06-08-2016, 10:51 PM
#1
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After starting wet shaving Thanksgiving 2013 thanks to an AoS visit with my wife, I am finally below $1 per shave on a software-only basis (counting blades which are consumable)!

Of course, counting my (overpriced AoS) hardware, I'm still at $1.73 a shave.

And to think, it started b/c I was sick of $2 per Mach3, and they lasted me more than a month each! I never even used shaving cream before, I'd just shave in the shower.

[Image: q9CrJBY.png]

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 06-09-2016, 12:36 AM
#2
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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My costs per shave have gone up dramatically since investing in higher end shave gear, but so has the enjoyment.  It's a price I'm willing to pay.  Smile

Eric

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 06-09-2016, 03:15 AM
#3
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Yes, while cost initially drew me to wet shaving, it isn't a factor for me anymore.  Turning something I hated into a favorite part of my day is priceless, especially considering all the joy its given me.

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 06-09-2016, 03:33 AM
#4
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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David1201, I agree: it turned a daily chore into a pleasurable experience.  I shudder when I think how much I've invested in brushes (now own 34, mostly high-end brands), but I sure do like them and look forward to selecting the one I'll use for the morning shave.  Nevertheless, I don't wet shave to save money; I do it to enjoy something I have to do every morning I'm on this jolly old sphere.

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 06-09-2016, 04:35 AM
#5
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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My switch was not about money either, a good thing since shaving/hoarding has become crazily expensive. I could not spend another cent for 10 years if I chose stick with what is in my growing shave cabinets.

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 06-09-2016, 04:40 AM
#6
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I wouldn't dare tally my expenses. You are a brave man!

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 06-09-2016, 04:50 AM
#7
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-08-2016, 10:51 PM)Gig103 Wrote: After starting wet shaving Thanksgiving 2013 thanks to an AoS visit with my wife, I am finally below $1 per shave on a software-only basis (counting blades which are consumable)!

Of course, counting my (overpriced AoS) hardware, I'm still at $1.73 a shave.

And to think, it started b/c I was sick of $2 per Mach3, and they lasted me more than a month each! I never even used shaving cream before, I'd just shave in the shower.

[Image: q9CrJBY.png]

Great thread starter, Mike!  

To add a data point to this thread and make this topic into a database, here is my personal arithmetic: 

Although I had a bit more than 45 years of a head start on you in wet shaving (started on August 7, 1968, aboard a ship that left Yokohama the day before), you had a five month head start on me using a double-edge razor.  For about 40 of the 45 years, I used various cartridges, and the last and ultimate iteration of that journey is a Feather MR3 neo razor, which I fit with the three-blade version of the Feather F-System cartridges.  The MR3 neo remains an essential accessory for air travel when my only luggage is carry-on and must be cabin-approved.  

Accepting your consolidation of consumable blade costs with the costs of consumable shaving soaps and creams, I purchase 9-packs of replacement cartridges when I am visiting Japan for 1548円 (or, if you prefer, ¥1548) each, or 172円 (¥172) per cartridge;  at the current exchange rate, that works out to about $1.62 per cartridge.  Shaving every day, I get a minimum of two weeks of shaves per cartridge, which works out to about 10¢ (or, if you prefer, $0.10) per shave, just for the blade component.  

With DE blades, I get fewer shaves per blade, typically six shaves per blade averaged over all brands of blades.  I have pared back to only two brands of DE blades, both, coincidentally, Japanese-made.  The KAI blades in my current stock were pretty expensive as DE blades go, working out to $0.46 (46¢) per blade, for a bit over 7½¢ ($0.0767, to be precise) per shave if I get six shaves per blade; I got a better price for Feather blades in bulk, working out to $0.27 (27¢) per blade, or 4½¢ ($0.045) per shave if I get six shaves per blade.  (The cost per shave differential between the KAIs and the Feathers is a bit overstated there, because I frequently get a good seven shaves on one KAI blade and I frequently have to discard a Feather blade after five shaves.)  

On average, then, my blade cost per DE shave is roughly half of my blade cost per cartridge shave.  But to put that figure in perspective, if I shave once a day, every day, I spend $36 per year on cartridges if I shave only with the MR3 neo vs. $16 to $28 per year shaving every day with my preferred brands of DE blades.  At a maximum of $20 “savings” per year, it will take me more than seven years to amortize the price that I paid for a Feather AS-D2 DE razor, not counting the cost of money (time-price differential).  

As to “soap” consumables, the calculation is more complex.  I prepare exactly the same way for shaving with a cartridge razor as I do for shaving with a DE razor, so I do not save soap money by shaving with a DE.  But I use a couple of drops of hair conditioner on my beard area while showering before I shave; because I use the same container of hair conditioner when I shampoo, and use more conditioner per shampoo than I use on my beard area, I have no way to calculate the per-shave cost of conditioner.  The very thin layer of Noxzema cleansing cream that I smear on my beard area before lathering up for a shave probably costs less than 1¢ ($0.01) per day.  

My costs per shave for shaving soap are also difficult to calculate, as I am rotating a half dozen separate containers, and it is hard to keep track of how many shaves I get out of each puck. But, because I am using the Bloom Water Lathering technique to the exclusion of all other lathering techniques these days, I get A LOT of shaves per puck, a much higher yield, compared to our colleagues on this board.  I estimate that I get close to three months’ daily shaves, maybe more, from one $9.91 puck of Mystic Water shaving soap, and probably about the same endurance from one (smaller but harder milled) $7.50 puck of Haslinger Schafmilch.  If my estimate is correct, my daily shaving soap cost works out to about 10¢ ($0.10) per shave.

Bottom line total then:  I am spending for consumables about 20¢ to 25¢ ($0.20 to $0.25) per day, including the minuscule cost of hair conditioner and Noxema cleansing cream, for shaving, or about one fifth to one-fourth the amount that you are spending on consumables.

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 06-09-2016, 06:18 AM
#8
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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(06-08-2016, 10:51 PM)Gig103 Wrote: After starting wet shaving Thanksgiving 2013 thanks to an AoS visit with my wife, I am finally below $1 per shave on a software-only basis (counting blades which are consumable)!

Of course, counting my (overpriced AoS) hardware, I'm still at $1.73 a shave.

And to think, it started b/c I was sick of $2 per Mach3, and they lasted me more than a month each! I never even used shaving cream before, I'd just shave in the shower.

[Image: q9CrJBY.png]
Hey! I like that little graph. I wonder if I can do one retro-actively. I do keep a daily log of my shaves and note when I get something new. It's digging up my costs that will be a challenge.

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 06-09-2016, 07:33 AM
#9
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Lets think outside the scuttle. A well made razor will last multiple generations. Razor blades are recyclable. A quality shaving brush is made largely with renewable resources; badger,boar,horse, synthetic ( with animal welfare mitigating individual choice) and a handle that is also potentially multi generational. Soap is an issue with the impact of Palm Oil
production but there are alternatives. Container material can be chosen to avoid plastic. The carbon footprint in production and transportation is a factor, but offset by providing a
livelihood in many nations providing a measure of economic and political stability. If one wants POLSILVERS available in 10 years the issue of NATO wargames is more than a website headline. The appreciation for Brutalt Bra also demands attention to American-Norwegian goodwill to avoid 20 MM strafing runs by Wegian on LAX and a wing waggle over BULLGOOSE.
WATER will be the major point of conflict in coming decades. One can hardly reduce it's use in lathering and cleanup. But this is easily mitigated by starting a new artisan niche for those
huge wash bowls and pitchers laughed away on Antique Road Show and using the grey water for the garden.
So, factoring in these impacts a wetshave is much more economical and positive socially than the artifice of capital exchange.

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 06-09-2016, 08:16 AM
#10
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I think if the main concern is wishing to save money, or avoid using resources, one should grow a beard, keeping it trimmed occasionally.

If you must shave, and money or resource usage/environmental priorities is the main concern, a good quality electric razor is best. Even if it costs you a couple hundred dollars up front, it may last 20 years or more. The only recurring cost is charging the battery or plugging it in, which is a pittance in cost and resources compared to blades/carts, soap, brushes, water, etc. It is also the most economical in terms of time.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) , we don't do what we do to save money, time, or resources... Wink

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 06-09-2016, 08:49 AM
#11
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Like a lot of people have posted I also did it to save money but ended up liking it a lot.  Great post - not sure I would want to see my totals though!

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 06-10-2016, 03:38 AM
#12
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With my shaving purchases over the years somewhere in the five figures , my cost per shave is probably quite high. Shaving has also given me a hobby that doesn't involve purchasing the newest model boat , race car , snowmobile etc... I'm happy  Smile

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 06-10-2016, 06:19 AM
#13
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I would also have to reiterate what others have said about spending much more money than I was planning to, but the trade-offs and benefits have been immeasurable;
superbly better shaves, intense enjoyment, complete appreciation of scents, soaps, razors, brushes, EOs, learning how to take better photographs and, most importantly, meeting some great people! Shy

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 06-10-2016, 07:15 AM
#14
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$$$, Geez!

I bought a variety pack of DE blades on ebay, a really nice double-edge 3-piece gold plated Gillette razor from a thrift shop, a box of Arko sticks, a large jar of Noxzema for a pre-shave, a nice enough brush from Crabtree & Evelyn, and a lathering bowl and soap cup from Goodwill and I don't have nearly $100 into it.  A couple of bottles of after shave from Walmart might have put the grand total to around $75 but I doubt it.

I've been shaving for years with that expenditure and loving every minute of it.

Oh, and I recovered a pristine Regal Poly Perk coffee pot from our basement to heat water that I use for shaving but I don't count that because it was bought decades ago and I also use it to heat water for tea.

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 06-10-2016, 12:59 PM
#15
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I know for sure that i don't save on switching to de... but self pampering is awesome

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 06-10-2016, 09:35 PM
#16
  • Bouki
  • Member
  • Sandwich Islands
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Congratulations, Gig103! What a stirring testimony of your devotion to the tonsorial art. It's taken 777 days of double-edged shaving, but at last my per diem expense, too, averages 99¢.  

How shall we celebrate? In the only meaningful fashion. I just ordered a new pot of Mike's Natural Hungarian Lavender! That brings my soap count up to 21 tubs. My spreadsheet tells me I should be well in the suds until Friday, March 6, 2020.

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 06-10-2016, 11:17 PM
#17
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(06-10-2016, 09:35 PM)Bouki Wrote: Congratulations, Gig103! What a stirring testimony of your devotion to the tonsorial art. It's taken 777 days of double-edged shaving, but at last my per diem expense, too, averages 99¢.  

How shall we celebrate? In the only meaningful fashion. I just ordered a new pot of Mike's Natural Hungarian Lavender! That brings my soap count up to 21 tubs. My spreadsheet tells me I should be well in the suds until Friday, March 6, 2020.
Alright! Another spreadsheet person! Congrats on your similar achievement and the purchase. I'm trying to downsize with 33 in my closet (including 4 AoS tallow and my stash of 7 Palmolive sticks that cost me $6 total).

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 06-10-2016, 11:19 PM
#18
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(06-09-2016, 12:36 AM)EricM Wrote: My costs per shave have gone up dramatically since investing in higher end shave gear, but so has the enjoyment.  It's a price I'm willing to pay.  Smile

Eric
You and many others said effectively the same thing so I will quote once just to say that I agree!

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 06-12-2016, 07:50 AM
#19
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I am not sure what the purpose of this exercise is.  If you began wet shaving because you thought you would save money I think you may have made a mistake.  First of all how much do you think you would save per month?  At the end of a year maybe $50-$100.  I have to assume that wet shaving will be more expensive than the old fashion way.  Regardless of the fact that cartridges are expensive.  The only thing you normally buy is a can of shaving cream the razor handle is generally free and then blade cartridges.  I agree that you can find s shaving brush for about $25, razor for $25 and there are many inexpensive soaps.  The cheapest component is the blade.  However, most people once they start they end up with a lot of stuff.  I myself, now have 54 soaps and creams, with 5 more on order.  I have 9 brushes 3 more on order and am about to order 2 more.  I only have three razors but my ATT Kronos 5 piece set cost $299.  And, I have something in excess of 600 blades.  This is some what of an expensive hobby.  It is not ridiculously expensive compared to other hobbies but I can not say I am saving money.  My wife said I should go to rehab.

Maybe you can help me understand your theory.

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 06-12-2016, 09:04 AM
#20
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Wet shaving as a task is inexpensive. 
Wet shaving as a hobby is as expensive as you allow it to be.

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