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Held Hostage by Gillette?


Well, if you answered yes to that question, then I think it is time to pay tribute to the great generation before us and try a Double-Edged Safety Razor. I recently made the switch after wasting hundreds of dollars, yearly on crappy cartridge razors. I have to say, I was quite intimidated and discouraged by the thought of using an “old-school” razor. Surely one can surmise that the intensive mathematical research and avant garde design would result in the best shave with a Gillette Pro Glide!

Not so fast, in fact my experience with Gillette and the likes of Schtick products has been absolutely abysmal to say the very least. So, despite the stultifying stories of an imperfect and tedious shave that has been passed down the grapevine of “dangerous” safety razor shaving, I decided to make the plunge. Bought myself an Edwin Jagger, Poraso pre-shave, soap, and after-shave, along with two different types of blades.

Yes, the shaving experience takes slightly longer, anywhere from a 15-20 minute shave with approximately 2 passes, but the closeness of the shave is unparalleled. Did I mention that I now have next to no irritation when I am done having? Yes, that’s correct, absolutely no irritation! Despite those slick and compelling marketing schemes, more blades not only doesn’t result in a closer shave, it actually results in more irritable areas (at least for sensitive skin, like mine!). I also found that after 3-4 shaves with a cartridge razor, there would be a significant amount of tugging from the razor on my scruff or 5 0′clock shadow. For such expensive blades, they would barely maintain their sharpness, resulting in plenty of cartridges being tossed into the garbage.

To test out the different selection of blades, I tried Derby, Feather, and Astra blades.

Derby blades: Decent and smooth shave, but not sharp enough for my liking.

Feather Blades: Aside from being made in Japan, these steel blades are also manufactured by a surgical equipment company. Consequently, these blades are considered some of the sharpest blades in town, and they definitely live up to their reputation. It offers up an extremely close shave, but requires close attention as well. Unfortunately, while I really liked these blades, they weren’t the right type of blade for my skin.

Astra Blades: These blades are made in Russia and are known for their very smooth shaves. Although they weren’t quite as sharp as the Feather blades, they often produce a remarkably close shave. Furthermore, they also tend to be much more forgiving than the Feather blades and are well-suited for the beginner. On another note, they aren’t only a very reputable blade amongst wet shavers, they are also the best priced. I bought 100 blades for $10 (each blade lasts 7-10 shaves without losing its sharpness!)

I have found that not only are Safety Razors the most affordable way to shave, as the razor and the additional items cost around $70 and will last me for than a year at least! They also offer the closest shave, in the process reviving the old art form of attaining the perfect shave!

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