Ever remember being too young to shave but noticing razor blades were in special compartments at the store? It turns out they are one of the highest shoplifted items. Perhaps the pricing has something to do with it. I do not condone or recommend stealing, but I guess people need to shave and desperate times call for desperate measures.
Every time I see the prices of razor blades, I am shocked at the prices that companies are charging people. You’d think the blades were made of gold or something. But what is the alternative? You could always grow a beard, although chances are you are reading this because you like to have a clean shave.
The best option is actually one that has been around for over a century. It is the safety razor, and they have been making a big comeback lately.
The safety razor is a simple design that will give you a great shave. The best part though is the blades are incredibly inexpensive. You can buy a pack of 100 blades for $14.00 which works out to 14 cents per blade. Yes, you read that right; only 14 cents per blade! You can use your blade for at least three shaves as well so the savings start to add up fairly quickly.
A safety razor uses dual edge blades (also known as DE blades). There are dozens of DE blade manufacturers, with each blade having it’s own unique characteristics. If you are new to shaving with DE blades, you will want to purchase a blade sample pack so that you can find out what type of blades work best with your hair/skin type.
The number one reason that holds most people back from making the switch to safety razors is that they confuse it with a straight razor and fear cutting themselves. The razor itself can look intimidating at first but they are just as easy to use as any disposable razor and are completely safe to use (how do you think it got the name?).
I have been shaving with a safety razor for many years and have never had any issues at all. When I first started, it took some time for me to find the perfect blade for my skin/hair type but in the end it was worth it to experiment and get it right.
My shaving setup:
I will tell you right now that this might not be the best solution for you, but after doing a lot of testing this is the setup that works best for me. I have coarse hair and standard disposable razors would always pull on the hair too much and cause razor burn. For this reason, I use a Merkur 38C slant bar safety razor. The cap design bends the blade at an angle so that it cuts through the hair follicles easier. Think of it like a guillotine blade, the angle increases the slicing edge which makes a smoother cut through the hairs.
There are a couple of DE blades that I find best. These are my favourites listed in order.
These blades are made in Russia where men seem to have plenty of facial hair. You will pay a bit more for these $36 for a pack of 100 (36 cents per blade) but the quality of the shave is worth every penny. I find these blades last longer than other types as well and typically give me an average of 5-6 shaves per blade.
2. Feather DE Blades
Everyone loves Feather DE blades. There is a good reason for that which is they are super sharp. The blades are made in Japan and are great quality. I rank them second in my list because I find the first shave with a new blade is always rough. Once the blade gets worked in though, it provides a great shave. Typically, these will last me 3-4 shaves per blade.
3. Gillette 7 O’Clock
I find it funny that the big disposable razor company is in the DE razor business. They never seem to advertise it much though. These blades are very good and are a great price.
I have seen a lot of articles online where people will go to great lengths to extend the life of their typical disposable razor blades (mach 3, mach 5, etc…) so that they can save on costs. These tips range from submerging the blade in alcohol to prevent oxidization on the blade, or even stropping the blade on an old pair of jeans (seriously!?!). I have tried some of these techniques myself and was not very impressed with the difference it made. There is nothing like a nice shave so why reuse old disposable blades when DE blades are so cheap.
With a safety razor, you can get a 100 pack of good quality blades that will last you for an entire year for less than $20. Don’t believe me, check out these actual products from Amazon and see for yourself.
Personna Double Edge Razor Blades, 100 CountAmazon Image 100 SHARK Super Stainless Double Edge Razor BladesAmazon Image 100 7 O’clock Super Stainless Double Edge Safety Razor Blades
Keep in mind that each blade can be used for at least four shaves. Therefore, 100 blades * 4 shaves = 400 shaves. That works out to more than one shave per day!
The best technique for shaving is known as “wet shaving”. You start by getting your face ready for the shave by soaking it with a hot towel. It best if you can get the towel nice and hot and then lie back on a chair with it over your face for a couple of minutes. This is how they do it at professional barber shops. Alternatively, you can do this while taking a hot shower in the morning by spending a bit of time with your face under the shower head and using a face towel to scrub your face. By applying heat and moisture to your face, you open the pores on your skin which makes it easier to shave.
Next is to apply your shaving cream. I recommend creating your own lather using shaving soap, a badger hair brush, and a bowl to mix it all up in. This lets you get a nice and rich lather that will help the blade glide over your face while getting a nice close shave.
Once you are all lathered up, you can start shaving. You will want to shave with the grain in order to avoid ingrown hairs. Everyone’s hair grows different so it might take you a couple times to learn. If you want to get an extra smooth shave, reapply your shaving cream and then do a second pass by going across the grain. Some people like to shave against the grain but personally, I never do it.
Once your face is nice and smooth, wipe off any excess shaving cream press your face with a cold cloth. You can use the same towel you used with hot water to get ready for the shave. The cold water will close your pores.
If you have any cuts, you can apply some aftershave to help close the wound. There are a couple different types of aftershave. I prefer aftershave lotions since they moisturize. Alcohol based aftershaves are good but can dry out your skin.
This is a long term buy it for life solution to shaving so I recommend you spend a little bit up front to get something that will provide a quality shave and is built well. I use a Merkur, but Edwin Jagger is just as good. It all comes down to preference.
You can find a whole range of razors for good pricing at Major Razor.
The easiest thing to do is buy a set that comes with a safety razor, a brush, and a stand (to hold your brush and razor when not in use).
So there you have it. You are now ready to get started with a safety razor. You will be amazed at how much you save.
Please share your experiences here and if you have any questions, just send me a message and I will be happy to help.