One of my biggest gripes in life (one amongst several), is the mark up price on razor blades. I have a tough beard growth and shave daily (some times twice a day in the summer months, purely for the comfort factor, and not out of vanity). The optimum blade for my growth has always been a Gillette product, especially the newish ‘Fusion’ blade as it incorporates a separate single-edged blade, ideal for cutting straight edges around my trimmed goatee. (Facial camouflage for those little scars picked up over the years, that stops me looking like a thug; OK, it slightly reduces the thug effect!)
My initial shave in life was when I was 13-years-old, stood in front of the sink in the bathroom, with my dad issuing instructions. I was a little shaky going for the first scrape, as I was using his Gillette cut-throat razor that he had effortlessly honed on a leather strop that hung from the bathroom door (some thing that also warmed the seat of my pants on more than one occasion-always justly deserved)… After my first hack & slash attempt with an open cut-throat blade, I was left looking like some one had used my face as a cutting board for dicing carrots. Learning from your mistakes being the best education of all, as I soon had the hang of it (besides which, I was tired of playing outside with pieces of wet toilet paper stuck all over my face to control the bleeding.)
Upon joining The Royal Marines I was forced to place the cut-throat to one side, as a safety razor was the only acceptable blade for shaving. The advantage with a safety razor being, the strips of skin peeled away evenly in long strips, allowing for uniformity and easier damage control!
When the nation evolved into a throw away disposable society, so the plastic disposable razor was born; as cheap as chips initially, until they started adding extra blades and easy slide and grip strips (a cunning marketing plan) that clandestinely and gradually bumped the price up
Onto present day, where we have the following company hype, word for word; Gillette Fusion Blade 10 Pack: £20- (£2- per blade) Great value pack: Up to 30 weeks of shaving: 5 Blades closer together: Precision trimmer: Comfort guard: Fusion cartridges..
True enough, their are10 blades, they do cost £20-, which works out to £2- per blade, the 5 blades are closer together, there is a single blade trimmer that aids precision shaving around moustaches and goatees, and there is even a hard gel like comfort guard that slightly softens in contact with hot water. I will vouch for all of that as being genuine! However; the pack is not great value, 10 blades do not last 30 weeks (unless your growth is ‘Beiber’ bum fluff!) 5 blades are not required (4 are adequate enough), nor is the comfort guard required as shaving foam/oil does the job, as it has since Roman’s wore leather sandals. The later two items being marketing hype to substantiate the outrageous price they charge.
I would be lucky to get one weeks decent shave out of one Fusion blade, in fact every Sunday (blade change-over day) I would dread the noisy scrape and the following razor burn, as the five piece blade dragged across my hot towel growth. All of that changed eighteen months ago when I went to change the blade, and realised the cupboard was bare… I had forgotten to re-stock. Whilst making breakfast with my whiskers slowly growing I had a eureka moment “If I could sharpen a cut throat repeatedly, why then could I not do the same with a ‘Fusion’ blade?” After breakfast I used an old leather belt to hone my tired blade, and then shaved as close, if not closer, as with a new blade; even without the worn down to nothing ‘gel comfort guard.’ That following week I bought a short leather strop that now allows me to get a minimum of four weeks from each blade! My eureka moment has saved me £’s, but it has also stopped me ‘chuntering’ under my breath each time I buy a ‘GREAT VALUE PACK’ of blades.
My search for a new leather honing strop revealed the following, which I will follow up with a phone call/e-mail on Monday… Razor Renew – Like Shaving with a New Razor Blade Every Time … It does what it says on the tin… Yours Aye.