Shaving with a double-edged safety razor is making a comeback. Though not for those looking for a fast shave, but for a cheaper, more consistent and less wasteful one (i.e. no disposable plastic involved, no planned obsolescence).
Nicolás Boullosa tests a classic steel razor with a double edged blade. His goals is to determine if this type of razor is better, worse or comparable to the fancy disposable type.
As opposed to the razors with replacement blades that have become nearly universal these days, the more traditional stainless steel razors have 3 easily disassembled pies and use a standard, very affordable blade.
The result: the razor itself is a bit more expensive than the plastic models, but it lasts a lifetime. And the replacement blades are much, much cheaper.
A daily battle against planned obsolescence
Concerned about the money spent on shaving, the waste of plastic and the practice of planned obsolescence undertaken by shaving companies, Nicolás Boullosa tests the classic model, discarded by our grandfathers and fathers “because it was a nuisance”.
Conclusion: “the classic razor is, at least, as comfortable as any modern cartridge razor; and it’s, over time, cheaper and, if you care for it properly, the security razor can last a lifetime and can be passed on to sons or grandsons”.
Cartridge razors, like printers
In contrast, the cartridge razors are similar to printers: the units are sold at a very competitive price and practically given away, while every replacement is several times more expensive than the conventional razor blade.
Nicolás Boullosa: “I don’t rule out letting by beard grow like Leo Tolstoy, especially if I end up publishing something that I am finishing now y I can say in the future that I am a writer. A writer that admires transcendentalists as much as Tolstoy, or his inspirations Thoreau and Emerson, who were bearded”. Not to mention John Muir or Walt Whitman. “But, until then, I have to shave once a week, 52 weeks a year. And until now it has been a nuisance, and expensive”.
The marketing doesn’t work anymore
These razors, with replacement cartridges, have evolved to 5 or even 6 blades, theoretically to speed up the shave without irritation. My personal experience leaves me skeptical and I don’t think that my shave was different with the Gillette Mach 3, the Mach 3 Turbo or the Fusion, or any other cartridge I have tried”.