A razor is only as good as it’s blade

Razor blade explainer

Looking for that perfect shave; sharp and accurate, yet smooth and gentle, with a razor blade that’s durable and doesn’t corrode? When you find that brilliant razor, the blade might very well be produced by Sandvik. And guess what – more than 80% of the steel that Sandvik delivers to razor blade manufacturers around the world is recycled; from old bridges, sinks, bikes and railway rails just to mention a few ingredients.

Steel is a fantastic material that can be recycled again and again without losing its properties. One source of recycled steel comes from waste from our own razor blade production. Hence, it contains the correct alloys from the beginning. The rest comes from recycled material of all kinds, blended into perfection in our production process.

What makes a razor blade better than any other?

Strip steel for razor bladesExactness of metallurgical properties, close dimensional tolerances and high accuracy on flatness and straightness are important aspects when manufacturing strip for razor blades. Razor steel is 0.075 mm (3 micro inch) thick, while the width changes slightly depending on the kind of razor the customer produces. Sandvik produces strip coils in requested dimensional tolerances to almost all major razor producers around the world. The strip must be totally clean from impurities. Even small non-metallic inclusions will affect the shaving experience. Each razor manufacturer then cuts, dies, hardens, grinds and coats it with Teflon to ensure a smooth cut. Each strip coil typically contains 100,000 meters (328,000 feet). With cutting-edge metallurgical competence and strip production inhouse, Sandvik controls the whole production chain from steel melt to finished product to ensure accuracy, from coil to coil, from delivery to delivery.

Razor blade quick facts

Razor with razor bladesA razor blade weighs approximately one gram (0.035 oz) depending on size and brand. That’s not very much, but the world consumes around 25,000–30,000 tons (55–66 million pounds) of razor strip steel annually. Stack the blades on top of each other and you will reach space.

You might not think very much about metallurgical properties, dimensional tolerances and strip flatness when choosing your razor, and you don’t need to. We deal with those aspects every day, with steel that is used over and over again without losing its properties. Enjoy your shave!

Read more about how we recycle steel under our Sustainable business section.

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