Our development of Battle Brother razor blades was a roller coaster. Partnering, sourcing, manufacturing, packaging.
We determined there are two major factors when developing the highest grade blade possible. The first step was to find the best steel we could get our hands-on. Steel can come in an infinite amount of variations. Good steel actually can have a ‘shelf life’ before processing to put it simply. A steel brand we tried to procure but failed was Hitachi. For those unfamiliar with Hitachi they make some of the world's finniest chef and sushi fillet knives. A company in Japan using some of the same steel used to make samurai Katanas! A razor blade made out of katana steel? Hell yes we said! Hitachi will not sell direct, so we had to go through a middleman. A middleman will only talk to manufacture.
Step 2 – Find manufacture with the latest materials process and blade manufacturing procedures. There is a lot that goes into razor blade manufacturing. I’m sure this is circulating Badger and Blade and instead of me explaining how it’s done here’s the How It’s Made. It’s a fantastic representation of Double Edge razor development and would take far less time understanding it all.
Pretty awesome if you ask me! There are high quality manufactures all over the world. Our goal was to be manufactured in the United States. Contacting every US blade manufacture, they all told us they no longer produce here in America due to the high cost associated with it. We couldn’t believe it, an extremely disheartening chain of events for the team. Not being able to make these here at home made it a company long term goal to bring it back!
Months of research and interviewing manufacturers all over the world we ended up working with one in China. A tough decision because we are well aware that the “Made In China” stamp is often associated with poor quality. The team is confident that once our blades start circulating, we won’t have to worry about that.
Back to step 1 – acquiring the right steel. Working with our new manufacture and their suppliers we looked at several producers and their grades of steel. As luck would have it, we found Hitachi steel! Contacting our Hitachi Rep right before huge purchases we showed him the mill certificate. It was forged! Our rep looked into the archives and found that this steel was over 15 years old and had degraded too much for use. A huge save, as almost half of our capital has gone into the razor blade process. We also inadvertently started an international investigation on this supplier because Hitachi was pissed and wanted justice over selling their name on bad product!
Still, on the search for great steel, we worked with the next best find. If steel could be steak, it’s still filet mignon but a different cow.
Long story short, we are on our way developing our own blade with great steel and a great manufacturer!
The Double Edge blades you see here truly are high performance stainless steel. Mill certified with small, uniform grain. The processing that we use includes Teflon, nitrogen, chrome and platinum coating. Using a scientific measurement called The Vickers Hardness test or HV. This testing is to show how hard something is like a Dimond. The number of the object is then converted to another unit called a pascal. And a shit ton of math takes place. Like math, then see how it works here: Vickers hardness test – Wikipedia
For those who are not so math included like myself, the Battle Brother Blade are hardened and sharpened to 550 HV, which is outstanding. To give you reference, normal stainless steel has a 180 HV. It is important to note that a higher number is not necessarily better. A Dimond is 10000 HV, super hard right? That is why we see a surgeon’s scalpel blade sometimes made from diamonds. Finding the right balance to how sharp the blade should be so it doesn’t peel your face and giving you that super smooth and comfortable shaving experience.
In the end, we are so happy with how Battle Brother Blades have come out! We have had nothing but very positive feedback! I’m not going to share any because I don’t have intentions to be salesy. I want to provide you with the knowledge and process behind our great product so you can decide if these are right for you. I want you to know when we market our blades as ‘High Performance’ it’s not just some marketing buzz word attached to it. These are intentionally designed to be.
Keep your friends close, and your shave closer!
Battle Brothers Shaving Co.