Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen

Review:

Razorpit Teneo
Razor Sharpener

Maker

Created, designed and owned by Firtal Brands, Risskov, Denmark. Made in Vietnam.

Website

Firtal and Razorpit.

History

Inventor Morten Kjeldsen was frustrated with expensive razor blades that only lasted a short time before needing to be replaced. Along with founders Mikkel Salling (CEO) and Jesper Hvejsel (Product Development) these gentlemen created a company called Firtal Brands and launched Razorpit in November 2008. Today there are three Razorpit models available: Original, Slide and Teneo – all produced to help prolong the life of razor blades.

Description

Background

Traditionally we are used to thinking of razor blades becoming dull after being used about 4 to 10 times. After this the razor loses its sharpness because of microscopic degradation to the blades edge from corrosion and accumulated dirt (soap, hair, skin and other detritus) during the shaving process. Barbers have been familiar with this and have used a strop to maintain a straight razors edge, but this has been lost in domestic usage, following the advent of safety and cartridge razors. However, some people have found smoothly rubbing their razor on material such as leather or denim has provided a keener edge for a slightly longer period of time.

Danish Know-How

Enter the guys from Firtal Brands in Denmark, they have taken this principle and created a “strop” for cartridge and safety razors. Using modern day materials they have patented a friction razor sharpening and cleaning technology in the form of “Razorpit”. Looking like a silicone pad, it uses Thermoplastic Elastomer or TPE (a cross linking of rubbery and plastic materials) to provide a soft surface with a very high degree of friction. To use it: after shaving one applies a layer of standard shaving cream, foam or soap to the pad and then, with a small amount of pressure, pushes the razor forward across the pad 4 times. This removes the detritus, cleaning the razor and restoring the blades edge. The razor and Razorpit are then washed with water and left to dry, ready for the next shave. 

Razorpit Original shown in use via You Tube:

Teneo

The Razorpit Teneo is the latest model and unlike previous versions consists of two pieces. The first is an improved version of the “sharpening” pad, with a softer surface than the original model, which allows closer contact with the razor blade - increasing its sharpening ability. The second piece is a stand to be used for your razor (so water can drain and reduce corrosion to the blade), the sharpening pad and spare razor blades (which can hold around 4 cartridges). This is a universal stand and is said to be suitable for all types of cartridge, disposable and safety razors.

Major Claims

Razorpit make some amazing claims with their marketing material, summarized as: Increases the number of shaves per blade from 10 to 100 shaves, even 150 shaves in some cases, providing a financial saving of up to 90% on razor blades.

Review Notes

Does it Work?

Made of what looks like plastic, it’s simple to use and claims to enable people to use the same razor for what seems like ages. We think it’s very easy to be skeptical about this shaving “gadget”, so let’s get the first question answered - Does it work? The quick answer is: “Yes!”

Performance Test

We found ourselves wary of this product, feeling it was too good to be true, and so fully expected it wouldn’t work. However, we tested the Razorpit Teneo for a little over 3 months with three different razors: Two Cartridge Razors by Gillette (the MACH3 and Fusion) and an average priced razor blade in a Merkur 180 DE Safety Razor. Our consensus is the number of times you can sharpen a razor blade with Razorpit depends on the blade itself coupled with an individual’s shape of face, style of shaving and the hardness of their hair stubble. As regards the longevity of the sharpening pad we will revisit this review in a year or two but we suspect its lifespan will be measured in years.

Actual Usage

With regard to sharpness we found the Razorpit returns a blade to about 85% of its original sharpness and this slowly drops to about 70% as the amount of usage increases. This makes it more of an art form in deciding when to replace a blade. As a generalization cartridge usage should at least double and more likely reach 4-times as many shaves, although be aware, lubrication strips will disappear (not a problem if using quality soap or shave oil). Meanwhile, DE safety razor blades users should find, instead of needing to replace them once or twice a week, this will increase to once every 1 to 2 months. We managed almost 90 uses out of ours (that’s 3 months, shaving once a day) and we still could have managed a few more before changing the blade - wow!

Money Earth Saving

With regard to financial savings it’s not too difficult to do the math. If you can double the usage of your blade you’ll obtain a saving of half (50%) your normal costs – and this is the minimum you could expect (Razorpit suggest an average saving of 60%). Safety Razor users are certainly the biggest winners here, but with their blades much lower in price, the biggest money savers are the Cartridge Razor users.

Interestingly, the environmental impact of this product is mostly added as a footnote. Increasing the life of your razor blades means less are being thrown away – if everyone used Razorpit products we could expect to see a minimum reduction in razor blade waste by 50%, surely this is worthwhile by itself, even without any money saving!

Risk?

Although Razorpit has been on the market since at least 2009, it has taken some time for it to even come close to being considered standard issue for blade wielding wet shavers. There are several “me-too” makers of similar products who have also entered the market but it seems the skeptics out weigh the “early-adopters” for this type of product. Sometimes a product will do well because of evangelists praising it, and sometimes it does poorly because of naysayers undermining it, and it seems Razorpit have both of these. According to them “More than 93% of Razorpit customers are so happy with Razorpit that they would recommend it to others”. However this does mean nearly 7% wouldn’t and this seems like a high number to us…and yet we do not understand why this should be the case at all! Finally, we’ll give the last word to Razorpit: “If you are one of the few who do not find Razorpit living up to its promises, we would be happy to give you a full refund”.

Quibbles

  1. The product describes itself as a sharpener and yet in the explanation it relates to cleaning the razor blade, is it a sharpener or a cleaner? We found ourselves pulled into this question although we quickly realized: it’s both because the act of cleaning the blade makes it sharper (dictionary definitions confirm this).
  2. The stand is universally designed for as many different shapes and sizes of razor as possible and this makes perfect sense to us. However, the one universal item for this stand, the sharpening pad itself, sits in very loosely and can “wobble” around – surely a tighter fit would have been more pleasing?
  3. The stand is a great idea and is designed to sit on a washbasin (or “sink”) so that the water drains. Unfortunately we found few it would sit upon, let alone not interfere with the operation of faucets (or “taps”). This means for most it would need to sit on top of the cabinet, next to a basin, where the water drains making a small puddle on the surface. A three-piece stand, including a small collection tray, would make a useful addition for those who have to use the counter-top.

Overview

Any quibbles about this product are very minor, the fact this manages to increase the life of razor blades (saving money and the planet) is what it is all about. The risk is minimal for any still not swayed to try this out and we wholeheartedly recommend the Razorpit Teneo to all. Remember it is not just for men but can be used by women too and comes in black or white accordingly.

Price Range

$$$.

Available online within the USA from: Swag & Sage, Grooming LoungeRazors DirectMenEssentialsMens Groom Room and Shaving Creams.

Awards & Accoldes

In 2011 Razorpit won Grooming Awards from both FHM and Men’s Health.

Our Appreciation

Our thanks to MenEssentials who kindly provided the Razorpit Teneo Razor Sharpener for us to review.



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