When it comes to double-edged safety razors, the Schick Krona is probably one of the most legendary. Introduced in 1959, the Krona “Chrome” edge blades were some of the first to have an injector with a built-in used blade vault. This was awesome for shavers, as it meant that you could take your safety razor wherever you went while not having to deal with the icky step of disposing of used razor blades.
You know how people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, sometimes the old tricks become new again, and we need to look at them with fresh eyes. I’ve been hearing a lot about the Schick Krona lately, and it seems to be coming back quite a bit – not just because it’s a piece of vintage curiosity, but because it’s a genuinely good razor. With that in mind, we decided to give it a shot and tell you what we thought; this razor’s an oldie but a goodie.
How To Care for Your Safety Razor:
We know that you are here to read our review of the Schick Krona and we promise to get to that shortly. First, we’d like to tell you how to properly care for a safety razor properly if you are new to the old school shave game. We figure that the price tags that some safety razors carry, you might as well get your money’s worth and the best way to do that is by taking care of it properly. Let’s go ahead and get started so that you can get to the Schick Krona review that we know you are waiting.
Luckily, there isn’t a whole lot of work that has to be done to keep your straight razor in top notch shape. All it takes is a simple routine that you are able to continually follow and you will have yourself a razor that shaves your face like nobody’s business.
One of the easiest and best things that you can do for your safety razor is to keep it dry. Keep it dry when it is not in use and dry it as soon as you are done using it – sounds simple enough, right? A dry razor is a rust free razor, which is obviously a much desired trait. It is also harder for those gross bits of leftover soap to hang on for dear life if the razor is wiped dry right after it’s cleaned and rinsed. Our experience with safety razors also tells us that the blade lasts longer when these steps are followed as well.
Starting a cleaning routine that takes places every few weeks is another great way to care for your safety razor. Giving all of the individual parts, joints and corners a thorough scrubbing is super important because there is likely built up hair, soap and dead skin lurking in places that may be unseen without a deeper look.
There are a few different options in terms of cleaning solution and which one you decide is totally up to you. A lot of razor owners like to use a small rag that had been dabbed in rubbing alcohol to rub down the razor’s components. There is also the option to use a small toothbrush and a bit of a bit of dish soap to clean those stubborn bits of gunk while reaching nooks and crannies easier than with a rag.
You might as well clean your shaving brush while you’re at it and kill two birds with one stone. All you need is a tiny bit of dish soap and a really good rinsing. You should see a noticeable difference in the amount of oil residue that was built up. Hang it up to dry once you are done and viola!
The replacement blades for safety razors are usually pretty cheap, so be sure to change them on a regular basis. You’ll probably be able to get a week out of each blade unless you want to sharpen it with a blade sharpener. Some guys find so much success with this that their blades end up lasting months rather than a week.
Lastly, storing your razor properly is just as important to it’s lifespan as the other tips we have mentioned above. You don’t need anything really fancy to store it properly. A razor stand or even a toothbrush holder will do just fine, but make sure that it’s kept in a dry area and that it doesn’t get dusty.
That’s all she wrote, boys! Now that we got that out of our system, let’s get on with our review of the Schick Krona!
Pros & Cons:
One of the big pros for the Schick Krona is, honestly, its age – because it was just made for a couple decades and discontinued in the late 70s, they have that strange sense of rarity to them. Paradoxically, though, so many of these razors were created during that time period that they’re not actually rare, just vintage. You know what that means? You can probably pick them up for a song on eBay; there are barely-used or completely new ones you can grab for five dollars!
On top of all that, for a razor that’s probably as old as your dad, it can still shave like nobody’s business. While the thick plastic handle feels a little chintzier than the big chrome ones that make you feel like you’re handling a power tool, the Krona’s handle is still pretty durable and heavy, so you’ve still got that control that is vital to a good shave. While it’s not an adjustable blade, the off-center nature of the center bar also means that one side tends to be a little more exposed than the other; this results in a razor that you can flip from one side to the other to get different shaves depending on what you need. Some see that as a design flaw; I see it as versatility.
Another great advantage to the Krona is that it’s an awesome beginner’s razor; the shave itself is very forgiving, since it doesn’t require the kind of light, deft touch that comes with having a little more experience with shaving. You can pretty much just run it down your face like a lawn mower and you’ll be fine; there’s no irritation or redness that will come afterwards, and the razor itself can take a lot of punishment. While it can take a while to get a truly close shave if you’re just starting out with this, just give it a bit of practice and you’ll be an expert in no time.
If you can’t find a Krona on eBay, here are some good alternatives:
- CONCORD Double Edge DE Safety Razor
- Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl Lined Detail Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
- Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor
- Feather Double Edge Shaving Razor
- Parker 99R – Long Handle SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor
Who Would Use It?
Like we said before, I think Schick Kronas would be good beginner’s razors, due to their cheap price and easy shave. If you’re skittish about nicks or cuts, you can feel pretty secure with this razor, since you won’t have to treat your face with kid gloves. The plastic handle is, again, a bit flimsy feeling compared to metal handles, but it still looks fine, and the nostalgia or vintage value of the razor itself will outweigh the lack of value a plastic handle might imply.
Even so, the Krona is great for collectors, as well; it’s a wonderful way to get acquainted with the history of shaving, and if you really want to shave like your grandpa like Sharpologist tells you to, you might want to get the actual razor that he probably used. The combination of cheap, effective and historic is almost too much to pass up, and you’ll find yourself feeling like you’re holding a piece of history when you use it. This may seem like a bit of a copout when you’re probably just thinking about how well it will shave your face, but it’s a nice bonus to know that you don’t need the latest thing – just the best thing.
A Few Final Thoughts
To conclude, the Schick Krona is a fascinating piece of history, a wonderful vintage rarity, and a good double edged razor in its own right. It shaves quite nicely, unconventional blade spacing issues aside, and the fact that you can get it for pennies is just an added bonus. It still fits nearly every kind of DE razor blade, since they’ve been virtually unchanged for decades, and it’s a razor blade that is ACTUALLY old school. You’ll have to look around for a razor that has so much going for it for so little a price.
In an age where companies left and right are trying to emulate the look of the past and charge you a premium for it, sometimes it pays off to actually have something from a previous era so you can get a more authentic wet shaving experience. You might call it vintage, others might call it preying on nostalgia; I call it a great bargain for a surprisingly awesome razor. If you get a Krona, whether as a collector, a shaving veteran or a newbie, there’s at least one reason you won’t be disappointed.