Have a Double Edged razor you enjoy? Want to use your favourite GEM or other Single Edged blade? Fear not, Walter Althof1 patented the solution in 1923; An adapter that let you use a single edged blade in a double edged razor.

Well, more on than in. But even so, you could use your favourite single edged blade in on with your favourite double edged razor.

As to why you should is a completely different question. And one the patent text fails to address. What it does talk about though, is the position of your hand while shaving. To quote:

The object of the invention is to produce a device capable of being assembled with the ordinary safety razor of the double edge blade type to adapt said razor for use with a single edge blade. Further, safety razors of the double edge blade type support the blade in a position practically at right angles to the longitudinal axis or extension of the handle so that the handle must be held at substantially right angles to the surface to be shaved. Such a position is unnatural, and somewhat difficult for the hand of the operator to assume, and another object of the invention is to produce a simple and inexpensive device, capable of assemblage with a razor of the double-edge blade type that will support a blade in a normally inclined position disposed at a substantial angle to the plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the handle. Thus, a razor substantially of the character known as “hoe type” is produced.

The actual device patented is fairly straight forward. The adapter is little more than a bent piece of sheet metal.

Patent drawing for US patent 1,453,487

The adapter has a fairly complex shape, but should be easy to manufacture in a suitable press. Or it could – conceivably – be an extruded metal profile. The bottom part is concave to fit between the bottom plate and top cap of the razor. The upper part is shaped to hold the blade. A small flange (marked 16 on the drawing) presses the blade against the top cap and bottom plate.

The patent also suggests a special blade, with a groove about half way down the blade that will engage the top cap. But I can easily see using a GEM blade in the adapter, if the design is adjusted so that the flange would grip under the spine of the blade.

As designed, the adapter is suitable for razors using three posts for blade alignment. It should be possible to redesign it for other razors too, by replacing the three cut-outs with the same slot as a normal double edged razor blade has.

To use it, you would place the adapter on the razor, place the blade in the adapter, and tighten the handle. And that is about it. Just shave as normal, just remember to check the angle of attack.

I see no reason why the adapter shouldn’t work as intended. I just don’t see a compelling reason why you should use it. But even so… if someone offered this for sale, I would probably buy one. Or two…

You can read the full patent text for the adapter to use SE Blades with DE Razors on Google Patents, as well as over on razors.click.

  1. Of the city of Geneva, in the county of Ontario, in the State of New York