Travel, Mark K and Mark One razors: Which Should You Choose?
Thomas Clipper razors are all double edge safety razors, featuring classic minimal design and all-metal precision construction. So they've actually got more in common than they have to set themselves apart.
In terms of shave quality, all three are top notch. Indeed they feature the same head so the blade gap on both is medium/large giving a reasonably punchy shave for even thick stubble.
Moving to the handle, both are made individually in the UK, with the Mark One and K made in Market Harborough and the Travel Razor in London.
We talk a lot about a good shave weight and length, the image above shows some of our prototype razor handles. After research with over 100 customers we believe we've found a perfect dimensions for a solid shave. So it might not come as a surprise that both the Mark K and the Mark One have the same weight and height. The outlier here is the Travel Razor, which is slightly lighter for reasons explained below...
Let's start with the obvious: the Travel Razor is collapsable. Unscrew the three parts and it fits into a matchbox. In addition, the handle is machined half from aluminium, half steel. This achieves a lighter travel friendly handle, but with enough heft to still give the precision our customers demand.
Moving onto the Mark K and the Mark One, which have more in common from a construction perspective.
The Mark K is a special edition razor that we've limited production of since the beginning. In fact, once we sell out of the Mark K's we've got in stock currently we won't be making any more. Don't worry, we've still got a few! But that's one difference.
Second, the notch in the Mark K at the top of the neck (which requires three passes on the CNC machine) allows for a little more precision. Experienced shavers will get extremely good precision out of both razors, but in our opinion the K offers just a little more.
Third and finally, the most obvious difference is really the most important and that's the design. The Mark One is a classic and timeless minimal piece of simple clean production. The Mark K is an iconic and bold design requiring a three pass CNC turning process. For that reason we believe it represents the best of British design and precision engineering.
Which Should You Choose?
If you're looking for a razor that you can travel with, the answer is easy. But if you're looking for an heirloom that stays mostly put, then the choice is far more subjective.
As with much in life, it comes down to personal taste. Our recommendation would be to go with whichever razor looks better in your home... and given our rather generous (if we do say so ourselves) return policy the best way to find out might be to pop it on your bathroom shelf, take a step back and make a decision.
Thank you to Abhirup for his question this afternoon which prompted an answer that was perhaps longer than he was expecting and lead directly to this post!