Test: Safety razor and razorpit?

By Søren H. Møller

Quite a while ago, I got an email with the subject line: "Want to test a Razorpit?"

Many thoughts went through my head, most of which could probably best be associated with a horror film.

Having only heard of Razorpit in connection with cassette shavers, it was understandable that I thought it was a test of Razorpit in connection with a cassette shaver, and the shaving snob in me only had a resounding answer to that question: ” No thanks!".

However, I was somewhat surprised when I opened the email and the question turned out to be different, namely whether you could use a Razorpit in connection with a DE scraper?

After a short consideration, I actually thought it sounded really interesting, so I accepted the "challenge" and agreed to test the Razorpitten together with a safety razor.

It was with some curiosity that I received the Razorpit, unboxed it, examined it and read the manual - the latter is usually something I only do if all else fails, but in this case I thought it was the right thing to do .

There is not much hocus pocus in it; a rubber plate that must be lubricated with foam, after which the (multi-blade) razor is pushed over the plate 4 times, rinsed and put in place.

I have to be honest and admit that I have seen the Razorpit more as a publicity stunt than as something that actually works as described. Good enough, it was developed with a view to the multi-blade razor, but that you should be able to get "up to 150 shaves" with the same blade sounds too good to be true, and "up to" can mean anything from 10 to 150, and if you only get ten, well, the investment is not commensurate with the return in my opinion.

In order to reduce the amount of variables as much as possible, I chose to use the same razor and the same razor blade mark throughout the experiment.
See Razorpit here


The razor I chose to use for the experiment was a Gillette Fat Handled Tech (1938-1942), and it was chosen for two reasons:

1) it's my absolute favorite razor, and if I was going to be with the same razor for a long time, well, it had to be a good one, and one I didn't get tired of.

2) it is a mild razor that gives a really good feedback, and that was not unimportant in an experiment like this.

Razor Blade

I chose to use the Derby Extra blade for the experiment, as it is an easily available, popular and good all-round blade.
All the leaves used in the experiment came from the same pack, again to keep any variations as small as possible.


So finally, with some biased skepticism I got down to business, and to make this as comparable and fair as possible, I started with a check. The control consisted of a fresh Derby Extra blade that I shaved with until it felt worn. The blade was not removed from the razor after shaving, the razor was simply rinsed under the hot tap and then replaced.

All shavings throughout the experiment have been on four passes; WTG, WTG, XTG and ATG.

With my control, I achieved 36 shaves before the blade wore out. It was surprisingly many, I myself had expected somewhere between five and ten, but now I at least had a starting point.

After the check, a new blade was inserted into the razor and the shaving process was repeated, with the only difference that after shaving the razor head was pushed over the Razorpit four times on each side, rinsed in warm water and replaced.

You just have to practice a little so that the blade actually comes into contact with the rubber, the safety bar and the rounding of the razor head can make it a bit difficult, the Razorpitten is after all developed for a multi-blade razor that is completely flat.
I think it has been difficult to set a success criterion for something that you don't know what to expect, but in my eyes it would be if I could achieve an improvement of at least 25% with the Razorpitten than without, and since in my control I got 36 shavings, well then I had to hit 45 to be able to say that there was an improvement.

Up to about 30 shaves, the feeling was as normal, although you could tell that the blade was no longer brand new. By the time I got to about 40 shaves it seemed like the blade was starting to wear out and I was really just waiting for it to come off pretty quickly, but around the 45th-46th shave, to my surprise I got a completely comfortable BBS.

It made me analyze the last few shaves, and I came to the conclusion that the foam in the previous shaves had not been "right in the eye", which then gave the feeling of a worn blade. The next few shaves I paid close attention to the lather being as perfect as possible, and it gave close, comfortable and problem-free shaves.

When I got to about 60 shaves my surprise was actually palpable, I almost thought it was a lie but as I had plotted all the shaves in a spreadsheet since the start of the challenge there was nothing wrong, the numbers spoke for itself.

By the time I got to about 80 shaves, I could clearly feel that the blade wasn't super sharp anymore, it wasn't shaving quite as close anymore, but it still wasn't uncomfortable in any way, and I found that by using "The Gillette Glide" technique, I could still achieve minimum DFS every time, and when I used a soap with a really good glide and got a perfect lather, the BBS was also just about achievable (touch-ups included).

By the time I got to around 90-92 shaves, under normal circumstances I probably would have thrown the blade out because it felt pretty tired. It took quite a bit of touch up work to get a close shave and I could tell the blade was wearing out but now I was so close to 100 I thought it would be a bit of fun to give it a go number could be reached - without it becoming uncomfortable in any way, it just required more work.

I just reached 100 shaves but then the blade was also finished, and I have to say that it almost deserves to be displayed in a showcase for 100 shaves with the same blade, is now quite impressive.

I finished the experiment with another control shave, this time rinsing the razor in cold water after use. With this check I got 23 shaves.


The question was: "Does Razorpit work for a Safety Razor / Double Edge Blades?" The short answer is: “Yes.”

There is not much more to say.
All in all, the test clearly shows that you can significantly extend the life of the blade - I got an improvement of 64 and 77 shaves, respectively, or expressed as a percentage; an improvement of 178% and 334% respectively.

The test result must of course be taken with the caveat that another person will most likely come to a different result when it comes to the number of shaves. Some will probably get fewer shaves and others maybe more than I have achieved, but I feel completely convinced that whoever tries the Razorpitten will be able to extend the life of a DE blade compared to normal use.

Whether Razorpitten is worth the investment (money + time), I will leave it up to the individual to judge.

I have read a theory that says the blade lasts longer in a gentle razor than in an aggressive razor.

I never really wondered if it could be true, but with this experiment behind me, it could be fun to choose an aggressive razor (open comb) and repeat the experiment with it.

Since the blade is more exposed in an open razor, it should be a little easier to use on the Razorpit, and all other things being equal, it should become equally clear if the theory holds water.

In addition to the Razorpit, I had an interesting discovery, as the control shavings also show with some clarity that if a blade is rinsed in hot water, it lasts longer than if it is rinsed in cold water.

Photos of the blades support that claim, as it is quite clear that foam and hair residue builds up faster on the blade rinsed with cold water compared to the blade rinsed in hot water.

And when you take a look at the blade that lasted 100 shaves, you can almost wonder that it could still shave.


From top to bottom it is:

A new razor blade

Control, cold water

Control, hot water

Blade exposed to Razorpit