The Underground World of Shaving

By on Jun 7, 2008 in Blog Posts | 1 comment

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I have pretty much always shaved with a cartridge razor system, namely the Mach3 Turbo. At times I have tried various electric razors, but I never felt that I was getting a close shave, not to mention the irritation they caused my skin. With the Mach3 I have tried a number of different shavings gels, then foams, and even a shaving soap and cheap boar hair brush. None of these significantly improved my shaving experience, and I have always felt that it could be better.

Out of curiosity, a few weeks ago I Googled my way to some YouTube videos by mantic59. They have opened up a whole new world for me. I had no idea that there was an entire legion of dedicated old school shavers! They have their own jargon and secret understanding – that they known better than everyone else. They claim that shaving in the traditional manner, with a Double-Edge (DE) blade razor system is not only a more satisfying and effective experience for the shaver, but also represents a huge cost savings over modern cartridge based systems.

Let’s break down that assertion, shall we? For this example we’re going to estimate a few figures – 1) The average male lives to the age of 75 2) The average male begins shaving at 15 3) The average male shaves about 300 times per year, or 18,000 times in his life time, which means he uses about 9,000 cartridges or blades if he gets two good shaves out of each one.

Next we need to look at current market prices for Mach3 Turbo cartridges. The best deal I could find online was for three eight packs at $40.59. This means each cartridge runs about $1.69. On the other hand, I found DE blades made by Merkur at $14.95 for 30, or about $0.50 per blade. Most people generally feel that you can get at least two, but usually more good shaves out of a DE blade, but just to keep things even we’ll assume you’re only getting two shaves and then tossing them.

So, taking all of those things into account what is the final tally? It’s going to blow your mind:
Total life time cost for Mach3 Turbo Cartridges: $15,221.25 ($21.14 per month)
Total life time cost for Merkur Double-Edge Blades: $4,485.00 ($6.23 per month)

Hard to believe we all spend that much on razor blades, isn’t it? I find it even more dramatic that people are willing to spend more than three times as much money for these new shaving systems, when I can tell you from my own experience that they are no better than the DE shaving systems. In fact, I’ve recently been doing a lot of experimenting with DE shaving and I not only get a closer, smoother shave but the entire experience is infinitely more enjoyable. My skin even feels cleaner and healthier than even before! I’m hooked.

For more information than you ever wanted to know on this subject, head over to the Badger & Blade website and forums. For a wonderful introduction to the world of wet shaving check out mantic59’s YouTube videos.