Weck Surgical Prep

Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
With an original patent dating back to 1909, Edward Weck formed his company in Brooklyn New York, producing shaving razors with disposable blades under the moniker 'Sextoblade' in reference to the ... erm ... seven bladed sets, perhaps something lost in translation?

Bridging the gap between frameback straight razors, more specifically replaceable blade frameback straight razors, and the hair trimmers that they would become, Weck's razors shave quite excellently, likely the inspiration for the Durham Duplex or perhaps two folks who came up with the same great idea in synchronicity.

Selling globally, decades later and the market squeezed with Gillette-style safety razors Weck, like Durham Duplex, pushed into niche areas of hair removal to continue their business; Weck to surgical and hair trimming, Durham Duplex also to hair trimming, dog dressing and ultimately, their blades, to carpet cutting.

It is testament to just how successful Weck was with his shaving razor that the blade style is still in use today and the de facto style of blade for hair shapers the world over. Great for shaving archeologists like myself, as I can pick up a brand new modern blade and load it into a decades old razor.

What I am reviewing here is the Weck Prep. Surgical prep razor, for the removal of hair prior to the scalpel committing its business, the original blade designation would be a 'Weck Prep' blade - NOS and potentially current stock is available, but I'll be using a Personna Super Stainless hair shaper blade.

Let's have a look at the razor ...

Stainless steel, reassuringly heavy and a simple folded head which accepts a blade slide in over a combed guard.

Loading and unloading is easy enough, tension just there to hold the blade but not to make that difficult.

Once loaded, the gap does look big and I wonder if the comb will actually come into play. Upon shaving, I find that the comb simply acts as a guide between the part of the head that touched your face and the blade edge. It is intuitive and that steep angle is easily found, if quite immediate for experienced single edge shavers.

The width of the blade makes for a quick shave, but care is needed (as it is with straight edge) to watch for where the extremes of the blade are when approaching ears and corners of the mouth. The razor head is quite narrow, which makes under the nose easy enough and the edges of the blade are accessible for shaping around sideburns and picking up details around the mouth and over the chin.

As a shave, it is comfortable, fast and intuitive. Efficient, too, with a two pass shave being all I want for what we would regularly call a damn fine shave. The blade being somewhat thicker than a regular double edge blade, going against the grain (even on the top lip) is safe and irritation-free post-shave.

I like it!

With only a single shave with this razor to talk about, I am still just a little dubious about it - I can see it for shaving areas of the body, or rather somebody else's body, but for face shaving the notion of shaving with something the length of a straight edge but on a handle does feel just a little bit odd.

Compared to, say, the Durham Dubarry which is the Durham Duplex combed blade holder on a handle, the Weck Prep is a much improved concept yet not as refined as, say, the Durham Dorset. It's functional ... which I think is the point; the sheer comfort in the engineering of the Durham Dorset (No.200) or its plastic handled sibling No.201 is just not there.

The Weck Prep is available in three styles, from what I can tell: this example with the heavier handle end, one where the handle tapers to a thin end and a third type, much narrower, taking a proprietary blade about an inch long, same width.

... and so, as "some girls wander by mistake into the mess that scalpels make" I'll leave you with this lesson done.
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
While the folding Wecks are still quite conventional, think one half of a Durham Duplex, this surgical razor is perhaps out there on left of field. In the end, it removes hair. I'm not sure if the desired result for pre-surgery shaving is more or less close than the requirement we have for face shaving, but this razor did its thing - quickly, efficiently and smoothly. Having a more rigid blade really works for me.

These Prep razors come up so few and far between, if you're interested and see one ... bag it! You're unlikely to see another for a year or so.
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