Some razor blades acquire a sense of legend about them, none more so than the Personna 74!

Truth in advertising? Certainly a brave claim!

The Personna brand was acquired by the American Safety Razor Corporation in 1953 after purchasing the Pal Blade Company.

In the 1960s and 1970s it was owned by Philip Morris, the tobacco company. Purported the management decided that they wanted to take on Gillette and in doing so they decided to throw the industry business model out of the window. They decided to make a long lasting blade.

In 1970 the Personna 74 was introduced, it was a very special blade. The steel is a a tungsten alloy, which makes it extremely hard and wear resistant. This is the sort of steel that they used for making the cutting tools that are used when machining other steels. This alone would make a blade that lasted a long time. But Personna went further, they coated it with a microscopic layer of titanium, which protected the steel underneath.

Unsurprisingly they ended up with what is definitely the longest lasting safety razor blade ever made and also possibly the sharpest. There are reports of customers using the same blade for months. Which obviously was very bad for Personna’s business. So after only a few years in production they dropped it.

Among the wet-shaving community it has acquired almost legendary status, and NOS blades are highly sought after and increasingly expensive. Threads abound about this blade on shaving forums, check out this one with details of the different variants – Personna 74 Tungsten Blade Variants.

[Note: these legendary blades should not be confused with the modern day production – which are not in the same league.]

Be a wet shaving evangelist, spread the word!