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There’s something to be said about products that just work. Products that are built to last. Things built with this intention in mind, tend to be carefully considered when it comes to design, the materials used, and the manufacturing process. When you’re looking to build something with longevity that ends up being the north star. Quality can’t be compromised under this intention. It wouldn’t make any sense to.
At Henson, we’ve been making parts for large aerospace projects for 20 years. When you’re making parts that end up in space, you’re making them with longevity in mind. We made critical components for the OneWeb constellation and parts for the Exo Mars rover. Needless to say those parts can’t come back to the shop for repairs, they have to work and they have to work for decades. Manufacturing parts designed to last a lifetime is part of our DNA.
Through a few happenstances, we turned our attention to razors. One thing quickly became evident: many of the products were more focused on selling blades than supporting them. Imagine skating on blades that were wiggling around, or trying to cut carrots with a knife blade that bent and flexed. You could get the job done, but without the accuracy you would prefer to be safe. So we set about designing a razor with this in mind.
The end result is the AL13 razor. Made of Aluminum (which, yes, is the 13th element on the periodic table), we machine this razor to very tight tolerances in an effort to control both the blade extension and exposure. By minimizing these geometries we believe the additional blade support greatly reduces flex and chatter and thereby irritation.
Since our focus was on blade support, and not the blade itself, we designed our razor to work with standard DE (double edge). These blades typically cost 10-15 cents each. And since they are not unique to our razor, you don’t need to buy them from us.
So in setting out to make a quality product that lasts, and focusing on proper function we actually landed on a fairly poor business model. That model being, you buy a razor only once and you do not have to buy any blades from us at all. Most of the innovation in the shaving industry over the last decade has more to do with business models (subscriptions, direct-to-consumer offerings, etc) than function. And hey, that’s ok too. Many of those companies have built tremendous businesses. It just wasn’t part of our DNA.