A close shave save’s you 100′s of $/£

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!)ClaussstraightrazorFremontUSA

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)…m6k9BCQiBj5wsdU0hsM3hjw 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.)images

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..253909

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.main-image-large

22 thoughts on “A close shave save’s you 100′s of $/£

  1. It’s rather a shame you’re not digressing on the feasibility of shaving legs; that’s more my speed EB…or underarms…and there always is the electric razor….k

    • Kristen, my profuse apologies, the web page snatched my post before I had finished… (ready for a re-browse).

      The ladies feasibility is indeed included ;-)


      • One additional thought, EB…you are a most ingenious and self-sufficient man….I wish I knew more like you…but the problem with women and this little boost to shaving implements for continuing use and saving bucks; I’d probably slash myself and bleed to death…I already have a sufficient number of problems with current disposable razors for sensitive skin; I cut myself on a regular and continuing basis already and bleed everywhere…I have to bandaid myself weekly…so this remains a lost cause…at least for me….but I’m copasetic with it as it stands now…. k

  2. I tried to save with a straight razor once… without much success and several blood transfusions. I’ll stick to my Gillette.

    • Coffeypot, after mastering the technique I was glad to switch to a safety/disposable, mainly due to the time saved. Once in a blue moon over a weekend end, I would hone the cut throat blade and shave with it old school way. It always gave a closer shave (and the occasional nick as a reminder at who was the boss)! Aye.

  3. I think Gillette jumped the shark with the Fusion razor. Yeah, I went out and bought one but went back to my older three-blade razor after about six months, mainly because the cost of Fusion blades is outrageous (as you noted).

    There’s push-back on the cost. I’ve seen ads for something called “Dollar Shave Club” on teevee… a mail order outfit that sells disposable razors for a buck apiece. I’m not THAT interested to try ‘em out, but the fact they exist and are apparently successful says a lot.

  4. I watched a video on youtube on how to use your blue jeans to sharpen your disposable razor. I did it religiously and got a single razor to last 6 weeks. I don’t go that long any more but if I use the blue jeans I can use a razor for 3 weeks.

    Try it and see if it works for you.

    • Okierover, all interesting stuff, hopefully the manufacturers will sit up and take note and bring the price down to some thing reasonable. The leather strop I use is two sided, one being a heavier edge, with the other side a lighter buffer.

      I also use it on my knives and such, which I’d be hesitant to use on a pair of Levis… Aye.

  5. Hello Bootneck,
    My father was an electric razor man ( he worked for Schick at one time). I started out on electrics but as far as I’m concerned you simply don’t get a decent shave out of them, and the razor burns I’d get from the friction even if I used the silly pre-shave lotion were no fun.

    So I went blade with a vengeance…clean crisp and smooth. I started out with one of those old fashioned metal Gillette single blade razors. I learned quick that the trick to not cutting yourself was to soften your beard with hot enough water and to keep the razor wet. I either shave in the shower or fill a basin with hot water, dip a towel in it, apply it to my face a few times in the proper areas to soften up the beard, then use some shaving cream,(usually Gillette Foamy, but any decent brand will do) stick the razor in the water to let it heat a bit for a few seconds and go to work. I almost never cut myself, even in the shower without using a mirror.

    And I always have used disposable razors, the one piece basic plastic ones, usually Gillettes or some blue ones whose name doesn’t spring to mind at the moment. Both also have those white lube strips on them. I rate my dark beard medium tough at least. I usually get at least a couple to three weeks out of each one.

    I will have to try the blue jean trick, OkieRover..many thanks!


    • Rob, I’ve tried using an electric shaver in the past, purely out of desperation, the razor burn came free… as did the secondary growth a few hours later!

      I have always used a hot flannel cloth to soften, more so when shaving with a cut throat razor. For me oil is the far better solution than using shaving foam (even extra virgin olive oil works), though I do prefer an almond or coconut oil, which I allow to warm up in the bottle as it floats in the sink. You will be amazed at the result. Aye.

      • Warmed oil? Hmmm. I mighy try that. Although it seems that might work better on a woman’s legs…
        Thanks Ex-Bootneck.

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