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    Shaving - Cartridges to Safety Razor?

    I have been considering going to a safety razor for shaving for years instead of cartridges. I really don't get a great shave with cartridges and just feel like it would be a much closer and better shave. The thing that has stopped me is the convenience aspect.

    I typically shave in the shower because i can easily wet my face with warm water and easily wash the shaving cream off. This is not so doable with a safety razor. It also seems like it is more time consuming.

    What are your thoughts? Did you make the switch? Do you prefer it? Did you go back for ease of use?

    Im currently using Dorco razor, blades, and barbosol shaving cream. Literally the cheapest route out there LOL - maybe thats my problem. Although a safety razor setup is probably cheaper a few years out.

    #2
    I made the switch about 6 years ago and I'll never go back. I don't find it takes any additional time, except maybe a minute to get the lather going but its worth it. I have always shaved after my shower however. Before, my neck would be all chewed up and I would get serious razor burn. Now, I never get a nick and I have a closer shave. Another added benefit is the soaps I use now are much safer, better for your skin. The chemicals in store bought can foams aren't the healthiest thing out there. I've noticed a difference in the condition of my skin after switching. It's a little more upfront cost and time in figuring out your razor setup but now I'm reaping the benefits (both on my wallet and skin).

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      #3
      I have been using a safety razor for about 8 years. I ever use a cartridge it’s only Harrys and during traveling as I don’t want to risk losing my handle. Great thing about safety razors it’s pretty much a make your own adventure as the market is flooded with products. Cost of up front is high but to quickly drops. It will take a couple minutes longer the first few times but that drops quickly. That being said you are more then likely going to cut yourself first couple times and if you can have couple days growth for your first try that will help. styptic pencils are great buy at the local drug store.

      I use the merkur extra long handle. I like the balance of it and the weight but lots of people like the control of the smaller ones for more control. Spend some money exploring different soaps and blades. You due pay for what you get with soaps the more expensive stuff lasts longer. I buy shaving soap once ever two years when I have a beard and once a year clean shaven. West Coast shaving is good for exploring all the different options of soaps. I buy my blades from sellers on Amazon who just sell the big variety packs. They generally come with like 20 some different varieties with each package containing 5 blades, each blade usually lasts two weeks and more if you dry them, unlike me. Blades from Japan, Russia, and Israel are the usually the highest quality but not every one will like the same blades so explore. I find aftershave to be a must. I use Proraso aftershave the white brand and can skip any other face products.


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        #4
        I used a safety razor for about 2 years before switching back to disposables. It added too much time to my morning or night routine and I found disposable two blade razors gave just as good of shave in half the time. There was just so much prep, cleaning, caution and double passes involved with the safety blades that it wasn't worth the extra time. I will say they do give a closer shave if that's what you're looking for and once you get over the initial expense, safety razors are so much cheaper in the long run. I still have a bunch of razors and soaps left over from the initial sample pack I bought. I still use it from time to time when I want a really close shave or run out of disposables. But for me the convenience of using a disposable out-weighted the marginally better shave I get from safety razors.

        For reference, I was using Gillette Fusion and Harry's Razors before switching to the safety razor. All of the extra blades from the cartridge razors were giving me terrible razor burn and ingrowns. I switched to a closed comb razor from West Coast Shaving. You'll get less knick from a closed comb blade but an open comb will give you the closest shave. I think the general consensus is to start with a closed comb until you get used it. There is a slight learning curve involved and the closed comb will save you some nasty knicks. I don't remember which blades I like most but I want to say Feather blades. I recall them being really sharp. I really liked Lisa's Natural Herbal Creations soaps. I learned about it on a recommendation from a forum member in old safety razor thread. It was the first soap I tried but it was by far my favorite. They're inexpensive, lather easily, feel great and have a decent variety of pleasant scents.

        I ended up going back to Gillette disposables but the cheap single use blade and handle comb with two blades. I use them two or three times and then toss. I don't need to shave every day and a close shave isn't a priority so I don't mind the results. Also, the less blades there are the less chance there is to aggravate your skin. That's why safety blades are generally recommended to help with razor burn. Finally, here's the old thread I mentioned earlier. It has a bunch of recommendations and advice if you want to give the safety razor a try. https://threads.dappered.com/forum/e...r-appreciation

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          #5
          I switched from the 6 blade Dorco USA cartridge system to a safety razor about a year ago. I am not a daily shaver, but in general, 2-4 times per week. I started off using the fancy creams and foams but now I just use whatever is cheapest (gel, foam, creme, I don't care) with a beginners razor handle and pretty cheap blades. I don't notice any difference in terms of closeness of shave and I really don't think shaving takes markedly longer. Overall, its been an easier transition than I thought it would be and its significantly cheaper.

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            #6
            I made the switch about 5 years ago... It was rough at first, having to re-learn how to shave. When I first started, I bought a 100 pack of sample blades from Amazon for $20, since I can get about 5 shaves per blade, Taylor of Old Bond Sandalwood cream, a Merkur 34-C, a bowl, brush, and stand for all about $100. Years later, I'm still going through those blades and have discovered which brands work for me and which ones don't. I don't struggle with ingrown hairs anymore either. Does it take longer? Not really, at least not anymore. Has it saved me a lot of money? Absolutely. Is it a better shave? For me, yes.

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              #7
              I started using a safety razor instead of a cartridge razor about a month ago. I would get really bad razor burn, the gel on the blade would be sticky, the shave itself would be patchy, etc. Not a good experience. The difference was noticeable after literally the first time I used my safety razor. All of the issues with shaving are gone, and it's become an experience I look forward to instead of dread. Also, my skin looks worlds better. It's remarkable.

              As to the time difference, it does take longer for me -- but that's because of my routine change. Instead of just [Shave], it's now [Apply Shave Oil, Lather, Shave, Apply Aftershave]. While I would heartily recommend all of those steps, the shaving itself isn't noticeably slower. I do three passes now, rather than just one, and it's not that much more time spent.

              In short, I would absolutely recommend safety razor over cartridge razor. It's a fantastic experience.

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                #8
                This past year I made the "switch" to a safety razor. I liked the thought of the cost savings over time, and had heard benefits included less razor burn and a closer shave. Prior to that I'd always had a Gilette Mach 3, or Dollar Shave Club razors. I went with a decent, but not ridiculously priced Merkur safety razor and some decent shaving cream and cool looking shaving cream brush. After the learning curve as some have mentioned, I find shaving that way to be kind of a nice experience. It provides a great shave and even one pack of quality razors will last a super long while.

                I do find though, when I'm in a hurry, it's sure nice to have a Mach 3 sitting around with some good ol' fashioned Barbasol. Gets the job done quick and easy and I don't have to focus on not nicking myself. I find that I actually reach for the Mach 3 more than the safety razor. Like grabbing a beater pair of sunglasses instead of the expensive ones I suppose.

                Personally, I can't tell the difference in shave quality/closeness whatsoever. Razor burn hasn't been an issue for me in years because I tend to only shave once or twice a week unless I have a special reason to. If I were you I'd try a Mach 3 or equivalent first. I think you'll find that's a MAJOR upgrade from the budget razors. If you like shaving in the shower, I'd say it's pretty much a no go with a safety razor. It requires a mirror and a steady hand or you're going to nick yourself. If you're still curious about it, go for it. I don't regret my purchase, just don't use it as much as I thought I would.

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                  #9
                  I’ll start this by saying that I’ve found people who use safety razors are very passionate about them, and that’s not a bad thing. I love passionate people. But as someone who has always used cartridge blades I’d argue that cartridges are the way to go. For me convenience is the top priority, and I’ve never had an issue with not getting a close enough shave or razor burn (I recently switched to the Gillette Skinguard from Harry’s and it’s been great).

                  In my opinion, if you’re looking at overall price is it really THAT much cheaper to use a safety razor? The standard Gillette cartridge blades are what... maybe $3-4 per blade max, and in my experience (I shave 2-3 times per week) one blade should last you close to 4 weeks or a month if you keep it dry after you use it. So you spend roughly $40-50/year with a cartridge if you included a can or two shave cream. According to what I’ve read about safety razors you’re looking at around $100 initially if you get decent products and want the full experience (razor, box of blades, brush, shave cream, maybe shave oil, etc). So you’re not really saving money until roughly 20-24 months into the switch, and then it’s around $30/year give or take? And what do you do when you travel? Are you packing your full safety razor routine kit or are you just packing your old cartridge/disposable razor and a small can of travel cream?

                  I get that 10 years down the line a safety razor might save me a few hundred bucks, but I can just as easily find somewhere else to save that money while sticking with my more convenient cartridge razor.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I like the math made me think. Lots of people dive in Way to fast and over spend on most things. Though, I do wonder where you buy your Gillette blades for that cheap? One thing that turned me off cartridge was i couldn’t find The same thing over and over again but that was back 10 years or so before online shopping took hold of me. I set my self a max of 20-30 bucks for 50-100 for blade packs, which is why I buy sample safety razor blades. The whole thing generally last over 3 years.
                    I will say when I first started I never bought high end until I made sure I was going to stick with it. The brush types vary on feel and I used a synthetic brush, 10-15 bucks, until I could get around to feeling a nice one in person, like two years ago.
                    Traveling, I cheat still use my shave soap but my wife uses Harry’s and I can borrow that for a couple days if I do it every day.
                    I do wonder if most guys do the technique of face mapping with out thinking of it. I wonder if that helps when they change blades and as blades, cartridges or safety, are very personal and some work better with different thickness .


                    Originally posted by abh159 View Post
                    I’ll start this by saying that I’ve found people who use safety razors are very passionate about them, and that’s not a bad thing. I love passionate people. But as someone who has always used cartridge blades I’d argue that cartridges are the way to go. For me convenience is the top priority, and I’ve never had an issue with not getting a close enough shave or razor burn (I recently switched to the Gillette Skinguard from Harry’s and it’s been great).

                    In my opinion, if you’re looking at overall price is it really THAT much cheaper to use a safety razor? The standard Gillette cartridge blades are what... maybe $3-4 per blade max, and in my experience (I shave 2-3 times per week) one blade should last you close to 4 weeks or a month if you keep it dry after you use it. So you spend roughly $40-50/year with a cartridge if you included a can or two shave cream. According to what I’ve read about safety razors you’re looking at around $100 initially if you get decent products and want the full experience (razor, box of blades, brush, shave cream, maybe shave oil, etc). So you’re not really saving money until roughly 20-24 months into the switch, and then it’s around $30/year give or take? And what do you do when you travel? Are you packing your full safety razor routine kit or are you just packing your old cartridge/disposable razor and a small can of travel cream?

                    I get that 10 years down the line a safety razor might save me a few hundred bucks, but I can just as easily find somewhere else to save that money while sticking with my more convenient cartridge razor.

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                      #11
                      Everyone's skin is different so you're results may be better than mine, but I tried to make that switch a few years back and it didn't go well. My experience was that shaving took a lot longer, I nicked myself a lot more often, my shave wasn't as close as with cartridges...in short the safety razor was worse in pretty much every way except cost - safety razor blades are CHEAP. I tried a few different brands of blades but nothing every worked as fast or as comfortably as cartridges for me. Cartridges were really expensive for a while there but since the Dollar Shave Club and Harry's have come along, decent cartridges are not as expensive as they were when Gillette had a near monopoly on the market. These days I shave maybe once every 5-6 days because I'm not going into the office, using a Harry's cartridge and shave cream - I don't have a strong affinity for their cream vs. others but they have a minimum shipping threshold (or did last time I ordered from them) and I add on other of their products to meet that. Shaving with a blade every day - whether safety razor or cartridge - irritates my skin, so in normal times I was using a Braun electric shaver. I tried Norelco too but Braun works better for me and it gives a shave that is plenty close and very comfortable. No creams, lathering, etc. necessary.
                      “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by jvargas View Post
                        I like the math made me think. Lots of people dive in Way to fast and over spend on most things. Though, I do wonder where you buy your Gillette blades for that cheap?
                        Amazon. Skinguard and Fusion = $24 for 8 blades ($3 per blade) and Mach 3 = $24 for 15 blades ($1.60 per blade).

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by abh159 View Post
                          I’ll start this by saying that I’ve found people who use safety razors are very passionate about them, and that’s not a bad thing. I love passionate people. But as someone who has always used cartridge blades I’d argue that cartridges are the way to go. For me convenience is the top priority, and I’ve never had an issue with not getting a close enough shave or razor burn (I recently switched to the Gillette Skinguard from Harry’s and it’s been great).
                          abh is pretty spot on here. I have been wet shaving for several years now and I love it, but it's not for everyone.

                          Cartridge shaving is quicker and more convenient, but I have gotten better quality shaves from a DE razor. Both razors can be just as close, but cartridge razors can cause more irritation. I would get razor burn from cartridge razors, but do not with a DE razor.

                          A DE safety razor setup can be fairly cheap. Obviously you can use any shaving cream you choose, whether with a cartridge or DE safety razor.

                          My recommendation would be to try it out, since you have been considering it for years. Get an inexpensive, but decent quality, razor, a sampler pack of blades, and also an inexpensive brush (synthetics have improved in quality), a bowl, and some shaving cream. It does take longer, especially at first, so if that is a problem for you then you might want to stick with your cartridges.

                          Here are a couple options of starter packs:

                          https://www.westcoastshaving.com/collections/safety-razor-kits/products/wcs-starter-kit-build-your-own

                          https://wetshavingproducts.com/colle.../kits-and-sets

                          I do not have experience with either of the razors in those kits, but they appear to be decent quality and a good price.

                          It CAN be very economical to shave with DE blades, as they can be had very cheap (just pennies a blade!), but you can also dive down the rabbit hole of wet shaving and buy multiple razors, brushes, creams, soaps, and it can be an expensive little hobby.

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                            #14
                            I went all in with DE safety razors about 10 yrs ago and still think they’re a worthwhile investment. But I still use disposable razors on occasion and even electric if the whiskers get too long. I haven’t bought new shaving stuff in years and I likely won’t for many more. The problem with DE shaving is that it eventually becomes an addiction and you wind up buying more razors, soaps/creams, brushes, blades, etc. Luckily for me the novelty wore of in a year.

                            I think part of the issue with DE razors is that they’re not all created equal and have different results for different skin and Whisker types. For example, I use a vintage Gillette fat handle tech and a Merkur 33c. The Gillette works great for those with sensitive skin, whereas the Merkur is slightly more aggressive. I’ve found that with DE razors you shouldn’t use as much pressure because they’re heavier than a plastic disposable. If you use too much pressure you’ll turn your face into shredded cheese. New DE users don’t realize this and are using a DE razor the same way they’re using a disposable.

                            shaving cream also makes a difference. The cheap foam crap on the market does nothing for your skin. It’s all personal preference but I’ve found that shaving sticks provide the most glide and slickness needed to get a close comfortable shave. I like Palm Olive shave sticks personally.

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                              #15
                              Get yourself over to Badgerandblade.com. They have a great beginner forum that can answer probably any question you'll have. One of the biggest jokes in the wetshaving hobby (yes, that's a thing!) is that we all switched "to save money". Because what you'll find is that traditional shaving with a safety razor (or even a straight razor - gasp!) isn't just better than overpriced gimmicky plastic cartridges and canned goo...its WAY better! You can't help but fall down the rabbit hole into an amazing hobby. Seriously, its like Harry Potter walking into Diagon Alley for the first time. There is a whole WORLD of shaving that you never knew existed. Razors from little German and Italian steel towns that used to make broadswords in the middle ages. Vintage Gillette razors. Milled stainless steel razors. Hundred-year old plus European shaving soap companies. Artisan soaps from all over America, even the world. Portuguese shaving cream made with lanolin. Luxury English brushes. Professional-grade Italian barbershop brushes. Aftershaves! Oh my Lord - the aftershaves! Anyway, you could also just stick with Barbosol too. Totally allowed. As is shower shaving - lots of people shave with a safety razor in the shower. Make the switch - you'll love it!

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