(This post was last modified: 01-06-2024, 04:44 PM by carbold. Edited 4 times in total.)
I wanted to have a separate chat on this subject as I think it’s important to focus on the point of view of the final user. Some of you have guessed that I am the bloke who is helping Steve Vlasta  (Alpha Shaving Works) develop a razor handle that can cover a range of different weights and weight distribution.

First of all, let me clear one thing: I have no financial interest in all this. This is me offering my help and expertise to a manufacturer who is willing to do something new and challenging.

The initial idea was very simple: make a handle that is as light as possible and then put the weight where you want it. Aluminium and carbon was the lightest option, but aluminium is not great for this application for reasons I can explain separately, so Titanium was the next lightest. The only high end handle built this way, the Carbon handle, came from this initial idea but then did not develop into what I really wanted which is the ability to ballast the handle.

Now, some of you asked: why are we doing this? My answer is: why not? We have the technology, the expertise, the right suppliers, and I personally see a need for this. The last razor I bought was a Yaqi Ultima, lovely looking SS adjustable. When I first used it, it immediately felt massively head heavy, to the point it was annoying to use. The Timeless, depending on the handle, is also quite head heavy.
I really came to love light weight razors, especially titanium ones, but with such light heads there needs to be more attention to the handle and to the weight distribution.

I recently bought an Evolution from Alpha and I was impressed with the quality. Some of you know how picky I am with quality of manufacturing and finishing, machine marks, polishing etc. If there is a razor I like to use, a keeper, I polish it myself with specific polishing compounds, and I can assure you Ti64 is not easy to polish, it requires specific polishing compounds which aren’t cheap (e.g. Menzerna P175). The quality of the Evolution prompted me to get in touch with Alpha and that’s when this collaboration started.

Steve is not the first manufacturer I have interacted with, but the amount of brain storming and great ideas that came from our exchanges is staggering. This is only the first of a series of great ideas that include a new head of a geometry that has never been seen before, and a handle that is fully adjustable with a twist of a knob.

In the meantime, Steve has sent me a prototype of this handle and I am going to play with it with different ballast options. I am looking forward to seeing the effect of the ballasts with different razor heads, and if you gentlemen have any idea on testing options, let me know and I’ll give it a try.

As mentioned before, the baseline handle has to be really light, this is because you want the ballasts to have more authority. For a start this handle weighed at 15.6 grams (will probably be +1 gram with the adhesive), which makes it lighter than the Carbon (18 grams).

One last point on materials and manufacturing. I have been working on titanium, steel, carbon fibre, aluminium for 18 years, in one of the most competitive industries out there. That’s where my input has been useful. Bonding titanium on carbon fibre is straight forward and very durable if you know what you are doing: Steve is using aerospace grade adhesive and materials, and the correct procedures to put everything together, with no cheap shortcuts.

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jhinson1, rocket, HOLYZEUS and 5 others like this post
I think this is great- I am really looking forward to seeing the final solution. The best thing though is the creativity and ingenuity that goes into an activity that, for the previous 39 years for me, has been a mundane daily requirement. I am fully into it at this point and it is projects like this that will keep my interest for the next 39. Well done.

Vlasta and carbold like this post

Alpha Shaving
Thank you - this is an inspiration
So I finally had the time to play a little bit with this. I have 7 possible configurations to explore.
The max weight achievable is 60 grams, but with tungsten ballasts instead of steel I reckon we can get to 125 grams, which is what a steel handle would weigh.

For reference, the Evolution handle I have (Bravo) weighs 42 grams.

Looking forward to trying all the options

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HOLYZEUS, rocket, jhinson1 and 1 others like this post

Johnstown, PA USA
I love where this is going... please keep it coming.

Sent from my SM-S918U1 using Tapatalk

carbold and Vlasta like this post

Alpha Shaving
Right gents - the handle is LIVE - https://www.alphashaving.com/alpha-shavi...le-leggero

HOLYZEUS and Stickshift like this post

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