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Stropping Guard


InventionGuard for Razor-Blades

FiledMonday, 10th March 1884

PublishedTuesday, 28th April 1885

InventorsJames Brady, Alfred Victor Brokhahne


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A PDF version of the original patent can be found here.

No. 316,731.Patented Apr. 28, 1885.
United States Patent Office.

James Brady, of Brooklyn, and Alfred V. Brokhahne, of New York, N. Y. Guard for Razor-Blades.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 316,731, dated April 28, 1885. Application filed March 10, 1884. (No model.)

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that we, James Brady, of Brooklyn, Kings county, New York, and Alfred V. Brokhahne, of New York city, New York, have invented a novel Stropping and Honing Attachment for Razors, Knives, &c., of which the following is a specification.

The object of our invention is to provide a simple attachment for knife or razor blades whereby a sharp-backed hollow-ground razor may be stropped without scraping or injuring the surface of the strop, and whereby a knife-blade may be easily held or presented at such an angle to the surface of the hone as will grind a regular and true cutting-edge thereon, and obviate the necessity of skillful manipulation in this operation, which is generally necessary to properly sharpen a knife.

To these ends our invention may be briefly stated to consist in a clasp, preferably of semi-tubular form, adapted to slide or fit over the back edge of the blade, and thus form a rest to contact with the hone, by which the back edge of the blade will be raised above the surface of the hone at such an inclination as to present the cutting-edge to the hone at the proper angle for grinding a true cutting-edge thereon. We also make the bearing-faces of the clasp or slide smooth or rounding, so that it will slide or move smoothly over the surface of the hone or strop, and in the case of stropping a razor will roll down the greased surface of the strop, keeping it smooth and compact, and thereby covering and neutralizing the sharp back of hollow-ground razors, which tend to scrape and injure the strop. Our invention therefore consists, mainly, in the features here outlined, and also in some details, as hereinafter fully set forth.

In the annexed drawings, Figure 1 presents a perspective view of a razor provided with our improved attachment, and Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the attachment removed. Fig. 3 is a perspective view of an attachment better adapted for honing knife-blades and being flatter in cross-section. Fig. 4 gives a cross-section of a-razor-blade with our attachment affixed and resting on a strop, illustrating the action in stropping, and Fig. 5 is a cross-section of a knife-blade with the attachment applied resting on the hone to illustrate the action in honing. Figs. 6 and 7 show a modification.

Referring first to Fig. 1, a indicates the razor-blade, and b our novel attachment fitted to the back thereof. The razor-blade, as shown, in common with almost all other blades, is of wedging form in cross-section, but the sides are usually ground deeply in a concave curve, or what is known as “hollow-ground,” leaving the blade quite thin toward the edge and thick at the back, so that the back frequently has sharp angles on each corner thereof, as shown. When the blade is therefore placed upon and moved along the strop, these sharp angles tend to scrape the surface of the strop, so as not only to interfere with the proper stropping action on the edge of the razor, but also injure the strop. It will be seen, however, that the attachment b, which is slid over the back of the razor, covers these sharp angles, and thus neutralizes the same and provides a smooth rounding surface to rest upon the strop, as shown in Fig 4, and thus completely obviates the objections noted, besides presenting the cutting-edge to the surface of the strop at a better angle for stropping, as will be appreciated.

The attachment b may be described simply as a split or cleft tube, preferably of sprung brass or steel, and preferably of a round cross-section for razors, as shown well in Figs. 2 and 4, and slightly springy or elastic, and of such a size as will fit tightly over the back edge of the razor, so that the attachment is easily applied by sliding it longitudinally over the back edge of the blade, as shown in Fig. 1, when the edges of the cleft tube will tightly embrace the blade, and thus retain the attachment firmly thereon, as will be understood. We prefer to have one end of the attachment at the edges of the cleft rounded away, as shown in Fig. 1, so that the end of the razor-back may be entered more easily, as will be understood, and the outer end of the tube may have a stop, b′, to strike against the tip of the blade when the tube is slid fully down thereon, as shown in Fig. 1.

The attachment thus applied to the razor may be left permanently thereon during the action of shaving as well as of stropping, or it may be applied thereto only when the razor is stropped, and removed at other times. The attachment, however, will in no way interfere with the action in shaving, and hence may be left constantly attached to the razor-back. In fact, the attachment may be made a positive assistant in shaving, particularly in the hands of novices in self-shaving, in which ease the tube or attachment may be rested against and slid over the skin in moving the cutting-edge of the razor against the beard, and this will present the cutting-edge at a safe angle for shaving and reduce the danger of cutting. To serve this purpose, the tube db should preferably be a little thicker or wider diametrically than shown, so that when the razor-blade is placed upon a surface, as in Fig. 4, the cutting-edge will be presented to the surface at an angle of about fifteen degrees, which is the usual shaving angle, whereas the stropping and honing angle is less.

The special form of the tube in cross-section is not of course essential, except that it should be of such a form as will fit snugly on the back of the blade and have rounded corners or bearing-faces, as described, and hence the tube may be more or less round or flat, as may be desired, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, and its edge may be straight, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, or scalloped, as shown in Fig. 3. For knife-blades we prefer to make the tube in a flat dovetailed form, as in Fig. 3, with, however, its corners rounded, as shown, and adapted to be slid tightly over the back of the blade and grasp it like a spring-clasp in the same manner as described in connection with the razor, as will be readily comprehended. This tube or clasp for the knife should be of such a thickness that when applied to the knife-blade, and the blade placed flatly on the hone, as shown in Fig. 5, the edge of the blade will be presented to the surface of the hone at the proper angle for grinding a true cutting-edge thereon, said angle being usually about ten degrees. It will therefore be seen that when the blade is fitted with this attachment and pressed lightly upon the hone, as seen in Fig. 5, and moved back and forth thereon with the usual honing motion, the cutting-edge will be kept constantly to the hone at the proper angle without any special effort of the hand, as heretofore required, thus enabling the blade to be sharpened to a true edge in a rapid and easy manner without requiring that special skill which, as is well known, is comparatively rare in persons who attempt to sharpen knives.

This attachment may be, of course, used for any other blades for which it may be suited, besides for razors and knife-blades, and may be used either for honing or stropping, as described.

It is not, of course, necessary that the attachment be made in semi-tubular form at all, although we prefer this, as it may be made of wire, as shown in Figs. 6 and 7, in the form of a spring-clasp to slide over the back of the razor in the same manner and with the same effect as the cleft tube in Fig. 1. In this modification it will be readily understood that the longitudinal wires on each side will embrace the sides of the razor-blade in the same position as the edges of the cleft tube in Fig. 1, and these wires will rest upon the surface of the hone or strop, and thus keep the sharp angles of the razor-back out of contact therewith.

We are aware that the back and shank of razor-blades have been made of sheet metal, into which the blade proper slides. We are also aware that a cleft back has been pivoted to the shank end of a thin blade and arranged to swing off the blade when the blade is honed or stropped. We are also further aware that a thin clasp of sheet metal has been slipped over the blade, so as to cover both sides of the blade, leaving only the mere cutting-edge exposed between the lips of the clasp. We are also aware that a handle has been provided with a clasp adapted to receive a loose blade to be honed; but in this case the clasp does not extend but about one-half the length of the blade, and hence it would neither present all parts of the edge of the blade uniformly at the proper angle to the hone, nor would it prevent the strop being scratched by the sharp corners of the back of the razor. All the devices obviously differ from our device both in construction and purpose, and we therefore disclaim them, as our device consists, essentially, of a removable clasp adapted to firmly fit upon the back of the blade of an ordinary razor when the same is to be honed or stropped, leaving the edge part exposed, and having a lateral projection from the back of the plate extending along the whole length of the blade to such an extent as will keep the blade tilted on the strop or hone to the correct angle for its entire length, which is a feature not shown in either of the devices mentioned, and a purpose not accomplished or sought for by the former devices.

What we claim as our invention is—

1. A removable attachment adapted to be secured to the back of an ordinary razor or knife blade, and embrace the same longitudinally, with rounded bearing sides or corners projecting laterally from the back of the blade for the whole length thereof, and adapted to roll or slide smoothly over the surface of a strop or hone, substantially as and for the purpose set forth.

2. A removable clasp adapted to be fitted to the back of an ordinary-handled knife or razor blade, and to project laterally therefrom to form a gage or rest for the blade along its whole length when placed on the hone or strop, and made of such thickness or projection as will present the edge of the blade at the correct sharpening angle to the surface of the hone or strop, substantially as herein set forth.

James Brady.
Alfred V. Brokhahne.


Jno. E. Gavin,

Chas. M. Higgins.