The question we are asked most often is, "Why is shaving with a DE razor better?" Well, for those who know, it's quite obvious but for the majority of the rest of the western world who are still using cartridge-based razors, they have no clue how deceived they have been...until now.
First a little history. If you have the time and inclination, there's a very good article "The Razor and Blades Myth(s)" written by Randal C. Parker and published in the University of Chicago Law School Journal (Google it). The article provides a very detailed account of how the game has been played by the manufacturers since 1904. To summarize, the manufacturers create demand for very high margin blades by selling razors at low prices (or even giving away) thus locking users into paying for very high margin blades which can be obtained only from them for years. When one patent expires (thus ending their exclusivity on the blades) they simply create something new, phase out the old, and start the process over again. So you can see how the market went from a single blade design in 1904 to 6-blades of today. Do 6 blades actually shave better than 1? No, not at all, quite the opposite, actually. If you think you need more than a singe blade to get the job done then you have been brainwashed by years of exposure to marketing hype.
The cartridge-based platform relies on a pivoting mechanism to keep the blade at a constant angle to the skin. However, the spacing of blades and the design of the cartridge have several drawbacks. First, the space between the blades is very narrow and clogs easily. Shaving with multi-blades actually tug and pull stubble more than with a single blade. You probably remember the commercials with the animation showing 1 blade pulling on the hair while the second one cuts it, right? Wrong, the blades are too far apart for that to actually happen. All you are getting is an uncomfortable and lower quality shave. Another problem with the pivoting cartridges is that you don't have control, the cartridge has control and you are at the mercy of the cartridge. To give credit where credit is due, shaving with a cartridge is generally faster but the trade-off is a less close shave and less comfort.
Shaving with a DE Safety Razor, on the other hand, can be far more rewarding and lead to better results. On the downside, there is a bit of a learning curve and one needs to take a little time and match razor and blade combination to their face, everyone's face is different. Once dialed in (and that's half the fun of it) be prepared to spend a little more time shaving but you will be amazed at the results that can be achieved. I won't lie to you, you probably won't become proficient with a DE razor right away but if you take the time to learn you can obtain superior results.
Let's do a little side by side cost comparison while we're on the subject:
|DE Razor||Cost||Cartridge Razor||Cost|
|Average Razor - one time purchase||$35||Average Razor - recurring purchase required||$10|
|Average Blades (pack of 5)||$1||Average Cartridges (pack of 5)||$15|
A Lifetime of Shaving
- Start shaving at the age or 15
- Lifespan is 85 years
- New model cartridge razors released every 10 years (requires new purchase)
- Pack of 5 DE blades lasts 1 month
- Cartridge lasts 1 month
- Prices stay relative and constant
85 - 15 = 70 years of shaving
70 x 12 = 840 months of shaving
Lifetime DE Razor Cost = $35
Lifetime DE Blades Cost = $1 x 840 months = $840
Total Lifetime DE Razor + Blades = $875
Lifetime Cartridge Razor Cost = $10 x 7 = $70
Lifetime Cartridge Blades Cost = $3 x 840 months - $2,520
Total Lifetime Razor + Cartridge Cost = $2590
Granted, your mileage will vary but this comparison is pretty realistic when using averages. If you change blades more frequently, the costs are even greater for the cartridge. Yes, you can pay several hundred dollars for a DE razor but you don't have to. You can buy a very good quality DE razor for $35 (like the ones we offer) that will likely last you for the rest of your life. By the way, Dollar Shave Club offers their "Executive" 6-blade razor for $9/month. I fail to see the bargain. Using the above calculations, that amounts to a lifetime cost of $7,560!
The evidence is compelling, better results for less money, now you know too.