02-23-2014, 04:16 PM
#1
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I searched using the above terms and nothing came up and I'm pretty sure this has been covered on at least one of these forums. Please forgive me for a probably newbie rehash of this.

So here is my question: Is it really that less expensive to shave with a DE razor compared with a cartridge type?

I see that some members replace their DE blades about once a week. I get a good 6 weeks of shaves (once a day) with a Gillette Mach 3 and a Mach 3 Turbo, I am alternating between those. I need to add that my beard is not that stiff so that might explain that.

I bought my 5-pack of Gillette Platinum blades from an Art of Shaving store and they were $6.00 plus tax. I know the Mach cartridges cost more than that but I don't have an exact figure.

I would appreciate your comments on this issue.

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 02-23-2014, 04:22 PM
#2
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Without going into a detailed discussion and spreadsheet...The biggest problem is purchasing your blades at the Art of Shaving...Consider the difference...

100 Astra SP blades are $10.50 at Amazon.com

the Gillette Silver Blue are about $25 per 100

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 02-23-2014, 05:17 PM
#3
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As the above post indicates, DE blades can be had for very, very cheap and once you get a good, simple DE razor and brush, you only have to replace the soap/creams.

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 02-23-2014, 06:01 PM
#4
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Different folks, different strokes. But I can say these are my blade costs, and I know cartridges can't touch them:

$0.12 Personna Lab DE blade lasts 7 days
$0.17 GEM PTFE-coated SE blade lasts 14 days

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 02-23-2014, 06:28 PM
#5
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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The last time I checked, cartridges weren't being used in $175 razors. Indeed, I used a Fat Boy, a slim, and a super slim with mostly one brush and one soap at a time for nearly fifty years, and it was quite economical. Then I discovered the shaving forums, and have probably spent more in the past year or so than I did in a lifetime of shaving. And I've have so much fun doing it!!Tongue

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 02-23-2014, 11:15 PM
#6
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Well, it all depends...

If it's just a shave you're after it can be quite economical.

BUT! If you find that it becomes enjoyable, as most here have discovered, it can be quite costly after tallying up the savings. Many of us started blade shaving for the cost savings. Little did we know...

When one tries to fine tune the experience for the ultimate shave, that's where the expense can come in. But for only a shave, yes, you'll save money in the long haul.

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 02-23-2014, 11:26 PM
#7
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(02-23-2014, 06:28 PM)evnpar Wrote: The last time I checked, cartridges weren't being used in $175 razors. Indeed, I used a Fat Boy, a slim, and a super slim with mostly one brush and one soap at a time for nearly fifty years, and it was quite economical. Then I discovered the shaving forums, and have probably spent more in the past year or so than I did in a lifetime of shaving. And I've have so much fun doing it!!Tongue

(02-23-2014, 11:15 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Well, it all depends...

If it's just a shave you're after it can be quite economical.

BUT! If you find that it becomes enjoyable, as most here have discovered, it can be quite costly after tallying up the savings. Many of us started blade shaving for the cost savings. Little did we know...

When one tries to fine tune the experience for the ultimate shave, that's where the expense can come in. But for only a shave, yes, you'll save money in the long haul.

And that right there is the full disclosure and fine print! Biggrin

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 02-24-2014, 12:23 AM
#8
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i use iridium super and shave 3 times a week. each blade last 6 shaves - that comes to 26 blades a year. since i purchased in bulk 26 blades cost me us$5.

so my answer is 5 bux a year for deluxe blades on the expensive side Wink

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 02-24-2014, 12:41 AM
#9
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One has to separate the hobby from the daily routine.
A perfectly good DE razor costs $20-$30..
Most 100-packs of blades are $10-$15.
That is about a year's supply of high quality shaves.

With cartridges,i got mediocre first week and poor second week. Depends on the rate in which you buy cartridges, i use to spend over $100 a year on mostly poor shaves.

So far for the utilitarian daily routine, now comes the gravy.
You can used canned gel (Aveeno is not that bad), but a good soap and brush will add to the expense. Actually a puck if vdh is $2 and a good synthetic brush (whippeddog) is $17, so why not?
Beyond this is the point were it becomes a hobby, and with hobbies all bets are off. But its a great hobby and not a very expensive one, fir most part, compared to ither hobbies (e.g. photography) or habbits (smoking,drinking etc).

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 02-24-2014, 12:52 AM
#10
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(02-23-2014, 04:16 PM)Musikmann Wrote: I searched using the above terms and nothing came up and I'm pretty sure this has been covered on at least one of these forums. Please forgive me for a probably newbie rehash of this.

So here is my question: Is it really that less expensive to shave with a DE razor compared with a cartridge type?

I see that some members replace their DE blades about once a week. I get a good 6 weeks of shaves (once a day) with a Gillette Mach 3 and a Mach 3 Turbo, I am alternating between those. I need to add that my beard is not that stiff so that might explain that.

I bought my 5-pack of Gillette Platinum blades from an Art of Shaving store and they were $6.00 plus tax. I know the Mach cartridges cost more than that but I don't have an exact figure.

I would appreciate your comments on this issue.

i am sure 42 comfortable shaves for each cartridge is highly unusual. so if i were you i would stick to that Wink

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 02-24-2014, 03:52 AM
#11
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YMMV, as always - but I just ordered 160 SE and DE blades for about what a pack of 5 Mach3 carts would have cost me in the supermarket... so at least the blades are significantly cheaper if you go DE/SE

Granted, when you factor in 16 extra razors, 9 brushes, 30 or so soaps and creams, 5 different* aftershaves, a block of alum... maybe not so cheap after all - but a much better shave and a moment of Zen each morning.

*) Three of them from "our own" Krampert Biggrin

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 02-24-2014, 04:39 AM
#12
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(02-24-2014, 12:52 AM)tonsorius Wrote: i am sure 42 comfortable shaves for each cartridge is highly unusual. so if i were you i would stick to that Wink

I might have exaggerated somewhat with the 6 weeks but it sometimes seems like that.

What I do is replace the blade when I have more stubble remaining than I like, or the shave becomes less comfortable. I rarely, if ever, shave against the grain. I think it is useless to go by the color of the stripes. Those turn from blue to white in about a week and the blades have a lot more life in them.

Also, I am religious about drying the blades. I alternately blow them dry with my breath and pat them gently on a dry towel.

(02-24-2014, 03:52 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: ...Granted, when you factor in 16 extra razors, 9 brushes, 30 or so soaps and creams, 5 different* aftershaves, a block of alum... maybe not so cheap after all - but a much better shave and a moment of Zen each morning.

I haven't gotten up to that many razors yet but so far managed to accumulate several brushes, brush stands, soaps, creams, and my first DE razor. I already had enough after shaves (balms and alcohol based) to gag a horse.

Regardless of the cost differential I plan to begin enjoying my moment of Zen as soon as I feel comfortable with the technique.

I guess I was mainly trying to dispel the notion that SE or DE razors save money. It might for some, but that's not the whole point is it?

I started replying to individual posts and then I saw several more. I don't want to belabor the cost saving argument and it was justly pointed out I paid too much for my little 5-pack of Gillette blades.

I began this quest by trying to buy locally. The first brush I found was one at a beauty supply place for $4.99. It's probably horse hair which I've read recently is coming back into vogue. Then I found one made by Burma Shave and that was about $7.00. No one here had shaving bowls but I found a facsimile at an arts and crafts store for cheap. At first I could only find William's shave soap but later found some VDH at Walgreen's.

THEN I began to scour the internet, eBay at first, and the clouds opened up! Now I've probably spent $500 (+ Christmas gifts) on this "hobby".

Suffice it to say, I'm greatly enjoying what's out there and the comments and reviews on this forum. And before too long, I might know what I'm doing and I plan to have a lot of fun with all of this.

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 02-24-2014, 06:14 AM
#13
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(02-24-2014, 04:39 AM)Musikmann Wrote: Regardless of the cost differential I plan to begin enjoying my moment of Zen as soon as I feel comfortable with the technique.

I guess I was mainly trying to dispel the notion that SE or DE razors save money. It might for some, but that's not the whole point is it?

I guess this is a decent place to quote from my own blog - which in turn was taken from one of my posts here, soon after I joined:
Quote:The Zen of wetshaving

Ever wonder what to say when the cartridge-and-canned-goo brigade wonders why we prefers the old fashioned, traditional art of wetshaving?

You can forget the 'better shave' spiel; they have heard it a million times before - every time one of the huge multinationals adds another blade they promise the consumers a better shave than ever before.

You can forget the whole 'saving money' thing too; most of us succumbs to one or more ADs shortly after we pick up a decent brush and a safety razor.

You might want to quickly bypass the 'better for the environment' issue as well; yes, traditional shaving is greener and wastes less plastic, but sadly most people honestly don't care as much about the environment as they claim to do.

But do tell them about that perfect moment caught between lather and blade - those precious minutes every time you shave that lets your worries and concerns simply drain away. The little breathing space where it's you, your razor and perfection.

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 02-24-2014, 06:23 AM
#14
  • ischiapp
  • Senior Member
  • Ischia, Naples, Italy
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After almost four months with the same Fusion ProGlide Power cartridge, with oil storage and stropping after each shave, now I'm sure It costs exactly as the cheaper DE blades (i.e. Super-Max Super Stailess), and is far way better as shaver.
On the other side, classic wet-shaving is more joyful. CoolCoolCool

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 02-24-2014, 08:00 AM
#15
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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As other have stated - DE shaving *can* be cheaper than cart shaving - but for most of us it has not been so due to various ADs.

Having said that, I'll provide the simple proof point of shaving practices in developing nations. In countries where the customer is more price sensitive - DEs rule roost. IMO these countries in south-asia, middle-east, eatern europe & africa are the primary reason hobbyists like us have such a wide assortment of low-priced DE blades available to us.

Also - I'd like to separate out the discussion of wet-shaving from DE shaving. How you build your lather is independent of the blade you choose. Back to developing nations: brush & cream/soap lathering followed by DE or straight (and increasingly disposable cart razors) - is the most common method of shaving. Cans/Foams are more expensive. Unfortunately they are also seen aspirational and modern. But there is still a long way to go and - in my best est - at a global level wetshavers still outnumber canned-foam shavers.

(02-24-2014, 06:23 AM)ischiapp Wrote: After almost four months with the same Fusion ProGlide Power cartridge, with oil storage and stropping after each shave, now I'm sure It costs exactly as the cheaper DE blades (i.e. Super-Max Super Stailess), and is far way better as shaver.
On the other side, classic wet-shaving is more joyful. CoolCoolCool

ischiapp - you raise a good point: modern cart razors provide a very close shave & the blades last a very long time. Plus they are easier to use and provide greater protection from nicks. The cost argument is not compelling for most western men. I might be in the minority here - but I think these are the reasons most western men are not interested in DEs (sad but true!).

Having said that - most of the same men are also complaining about ingrowns, irritation, bumps and razor burn. Many of these issues can be reduced with better prep & technique. But for some of us - even with all that - carts offer a harsh shave that irritates the skin.

My own example - I have sensitive skin and wet-shaved (brush/cream) with a Sensor Excel for 20 yrs (Mach3 and above was a def no-no). But I never got problem free shaves. Then I found the forums & DEs. My shaves are still not perfect (will they ever be?) but my DE shaves are a dramatic improvement over my older cart shaves. I also did an experiment by going back to my Sensor Excel while keeping everything else the same - but got the same old issues again.

DEs are not for everyone. Who am I kidding - 99% of US men think DEs are not for them. Even gents who started with DEs refuse to go back (e.g. my father & grandfather). But some of us will stick with DEs because we can't get the same results with carts. I am one of them. Smile

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 02-24-2014, 12:07 PM
#16
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If you don't buy 25 DE razors, 3000 blades, 15 quality brushes, 20 cakes of soap, 10 containers or tubes of shave creams, a lot of after shaves, colognes and after shave balms, razor and brush holders, etc,etc,etc then double edge shaving is cheaper.

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 02-24-2014, 12:43 PM
#17
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If you can keep your ADs in check, yes I know this is hard, it is cheaper.

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 02-24-2014, 01:55 PM
#18
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yes - and living like robinson crusoe or in a monastery will be very cheap/free as well. but when one takes the step to become a member of a shaving community - then the interest about shaving have already passed the stage of mere cost saving Rolleyes

we have taken action to find enjoyment in something most people find boring and almost never talk about. we are the chosen ones Biggrin

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 02-25-2014, 12:50 PM
#19
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(02-24-2014, 06:23 AM)ischiapp Wrote: After almost four months with the same Fusion ProGlide Power cartridge, with oil storage and stropping after each shave, now I'm sure It costs exactly as the cheaper DE blades (i.e. Super-Max Super Stailess), and is far way better as shaver.
On the other side, classic wet-shaving is more joyful.

Wow, four months! I bought one of those containers that hold oil and tried it but didn't like the oily feel when I used the razor. I am still using a Mach 3 but I bought a Fusion Power and a manual. I was waiting until I ran out of Mach 3 cartridges and then I became interested in a DE and wet shaving. Depending on how that goes, the Fusions will either be used next or given away.

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 02-25-2014, 02:09 PM
#20
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I shaved with Gillette carts for years and years. I never got a cart to last longer than a week for me. I shave every day, so that's 7 shaves. I have a very tough beard that grows fast.

So if I buy Fusion carts, it's going to cost me about $16 a month just for blades.

With DE I use Polsilver SIs. I get 4 shaves from each one, so I use about 8 blades a month. I bought 100 of them for $32. So, that's about two dollars and fifty cents a month versus sixteen.

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