The commercials would have you believe that real men shave each morning on the back of a motorbike, before riding off through a cloud of dry ice on the way to the football stadium.
We simply don't think that's what shaving is, or should be like. Your razor shouldn't shout at you. Shaving should be a tranquil experience - calm and peaceful with the radio on and the aroma of coffee wafting through from the kitchen.
But when we tried to find a stylish, simple razor to compliment the morning shave, we struggled. We mostly found ugly, over-engineered plastic razors that you'd want to hide in a bathroom cabinet - eyesores rather than eye candy.
The only alternatives were expensive 'designer' razors that were still (for the most part) not particularly beautiful, or cut-throat razors which may be trendy right now but offer a rather scary, uncomfortable shaving experience.
So our founder Rob took matters into his own hands, and designed the Ockham Razor - a simple, beautiful razor with the convenience of cartridge blades, that won't break the bank.
The Ockham Razor doesn't vibrate, it doesn't have flashing lights or lasers and it definitely can't tweet or post to your timeline. But that's why we like it.
The Ockham Razor aims to be a design classic, borne from a belief that form should follow function, and that the most simple designs are often the best. It is a beautiful, clean, simple razor that we're proud to have on display in the bathroom.
We care about design and strongly believe that beautiful products are a pleasure to use. If you appreciate a well crafted watch, the elegant lines of a beautiful pen or, dare I say, a classic typeface, then the Ockham Razor is for you.
The Ockham Razor is made with a one-piece handle, precision cast in England from solid metal.
The simple ergonomics, balanced weight and slightly longer length of the razor handle make it a joy to use. The sophisticated lines of the design also make it much easier to keep clean - unlike most other razors, which have lots of separate bits of plastic and rubber that quickly get clogged up with soap and limescale.
We have chosen to make our razor compatible with standard Gillette Mach 3 blades. These blades are very well-regarded and provide a tried-and-tested close, comfortable shave. Most importantly, the blades are widely available at supermarkets, pharmacies and drug stores so wherever you are you can get hold of new blades when you need them.
William of Ockham (sometimes spelled Occam) was a medieval English philosopher most well-known for his principle of thought called Ockham's razor. Basically, his point was that among competing hypotheses you should chose the one that has fewest assumptions and is simplest. This perfectly reflects the thinking behind this razor – keep it simple and the rest will follow.
The Ockham Razor will be manufactured in England, from a zinc alloy (ZL5 as I'm sure you were wondering), using a die casting process. This manufacturing process results in no waste material and a finished product that can be efficiently recycled if needs be.
A small plastic mechanism is inserted into our one-piece metal handle to allow the razor cartridge to flex and be taken on and off.
The Ockham Razor is a beautiful object, but it is not just that. We have also made every effort to ensure that our manufacturing processes, and the finished product itself, are carefully thought through and implemented to ensure a solid piece of engineering.
With the reputation of the country on our shoulders we will do absolutely everything we can to make a quality product worthy of its provenance!
When you pledge to get a razor you will receive an Ockham Razor fitted with one razor cartridge so it's ready to use.
The classic Ockham Razor is the silver one in most of the pictures (silver colour, not actual silver - it's made of zinc). In addition to the classic razor, we also have two Kickstarter special edition finishes. These are also solid zinc, but are either coated with a black finish or copper plated.
Newly available is a 24 carat gold-plated Ockham Razor. The razors will be gold-plated in London's famous Hatton Garden jewellery quarter. Way cheaper than a gold Apple phone and it won't be obsolete in 12 months!
Each of the three types of razor can also be personalized. We will engrave your name or initials on the top of the razor handle.
If you opt for a personalized razor, you'll obviously need to tell us what you want on it. If we succeed in hitting our target then at the end of the project we will get in touch to find out what you want. We will then ship a personalized razor in the same way as a regular one.
If you pledge for one of our cards, the Thank You postcard or the Father's Day card, then thank you so much for supporting us.
The Thank You postcard is a sketch by Rob showing some pictures of the Ockham Razor design and other doodles related to the project.
Since the Ockham Razor won't be made in time for June 21st, which is Father's Day for many, we created a Father's Day card. Maybe you just like it as a quirky card for a great father, or you can get a card in addition to a razor and the card can be a promissory note for an Ockham Razor when they ship!
Here's what they look like:
Your razor will be shipped in simple, recyclable, cardboard packaging. There will be no plastic or other superfluous material in the packaging.
Ockham Razors will be shipped from London, England. Shipping is included for the UK but other countries may have additional charges.
Just under half of the money we require is to make the tooling for the casting of the razor handles. The rest will be used for:
- The zinc which the first batch of razors are cast from.
- The finishing of the handles once they are cast (vibro-polishing and then coating).
- The blade fitting mechanisms that fit into the handle.
- The razor cartridges which will be supplied with your razors.
- The packaging and shipping of the finished products.
So far we've taken this project from the drawing board, through concept evaluation, to prototyping and testing. We have used several techniques for prototyping, including making metal prototypes (to experiment with the weight and feel of the razor) and 3D printing (to refine the shape and ergonomics of the razor handle).
We need your help to take the next step - manufacturing the actual razor. Full production of the Ockham Razor will require die casting in metal, for which a mould must first be made. We have got this all lined up with a manufacturer in England, but need funds to finance the tooling for the mould. This is what the biggest chunk of the money we raise will be for.
We are a small team based in London. All of us have had experience delivering real projects in the real world. In addition to that, Mat has had the specific experience of a very successful Kickstarter project under his belt.
Rob, who came up with the idea for the Ockham Razor, is an engineer and product manager who has helped build many digital and physical products over the years and never thought he'd somehow end up being obsessed with razors.
He couldn't have done it without Nick, mechanical design engineer extraordinaire, Bec, a top-notch industrial designer, and the wisdom of project manager Mat to keep things all on track.
- 60 grams
- 2.1 ounces
- Cast zinc alloy (ZL5), coated with a super thin layer of clear matt lacquer for protection.
- For special editions: coated with either a black lacquer or plated with real copper metal.
- Plastic insert mechanism with spring for attachment of the Mach 3 razor cartridges.
And finally some thank yous to all those who have helped us get this far.
The intro music is the Flower Duet from Léo Delibes' Lakme performed by Quatuor Quatre Saisons. This recording is used under a Creative Commons licence from the incredible Musopen.org. If you're looking for royalty-free music you really should check them out.
And in other video news, thanks to Ali from WDINT for the fun we had making our April Fools video about the Eclipz Razor.
Graphic design help has come from a great friend Niels at Silverless.
Extra product shots were done by the superb Rob of Rob Wilson Photography.
The help we've had from our suppliers so far has been invaluable.
Rob, Andy and all the team at Jones & Wilkinson have been incredibly generous with their time and knowledge right from when we first spoke to them about the project. A special mention must also go to Magnus for his input and encouragement.
For 3D printed prototyping we've been using 3DHubs which is an excellent service for harnessing the power of 3D printing. Loh Hu in our local London hub has been brilliant.
We've been really impressed so far with the skills and enthusiasm of the team at Saxon packaging and we're excited about their elegant and environmentally-friendly packaging solution.
Perhaps most of all though, we wouldn't have got this far without the support from countless friends, family and even strangers who've chipped in and helped us out. Those who've suggested, encouraged, advised, proof-read, shaved for the cause and laughed at Rob trying to present in a video. You know who you are and we are grateful.
And last, but certainly not least, thanks to you for reading all the way down to the bottom! We hope you love what you see and will join us to help kick-start the Ockham Razor!
Risks and challenges
Our supplier for the metal cast part of the razor is in the UK so we hope that any delays there can be mitigated because we have a close relationship with them - professionally and geographically.
The supplier has experience of similar products and we have worked closely with their engineers to ensure that our design is suitable for the die casting process.
Once the razor handles are cast in metal they must be finished - vibro polished and then coated. This is a separate process to the casting process and will be carried out at a separate facility to the casting and this is another cog in the wheel and therefore a potential risk. However, our casting supplier and finishing facility have worked together before so we believe that the transfer will run smoothly.
In addition to the metal handle body we also need to add a small plastic part which allows the razor cartridge to connect to the handle. This is an off-the-shelf part which is sourced from China. There is a timing risk with the shipping which we plan to mitigate by sourcing these parts in parallel with the razor handle tooling to give us plenty of time.
There is a potential risk in quality variation in these parts but we will be rigorous with our quality checks. We have received samples from one supplier and to mitigate any risks we have identified an alternative supplier in case we need them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)