Men, are you sick and tired of the outrageous prices of shaving razor blades? Isn’t it a bit frustrating when you buy some new fancy razor, then head out to buy blades, and either they cost a mint, or the place you’re at doesn’t stock that brand?
My father had the answer. Your grandfather probably had the answer as well. But many of us have been conned over the years into paying outrageous prices for razor blades, promises of “close shaves” and all the rest, while taking our money.
The answer is a basic but hefty feeling safety razor and those “old fashioned” double edged safety razor blades.
Wilkinson Sword is one brand that’s respectable, affordable, and of decent quality. But there are other choices as well.
Let’s Discuss The Shaving Scam
My father taught me how to shave – it took one lesson, with a gift of a Wilkinson Sword safety razor, a pack of blades, some shaving soap, and a shaving brush. He also threw in a styptic pencil and some after shave lotion (probably Old Spice if I recall correctly).
Somewhere along the way, I got caught up in the advertisements and commercials of Gillette and other companies selling double-bladed then triple-bladed razors. Of course, my facial hair back when I was a teenager and into my 20’s was pretty soft to begin with – so it likely it was more psychological and believing the advertising that I was getting a “closer shave” by using these “newer” types of shaving systems.
It did seem I could shave a little more quickly and without as much care though; there was less need for the styptic pencil as well, it seemed.
Others remarked on their favourite new model of razor, and then we were asked to consider razors that had 3, then 4, and now even 5 built in blades.
And the cost of all this? Outrageous!
Can’t Find Your Razor Model Blades? More Conning!
If you’re traveling and you need new razor blades, you might walk into a pharmacy or supermarket to buy some, only to discover that they don’t carry the blades that fit your model. That means you have to buy a new model of razor which probably comes with 1 or 2 blades. That will get you by. And then you end up with a collection of razors – and now you’re confused as to what blades you want and what fits what.
Meanwhile Gillette, Schick, and Bic are pulling in the profits and laughing as you empty your bank account into theirs.
Then you realize, “Hey, there’s now a Hydro Skin, a Skin Guard, Flexy this and that, and let’s now throw in heated razors as well.” Rotating, five bladed, three bladed, flexated, and just about anything now promises you the closest shave you’ll ever get….”
Economical ChoicesClassic Makes A Comeback
I was walking around “MyMarket” in Lavrio and the men’s toiletries section – disgusted at the price of five razor blades of the various modern models. I think one of them, I can’t recall the brand and model, the cost was around 28 Euros for five blades!
It reminded me that even in some places back in Ontario, razor blades were locked up – you had to ask for assistance to buy them, likely because they are such a shoplifting theft temptation due to their price.
Then, I saw this large display of Wilkinson Sword classic safety razors along with blades…..
Should I try them again?
The razor with a package of five blades was 8 Euros. The blades themselves came in packages of 5 for about 2 Euros (Research shows you can get even better prices on high quality double edged safety razor blades).
I bought them.
The Results – I’ve Been Conned For About 40 Years!
It’s been a long time since I used one of these. Would I get a great shave as with those expensive multi-bladed razors? Will I cut myself? Sometimes though, I nick myself a little anyway.
I got my beard soft (as I always do anyway) with hot water and steam – applied some shaving cream, and enjoyed the feeling of the heft of the all metal Wilkinson Sword razor in my hand. I put in one of the blades, tightened it up, and went to work on my face….
It was like riding a bicycle again after ten years away. The blade slid along my skin, and gave me a great shave! Of course, you don’t need to apply pressure when using this type of razor, and you do want to take your time. You also want to stretch your skin a bit in the area you are shaving, and yes, you might ‘nick’ yourself.
In the end, I got a super close fine shave with a cheap razor and a cheap but sharp blade. One little nick.
I spent maybe 4 or 5 minutes longer than what I would normally spend shaving – but I got as close to a “baby’s bum skin” shave as anything else will give you.
Then, on this warm evening, a nice splash of Royall Lyme after shave lotion for it’s noticeable cooling effects. Ah… a face that feels great!
A Tip To Keep Your Blades Sharper, Longer
Seeing as we’re discussing shaving, blades, and razors, back in 2002 an email correspondent and I did some experiments in regard to trying to see if we could keep razor blades sharper and usable for longer. We conducted a test and both of us had the same results: After shaving and then rinsing your blade(s), turn on a blow dryer on high and give them a 20 second or so blast of hot air to fully remove any moisture.
Doing this saw us both see extended life in our razor blades! I’m not sure why this happens – blades are supposedly made of stainless steel which is not supposed to rust, but I’ve seen more and more products, especially made in China that is labelled as “Stainless Steel” yet they seem to still be prone to some oxidation and rusting. But it would be something else at work as well.
What Shaving Adventures Are Next?
I guess I could do fine with what I have, but now am interested in re-experiencing that whole process of using a boar’s or badger’s hair brush, mixing up lather with shaving soap, and all that classic stuff. I remember my dad’s shaving soap brush – and how it seemed to last forever. He told me it was all a part of the process – using a good soap that lathers well, and letting it soak the beard hairs to get a great shave.
But maybe I’ll also revisit that idea of using olive oil to shave that I had tried previously – or as another step as a pre-shave that some now claim help to protect the skin while getting an awesome close shave.
But no matter what, I’m never going back to the “hustle and bustle” of new men’s shaving razors, models, systems, and bullshit claims about close shaves – the classic shaving gear of my father and grandfather works great, is safe, and a heck of a lot cheaper than all this new stuff that various companies come up with to keep trying to get my money!
I’m done with that.
How about you? Leave a comment below: