Double Edged Safety Razors – Screw You, Big Razorblade

VodkapunditHirsute Hipsters Have Harrowing Habits

Harrowing, that is, if you’re in the business of selling disposable razors:

Procter & Gamble (PG), which rules the category with Mach-3-maker Gillette, said its razor sales are falling in developed markets. This followed yesterday’s announcement by Energizer (ENR) that unit sales of its Schick men’s razors have dropped 10 percent in the past year—a literal decimation.

I’ll tell you what’s really killing them, and that’s $4 razor cartridges. If you’re a kid in your 20s, stuck living at home because of Obamanomics, you’ll save money wherever you can — and there’s a good chance your boss at your McJob doesn’t care if you have stubble or not. The worst part for manufacturers is, how they gonna get those kids back on the cartridge farm, once they’ve seen hairy Par-ee?

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.

I switched to a double edge mostly because I thought shaving with a cartridge razor was boring and soulless, but the savings are sweet. (It’s a closer shave, too.)

I bought a Stahly Live Blade at an antique store for five bucks and ordered 100 Persona blades from Amazon for 19 smackers. So a razor and enough blades for years for less than 25 bucks.

Most people who get into double edge and straight razors buy a badger hair brush, soap bar, and mug, which ups the initial investment a bit. I haven’t gotten around to that. One day that would make a swell Father’s Day present. Right now I’m still working through the same can of Barbasol.

PreviouslyDouble Edged Safety Razors – The Blades

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6 Responses to Double Edged Safety Razors – Screw You, Big Razorblade

  1. Pingback: SayUncle » Dunno, those kind of scare me

  2. Jake says:

    I use Derby Extra blades. They’re even cheaper, with 200 for $15 at Amazon.

    Most people who get into double edge and straight razors buy a badger hair brush, soap bar, and mug, which ups the initial investment a bit. I haven’t gotten around to that. One day that would make a swell Father’s Day present. Right now I’m still working through the same can of Barbasol.

    The investment is definitely worth it – I get an even better and more comfortable shave using real shaving soap, and I really notice the difference when I use the canned stuff instead (mostly when I visit my parents for the weekend).

  3. Phelps says:

    Get the rest of it in stages while you can. The brush would be first, but frankly, a $12 pure badger to start is fine (http://www.amazon.com/Escali-100%25-Badger-Shaving-Brush/dp/B003WR3QSG/ref=sr_1_1?tag=lejobl-20) and you can move up to the expensive silvertip badger when you have the cash (or not, because the pure badger does the job fine.)

    As for a mug and soap, meh. Any sort of dish or mug works, and while I use the Truefitt and Harris sandalwood soap because I love the smell, I’ve gotten shaves just as good with a bar of Ivory soap. (At $25 for more than a year’s worth of soap, though, it’s hard to not justify the T&H soap.)

    You’ve already got the razor. Get the brush, and you’re a $.99 bar of ivory and a quick trip to the kitchen cabinets away from shaving like our great-grandparents did.

  4. MrSatyre says:

    Funny you should mention stubble and McD’s. I was masticating at one in the Philly region and overheard a manager lambasting her employees for being slackers, in addition to many other failings, and…hold your hat…not shaving!

  5. Robb Allen says:

    I have an electric that I use to keep the chin strap cleaned up. I don’t grow a mustache out of fear of deportation. Other than that, I like the stubbly look for a day or two, then just go with the electric to get it to ‘not quite as stubbly’ and save all kinds of money. ;)

  6. Kermit says:

    Or, you could use a single-edge cutthroat, and really learn how to shave. My dear wife got me a straight razor with disposable half-blade (either 1/2 of a safety razor blade, or premade half-blades), and it works quite well. There is a learning curve, but it’s really not that difficult, gives as close or as coarse a shave as I want, and a single pack of 100 blades costs about 10 bucks, and can last for years.

    Also, +1 on the sandalwood soap. I’m using 30 Degree sandalwood right now; it’s got a decently thick lather without drying too quickly, and the scent is mild.