Converting to Safety Razors

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dahelderman
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by dahelderman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:49 pm

I have been DE wet shaving for the last few years. Initially, I honestly had no idea what it was or whether it was more or less expensive. I started because my mom had always had this old, ragged Everready 100T shave brush stowed away in a China cabinet. It was her dad's, and he died in 1969. I sent it off to New Jersey to be restored. It cost me like $45, and the thing still is absolutely beat to pieces, but I love it. I had it cleaned up and a new knot set in it, then I was off to the races.

After some trial and error, I have settled on Dorco ST300 blades and Proraso soap. I have used a number of soaps and really like the Proraso, though it's not really soap. It is more like shaving cream that's been distilled into a solid puck. Whatever, it works like a dream. I've got a pretty standard Merker 34C razor that performs admirably. Nothing special, but it does the trick. The Dorco blades are $7.38 for 100 blades, which lasts me every bit of two years. Cost wise, it is not even a comparison. I like it because it gives me some kind of connection to my grandfather, who I never knew, it saves me some money versus buying those ridiculous Mach 3's, and I do get a darn good shave.

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by MichaelRpdx » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:00 pm

alfaspider wrote:
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 frequently shave soapless in the shower with my DE razor without issues. Won't claim to being awake all the time either. There's a bit of skill involved in getting the angle and pressure right but once you learn that it's easy.
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Hyperborea
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Hyperborea » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:37 pm

carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
In fact, in the business world they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
Actually, the safety razor and blade business was the source of this aphorism. Gillette sold the razors at a loss to get people started with his at the time new fangled blades.
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
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://nytimes.com/2014/11/20/styl ... r-men.html
The recent popularity of safety razors seems to be mostly a hipster thing - like the resurgence of pour over coffee, pork pie hats, fixie bikes, vinyl, and "ironic" 70's TV show t-shirts. If you enjoy it then it's a fine hobby. But's it's not cheaper, it takes longer, and I can't see how it's "better" for you. I've been there and done that and have a safety razor and selection of blades languishing in the drawer - Feather, Dorco, Astra, Merkur, etc.

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:46 pm

I have been doing this for 6 years now... LOVE IT!! I bought a box of 100 blades back then... and still have 3/4 of the box left. It cost me around $40 one time investment for the razor and the blades.

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victorb
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by victorb » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:15 pm

I have tried Safety Razors, electric razors and the best & quickest solution was a Schick Hydro 5 using Gillette Edge Gel.

carofe
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by carofe » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:51 pm

Hyperborea wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:37 pm
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
In fact, in the business world they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
Actually, the safety razor and blade business was the source of this aphorism. Gillette sold the razors at a loss to get people started with his at the time new fangled blades.
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
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://nytimes.com/2014/11/20/styl ... r-men.html
The recent popularity of safety razors seems to be mostly a hipster thing - like the resurgence of pour over coffee, pork pie hats, fixie bikes, vinyl, and "ironic" 70's TV show t-shirts. If you enjoy it then it's a fine hobby. But's it's not cheaper, it takes longer, and I can't see how it's "better" for you. I've been there and done that and have a safety razor and selection of blades languishing in the drawer - Feather, Dorco, Astra, Merkur, etc.
Sure, because you know all the people here that like it and also all the people out there that like it and have been using it for many years are all hipster or hipster inclined :).
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bottlecap
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by bottlecap » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:43 pm

carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:51 pm
Hyperborea wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:37 pm
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
In fact, in the business world they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
Actually, the safety razor and blade business was the source of this aphorism. Gillette sold the razors at a loss to get people started with his at the time new fangled blades.
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
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://nytimes.com/2014/11/20/styl ... r-men.html
The recent popularity of safety razors seems to be mostly a hipster thing - like the resurgence of pour over coffee, pork pie hats, fixie bikes, vinyl, and "ironic" 70's TV show t-shirts. If you enjoy it then it's a fine hobby. But's it's not cheaper, it takes longer, and I can't see how it's "better" for you. I've been there and done that and have a safety razor and selection of blades languishing in the drawer - Feather, Dorco, Astra, Merkur, etc.
Sure, because you know all the people here that like it and also all the people out there that like it and have been using it for many years are all hipster or hipster inclined :).
I can't figure out what's funnier. Me being called a hipster, period, or being me called a hipster by someone who tried DE shaving because he thought it was hip.... Haha.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Hyperborea » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:49 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:43 pm
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:51 pm
Hyperborea wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:37 pm
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
In fact, in the business world they call it the "Gillette razor and blades model", "Give 'em the razor; sell 'em the blades".
Actually, the safety razor and blade business was the source of this aphorism. Gillette sold the razors at a loss to get people started with his at the time new fangled blades.
carofe wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:08 am
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://nytimes.com/2014/11/20/styl ... r-men.html
The recent popularity of safety razors seems to be mostly a hipster thing - like the resurgence of pour over coffee, pork pie hats, fixie bikes, vinyl, and "ironic" 70's TV show t-shirts. If you enjoy it then it's a fine hobby. But's it's not cheaper, it takes longer, and I can't see how it's "better" for you. I've been there and done that and have a safety razor and selection of blades languishing in the drawer - Feather, Dorco, Astra, Merkur, etc.
Sure, because you know all the people here that like it and also all the people out there that like it and have been using it for many years are all hipster or hipster inclined :).
I can't figure out what's funnier. Me being called a hipster, period, or being me called a hipster by someone who tried DE shaving because he thought it was hip.... Haha.
Actually, no where did I say that everybody here that uses safety razors is hip - from what I imagine of the average Boglehead that doesn't compute. The rise in popularity is definitely due to hipsters. Sure, there's a loyal following who do it because they enjoy the hobby and probably have done it for a while. Just like anything hipsters take up there was a core body of folks doing it before they descended upon it - i.e. Pabst Blue Ribbon which is still drunk by many older balding guys in the mid-west when they go "hunting" with the guys but it's recent popularity and bump in sales is due to hipsters.

I actually tried it because simple 2-3 blade cartridges were getting expensive and hard to find. I tried it for a while, I got good enough at it, but it took longer and was more hassle. It didn't really give any better shave than a fresh cartridge razor blade. When somebody pointed me at the cartridge stropping video and I could keep a cartridge pretty much fresh for 6 months or more that was the end of the safety razor. There has also been a resurgence in the availability of the 2-3 blade cartridges that make my costs now run about $4 / year and no need for a shaving brush made from extinct or endangered animals!

protagonist
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by protagonist » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:06 pm

Our financial future is certainly dependent on how much we spend on housing, new cars and the like.

But unless we are destitute, is there really a good argument to save money on razor blades?

As ridiculous as the price of Mach 3 blades might be (and I agree they are), I can't imagine that I spend much more than about $10/year on them. It's hard to get a sandwich for that price these days.

If you really like safety razors better, by all means use them. Personally, I just recall a lot of nicks and cuts back in the day, and I don't recall ever cutting myself with a Mach 3. But as far as which blades are cheaper, who cares?

anoop
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by anoop » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:45 pm

Hyperborea wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:37 pm
The recent popularity of safety razors seems to be mostly a hipster thing - like the resurgence of pour over coffee, pork pie hats, fixie bikes, vinyl, and "ironic" 70's TV show t-shirts. If you enjoy it then it's a fine hobby. But's it's not cheaper, it takes longer, and I can't see how it's "better" for you. I've been there and done that and have a safety razor and selection of blades languishing in the drawer - Feather, Dorco, Astra, Merkur, etc.
My guess is you didn't spend enough time on technique. It took me more than a couple of years to perfect my technique. It forces you to learn your face--knowing the direction of hair growth on different parts of the face. But now I cannot stand shaving with a cartridge razor. I tried it a few times because of the TSA (you can't carry DE blades in carry ons), and I hated it so much I now always check my luggage on long trips or go unshaven on short ones. I don't care about cheap (which I think it is because I use a new blade every day I shave), it is at least as quick as a cartridge shave for me and it is MUCH closer. And contrary to what you write, there are very tangible benefits -- shaving with cartridge razors gives you no out if you suffer from razor rash (which I used to on the neck when I used cartridge razors) and ingrown hairs.

If cartridge razors work for your skin/beard that's great, but it's not a "one size fits all".

carofe
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by carofe » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:41 am

Hyperborea wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:49 pm
no need for a shaving brush made from extinct or endangered animals!
Pretty much all the badger hair we get in the brushes nowadays is coming from China, where badger are almost in "plague" levels. Farmers are allowed there to hunt them. However, most of the hair production comes from farmed badgers in China. If they kill them is because they want to use the skin as well, but really for the hair they don't need to, just shave it. The other two animals hair used are boar and horse hair, and no they are not close to be extinct.
But if using animals for our benefits bugs you there is a huge market on synthetic brushes out there as well.

It is very well known that shaving with safety razors and DE blades produce much less waste than cartridge razors. And if you use straight razors it gets even better.

Better for the environment, better for your skin, better for your wallet. :D. I wonder if the hipsters like the safety and straight razors because among other things, it is more environmentally friendly.
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Abe
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by Abe » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:07 pm

I started shaving in the late 50's with a safety razor. Somewhere along the line, I converted to cartridge razors and aerosol canned shaving cream. Then a few years ago, I jumped back on to the wet shaving craze. I have tried several of the Merkur double edge razors as well as vintage Gillette razors along with badger brushes and various shaving soaps and creams. This has been my experience with safety razors: As hard as I've tried, I cannot get a closer shave with double edge blades. It takes me longer to shave, and I am more likely to get nicked. I still enjoy making a lather in a shaving mug and applying it with a badger brush, but I have gone back to cartridge blades. The cartridge blades are expensive, especially the name brands like Gillette Mach3 or Fusion. I typically buy a less expensive generic brand. I shave every morning and if I wash and dry my blade after each use, it will last for a month, sometimes longer. Having said that, I still occasionally shave with a safety razor for old times sake I guess. I like to splash on some osage rub after shaving. It stings a little at first and makes me smell like an old barber shop. :happy
Slow and steady wins the race.

iamlucky13
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:35 pm

carofe wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:41 am
It is very well known that shaving with safety razors and DE blades produce much less waste than cartridge razors. And if you use straight razors it gets even better.

Better for the environment
I guess if you want to count grains of sand, you can look at it that way. There's maybe 1/4 ounce of plastic in a cartridge, which is equivalent to about as much oil (natural gas actually, but it's a fossil resource either way) as driving a car 200-300 feet. There's also more blades in the cartridge, but they're much smaller, so there's probably a slight offset there.

Since others have confirmed my experience that good cartridges can last months, is it really worth deciding on your shaving preference over the equivalent of a couple ziplock bags a year? What's the magnitude of effect on the 100 year temperature change of everybody using safety razers vs. cartridges?

There's a lot of other, much lower hanging fruit out there.

pwill112
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by pwill112 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:16 am

I am a de shaver and a big fan of badgerandblade as well.

I have 1 razor, 1 blade and 1 brush.
I have a variety of creams, soaps and aftershaves that make it fun.

For time saving, there is a newer enhanced type of brush called synthetic brushes that don’t require any preparation time (soaking). They are all over badgerandblade and pretty much everyone really likes them.

I would never switch back to cartridges.

nativenewenglander
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by nativenewenglander » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:39 am

I use an exfoliant scrub for men on my face in the shower or sink. It raises the beard so I get a cleaner shave. My dad always used a safety razor and had a styptic for the nics afterward. I use a badger brush and my 100 year old shaving mug. I still use disposables as I fin the two blade ones work well for me.

capsaicinguy
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by capsaicinguy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:10 am

I also made the DE plunge about 3 years ago. The shave is a ton better and lasts longer for me than a cartridge shave. Takes a little longer but not that much once you figure it out. I also got everything on Amazon and am still milking the giant trial pack of a bunch if different blades I got. Some you learn fast are garbage and some are much better.

bagle
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Re: Converting to Safety Razors

Post by bagle » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:59 am

I switched to a safety razor 8 years ago and will never go back to cartridges or electrics. Why?
  • cheaper, more Boglehead. Decent Russian/Indian blades cost about 6 cents apiece, $1.60 Arko soap will last 6 months. If you catch SAD (Shaving Acquisition Disorder), though, you might end up spending $50 for a fancy soap.
  • better shave. Closer. No more razor burn for me.
  • community of like-minded enthusiasts who debate best smelling amber/menthol soap the way SatuMedia discuss best small value fund

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