Day by Day

Monday, September 09, 2013

Proof that Great Minds Think Alike

At least when it comes to shaving.

I haven’t shaved with a disposable in years, and it was the price (and the promise of a better shave) that chased me away. I used to go through two Fusion cartridges each and every week, for a total annual bill of almost $420 on blades alone. But if you’re willing to take a few extra minutes in the morning, and a few weeks to learn a new skill, you can save a bundle by switching to old-school double edge safety razors.


Anyway, buying the best of the best products was about $200 up front to get in, then annual expenses of about $100 or so a year. You could easily spend just half of that, if you really wanted to save the money. The razor and the brush will both outlive their owner, so the buy-in expense amortizes down to almost zero. In my case I’m spending 25% of what I used to spend just on cartridges, while getting a shave almost equal to the one you’d get from a professional barber. The only trick is, taking some time to learn a new skill.

 I didn't even buy the fancy razor - I bought the $40 Merkur from The Art of Shaving, and it's been perfectly fine for me.  Even better, I bought an antique brass Gillette safety razor from an antique store in Wisconsin for $4, and depending on what razors I use that gives me the best shave of all.  I won't spend another dime on cartridge razors.  That's money down the drain.


Rivrdog said...

Watch that shaving mug! Tip it upside down after use and allow air circulation. Wash the brush carefully. Failure to do either can promote mold growth in the cup or on the brush. You do not want toxic molds in contact with freshly-shaved, and occasionally nicked skin.

Arthur said...

Huh, I just started looking at safety razors last night after I needed to pick up some more Mach3 blades and then looked at my wallet. Even if I don't buy the cheapest out there(I thought the Edwin Jagger De89lbl looked like a good start) and a sampler pack of even the pricier blades the whole kit will pay for itself in a couple of months.

Assuming I can muster the dexterity to shave without taking my face off.

0007 said...

I duuno, I've used a Norelco rechargable for about 50 years now and actually gone through three of them in that time. At about $80.00each average cost across that time frame...

Ragin' Dave said...

Arthur - get a double-edge safety razor, and start slow. You'll have to re-learn how to shave. It took me about a week before I was comfortable speeding up, and now I can shave my entire face in the same time it took me with a cartridge razor.

Just get the heaviest razor you can - you want to let the weight of the razor do the shaving. Don't push the razor into your face, as you'll get nicked up that way.

0007 - with electric razors, I get ingrown hairs the likes of which you can't even imagine. To each his own, though. I've never liked the feeling of an electric shaver, but that's just a matter of opinion.

Glenn Mark Cassel said...

I learned to shave with a Gillette Double Edge. Then in Navy Boot Camp in SD, we were issued the Bic Shaver.
I had been using the Fusion for quite awhile and decided to return to real shaving after reading an article on The Art of Manliness.
I have three mugs with two cakes of shaving soap and two brushes. The Missus is going to start making shaving soap for me and for selling at craft fairs........