A razor is a bladed tool primarily used in the removal of body hair through the act of shaving. Kinds of razors include straight razors, safety razors, disposable razors, and electric razors.
While the razor has been in existence since before the Bronze Age (the oldest razor-like object has been dated to 18,000 BC), the most common types of razors in current usage are the safety razor and the electric razor, though other kinds are still in use.
The first step towards a safer-to-use razor was the guard razor – also called a straight safety razor – which added a protective guard to a regular straight razor. The first such razor was most likely invented by a French cutler Jean-Jacques Perret circa 1762. The invention was inspired by the joiner's plane and was essentially a straight razor with its blade surrounded by a wooden sleeve. The earliest razor guards had comb-like teeth and could only be attached to one side of a razor; a reversible guard was one of the first improvements made to guard razors.
Many other brands of safety razors have come and gone. Much of the competition was based on designing blades that would fit only one style of razor until the blade shape was standardized by the inclusion of a multi-faceted central channel to the blade which would accommodate the various designs of blade securing systems; e.g. three pins, a slender metal bar, etc. Even today, these various securing forms still persist in their variety in DE razors, all accepting the same universal blade design.
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