Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

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northcountry
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Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

Post by northcountry » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:55 pm

In the spirit of the recent Mach3 post I wanted to reintroduce a technique for increasing the life of your favorite razor. What I'm suggesting is not a new idea as it has likely been around since humans started playing with iron. Lastly, I need to give credit where its due as I'm working off of a suggestion given to me by a former metallurgy student but here it goes...

Hair follicles and skin are so soft in comparison to the martensitic stainless steel of our razor cutting edge(s) that the primary mode of becoming dull is corrosion. The water, combined with salts/minerals at the tip of the cutter after use and during storage, degrades the edge to the point where gillette et. al. are more than happy to sell you a replacement.

For those skeptics here's an experiment you can do to prove it to yourself. After shaving, rinse the debris off the cutting edges of the razor using your faucet. Dry the razor. Some ideas are a towel, hair dryer, sheets of toilet paper, etc. Be creative but note it doesn't have to be perfectly dry. Now add a drop of baby oil to the blade and spread it along the blade without cutting yourself. My personal record on a Mach3 razor is 3 years of use before I was forced to change it because I forgot baby oil on a fishing trip. My friends and family who have been doing this at my suggestion for some time report an easy year between blade changes.

If you are like myself after years of enjoyment of seriously extending the life of your razor you'll find there are a few inconveniences. Firstly, carrying that small bottle of oil on trips is a drag. Airport security also frowns up it. It also takes a little time to insure the entire length of each of the X number of blades is well coated. Lastly, carrying and storing the razor is cumbersome in the original case. Once you get to that point, you might want to consider purchasing a product called EverAfterShave.

I have to fully disclose that yes indeed this is a product of a company I am active with. But no pressure at all as I've given the recipe to achieve what most people desire: significantly longer razor life.

Enjoy,
Jeff

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joe8d
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Post by joe8d » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:25 pm

I use a new Gillette Fusion blade every month.Since I stock up on them when Target has periodic sales/gift card promotions,cost of shaving per month is only about $2.50.It gives a great shave and I'm sure I could push the blade life longer it I wanted to.
All the Best, | Joe

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Post by Triple digit golfer » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:32 pm

A year with one razor? I'm lucky to get five shaves with a Fusion or any other type of razor before it cuts the holy hell out of my neck.

I will try what you said. Thanks!

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Re: Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

Post by TheEternalVortex » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:58 pm

northcountry wrote: Airport security also frowns up it.
I would think they'd care more about the razor... ?

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arthurdawg
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Post by arthurdawg » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:00 pm

buy a fogless mirror and shave in the shower! it works very well!
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greg24
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Post by greg24 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:05 pm

After reading the last thread, I've started drying the blade on a towel, then giving it one sharp blow of air to hopefully help air things out.

Takes 10 seconds of my time, and may help a little.

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Bounca
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Post by Bounca » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:50 am

I'm frugal, but really....

I'll spend the extra $ to avoid cut fingers and being tased by the airport TSA.

G
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Post by G » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:31 pm

Get a quality double edge razor such as my personal favorite is the Gillette Tech or a new one from Merkur. Quality double edge razor blades can be had for as little as 10 cents each online (American Safety Razor's Crystal Platinum are great, $12/100). Now you can be frugal and still use a sharp blade that you change regularly. I get a closer shave with less irritation than those ridiculous lift and lift and lift and lift and cut things.

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Post by sleepdoc » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:45 am

joe8d wrote:I use a new Gillette Fusion blade every month.Since I stock up on them when Target has periodic sales/gift card promotions,cost of shaving per month is only about $2.50.It gives a great shave and I'm sure I could push the blade life longer it I wanted to.
I'm pretty sensitive to blunt razors (get the razor rash bumps easily)- but the Fusion blades are great and long lasting. I get a month out of one, too, compared to 1-2 shaves with a regular double blade. It seems like an engineering marvel to me, how they get those 5 bits of metal aligned so well and so resistant to dulling.

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Re: Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

Post by ddb » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:29 am

I use a Mach 3, and literally go six months between blade changes. I shave approximately 4 times per week, and have slightly above-average facial hair growth and coarseness. I perform no blade maintenance whatsoever.

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Re: Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:21 am

ddb wrote:I use a Mach 3, and literally go six months between blade changes. I shave approximately 4 times per week, and have slightly above-average facial hair growth and coarseness. I perform no blade maintenance whatsoever.

- DDB
Wow that is a long time. I don't understand the disparity in number of shaves people are getting out of the Mach3. DDB are you shaving a particular way (with or against the grain) to extend the life? A month is about the longest time I have gone with a Mach3 blade. I recently purchased the 52 pack of Gillete Custom Plus razors from Costco for like $20. Much better deal than the Mach3 or Fusion IMO, though the shave is not quite as nice.

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simplesimon
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Post by simplesimon » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:35 pm

A Fusion blade lasts me about a month (shave 2-3 times a week) before I start getting bumps. I shave with then against the grain.

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Re: Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

Post by ddb » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:55 pm

3CT_Paddler wrote:
ddb wrote:I use a Mach 3, and literally go six months between blade changes. I shave approximately 4 times per week, and have slightly above-average facial hair growth and coarseness. I perform no blade maintenance whatsoever.

- DDB
Wow that is a long time. I don't understand the disparity in number of shaves people are getting out of the Mach3. DDB are you shaving a particular way (with or against the grain) to extend the life? A month is about the longest time I have gone with a Mach3 blade. I recently purchased the 52 pack of Gillete Custom Plus razors from Costco for like $20. Much better deal than the Mach3 or Fusion IMO, though the shave is not quite as nice.
I shave with the grain, then go over the area again against the grain. What happens when you get to the point where you can't use the razor anymore? Is it rusted, or so dull that it doesn't cut, or what?

- DDB
"We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern, and less materialism in young people." - PB

exeunt
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Post by exeunt » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:37 pm

Seems like a waste of time. Whatever savings one gets is likely to be far outweighed by the inconvenience, cost and time of regularly applying oil to the blade.

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Post by nisiprius » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:50 pm

I've been stropping my Mach 3 on an old belt I was about to throw out.

I saw this ad on TV for a $20 battery-powered gadget that flips a bit of abrasive film against the razor, and said "gosh, if the blades are actually angled so that the $20 gadget can sharpen them, then it must be possible to sharpen them just by stropping."

I don't know whether it's placebo effect--I must just be discovering you can shave for a long time with a dull blade if you just believe--or real, but it seems to be extending the blade life very significantly. I'd hate to keep records or do any careful testing because that would spoil the fun.

P. S. An 11-ounce can of Barbasol shaving cream costs $1.39 and lasts me six months. The Gillette shaving gel I used to use costs $3.29 for 7 ounces and lasts me about two months. That means using Barbasol costs about 15% of what it costs to use the Gillette product.
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arthurdawg
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Post by arthurdawg » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:48 pm

the blade itself doesn't become dull very quickly, it just develops small areas that are "bent" (there is more eloquent terminology out there!) that's why using a strop is effective, it smooths these areas out and removes any corrosion... at least that's what i read several years ago!
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northcountry
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Post by northcountry » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:02 pm

exeunt wrote:Seems like a waste of time. Whatever savings one gets is likely to be far outweighed by the inconvenience, cost and time of regularly applying oil to the blade.
Yep, this is what Gillette counts on to make their BILLIONS every year.

(For reference to the "billions", please refer to the last paragraph of page 45 in the 2008 Proctor and Gamble annual report).

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Post by adave » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:36 pm

I heard you can boil them briefly when they are dull and it sharpens them up. I have never tried it myself.

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Post by northcountry » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:33 pm

adave wrote:I heard you can boil them briefly when they are dull and it sharpens them up. I have never tried it myself.
That is interesting as I haven't heard of the boiling approach to recondition the blade. We are getting reports of a similar "reconditioning" with the first coat of baby oil. What I suspect is the mineral oil softens buildups that form on the rough edge. (Roughness due to corrosion). Once the buildups loosen, they shed from the leading edge allowing the razor to shear hair better. I suspect at that point, the razor isn't pristine but better than a crusty rounded cutter.

Jeff

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Post by Gekko » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:35 pm

arthurdawg wrote:buy a fogless mirror and shave in the shower! it works very well!
agreed. everyone should try this - they'd never go back.

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Re: Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

Post by Gekko » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:36 pm

northcountry wrote:In the spirit of the recent Mach3 post I wanted to reintroduce a technique for increasing the life of your favorite razor. What I'm suggesting is not a new idea as it has likely been around since humans started playing with iron. Lastly, I need to give credit where its due as I'm working off of a suggestion given to me by a former metallurgy student but here it goes...

Hair follicles and skin are so soft in comparison to the martensitic stainless steel of our razor cutting edge(s) that the primary mode of becoming dull is corrosion. The water, combined with salts/minerals at the tip of the cutter after use and during storage, degrades the edge to the point where gillette et. al. are more than happy to sell you a replacement.

For those skeptics here's an experiment you can do to prove it to yourself. After shaving, rinse the debris off the cutting edges of the razor using your faucet. Dry the razor. Some ideas are a towel, hair dryer, sheets of toilet paper, etc. Be creative but note it doesn't have to be perfectly dry. Now add a drop of baby oil to the blade and spread it along the blade without cutting yourself. My personal record on a Mach3 razor is 3 years of use before I was forced to change it because I forgot baby oil on a fishing trip. My friends and family who have been doing this at my suggestion for some time report an easy year between blade changes.

If you are like myself after years of enjoyment of seriously extending the life of your razor you'll find there are a few inconveniences. Firstly, carrying that small bottle of oil on trips is a drag. Airport security also frowns up it. It also takes a little time to insure the entire length of each of the X number of blades is well coated. Lastly, carrying and storing the razor is cumbersome in the original case. Once you get to that point, you might want to consider purchasing a product called EverAfterShave.

I have to fully disclose that yes indeed this is a product of a company I am active with. But no pressure at all as I've given the recipe to achieve what most people desire: significantly longer razor life.

Enjoy,
Jeff
placebo effect.

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Post by atwood » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:58 am

After reading the first razor thread, I started drying my razor after using it and I've been getting two weeks of good shaves instead of the one week I was previously getting.

Someone asked how do you know when the blade is dull. For me it's the quality of the shave, how close a shave I get.

I'm going to try the baby oil idea. Oil sure helps on saws and the like.

northcountry
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Re: Fusion, Mach3, SensorExcel Longevity (among others)

Post by northcountry » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:38 pm

Gekko wrote:
northcountry wrote:In the spirit ......... .... is a product of a company I am active with. But no pressure at all as I've given the recipe to achieve what most people desire: significantly longer razor life.

Enjoy,
Jeff
placebo effect.
That's the cool thing about this thread....with very little effort and pennies worth of baby oil, anyone can experiment at home and decide for themselves if the recomendation is a placebo effect.

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Post by newbie001 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:27 am

All my life have shaved with Sensor Excel, but I recently had a straight edge shave at a barbershop out in the boondocks. Amazing! I'll put it this way, it made shaving fun. I don't trust myself to shave cutthroat, but I am getting a double edge razor and a badger brush next week. A better shave and way cheaper (after the initial outlay), I'm told.

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Post by Karl » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:40 am

I bought so many disposable razors so dirt cheap about 15+ years ago that I don't think I'll need to buy another for probably another 15 years.

They last forever, but then I don't shave daily and my beard isn't thick at all. I'm not one of those guys who has such an exceptionally dense beard that he can shave in the morning and by evening look like a wolf-man.

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Post by Karl » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:43 am

newbie001 wrote:...I recently had a straight edge shave at a barbershop out in the boondocks. Amazing! I'll put it this way, it made shaving fun.
I cut myself enough with safety razors. Rather not try what today is basically a weapon or suicide method.

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Post by khh » Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:54 am

Here's my anecdotal report. I was shaving with a triple blade razor yesterday, and made a mental note to toss the razor out after the shave since it was getting rough.

Then I thought of this thread. I didn't have any baby oil, but I did have Goop. I stuck the razor in the Goop, wiped it with a paper towel, rinsed it under a stream of hot water and resumed shaving.

I noticed a big difference. The roughness was gone and it actually felt like new.

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Post by Igglesman » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:53 pm

Tried the baby oil...may be working or may be placebo effect....

Has anyone tried Razorpit.... appears to be getting rave reviews in Europe...with the price of the blades, a small investment will have a very quick payback.

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Post by wbond » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:53 pm

Gekko wrote:
arthurdawg wrote:buy a fogless mirror and shave in the shower! it works very well!
agreed. everyone should try this - they'd never go back.
And once you get the hang of it, you don't really need the mirror.


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Post by arthurdawg » Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:18 pm

wbond wrote:
Gekko wrote:
arthurdawg wrote:buy a fogless mirror and shave in the shower! it works very well!
agreed. everyone should try this - they'd never go back.
And once you get the hang of it, you don't really need the mirror.
I'm not that brave! Plus, my sideburns are already crooked with the mirror... without!!! would be interesting!
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khh
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Post by khh » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:44 pm

khh wrote:Here's my anecdotal report. I was shaving with a triple blade razor yesterday, and made a mental note to toss the razor out after the shave since it was getting rough.

Then I thought of this thread. I didn't have any baby oil, but I did have Goop. I stuck the razor in the Goop, wiped it with a paper towel, rinsed it under a stream of hot water and resumed shaving.

I noticed a big difference. The roughness was gone and it actually felt like new.
Update. I just finished my third shave since that post, and am now convinced. The razor should have been like sandpaper by now, but it still felt new.

It cut the whiskers like a new razor as well. Normally by this stage, I'd have to make multiple passes in some areas to get the remaining stubble.

That was a very useful tip!

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Post by northcountry » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:58 pm

khh wrote:
khh wrote:Here's my anecdotal report. I was shaving with a triple blade razor yesterday, and made a mental note to toss the razor out after the shave since it was getting rough.

Then I thought of this thread. I didn't have any baby oil, but I did have Goop. I stuck the razor in the Goop, wiped it with a paper towel, rinsed it under a stream of hot water and resumed shaving.

I noticed a big difference. The roughness was gone and it actually felt like new.
Update. I just finished my third shave since that post, and am now convinced. The razor should have been like sandpaper by now, but it still felt new.

It cut the whiskers like a new razor as well. Normally by this stage, I'd have to make multiple passes in some areas to get the remaining stubble.

That was a very useful tip!
Thank you for the update. Just curious if you are adding baby oil before storing and if so, what have you found to be a convenient way to apply the oil?

I'm working on a little experiment where I'll be using an electron scanning microscope to view and compare cutting edge degradation using different storage methods. I'll post the results when completed in ~4 weeks.

Jeff

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Post by khh » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:24 am

northcountry wrote: Thank you for the update. Just curious if you are adding baby oil before storing and if so, what have you found to be a convenient way to apply the oil?

I'm working on a little experiment where I'll be using an electron scanning microscope to view and compare cutting edge degradation using different storage methods. I'll post the results when completed in ~4 weeks.

Jeff


I've been using Goop instead of baby oil. I find a Q-tip works pretty well for applying it. So far, I've only done this prior to shaving.

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Post by Gekko » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:58 am

khh wrote:Here's my anecdotal report. I was shaving with a triple blade razor yesterday, and made a mental note to toss the razor out after the shave since it was getting rough.

Then I thought of this thread. I didn't have any baby oil, but I did have Goop. I stuck the razor in the Goop, wiped it with a paper towel, rinsed it under a stream of hot water and resumed shaving.

I noticed a big difference. The roughness was gone and it actually felt like new.
Goop? on something that goes on your face? really???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgiLQ-vQnWM

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Post by gatorking » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:04 pm

I store some baby oil with a Q-tip in a film canister (remember those?). Just started applying oil on a new blade on July 1st.

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Post by Igglesman » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:08 pm

khh wrote:
northcountry wrote: Thank you for the update. Just curious if you are adding baby oil before storing and if so, what have you found to be a convenient way to apply the oil?


I am into my 3rd week using baby oil....I have a small-wide glass with a 1/2 inch of baby oil...and I leave the blade/razor completely submerged between shaves. I am beyond the placebo effect..it is working...I found that wiping the blade with a tissue after shaving then drying with a hairdryer than back into the baby oil....hey it is working...blade feels brand new... my test blade is a Mach 3...but intend to test the other blades...

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Images.... finally

Post by northcountry » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:25 pm

It took a little longer than expected but I'm finally attaching the results of a shaving experiment I just finished. I started with four new razor heads and shaved daily. I used Samples I and II to shave 1/2 of my face each. Sample III was thrown in water during the shave but never used to cut whiskers.

The test ended after 2 weeks when Sample I was cutting poorly (lots of razor burn).

Image

The images speak for themselves but here are my conclusions. Because Samples I and III show similar damage, we can conclude corrosion is the cause as Sample III was never used to cut anything. Sample II exhibits a clean cutting razor at the end of 2 weeks (and it was cutting very well) so we can conclude cleaning, drying, and oiling the razor helps minimize corrosion. Lastly, I wonder if the blade manufacturer is protecting the blade from corrosion as Sample IV shows the leading edge is coated with something...?

Thought everyone might be interested in the findings.

Jeff

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What's important Drying or Oiling?

Post by joppy » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:17 pm

Northcountry(Jeff) -

Thank you for the very interesting experiment and analysis. However, I am a bit uncertain about what conclusions you can draw.

There are two steps performed on Sample 2 after shaving.

1. The blade is dried.
2. The blade is protected with oil.

The analysis doesn't differentiate whether it is the drying or the oil that protects the blade. It does show that doing both helps.

Cheers,
Joppy

beme
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DE is better

Post by beme » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:48 am

I buy double-edged (DE) safety blades in bulk for about 6 cents apiece. IMHO, they give a much better shave than the heavily-marketed multi-razor systems that Gillette pitches.

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Re: What's important Drying or Oiling?

Post by northcountry » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:32 am

joppy wrote:Northcountry(Jeff) -

Thank you for the very interesting experiment and analysis. However, I am a bit uncertain about what conclusions you can draw.

There are two steps performed on Sample 2 after shaving.

1. The blade is dried.
2. The blade is protected with oil.

The analysis doesn't differentiate whether it is the drying or the oil that protects the blade. It does show that doing both helps.

Cheers,
Joppy
If someone can ensure the blade is fully dried and stays dry, I agree that drying alone would work. Unfortunately, that is difficult in the humid environment of the shower room. So.. for humid/wet environments, the coat of oil is a more efficient method of keeping the edge "dry". Of course, one could always coat the cutting edge with a water repelling material such as paraffin wax between uses like I suspect Sample IV may be showing......

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Post by Chuck T » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:27 am

I use the Fusion razor. The blades are expensive even on sale but I have sensitive skin. A fusion blade usually lasts me a month before I need to replace it.
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Post by speedbump101 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:02 pm

Found on the net, untested here...

"Here's how you can do it: Each time you use your razor blades, wash them in cold water, then apply a coating of good quality (91%) isopropyl alcohol to the blade surfaces using a cotton swab before putting the razor away. The next time you use your razor it will feel like it's brand new! This technique works because the isopropyl alcohol prevents a naturally forming cystalline film from building up on the blades' leading edges. It is this crystalline film which causes the blades to feel dull--they aren't really dull--after about a week or so. Give it a try! I'm sure you will agree with me, this is something the blade manufacturers don't won't you to know."

Edit: Test using alcohol started today... let the placebo effect begin... 'Personal' opinion to follow.

SB...
"Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal" -Robert A. Heinlein

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