Converting to Safety Razors

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Cigarman
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Cigarman » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:37 pm

I buy disposables at Costco, shave in the shower and thoroughly dry the bleed after cleaning with a towel. Blades become ineffective because the metal (surgical steel in many cases) corrodes when left to air dry after use. A quick rinse, a good drying and I can get 2 - 3 months per disposable.

FYI...this was originally mentioned by a metallurgist on Clark Howard a number of years ago. Clark swears he gets 1+ years using this method.

4strings
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by 4strings » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:55 am

I switched to a safety razor about a month ago and I am now addicted! Using a horsehair/badger brush with a good soap makes all the difference. Far superior shave, with less irritation, and a ton cheaper. It takes a little bit longer, but overall I love it.

lazydavid
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by lazydavid » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:38 pm

Mingus wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:31 pm
For me, Feather blades are way too sharp.
Agreed. I wind up with a harsh shave that isn't any closer, and a few weepers most times. I've found that what works best for me is a moderately sharp blade and a very aggressive head, and applying absolutely zero pressure, letting the weight of the handle do all the work. My DD is a Muhle R41 Grande, which is a very aggressive open comb. For travel I have a Merkur 39C "Sledgehammer" Slant.
Mingus wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:31 pm
I've had the best luck with the Gillette brand safety razors made in St. Pettersburg, Russia.
The Gillette Super Platinum Black, my absolute favorite as well, after trying close to 30 types.
Mingus wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:31 pm
There are also Gillette blades made in India. Lesser quality than the Russian manufactured blades.
Agreed, though humorously enough I've gotten all my Platinum Blacks (except the first handful from a sampler) from India, even though they're made in Russia. Ordered one pack (probably 30 blades) from eBay, and had my employee buy me 160 when he went there to visit family last year. I think it cost me $22 :)

bloom2708
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:02 pm

This kit from Costco is the best deal going.

https://www.costco.com/Schick-Hydro-5-S ... 48577.html

17 cartridges.

The Hydro is by far the best razor I've used. The blades are far enough apart it does not clog. The blades last a long time. They are so good, that I often dry shave my neck. Just wet the razor. I would never attempt that with some previous 3, 4 and 5 blade razors that were much more expensive than this kit.
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ams-texas
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by ams-texas » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:05 pm

I switched to a safety razor in 2008. Bought a very good condition Gillette Adjustable Slim on eBay that was manufactured in the same year as me (1966). This was the same model razor that I remember my dad using when I was a kid. Bought the West Coast Shaving blade sampler pack and settled on the red pack Israeli Persona blades as my favorite.

Still using the same razor today. I buy the red pack Israeli Persona blades on eBay for $20 per 100 (was around $16.50 per 100 when I first switched). Change the blade once a week on Sunday so 100 blades last about 2 years.

I bought my son a Merkur Progress Adjustable for Christmas last year.

open_circuit
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by open_circuit » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:07 pm

I tried switching to a Merkur safety razor, badger brush, and traditional soap several years ago. I was never patient enough to get a good shave in a reasonable time without a lot of nicks. I gave up that experiment after about 3 months.

What I found works well for the amount of time and effort I want to expend these days is Creamo shaving soap, a decent multi-blade razor (I use cheap Dorco USA heads / handles), and some Proraso balm for post-shave. Quick, easy, effective, and I don't spend 25 minutes in my busy morning messing with a shave.

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tnbison
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by tnbison » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:23 pm

hoopy wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:37 pm
If you're thinking of trying Dollar Shave Club, and for those of you who are already using it: It is more cost-effective to buy the razors directly from dollar shave club's supplier. http://www.dorcousa.com/

They are the same razor, different packaging. They are the manufacturers for the razors and blades that dollar shave club uses.

I tried the razors + blades from DSC/Dorco. They are comparable in quality to Gillette. I didn't like them however. My facial hair grows thick, these razors weren't great at dealing with it.
+1 for dorco blades. They run a lot of specials, get on the mailing list and stock up when they have a sale. I'm guessing I spend less than $25 a year

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CABob
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by CABob » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:32 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:02 pm
The Hydro is by far the best razor I've used. The blades are far enough apart it does not clog. The blades last a long time. They are so good, that I often dry shave my neck. Just wet the razor. I would never attempt that with some previous 3, 4 and 5 blade razors that were much more expensive than this kit.
Try using baby oil or mineral oil to wet your blade. For me a definite improvement over plain water.
Bob

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Ketawa
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Ketawa » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:48 pm

open_circuit wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:07 pm
I tried switching to a Merkur safety razor, badger brush, and traditional soap several years ago. I was never patient enough to get a good shave in a reasonable time without a lot of nicks. I gave up that experiment after about 3 months.

What I found works well for the amount of time and effort I want to expend these days is Creamo shaving soap, a decent multi-blade razor (I use cheap Dorco USA heads / handles), and some Proraso balm for post-shave. Quick, easy, effective, and I don't spend 25 minutes in my busy morning messing with a shave.
I had the same experience with a safety razor. I tried using a Merkur with a wide range of blades and could never get the hang of a close shave without nicking myself badly. I tried for a couple of months. On top of my difficulty with the technique, having to take a shower every morning to soften my beard was a PITA. I don't need another shower if I went to the gym in the evening the day before.

Eventually, I switched back to an electric razor. I used to use Panasonic, but had durability issues, so I purchased a Braun 790cc about 3 years ago and it has been far superior to any of the Panasonic razors I had. Replacement foils and Clean and Renew cartridges result in an annual cost averaging about $50-60 total. The potential benefits of using a safety razor were not worth the time and frustration it cost me.

iamlucky13
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:00 pm

mhalley wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:04 am
If you don't want to learn how to use a double edge blade, you can extend the life of the mach 3 etc by getting a bottle of alcohol and putting it in a container with a lid that screws on tight, and after every shave take the razor and dry it off by blotting and then swirl it in the alcohol to remove the water. The water is what causes it to dull. Occassionally you can sharpen the blade by running it along a pair of blue jeans.
I think it is actually a very fine build-up of material on the blade edge. I use hydrogen peroxide to clean mine. It definitely helps. I guess I'm not surprised alcohol helps, too.

I haven't tried safety razors, but am intrigued. Since I have over 3/4 of a Costco pack of Schick Hydro cartridges that I bought over a year ago, it will be a while before I'm likely to try it.

How do they do on long stubble? Mine doesn't grow fast, but I dislike shaving so when I get busy, I usually put it off for a week and have about 1/4" to deal with.

I spent years using store brand disposables. I originally tried both store brand and name brand, and there was no noticeable difference. There was a difference compared to a Mach 3 I received promotionally, but not enough to justify the cost of the Mach 3. Then the disposables apparently got cost reduced progressively until even brand new I was getting horrible shaves.

I was going to try the name-brand disposables again, but received a Schick Hydro promotionally. Night and day difference. After using the same cartridge for several months, I realized the disposables weren't any cheaper because they don't last as long.

ncbill
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by ncbill » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:56 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:48 pm
open_circuit wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:07 pm
I tried switching to a Merkur safety razor, badger brush, and traditional soap several years ago. I was never patient enough to get a good shave in a reasonable time without a lot of nicks. I gave up that experiment after about 3 months.

What I found works well for the amount of time and effort I want to expend these days is Creamo shaving soap, a decent multi-blade razor (I use cheap Dorco USA heads / handles), and some Proraso balm for post-shave. Quick, easy, effective, and I don't spend 25 minutes in my busy morning messing with a shave.
I had the same experience with a safety razor. I tried using a Merkur with a wide range of blades and could never get the hang of a close shave without nicking myself badly. I tried for a couple of months. On top of my difficulty with the technique, having to take a shower every morning to soften my beard was a PITA. I don't need another shower if I went to the gym in the evening the day before.

Eventually, I switched back to an electric razor. I used to use Panasonic, but had durability issues, so I purchased a Braun 790cc about 3 years ago and it has been far superior to any of the Panasonic razors I had. Replacement foils and Clean and Renew cartridges result in an annual cost averaging about $50-60 total. The potential benefits of using a safety razor were not worth the time and frustration it cost me.
ditto, forget safety razors

electric for most days, multi-blade Dorco using Cremo when I want a closer shave.

aristotelian
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by aristotelian » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:23 pm

+1, safety razors are a huge money saver and much better shave than proprietary cartridges. Simple and classic. Very much a Boglehead approach to shaving, IMO. You do need a light touch, though.

carofe
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by carofe » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:28 pm

I switched to a safety razor like 10 years ago. Not going back.

I get my gears and blades from ebay and from https://www.westcoastshaving.com/. And you can get a lot of good help and recommendation in this community: https://www.badgerandblade.com/

Just a warning: It can be additive ;).

Cartridge is costly and causes irritation and bumps to me. Electric Razor doesn't give me a nice clean shave, unless you rub it on those spots to get that one long hair, causing you irritation. Electric Razor I find it also more time consuming to get a clean shave.

When I switched to safety razor with brush and shaving soap/cream, shaving went from being a chore to something I look forward to. Relaxing and enjoyable.
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dbr
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by dbr » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:34 pm

"Look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp! How are you fixed for blades? -- Gillette Blue Blades, I mean."

sixtyforty
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by sixtyforty » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:21 pm

I switched to a safety razor about a year ago after getting tired of spending so much money on those razor cartridges. I'm using the Merkur razor, Personna blades and Cremo Shave cream. This combo works well for me and is it's fast. I change blades once a week and 100 come in a pack. I don't nick myself and get a pretty close shave. Using a brush and soap would probably yield a closer shave but it's not something I want to mess with it at this point.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

iamlucky13
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:45 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:23 pm
+1, safety razors are a huge money saver and much better shave than proprietary cartridges. Simple and classic. Very much a Boglehead approach to shaving, IMO. You do need a light touch, though.
The better shave I can believe, but since somebody upthread said they buy a $25 pack of safety blades about once a year, and I bought a $25 pack of cartridges roughly a year ago that I've only gone through 1/4 of, it doesn't seem like the money savings are so clear.

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lthenderson
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by lthenderson » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:53 pm

I just grew a beard. I've been using the same beard trimmer for over a decade.

aristotelian
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by aristotelian » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:31 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:45 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:23 pm
+1, safety razors are a huge money saver and much better shave than proprietary cartridges. Simple and classic. Very much a Boglehead approach to shaving, IMO. You do need a light touch, though.
The better shave I can believe, but since somebody upthread said they buy a $25 pack of safety blades about once a year, and I bought a $25 pack of cartridges roughly a year ago that I've only gone through 1/4 of, it doesn't seem like the money savings are so clear.
I get 100 pk of Personna dual edge blades for $11 from Amazon. That lasts me two years easily.

You can stretch cartridges out for a month or two at a time, but I can't believe you're getting a good shave that way. Most of that cost is for Gilette's proprietary cartridge, not the blade itself.

iamlucky13
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:03 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:31 pm
iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:45 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:23 pm
+1, safety razors are a huge money saver and much better shave than proprietary cartridges. Simple and classic. Very much a Boglehead approach to shaving, IMO. You do need a light touch, though.
The better shave I can believe, but since somebody upthread said they buy a $25 pack of safety blades about once a year, and I bought a $25 pack of cartridges roughly a year ago that I've only gone through 1/4 of, it doesn't seem like the money savings are so clear.
I get 100 pk of Personna dual edge blades for $11 from Amazon. That lasts me two years easily.

You can stretch cartridges out for a month or two at a time, but I can't believe you're getting a good shave that way. Most of that cost is for Gilette's proprietary cartridge, not the blade itself.
That sounds much better price wise.

I think I'm probably getting 3-4 months per Schick cartridge, but I've not been paying close attention. I rinse them with hydrogen peroxide every shave, and when I switch to a new one, while there is clearly improvement in ease, closeness, and irritation, it's moderate.

Granted, I'd probably have to change them more frequently if I consistently shaved more than 1-2 times a week.

Oh, and I should clarify my price comparison is based on Costco packs of cartridges. Especially if you get them on sale, they're much cheaper at Costco than even Amazon.

carofe
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by carofe » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:14 pm

You can get 100 double edge blades for your safety razor for less than $20 and you can shave at least three time with one blade. That’s 300 shaves.
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bovineplane
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by bovineplane » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:35 am

Another fan of DE safety. Merkur long handle with Astra superior platinums on sale for $12-13 for 100 and change them every other to every third day. Proraso cream (red tube) lasts for months. Bottle of shave oil might last near a year. I shave 6 days a week unless I am on vacation. I keep some feathers around for special occasions but I rarely find the need for them anymore. There is no better shave that I have found in 20+ years. Wish I would have started with these instead of Gillette which I think is just junk.

bondsr4me
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by bondsr4me » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:41 am

bovineplane wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:35 am
Another fan of DE safety. Merkur long handle with Astra superior platinums on sale for $12-13 for 100 and change them every other to every third day. Proraso cream (red tube) lasts for months. Bottle of shave oil might last near a year. I shave 6 days a week unless I am on vacation. I keep some feathers around for special occasions but I rarely find the need for them anymore. There is no better shave that I have found in 20+ years. Wish I would have started with these instead of Gillette which I think is just junk.

Another Merkur long handle and Astra blade fan here too.
I do have some Feather blades, but the Astras are really smooth.
I use brush with Proraso sensitive skin tub and also have the tube paste.
Both are very good at producing a smooth shave.

Don

takeshi
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by takeshi » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:07 am

12thman wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:26 pm
Converting to Safety Razors
Picking nits but safety razor is a very broad classification that not only includes double edge razors but cartridge razors as well as single edge -- basically anything other than a straight or other blade without a guard.

I switched years ago to a DE (was already using a brush and soap with the Mach 3) and get a much better shave. Even "pricey" blades only cost 27 cents per blade in bulk.
iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:45 pm
The better shave I can believe, but since somebody upthread said they buy a $25 pack of safety blades about once a year, and I bought a $25 pack of cartridges roughly a year ago that I've only gone through 1/4 of, it doesn't seem like the money savings are so clear.
It's not so much the cost of the blades themselves as the cost of blades versus cartridges. A 100 pack of Feathers will last me nearly 2 years and cost me $27. $27 will only buy me a pack or two of Mach 3 cartridges that won't even come anywhere near covering 1 year let alone 2. You should be able to do your own comparison since you know what you were using previously versus what you're using now.

However, I have spent a bit on DE's, brushes and soap. That said, it's really more about the better shaving experience for me than saving money. If one wants to do it as frugally as possible, it's certainly an option. There are good, inexpensive badger brushes and the Edwin Jagger DE89 is a good, inexpensive DE. There are plenty of low cost soaps that work well for many.

likegarden
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by likegarden » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:34 am

It all depends on your skin! 60 years ago I had a bloody skin after every shave until a high school friend introduced me to electric razors. I use Remington razors since then.

chuckb84
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by chuckb84 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:47 am

linenfort wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:55 pm
I took the plunge about a year ago.

Edwin Jagger DE86 safety razor.
Israeli red personna blades.
What I really love are the soaps and creams like Taylor of Old Bond Street's grapefruit cream, Mitchell's Wool Fat soap, and Tabac.
Learned at lot at the Badger & Blade forums.

I still have trouble shaving under my chin perfectly. The Feather Popular is kinder to my skin. Other than that, not too much of a learning curve.
+1 on the Edwin Jagger De86. A nice mild DE safety razor.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003L ... =UTF8&th=1

Creams, soaps and blades are highly personal; you'll just have to do some experimentation. My favorite blades are (1) Polsilver Super Iridium, which contain no Iridium :), but are a sharp blade, almost as sharp as Feathers, and to my face seem more comfortable, and (2) Feathers, which are as wicked sharp as everyone says. I wouldn't start with these, but they deliver a great shave.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AI ... UTF8&psc=1

MIGIHIDARI
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by MIGIHIDARI » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:00 pm

I started using DE safety razors about 6 years ago. Bought Feather butterfly safety razor and Feather blades while in Japan. Never going back to disposables! However, Butterfly safety razors have too many moving parts and they start getting kind of loose. It results in one side working well and the other edge cutting the face. Just ordered Merkur long handle through amazon the other day. I get 100 Feather blades through Amazon for about $27 and they last me two years. By the way, Feather blades are made in Japan but it is not easy to buy them there! Everyone uses disposable stuff these days. Someone mentioned Gillette blades from India. Gillette has a long history there and I remember my dad using Gillette DE blades long ago in India.

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jadd806
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by jadd806 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:00 pm

A while ago I made the decision to give up on shaving and grow a full beard. Before that, I used a Merkur 38C DE safety razor. I liked the 38C since it had a longer handle and more weight than the other safety razors that I had looked at, and I'd really recommend it for beginners. The DE caused significantly less irritation than cartridge or electric razors. But there was still some irritation and dryness, regardless of which blades/soaps/lotions or whatever else I used.

I've reclaimed about 30 minutes of my week by giving up shaving. My face isn't dry anymore and the skin feels much better. I bought a nice pair of barber's scissors and every couple of months I shape up the beard a bit.

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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by bertilak » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:20 pm

4strings wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:55 am
I switched to a safety razor about a month ago and I am now addicted! Using a horsehair/badger brush with a good soap makes all the difference. Far superior shave, with less irritation, and a ton cheaper. It takes a little bit longer, but overall I love it.
About badger: Badger gets all the good press and a $200 badger brush is quite nice simply as a piece of art.

I found that I prefer a boar bristle brush. I like the extra stiffness -- it makes lather quicker than a badger. They generally start out just a bit too stiff but 3 or 4 shaves settles them in nicely. I find even expensive badgers relatively floppy, if more gentle.

My favorite boar bristle brand is Omega from Italy. Not at all exotic, easy to find and dirt cheap. I think they cater to the barber industry. Regardless of price, it is my favorite. Mine doesn't have a model number on it. All it says on the bottom is:
  • "Il famoso pennello" [that means "The famous brush"]
    Omega
    Made in Italy
For badger, Rooney is (or was a few years ago when I was in the market) one of the best of what I consider expensive badger brushes. (they have a range of prices based on the quality of the hair.). Simpson is a higher priced, and perhaps classier, brand.
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by imtoolazy » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:10 pm

I shifted to the straight razor about 6 years ago. (26 now). The first 50-60 shaves I nicked myself a decent amount of times. The trick is the following:

1. Shave the parts you can do easily (left and right side of your face)
2. Till you get good at this, use your old mach 5/3, etc to do the other parts
3. As you get better, shift to using the straight razor fully.

Even now, I still go over sometimes with an old mach 3 after I shave for the places I would cut myself.

When I bought it, it was this razor https://www.amazon.com/Shaving-Factory- ... ith+blades along with 3 packs of 100 blades for 17$. I am not sure why the review is bad, but it works perfectly fine.

Also as a side note, I shave about once a week and stopped shaving in between. I have only finished 100/300 blades so far. It really lowered my costs significantly, and slowly became a stress reliever.

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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by itstoomuch » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:14 pm

Retired. 67. I covet the retired life style and look of old men :mrgreen: :annoyed .
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JDot
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by JDot » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:49 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:31 pm
iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:45 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:23 pm
+1, safety razors are a huge money saver and much better shave than proprietary cartridges. Simple and classic. Very much a Boglehead approach to shaving, IMO. You do need a light touch, though.
The better shave I can believe, but since somebody upthread said they buy a $25 pack of safety blades about once a year, and I bought a $25 pack of cartridges roughly a year ago that I've only gone through 1/4 of, it doesn't seem like the money savings are so clear.
I get 100 pk of Personna dual edge blades for $11 from Amazon. That lasts me two years easily.

You can stretch cartridges out for a month or two at a time, but I can't believe you're getting a good shave that way. Most of that cost is for Gilette's proprietary cartridge, not the blade itself.
This is exactly what I do. A 100 pack probably lasts me a year. $8 tub of soap lasts... maybe 6-8 months?

protagonist
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by protagonist » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:14 pm

12thman wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:26 pm
Just read an article over at Art of Manliness http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/01/0 ... r-grandpa/ and decided to take the plunge. I was mostly moved by the cost effectiveness of spending pennies per blade. The mach 3 and replacement cartriges were too much of a luxury. I used to get the jumbo pack of the cheapest disposables at Costco and although they did the trick, my face to a beating because of it.

What are your thoughts? Anyone else take the plunge?
Mach 3 blades last a very long time.
They may be usuriously priced but I can afford them. Compared to my other expenses, razor blades are nothing.....one cheap dinner out costs more than it costs me to shave for months , possibly a year or more.
There is a reason hardly anybody uses safety razors anymore. Same reason hardly anybody chooses a typewriter over a laptop in 2017, or a horse over a car, even though typewriters and horses are cheaper. And not just rich people either.
My grandpa is not alive. He died in the 1960s. But if he was and I bought him a Mach 3 he would think he was in seventh heaven.

DrHotLunch
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by DrHotLunch » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:47 pm

I have had success with this:

Awhile back, I did the "Dollar Shave Club" thing. They send me 4 blades every other month, just enough to keep me going, for a reasonable price.

In the winter, I grow a beard - partially for warmth, partially to save money on blades, and partially because I have a kind of fat face and double chin and bald head, so the beard kind of hides it. Also, my mother-in-law hates aforementioned beard, which is an added bonus.

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CaliJim
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by CaliJim » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:10 pm

I too am a DE convert.
Light to medium beard
Merkur razor
Derby blades
Proraso cream
Badger brush

I squirt some cream in my hand and lather up there. No cup needed really IMHO.

I experimented a sample pack of various blades: Feather (sharper than I need) , Gillette Silver Blue (like), Astra Stainless and Platnum (both very good too)... the Derby's worked great and are inexpensive.

There are videos on YouTube that are very helpful for first time safety-razor users.
Here is a good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps88RU_BXlA
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tm3
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by tm3 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:24 am

About 10 years ago I started DE shaving, and have tried a number of different razors and blades as well as brushes, soaps, and creams. Additionally, over the last couple of years I have tried many of the "modern" multiblade razors. It is a fun hobby with a lot of interesting variations to explore.

My conclusions: An equally smooth and close DE shave requires more passes than a shave with a, say, Mach 3, and all DEs are easier to nick with than a Mach 3 (or similar). The real key imo to a great shave is the prep, ie washing face, preshave cream like proraso, great lather applied with a brush. Also, while DE blades are more economical, the life of the cartridges can be significantly extended as noted in an earlier post. I'm at a little over 25 shaves with one of my Mach 3 cartridges and am just now thinking it is time to toss it.

tm3
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by tm3 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:33 am

Mrxyz wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:54 pm
Hi,

Any comments about switching from manual shaving to electric razors? Do you get the same close shave? Any favorite electric razor shavers? How much time it takes try out an electric razor shaver?
I am afraid to spend $150-200 upfront for an electric razor just to find out the shave is not close enough.
Thanks
IMO the key to shaving with an electric is the same key as shaving with a blade: proper prep, and proper technique. I believe that a lot of people fail with electrics due to lack of understanding how to properly use them.

I can't get quite as close a shave with an electric as I can with a Mach 3, but the electric shave is certainly close enough. For me, however, the ritual of the wet shave is a lot more fun and because it is closer I can stretch the wet shave to every other day.

You need not worry about the up front cost. All of the major mfrs (Philips, Braun, etc.) have 30-60 day money back guarantees. It takes a couple of weeks to get the hang of electric shaving so be sure to give it a fair trial.

Most men report "better" shaves with the foil shavers such as Braun and Panasonic. I personally prefer the Philips/Norelco rotary shavers. In my hand they shave a little better than the foil shavers, but the biggest advantage is they are much, much quieter and feel more like a precision piece of equipment as opposed to a miniature chain saw.

SurferLife
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by SurferLife » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:52 pm

I managed to pick up a vintage TTO razor and it works great. However, before I purchased it, I was using a really good razor from Maggard. Maggard Razors sells some of the best kits if you want to start using a safety razor. https://www.maggardrazors.com/product-c ... inner-kit/ I highly recommend them; you can get everything you need for not too much money. I love using a safety razor; it's so much more economical and environmentally friendly. You can buy a hundred pack of blades for the cost of a Mach 3, and they'll last you close to 2 years.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Hyperborea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:09 am

I experimented with safety razors for at time and it was kind of cool but it was a lot of hassle and it was more of a hobby thing than I wanted to get into. I went back to my 2 blade Sensors and a Panasonic electric for quick shaves and touch ups (much better than the Brauns I had been using for decades before that).

Somebody pointed me to this video 5 or 6 years ago where a half-naked older fellow explains his discovery. https://youtu.be/5ADaRIqy0Dc

There is a way of extending the cartridges to last for quite a long time. You can essentially strop the blades in the cartridge - run it backwards against your forearm for a few strokes. I now normally change out cartridges twice a year and at that rate they are quite inexpensive. When I change to a new cartridge there is only a slight difference in feel though I am stropping more frequently before the swap. At one point I tried to see how long I could get one to last and I went for over a year and a half. There was enough degradation that when I went to a new cartridge I could notice the difference.

mancich
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by mancich » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:34 am

I subscribed recently to Harry's, and I'm getting the best shave of my life from their blades... and I have a very rough beard. $15 for two months of blades is the plan I'm on. Highly recommend them

carofe
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by carofe » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:14 pm
12thman wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:26 pm
Just read an article over at Art of Manliness http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/01/0 ... r-grandpa/ and decided to take the plunge. I was mostly moved by the cost effectiveness of spending pennies per blade. The mach 3 and replacement cartriges were too much of a luxury. I used to get the jumbo pack of the cheapest disposables at Costco and although they did the trick, my face to a beating because of it.

What are your thoughts? Anyone else take the plunge?
Mach 3 blades last a very long time.
They may be usuriously priced but I can afford them. Compared to my other expenses, razor blades are nothing.....one cheap dinner out costs more than it costs me to shave for months , possibly a year or more.
There is a reason hardly anybody uses safety razors anymore. Same reason hardly anybody chooses a typewriter over a laptop in 2017, or a horse over a car, even though typewriters and horses are cheaper. And not just rich people either.
My grandpa is not alive. He died in the 1960s. But if he was and I bought him a Mach 3 he would think he was in seventh heaven.

There was not a "natural" demand for cartridge razors. Gillette was looking for more profitable options, a way to grow. They came up with the cartridge business model: affordable razor, expensive cartridge. They advertised it really hard (ads work) and the shifted the people towards the "new shine" stuff, and took their safety razors out of the market.
In fact, in the business world they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
There is no really much practical difference between a cartridge razor and a safety razor, other than the cartridge razor gives you a fix angle.
There is huge difference between a typewriter and a computer.

Shaving with safety razors and brush are better for your skin and cheaper in the long term. In fact, safety razors (and straight razors) are coming back and and gaining a lot of popularity for a real natural reason.
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/20/styl ... r-men.html
Last edited by carofe on Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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jadd806
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by jadd806 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:46 am

carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
There was not a "natural" demand for cartridge razors. Gillette was looking for a more profitable options, a way to grow. They came up with the cartridge business model: affordable razor, expensive cartridge. They advertise it really hard (ads work) and the shifted the people towards the "new shine" stuff, and took their safety razors out of the market.
In fact, in the business worlds they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
I've actually seen several stores selling the double-edge razor blades for some absurd price (like a 10 pack for $10) to make the cartridge razors look like a good deal.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Hyperborea » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:00 pm

jadd806 wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:46 am
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
There was not a "natural" demand for cartridge razors. Gillette was looking for a more profitable options, a way to grow. They came up with the cartridge business model: affordable razor, expensive cartridge. They advertise it really hard (ads work) and the shifted the people towards the "new shine" stuff, and took their safety razors out of the market.
In fact, in the business worlds they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
I've actually seen several stores selling the double-edge razor blades for some absurd price (like a 10 pack for $10) to make the cartridge razors look like a good deal.
I don't see price as a good reason to use safety razors. It's not cheaper and probably more expensive. I can get simple 2 or 3 blade cartridges for about $2 each. If you use the stropping technique you can make a cartridge last for 6 months with no appreciable decay in shaving ability. That's $4 per year. You'll spend that much in safety blades per year and then add in the amortized cost of a rhino horn handle badger brush (which seems to be de rigueur for modern safety razor converts) and all the other paraphernalia that this hobby seems to require and the costs go up.

Even if you ignore all those extra items and you find you can get safety razor blades cheaper than my $4, the savings possible are so low that it doesn't matter.

Mrxyz
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Mrxyz » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:04 pm

jadd806 wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:46 am
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
There was not a "natural" demand for cartridge razors. Gillette was looking for a more profitable options, a way to grow. They came up with the cartridge business model: affordable razor, expensive cartridge. They advertise it really hard (ads work) and the shifted the people towards the "new shine" stuff, and took their safety razors out of the market.
In fact, in the business worlds they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
I've actually seen several stores selling the double-edge razor blades for some absurd price (like a 10 pack for $10) to make the cartridge razors look like a good deal.
Target brand Up and Up has triple blade razor - 10 for $6.69. They work fine for me, others may not like them!

ImUrHuckleberry
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by ImUrHuckleberry » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:10 pm

gkaplan wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:56 pm
I've used the same Mach 3 blade for almost a year.
I use them for 3 or 4 months each. Provided they are dried off carefully after each use, I find even after months they are better than new cheapo disposables. Comes to about $1/month for razors which seems pretty reasonable to me.

I also vacuum seal the new cartridges until I need them, which ensures that moisture doesn't start dulling them until first use.

iamlucky13
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:43 pm

Hyperborea wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:09 am
There is a way of extending the cartridges to last for quite a long time. You can essentially strop the blades in the cartridge - run it backwards against your forearm for a few strokes. I now normally change out cartridges twice a year and at that rate they are quite inexpensive. When I change to a new cartridge there is only a slight difference in feel though I am stropping more frequently before the swap. At one point I tried to see how long I could get one to last and I went for over a year and a half. There was enough degradation that when I went to a new cartridge I could notice the difference.
Interesting!

Reading this thread, it occurred to me that aside from my peroxide wash, stropping, perhaps even just on a towel, might be helpful. I forgot to test it on my last shave, though. This should be something that can be done with any type of razor.

I did think to change the cartridge part way through the shave, however, for a comparison of a ~3 month (I think) old cartridge versus a new one. There was a moderately noticeable improvement, but really the old cartridge was still cutting quite reasonably.
Mrxyz wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:04 pm
Target brand Up and Up has triple blade razor - 10 for $6.69. They work fine for me, others may not like them!
It does seem what works varies between different people.

I used the Target disposables quite contently for years, but progressively the quality changed, and I was getting worse and worse shaves with them (lots of nicks, regular tendency to snag and pull the hairs before cutting through, numerous passes required to get close). The last pack I bought was so bad the first brand new razer out of the pack was just as bad as the one I had just discarded from the previous pack.

I had a Schick Hydro sitting unused in my drawer that came bundled with a twin pack of cream I thought I might someday compare, even though the price of cartridges at Target was absurd. After one shave I didn't care about the price. But between the fact that they last far longer than the Up-and-Up disposables did even before the quality changed, and the price Costco sells them for, they can actually be cheaper than the disposables.

Now I have 9 out of a 10-pack of disposables left and am unsure what to do with them. I could give them to one of the organizations that makes care packages for homeless folks, but my experience with them was so bad that seems almost cruel.

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topper1296
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by topper1296 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:50 pm

chw wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:11 pm
gkaplan wrote:I've used the same Mach 3 blade for almost a year.
+1 check out the video- this does work!

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/pla ... ge=0&&tt=b
I only switch mine out 2-3 times a year without any issues. I do try to dry my blade after use however to extend the life.

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by MichaelRpdx » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:19 pm

Switched well over a year ago. Can't imagine going back.
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carofe
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by carofe » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:58 pm

It also depends a lot on how frequently you shave and the kind of beard you have.
So really when you see that a blade lasts somebody that long you can’t really compare to yourself and think you will be able to get the same result.
I have a Southern European beard, very thick. The blades won’t last as much as non-thick beards. And I shave daily. When I used to use cartridge it used to be too expensive for me.
If you have not a thick beard and you don’t shave daily probably the cost it doesn’t matter much to you. Even though, DE blades and safety razors would still save you much, you wouldn’t notice much difference in your monthly budget.
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bottlecap
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by bottlecap » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:08 pm

What people who haven't tried double edged safety razors don't understand is that EVERY blade has different characteristics that may or may not work with your skin type or beard type.

Before I used a DE, I didn't know, either.

But the point is that your Mach 3 or other disposable razor may work perfectly for you, but for many others, it will be "okay" and for others still it will be bad. It's a one-size-fits-all "solution" from a marketing standpoint for something that requires very individualized approach.

It is possible that these razors happen to be perfect for you, but that would be few and far between. That's why every new cartridge claims to reduce "razor burn." Razor burn is caused by using the wrong or inferior blade. The solution is the problem, but many people using these razors simply don't know there is a difference.

So we can argue until we are blue and might all be right. The only three things I can say for sure is that:

My Merkur and Astral Platinums produce the best shave out of anything I've tried;

What works for me probably won't work for you; and

Because the Cartridge type razors are built to be a compromise, most people aren't getting the shave they deserve with them.

JT

alfaspider
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by alfaspider » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:09 pm

I don't see the point of the time and expense given how long good cartridge razors last. I go through about one a month at about 2.50 each. Plus, I can shave in 30 seconds in the morning when I am groggy and rushing out the door without fear of mauling myself.

I can understand going to safety razors if one is looking for the experience of an old-fashioned shave, but cost-savings doesn't seem to be a compelling rationale.

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