All-flex pocket razor

While a razor that can fit in a pocket – a pocket razor, if you like – is all well and good, there have to be compromises made when you want to have a razor the size of a fountain pen. The pen style shavette, the pen with a razor, and Bowlin’s patent all shared one drawback; they used proprietary, narrow blades. The compact razor we looked at a little while back avoids that issue, by being chunkier. But what if you want to retain that pen like sleekness, yet still use a full sized razor blade? Then you end up with C J Garritson’s all-flex pocket razor.

No, I’m not entirely sure what the term all-flex means either. But the inventor does cite both the pen style shavette and the compact razor patents1 in his filing, so he is in good company.

Like several other inventors, Mr Garritson seems to have been wanting to make a very compact razor. Ideally it should either store most of a shave kit inside somehow, or be able to do more than just shave the user. In the patent text, it is claimed that the pocket razor is in the form of a fountain pen. It is, however, a rather odd pen.

The solution to have a full sized razor head in your pocket is, apparently, to have a small box to hold it in. Said box is then attached to the handle, which may or may not have a clip and other enchantments. In the words of the patent:

In the design shown in Figures 1 and 3 the handle l is provided with a threaded shank 4 having an internal threaded opening 5 and it will be noted that the external threads of the shank 4 screw into a boss E on the upper end of the compartment 2 and the internal threads 5 screw on the stem ‘l extending upward from a backing member 8 of a safety razor as shown in Figure 6.

It will be understood however that the external threads on the shank 4 may be omitted and the boss 6 may be replaced by a threaded stem 9 as shown in Figure so that the same threads by which the handle is attached to the razor may also be used for attaching the compartment 2 to the end of the handle so that the external threads may be omitted. With this arrangement the lower end of the handle would be formed as shown in Figure ‘7 with the internal threaded opening I0 adapted to be screwed on to the stem 9 and’also adapted to be screwed upon the stem 1 of the razor.

From US patent 2,429,352

Or, in layman’s terms, small box holding razor head screws on to handle in the same end as the razor head goes. There, done. I should write patents that people can understand on first reading.

Patent drawing for the all-flex pocket razor
Patent drawing for the all-flex pocket razor

As can be seen from the drawing, there were several suggestions for the handle. Primarily Mr Garritson wanted to use it to store a small tube of shaving cream. He also outlined the possibility to have the handle in the form of a fountain pen. That option might be handy if you like taking notes while shaving.

On one hand the all-flex pocket razor is better than most of the fountain pen razors I’ve seen because it uses a full size razor head. On the other hand it has two pieces2 that can get lost in use. But on the gripping hand I can’t find any evidence of the all-flex ever making it into production, so it didn’t matter in the end.

As an interesting aside, Mr Garritson also tried to patent his invention a full decade before he filed this patent. He failed to secure a patent the first time, as he explains in the application:

This application is a substitute for my former application which was filed August 1, 1935, with the Serial No. 34,192, which application became abandoned because the final Government fee was not paid.

From US patent 2,429,352

I wonder what happened to make him unable to pay the fee, after the work of filing the original patent. I am however grateful that he filed again, so I could find it and share it.

As usual, the full patent can be read at Google Patents.


  1. As well as a couple of other interesting patents I’ve not yet covered.
  2. The compartment and the lid for it.

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