Don’t you just hate how your preferred handle don’t fit your favourite razor blade?
No, me neither. After all, all double edge blades based on the Probak / Gillette patents fits virtually all double edge razors.1 In the same way, virtually all injector blades will work with virtually all injector razors. And all GEM blades work with all GEM and EverReady razors.
If, however, you’re not engaging in what I consider “traditional wetshaving”2 but are using cartridges instead… yeah, then you may be familiar with the problem this patent is trying to fix.
Filed in March 2016 by Alejandro Carlos Lee and Vincent Paul Walker, the patent application was published in June of 2021. It is assigned to Gillette Co LLC, and as mentioned it sets out to solve a problem those of us who don’t live in a walled garden don’t have to deal with. To quote:
The systems described below generally relate to an adaptor for different razor systems. More particularly, the adapter allows for a razor handle of one type of docking interface to be coupled with a cartridge of a different type of docking interface.From US patent application 2021-0283792
In other words, Gillette is trying to patent the idea of using their handle with the competition’s cartridges. Or using their cartridges with the competitors’ handle. Or, more likely, their own handle with their own incompatible cartridges.3 Gillette have, after all, several different and incompatible cartridge systems for sale.
The actual patent
I’m not going to bore you all with the dry text of the patent. Sufficient to say that the invention covers an adaptor for coupling a razor handle and a razor cartridge together. One end engages the handle. The other end engages the cartridge. Hardly engaging reading for someone who – like me – have no issues using a modern blade made in Egypt or Russia with a razor manufactured in the US over a hundred years ago. Or a razor made in Portugal last year, for that matter. The patent have a lot of drawings though, showing how it will should work with different razor systems.
That is a lot of springs and plastic parts. It will also makes the razor longer, altering the balance and handling. And I’m sure that even if it don’t start out wobbly, it will get wobbly after some wear.
Thoughts on the adaptor for different razor systems
If it’s not obvious, I believe this invention tries to solve a problem you shouldn’t have in the first place. You could consider the modern double edge blade a different shaving system than the original tree hole blade. Even so the new blades are backwards compatible – all modern blades can be used on an Old Type from 1903 if you want.4
In short, this patent exists to keep shavers in Gillette’s walled garden… and I think walled gardens are bad. The traditional safety razors on the other hand – be it double edge, Gem, injectors, and others – can be seen as open gardens. Everyone5 can set up and manufacture razors or blades. Patents are long since expired, and we as shavers are not tied to a single supply chain.
If you want to read the whole patent, it is available on Google Patents.
- At least all designed for the three hole blade, or the blade with a slit. They won’t work the Segal or the King Oscillator.
- By traditional wetshaving, I usually mean shaving with a brush, soap or cream, and a safety razor which have a replaceable blade not encapsulated in a cartridge.
- To quote directly from the patent application text: “Recently the use of adapters has been discussed to allow FUSION® type razors to attach with MACH3® type replaceable cartridges.”
- Even if it won’t shave quite the same – old blades were thicker and stiffer.
- Everyone with deep pockets, that is.