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Dan Gould

Those impossibly expensive disposable razor cartridges

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I've been a wet shaver (i.e. brush, cream/soap, double-edged razor) for close to 2 years now. If you are strong willed and stick with one blade, one brush, one razor and one soap or cream, you can indeed save money by going the "old fashioned way" but once you're in, it's hard to stop. You'll want to try different razors and different blades to find a combo that works well for you. Then there's so many soaps and creams you'll want to try both performance and scent-wise. (I just ordered a sampler of 7 shaving soaps of various interesting scents,some with cooling menthol) Wet shaving will also take up more of your time. I could go on and on so if you're interested or curious, I'd be happy to answer any questions.

The difference for me between shaving with disposables and wet shaving is that what used to be nuisance and burden to me is now something that I enjoy and actually look forward to. It's kind of a hobby. It's "me time" and pampering yourself a little. I also really like the idea of shaving old-school and keeping the tradition going. My favorite razors are vintage, one from the late 30s and another from the early 60s. I like shaving with a double-edge a lot and don't ever see myself going back to disposables of any kind.

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9$? A Mach 3 package here costs around 30$ (not sure how many in there, 10 or 15 - but still plenty of empty cardboard suggesting more).

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Just for comparisons sake, you can buy 100 good double-edge blades (just a cursory look and I found at least 4 brands) in the $10-$12 range. I change blades each week so 100 blades would last me just about 2 years.

Edited by mikelz777

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I read an article a while back that nearly all of the "Gillette" blades being sold on Amazon & eBay are counterfeits. I once gave an Amazon seller a try and the results were not pretty. I hacked my face up pretty bad. I went back to Walmart-sourced blades and things are fine again.

BTW, I use Gillette Sensor blades. I avoid the Sensor Excel blades (the ones with the rubber strip) because they catch on parts of my chin and leave divots.

Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've been unable to tell any difference between the Mach 3 cartridges I've bought on eBay and the ones I've bought via the usual retail channels. If they're counterfeits, then whoever is counterfeiting them is doing a pretty good job.

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I switched to double-edged wetshaving about 18 months ago and have no plans to go back. I use a Merkur 34C, which is becoming the standard safety razor for a lot of beginners. Have a badger brush, wooden soapdish, and fancy Col. Conk's shave soap, but rarely use them except on very special occasions as my water seems very hard and getting a good lather is a pain in the ass. Instead I just use cheapo Barbasol or Noxzema shaving cream for everyday shaving (prefer the latter but it costs a bit more).

Picking the right blades for your face is the most important thing next to mastering the technique. After trying 6 or 7 brands in a sampler pack, I went with Astra Superior Platinum Blades, which are $10 on Amazon per 100. Feather blades are the sharpest blades on the market and I prefer them, but they cost more like $25 per 100. Derby blades are also very good and very cheap.

Truth be told, I usually don't get perfect shaves with this setup, but it's good enough. My hair is dark and coarse and you can see the follicles pretty well even when I've shaved perfectly, so sacrificing a little closeness isn't the end of the world. I rarely nick myself after learning how to angle the razor properly and use next to zero pressure against the skin.

Some guys buy fancy alum blocks to clean up any nicks. I instead use an irregular chunk of alum I found in my local Asian grocery store for less than $1. Wet the alum under the faucet and rub it on the face post-shave, then rinse, then wipe my face with a cotton ball dipped in Target brand witch hazel. It really doesn't take much longer than the Mach 3 once you get the hang of it. The main benefit to the Mach 3/Schick Quattro/Fusion Power 12-blade whatever is that there's no need to learn technique and you can get away with making many passes over the same area. Also that you barely need to look at what you're doing and can do 95% of the shave in the shower. One disadvantage of the cartridge razors is that they suck for shaving off a grown-out beard unless you trim it down first with something else. With DE blades, beards are mostly gone after the first pass.

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disposable razors here. The Bic or Gillette kind that come 10/bag. Works just as efficiently as the expensive blades.

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I scrape my chin on piece of flint. A trick I picked up down the road at Creswell Crags. Worked back then before setting out on a day's hunting woolly mammoths. Why bother with all this newfangled stuff?

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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disposable razors here. The Bic or Gillette kind that come 10/bag. Works just as efficiently as the expensive blades.

I think it depends on your skin and beard. Those Bic or Gillette cheap disposables shave awfully for me and leave me with a non-smooth irritated face. Just can't use them.

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I have the wimpiest skin on the planet. I can only shave my neck and face with an electric, and anything short of Mach III on my head will leave me looking like I just came out on the losing end of a fight with a bobcat.

I'll sometimes shave my head with my electric, but it takes twice as long.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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Another intriguing alternative worth considering - https://www.harrys.com/products

Over a year later, I took the plunge this weekend and got on the Harry's program. $15 every two months, free razor and shipping. It's less than $2 a blade so the price is much better, and lately Publix has been out of stock on those suckers anyway almost every time I need to hold my nose and buy more. Down to my last one though so the economy shipping better get the new ones here fast.

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There's no way I'd pay much for a razor. These are about 450 yen or $3.6 for a 5 pack.

I'd say they're about the best of the cheapo disposables that I've tried.  Getting a good lather is important. I switched back to brush and soap after years of using foam. My missus turned me on to Shea Butter soap. It's very good for shaving.

schick.png

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Another intriguing alternative worth considering - https://www.harrys.com/products

Over a year later, I took the plunge this weekend and got on the Harry's program. $15 every two months, free razor and shipping. It's less than $2 a blade so the price is much better, and lately Publix has been out of stock on those suckers anyway almost every time I need to hold my nose and buy more. Down to my last one though so the economy shipping better get the new ones here fast.

I tried Harry's razors. I didn't like them. Two reasons: 1) I was not able to get as close as I could with my Gillette Sensor razor, especially around my nose and 2) The damn thing rusted after two shaves!

So if you do try Harry's, make sure to blow dry the blade after you're done. I did that after the first shave, because I had read about their propensity to rust, but forgot after the second shave. I doubt that shaving with a rusted blade would be a fun time.

I gave the kit (with the two remaining blades) to a friend at work to see if he likes them better. I warned him about the rust problem. I haven't heard back from him if he's liking it yet.

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I did see mention of rusting problems in some online comments. It's hard to believe that the company could have such an issue and be successful.  I'll definitely be sending the package back if that becomes an issue for me.  You get 30 days supposedly.

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So is the program worth it so far? 

I've been considering trying either Harry's or Dollar Shave. 

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Well I've had my Harry's razors for two weeks and I can report:

1. No issue with rusty razors, without any effort to dry them off after use. My guess would be that perhaps Kevin is on well water rather than city water and that this might make a difference? Anyway no trouble with razors changing color but ...

2.  Not thrilled with how long they last - they anticipate one a week and that's how it's worked out. This makes the price difference essentially zero and the only benefit is auto-ship and not counting on Publix to have them in stock when I need them next.

3.  Closeness is not ideal.  It's close enough right after but the five o'clock shadow, such as it is for a beard like mine, comes around 3 pm.

So back to the drawing board, as soon as I cancel the auto-ship of the next batch.  I'm going to consider the dollar shave club deal or else price out Mach 3 razors on Amazon, if the price is that much better than local retail that's probably my final answer.

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Hmmm...that's certainly a disappointing review. Guess I'll stick with my Mach III for the time being. 

If you do try Dollar Shave Club, please let us know your thoughts on them as well. 

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I have tried Harry's also after going into a drug store buy Mach3s and finding them locked up in a case like gold bullion.  It took about 20 minutes to find a store clerk willing to come out to unlock the case.  After that experience, I decided to try an online service. 

My issue with Harry's is that the blades do not shave as close as Mach3 blades.  They are not bad blades, and for some the closeness might not be an issue.  I shave every weekday, but have had no issue with how long the blades last and have not had an issue with rusting blades.  If the blades shaved as close as Mach3s, I would probably use Harry's exclusively.

I went back to the drug store this week to purchase a pack of Mach3 blades and noticed that they were no longer kept locked up behind a case.  They are now in individual plastic boxes that can be unlocked by the cashier. 

Also, if you go on Amazon, and type Mach3 into the search bar, you will see that Amazon has a "subscription" service for Mach3 blades.  I have reduced my use of Amazon due to my issues with its business practices, but it's worth looking into. 

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Thanks, I think I will just go back to the tried-and-true and sign up for the Mach3 subscription service.

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On 5/30/2014 at 2:56 PM, Dave Garrett said:

Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've been unable to tell any difference between the Mach 3 cartridges I've bought on eBay and the ones I've bought via the usual retail channels. If they're counterfeits, then whoever is counterfeiting them is doing a pretty good job.

I spoke too soon - the last pack of five cartridges I got from an eBay seller were almost certainly fakes. The packaging looked legit, but they don't shave nearly as close or last nearly as long as the real McCoy. To add insult to injury, they really weren't that much cheaper than the real deal would've been. Guess I'm done fishing for eBay bargains. 

I got an email from Costco today that indicated they have started selling their own Kirkland house-brand triple-blade cartridges, and they're a lot cheaper than Gillette cartridges. Given that Kirkland-branded products are fairly well-tested to ensure quality and value before Costco markets them, I'm thinking these could be a viable lower-budget alternative, and will be giving them a try the next time I need to replenish my supply.

Kirkland Signature Triple Blade Razor 14-count

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Funny this topic I started is brought back up. My wife and I moved to Plant City 27 months ago.

I no longer care about the cost of shaver cartridges because the moment we moved I began to telecommute and stopped shaving 5-6 days a week. Sometime before our move I had received an auto-ship Amazon delivery of a 5-pack (25 cartridges) and I still have two left.  When I am finally ready to buy again it will be a regular-price pack from Publix and I really won't care since I won't buy another for about 12-14 months.

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I've been working primarily from home for quite some time now, but that hasn't had any impact on my shaving regimen. Still shave every morning, it's just as much a part of the initial daily ritual as a cup of coffee. I've only sworn off shaving in favor of growing a beard a few times, the most recent of which was many years ago. 

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Dollar Shave Club works for me so far (about three or four months). Gillette  cartridge replacement blades on Amazon are fakes in my experience (and according to hundreds of complaints from customers), which is why (aside from price) I went in search of something better.

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