors and blades. I'm still working on a variety pack purchased from Amazon and each blade lasts long enough to where I forget which ones I liked best.

I shave every other day. Not because I wouldn't prefer to be clean-shaven each day, but if I do that I can't get close. My closest, best shaves are with the disposable multi blades --- even the old, blue Gillette Twin Blades are fine --- but they all quickly get clogged up and no amount of rinsing or honing gets in there to fix it. At least with a DE blade you can remove it and clean both the blade and the razor.
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