Are Razor Blades Stainless Steel? How To Maintain Them For Better Use?

Razor Blades Stainless Steel

Are razor blades stainless steel? Read through the article to figure out the favorable answer and valuable pieces of advice.

A razor blade is a small flat piece of metal with a sharp cutting edge used for hair removal through shaving.

The most significant matter of concern among shavers is probably a razor blade’s material since it contributes to the overall razors’ performance and shaving experience.

Commonly, for men who are just embarking on the shaving’s journey, one question often comes to mind is: “Are razor blades stainless steel?”

So, what’s the desirable answer to this question?  No worries, this article will provide all the essential information and further tips on taking care of your razor blades.

razor blades are stainless steel
Some might wonder whether razor blades are stainless steel or not

Are Razor Blades Stainless Steel?

Yes, since razor blades are frequently exposed to water, they’re likely to be made from a corrosion-resistant metallic material such as stainless steel.

The notable characteristic of stainless steel is its chemical composition of 12-13% chromium, approximately 0.7% carbon, and the remainder of iron and trace elements. This attains high hardness and superb corrosion resistance of the stainless steel razor blades. 

Although stainless steel is disreputable in the razor blades community these days, some carbon steel razors are still available. To differentiate between these materials, delve deeper into the paragraphs below! 

Differences Between Stainless Steel Vs Carbon Steel Razor Blades

Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel

Pros:

  • Due to the high percentage of chromium added into the alloy, stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and rust. As a result, it will hold a razor-sharp edge for longer.
  • Stainless steel is admirably resilient, making it a welcome material for razor blades as far as experts are concerned. Hence, the blade is likely to achieve the optimal level of resiliency and last several shaving sessions.
  • This type of steel also absorbs the heat impact effectively without breaking or chipping, which provides a warm and relaxing sensation when steel glides against the face.
  • The nickel content of the steel gives stainless steel a lustrous and bright appearance.
  • It’s hassle-free to store and maintain stainless steel.

Cons:

  • Stainless steel is highly-tempered, which is challenging to maintain a good edge without a high-quality sharpener. 
  • The main drawbacks of stainless steel lie in its sharpness. As it is a softer form of steel than carbon, it is not as sharp as its carbon counterparts.
  • This steel is likely to confront deformation under certain temperatures.
Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel
[Stainless and carbon steel blades have their benefits and drawbacks]

Pros and Cons of Carbon Steel

Pros

  • Due to the high carbon content, carbon steel tends to achieve superior sharpness and strength.
  • Carbon steel is super sturdy so it is able to withstand significant force before deforming.
  • Despite its sturdiness, this type of steel is easy to hone and sharpen.

Cons

  • This steel will oxidize when exposed to water and humidity, even with slight amounts. Hence, ​​it is negatively prone to corrosion and rust without proper cleaning and maintenance.
  • Another disadvantage is that because of the carbon steel’s hardness, the razor is likely to fracture and break under extreme pressure or with heavy use. 
  • The steel is brittle so it does not hold an edge for a long period of time.
  • It’s likely to stain and become dull terribly over time. 
  • Carbon steel often requires regular and careful care and maintenance.  

Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel Razor Blades: Which is better?

Although stainless steel blades are more expensive than carbon steel, they’re undoubtedly worthier than carbon steel blades in a long-term investment considering the above factors.

However, what it all boils down to is a personal preference. While a carbon steel blade outperforms a stainless counterpart in terms of sharpness and re-sharpening time, stainless steel is far more exceptional for its rust resistance and resilience. 

Furthermore, one thing to take into account is the appearance of both materials. Typically, the chromium used in stainless steel gives the blades a shiny and mirror finish.

On the other hand, the carbon steel blades are often dull and have a matte effect.

How To Maintain Your Razor Blades?

There are several levels of maintenance to perform periodically. Make sure to follow the foolproof instructions below for a sharp blade to be in good condition for years to come.

Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning and maintenance is extremely vital to ensure razor’s longevity

Regular care

Regular or routine care is a hassle-free task to perform every time using the razor to avoid degradation.

Before shaving

  • When getting ready to shave, remove the blade from the razor.
  • Rinse the blade under lukewarm and soapy water to activate lubrication while shaving and remove any residue or shaving products such as cream or gel from a previous shave.

While shaving

  • Rinse the razor blade after each stroke to keep it sharp and protects your skin from razor burn, bumps, and irritation.

After shaving

  • Rinse off the razor after finishing shaving.
  • Use a soft small brush to scrub the blade so as to wash off any residue.
  • Let the water run through the blade to wash lodged hairs.
  • Dip the blade in a small cup of alcohol to remove excess water.
  • Allow the blade to air-dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of baby oil to create a protective layer on the blade.
  • Store the razor in a holder or dry environment to avoid rust on the blade.

Rust removal 

In addition to normal razor blades, there are other special circumstances such as straight razor blades.

With these blades, instead of throwing them away when there are signs of rust, you can effortlessly treat those marks to continue using.

Rust removal
You can treat rust in straight razor blades to avoid unpleasant shaving experience

Home essentials such as salt, vinegar, and baking soda may be able to help you get out those spots that hinder your blade from performing well.

  • Firstly, prepare white vinegar, baking soda, and an old toothbrush.
  • Fill a small bowl with white vinegar. ​​Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to form a paste.
  • Submerge the razor blade in a mixture of half warm water and half white vinegar for around 30 seconds. You can leave it longer for the desired result, especially when the rust is stubborn.
  • While the blade is soaking in the vinegar, create a vinegar and salt mixture in another bowl.
  • Remove the razor blade from the bowl and use a toothbrush with the prepared paste to scrub the blade thoroughly to remove the remaining rust.
  • After making sure all the rust is scrubbed away, rinse the blade clean with water.
  • Dip the blade in rubbing alcohol to dry off excess water then gently apply baby oil to further protect the blade before storing.

Pro Tips:

  • Repeat all the steps above if there is still rust visible. Remember, make sure not to leave any rust remaining since it can spread. 
  • Use vinegar on stainless steel blades with caution since vinegar at a high concentration can corrode stainless steel.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can unnecessarily scratch the blade.

FAQs

How long do stainless steel razor blades last?

As said, stainless steel blades are eminently rust-resistant, so rust might take long to develop over their shiny exterior.

Furthermore, the blades tend to stay sharp for several shaving sessions since stainless steel is famously resilient.

However, replacing the razor blades every week or after approximately six shaves is suggested to prevent them from getting dull and causing nicks, cuts, and razor burn for shavers. 

In case you feel any discomfort and roughness from the blades when shaving or irritation aftershave, it’s a significant indicator that you change the blades immediately.

How to sharpen old razor blades?

Changing razor blades may be cost-effective, but a few hassle-free steps below will help prolong the sharpness of your razor blades, so you don’t have to spend a single penny on blade replacement. 

Note that this process is called stropping instead of sharpening to realign the thin edges of the blade.

Stropping is crucial for preserving razor blades
Stropping is crucial for preserving razor blades

Step 1: Take a pair of old jeans for sharpening.

While the traditional item is made of leather, a pair of jeans works as well.

The old pair is necessary instead of new jeans or regular jeans since the process may fray or damage the fabric over time.

Step 2: Place the jeans on a flat, clear, and sturdy surface.

A table or countertop is a great go-to option for a sharpening surface. Make sure to clean the surface so that no objects obstruct the act of stropping.

Additionally, make sure the surface is dry for the best results.

Step 3: Prepare the razor.

Prepare the razor in a cup of warm and soapy water.

Put some dish soap in the cup and allow the razor to soak for 15 to 30 minutes to remove any razor gunk that has been accumulated. 

Once the razor is cleaned, shake it a few times to remove all the excess water. Make sure no water is present while stropping.

Step 5: Strop the blade.

Run the razor along your jeans with the direction of the blades, not against it. Do this and repeat the stropping about 20 times in short and quick strokes.

Also, use light pressure so as it does not cause unwanted damage to the razor.

This process will remove burrs and irregularities from your blades, making the razor straight and ready to use.

A razor blade has two edges so once one edge is done, repeat the process for the other side with the same material and motion. This is to ensure both edges are equally sharpened.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, by the end of the article, you’ve experienced a sense of satisfaction with our answer to “Are razor blades stainless steel?”.

Even though stainless steel is an ideal corrosion-resistant material, the blade should be maintained to lower the potential risk of rusting. Furthermore, although it’s easy to remove rust using some home remedies, it would still be beneficial to practice regular care to preserve the razor’s durability.

Have any other tricks for keeping your razor blades sharp? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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