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Razor blogging – update

After this post, I went out and bought a nice Merkur and some Astra blades. And a styptic pencil just in case. Glad to say, I’ve not had to use the pencil.

Anyway, for basically the price of one pack of refills of my old Gillette fusion, I can shave for two years, presuming I change blades once a week. The shave is as good as a fusion shave though it takes me a little bit longer. As in 2-3 minutes. But that will go away with practice. I’m a fan.

Thanks, Internet!

22 Responses to “Razor blogging – update”

  1. nk Says:

    My uncle, whom I lived with when I was little, would prolong the life of his blades by lightly rubbing them inside a water glass. Granted, he was a from-scratch shoemaker who knew how to sharpen his leather-working knives, too.

  2. John Richardson Says:

    Thanks for the update. I was wondering which Merkur you purchased. You’ve inspired me to start researching safety razors to make the change.

  3. Erik Says:

    I’ve been using one of those for about 3 years. By the way, one blade a week is a little pessimistic. I upgraded to some Merkur blades – I’m on my 3rd blade in the last year. I’m impressed. The way I figure it, I might not have to buy new blades in the next decade.

    These are the blades I bought for it.

  4. Nylarthotep Says:

    Just followed your link to the Merkur razor and amazon says that I bought that razor in January 2010. I hadn’t realized it had been that long. I use wilkinson blades and get about a week out of each. I tried a variety of different manufacturers when I first got the Merkur and didn’t find a lot of difference in the number of uses.

    Funny I got the styptic pencil as well, but have never needed it.

    I wanted to try go to the straight razor, but found it too much work to prep and use for every day shaving.

  5. J T Bolt Says:

    da nada

  6. Dragon Says:

    Heh…everything old is new again.

    I remember learning to shave with a safety razor. And yes, they are MUCH less expensive in the long run.

  7. Matt R. Says:

    Welcome to the ‘dark side’….we have smooth faces….

    I have also heard that storing your razor in Ballistol, or other ‘light’ vegetable base oil, like walnut or olive oil, prolongs the life of the blade….

    –Matt R.

  8. Alien Says:

    Couple years back consumer guru Clark Howard conducted a ‘speriment with razor blades. He found that they dulled not from use but from the corrosion caused by being left wet with water, shave cream chemicals and skin oils. Reportedly, he got a year out of one blade by washing and drying thoroughly after each use. I’m hard pressed to believe shave #365 was as good as #1, but I might be convinced #21 didn’t miss #1 by enough to matter. That makes your box of 100 a 6 year deal.

  9. Leatherwing Says:

    I’m hard pressed to believe shave #365 was as good as #1, but I might be convinced #21 didn’t miss #1 by enough to matter

    Reminds me of one of the William Gibson Sprawl novels. Guy just kept using the same razor. He said “it reaches a point where it just can’t get any duller”.

  10. Classical Liberal Says:

    I use feather blades with my Merkur razor they are amazing. I have tried Merkur’s blades as well. The Merkur’s seem to hold their edge longer, the feather seem to be sharper than the Merkur blades.

  11. Robert Says:

    try c.o. bigelow shave cream

  12. Huck Says:

    “Couple years back consumer guru Clark Howard conducted a ‘speriment with razor blades. He found that they dulled not from use but from the corrosion caused by being left wet with water, shave cream chemicals and skin oils.”

    Very true. I always remove the blade and (carefully) wipe it off with a clean cloth after I shave. I also clean the other parts of the razor too. My blades last for a looooong time and my razor is still in tip top shape after many years of use.

  13. Les Jones Says:

    Alien, back when Marilyn vos Savant had her Q&A column in Parade magazine she said something similar about razor blades. It isn’t so much that the blade is less sharp per se, but that it’s less straight due to corrosion. Lots of what’s called sharpening is really straightening the edge.

  14. Steve Says:

    I have found…the more blades on the shaving instrument the firmer you need to press against the skin. The less blades; the lighter your touch. I don’t know what it is; do you need to press firmer with 4 blades in order to get the skin closer to the blades? Dunno, but when you start to reduce the amount of blades, go with a lighter stroke.


  15. blounttruth Says:

    Have shaved with that “type” of razor for years. A better, closer shave and one thing you might add to the shaving collection I have enjoyed since my daughter got it for me on my birthday is this:

    It is nice to jump in the shower, throw some shampoo on the beard, and not have to hear the Mrs. complain about the mess made around the sink.

  16. NMM1AFan Says:

    Did the safety razor for a while. I liked it, but it’s just slow. I’m back to the disposable twin-blades now.

  17. Jake Says:

    As an alternative to the styptic pencil, I would suggest a block of barber’s alum. It will still sting a bit, but I’ve found it stings less than a styptic pencil, and it will last you much longer (mine’s going on 6 or 7 years, now). At ~$4, it’s also cheaper, and doesn’t tend to fall apart after prolonged exposure to the humidity of a bathroom like I’ve experienced with styptic pencils.

    One protip: instead of wetting the alum block, wet your face instead. That’s easily enough moisture for the alum to do its job, and will help it last even longer.

  18. Metulj Says:

    Second on the barber’s alum. I’ve shaved with a straight razor for years. I got into it in the Balkans after going and having razoring at a barber shop. I got addicted to it (3 bucks for a cut and shave). So I got a blade and strop at SMKW and never looked back.

  19. nk Says:

    Hair is at about the same hardness as pure copper wire of the same diameter. A steel razor edge, if not abused, gets dulled not by chipping or wearing away but by being rolled back. And corrosion as mentioned above (that’s what mostly kills metal files for another example). It can be unrolled I suppose, that’s the idea of your kitchen knife steel or my uncle’s water glass, meh maybe. I think it can only really be refreshed by honing — metal removal — not a practical thing with safety razor blades.

  20. Phelps Says:

    BTW, these are the blades you want.

  21. NUGUN Blog Says:

    I switched about 1/2 a year ago to the safety razor.

    $10 for razor
    $10 for a 100 blades
    $10 for soap, brush and bowl

    Amazon… 🙂

    Rarely cut, I will say my battery powered Gilette Fusion is still a nicer shave. But not hugely so. I’d say my safety razor shave is on par with my Schick shaves.

    I will say I keep a Gilette Fusion to get the hairs above my lip just under my nose.

  22. Rabbit Says:

    Phelps turned me on to the Israeli Personna blades. Nothing better as far as I’m concerned with my tough, heavy beard and sensitive skin (thanks again, Phelps). I switch back and forth between C. O. Bigelow cream, Shave Delux shaving oil, and D.R. Harris Shaving soap. A couple of weeks ago I picked up some liquid shaving lotion to try, but I haven’t made my mind up as to whether I like it or not.

    Good choice on the Merkur razor. I bought the heavy model.

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